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DIY standby generator

Travis Farmer · 163

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Offline Travis Farmer

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on: 2018-11-25, 16:57:16
ok, so while i was browsing YouTube, i came across a video of a guy that made a large backup generator from a spare engine, and a generator head. but it got me thinking, if my boat doesn't pan out, the engine does run... i could mount it on a trailer, along with a large, 10KW+, generator head. then it is a matter of building a control system, probably with an Arduino, or several. first, i would need a governor to maintain output frequency at 60Hz, i think. unless the generator heads have frequency management already built in.
second, starting the engine, with long crank cut-out pauses (for hard starts), and a cut-out for once the RPM is enough to establish it is running. then there are the safety things. low oil shutdown, that will also serve to hold off power to the ignition until the oil pressure rises up. high temp shutdown. low battery starter cut-out. could be a pain in the ass, but will save the battery from being cranked to death.
on the note of the battery, i have a large solar panel (100W), and a charge controller, so i can solar maintain the battery.
the engine has auto choke, so that is fine. i may have a power output cut-out that delays connection of the load to the generator, to allow the engine to stabilize, and warm up a bit. but not too long, or the server battery backup will die.

now, i do have a small 5KW generator, i may be able to rob the head off that, though the 350 V8 engine may be a bit large for it. i don't happen to have a smaller engine, other than the one on the small generator, but it doesn't have electric start. i could conceivably buy a small car/truck engine, like a 4 cylinder. i may be able to get one from a junk yard for fairly cheap, but it would have to be very cheap at my current budget level.
keep in mind, this is mainly just a brainstorm at the moment.

~Travis

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Offline Travis Farmer

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Reply #1 on: 2018-11-25, 17:12:51


the YouTube video.

~Travis

Servers:
Dell PowerEdge 1950 (main web server)
Dell PowerEdge 2950 (VoIP server)
Dell PowerEdge R200 (unused...)
Dell PowerEdge R710 (FreeNAS file server)