Puppeteer

Author Topic: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications  (Read 167692 times)

BruceM

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #900 on: January 28, 2019, 01:00:12 AM »
In my experience, the real project isn't the controller, it's the starter motor et al, decompression hardware, and rack closing hardware.  Then I also added RPM sensing, excess vibration , oil high/low, and overtemp sensing. Since I did it all with air, I also control the air compressor pneumatic unleader/pilot valve via RC servo and the main air supply valve as well as generator on/off.  I later added idle sensing by CT on the generator output and air compressor active sensing via pressure sensor (circuit sees the tiny pulses made when the compressor is actively pumping).  Also glow plug control. 

Most recently I added control of the water injection solenoid; it gets turned on after ten minutes of running with a load, and off when no load.  When I did that I didn't mind that it was still all point to point wiring, soldered by hand. 

There are plenty of PLC's now with lots of extra I/O, and some nice modular, expandable designs as well.  Fancy stuff, but mine was just a low budget homebrew job with a Picaxe chip. As far as I know, I'm still the only remote start Listeroid.  I've offered my schematic and code before, but I think it's too much of a job for most. 

A PLC engine controller would have a larger audience, since there would be no component level soldering work, etc.






ajaffa1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #901 on: January 28, 2019, 08:10:06 AM »
Hi Guys, I have wondered about trying to build an SOM out of my CS. Bruce has done a wonderful job of automating his with compressed air. I am reasonably well acquainted with the original electro/mechanical relay set up. I think a PLC might well be used to detect a power outage and then kick in the generator. The problem we have here is automatic breakers on the grid, when the power goes out the breakers try to re establish the grid several times over about 30 seconds. Could a PLC be programmed to allow for this and would it detect when the power comes back on, stop the generator and switch back to the grid? How much paper work would be required to get approval for such a system from the electricity distribution companies?

Might be easier to just go and crank the handle and flick the cross over switch. I can always hook up a single light bulb to the grid to tell me when it comes back on. Please bear in mind that I have a fully functional ST2 SOM so I could theoretically go off grid tomorrow. The whole purpose of the CS 6/1 and ST5 head was to ensure reliability and avoid anything electronic.

Bob

EdDee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 741
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #902 on: January 28, 2019, 11:01:09 AM »
Hi Bob,

As to mains outage detection and timing it so that intermittent starts and farts on your power line...quite easy with the facilities the plc's normally provide... But, as Bruce mentioned, more often the mechanical aspects of the project can be a bit daunting - 24v Electric start with a good torquey starter motor would be the way to go here... No need to worry about decompressor as such... The rest are fairly simple things, the rack closer would be quite easy, temp measurements and the rest fairly simple, industrial lego bits could be used.... The trick would be to get the unit stable mechanically and electrically, ie starts and stops at the turn of a key... To retrofit on top of that would be first prize!!

Also, as mentioned many times before, once the basics are taken care of, they become a fallback in the event of a malfunction further down the line ... (Operator or Mechanical...)

Cheers
Ed
12/1 750RPM/9HP Roid 5kVA- WMO Disposal/Electricity & Hot Water Gen
12/1 650RPM/8HP Roid 4.5kVa - Demon Dino
Chinese Yanmar - Silent Runner with AutoStart
Classic Komatsu 1963 Dozer/Fergusson 35 Gold Belly ...
Bikes,Cars,Gunsmithing & Paintball...Oh yes, a 5Ha open air Workshop to play in!

BruceM

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #903 on: January 28, 2019, 02:58:08 PM »
Yep, a starter that can crank though compression would simplify things, though a decompressor can stop even a crankcase oil runaway.  Either way, a PLC could do the controller job.

Electric linear actuators could easily replace the two air cylinder ones I used for rack closer (needs 10+ lbs force to overcome governor springs) and valve lifter. My lifter is active and actually lifts the valve, unlike the SOM which just inserts a spacer so must be applied on shut down or the next start would fail at compression.  I had massive force available via $14 air cylinder. A well designed spacer method for the valve lifter is very low force, an RC servo could do it. 


ajaffa1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #904 on: January 28, 2019, 09:27:32 PM »
It would be really easy if I could get my hands on one of these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fhhHdrylRA

Bob

BruceM

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #905 on: January 28, 2019, 09:39:18 PM »
Yes, those starter-alternators are a sweet solution. 

The ST heads could be electronically driven as motor, by driving the stator and field coils appropriately ala an inverter, then switched over to become an alternator.   Given the QC problems I've seen, and variations between units, I don't want to waste the time developing anything for them, until/unless some savy importer gets serious about improving their quality.

 

ajaffa1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #906 on: January 28, 2019, 09:46:07 PM »
Hi Bruce, here`s a video showing how the original CS 8/1 worked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecEwlAmcWrU

Bob

BruceM

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #907 on: January 28, 2019, 09:52:29 PM »
The massive solenoid for rack and exhaust decompression valve action would be near impossible to duplicate with off the shelf components, i think.  No solenoids near that size.

A small linear motor-actuator for the rack closer and a solenoid or RC servo for the valve spacer would do it, though.

ajaffa1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #908 on: January 28, 2019, 10:29:23 PM »
They definitely built stuff to last. I might have a word with Rob at Old Timer Engines in Queensland, I know he buys a lot of old CS engines and has a large collection of used parts. He could probably source original SOM parts. Probably cost me a small fortune, so your approach is probably a better bet.

Bob

EdDee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 741
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #909 on: February 18, 2019, 02:44:26 PM »
Hey Guys....

And now for something completely different....Generators/Solar/PLC's and why would I run them together...

To cut a long story short, or maybe not so short, well let's see how it pans out...

This past weekend, we actually had a SCHEDULED power outage...Advertised well in advance, blackout areas clearly designated, times clearly stipulated, real first world stuff... Something that's new to me!!

This actually allowed me to do "first parade" on my gensets getting them ready for the scheduled power drop, another thing that was new to me, time to do the walk-round and kick the tyres before turning the key....

At the scheduled time, 06H30, lordy-be....The power went out as it was supposed to. The auto-start kicked in as it was supposed to, somebody went to the thumpmonster and turned the switch as they were supposed to, it started up as it was supposed to, the auto-start shut down as it was supposed to, thumpmonster took the load as it was supposed to, all was happy in Darkest Afrique.... Or was it?

Well here is where things got interesting... Nothing broke down, nothing stopped turning, nothing stopped working... Everything was just too good to be true..... This kept going until I started meandering around the place, the devil finds work...etc...etc...etc....

So I started looking at power graphs and what was happening on my own little local grid. Solar was taking care of 95% of the demand, thumpmonster taking over for the 5% that was "out of design scope" for the solar.... Here I was running 10Kw of availability, split 50/50 solar and dino, with the free stuff doing most of the work. The problem is/was, the solar is upsy downsy with intermittant clouds, dino takes over for a few minutes, then demon dino just sits there spin-waiting for another cloud... Long enough to shut down for, but a right PITA to run and start up every hour or so for a few minutes....

What could I do? At the time...Nothing...Just let Demon-Dino spin thumpmonster till he was needed, a grand total of about 10 to 12 times during the day (Power came on around 19h30 or so), after looking at the graphs I could draw from the solar setup.

A solution: I have an old Siemens LOGO plc lying around, 6xdigi inputs, 4xdigi outputs....

After a bit of keyboard bashing, I came up with a little idea/package that will do as follows...

Add 2x220v coil relays on the mains circuits to and from the autostart gennie to see where there's power.
Add 1x24v coil relay on an output of the LOGO to enable the autostart facility of the gennie.
Add 3x Buttons to the PLC to allow some finger poking to do things.
Add a couple of idiot lights to show whats's doing's whats's...
Drop some keyboard time into the PLC and away we go...

The Plan:
Connect a 220v coil relay across the mains input power to the gennie, if the contacts are in the closed position, there's 220v Present.
Connect a 220v coil relay across the mains output power from the gennie, if the contacts are in the closed position, there's 220v Output Present.
Connect the "LOW BATTERY" warning contacts on the inverter to the PLC on a digital input.
Connect a 24v Coil relay to one of the PLC Outputs.

What the software does:
It looks for mains in, mains out around the gennie, and NO low battery signal from the Inverter

If power input drops, the PLC monitors the solar inverter for a low battery signal.
If a low battery signal occurs, the PLC signals the gennie to start, if the gennie doesnt start withing a prescribed time and present a 220v output to the PLC, an alarm is raised(siren/flashing lights/whatever) and the start is aborted.
If the gennie starts successfully within the preset time, the plc holds it on until the low battery signal is cleared and then for a further preset time(minimum run time I can decide on after installation)
This carries on ad infinitum, until mains utility power is restored.

The button functions are:
Alarm Clear and Restart
Disable
Enable

Idiot Light outputs are:
Control Disabled
Fault

Ran the logic through the simulator, added an additional timer for mains detection, the mains has to be on and stable for a preset time(30sec currently) for it to be recognized... This stops the gennie from shutting down on a mains impulse... Also added the facility for when mains output drops from the gennie for the preset start timer, the gennie doesn't try and restart, but fault sirens etc are triggered....Let's face it, if a diesel stops, its for a damn good reason....(Also, additional sensors can be added to this line if I want to...Low oil, overheat, low fuel....)

And that's about it!

Wonder if it will work?

Time to go and attack the junk pile for some bits and bobs...

Keep it Switching...

Cheers
Ed
12/1 750RPM/9HP Roid 5kVA- WMO Disposal/Electricity & Hot Water Gen
12/1 650RPM/8HP Roid 4.5kVa - Demon Dino
Chinese Yanmar - Silent Runner with AutoStart
Classic Komatsu 1963 Dozer/Fergusson 35 Gold Belly ...
Bikes,Cars,Gunsmithing & Paintball...Oh yes, a 5Ha open air Workshop to play in!

BruceM

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #910 on: February 18, 2019, 04:11:55 PM »
Nice work, Ed! That should do a nice job of keeping the genny from idling. 

glort

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2728
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #911 on: February 18, 2019, 07:13:27 PM »

Great practical execution Ed as well as your always brilliantly entertaing story telling of the situation.

I have been wondering about the compatibility of a solar GTI and a generator recently.  Could you give me some more info on how to make them work together, what to watch/ avoid and any other of your valuable learned advice and knowledge.

I know a lot of people are interested in having their solar available in times of power outage and it seems setting up a grid signal with a genny to get them online is a great way of doing this.




mike90045

  • Mendocino Metro
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1351
  • Mmmm BBQ
    • View Profile
    • Mikes Solar PV page
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #912 on: February 18, 2019, 08:19:50 PM »
2 changes.

a)  Set Grid Valid to be 2 minutes.   Generator is already running, you want the grid nice and stable when you switch over

b)  any way to have generator run for a 3 minute cool down, before shutdown ?   Gives the alternator windings a chance to get cooled by the fan airflow, lets the engine cool some before killing the system.

EdDee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 741
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #913 on: February 19, 2019, 08:36:44 AM »
Hi Mike,

Those two delays are catered for, I agree that they seem a bit short, but in practicality, the gen will shut down as soon as it's mains input is at 220, built in feature that I have no control over. The shutdown and startup delay are more for when the power is out and batteries run low, allowing the gen unit a little grace and cooling... Unfortunately, the little Logo Plc I am using is way short on programming space, not enough space left to add the instructions to control a pre-gen isolating contactor, otherwise I would put it in...(I simply linked idiot lights to the available outputs, that takes buggerall mem and I got away with the few extra links, but barely.)

Only discovered this quirk with the gennie quite late yesterday evening when I was going over the final bits before I attack the junk pile... I can rewire the gennie to make it totally plc dependent, but prefer to keep it standard and capable of non-managed self operation should the plc fry....

No doubt I will probably find some additional "quirks" with the chinesium assembly of the panel before this little bugger is installed...

Cheers
Ed
12/1 750RPM/9HP Roid 5kVA- WMO Disposal/Electricity & Hot Water Gen
12/1 650RPM/8HP Roid 4.5kVa - Demon Dino
Chinese Yanmar - Silent Runner with AutoStart
Classic Komatsu 1963 Dozer/Fergusson 35 Gold Belly ...
Bikes,Cars,Gunsmithing & Paintball...Oh yes, a 5Ha open air Workshop to play in!

EdDee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 741
    • View Profile
Re: The Listeroid Chronicles-WMO and Other Listeroid Modifications
« Reply #914 on: February 19, 2019, 08:53:58 AM »
Hey Glort,

Grid tie inverter and gennie shouldn't be a problem, as long as you have a GTI that is capable of sensing feedback into your prime system and further capable of regulating its output that the actual GT feedback is 0, or near 0 power... The windings on a gen are only capable of supporting its rated load - If you are trying to push 20Kw into a little 2Kw gen, back up its line, unfortunately the smoke escapes from the little copper fuel pipes in the spinny bits, and never quite makes its way to filling the tank!

There are GTI's out there with directional current sensing - ie it senses how much power is flowing into your household and then turns up the wick until the power flow is balanced between consumption and creation - if power consumption goes up, it opens its taps a little more, converse for when its going down. These GTI's are fairly common where power meters are incapable of back winding, or where "covert" installations are done, where municipalities don't cater for or don't want consumers to back feed the grid.

Incidentally, these things are basically what I would call solid state "induction generators"  - No grid frequency to clock to, no power generation.....

I wouldn't run more than one of these GTI units on a prime gennie or inverter, the chances of feedback oscillation/cycling would be a bit worrying... Also, probably the cheapest chinesium genset would give a considerably better waveform than a pseudo-sine wave inverter as a prime... Square edges and spikey bits on what should be a clean sine wave for your GTI would defs upset the applecart a bit for your GTI to clock to.....

C'mon pal, you're the chip oil king around here...bugger the solar cr@p, sync a few small gensets together and run the neighborhood!!

Cheerz
Ed
12/1 750RPM/9HP Roid 5kVA- WMO Disposal/Electricity & Hot Water Gen
12/1 650RPM/8HP Roid 4.5kVa - Demon Dino
Chinese Yanmar - Silent Runner with AutoStart
Classic Komatsu 1963 Dozer/Fergusson 35 Gold Belly ...
Bikes,Cars,Gunsmithing & Paintball...Oh yes, a 5Ha open air Workshop to play in!