Lister Engine Forum

Lister Engines => Listeroid Engines => Topic started by: veggie on November 11, 2020, 11:59:54 PM

Title: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: veggie on November 11, 2020, 11:59:54 PM
Many members have asked how to add electric start to their listeroids.
Suggestions range from air motors to automotive starters to golf cart starter/generators.

I thought of one very simple method that may work on almost any system
(Unless you are off grid ...  but even that may not be an issue if you have enough battery power and a large enough inverter)

All it requires is an 1800 rpm AC electric motor and a switch. Perhaps 3/4 HP or 1HP.
The 1800 rpm electric motor would be mounted on the same base as the engine with a belt running around the flywheel of the Lister.
For the normal 23" flywheels, the electric motor pulley would be 9.2" diameter to give a 2.5:1 belt ratio (more on that below).
The trick is to not overspeed the electric motor once the Lister starts. This prevents issues of back-feeding the grid.

For example...
This example assume a 6/1 CS style engine running at 650 rpm.
A starter system belt ratio of 2.5 to 1 would spin the Lister flywheel up to 720 rpm if the electric motor were left to run up to full speed unloaded.
Long before that the user would drop the decompression lever and start the engine, then switch off the electric motor.
The motor would spin free on it's bearings with no power flowing to it ... or from it.
With the engine running at 650 rpm, the 2.5:1 belt drive would be spinning the motor at 1625 rpm, well below the motor's normal running speed.

I'm not saying this will work for sure because I have not tried it.
It would be interesting to hear comments from others about the possibility using such a simple system.

food for discussion

veggie
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: scott p on November 12, 2020, 04:08:32 AM
Hello veggie:  Really no reason why it wouldnít work if the inverter were heavy enough to handle the startup current of the electric motor and a motor strong enough to get up to full speed before it starts to burn. A lot of flywheel mass there to get going.

If my brain is on the right track I think a nine inch pulley would hamper the motors ability to develop full torque quick enough to not burn.

Really, what RPM is needed to get the Listeroid to fire, say 250 RPM ? That would give you a 3 inch pulley on the electric motor, which I suspect would be much easier for the electric motor to come up to speed.

That also means the electric motor would be revving at 4823 RPM once the Listeroid got up to speed.

It seems there is always a trade off.

Rare now but at one time there were repulsion start induction run motors that put out lots of starting torque with out large currents.

It sounds like you already know that a normal squirrel cage motor can be a finicky generator. In this case to charge batteries.

Scott
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: mike90045 on November 12, 2020, 06:52:00 AM
And do you leave the "starter" belted up during the power run, or use a stick and knock the belt off to reduce load on the engine ?
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: AdeV on November 12, 2020, 09:04:50 AM
You could use a one-way bearing on the motor shaft; this would allow the torque to be applied by the motor to the engine; but once the engine starts and accelerates past the motor speed, the bearing simply starts spinning on the shaft. The motor could be at a dead stop. There'd be a small parasitic loss from the bearing/pulley/belt, but it'd be tiny compared to trying to spin the whole motor.

The only thing I'm not sure of, is whether those kinds of bearings could take the forces involved in turning a reluctant diesel over.

Another possibility - use a bicycle chain/sprocket setup. Same thing; and as long as you use a weak motor (1/3rd hp) you'll never be putting more strain on the system than a heavy bloke on a bicycle, so it should last... and has the same over-run protection as a one-way bearing.
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: tubes_rock on November 12, 2020, 02:13:51 PM
I'm not a fan of having an "always engaged" starter. It jsut seems like a waste of energy constantly turning a mechanism for nothing and it's just one more thing to break over time. I think about how fast I have to crank to get it my 6/1 started, and I can't imagine my hand turning that crank faster that about twice around per second, or 120 RPM.

That said, a 12V DC or 120V AC universal motor (like on a 120V drill) could be fitted with a small wheel with a rubber tire and mounded to a handle that's attached to the engine base frame on a hinge or similar pivot point. (Imagine a broom handle attached to the frame with a hinge.) The motor/wheel is attached to the middle of the handle and arranged so that the wheel is not in contact with anything normally, but can be moved to be in contact with the engine flywheel by moving the handle when desired. Gravity or a spring returns it when in its resting position. Since commutator motors (DC or universal) spin at much higher speeds, the wheel can be much smaller to get the desired engine RPM, giving you a greater mechanical advantage. To start the engine, you just turn on the motor, push it up to grab the flywheel and then when the engine starts, lower then handle and shut off the motor. Or engage and then turn on the motor if the motor is sized so that you don't need to initially "slip" it to keep it from stalling. Since the motor is DC (and universal motors can run on DC as well), you don't need perfect AC power and could use a string of batteries or whatever voltage is needed to get it rolling.

A similar idea would be to attach the motor to the engine base and use a belt/pulley arrangement where the belt is larger than needed and freewheels with no power transferred because of continual slip. The handle arrangement described above would have an idler pulley instead of the motor, and when you wanted to start the engine, you'd turn on the motor and move the handle to take up the slack in the belt and get the engine rolling that way. Then when it starts, you let go of the handle and let the belt freewheel again.

--Justin

Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: veggie on November 12, 2020, 08:41:38 PM
And do you leave the "starter" belted up during the power run, or use a stick and knock the belt off to reduce load on the engine ?

In my scenario, the motor belt would stay in place and the motor would "free-wheel".
My current setup using the golf cart Starter/Generator works that way.
No extra work to do other than turning the power switch on and off.

In the case of an electric motor, once the power switch is turned off, the motor just free wheels.
No very much energy being lost.
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: veggie on November 12, 2020, 08:45:36 PM

If my brain is on the right track I think a nine inch pulley would hamper the motors ability to develop full torque quick enough to not burn.

Really, what RPM is needed to get the Listeroid to fire, say 250 RPM ? That would give you a 3 inch pulley on the electric motor, which I suspect would be much easier for the electric motor to come up to speed.

That also means the electric motor would be revving at 4823 RPM once the Listeroid got up to speed.


scottp,
The pulley is sized so that when the engine is running the motor is not revved up beyond it's synchronous speed.
This is to prevent the motor from becoming a generator and attempting to back-feed the grid in case where the operator does not turn off the power switch fast enough once the Lister is up to speed.
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: Hugh Conway on November 12, 2020, 11:02:56 PM

First off, I realize this is meant as  thought experiment, and I know that Veggie has built a good starter/generator set-up for a Listeroid. I followed his plan to make mine.
That said:

@ Tubes
Re the permanently belted up starter........a golf cart starter/generator is just that. Mine has been installed for a few years and the set-up has logged nearly 1000 hours. Drag is insignificant. Can still easily pull over 3kw without frequency going from 61Hz @ no load to 59hz at max load of 3600W.  I did have to replace starter brushes once. The pulley diameter on the starter/generator is (I think) around 1 7/8".  Also it keeps it's own independent starting battery charged, can charge a car battery, etc. It is operating now, at this time of year, we don't get much sun.

I also have (still installed but not in use) a modified Delco automotive starter with a 2" rubber roller. It works OK but must be in firm contact with the flywheel (Pick handle lever) before energizing or you just get a lot of burned rubber. That method did not work very well with freezing fog making the flywheel slippery.

IMHO the  idea of a 120V motor operated via an inverter is more complexity with less flexibility. The above 2 systems allow my gen set to be started easily and provide power even if my inverter is OOS........actual experience.....We're off-grid and we had an inverter failure that took 10 days to get repaired.

@Adev......the one way bearing would work, but why not just use a tried-and-true Starter/generator.

Cheers
Hugh
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: veggie on November 13, 2020, 03:59:38 AM

Yep... Just a though experiment.
For those "on the grid" it might make a very simple starter.
If I get a few spare hours to set one up, I will report back  ;)
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: scott p on November 13, 2020, 07:16:57 AM
Iím all in for a starter generator, I would like to get one.

If your are running the starter/generator off a 23 inch flywheel and with a 2 inch pulley on the starter/generator, thatís well over 7000 RPM. Seems like a lot.

What is the output voltage at that speed?

Is the unit self regulating when charging the battery?
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: tubes_rock on November 13, 2020, 12:51:47 PM
Re the permanently belted up starter........a golf cart starter/generator is just that. Mine has been installed for a few years and the set-up has logged nearly 1000 hours. Drag is insignificant. Can still easily pull over 3kw without frequency going from 61Hz @ no load to 59hz at max load of 3600W.  I did have to replace starter brushes once. The pulley diameter on the starter/generator is (I think) around 1 7/8".  Also it keeps it's own independent starting battery charged, can charge a car battery, etc. It is operating now, at this time of year, we don't get much sun.

I also have (still installed but not in use) a modified Delco automotive starter with a 2" rubber roller. It works OK but must be in firm contact with the flywheel (Pick handle lever) before energizing or you just get a lot of burned rubber. That method did not work very well with freezing fog making the flywheel slippery.

Good real-world info here. I had not through of "atmospheric friction modifiers" coming into play, so I appreciate that.

--Justin
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: BruceM on November 13, 2020, 04:09:24 PM
I use a Gast 4AM with rubber roller, with air cylinder engagement,  auto remote starting.  A decent match for my setup since my 6/1 Listeroid does most of it's run time as an air compressor.  It's in a a dedicated engine shed so weather is a non-issue.

I think Hugh's DC motor/generator setup gets my vote for the simplest, sweetest approach with off the shelf hardware. It's very well suited for a classic 12V starting battery setup.

A wild speculation of another alternative which avoids adding another motor and belt drive:
 I believe that the ST single phase generator head might be driven as a starting motor with some custom electronics.  It might need a variable frequency inverter plus circuitry to handle switchover after engine start to alternator mode.  I'd start experimenting with applying inverter generated AC (MSW) to the stator windings, with  DC applied to the rotor, to see what the starting torque is.   

On Veggie's proposal of the use of a belted induction motor as starter- no reason this shouldn't work and without connection after start, the freewheeling load should be as good as a DC motor/generator.  It would require some sensing of engine start to disconnect, though, if run speed is under inverter frequency, it should not be critical. Still, I'd not want to test that switchover circuitry on an expensive inverter. 





Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: veggie on November 13, 2020, 08:11:23 PM
Iím all in for a starter generator, I would like to get one.

If your are running the starter/generator off a 23 inch flywheel and with a 2 inch pulley on the starter/generator, thatís well over 7000 RPM. Seems like a lot.

What is the output voltage at that speed?

Is the unit self regulating when charging the battery?

Starter alternators use a standard automotive regulator between the generator and the battery.
They also use a standard automotive relay to engage the heavy load to the starter.
I'm not sure what the max rpm is, but it should be ok at 7000 rpm. On golf carts I think they run in that range.
Hugh Conway's machine has the 23" wheels so he can better comment on the generator speed and output.
On my system the flywheels are 20" and I put a 2.5" serpentine pulley on the starter. The engine runs at 475 rpm so the starter/Gen runs at approx. 3800 rpm. At 3800 it puts out adequate volts for charging but only about 3 amps. Just enough to allow the battery to recover from a start, but not enough to power anything else (except maybe some instrumentation like the Arduino). But that's all I want from it.
Here is my setup as an example...
https://youtu.be/qbcbuygYJdM (https://youtu.be/qbcbuygYJdM)
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: veggie on November 13, 2020, 08:28:13 PM
I use a Gast 4AM with rubber roller, with air cylinder engagement,  auto remote starting.

BruceM, for your remote starting are you using a solenoid to activate the decompression lever? or does your starter power through the first compression stroke under full resistance?

If the engine was sitting against compression (without a run at it) I'm not sure mine could power through. I can spell the belt smoking just thinking about it  ;D
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: Hugh Conway on November 13, 2020, 09:28:19 PM
@ Scott P
I should amplify my previous post re the starter/generator set-up
Our 6/1 listeroid drives a 3kw 240V split phase generator primarily for battery charging when there is insufficient sun (This time of year, nearly daily, as it's either heavily overcast or the sun is below our treeline. That's where the 59/61 Hz comes in. It can also directly power up our house and shop, bypassing the inverter system.
The starter/generator is  Hitachi 12V. I just use an old 12V automotive battery that was removed from service from our truck. The starter/generator uses a voltage regulator, after the engine RPM increases sufficiently, the starter circuit kicks out and the generator circuit kicks in. output is initially around 15V, dropping to just over 14. The voltmeter is an old automotive item, so probably just gives ballpark readings. I've never checked using a proper multimeter.
The whole system is quite simple, all the parts are readily available with no mods required. Veggie used a solenoid in his design, but I had a manual switch with heavy contacts that has done the job without complaint, so one less thing to buy and fail.
The generator system is in a shed that does not get power from my inverter system, so the 12V starter battery also provides power for a couple of 12V work lights at the shed.

Cheers
Hugh

Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: BruceM on November 14, 2020, 12:47:10 AM
My engine shed has a small PV panel that keeps the 12V battery charged.  It might be 40W.  So I can run the air compressor alone, with no battery issues. It's sunny enough here at 5600 ft in AZ so that I can use any retired 12V battery.  In essentially float service, an extra 4-6 years is common. 

The Gast 4AM can't pull through compression, no even close.  Air motors have very low starting torque. Good for not slipping on the flywheel but makes decompression required. In 0F weather (very rare here) , I must unstrap the compressor for first start; it has too much drag when the compressor oil is that cold.  I do have a glow plug, a great help for winter starts at my elevation.

Since my Listeroid 6/1-ST-3 was destined for dual use air compression for my shop's 500 gallon air tank, I used an air cylinder for each, rack closer and for a valve lifter. Small ones are dirt cheap and I plumbed them with 1/4 drip irrigation line and slip in fittings. Small 12V solenoid valves and an N-ch Mosfet transistor let the Picaxe 40X2 do the "heavy lifting". Only the Gast 4AM needs a big high flow solenoid valve.

If I was starting over, I'd copy Hugh's setup. Air works great but is annoying for leaks; pilot valves, checkvalves, etc., all leak slightly and have an operating lifespan. The plumbing alone probably cost what Hugh spent, and his setup can be maintained by any good mechanic. 


Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: Hugh Conway on November 14, 2020, 01:07:03 AM
@BruceM
Thanks for the words re my starter/generator set-up.
Really, all the credit goes to Veggie. He posted his on the Microcogen site something like 4 or 5 years ago. that's the one you can see in his youtube video link. He also posted the electrical schematic there. All I had to do was to obtain a starter/generator and a regulator, then put the whole thing together. I made a different kind of mounting, but it's essentially the same. It's worked just fine ever since. It will not roll over the listeroid without the compression release either, but will start after 4 or 5 revolutions. I think I mentioned there is something like 1000 hours on this starter/generator installation......roughly about 500 starts. The engine has about 2250 hours total, first with the hand crank, then later with the friction starter.
BTW, I have a Dursley 6/1 also turning a PMG (originally a startomatic) that one is still started by hand, but with the heavy flywheels and the COV, it is an easy start-up.
Cheers
Hugh
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: BruceM on November 14, 2020, 01:19:51 AM
Thanks, Hugh,  for reminding me that Veggie is the originator (at least here) of the CS- DC motor/generator setup, Hugh.  My memory is terrible.  Just one of the many losses MS brings.  And thanks to Veggie for his marvelous work and first rate and original genset designs he has shared with us over the years.
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: veggie on November 14, 2020, 03:15:22 PM

Hugh,
Nice pictures, I especially like your design for tensioning the belt on the PMG Generator.
A hand crank !   Well done.
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: veggie on November 14, 2020, 03:21:22 PM
Since my Listeroid 6/1-ST-3 was destined for dual use air compression for my shop's 500 gallon air tank, I used an air cylinder for each, rack closer and for a valve lifter. Small ones are dirt cheap and I plumbed them with 1/4 drip irrigation line and slip in fittings. Small 12V solenoid valves and an N-ch Mosfet transistor let the Picaxe 40X2 do the "heavy lifting". Only the Gast 4AM needs a big high flow solenoid valve.

BruceM,
When you get a moment would it be possible to post a picture or two showing how you mounted the air cylinders to the decomp and fuel rack?
I am currently working on an auto start system for mine. As Hugh pointed out, the starter/generator can easily spin the engine up to starting speed when de-compressed and it can be actuated by a relay, but as yet I have not figured a way to actuate the de-comp and fuel rack.
I know you made a few videos also, if they show your linkage,  perhaps link the videos.

Much appreciated.
veggie
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: Alan Hale on November 15, 2020, 06:32:11 AM
I have A 6hp  Lister with a 2  1/2 kva genny  The last owner cut the wires throught to move it 50 years ago.   I can start the Engine with the handle and it rund goocd I have renewed most of the wires but there are some still need doing I do not know much about generators  or the SOM  i have Not tried to run with the belts on in fear of a shock  !  I would put some pics on here but dont knoe HOW    kind Regards Alan 
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: xyzer on November 15, 2020, 03:23:05 PM
12 volt, rubber drive wheel. Another way.
https://youtu.be/_QmWXNo-Gmg
Sorry! Won't copy link?
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: BruceM on November 15, 2020, 05:38:21 PM
I sent some photos to Veggie when he PM'd me.  Forgot to post here for the larger audience in case someone else was interested.  For setups where air is handy, pneumatic cylinders are cheap and powerful.  Otherwise, I'd look at the short throw motorized actuators from China. I use a pair of Picaxe 40x2's for remote start/shutdown/monitoring control.  They talk over about 400 feet of Cat5 cable, at a whopping 600 baud, an opto-isolated current loop.

Great to see XYZer show up here!  A personal hero of mine. One of his idler gear offset bolts keeps my Listeroid going strong.  His research showing Rajkot was mis-locating the idler bolt compared to the CS solved the mystery of gear failures.  His posted video of a foot engaged, electric rubber roller starter with auto glow plug switch is a very impressive piece of engineering!

Alan,  welcome!. There are some folks here who do know the SOM very well (I don't.), but you're best off showing us some detailed pictures to show just what you've got and what has been cut/disturbed. 

Best Wishes,
Bruce M
 

Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: scott p on November 15, 2020, 06:09:09 PM
Wow, ďatmospheric friction modifiersĒ how did you come up with that ? Threw me off for a while.

 Thanks for filling in the pages guys. I see now how it works or can work in different ways. I have been trying to come with a way to remotely turn off my HR2 remotely and since there is air present duh.

All this talk of slow speed engines gives me an urge to have a look at a slow speed gas engine I have had sitting around for many years.  It is a horizontal single cylinder engine with two 34 inch flywheels, a 6 inch bore and 22 inch stroke. All bearings are babit. I had it bored out with a new piston.

 Seven HP at 300 Rpm, I was using it to run a generator and it did quite well. But a problem soon put an end to that setup. On the extreme end of the stroke the piston did a little number and acted like it did a jerk against the bore, which soon killed the engine.

I did take the time to hone out the dent in the bore so I am thinking it could run again with new rings, which I have.

Apparently the connecting rod is bent or I would think less likely the crank is bent or out of position.

 I am playing around with ideas on how to find the problem.
Title: Re: Simple Electric Starter for Listeroids
Post by: veggie on February 07, 2021, 11:14:09 PM

Looks like this Listeroid uses a standard AC motor as a starter and then the motor just "free wheels" after its turned off.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbqWkVC84bQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbqWkVC84bQ)