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Messages - europachris

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Generators / Re: st generator fan replacement
« on: September 08, 2009, 01:02:47 PM »

I have a ST-12 generator head that gave up the plastic fan.  Does any have any ideas were to find a replacement?

The generator has about 2,000 hours operating time in a approximately 90 to 100 F  ambient temperature.  From the breaks, it looks like it may have been cracked originally and I did not notice during the initial  tear down.   I do not believe I cracked it during assembly.

Has any one used external cooling fan to cool a generator?  What do I need to look for?

Any help would great be appreciated


+1 on the motor repair shop - they should have something that will fit or easily be modified to fit.  It wouldn't be hard either to make a "plenum" from sheet metal around the cooling holes on one end and rig up a 6" muffin fan to pull air through the head, but that's just another failure looking for a place to happen.

I would be suspect of ANY plastic part on a Chinese anything.  The plastic is of usually very low quality and over time (and doubly so with heat and/or sunlight) shrinks, gets brittle, and with any sort of continuous load such as a shaft fit, will crack and fall apart.  GOOD plastics, such as glass reinforced nylon, are incredibly strong and would be fine for the job.

Generators / Re: refrigerator damage from ST head???
« on: September 08, 2009, 12:56:27 PM »
Are you sure it's the compressors that are dead?  Most newer fridges such as yours are run by circuit boards that handle defrost timing, temperature control, icemaker filter replacement time, etc.  As are most consumer electronics, the boards are cheaply designed using the minimum quality to do the job.  It doesn't take much to kill them, even though the compressor and fans are usually pretty robust as long as the condenser is kept clean.  I keep a section of that fluffy blue roll filter media behind the intake grate at the bottom of our Kennmore side by side.  2/3 of the bottom is intake, the other 1/3 exhaust.  I remove the grate and vacuum the filter about once a month and with two English Cocker Spaniels, it is FULL.  At our previous home I wasn't smart enough to use the filter material, so I had to wheel out the fridge every 6 months and vacuum up enough fur and dust to make at least another complete dog.  ;D

Conversely, I recall the old Whirlpool top freezer model I had growing up in the 70's where my Mom would take everything out of the freezer and put in a pan of hot water to thaw the ice quickly to defrost.  But, with no moving parts except the compressor, I bet that thing would still be going today, and the rear mounted condensers hardly ever required cleaning.  It was QUIET, too.

Now it seems everything is Chinese.  I bought a 8000 BTU A/C unit for our detached garage/shop the other weekend on sale.  Whirlpool - Made In China.  It's a nice unit - electronic control with remote, and the price was right $159.  But like most of the reviews I read on current A/C units, it's LOUD, even on low, and it's fan noise, not compressor noise.  On high it sounds like it's at takeoff power.  20 years ago I had a 6000 BTU Emerson "Quiet Kool" in my bedroom.  Made in the USA, naturally, and it indeed was quiet.  But I bet even back then it cost a lot more than $159 iin 1980's dollars.   Maybe not as efficient as new units, but with mechanical controls (reliable - easy to fix) it would be still going today.  But I digress.....

Related to this - I do notice that when I was running on generator power (Markon 2-pole 3.2kW brushless), motors such as ceiling fans hummed louder than usual, so even out of a quality generator head, the power isn't as clean as utility.  But 8 hours of gen power didn't seem to hurt the fridge or freezer and that was two summers ago.  Haven't needed the gen since.


Changfa Engines / Re: Changfa Silencer Added
« on: September 05, 2009, 06:35:15 PM »
There is lots of mechanical noise. I will be building a shed.


I used a Solberg air compressor intake silencer/filter on my R185 set and it really reduced the noise level from the intake, as well as being a far better quality filtering device.  I made a custom intake manifold and coupled the pipe thread on the filter to the manifold with a short section of radiator hose so the engine vibration can decouple from the silencer and not cause cracks in the manifold over time.

I also ditched the stock muffler and welded on a big round one from NAPA.  All I hear from the exhaust is "fluff-fluff-fluff-fluff".  The intake is still fairly loud, but the mechanical racket this thing produces is incredible!  Here it is powering the house one afternoon the day after a storm.  Electricity was fine until about 1pm, then "poof".  Took until 11pm to find the problem and git it fixed - it was a real isolated failure for just half our subdivision!

Generators / Re: mechanical burst generator
« on: August 16, 2009, 05:56:00 PM »
Is your setup using just the pressure switch to operate the pump?

Yep, just a Square-D pressure switch.  That's why they install 2-wire pumps - they are cheaper and do not require any sort of control box like a 3-wire pump.  Franklin also uses a BIAC rather than a mechanical switch to disconnect the split-phase start winding, so it is a pretty robust setup.  Since we have 200A 240V service, nobody cares about starting current demands.  Just bore the hole and drop in whatever is cheapest. 

On a side note - hopefully our water table will hang in there because there are a LOT of people on wells around here and we are in a pretty upscale area so there are quite a few homes with underground sprinkler systems keeping an acre or more watered.  I do like green grass, but I am not going to waste water or electricity to have it.  And of course, it will be MY well that goes dry due to my neighbor watering his yard in the middle of a 90F day with 20mph winds blowing......  >:(

Generators / Re: mechanical burst generator
« on: August 16, 2009, 01:45:28 PM »
I know its old tech and not as effecient as your submersible, but if your not into the dc sub pump at $600 I would consider a deep well jet pump . Unlike the submersible pumps, jet pumps dont start with huge head pressure present like your submersible. Your submersible is having to start while pushing a column of water 1" or so in diam x the distance from the water table to the hieght of the upper water level in your tank 

The jet pump just has the resistence of forcing water thru the jet in the injector at start up which is down below water level at start up and is under much less load.

After loosing a couple of sub pumps to lightning I went to a 1/2 hp jst pump and havent had a minutes problem in over 10 years. I have another well on the property thats had the same pump sitting on it since 1973 and all I have done is change the pressure switch and tank about 5 years ago

Upon my second look yesterday at the sub pump motor data plate stuck to the pressure tank, I saw that the well is 180' with the pump at 140'.  The well is not too far from the basement location where the power and water lines enter, but swapping to a jet pump would still involve a good deal of digging new lines and the well lines cross under the main electrical and natural gas lines coming into the property, so it would be a lot of hand digging around them all.  It would likely be a lot easier to install a 3-wire capacitor start motor as long as a new power cable could be pulled through the existing conduit out to the well.  Then I could add one of those "easy-start" boxes if I still had trouble starting the pump.  I've looked at the Grundfoss pumps and they are really nice.  I have a Franklin Electric motor.

Conversely, I'm definitely toying with the idea of adding some solar panels the roof of my detached garage/shop building.  It has a roof with a due South exposure and a perfect pitch to capture sun with no obstructions and a good 200 sq.ft. of area to cover.  It would only be a matter of how to handle the power transfer between it and the house since I've already got it wired for 30A/240V with a sub panel out there fed from a 30A breaker in the main house panel.  But that's another topic to start.... 


EDIT: I found my answers - for a 2 wire pump, I need a 3.75kVA alternator (mine's internally regulated/self excited) according to Franklin's documentation: and looking at the FLA (locked rotor amps) here: I see that my 3/4hp 2-wire motor pulls a bit over 40 amps starting current (or ALMOST 6x running current!!!).  No wonder my poor generator rolls over and dies!  ::) >:(  The 3-wire motor still pulls about 34 amps starting current, which is 5x running current, and I'm not sure I could even handle that because that's 3x my max continuous output of the generator head, although Franklin states a 2.5kVA head will run a 3-wire 3/4hp pump and I have 3.2kVA available.   I'm thinking I should just upgrade to the 4.8kVA Markon head as it's the same size and would bolt right in.  I don't have quite enough hp to get full load from it, but definitely have enough flywheel to jerk the pump up to speed.

Generators / Re: mechanical burst generator
« on: August 16, 2009, 01:33:20 PM »
Well (get it, bad pun alert),  I am fresh out of ideas why a capacitor start motor would be a problem. I would certainly think that both the 1/2 hp and the 3/4 hp should start without a problem.

An odd suggestion ..... try starting one of those cap start motors while your 1.5 hp motor is running.


The cap start motor ISN'T the problem (on my table saw) - it's the 3/4 hp split phase motor on the well pump and the 1/2 split phase motor on the sewage pump that I can't start.

I wonder if I can re-wire the table saw for 230V?  Then I could run it at the same voltage as the well pump and try that trick with having it running while starting the well pump.  I've heard that before (on this board I believe).  I'll have to look at the motor nameplate today on the saw.


Generators / Re: mechanical burst generator
« on: August 16, 2009, 02:20:45 AM »
You say that it is 3/4 hp well pump but it draws 11 amps at 240V ???? Something isn't right. On the other hand, if the well pump is running 11A at 120V (still seems high) then I would suggest you switch the pump over to 240V operation if possible.
Starting amps, as far as I know, are in the order of 2 to 3 times the running amps.


You're correct, Jens - I was mistaken - running amps is 6.8 at 230V per the nameplate, service factor 1.5, max S.F amps 8 and KVA code N (which I recall has something to do with starting current).  I don't know where I got 11A from......  :-[ 

Since I have almost 14A at 240V available, I figured maybe 2x that in surge current (28A), so that would cover 4x running amps for starting current on the pump.  Evidently that's not nearly enough.


Generators / Re: mechanical burst generator
« on: August 15, 2009, 08:49:36 PM »
Does the genny struggle when the motor is switched in ?

Yes, the generator head just packs up and goes home while the ChangFa just grunts a little and keeps on chugging.  The huge current demand just hauls the output voltage down so low the motor can't get going.  The generator is rated for approx. 14 amps at 240V, while the full load run current on the well pump is about 11 amps.  I can only imagine what the starting current must be...


Generators / Re: Difference between 3 phase STC and Stamford heads???
« on: August 15, 2009, 03:32:26 PM »

i have an stc12 and am planning on doing just such a conversion, now that i am cast in stone with 48volt exeltech mx series inverter system.

getting down now to zero'ing in on batteries, the last major investment to complete the sytem

figured i would save them till last because of shelf life issues, and the hope of better technologies, and lower prices
but looks like pricing isn't going to get any better and maybe even higher over time.

bob g

I find the more I fiddle with DC to AC conversion, the more I want to set up some sort of off-grid power just to reduce dependence on The Man.  I think 48V is the way to go, and I would look into VRLA forklift batteries for my storage.  I build forklifts for a living, and industrial motive batteries are darn near indestructible if maintained properly.  Only problem is moving them around.... ::)

But our electric forklifts are all AC powered using two three-phase motors - one for traction, and one for hydraulics (steering and lift).  IIRC, the 'nominal' voltage from one phase to ground is around 10 to 12 volts at the motor, and currents can be up to 600 amps.  Nominal ratings are I believe 10 to 11kW output.  All of this is done in a single integrated motor controller that converts the DC to 3-phase AC as well as handling all of the other forklift specific functions and telling the meter panel what to display (speed, trouble codes, battery level, interlock functions, etc.) and the entire controller weighs about 45 lbs. and smaller than the average mini-tower PC.  Compared to the previous generations of DC trucks (even with chopper electronic controls), these newer trucks are amazingly simple and reliable.  But, I don't know that they are any more efficient....

Back on topic - I would call around to forklift distributors and see what is available for batteries.  Many times reconditioned batteries are available.  Rather than get a single 48V battery which can be had up to 1000Ah or so and weigh 4000#, a pair of 24V pallet jack batteries would work really well and 450Ah is a nice size.  You can get them with a nice steel lid and they will have lift hooks to move them around with an engine hoist or winch.  I'd do a bit of solar here, but wind would be our panacea, especially in the winter - here in N.Central IL, the wind NEVER seems to stop blowing.  Unfortunately, the homeowners assoc. where we live would likely frown upon a wind turbine, even though they are not called out in the CC&R specifically.  But I could easily generate all my power needs between a small solar array and a turbine.


Generators / Re: mechanical burst generator
« on: August 15, 2009, 03:08:55 PM »
The power-factor correction with capacitors is the same idea as the "easy-start" add-on boxes for motors, right?  Essentially, they just are jumbo sized starting capacitors, but only work on capacitor start motors, correct?

Reason I ask is we have a 3/4hp 2-wire, 240V well pump down about 120feet, and with no other loads on the generator (3.2kVA 2-pole Markon driven by ChangFa R185), it absolutely will not start, even with all the pressure bled out of the tank.  Conversely, I can start my 1-1/2hp table saw, which is 120V, using only ONE HALF of the generator windings because I don't have a 120V full power switch installed yet, so I get 120V from either half right now and 240V using all.  The difference is it is a capacitor start motor.  I can't start the 1/2hp sewage pump (120V split phase) for the basement bathroom either.

So, is there a way to make a 2 wire well pump easier to start?  It's not a huge deal but it would be nice to not worry about water during a power outage, but at least I can keep the food cold and house warm.


General Discussion / Re: Heart of Coal
« on: May 22, 2008, 06:31:35 PM »
You need coal, cheap.

Get 4 or 5, or so, friends to go into a tractor load.  That's 23 tons. 

That's my problem right now, I don't know anyone else in the nearby area that burns coal.  I'm the only wierdo... ::)

I'd like to talk my local dealer into going bulk, but I don't think he has the interest or demand, nor any way to handle it aside from a big pile on the ground and he doesn't have loaders, trucks, chutes, etc.  Maybe as the price of oil, propane, and natural gas continue to go through the roof, that might all change soon...

General Discussion / Re: Heart of Coal
« on: May 21, 2008, 10:07:54 PM »
BTW, the price of a KAA-2 in a normal situation, installed is around $5000.00.  Thats labor and parts.
I fired mine 1/6/06.  Not only did I recoup the expense, I'm now saving.  Profiting,I think so.


I have a Keystoker stove - it's an older 90K Btu model with the direct vent option.  I picked it up as a "basket case" for $850 and spent last summer getting all the packed in fly-ash and rust out of it, and stripping the outside down to bare metal and repainting it all.  New glass, gaskets, ash pans, hopper lid, and a a few blower motors, and it looks (and runs) like a new unit.

I'm pretty far from anthracite country (in Illinois past Chicago) - but I have a local stove shop that carries coal stoves and bagged coal (Blasch@k) for a pretty decent price considering.

I'd rather burn the local, downstate bituminous, but there is a total lack of good, stoker fired stoves that will burn it, and I won't run it in a hand fed because there is also a lack of units designed to burn it and it burns much less cleanly in a hand fed.

General Discussion / Re: Heart of Coal
« on: May 15, 2008, 06:10:27 PM »
then head to Schuykill Haven to pick-up the
stoker boiler.

Must be a Keystoker, eh?  Which model?


General Discussion / Re: Heart of Coal
« on: May 14, 2008, 06:33:20 PM »
Do the math?  Been doing it for it for years, as someone once said...

I'd burn coal for heat, too,  if Indiana coal was a better fuel. (No anthracite here)

Where are you located, Jim?  I used to live in Jasper many years ago, and we burned the local coal during the early 80s energy crunch.  Pretty dirty stuff.

Now I'm in N. Central Ill. and I'm burning Pennsylvania Anthracite.  I guess I'm a die-hard coal burner.  Looking to set up some sort of central heating system that is stoker fed and designed to burn the Illinois coal (which is basically the same as the Indiana stuff).


Other Slow Speed Diesels / Re: Changfa 195 video and dB check
« on: April 08, 2008, 12:33:36 AM »
I'm sure you've seen my videos of my R185 project at

I haven't taken detailed dB measurements, but I can say that it IS LOUD.  The NAPA generic (I think it's for a 90's Sentra) muffler is very quiet - only a gentle chuffing comes from the exhaust now, and it did quiet the overall noise significantly.  I think I was around 95 to 100dB at 3 feet, even after all the mods.

More reduction came from the Solberg intake filter/silencer, but it still honks pretty good.

The vast majority of the noise is from the engine itself - combustion knock and all the gears and balance shafts whirring and clattering.  It's like an old Detroit 2-stroke - yes the exhaust is loud, but the engines also make a fantastic amount of mechanical noise. 

VERY nice setup, though.  I did mine in the interest of portability and also I already had the generator head, so I went with the design I have.  I really like the 195/10kW direct drive setup, especially with the radiator cooling.  Have you run any full load tests to see if the rad. has enough capacity?


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