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Messages - BruceM

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1
Lister Based Generators / Re: ST2 starter battery replacement
« on: November 30, 2021, 12:42:33 AM »
I"d fix the solar charger problem, myself.  Some direct burial 12-3 gives you 4 conductors for your run to a post where you can get some sun.  I would go at least 40W; panel output will less than advertised.  I say this because it will extend battery life greatly.

AGM batteries won't tolerate being run flat. Not even the Optima yellow top "deep cycle". If you get back 50% of the battery capacity you'll be lucky, just like wet lead batteries.



2
Lister Based Generators / Re: ST2 starter battery replacement
« on: November 25, 2021, 08:04:54 PM »
AGM batteries have a lower self discharge rate so might help, but make sure there is no current drain on the battery via a sensitive DC clamp on ampmeter.  You shouldn't have to go AGM for a starter battery, but I use my retired home/shop 12V AGM 100AH battery for my Listeroid.  I retire them to the Listeroid, with solar charger at 5 years.  They may still have move capacity than needed for that application, since starting is via air motor.  They die at about 10 years or so.

These clamp on DC/AC amp meters are cheap and work fairly well and can measure very small DC currents: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07P5QKQ5L/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

You can also check the charging current easily with it.

An old lead acid battery may have a high self discharge rate, and it sounds like that's your problem, but I'd want to be sure before killing a replacement battery.
Taking out the battery and keeping it on a trickle charger is best for lead acid battery life.  Solar panel and chargers work well as long as the panel is tilted to self clear of snow in a day or three, and the climate is suitable.  I use one on my Kubota tractor.  It's 7 year old battery loves it, since it's not used regularly.  If you aren't getting 5+ years from a starting battery, you're killing it...most often by sulphation (protracted undercharge).

A modern switch mode low current charger off the mains as Mikenash suggests is quite high efficiency and is certainly no more of a load on the engine than the stock alternator charging circuitry.  Fixing things is nice but it's a legitimate work around without penalty, especially if time and parts aren't available.

The cheapest $12 or less Chinesium on/off type solar charge controllers work well for your application; that's what I use for my Listeroid solar charger, with a roof mounted 40W PV panel.






3
Other Slow Speed Diesels / Re: Another Bamford
« on: November 22, 2021, 12:09:32 AM »
Yes, I remember you making bearings for the Bamford rebuild you showed us a few years ago.  Way beyond me but very enjoyable to follow and learn.

4
Other Slow Speed Diesels / Re: Another Bamford
« on: November 21, 2021, 07:46:52 PM »
I hope you'll give us some photos as you get further into this one.  I'm a Bamford fan.

5
Listeroid Engines / Re: What factors make it durable?
« on: November 15, 2021, 08:06:12 PM »
Hey Veggie,
My Listeroid 6/1 is diesel and will likely remain so. 

My neighbor's DES 8/1 is the one I converted to propane. Where sound and exhaust pollution is the biggest problem, you can't beat an 8/1 converted to propane, with a leach field muffler. 


6
Listeroid Engines / Re: Leader 8-1 rebuild epoxy question.
« on: November 14, 2021, 03:26:49 PM »
I used generic red electrical varnish in a spray can- aka glyptol after a recomendation here from 38ac.  It worked well, provides a smooth surface and was easy to use, and was pretty inexpensive.  5 years on it still looks good.






7
Changfa Engines / Re: Slow rpm Chang fa?
« on: November 11, 2021, 05:43:37 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkBKXB--els

Awesome low speed, old iron engine, that Blackstone MP.  Thanks 38ac.












8
Everything else / Re: Air Motor Starters
« on: November 09, 2021, 07:52:36 AM »
I've been using a Gast 4AM motor with rubber roller on my Listeroid 6/1, as part of remote start automation.  It has enough power if the engine is decompressed for cranking up to speed.  I run the pressure at 110 psi.  An air cylinder lifts the assembly into the flywheel, while another air cylinder lifts the exhaust valve, and another closes the injector rack.  I used air since running an air compressor was a major role for this C/1.  It has worked reliably for over 12 years and about 3500 running hours.

Air motors don't have great torque at lower rpm like electric motors; they only generate the rated torque at maximum rated RPM.  So they aren't the most powerful starters.  Several forum members have made rubber roller electric starters that are quite powerful. I'd look into that if I was adding a starter to a 12-2,  or a belt driven starter-alternator.

The Gast 4AM motors require 1/2" ID hose, high flow fittings and a very low restriction exhaust.  I use a garden tractor muffer outside my engine shed, a short length of 1/2 hose. They eat a lot of air; 42 CFM at 80 psi and 2000 rpm.  The air requirements of the 6AM and above are so fricking huge (132 CFM at 100 psi and 3000 rpm for the rated 4 hp)) that no normal shop air plumbing would suffice.  I got a real education by putting pressure gauges at inlet and outlet of a 4AM while running.  It demonstrated that due to flow restrictions at standard air fitting, and stock muffler, I wasn't getting even 45 psi differential pressure while starting at 120 PSI from a high capacity regulator but standard 1/4 air fittings,  So I switched to 1/2 high flow fittings and low restriction muffler, and va-voom, the 4AM was not so gutless after all.  The 6AM motors and above aren't useful with normal home/automotive air setups.  They just need too much air flow, and starting torque will still be pathetic. You'd likely do better with a geared version of a 4AM. 

https://gastmfg.com/sites/default/files/2019-07/std132.pdf

I have had problems with air leakage and condensate corrosion with my air system for the Lister.  I solved the condensate issue by adding an oversized water separator.  If I was starting over I'd add a transmisson oil cooler to the air compressor output, followed by a big Astro separator with auto drain at low pressure.  That's what I used on my more recently added electric air compressor and it's been problem free.

Best Wishes,
Bruce






9
Everything else / Re: Lithium cell balancing
« on: November 07, 2021, 04:42:19 PM »
Yes, I can see how 5KW of PV would be a good figure for many with a home designed for grid power.  Cheap enough to do these days.

I have solar hot water for space and domestic heating, with an 800 gallon insulated storage tank, propane refrigerator and freezer and a superinsulated home.  My major power concern is the desire to do something useful with the excess power I have every day.  My batteries are full before noon every day, even in winter; on  dark days they're full by early afternoon (this is Arizona at 5600ft).  I just switch to propane cooking when it's dark.

People can and have been comfortable on WAY less PV than I have now;  I was quite happy with just 875W of PV that I had for 7 years, but back then I ran the Listeroid for all my AC needs and on dark winter mornings to bulk charge the batteries.

I haven't added wind power as I had originally intended, because PV has gotten so cheap.












10
Everything else / Re: Lithium cell balancing
« on: November 06, 2021, 06:29:37 AM »
"By having plenty of solar you can run off what is being generated at the time ( on a decent day) without having to dip into your battery reserve.  If you can almost eliminate the day draw on the batteries by running " Direct" then the battery pack can be much smaller."

I concur.  With present PV prices so good, while batteries still very expensive, the best economy is have lots of extra PV, modest battery bank and use a backup generator when necessary rather than oversize the batteries for more than a nights worth a power.  I"d like to add another 1500W array to face early morning sun.  I only use the inverter and it's big AC loads during sunny days; likewise cook electric on sunny days; only lights and electronics at night.  After destroying their first set of batteries in a year or two, most off grid newbies wise up and start doing simple power management.  Quite easy once you get into the swing of it.  Plenty of sun here in AZ, all year round.  Now that I have 2375 watts of PV, I haven't had to do any LIster/Generator battery charging even on cloudy days.




11
Everything else / Re: Lithium cell balancing
« on: November 02, 2021, 06:10:30 PM »
I enjoyed your post greatly Fred8, because I also disagreed strongly with the pseudo-technical content and attitude of the prior poster.  So much so that I avoided responding; I thought it a troll.

Regarding lithium LFP batteries, I found in pursing information on other engineering forums, I ran into another older EE like myself how had designed and built his own inverter and BMS/cell balancer. His was based on the very latest LiFePO4 cells at great expense.  He used a nominal 90VDC series string, and much to our mutual surprise, we had both done original inverter designs similar to the old Trace SW sine series.   

He used an original passive balancing design for his LFP cells which allowed him to see a display of all cell voltages to monitor them.  Since it was his own, new design, he monitored it closely.

Long story short, he'd had one cell die of sudden short every year for 3 years, and was so pissed at the unreliability of his  very expensive premium matched cells that he was considering changing his power system to locally available 48V fork lift batteries.  ​

I do expect that LFP cells will become more reliable in time; already some folks are very pleased with the reliability and lifespan of the very, very expensive BattleBorn 12V LFP batteries in marine applications (where size is a concern and cost is not so important.) 

Lastly, I'll add that 3 or 5 W, 3.2V zeners do not provide a useful non-manual  balancing system- for many reasons, such as connecting and disconnecting them manually  is a farce, and of course most would like more than 1 amps of charge rate, which is about all you could manage with a 5W zener.  Manual balancing CAN be used for new matched capacity cells, but that's not going to last for years or past the first bad cell that must be replaced.  To suggest this as a wonderful solution while denigrating others made me suspect a  troll.  Likewise the absurd notion that only US made submarine lead acid batteries are good when I'm surrounded by off grid homes all reliably and affordably run on a variety of LA batteries.

Not one company making LFP battery packs does NOT use individual cell voltage monitoring (high/low) and balancing. They don't do that for fun; they do it because it's needed.  But it's also true that a failure of the BMS/cell management circuitry can also cost you the entire battery bank, since as Fred8 points out, you are unlikely to recover an LFP cell once it's been over or under the allowable range of voltage. That is a well acknowledged fact, and it's why cell voltage monitoring is built into LFP packs; typically charging is disconnected when any cell goes to max voltage, and discharging is disconnected when any cell goes low.  This to required save the cell(s) from destruction. 

I found an example of such a disaster on one forum; A new DIY, LFP enthusiast was using a MPPT PV regulator, with a high voltage PV series string. A very common setup.  The MPPT, Buck type PV charge regulator failed short circuit (the typical Mosfet and  failure mode), applying the high voltage to the BMS.  The BMS was not rated for that high of an input voltage, so it's solid state (MOSFET) cut off switch also failed, as short circuit.  The LFP prismatic cells were then destroyed by excessive voltage.  The cell balancing hardware was also destroyed by too high voltage.  So a complete and total loss of well over $10K worth of new LFP batteries, all a cascade of destruction from a MPPT failure.

I'm hoping that the quality demands of automotive manufacturers will force rapid improvement in LFP quality and reliability, and the price of bargain B grade cells today will purchase reliable cells in the future.  I accept that I may still live out my life on lead acid batteries, and at what is now $17/month battery bank replacement cost, I won't lose sleep over that.  I won't switch until it becomes clear that it's cheaper for me to do so.



12
Listeroid Engines / Re: What factors make it durable?
« on: October 30, 2021, 06:02:08 PM »
Bigbad's earlier posts are around a trailer mounted power, compressor, etc., for way off grid construction, welding and camping support.  I don't see a Lister CS or clone/Listeroid being ideal for that because of the size and weight, and you'd have to go at least an 8/1 for much of a welder, and that's still fairly modest.  The big upside is the sound levels, not the durability. I concur with Cujet on that.  I have plenty of off grid neighbors running 15+ year old Honda backup generators that still start and run fine.  For camping, you can't beat the small inverter-generator units, preferably propane. Compact, lightweight, quiet and very fuel efficient for small loads. 

That said, I know that Dave (XYZer) has built fork liftable frame, modular CS gensets that are first class; they make sense for long hours of farm pumping or other situation where the droning of 1800 or 3600 rpm gensets would be objectionable, and a forklift or tractor lift provides the mobility.

I think sound is perhaps the best reason for picking a Lister CS type engine.  My Metro 6/1 Listeroid (splash only lube, 5 bolt head) has about 3500 hrs now.  It gets water/methanol under load now so I no longer have to decoke every few hundred hours. (The knocking used to tell me when.)   I'm careful to avoid light loads or idling, something I'd recommend a propane engine for.  I saw what some idling does during my home construction before I had my remote start/stop setup; the engine cokes up much faster.










13
Engines / Re: Lister LT1
« on: October 29, 2021, 07:31:12 AM »
Methinks you're being too modest, Cobbadog.  Repairing a modern MIG welder circuit board is a major accomplishment; I can't imagine how much magnifier and precision work that must have been for surface mount PCB rework.  Bravo.
Bruce

14
Engines / Re: Lister LT1
« on: October 29, 2021, 01:39:38 AM »
Weldherup, 50 V (DC?)  at the brushes should be plenty, but it depends on the rotor coil windings. The readings at the capacitors of 180V (DC?)  is inconsistent with 50V DC at the brushes if the capacitors are doing as Bob suggests.  There's a big difference between AC and DC volts in this situation, so I don't have enough info regarding measurements or schematic to add much more. Any local generator repair technician should be able to get this sorted very quickly if it's over your skill set.

I concur, Bob, on the date of manufacture of the electronics as no earlier than mid 70s.   Easy to reverse engineer and cheap to repair.
 






 




15
Engines / Re: Lister LT1
« on: October 28, 2021, 07:06:01 PM »
I don't know this LT-1 generator so when you mention and show big capacitors at the bottom that leaves me befuddled without a circuit diagram showing what those  capacitors are for.  Hopefully someone familiar with the LT1 can set us straight. 
















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