Author Topic: my first engine  (Read 17635 times)

DRDEATH

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my first engine
« on: July 16, 2009, 08:30:21 AM »
I am new here so if I have chimed in where I should have not please excuse me. I am about to recieve my first engine. It is A 24/2 which I bought with a 15 K ST head. I am looking for advice on what to expect and also what to look for. I think this engine has only been run a few short hours. It was purchased to replace a generator this person lost during Katrina. He then became unable to crank start it and had to sell it. I hope I have not made a mistake in getting such a large engine the first time. I would love to someday tell the electricty co good by. I would appericate any and all advice from anyone. Please if I have made a mistake getting a bigger engine than I should have atleast be kind telling me. PS I love this forum. I read it while I am at work just to pass the time. I read it at home because I hate TV. Thanks
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oliver90owner

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 12:57:09 PM »
First, how many minutes were there in those 'short' hours?

Any diesel engine is better operated at a good load.  You may not want the fuel bills for operating at around 10kW. We have no idea of the load you might want to operate at.

Most down-size usage and balance hours-run with less storage capacity (batteries) if off-grid.  They might often only use a generator when other renewables are a bit on short supply.  Some might have a SOM (start-o-matic).

So, without any info it is difficult to know either way whether you have made a suitable purchase.

You will have seen the comments on forum about the cam shaft problems associated with the twins, I presume?

First thing to do will be to check inside the engine for casting sand.

Regards, RAB

Irish Artist

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 07:30:41 PM »
Welcome DrDeath,

Your chiming is perfect! Oh, BTW, pleasant name, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy! ;D

I see from your profile that you've been a member for about a month, so I'd imagine you've got some idea of what your getting into. A good recent topic for you to review is "Breaking in a new Engine"; link below.

http://listerengine.com/smf/index.php?topic=919.0

I'm curious, did the previous owner give you any background info on what he had done to prep the engine and gen head before putting them into service? If you have no idea, As RAB suggests, check inside for casting sand.

I'd also suggest that you pop your connecting rod caps and inspect your shell bearings. Look for wear that is not uniform, big obvious scratches, not good. If your not sure, show them to a mechanic friend for advice.

Check to see if there is evidence of someone cleaned the paint off of the working connections on your governor linkage, the tappets, push rods and rocker arms.

Good Luck and keep reading, tons of info here to be had.

Regards,
Murph'
PS 6/1 • PowerMac G5 Quad • An Electric Pencil Sharpener • 10 foot Trebuchet • Woodford Reserve & A Fine Cigar, life is good!  8)

ronmar

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009, 01:17:52 AM »
Welcome Dr.

12KW of electrical power is a lot.  Unless you have large cooling demands, the engine will probably be under-used.  Diesels don't like this.  It is usually best to calculate the demand, then size the genset to the demand so that the engine is loaded to at least 75% of it's capacity, or in this case 9KW.  An engine not loaded to this extent is not very efficient and can even run into wear and maintenance issues.  Give us some more info.  What is your ultimate goal?
PS 6/1 - ST-5.

DRDEATH

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009, 02:07:52 AM »
So here is what I have. We have a 100 amp service into our home and I was told that was the bare minium. They suggested 200. I have AC, ele water heater, and ele dryer. I also have children that dont know the light switch works both ways. I am also building a shop with an ele welder and then all of the other electrical that everyone has. Now all of this is not always on I hope. As for the engine all I know at this time is that it is a Power Line unit down in the gulf coast and I have been told it has only 1 or 2 hours on it. The gentleman is no longer able to crank it so he decided to sell it. I have been reading quite a bit on these engines and I hope that I have not bit off more than I can chew getting such a large one at first. I am not stupid but I am no ways intelegent when it come to engines and especially alternators. I depnd on others for thier expertise. I am picking up this unit Aug 13 since this was the soonest I was able to get some time off work. My education back ground is a bachelors in nursing so I can save a life and I hope I can save an engine. I have always been pretty self sufficent and I have access to all of the used cooking oil I need free from fast food stores. I am also going to be putting up a small to medium size green house this fall and I have used motor oil if I want to help heat. Someday my goal is to tell the utility company SEE YA. Not before I know I can do without. In a hundren mile radius of Dodge City where I live we have for the last 2 years have had towns without electricity for up to 6 weeks. I reminded my wife about this when I told her I was investing in this. A friend of mine told me I should up grade the alternator to a 20 K because the 15 would not keep up. I did purchase one and a PTO conversion kit and plan to put the 15 on my garden tractor for portable electricty when I might need it and for the neigbors if needed. I do have plans to sometime soon to get a smaller engine which I can take apart and play with it and see if I can make it run again. I would like to put it on a pump jack when I build one since there seem to be none of those around this part of the country to water my garden. So that is just about it for now. I have ranted on enough for now. All advice will be much appericated. Mike :)
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Tom

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2009, 04:09:00 AM »
We told the power co "See Ya" and get by just fine with a 6/1 and 3.125 kw of output.

In order to run that generator hard enough you will need turn on most the big appliances in the house at the same time. Or get a very large battery bank and charge into that while carrying the house loads. Or back feed into the grid. If you really to want to go off grid you will need to replace most of those appliances with gas ones, so in that case the 24/2 will be too big. Or invest in the very large battery bank.
Tom
2004 Ashwamegh 6/1 #217 - ST5 just over 3k hours.

ronmar

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2009, 05:03:17 AM »
I don't see going offgrid, being very practical, without more than one power source.  First off, there is the "all the eggs in one basket" situation.  Look how well your house functions when the grid goes down now...  Second there is the efficiency perspective.  A 12KW generator is not very efficient at 2KW of average load.  IMO, there are a few ways to do this effectively.  YOu could have an assortment of varying sized generators.  A small one for average loading, a larger one for mid size loads, such as when you need A/C, and a large one for laundry day.  This would allow you some flexibility and redundancy if something should fail.  But of course, someone needs to maintain and control these.  Another, perhaps better way IMO, is a hybrid power plant.  You use a battery bank and inverter to meet your average loads.  You have a small to midsized generator that runs occasionally at peak efficiency to recharge these batteries.  This generator also acts as a backup to the inverter or battery system for when it goes down. You have a second larger genset to meet peak demands such as laundry day, and as yet another backup.  With some planning, and proper sizing, it might be possible to peak the battery bank on laundry day  with one generator.

This type system has a few distinct advantages, not the least of which being you don't have to run a generator at night very often, but the lights will still come on when you flick the switch.  This system could also keep the reefer/freezer powered 24/7, even when you are away.    It would also allow you to fairly easilly incorporate solar to maintain the charge and save on fuel costs.  Hot water will always be a problem if purely electric, so perhaps that and the cooking stove will need to go to gas/propane.  Any offgrid system that encorporates a generator should have some provision for waste heat recovery.  You are burning the fuel, better that the heat from the engine go into the hot water tank, or to heat the house, than out to the atmosphere thru a radiator.

Any excursion offgrid is surely going to incorporate some lifestyle changes, some carefull planning for meeting the needs of that new lifestyle, and some outlay of infrastructure to keep your family in a lifestyle near to that which they have become accostomed.  

I wish you luck    .
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DRDEATH

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2009, 10:42:30 AM »
OK so after reading so far I had to get off a think about what I have done so far. I havent decided which would be worse. Having vomiting and diarrhea for a week of stepping out in front of a semi and living just to find out that both arms and both legs were gone. I believe I would rather have either one of thise situations then tell my wife I might have gone a little over board. The very first words out of her mouth will be " I TOLD YOU SO". So I guess I am going to have to beg for help to somehow figure out how what I already have is going to work and work as well as can be expected. I thought of something and I am curious if this might change things. My engine is rated at 1000 rps I believe. If diesels are suppose to run under a load then what would be wrong in slowing down my RPM's then changing my generator pulley to keep the 1800 RPS. This would make the diesel work under a load situation. It might even increase my engine life expectancy running a slower speed. I would guess it would also decrease fuel consumption. Battery packs are not a solution I could do. Tyrning the grid into a storage supply sort of say is probably not a solution either. It would have to take some pretty expensive equipement to pump trons into the system and still be on the system. Someone out there can shirly figure out how I can make this work. I reall hate to admitt just how stupid I feel and will feel if my wife finds out it aint going to work like I promiced. HELP Thanks for those who have shared and especially for thos who will come to my rescue. I want to be excited again about my brand new oversized toy.
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oliver90owner

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2009, 12:27:45 PM »
what would be wrong in slowing down my RPM's

Nothing at all wrong with that.  The engine would, as you say, be longer lived, better on fuel (up to a point), and it would be much less obtrusive.  Sounds like you may have to live with the generator being grossly oversized (you don't say whether the head is kVA or kW) - it would be plenty big enough for the engine at 15kW.

If you expect it to be used for standby power, it will be OK.

Regards, RAB

apogee_man

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2009, 02:13:51 AM »
DR,

You will be very happy with that engine once you work all th bugs out of your plan.

While perhaps you may not ultimately save as much fuel as a smaller engine, you will have the advantage of owning a unit that will power your house as if you were on the grid... 

That will make the wife happier.

Also, you will find less flicker with the twin than with a smaller engine.

Lastly, should you need to run any heavy loads, you will have the ability to do so.

I would suggest you figure out a way to get the engine to 200 degrees and hold it there.  I believe you will find far fewer issues with crud buildup and slobber...

Be excited, I know I would be!!!!!

Please don't let the naysayers burst your bubble.  Not everyone is interested in making the lifestyle adjustments required to live on 3 kw.

Work through each issue and show them that it will work just fine running lighter loads...

And most of all, have fun because that's what this is ultimately supposed to be about.

And NEVER EVER allow anyone to say "I told you so..." 

If/when they try to say that to you, simply reply that you bought it because you liked it. 

Just my $.02,

Steve

Tom

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2009, 03:21:49 AM »
Lowering the RPM does sound like a good way to go, I guess I didn't think of that since I have a 650 RPM machine. I'd agree keep the temp up and find a way to get good response out of the governor and you should be in good shape.
Tom
2004 Ashwamegh 6/1 #217 - ST5 just over 3k hours.

oliver90owner

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2009, 08:23:54 AM »
I didn't think of that since I have a 650 RPM machine.

There are those that run less than 450 RPM, with a 650 rated engine, with no apparent problems.  That is over 30% reduction.  The 650 RPM Listers were rated down to 500 RPM by the manufacturer.

Governor weights could be changed, I am sure, for better slow speed regulation if necessary.

DD,

As an extra: Lower speeds may cause annoying 'flicker' on the output (higher speed engines tend to have smaller flywheels) so an avr may be required.

Still lots you can change to fit your requirements.  We just need to know what they are in order to give the appropriate responses.

Regards, RAB

DRDEATH

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2009, 02:56:33 AM »
Well I have had time to calm down and buy my wife flowers and told her it was just because I LOVE HER. GOOD IDEA. My requirements for my house now are AC (central), ele water heater and electric dryer. Now with that said I also purchased a small farm tractor which has very little acessories. My paln is to build several items for it. I probably wont be working on these in time of power failure but it would take some of the load if I needed it. I am also going to put up a mid size green house. 12 x 40. I was concerned about what to do on cloudy days and short days from the limited sunlight. It sounds like I would be able to light it up like summer. The rest of the power usage is from normal lights left on when they could be shut off. I have plenty access to all of the used veg oil I would like at this time. My plan is to start getting it and next summer during the day when the ele comp wants to double its rates is turn off my service and go on generator and see how it works every day. Probably 10 to 12 hours. I know I will still be building attachtements for my tractor so I will be using welder during that time. Mike PS I did order a CD and book from utterpower, Bob I believe. Someone spoke of running the engine a certian temperature. What is the best way to monitor this? i hope the book will explain all of the questions I might have in language I will understand. Like I said earlier I can save a life most of the time without a problem. Engines are a little harder. I have never played with a governor in all of my past growing up on a farm. I have OH numerous tractore with my dad.
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GIZMOS

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2009, 11:12:53 AM »
 Hi

I picked up a couple of pipe thermometers online from RS Components one clamps on the metal inlet on the cooling drum and
thether gauge goes on the metal outlet pipe - that way I can make sure thermosyphon is working and also the peak temperatures
coming out of the engine - obviously if it is over 200F you have a problem with the thermostat. The industrial pipe thermoteters are powered by a bimetal strip so do not involve any electrical power connection. The gauges simply attach to the pipe by way of a spring to hold the pick up in contact with a metal pipe or similar.

It is always easy to panic now you are receiving so much advice from others after the event.  - but I think you have to filter messages that cause the level of anxiety to rise. Understand we problably do not really know what your longer term requirments are.

Remain positive take onboard constructive advice and learn from experiences of others - you have bought the unit - but hang in there maybe it can power a really good machine shop - turn a threat into an opportunity - especialy in the colder months.

Look for solutions instead of problems - above all have fun - Happy Listeroiding!!!

Stephen Hutson
Gizmos T/As OzListeroids
AUSTRALIA

Stephen Hutson
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DRDEATH

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Re: my first engine
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2009, 11:49:34 AM »
I have recieved some very good information. I suppose it would have been better to ask before jumping. The problem is I would have not known what to ask. I still have a generator shed to make and it will also double as a tornado shelter. You probably dont have those down under. LOL  I calmed down after most of the problems that were thrown at me and figured out how I could keep some of it from my wife if I have to. I work in a hospital in the ER and one night I took care of a young female quite good looking and she said I was a good bloke. She tried to get me to come home with her and be her private nurse. TEMPTING  She gave me a coin and I have had it for almost 10 years. Must be good luck. Again thanks for the words of encouragment. Mike :)
Breast cancer kills. It takes money to save lives.