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Lister engine as a backup generator

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These listeroids seem to have peaked my interest.
I am wondering if they would be any good as a backup home generator during power outages.
anybody have experience using them this way?

That's the excuse I used to justify getting one.  I thought it'd be cool to have back up power, and the cost was less than even the smallest boxed gas genny.  But after I tore it down and repainted it, friends and neighbors said it was too pretty and too unusual looking to hide it in a box or shed.  Call it kinetic art and display it in a corner of the living room! ;D

"kinetic art".. I like it!! Can I steal that line and use it? 

My wife was telling my father about the new toy today, and she said it looked like an old steam engine from the turn of last centrury.  We are all digging the beauty and simplicity of the beast.  Maybe if I can get it running, I can actually do something useful with it.

I have plans to use this simple and accessible engine design to test various alternitive fuels for electricity, heat, and entertainment.  The last one is for me personaly!

My primary purpose will to use 6/1 as backup power source. After I did a whole lot of research on the longevity I started looking at other ways to make use of it. It didn’t seem to be an adequate use of a resource to have a machine dedicated purely for back up purposes that could easily run tens of thousands of hours before a major tear down. Although we have outages on a semi-frequent basis…ranging from a few minutes to a day, we have had outages during snowstorms that lasted 2-3 days.  Living at the tip of Lake Erie we do tend to get a few lake effect snowstorms. :) Snow is one thing… but one of these days a whopper of an ice storm will get us. I plan the 6/1 for that purpose at a minimum.
   I looked at a military surplus units (air cooled diesel) and refurbished refrigerator units (huge) that were in about the same dollar range, although some had low hours and were in decent shape I was a bit concerned about replacement parts down the road.  I was interested in something simple/durable that I could tear apart and deal with myself. I felt that if I built it then I would know it well enough to fix anything on it.  The 6/1 seems to fit the bill perfectly.
   I’d like to (at some point) run it on waste motor oil and/or waste vegetable oil and using as much of the heat it generates for heating hot water. 
   One other area that I will focus on as I build is that my wife will be able to start the generator (when I am not around) and that it will run with minimum effort on her part. Although I jokingly tell people that she is a 6-foot Redhead that just retired from professional wrestling …crank starting a 6/1 when it is well below freezing would be a challenge we rather not deal with. 
   All in all, I think the Listeroids will do very well as a backup power source…I’ll be betting the farm on it…


Ah yes, the lake effect.  Starting one of these beasts when the temp is low and the oil thickens  is sure to be an invigorating experience.   But they didn't call it the Cold Start for nothing.  Check this out:  Might try building something similar.

Electric starters for oilfield engines like this one:  (which usually run on gas vapors) are essentially an auto-type starter motor turning a rubber wheel.  The starter is mounted on a hinge so the wheel can be brought into contact with the flywheel.  They're supposed to work well, however, then you have a battery to maintain and that's one of the nice things about these engines -- no electrical system.  George mentions a similar device somewhere on the CD or on his website.  Others have also simply bolted an auto ring gear to  a flywheel and used an auto starter.  That's an interesting problem.  Wonder if feeding the engine a little propane while starting would help. 

I used to be able to simply spray WD-40 down the gullet of my VW diesel when the glowplugs were all out and it would start, but that was years ago and they probably took the volatiles out of the mix.  I've also done the same using spray carburetor cleaner.  It seems to be essentially gasoline.  Might be worth a try.

On no account, though woud I ever use ether.  I've read tales (which is all they may be) on some old engine sites of what happens when too much ether is used to start an engine.



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