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Author Topic: Light flicker vs Engine RPM  (Read 1025 times)

veggie

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Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« on: December 24, 2021, 04:13:39 PM »
Hi All,

Does anyone have any experience with light flicker as it relates to single cylinder engine speed ?

My 6/1 Listerloid at 650 rpm creates constant flicker in the house lights. This was to be expected... but it is very annoying.
The head is a Voltmaster 3600 rpm unit with voltage regulation, so I am confident that the head is of good quality.

I have a few options to replace the listeroid with faster running engines.

1 - 900 RPM Chanfa 195
2 - 2200 rpm Changfa 175
3 - 2600 rpm Air cooled F186

Does flicker usually disappear at 900 rpm ? or do I have to go higher ?

veggie

« Last Edit: December 24, 2021, 06:21:37 PM by veggie »
- 6/1 GM90 Listeroid - Delco 33si Alternator
- Changfa R175 - Lease/Neville Alternator
- JiangDong R165 Air cooled - 2 kw

38ac

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Re: Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2021, 09:34:29 PM »
Our stand by set is a 1115 running a belt driven 15KW ST head. The engine runs approximately 1600 RPM and flicker is still noticeable but much less so than a 600 RPM engine. I think that some weight on the generator shaft would make it very good. One thing I found is that irritation with flicker varies with the individual. My wife doesn't even notice it while I can live with it other than reading. My daughter couldn't tolorate it at all.
Collector and horder of about anything diesel

Hugh Conway

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Re: Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2021, 12:19:47 AM »
Lights flicker here when using the Listeroid 6/1 with PMG.
Lights flicker here when using the Dursley 6/1 with PMG
The Dursley is a startomatic engine with flywheels 2X heavier than the listeroid.
Heavier flywheels on the engine do not seem to make much difference.
The original startomatic generator did have an 80 lb flywheel/drive pulley, maybe, as Butch says, weight on the generator end of things will make a difference. I never used the original generator, so cannot say.
Also, the degree of flicker is very different depending on lightbulbs used. For instance, some lights in the kitchen flicker far more noticeably than others. Here in the office, it's not noticeable at all. (All lights are LEDs)
Cheers,
Hugh
JKson 6/1  (Utterpower PMG ) Off-grid
Lister 6/1 Start-O-Matic engine......running with PMG
1978 Royal Enfield (glutton for punishment by Indian iron)
1963 BMW R-27 project

stevo42

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Re: Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2021, 08:31:16 PM »
Good Day,

It's been a while since I've been around as things have been working fine till now. When a power outage occurs I've been using my small one cylinder Lister and 2.9 KW gen set but today I needed more power and fired up the 2 cylinder Lister with the 5 KW, "ST" generator. I ran it for a couple hours and the voltage and cycles kept going up and down. Voltage from 109 to 125 and cycles 57 to 63. The volts and cycles would hold steady for several minutes then fluctuate again.  This happened the last couple of times I fired up the "ST".  I'm wondering what the "safe" perimeters for volts and cycles are but mainly what the problem might be and how to fix it with my limited knowledge. I've heard of "automatic voltage regulator", is that what this generator needs?  My cheap little"Northern" 2.9 generator works like a champ. Any help would be appreciated.  Steve

stevo42

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Re: Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2021, 08:33:56 PM »
OOPs meant to post a new topic.

mihit

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Re: Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2021, 05:32:04 AM »
You may have the voltage, but what are the Hz doing?
What kind of lights are you running? I would think incadescents wouldn't flicker. LEDs may need a seperate driver. Fluros are notorious for it, even on mains supply.

If I have it the right way round in my head, on my miller genset, you set Hz by RPM and voltage with a resistor to the control circuit.
Is the gen head de-coupled, can you change the pulley/drive ratio?

You could put capacitors across the output to smooth it.

The other thing (when we were wiring fluros in a 3 phase shop) was to run the lights on alternate phases so that they "overlap" and provide a reasonably constant illumination. Not sure how you'd go about that with your set up.

stevo42

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Re: Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2021, 04:41:52 PM »

You may have the voltage, but what are the Hz doing?
What kind of lights are you running? I would think incadescents wouldn't flicker. LEDs may need a seperate driver. Fluros are notorious for it, even on mains supply.

If I have it the right way round in my head, on my miller genset, you set Hz by RPM and voltage with a resistor to the control circuit.
Is the gen head de-coupled, can you change the pulley/drive ratio?

You could put capacitors across the output to smooth it.

The other thing (when we were wiring fluros in a 3 phase shop) was to run the lights on alternate phases so that they "overlap" and provide a reasonably constant illumination. Not sure how you'd go about that with your set up.

Mihit,  Thanks for getting back, I appreciate your help but I'm afraid my knowledge is limited. The lights I use are mostly incandescent. The fluctuating cycles I understand would be caused by fluctuating engine RPM? My belts seem tight enough, but to test that I thought I'd use some "belt dressing" and if the cycles stay steady I will adjust the position of the generator. I would think if the engine RPM was fluctuating I'd be able the hear it, maybe not?? Anyway I cant seem to find my stick of belt dressing at the moment and the local Napa's "belt dressing" is to stop "squeaks" not give the belt a better grip. I certainly could be wrong about what belt dressing is suppose to do though.  ???   

Darrin

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Re: Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2022, 11:48:12 AM »
Has anyone tried using a computer UPS to tame the voltage and Hz spikes that cause the flicker?

guest27834

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Re: Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2022, 03:59:34 AM »
Hello all.

I'm a bit behind in this post but I just thought I'd mention what I've done with my listeroid as a back up for my solar/wind hybrid system, and it relates to the original post about flicker.

I live totally off grid in Northern Saskatchewan Canada.
My considerations for power were, ease of production, ease of management, ease of dealing with redundancy of any part of the system.

I ruled out using a generator head (120V single phase), because when the engine is switched off I wouldn't have power in the cabin.
So I chose to have a 12VDC battery bank (1200Amp hours wet deep cycle lead acid), and a solar / wind hybrid system to charge. These batteries are relatively cheap and easily accessible, the new lithium iron phos batteries up here cost about the same (each) as for 12 batteries. And I would need 12 of them to serve my needs...I wanted power not another mortgage!
12VDC required heavy 0 gauge cables but when the cost of the 24/48/60 volt invertors were added in it made financial sense to me.

I use two 3000W invertors. The loads being split between them. If one invertor packs in I can hop the loads to the remaining one until I get a replacement which are cheap.

If I opted for the new charge controller invertor combination the cost was four times more and although it would simplify installation, I would be pooched if it packed up ..redundancy again.

Solar/ wind generation....it's a very sunny place here, (except at night haha), but at my latitude the winter days are short, saying that it's nearly always windy...

So...there that redundancy again.

That brings me to the listeroid.

A petrol invertor generator could be used as as back up, and I have tried that, work's fairly well, and if used as a sole source of power used 8 liters in 24 hours. In combo with batteries then I had to use a 40A charger, this increased the amount of petrol being used by 50% (12 litres a day at @ $2.20 a litre is expensive).

If I had used a generator head 120V I would have to have created a bypass switch to swap from battery to Mains.

Also I would be still converting 120V to 12V to charge and then back to 120V through the invertors.

So I opted for the Delco 32SI alternator. 12VDC and 170A max.

This alternator has a smart sense function, which allows a connection from a terminal to the positive lead to increase the voltage for bigger batteries on trucks, with this I can keep at 14.8VDC and charge very quickly.

The alternator is driven by an 8 rib serpentine belt from the flywheel to a 2.5" pulley on the alternator.
At  600 rpm it's cruising along at 5000rpm at the pulley.
The alternator cost was 1/3rd that of a generator head.

I used a long belt. (12ft) and it doesn't squeal as it has a great grab on the pulley.

The battery invertor set up means pure power at the mains in the cabin, no flicker, safe for the few electronics I use,  and I easily get 50A whenever I want.

The set up means I'm not having to turn a big AC generator head and it saves big time on fuel for the listeroid, no voltage fluctuations, and a reliable redundancy for when it's not sunny or no wind.

Long winded I know but there may be some ideas in my long windedness that may help.

All the best.


veggie

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Re: Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2022, 06:59:37 PM »
@Sakwatcher,

Thanks for that interesting description of your system.

1] Is your inverted AC modified sine or pure sine?

2] Do you have a Well pump?
    I chose to go Small Changfa Diesel -- > Alternator --> Batteries -- Inverter, because my well pump has an initial draw greater than my generator can tolerate.
    But with the batteries and a 4400 watt Magnum inverter, the momentary in-rush current needed to start the well pump is provided instantaneously by the batteries.

veggie
- 6/1 GM90 Listeroid - Delco 33si Alternator
- Changfa R175 - Lease/Neville Alternator
- JiangDong R165 Air cooled - 2 kw

guest27834

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Re: Light flicker vs Engine RPM
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2022, 04:51:06 AM »
@veggie

The invertors are modified sine wave.
Each uses four 0gauge cables, two positive and two negative, attached to different batteries to get around cell overuse.

We did have a pure sine wave as well, one day as I walked in the door I heard a pop noise and went to check it out, masses of smoke from that invertor and it was pooched from then, I still don't know what happened, saying that, no issues with the MSW invertors and each only has  0.6A draw when inactive.

The answer to your second question about well pump is no.
Sask power wanted $30,000 cad to install power so that option was out, the cheapest well driller quoted $25-30,000 so that was out also.

I was a well pump service guy, and as such I am very aware of the energy requirements to "lift" water to a service point.

Even with my background it just didn't make sense to me to have to use such large amounts of power to lift water in an off grid situation.

I did try a wash down well, but at 25" I gave up, we are at 1700ft so the max I could surface pump water would be about 22-23ft. Most local wide bore wells are 30-40 ft but would still require a jet pump or a submersible pump with a buried well adapter (for the frost which can be down below 6-8ft here).

As such we use rainwater catchment and multiple filtration.
Çourse filtering at entry, 10 micron spin filters at outlet and carbon filtering for drinking.

Winter is... different, we use melted snow for water which is then of course filtered. Yep it's a pain, but it's free as it's next to the wood stove which is 24/7 for 6 months or more.

That's just us though. I mentioned about redundancy situations and water was one of them.

Sure, no rain no water, but likewise no electricity no water either, for that reason our tanks are above ground, we ordered custom built covers to keep light from them and gravity does the work of supply.

Last year we ran very low on water due to drought, but then again half of our neighbors weeks ran dry too. So it's all give and take.

Our primary aim has been self sufficiency which is why we make the decisions we do....when the shtf  the aim is to be as unaffected as poss.

S.