Running off of generators or inverters

Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: SMITTY On: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:34 am

Does the length of cable between the gen & load play into this at all? In other words, if you run a long length of cable, would the extra resistance smooth out any spikes ... or is that not possible?
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: gerry_g On: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:58 am

SMITTY wrote:Does the length of cable between the gen & load play into this at all? In other words, if you run a long length of cable, would the extra resistance smooth out any spikes ... or is that not possible?


The cable length and gauge does affect the situation. Since the problems are load generated, adding resistance to the feed DEGRADES the power at the load. Thus avoid long runs of typical light gauge wire. Common outdoor cords are very light gauge (16).
Last edited by gerry_g on Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
gerry_g
 
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Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: BigBarney On: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:43 pm

When working with windmill generators we came across this back feed when

the mill turned the ac generator above the syncronys speed, the power was fed

to the line and needed large capacitor banks to smooth out the power output.

It was hard to keep the ac motor load even with the constantly changing RPM

of the blades and not getting the frequency too far off.The power line was a

stabilizing factor with it ability to absorb the sudden and changing power output.

The other difficulty was keeping the generator from stalling or speeding out

of sync with the line.

This is a little off topic but a similar situation happens with a household backup

power supply.


BigBarney
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Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: NH Fire Dog On: Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:16 pm

gerry_g wrote:For those wondering if generator power is a problem and unique to Coal-trol, take a look at a common consumer/small business computer UPS FAQ.

http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/support/faqs/general-ups-faqs.html

"
Can I use my UPS in conjunction with a generator?

CyberPower UPS systems are not designed to work with generators. Many generators output a ‘dirty’ AC signal that is not recognized by the UPS, which causes it to remain functioning off battery power.
"

Really all that means is there are plenty of generators out there that are pretty bad or poorly maintained.

A good conventional generator with brushes and slip rings in good condition as well as brushless generators DO produce clean AC. Also, some inverter sine wave generators have sufficient surge capacity to keep the AC "clean".



So can a stoker stay plugged into a UPS so that in case of a power outage, the stove would remain operationg to give one enough time to start up the generator?
NH Fire Dog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
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Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: gerry_g On: Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:20 pm

NH Fire Dog wrote:
gerry_g wrote:For those wondering if generator power is a problem and unique to Coal-trol, take a look at a common consumer/small business computer UPS FAQ.

http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/support/faqs/general-ups-faqs.html

"
Can I use my UPS in conjunction with a generator?

CyberPower UPS systems are not designed to work with generators. Many generators output a ‘dirty’ AC signal that is not recognized by the UPS, which causes it to remain functioning off battery power.
"

Really all that means is there are plenty of generators out there that are pretty bad or poorly maintained.

A good conventional generator with brushes and slip rings in good condition as well as brushless generators DO produce clean AC. Also, some inverter sine wave generators have sufficient surge capacity to keep the AC "clean".



So can a stoker stay plugged into a UPS so that in case of a power outage, the stove would remain operationg to give one enough time to start up the generator?


The is VERY complex.

- you would need a hefty sized sine wave UPS to keep the Coal-Trol happy and it would need the capacity to run the stove plus some arbitrary overkill. A UPS is essentially an inverter when in action. Inverter issues have already been discussed.

- Most UPS units have boost/buck electronics so regulate the line. They need clean power just as Coal-Trols do!

It can be done if the UPS has the capacity to handle the non-linear loads.

gerry

- You still need
gerry_g
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
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Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: NH Fire Dog On: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:00 am


I was thinking it might give me 10 minutes or so to get the generator hooked up and started before the stove goes out. My coal dies out almost immediately when the power goes out.



So can a stoker stay plugged into a UPS so that in case of a power outage, the stove would remain operationg to give one enough time to start up the generator?[/quote]

The is VERY complex.

- you would need a hefty sized sine wave UPS to keep the Coal-Trol happy and it would need the capacity to run the stove plus some arbitrary overkill. A UPS is essentially an inverter when in action. Inverter issues have already been discussed.

- Most UPS units have boost/buck electronics so regulate the line. They need clean power just as Coal-Trols do!

It can be done if the UPS has the capacity to handle the non-linear loads.

gerry

- You still need[/quote]
NH Fire Dog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
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Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: Freddy On: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:35 am

Most store bought UPS's will not work as they are modified sine wave. They work for computers but not for electric motors or Coal Trols. If you do a search on this forum for "pure sine wave" you will find a post by DVC500 that depicts building a pure sine wave UPS. I have built three, 300 watt ones and right now am building a 1,000 watt one. We use two batteries. It will run a stoker for about 8 hours. The 1,000 watt one is for a Hyfire that is basically two stoves in one. Also a fellow I know is about to build a 1,000 watt as his stove has a direct vent & 300 watts isn't enough because of the chimney. The cost to build a 300 watt is just over $100 but you still need batteries. A 1,000 is just exactly twice the cost. That is using pure sine wave inverters from eBay. If you want a domestic inverter you will pay much more.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:07 am

That is a nice setup Freddy. What's the relay for? ...or is that a circuit breaker?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
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Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: Yanche On: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:06 pm

Another solution is to switch your motors to DC motors. Then just run the motors off the battery all the time. Constantly charge the battery from the utility company at the current consumed by the motor. Select your DC motors voltage by the energy you need to store in the battery. With proper design you could run for days. Without power for a long time? Just use a DC generator using a automotive alternator driven by the engine of your choice. If you series several batteries it's real easy to increase a GM alternator's output voltage. You can even make it 115 V. DC!
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
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Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: Freddy On: Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:59 pm

markviii wrote:What's the relay for?


That's what makes it automatically go from 120V from the power company to 120V from the battery powered inverter.

I'm thinking in a week or so I may post a step by step with photos tutorial. The relay gets confusing....at least for me it does LOL. If I haven't done one for a while it takes time to get my brain wrapped around it again.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:40 pm

Freddy wrote:I'm thinking in a week or so I may post a step by step with photos tutorial.


:up:

I know what you mean about wiring the relays. If I haven't worked on one in a long time it takes some head-scratching to get everything straight.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: jrn8265 On: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:07 am

I have a Triplite aps750 which is a modified sine wave UPS/Charger/Inverter. It runs my koker with no problems other than a little whirl that comes from the 1536cfm blower. I have run it for 6 hours off two 75 AH Gel batteries.

I recently bought a 1000W pure sine wave inverter connected to 4 Walmart Maxx 29's at 125 AH each and will use this for my stove and fridge in the future until I have to pull out the generator.

I notice there is no "whirl" from the blower using this inverter!
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Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: speerstra On: Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:11 pm

Guys,
After the recent outage I ran my LL Hearth and Coal Trol with my Champion gen 3500/4000W. Started the gen up with the choke and left it at half choke as it would stall if I tried to turn the choke all the way down. Went about my business of running extension cords around the house. I have a Kill-A-watt meter ($20) plugged in to an extension cord and went to check it. Voltage was 120V. Great. Frequency was 75Hz. 75Hz? I didn't know what to do. Went out to check the gen and realized the choke was still partially on. Turned the choke off. Magically the frequency went to 60Hz thereafter.
Another thing I noticed was the blower on the back was stuttering - Running very slow and speeding up and down. It was not noisy and ran very quiet. Disconnected it from the coal troll and plugged it into 120V direct. Ran great then. I guess coal troll does not like my champion.
My summary would be to keep an eye on the voltage AND frequency. Watch the fans for noise AND speed.
speerstra
 

Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: gerry_g On: Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:10 pm

speerstra wrote:Guys,
After the recent outage I ran my LL Hearth and Coal Trol with my Champion gen 3500/4000W. Started the gen up with the choke and left it at half choke as it would stall if I tried to turn the choke all the way down. Went about my business of running extension cords around the house. I have a Kill-A-watt meter ($20) plugged in to an extension cord and went to check it. Voltage was 120V. Great. Frequency was 75Hz. 75Hz? I didn't know what to do. Went out to check the gen and realized the choke was still partially on. Turned the choke off. Magically the frequency went to 60Hz thereafter.
Another thing I noticed was the blower on the back was stuttering - Running very slow and speeding up and down. It was not noisy and ran very quiet. Disconnected it from the coal troll and plugged it into 120V direct. Ran great then. I guess coal troll does not like my champion.
My summary would be to keep an eye on the voltage AND frequency. Watch the fans for noise AND speed.


Sure wasn't magic ;) Sounds like something is wrong with your generator! Needing to use the choke very long suggests a fuel feed problem. (crud or water in carburetor) and frequency changes sound like a engine governor problem. That could easily cause speed variations, thus frequency changes. The AVR (automatic voltage regulator) can't compensate for engine speed variations which determine frequency. Overly lean engines tend to run over speed unless they stall.

Actually, the frequency change you observed might not be any actual change in frequency! Kill-A-watt units are very simplistic and just count voltage zero crossings. Any brush-slip ring intermittent will cause extra zero voltage drop outs (not true crossings but that device can't tell)

A significant problem with generators is they often go unused for some time. Lack of use messes them up. Modern "gasoline" with ethanol loves to soak up moisture and eventually precipitate it. Water usually can't get through the carburetor fixed jets. Long gone are needle adjustable jets one could "open up" to pass crud.

Try using double the amount of Stabil or even better, marine Stable. Marine Stabil has improved water handling characteristics.

You may be able to free up the governor simply by cycling the load on the generator from near full capacity to no load.

A good guideline with generators is to run them every 3-4 months. No load to significant load. It keeps the fuel system clean and governor from sticking. This also keeps the brushes from sticking and the slip rings from building up corrosion or crud that will pit them under load.

gerry
gerry_g
 
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Re: Running off of generators or inverters

PostBy: Johnshan On: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:23 pm

It is a coal trol issue, after realizing how they control the motor speeds it becomes clear.
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