Off grid generator??

ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Posts: 115Solar Expert ✭✭
Is this type gen. compatible with modern controllers/inverters. Would love it for the basic simplicity. If so is a 2 or 4 pole gen suggested?
http://www.generatorsales.com/order/09912_kit_send_mail.asp?page=K09912
8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.

Comments

  • inetdoginetdog Posts: 3,121Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??
    Is this type gen. compatible with modern controllers/inverters. Would love it for the basic simplicity. If so is a 2 or 4 pole gen suggested?
    http://www.generatorsales.com/order/09912_kit_send_mail.asp?page=K09912
    The Lister diesel engine is a classic, highly touted by some of the regulars here. But it is hand-cranked, so it will not work with an autostart option on an inverter or CC.
    All the rest of the compatibility features (except speed regulation) will depend entirely on what generator head you add to it.

    Since the engine speed will be the same for either kind of generator (just changing the pulley ratio), I do not see a big difference between 2-pole and 4-pole. The reason 4 pole is often recommended for portable or stationary generators is that there is a direct shaft drive from the engine to the generator. So for those systems, if you want to run the engine at 1800 RPM, you would have to use a 4-pole generator. Not the case here.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,221Super Moderators admin
    Re: Off grid generator??

    Get some feedback from folks running these slow speed generators... One power stroke per 2-4+ revolutions on the generator can give you some visible flickering with lights and some frequency instability (some inverter/chargers may have issues with frequency--I am not sure).

    May not be an issue for you--Especially if it is usually used for charging a battery bank with a battery charger.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • inetdoginetdog Posts: 3,121Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??
    BB. wrote: »
    Get some feedback from folks running these slow speed generators... One power stroke per 2-4+ revolutions on the generator can give you some visible flickering with lights and some frequency instability (some inverter/chargers may have issues with frequency--I am not sure).

    May not be an issue for you--Especially if it is usually used for charging a battery bank with a battery charger.

    -Bill
    This is a slow speed engine, not a slow speed generator. The generator is not even included, AFAIK.
    The infrequent power stroke is why the engine in question has such a hulking great flywheel disguised as a pulley. :)
    But I would certainly want to check it out under load to confirm or refute that possibility.

    What I really want to hear is what Wayne or Chris Olson have to say. Guys?
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,221Super Moderators admin
    Re: Off grid generator??

    True--I was typing in the abstract of Generator System... a 650 RPM motor and 1,800/3,600 RPM alternators (60 Hz).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • stephendvstephendv Posts: 1,571Solar Expert
    Re: Off grid generator??

    You should be aware that the generator is a lister "type" not an actual lister from the UK Lister company. So it's a machine built in India, which may have quality issues associated with it.
    My previous diesel was a petter "type" that I bought from a UK company, but that came from india, I bought it because it was supposed to be easy and simple to repair. It came with the following faults brand new:
    - Fuel filter connected incorrectly, effectively bypassing the filter.
    - Electronic starting system didn't work reliably
    - Starter motor wouldn't engage 1 in 5 starts
    - Leaking water filter
    - Radiator fan that stopped working after 50 hours.

    The quality of all the workmanship was extremely low. The electronic control system was built out of discrete circuits that were soldered together by hand. The original fan belt was made out of leather (seriously). All the spare parts had to be sent directly from India. The company was quite helpful in diagnosing issues and sending spares, but this still cost quite a bit in time and money.

    If they can't get the basics of quality control like connecting the fuel filter correctly, then how much confidence should one have in the really mechanically sensitive parts of the generator?

    I would prefer a second hand yanmar/kubota/perkins diesel with low hours on the clock to one of these things new.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Posts: 17,615Banned ✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??

    There have indeed been quality issues with the India-built "Lister" engines. Seems they don't bother to clean them before assembly and there can be casting sand left inside; a few hours of running and they're dead.

    Why do people always go for cheap instead of quality? If this is to be a long-term investment, there's no point in buying anything but known good equipment.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Posts: 3,738Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??
    there's no point in buying anything but known good equipment.

    How can anything be known to be good equipment if somebody doesn't take a chance on it?

    When I bought my Flexmax controller, Midnite had been advertising the Classic for at least 6 months but it wasn't yet shipping. My installer friend advised me to buy the known good controller rather than wait for an unknown. We know how that turned out... my installer friend now installs Classics almost exclusively.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Posts: 115Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??

    I'm not looking to buy the cheapest generator available, the three things I am seeking to combine are simplicity reliability and diesel power.
    8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Posts: 17,615Banned ✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??
    vtmaps wrote: »
    How can anything be known to be good equipment if somebody doesn't take a chance on it?

    When I bought my Flexmax controller, Midnite had been advertising the Classic for at least 6 months but it wasn't yet shipping. My installer friend advised me to buy the known good controller rather than wait for an unknown. We know how that turned out... my installer friend now installs Classics almost exclusively.

    --vtMaps

    How much money have you got to throw away?
    Most people have none, so they by the stuff with a proven reputation. In the case of solar that has meant a lot of people have bought nothing for years, as they should have, while those who can afford the experiment try it out. This has led to ever decreasing solar equipment prices and improved products. This process has been the same with practically everything over the years.

    In your case the Classic didn't exist yet, but for those who bought the first ones the risk was small being as how they were designed by the same people who had already designed the best controllers in existence up to that point.

    So when it comes to the choice of some low-dollar equipment that is of unknown quality and a name brand with a reputation the sensible money goes for the name brand rather than risk losing all.

    Don't be so pedantic.
  • verdigoverdigo Posts: 427Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??


    Don't be so pedantic.

    Ahh. Word of the day. I like it. I just won't remember it by the time I have a chance to use it.
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,564Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??

    Listeroid owner here. Currently awaiting gaskets to replace leaky head gasket. about 50 hours on the genset, and it is NOT a run and forget type of rig.
    But if you have to listen to a generator, these are real easy on the ears. The cat likes to sleep next to it while running, and it's not a bob-tail cat (not yet) Big, un-guarded flywheels, no 2nd chance with a mistake, with 200# of flywheel spinning.

    I'm using a simple ST-5 genhead, which does cause flicker when charging batteries.

    I use it on my AC2 input on my inverter which takes the 240VAC and charges the batteries, while powering loads. My base loads are only about 200 - 300w unless both fridges are running or the pump comes on. Looks like tomorrow is going to be cloudy, and I'll have to burn gasoline in the 3600 rpm genset to pump irrigation water.

    Genset:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2030711&id=1196643274&l=76eb578eb0
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • solar_davesolar_dave Posts: 2,335Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??
    mike95490 wrote: »
    Listeroid owner here. Currently awaiting gaskets to replace leaky head gasket. about 50 hours on the genset, and it is NOT a run and forget type of rig.
    But if you have to listen to a generator, these are real easy on the ears. The cat likes to sleep next to it while running, and it's not a bob-tail cat (not yet) Big, un-guarded flywheels, no 2nd chance with a mistake, with 200# of flywheel spinning.

    I'm using a simple ST-5 genhead, which does cause flicker when charging batteries.

    I use it on my AC2 input on my inverter which takes the 240VAC and charges the batteries, while powering loads. My base loads are only about 200 - 300w unless both fridges are running or the pump comes on. Looks like tomorrow is going to be cloudy, and I'll have to burn gasoline in the 3600 rpm genset to pump irrigation water.

    Genset:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2030711&id=1196643274&l=76eb578eb0

    Do I read those pictures right? You have it rigged with an electric starter?
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??

    Just be aware that the single cylinder 6/1 type Lister or clones put out notoriously "dirty" power no matter what gen head you use. Gen heads require nice smooth power delivery to the input shaft for clean power. The torsional vibration and uneven power delivery of a "thumper" does not deliver the smooth input required to a gen head to get nice clean low THD power from it. The absolute best for clean power in a conventional generator design in that HP/kW class is a 3,600 rpm two-pole unit.

    1,800 rpm generators that have decent power output usually have at least two cylinders, and more common is three and four cylinder engines.

    If my vote counts, I say "nay" unless you plan on driving a DC generator with it.

    As far as diesel generators that would be good in that size class, we have a Robin RGD3300 and it is very good. We use it for prime power. They are no longer sold in the US due to EPA. But you can buy one in any other country in the world. The Robin DY27 diesel is a 10,000 hr engine, and then all it needs at 10,000 hours is to pull the crankcase cover off it and slip new rod and main bearing inserts in it and inspect the oil pump gears. It will run to 20,000 hours before needing major overhaul. I searched for awhile to find this one. But they can be found if you're patient and diligent. The new Robin RGD3300's sold in the US have a Hatz engine and are about $3,500.

    100_2998.JPG

    The Yanmar YDG3700 is another very good quality diesel generator in that size class. Again, almost impossible to find one used because they don't break and people who have them have no reason to sell it. But you can buy a new YDG3700 for about the same $3,500 that a Subaru-Robin diesel costs.

    Most of the other small diesel generators on the market have the Chinese 186F Yanmar L100 clone engine. Avoid them like the plague because they only last about 1,500 hours.
    --
    Chris
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Posts: 339Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??

    The OPs add for the Listeroid is ghost from the past. Central Maine Diesel has not imported Lister clones for a couple of years due to the EPA crackdown, even though search engines will point you to that page. If you go to their main page, you will find that the generator is not listed. The only new market channel is a firm in Canada that sells a lister clone set up as a compressor. It is legal to import to the US as it is a compressor, from there they have no control if someone swaps out some parts to make it a diesel again. They usually have one listed on Ebay under lister compressor.

    As noted the clones are somewhat notorious for poor castings and voids in the castings full of grit that come out and trashes the bearings once the thing is started. The normal recommendation is to disassemble them, inspect and clean the castings carefully and then reassemble. There are a lot of shortcuts taken with the clones so expect you will need to buy some parts to replace the really poorly made parts. These are definite hobby engines versus something that runs right out of the box.
    Some suppliers make big claims for Lister clones but the reality is when they get a container load it may be made by completely different supplier with completely different issues than the prior ones.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??
    peakbagger wrote: »
    As noted the clones are somewhat notorious for poor castings and voids in the castings full of grit that come out and trashes the bearings once the thing is started

    Even the original Lister 6/1's weren't very good. They're high maintenance and the Brake Specific Fuel Consumption is higher than a more modern high-speed diesel like our Robin DY27 or a Yanmar L100. They're more of a nostalgia collector thing than being practical. If you can find an old Fairbanks-Morse diesel and restore it you got the same thing, except you're going to pay a lot more for a F-M engine, even if it's a rusted out hulk.

    For AC generators you're better off to buy a high-speed engine and forget the "thumper" hype. A modern Yanmar L70 or L100 will outperform the Lister 6/1 without even breaking a sweat - they're EPA certified, and although they cost double the price of an Indian clone "Listeroid" you get what you pay for. If you want to build your own genset you can buy one with a tapered generator PTO shaft and put whatever gen head you want on it:
    http://us.yanmar.com/products/industrial-engines/
    --
    Chris
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,564Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??

    addendum: While the "ruggedness" of the lister and clones seems beefy, it's a tale of cylinder protrusion issues, leaking gaskets, and "Will the studs break if torqued up" ?
    I'd had to replace the bearings in the alternator after 2 hours of use (yak fat used as grease)
    It's a balanced pile of parts with India quality control, meaning they swept the dirt floor before they dug the molds for casting the flywheels.
    I monitor it while running, so if something goes haywire, I can pull the shutdown string from outside the shed. I can't crank it up and go do anything while running.
    But the lack of ear piercing whine of 3600 rpm is awesome.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??
    mike95490 wrote: »
    addendum: While the "ruggedness" of the lister and clones seems beefy, it's a tale of cylinder protrusion issues, leaking gaskets, and "Will the studs break if torqued up" ?

    They also have serious lubrication issues. I know of more than one where somebody believed the hype and thought they were going to use one for a co-gen setup. They run one winter (maybe) and before spring it has a big chunk of cast iron busted out of the crankcase because it tossed the rod.
    But the lack of ear piercing whine of 3600 rpm is awesome.

    You mean like the 900hp 12V-71TTA Detroit in my log chipper? I accidentally recorded this with my cell phone in my shirt pocket on Conference Record one day when I started the chipper on a cold morning and was warming it up to eat some trees. Then YouTube wouldn't let me upload just the sound so I had to put a picture with it.

    [video=youtube_share;NywE2eXTUl0]

    For diesel lovers the old two-stroke Detroits were some of the best sounding diesels ever built. The 12V-71 got the nickname of "Buzzin' Dozen" because it sounds like it's running at 5,000 rpm. But that's just 12 cylinders firing once every stroke at 2,100 rpm. At full load and leaning into the torque curve grinding up a 3 foot diameter tree it blows two columns of pitch black smoke 200 feet in the air off two open stack turbochargers with no mufflers. The steady "thump, thump, thump" of a Lister gets old after about the first five minutes. A screamin' 12V Detroit blowing pitch black smoke with the exhaust manifolds from the ports to the turbocharger housings glowing bright red never gets old :D
    --
    Chris
  • ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Posts: 115Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??

    http://www.generatorsales.com/order/yanmar_4kw.asp?page=yanmar_4kw
    http://www.generatorsales.com/order/Perkins-6-kW-Diesel-Generator.asp?page=P6125
    With about $1100 difference, which is more desirable for "off-grid"? Only 1250 continuous watt difference. Both use about a qt of fuel per hr at 1/2 load. Air cooled vs water cooled. Thanks in advance for the input.
    8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Posts: 1,807Banned ✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??

    It depends on what you're using it for. Prime power, or standby? What are your nominal and peak loads? What inverter equipment do you have? How much battery capacity? How much RE generating capacity?

    All the above determine how to size the generator for off-grid.

    You never run generators at 50% rated load on off-grid duty. 80% load or better. Your fuel consumption per hour don't mean anything - it's all about kWh/gallon of fuel. All conventional generators run at best efficiency at 80% rated load or better. The 50% rated load thing is for residential standy power only - not for off-grid.
    --
    Chris
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,564Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??
    http://www.generatorsales.com/order/yanmar_4kw.asp?page=yanmar_4kw
    http://www.generatorsales.com/order/Perkins-6-kW-Diesel-Generator.asp?page=P6125
    With about $1100 difference, which is more desirable for "off-grid"? Only 1250 continuous watt difference. Both use about a qt of fuel per hr at 1/2 load. Air cooled vs water cooled. Thanks in advance for the input.

    So, how far below freezing, will it get in your area ? which engine is rated better for cold starts ? any warmup time before adding loads ?
    What is your battery charger, how many amps, can the generator only charge, or charge and power loads at same time ?
    Pull start option needed ? Antifreeze for the radiator - or will you run plain water and risk frost cracking a block - or air cooled ? These are the questions to ask.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??

    One of these years someone will bite on my Lister SL2 with a 5kw genset it was(and still is) a great machine. The problem is between the engine, the genset and the mounting from it probably weighs 2000# and we no longer have access to our barge to float it out of here. My one lone year round neighbor is leaving moving it in the winter just got harder. It would still go to a good home is someone wanted to pay shipping from Thunderbay ON! And a little something for my time and trouble to move it to town.

    Tony
  • matressmatress Posts: 1Registered Users
    Tony,

    Is that offer still valid for the lister sl2?
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,564Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Over 500 hrs on my listeroid, still running like a clock, once properly assembled.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,221Super Moderators admin
    Mattress,

    Send a message directly to Icarus (Tony). He is a semi retired member here and does not visit us much anymore:

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/messages/add/icarus

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Posts: 191Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Off grid generator??

    http://www.generatorsales.com/order/yanmar_4kw.asp?page=yanmar_4kw
    http://www.generatorsales.com/order/Perkins-6-kW-Diesel-Generator.asp?page=P6125
    With about $1100 difference, which is more desirable for "off-grid"? Only 1250 continuous watt difference. Both use about a qt of fuel per hr at 1/2 load. Air cooled vs water cooled. Thanks in advance for the input. 
     I've been looking at both of those , I have a lot of yanmar equipment and never had to fix anything at all , just change filters and oil , belts . 
     I think the Perkins is also a good unit . 
     2  cylinder would be better and it is water cooled , one thing I did not like is it runs at 2700 rpm not 1800 . 
     I also like there kabobs 10,000kw unit I think it would last longer seems beefer 
     All my kabota equipment runs and runs . 
    The 10,000 Kw may be to big ? 
     My inverter is 3600kw so double would be 7200kw kinda between the 2 units   Perkins /  kabota
      I've been buying equipment for the last year and will get it hooked up in the spring I hope . 

  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,564Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 24 #27
    2 cy is less vibration
    water cooled is generally longer life (will runtimes be in winter cold, or summer heat ? )
    glow plugs are handy in the cold

    Are the large skid base tanks your style ?  I use a 2 gal day tank, and refill it from 5 gal cans, I don't use a lot of diesel, I'm a bit overpaneled on purpose

    Neither alternator has a PF (power factor) spec, which is important if you have a large pump or motor you need to run, my Hatz has no capacity for odd PF loads, my Listeroid/ST head is awesome.  5x the iron and copper as the alternator on the Hatz
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

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