Anyone use an alternator?

dmillerdmiller Solar Expert Posts: 68 ✭✭✭✭
I'm curious if anyone has a more than basic genset setup for emergency or occasional use. An alternator with an external regulator does a nice job charging batteries on a boat.

It seems a big bank down to 50% in poor weather needs a huge amount of DC to bring it back up. Are there massive AC to DC battery chargers?

I'm also curious if anyone uses pumped water for backup energy storage with the idea of producing power in cloudy periods.

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,470 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?
    dmiller wrote: »
    I'm curious if anyone has a more than basic genset setup for emergency or occasional use. An alternator with an external regulator does a nice job charging batteries on a boat.

    It seems a big bank down to 50% in poor weather needs a huge amount of DC to bring it back up. Are there massive AC to DC battery chargers?

    I'm also curious if anyone uses pumped water for backup energy storage with the idea of producing power in cloudy periods.


    I've heard automotive alternators are a poor choice, even as a "cobbled together" genset. (they heat up, standard regulators are too low for deep cycle batteries)

    An AC geneset with a charger with good power factor seems to be able to get the most into the batteries.

    I have 9,000 gallon of pumped water in 3 tanks, 160' elevated, and it takes me 6 -8 days to fill them from solar. Would only take a couple of hours to drain via 2" pipe, and I doubt I could recover much of my energy expended to pump them up.
    Best commercial plants are not really efficient, they just pass the bill along to ratepayers.

    Taking into account evaporation losses from the exposed water surface and conversion losses, approximately 70% to 85% of the electrical energy used to pump the water into the elevated reservoir can be regained.[1] The technique is currently the most cost-effective means of storing large amounts of electrical energy on an operating basis, but capital costs and the presence of appropriate geography are critical decision factors.


    http://www.sce.com/communityandrecreation/campedison/
    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 Solar Expert Posts: 2,346 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?

    here is a reference to a commercial one
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludington_Pumped_Storage_Power_Plant

    Google for "hydroelectric pumped storage"
  • dmillerdmiller Solar Expert Posts: 68 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?

    I don't think I would need the visitor center.
    Pumpstor_racoon_mtn.jpg

    An automotive alternator would need to have an external voltage regulator to work well. The marine type regulator are three stage and have battery temp sensors. I'm sure this type of system works well, but I don't know it's cost compared to a big AC to DC system.

    Maybe it doesn't really matter as it's just a question of where the rectifiers are located.
  • GreenerPowerGreenerPower Solar Expert Posts: 264 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?
    dmiller wrote: »
    Are there massive AC to DC battery chargers?
    Look at this old thread . Depend on whether 3KW is "massive" compared to your battery bank AH. You can route it through your CC to charge your battery.
    GP
  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?

    Yes to both questions.:D

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=5850

    In Georgia, they pump the water from Sinclair back up into lake Oconee, for use the next day.
  • dmillerdmiller Solar Expert Posts: 68 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?
    solorone wrote: »

    I was hoping for a system that was a bit more.......elegant. Like a little modern diesel running a nice marine alternator setup.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,976 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?

    There have been a number of folks here who have been advocates of, and users of Diesel powered DC battery charging. In searching this site (quickly) have been unable to find any such reference.

    Seemed that 'Alpha DC Power' made some of these products, but in a quick scan, cannot find it at their site .. so must be incorrect. A friend uses such a unit on his blue-water sailboat. Works fine.

    Am just now working on fixing a problem with the irrigation system, so back to the trenches.

    Some of the signature lines of posters here have some reference to DC Generator chargers ... Perhaps more later .. Good Luck, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,976 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?

    Quickly googling (while I should be WORKING !):

    http://www.altenbatterychargers.com/battery-charger-sizing-guide/model-lineup.html

    There are others ... most of the DC genset folks must be on vacation !

    This may not be what you had in mind, but ... Have Fun Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,470 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?

    Plan is for the diesel to spin a 240vac 4 pole alternator, and let the xantrex charge controller @ PF=1 convert that to 48V for charging. Not too much in the 48V range, which is what I needed.
    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. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,717 admin
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?

    On the AC Diesel side:
    backroad wrote: »
    You might want to contact Kim @ Hardy Solar (also listed as Hardy Diesel). Believe me, this gal can answer all your questions very effectively. I believe they do have a bit of propane powered generators, although I don't know why you would want to go that way. A propane generator is very inefficient in the fuel department and I mean in a very sad way.

    I bought my 15KW Perkins diesel generator for her and am very happy with the unit. In fact I go out periodically and give it a big hug. :):):)

    Good luck in your search...
    Backroad in Bagdad.............................................................AZ......

    The smallest Hardy Diesel lists is 7-8kW...

    www.hardydiesel.com
    www.hardysolar.com

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,976 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?

    Regarding "Massive AC-to-DC power supplies/chargers, I do use a 60 VDC 50 Amp output DC Power Supply -- 120/240 VAC input, thorugh an MX-60 as the CC, with a Honda AC genset. The DC PS is NOT PF-Corrected, but works great for the B battery bank. This DC PS was about $60.00 from an electronic recycler. This unit was very well made, and even had a capacitor bank on the output -- was surplused from an electroplater IIRC.

    Have seen some posts here from those who have built Engine/Alternator (Auto or Marine type), but do not reacll amny here who had done so. And GreenerPower has linked to an inexpensive AC to DC PS which IS PFCed, and $99. on the first page of this thread.

    On the AC Diesel genset thing, Hardy is an integrator IIRC, they buy engines from here, Alternators from there, etc for many of the units that they offer. This is a very common practice, and often yields a genset at a lower price. Hardy still handles the small Kubota gensets, which are supplied as a finished product from Kubota, I believe.

    http://www.hardydiesel.com/kubota-diesel-generators.html

    Think that am drifting farther off the topic. Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭
    Re: Anyone use an alternator?
    dmiller wrote: »
    I was hoping for a system that was a bit more.......elegant. Like a little modern diesel running a nice marine alternator setup.

    Sorry, out of my league here, thought maybe we were talking about home made. It did work well, and if I had had todays Honda motors, I might still be on it. ;<)
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