Excess power need to burn off???

backroadbackroad Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭
:DI know that you all are now thinking this is somekind of joke. NO it isn't. I need to find something (the cheaper or less expensive the better) that will challenge my generator. I'm being told that by running light loads on my 15K Diesel Perkins, I'm subjecting it to a life expentancy of about 8,000 hours i.

I do have an electric dryer in the storage shed, but that only helps when drying clothes.....DUh....

I only need the excessive power draw when the generator is running, which is currently about 4-5 hours a day. My best guess is that I'm currently only using about 4-6KW on the average. I need to be at least 60% of the generator capacity of 15KW.

?An electric oven that starts up with the gen.?
?create a dead short? NO not really....

HELP.......................



Backroad in Bagdad..........................................AZ................

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,793 admin
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    Water pumping to make the desert bloom?

    Or, look at the cost of short engine life+fuel costs vs adding more solar panels (reduce genset use).

    Grow lights for Hmmm Oregano? (its a joke man)

    Use heat pump A/C for heating the home/drying/hot water/etc...

    Do you need to light up a playing field at night (shift generator to after dark operations)...

    Look at the cost of a small diesel genset for times of the year with smaller loads.

    Big old forklift battery charger or two and used forklift batteries to add to your solar electric storage... (more load to charge the batteries with more batteries which can carry over into running the genset every 2nd day--for example--without adding solar panels).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    Buy an electric car.
  • backroadbackroad Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    Let me see......Electric car....I live on a dirt road and all the roads for about a hundred miles are mountainous.

    I do run the generator from just before sundown and for about 4-5 hours.

    I was advised to purcase the (way big) generator to have sufficient power to run my large air compressor and welder. I do not use them very often. I had considered the smaller generator, but an 8,000 watt version of the one I have is almost $6000. I have a very bad disreguard for gasoline generators and their lack of life span.

    I do suppose that I could run my 3/4 HP well when the genrator is on, but that just is not enough.


    I do have plans for more solar since the big fire and weenie roast that we had last year. I was only able to salvage 6 130 watt panels. I'm currently trying to get money out of my 401K, but me thinks they are afraid of Obama and the rest of the govt. agencies.

    My current 6 month old Magnum inverter has just been sent in for warranty repairs. Magnum sounds very negative about warranty coverage. Of course it was the charger relay that is in BO (bad order).
    Soooo......I'm now running the gen more than usual.

    ANYBODY GOT AT CHEESE TO GO WITH MY WHINE?

    I have been really surprised at how well my 750 watts of panels and 395 amps of battery has held up. 4 hrs of generator in the evening during my peak useage has kept the battery bank well over 80% since July 2009.
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???
    backroad wrote: »
    Let me see......Electric car....I live on a dirt road and all the roads for about a hundred miles are mountainous.

    In that case how about an electric ATV? :D
    Electric water heating is a favourite dump load around here, but then a lot of people have thermal stores (300L - 2000L) hot water tanks.
    If your gen usage is seasonal then you could just put a big drum of water in the generator/battery shed with a heating element in it to keep everything nice and warm.
  • blackswan555blackswan555 Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    I would not worry about it,
    A diesel gen becomes fuel and engine efficient around %20 loading,So below that is more of a problem, Your`s look fine,
    It is more critical for it`s running in period to "make it work hard(er)" occasionally to prevent bore glazing and help the piston rings bed in, If not done (or if run on synthetic oil from day 1) The engine will use oil, Keep it serviced, Use a good quality mineral oil in it, They last forever :D

    Have a good one
    Tim
  • backroadbackroad Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    I had thought the same thing about diesel engines and their efficiency, but Hardy Diesel and Perkins have told me the same thing about loading the diesel engine to at least 60% and I can't afford to replace the engine when I still have so much solar to purchase yet. I just love to go out and put my arms around the big 'ol Perkins and tell it how much I love it, ya know...

    I like the idea of the heating element in the 55 gallon drum of water. What kind of amps would that draw? Maybe two elements instead of one? I do have a breaker panel just off of the generator that I can draw from before it even gets to the inverter. The baseball park really was not a bad idea. Wonder what the cost would be for a couple of really big, heavy draw lights would be? I really need to get out to the shop more and use the compressor and welder, but not at the time I'm running the generator. :):):)

    Thanx for the suggestions.....



    Backroad in Bagdad..........................................................AZ.........
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,793 admin
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    Replacement electric water heater elements (~2-5kW each at 240 VAC?) are pretty cheap in the local hardware store. If you use a steam cleaner/high pressure washer/parts washer a lot--that would be one place you can use the "excess" power.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    12,000 miles of extension cord to my house. :p

    How about buying a smaller generator so you don't have to run the big one if you don't need it? Might be more practical than trying to find ways to use electric under the guise of extending the generator's working life.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,388 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    Figure your average load, and buy a second gennie, saving the big diesel for the really big loads. I sort of know the feeling. I used to (pre solar) have to run a 5 kw lister just to powe ~500 watts of lights. (before the days of Eu type jennies.

    Consider a Eu until you get your PV back up and running, and then sell it. The have a live span of 3-5000 hours if taken care of. Several years of your part time use.

    Barring that, wire up a series of water heaters, and use it for space heat. I have used a electric water heater for a pre-heat tank, and wired the element into a stand by genny so that the 4kw load loads the gennie during exercise cycle.

    Or pump water to elevation, then use it for hydro, but probably way more infrastructure that you wish to mess with.

    Good luck.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 969 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    Put up a wind generator and make it generate wind ! Like a fan. This way, you are giving back to the wind for other wind power users that are just taking all the wind and not warming the globe with their dump loads.

    (sorry... I just couldn't "resist")

    boB :D
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,033 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???
    backroad wrote: »
    I had thought the same thing about diesel engines and their efficiency, but Hardy Diesel and Perkins have told me the same thing about loading the diesel engine to at least 60% and I can't afford to replace the engine when I still have so much solar to purchase yet. I just love to go out and put my arms around the big 'ol Perkins and tell it how much I love it, ya know.....

    What are they saying you'll wear out? Bearings? 100,000 semi owners are curious...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,793 admin
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    From a Diesel Wiki:
    Diesel engine damage due to misapplication or misuse of generating set

    Diesel engines can suffer damage as a result of misapplication or misuse - namely internal glazing (occasionally referred to as bore glazing or piling) and carbon buildup. This is a common problem in generator sets caused by failure to follow application and operating guidelines. Ideally, diesel engines should be run at least 60-75% of their maximum rated load. Short periods of low load running are permissible providing the set is brought up to full load, or close to full load on a regular basis.
    Internal glazing and carbon buildup is due to prolonged periods of running at low speeds and/or low loads. Such conditions may occur when an engine is left idling as a 'standby' generating unit, ready to run up when needed, (misuse); if the engine powering the set is over-powered (misapplication) for the load applied to it, causing the diesel unit to be under-loaded, or as is very often the case, when sets are started and run off load as a test (misuse).
    Running an engine under low loads causes low cylinder pressures and consequent poor piston ring sealing since this relies on the gas pressure to force them against the oil film on the bores to form the seal. Low cylinder pressures causes poor combustion and resultant low combustion pressures and temperatures.
    This poor combustion leads to soot formation and unburnt fuel residues which clogs and gums piston rings, which causes a further drop in sealing efficiency and exacerbates the initial low pressure. Glazing occurs when hot combustion gases blow past the now poorly-sealing piston rings, causing the lubricating oil on the cylinder walls to 'flash burn', creating an enamel-like glaze which smooths the bore and removes the effect of the intricate pattern of honing marks machined into the bore surface which are there to hold oil and return it to the crankcase via the scraper ring.
    Hard carbon also forms from poor combustion and this is highly abrasive and scrapes the honing marks on the bores leading to bore polishing, which then leads to increased oil consumption (blue smoking) and yet further loss of pressure, since the oil film trapped in the honing marks is intended to maintain the piston seal and pressures.
    Unburnt fuel then leaks past the piston rings and contaminates the lubricating oil. Poor combustion causes the injectors to become clogged with soot, causing further deterioration in combustion and black smoking.
    The problem is increased further with the formation of acids in the engine oil caused by condensed water and combustion by-products which would normally boil off at higher temperatures. This acidic build-up in the lubricating oil causes slow but ultimately damaging wear to bearing surfaces.
    This cycle of degradation means that the engine soon becomes irreversibly damaged and may not start at all and will no longer be able to reach full power when required.
    Under-loaded running inevitably causes not only white smoke from unburnt fuel but over time will be joined by blue smoke of burnt lubricating oil leaking past the damaged piston rings, and black smoke caused by damaged injectors. This pollution is unacceptable to the authorities and neighbours.
    Once glazing or carbon build up has occurred, it can only be cured by stripping down the engine and re-boring the cylinder bores, machining new honing marks and stripping, cleaning and de-coking combustion chambers, fuel injector nozzles and valves. If detected in the early stages, running an engine at maximum load to raise the internal pressures and temperatures allows the piston rings to scrape glaze off the bores and allows carbon buildup to be burnt off. However, if glazing has progressed to the stage where the piston rings have seized into their grooves, this will not have any effect.
    The situation can be prevented by carefully selecting the generator set in accordance with manufacturers printed guidelines.
    For emergency only sets which are islanded, the emergency load is often only about 1/4 of the sets standby rating, this apparent over size being necessitated to be able to meet starting loads and minimising starting voltage drop. Hence the available load is not usually enough for load testing and again engine damage will result if this us used as the weekly or monthly load test. This situation can be dealt with by hiring in a load bank for regular testing, or installing a permanent load bank. Both these options cost money in terms of engine wear and fuel use but are better than the alternative of under loading the engine. For remote locations a Salt water rheostat can be readilly constructed.
    Often the best solution in these cases will be to convert the set to parallel running and feed power into the grid, if available, once a month on load test, and or enrolling the set in utility Reserve Service type schemes, thereby gaining revenue from the fuel burnt.
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,388 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    Carbon build up and ridge forming would be my big concern. If you run at 1/4 load 90% of the time, and then load down to 90% it's going to be a bugger to blow the carbonout, and the rings can leave a pretty good ridge, the the extra loading might create a problem. The latter may be more for engines that vary their RPM. If you run them at 2500 rpm for thousands of mile/hours, and then run them up to red line, breaking a ring was a fairly common problem, don't know about a constant speed diesel now that I think of it.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,489 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    The folks at the Lister/Listeroid engine groups http://listerengine.com & http://www.microcogen.info all seem to think that underloading a diesel is about the worst thing you can do, next to not having oil in the crankcase or an air cleaner
    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 ,

  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 633 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    Sort of along the lines of what Stephen and Bill said. What are you heating your domestic water with? I would assume a propane water heater, either inline or tank. I would go get two 40-80 gallon electric water heaters and plumb them in ahead of whatever you have now and set them pretty warm. Then you not "wasting" as much energy.

    The other option that popped in to my mind was an electric hot tub. They pull a nice 5000w and would soak up a bunch of energy and be nice to sit in when you’re done working.
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • backroadbackroad Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???
    mike90045 wrote: »
    The folks at the Lister/Listeroid engine groups http://listerengine.com & http://www.microcogen.info all seem to think that underloading a diesel is about the worst thing you can do, next to not having oil in the crankcase or an air cleaner


    So now you're telling me that I have to run a air cleaner AND have oil in the crankcase????
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,489 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    I actually just put all the oil into the air cleaner, and make it think like a 2 cycle, the excess oil drips into the crankcase past the rings, and keeps it lubed.
    not
    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 ,

  • backroadbackroad Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    i love the hot tub suggestion................great.......................
  • cajun666cajun666 Solar Expert Posts: 27
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    at dad camp we have a 2o kw gen set and never run it more than 30 % most of the time it porblem only at 10 % load

    20 yrs and never had a engine problem

    we lose a few regulatr but that was fix we we up grade it

    i see u haveing no problem we r gen set
  • backroadbackroad Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    I really hope not to be having any future problems wit her but...........I bought it less than a year ago and already have way more than 3,000 hrs on the cute little Perkins....

    I really do appreciate all of the comments (and humor is always a must). :):):)

    YES, I DO NEED MORE PANELS....ANYBODY GOT ANY THEY DON'T NEED? :):):)
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???
    backroad wrote: »
    I really hope not to be having any future problems wit her but...........I bought it less than a year ago and already have way more than 3,000 hrs on the cute little Perkins....

    I really do appreciate all of the comments (and humor is always a must). :):):)

    YES, I DO NEED MORE PANELS....ANYBODY GOT ANY THEY DON'T NEED? :):):)

    You could use some of the excess power to make biodeisel to run the generator!!
    Solarvic
  • backroadbackroad Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    I could do that, but.......

    It seems like such a nasty, icky process. I'm already running on some salvage fuel that costs me a little less than a buck a gallon and is very clean. I've been buying some old stock Tiki Torch Fuel by the pallet in 1/2 gallon sealed bottles. I must admit that the 1/2 gal bottles is a definite pain. BONUS: No mosquito's.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,976 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    My 3c ... I, too tend to run my genset too lightly loaded. In my case, the generator runs quite a lot more in the Winter than the Summer. So electric heating could be a fairly inexpensive additional load. Have considered heating domestic water first, and perhaps an electric furnace, in addition to space heaters. Most electric water heaters have a lock-out to prohibit both heating elements (in larger models) from being on at the same time. My thought would be to defeat this lockout, which could create about 9 KW of load when desired. For the summer, pumping water what will eventually need to be pumped anyway, and as mentioned by others, air conditioning loads can create oportunity loads as required ... etc. Another thing that I have done is to switch off the PV in for 3-4 days, which loads the Diesel genset more when it recharges the batts (YES !! It kills me too squandering this power--I need to get my heater loads on line). I believe that water heater elements are NOT indended for direct contact with water, so a barrel arrangement would need to have some kind of metal tube welded in to protect the element. But since you are an off-roader, you probably weld.

    Backroad, guess that the salvage fuel and Tiki fuel is being burned in your generator. I know nothing of this, but if you are running in your genset, you may want to add some lubricity improver to it ... I'd fear damaging the injection pump, which is an expensive piece. Perhpas I assume too much.

    OK my cents are up ... 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.
  • backroadbackroad Solar Expert Posts: 185 ✭✭
    Re: Excess power need to burn off???

    I have been running a little 2 stroke oil additive just in case although I've been told that I don't need. Just insurance! I did use the Tiki Torch Oil in my old Chang fa diesel single cylinder and my Cummins diesel in my old Ford truck. No problems whatsoever and even seems to put out the same power levels. Thanx....

    I do run about 4 electric room heaters when my generator is running, but I need to do something different this summer for the 115 degreee temps. I'm really hoping to be able to get another 1200 watts of panels before summer hits and have to use the generator only rarely. When I'm using the welder and compressor I'm fine, but that's just not enough. & thanx again.
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