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Petter generating set - might turn into a project

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Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by pauldg on Sun Jul 08 2012, 22:13

Hi again...

After quite some time - not just here - of trying to swap the alternator part of this little genset with only one sniff (thanks for the interest Ian Smile ) I had Stu echo what I've been thinking off-and-on for a while - maybe I should keep it...

Also I was going to use the engine for another (not yet public or even confirmed) project, but I'm thinking I want something with a bit more power for that.

Here it is:




Once again - surprise surprise - I'm not 100% on which model it is Laughing I'm fairly sure it's either an AA1 or an AB1, but not an AC1. There is no data plate on it, just some holes where it used to be. Any ideas on how to tell the difference apart from measuring the bore?

So what do you reckon, would it generate any interest (ho ho?) at a rally? I haven't been to all that many and exhibited at none. I'm not sure how popular air cooled fully enclosed machines are these days. Great eh - this and the little JAP and I'll have the dullest display trophy no trouble!

It's actually all original including the trolley (except the paint, and I do have the alternator end cover) - the cowls were removed and a mesh finger guard put over the flywheel/cooling fan as there isn't much of a load and they overcool easily - not good on a diesel. Main use originally was apparently for traffic lights or similar - maybe a display idea? A lighting rig or similar is the only use I'd have for a 110v generator anyway.

So as I say - it might turn into a project. I'll carry on the thread if it does.

Paul

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by nutgone on Sun Jul 08 2012, 23:24

Looks like 3 phase to me, in which case you may well be able to get at least 220v out of it, but I would need to know more to be sure.

I like it. As time moves on these more modern machines are making their way to the rally field, I certainly don't think it would be out of place. I like to see something a bit different to the "same old open crankers" anyway. Wink

(I'll put my tin hat on & run for cover now then) lol!

But seriously, it's variety that makes up a good stationary engine section of a rally, so it takes all-sorts really.

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by pauldg on Mon Jul 09 2012, 00:06

nutgone wrote:Looks like 3 phase to me, in which case you may well be able to get at least 220v out of it, but I would need to know more to be sure.

It's single phase, 4 field windings so 50hz @ 1500rpm or 60hz @ 1800rpm (to be determined if I experiment some more but probably 50hz), 55-0-55 on the three sliprings (if it is indeed 110v - resistance readings confirm it's centre-tapped either way). I'll do a quick wiring diagram and post it up later if you're interested.

I may be able to get it making a rather inefficient 220v but I'll need to make or find a decently rated rheostat or a big pile of resistors to play with.

nutgone wrote:I like it. As time moves on these more modern machines are making their way to the rally field, I certainly don't think it would be out of place. I like to see something a bit different to the "same old open crankers" anyway. Wink

(I'll put my tin hat on & run for cover now then) lol!

But seriously, it's variety that makes up a good stationary engine section of a rally, so it takes all-sorts really.

That's the sort of answer I was secretly hoping for! I've been trying (not very hard) for a while to shift it on but keep finding excuses to not try harder - I'm thinking I might just give in and do it up...

Cheers,
Paul

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by nutgone on Mon Jul 09 2012, 09:46

Sounds like you know a fair bit about generators. I'm an electrician (or used to be), I'm good with electrics & have recently started getting back into electronics, but my knowledge on generators is very sadly lacking, I should read a book or something.
My Tarpen (current project) is 110v, but it's a dynamo (AFAIK) so is D.C.

One thing though, if it is 110v centre tapped it should feed nicely into a transformer, shouldn't it? That'd give you 230v.

Also, if you're looking for rheostats try eBay, there are some sellers in China & Hong Kong (better going for HK rather than China if poss, they're more reliable). I've seen some brand new ones, quite chunky & pretty cheap. I can't post a link as I've not yet been on here 7 days Sad

Good luck with it anyway, whatever you plan to do. Personally I would go to town on it, go for Lister green or British Racing Green, they tend to "age" a machine quite well, those colours.

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by pauldg on Mon Jul 09 2012, 10:25

I've recently 'brushed up' on my generator knowledge (hoho again - see what I did there? brushes? in a generator? I'll get me coat...)

I could run it through a site transformer backwards or similar to step it up to 220v, but as it's probably not much more than a 1kw alternator I wouldn't get a whole lot out of it.

I've had a look on ebay for rheostats and they aren't badly priced, but still over my tiny tiny budget Rolling Eyes It might seem weird, but as I have most of the parts it'd work out cheaper for me to build an electronic power supply to energise the fields! If I can fit it in the end housing so it doesn't show I might end up doing that...

As for colour, originally it would have been yellow. If I decide to do a 'traffic light display' with it I might go that route.

With your tarpen, the windings certainly look DC dynamo rather than AC alternator to me. There's going to be something in your thread shortly. Cool

Paul

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by stationary stu on Mon Jul 09 2012, 11:47

Paul I know what you mean about taking things like small air cooled petrol and diesel engines on to the rally field. The elders of the stationary engine world look down on you and frown. Well I say stuff um we all have our likes and dislikes and all can't afford open cranks so we do what we enjoy and can afford, restore and show engines no matter what they are. You can sort out a great display with this genny (traffic lights) and this gives the kids looking around something to be interested in and this interesting them in engines and giving our next generation of engine enthusiast.
I say go for it if it's not going to cost much to restore but giving you something to do that you enjoy.
Sorry can't help on which model you have but I'll see what I can find out.

Stu.

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by Ianhw77k on Mon Jul 09 2012, 12:20

I'm not sure this would have been used for traffic lights myself, it looks too big to me.
I've used some really ropey old traffic light generators/trailers in the past and I reckon this is more for building site power and/or lighting, either long strings of site light bulbs or some of the larger floodlight types. As for colour, yellow is OK but blue, possibly red as well. Unless it was a farm generator in which case green may have been a colour.
You may find some different colours under what is already there, just pick the one you like the most Laughing

I could be totally wrong but that is my educated guess.

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by pauldg on Mon Jul 09 2012, 14:21

It might be smaller than it looks...

It's dymo labeled to be fused at 5amps, which if it really is 110v would only give you 1/2kw - not much of a floodlight. Not saying it's not so though - I know a good few did end up on building sites, whether they went there new or later as surplus I don't know.

It's also possible it's supposed to have a bigger fuse in, I'll know more when I do some work on it.

Even so, the small loading was the reason for the removal of the cowl - the engine is quite over-specced for the size of alternator.

I'm half sure about keeping it now, I may yet waver on that again, but we'll see

Paul

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by stationary stu on Tue Jul 10 2012, 12:17

There was a similar looking gen set on ebay and it was making good money though I think it was a higher output then this one, sorry don't know much about electrical outputs etc. Laughing Laughing Laughing

Stu.

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by pauldg on Tue Jul 10 2012, 21:16

I've seen similar ones on the bay before, but never one on the same trolley and stuff.

I know I could shift it on if I stuck it on ebay, I'm pretty sure I could sell the bits separately too - the problem if I sell anything is I only get to see any of the money while it's going past me just before landing with the wife... Rolling Eyes

That's why I wanted to swap it for something Laughing

Never mind, I have now decided I'm keeping it and doing it up - it has now joined the queue.

Paul

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by stationary stu on Wed Jul 11 2012, 11:11

Glad to hear you've decided to keep it and good luck with the restoration, I'm sure you can make a great display with it.

Stu.

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by pauldg on Wed Jul 11 2012, 12:11

Well, like I say, if I sell it I don't really get any money myself anyway Laughing

For what it cost me (I'm not telling - yet) I think it's worth a bit of effort, it's complete apart from a couple of little electrical components. The paintwork leaves a lot to be desired but that's not a huge challenge.

I did notice a slight oil seepage from behind the flywheel, probably from the crank oil seal so that's something to look at. Of course, it may just have gone a bit hard from non-use and seal up again when it goes through some warming cycles, I'll have to see about that bit then decide whether it'll get a full strip or not. I think I'd rather not as even in the snow after not being started for about a month it fired up - 3 spins and drop the decompressor - no oil in the primer or anything, just straight from cold... Unknown age fuel too - it was in the tank when I got it.

It's now been put on the back burner for a while until I have some time to get to it. I have started working on designing a traffic light controller though as I think a pair of t/l's working in the right order etc. would be more interesting than a couple of plain bulbs - it should be more of a load as well.

Updates as and when they happen - might be a while though... Hopefully it'll get done before next season, when I may well start exhibiting.

Paul

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by stationary stu on Thu Jul 12 2012, 11:22

I'm sure you've made the right choice Paul and look forward to hearing about your progress.

Stu.

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by nutgone on Thu Jul 12 2012, 20:04

I, for one, can't wait to see what you do with it.

Sorry I didn't reply to your post on my thread Embarassed , I'll send you a PM soon. Thanks for posting anyway cheers .

IMO I reckon that alternator looks bigger than 1kw, looks more like about 5kw to me (OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit now). I thought traffic light gennies were tiny little things, more like a JAP 2a or something like that (these modern ones don't even have a genny any more, just batteries & LEDs).

Anyway, I'm watching with interest. Wink

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Re: Petter generating set - might turn into a project

Post by pauldg on Thu Jul 12 2012, 20:40

It's strange with these old motors... The alternators are even worse.

If it IS an AA1 then running at 1500 rpm (to give 50hz on a 4-pole alternator) it's rated at 1.5bhp. That's just over 1.1kw from the engine. It might be an AB1 (pretty sure it's not an AC1) but even then you're only looking at a fractional increase.

Take a couple of losses here and there (bearing drag, cooling fans etc.) and you haven't got much more than 1kw left to play with anyway.

I know the conversions aren't exact and there is a lot more to it than that, but it's a ballpark thing and close enough.

Compared to a modern alternator, I agree it's huge for the apparent size, I've got a 3.5kva unit that's smaller.

By the way, don't worry about not replying to my post - I don't think it really needed a reply anyway Cool

Paul

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