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Old 01-20-2008, 06:58 PM   #1
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Veggie powered Generator to power home.... Feed power to the grid??

What I want to do is simple,

I can get an ultra quiet 5500 Watt diesel generator for around 600 bucks

I want to run it off of the WVO I run my car and trucks on... so that it would be FREE.

SO, what I want to do is use it for 60/70% of my electric needs, instead of investing THOUSANDS in Solar and Wind power that still wouldnt equal 5000 Watts.

Now.. if my generator produces MORE than what I need and is hooked up to my home just as a Windmill or Solar panel is will it feed juice in to the Grid, and turn my Elec meter BACKWARDS... thus receiveing a check from the power company at the end of the month?
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:41 PM   #2
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That probably wouldn't work very well. You couldn't sync a $600 generator to the grid... they use a capacitor regulator style doesn't work well with external power sources. The more expensive 1800 rpm style usually comes with a regulator that could work, but it's still much harder than syncing three phase.

In any case, the power company would flip out if they heard about it. They only allow net metering from things like solar panels, and only then if you have a special 'grid interactive' box that keeps things safe. They never send checks either: any net negative you're donating for free.

Also, net metering isn't automatic: the newer meter styles transmit your power use, and most can't tell which way the power is flowing, just how much. So your bill would get bigger, and you'd have to call them to get a person out to read the meter.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:42 PM   #3
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Grid tie inverters like are used with solar and wind are set so that when they are tied to the grid they sync up with the sinewave, and if the sinewave goes out of what is seens as normal it shuts down and disconnects preventing line workers from being killed.
What kind of matence scedual does this generator need? would a generator that small even have an oil filter? could it handle running 24 hours a day and if so how many days can you go on an oil change?
it seems like the cost of keeping the generator running, combined with the constant sound of it running could be a bit much, unless you built a small well insulated sound proof building for it and tapped off the heat to help heat your house it just doesn't seem like it would make sence.
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:09 AM   #4
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An ultra quiet 5500 watt diesel generator for $600?
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:35 PM   #5
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it must be used, because a hatz 8hp diesel is around $1,000.
and some power compenies do buy back, but only for renewables like solar, wind and hydro power, but it depends on the power compeny, and the amount they pay you will vary.
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:42 AM   #6
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Ehhh you can't supply engine-generator electricity to the grid just like that, there's a reason for this and just for starters the electricity produced by generators is way too dirty.

I'm not getting into writing out a wall of text, but lets just say you need a TON of things to start buying AND selling from the grid, backflow preventers and battery banks and off/on sensors and Idk what all you need but I've heard say first you need more like a $10,000 generator before the electric co even wants your stuff and then about another $10,000 worth of equipment.

It's the same thing with solar panels, it doesn't cost all that money just for the panels, that's only half the battle. Much like with any part-time electric generation a slew of equipment comes with it, or it doesn't work.

You're either ON the grid, or you're off.
But so long you're ON it...

So...
The way most folks use generators is we just plug what we want to run directly into the power source outlet of the generator itself, be done with it.

You can probably still use it to run certain semi-high amperage things that don't mind the dirt much like the clothes washer, the fridge should be fine, and IF it's enough power the clothes dryer might work... An electric stove would do well as would the top burners, but I doubt the heat pump would.

Still, you might can run some things off it.
I keep my generator for emergencies, like when we have NO power heheh.
btw the computer and the monitor HATES that stuff.
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:01 PM   #7
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We have wvo generators available from 5.5 kw to 125 kw, If you want to know how to obtain one.
email me at: borsalino12000@yahoo.com
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:53 AM   #8
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Crazy idea, but who needs to change the oil anyways? Why not run the WVO through the crankcase before burning it? Like having constantly new and fresh oil all the time. I'm pretty sure it lubes plenty well.

And while you couldn't sell the power back to the electric company, you could split your mains so you have the generator powering your house OR the electrical grid powering your house. Unless you went fancy with it you are looking at a manual switch system but it still isn't a huge deal really.

If you did decide to go fancy with it an old 486 even has plenty of processing power to run a UPS type system. If the generator needs brought down for maintenance just push a button on the computer and it'll switch to the grid, if the generator fails the computer can kick on a battery powered back-up system and verify the grid is alright and switch to that.

I built a system in high school that was similar but in reverse. I ran the grid all the time and the generator ran behind the UPS. A computer monitored voltage on the UPS battery and if voltage began to fall from a dying battery the computer started the generator and connected it to the 24v battery side(externally regulated car alternator). I just let the UPS do all of the 24vdc to 120vac conversion and used an old 386 to tend the dc end. If I had the know how that I do now I would have P&G the generator by quick charging the batteries and cutting the engine after they were topped up. As it was though, it just detected a dead battery and kicked on until the grid was back up. The two car batteries had a good couple of hours run time(the generator only worked in my bedroom).

You may laugh about the 386 but it ran for 3 years without ever requiring a reset. The only reason it even went down was because the power was out after a hurricane and my mom forgot to put gas in the generator.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkjones96 View Post
Crazy idea, but who needs to change the oil anyways? Why not run the WVO through the crankcase before burning it? Like having constantly new and fresh oil all the time. I'm pretty sure it lubes plenty well.
My first thought was "Wow, that's an idea that could revolutionize the whole diesel engine industry." Then I realized that it's probably been done before and common dino diesel fuel almost certainly doesn't do the job well. However, it could still be a major difference for the WVO conversion crowd. Besides the benefit of never having to change the oil, it would also help pre-heat the WVO.

Of course, the obvious downside is the fact that you're using dirty nasty used WVO for motor oil.

Quote:
You may laugh about the 386 but it ran for 3 years without ever requiring a reset. The only reason it even went down was because the power was out after a hurricane and my mom forgot to put gas in the generator.
Don't underestimate that old equipment. It ran well and did way more than needed by even modern simple embedded systems. In fact, I read a recent news headline that Intel was quitting producing an old processor, but I can't remember if it's the 8086 or the 386 (it definitely wasn't the 8088 or the 80286 -- and why didn't they ever make an 80186?)...but I can't find it now.

A common 80386 could handle four million operations per second (eh? that doesn't sound right, but either way, it's a lot). How many operations per second are necessary to decide if the generator should be on or off? Not four million.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
Of course, the obvious downside is the fact that you're using dirty nasty used WVO for motor oil.
That just raises more questions for me:
How does it fair against used motor oil?
What viscosity does WVO end up having?

If I owned a house I would just build a generator and try it, but I feel the apartment complex would have a problem with that.

Quote:
In fact, I read a recent news headline that Intel was quitting producing an old processor, but I can't remember if it's the 8086 or the 386 (it definitely wasn't the 8088 or the 80286 -- and why didn't they ever make an 80186?)...but I can't find it now.
The 80186 was used in mostly embedded systems. Not really in personal computers. The processor your talking about is probably the 386. They produced that chip from 1986 until September of 2007. Manufactured for 21 years. Simply incredible. I can't find a kill date for the 486 but I'm fairly sure they stopped producing it first.
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