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Off topic - Generator help

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ChrisJ
ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
edited February 2019 in THE MAIN WALL
Well that's interesting
I tried to edit my last post and it edited my first one.

2/1/19.....

Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
«13

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  • Tim Potter
    Tim Potter Member Posts: 273
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    I found this on page 8:

    Note : If the generator does
    not self-excite, it should be
    excited by applying an
    alternate voltage of around
    50÷230V to the capacitor
    heads for an instant. This
    operation can be carried out
    indifferently on either of the
    capacitors in two-capacitor
    generators.

    http://www.meccalte.com/downloads/Man_mr2.pdf

    Tim
    Winter Park, CO & Arvada, CO
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    Options

    I found this on page 8:

    Note : If the generator does
    not self-excite, it should be
    excited by applying an
    alternate voltage of around
    50÷230V to the capacitor
    heads for an instant. This
    operation can be carried out
    indifferently on either of the
    capacitors in two-capacitor
    generators.

    http://www.meccalte.com/downloads/Man_mr2.pdf

    Tim

    Hi Tim,
    Yes, this is one of the places I found that. But another one from them said to use 12VDC.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,655
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    I may be wrong -- have been before! -- but if those caps are decent size and rated for the voltage, it may not make much difference; if you were to connect either one for just an instant, the cap isn't going to charge to anywhere near the voltage you apply anyway.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    Options

    I may be wrong -- have been before! -- but if those caps are decent size and rated for the voltage, it may not make much difference; if you were to connect either one for just an instant, the cap isn't going to charge to anywhere near the voltage you apply anyway.

    I believe they're each 35uF @ 400V.

    My concern is I don't understand how the circuit works, and when that's the case I'm uncomfortable doing things, like momentarily touching 120VAC to it with the generator spinning. :p
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • djackman
    djackman Member Posts: 12
    Options
    Almost every brushless I've worked on that needed a reflash I've done with a 12 volt battery. Can even use a 9-volt battery - it doesn't take much.

    if you've got it open for access, touch the caps. Can also do on the 120/240 output. Just a second or two is all that's needed, you'll usually hear the engine slightly change tone due to loading once the mag field is re-established.
    ChrisJ1Matthias
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Think of it like a perfectly balanced basketball on your index finger, this is the generator with two dead caps while running. Just the slightest nudge knocks the ball off, same as the slightest nudge changes the spinning wire (rotor) into a magnetic field. Once that's established it quickly creates a magnetic field which produces current, which makes a stronger magnetic feild, etc.

    That's the simplified explanation. Just use a 9 or 12 volt battery. AC passes right through a capacitor and DC charges it up. Using AC in a cap has little affect, about the same as a 9volt battery. So either will work. I'd be more comfortable with a 9volt then 120vac.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    Options
    > @djackman said:
    > Almost every brushless I've worked on that needed a reflash I've done with a 12 volt battery. Can even use a 9-volt battery - it doesn't take much.
    >
    > if you've got it open for access, touch the caps. Can also do on the 120/240 output. Just a second or two is all that's needed, you'll usually hear the engine slightly change tone due to loading once the mag field is re-established.

    So, if I have it running and briefly give the output 120v ac it should excite it?

    I'm considering replacing the caps but haven't decided yet. They are 14 years old so I don't know..

    Now I'm wondering what type of alternator my 1992 Coleman 4kw "Powermate" uses. Any ideas? Does that also have caps like this? I've never had a problem with it exciting.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • djackman
    djackman Member Posts: 12
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    I've never and wouldn't advise backfeeding line power to a generator, for any reason. 12 volts from a small battery applied to one of the caps should do the trick to reflash - or at least get some output from the head to verify basic operation. Do you have any AC output at all? Even a few volts?

    14 year old caps from the heart of the "bad caps" era certainly are suspect. Multiple reasons for a unit to loose residual mag, most often is shutting down with a load still applied.

    ChrisJ
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
    Options
    10kw ....... how many cylinder? 2maybe?

    Try plugging a old drill into gen and rotating drill, that will flash some gens. Use an old non-electronic non-variable speed type, it makes some backvoltage as you turn it. Then as gen voltage comes up it just runs, with no synchronization issues..
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In general there are various types of voltage regulators, here's a few I know of:

    -- external to windings.... real electronic voltage reg
    --- magnetic saturation design of winding laminations
    --external to windings.... current transformer to boost field as add load, (compensate for voltage sag as add load)
    -- some type of capacitor "regulator" like you have. (can make spikes on sinewave (~ 20% THD), and not really regulate voltage well. Also I think on your type cap "reg" there MAY be a pair of diodes expoxyed into slot in shaft.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In general "flashing" replaces residual magnatizm in laminations that some gens loose if they sit a "long" time. Other gens automatically flash the gen every time they start.( these usually use the 12V car bat that cranks them)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Of gens that need flashing the Onans I'm familiar with apply 12VDC ( engine cranking bat) to field to provide the magnatizm to let gen bootstrap it's way up to making 120VAC.

    Other designs MIGHT use 120VAC for flashing I don;t know much about those. Except intent is to replace residual magnatizm in field laminations. Ask on this website (Smokstak.com) they are as much EXPERTS on gens as people here are on heating. https://www.smokstak.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=1
    This Smokestak general forum might be better for your gen , maybe the Sears sub-forum https://www.smokstak.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=6

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    IF replacing caps buy RUN types, starting types are cheaply built since in motor starting they are only used a few seconds. If used continuously in "run" applications starting caps overheat and die, Start caps are not build as well as run caps, have higher ESR so run hotter given AC ripple current into them.
    ChrisJSolid_Fuel_Man
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    edited October 2018
    Options
    > @Leonard said:
    > 10kw ....... how many cylinder? 2maybe?
    >
    > Try plugging a old drill into gen and rotating drill, that will flash some gens. Use an old non-electronic non-variable speed type, it makes some backvoltage as you turn it. Then as gen voltage comes up it just runs, with no synchronization issues..
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    > In general there are various types of voltage regulators, here's a few I know of:
    >
    > -- external to windings.... real electronic voltage reg
    > --- magnetic saturation design of winding laminations
    > --external to windings.... current transformer to boost field as add load, (compensate for voltage sag as add load)
    > -- some type of capacitor "regulator" like you have. (can make spikes on sinewave (~ 20% THD), and not really regulate voltage well. Also I think on your type cap "reg" there MAY be a pair of diodes expoxyed into slot in shaft.
    >
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    > In general "flashing" replaces residual magnatizm in laminations that some gens loose if they sit a "long" time. Other gens automatically flash the gen every time they start.( these usually use the 12V car bat that cranks them)
    >
    > ---------------------------------------------------------------
    > Of gens that need flashing the Onans I'm familiar with apply 12VDC ( engine cranking bat) to field to provide the magnatizm to let gen bootstrap it's way up to making 120VAC.
    >
    > Other designs MIGHT use 120VAC for flashing I don;t know much about those. Except intent is to replace residual magnatizm in field laminations. Ask on this website (Smokstak.com) they are as much EXPERTS on gens as people here are on heating. https://www.smokstak.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=1
    > This Smokestak general forum might be better for your gen , maybe the Sears sub-forum https://www.smokstak.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=6
    >
    > ---------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    > IF replacing caps buy RUN types, starting types are cheaply built since in motor starting they are only used a few seconds. If used continuously in "run" applications starting caps overheat and die, Start caps are not build as well as run caps, have higher ESR so run hotter given AC ripple current into them.

    It's a 2 cyl 570cc Vanguard vtwin.

    THD is something that caught my attention. They claim it's rated less than 5%. Seemed like baloney to me.

    I'm actually a bit amazed right now. Though I probably shouldn't be.
    All of the places want $80-100 for a pair of caps for this generator.

    Any place I deal with, Digikey, Mouser, even McMaster, wants around $11-14 each for 35uf 400-470V run caps.

    https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/cornell-dubilier-electronics-cde/SFS44T35J384B-00DU/338-4301-ND/7070051
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
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  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
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    NY_Rob said:
    Hi Rob,

    I thought motor run caps were typically film caps and not aluminum electrolytic?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
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    ^ I believe you are correct, probably even less chance of them being bad then.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
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    NY_Rob said:

    ^ I believe you are correct, probably even less chance of them being bad then.

    I don't know about generators, but they seem to fail constantly in air conditioners.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
    Options
    Flashing gen........, first I'ld try an old drill plugged into gen's 120V output plug, and turn drill. If that doesn''t work I'ld try flashing the feild (typically rotating winding ...the rotor) with 12VDC to instill residual magnatizm into laminations. If doesn't work I'ld read up about 120VAC flashing as I don't have experience with gens of your capacitor voltage "regulator" design.

    I would NOT connect 120VAC utility power to gen's 120VAC OUTPUT leads . Utility is an INFINITELY STRONG current source, and likely will be out of syncronization with the gen, so can get very high current and resulting smoke , as utility power trys to motor the gen. Output windings typically have VERY low ohms ( ~ 1/4 ohm) so current can be VERY high if engine is stopped or out of synchronization with utility.

    . That's why I suggest using a old drill plugged into gen's 120V output plug, it generates a voltage and will "immediately" synchronize to gen frequency ( if gen engine is running) . I forget if you use drill with or without gen engine running. I'ld try both.

    I do hear of dead caps and diodes in these type gens,
    Potential other genhead problems are shorts/opens in windings, and (if used) worn/cracked/stuck brushes.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
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    Leonard said:

    Flashing gen........, first I'ld try an old drill plugged into gen's 120V output plug, and turn drill. If that doesn''t work I'ld try flashing the feild (typically rotating winding ...the rotor) with 12VDC. If doesn't work I'ld read up about 120VAC flashing as I don't know about that.

    I would NOT connect 120VAC utility power to gen's 120VAC OUTPUT leads . Utility is an INFINITELY STRONG current source, and likely will be out of syncronization with the gen, so can get very high current and resulting smoke , as utility power trys to motor the gen. Output windings typically have VERY low ohms ( ~ 1/4 ohm) so current can be VERY high if stopped or out of synchronization.

    . That's why I suggest using a old drill plugged into gen's 120V output plug, it generates a voltage and will "immediately" synchronize to gen frequency ( if gen engine is running) . I forget if you use drill with or without gen engine running. I'ld try both.

    I do hear of dead caps and diodes in these type gens,
    Potential other genhead problems are shorts/opens in windings, and (if used) worn/cracked/stuck carbon brushes.

    The diodes look fairly easy to replace once the unit is pulled apart, but hopefully they're fine.

    This generators main problem from what I can tell is it looks like it was installed near the ocean. Unless these are just made that poorly that it would be this bad after 14 years. The cabinet is shot, tons of rott so we're building a new one for it. Engine is fine and the alternator appears ok, other than no output.

    In fact, it's the best running small engine I've ever had. I changed the oil and filter and hooked it up to NG and was completely amazed at how it ran after sitting since 2012.

    It's 14 years old, but only has 41 hours on it and the hour meter works.

    I'm still trying to figure out how much money and time I want to invest in it.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
    Options
    Before spending a dime, check for continuity in the $$$$$$ windings, and for shorts to frame. Want insulation resistance to frame to be > ~ 1,000,000 ohms .

    120V Output windings will likely be bonded to frame thru a neutral/ground bond. Typically in a wiring box somewhere. So open that bond then test windings for short to frame.

    If it's making power being 10kw someone will give good $$$ for it, (near retail during a power failure). But being capacitor regulated , I read the voltage will not be regulated very well. And when I called (Colman or Porter I think it was) they said THD is ~ 20% and that was in form of spikes near top of sine wave. 20% is HIGH, my square wave APC brand computer UPS makes 21%!!!!

    I also hear they have a PLASTIC gen end housing that holds the ball bearing. If bearing seizes from lack of grease it melts the housing. And gen is junk.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
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    Leonard said:

    Before spending a dime, check for continuity in the $$$$$$ windings, and for shorts to frame. Want insulation resistance to frame to be > ~ 1,000,000 ohms .

    120V Output windings will likely be bonded to frame thru a neutral/ground bond. Typically in a wiring box somewhere. So open that bond then test windings for short to frame.

    I checked them quickly a few nights ago when I found no output.
    I measured .1 ohms to neutral from each leg and .2 ohms from leg to leg, they should be .109, but the cheap Fluke I was using only goes 1 decimal place.

    I couldn't isolate them, but will as soon as I pull the cabinet apart so I can take the cover off the the alternator. That's where the junction block is.

    Out of curiosity, do the windings usually fail from sitting or corrosion, or just from being overloaded?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
    Options
    Can fail many ways
    -- mice chewing on windings
    -- not being potted well , windings vibrate/chaff insulation off and short
    -- possible to corrode but I have not seen that. But you did say it's by ocean.
    -- long term overload can heat windings and degrate insulation.


    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    edited October 2018
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    Leonard said:

    Can fail many ways
    -- mice chewing on windings
    -- not being potted well , windings vibrate/chaff insulation off and short
    -- possible to corrode but I have not seen that. But you did say it's by ocean
    -- long term overload can heat windings and degrate insulation

    I really don't know, that was a guess. The bottom platform has huge rott spots in it, some of the panels are badly rusted. But maybe I just have high expectations.

    We're likely making a new platform out of 1/8" stainless and replacing any panels that need replacing. If I decide against the stainless the least it'll get is galvanized 1/8" steel and good paint.

    After I confirm the alternator is good, of course. I saw a new rotor is a very affordable $600. :p

    I didn't see any evidence of rodent damage to the alternator. External wiring is kind of low on my list of things to check because I plan on replacing most of it.

    I'm still on the fence on whether I want to burn $200 on a new control board, or just bypass it and go 100% manual. I'll loose it's voltage and frequency monitoring as well as oil temp and oil psi. So, I don't know.

    I tried to fix the original board, and it may very well work now. I just don't know if I trust it to be reliable long term.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    wyo
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
    Options
    For ~ $ 500 can buy a running used 4-7kw Onan RV gen, low hours , 12V bat start, real voltage reg (holds 120VAC to ~1 volt), maybe 7000 hour life. Clean sine wave. Model BGE/NHE type
    ----------------------------------------------

    $20 Kill-a-watt meter from box store is good for measuring , Hz, voltage, watts, VA, PF..... and it's true RMS
    ------------------------------------------

    Mice are high on the damage list, experienced gen tech says "from looking at gens seems the mice carry bolt cutters". And they pee corrosive ammonia over relays and wire connections, killing them

    I had a squirel outside scrap his tooth on aluminum sheet metal square cab of old 60's Jeep all along the sides. In places he wore thru it. I put some Hot pepper wax (spray for vegetable gardens)on it, he stopped. Like bitting into a ghost pepper. HOTTTTTTTT.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    edited October 2018
    Options
    Leonard said:

    For ~ $ 500 can buy a running used 4-7kw Onan RV gen, low hours , 12V bat start, real voltage reg (holds 120VAC to ~1 volt), maybe 7000 hour life. Clean sine wave. Model BGE/NHE type
    ----------------------------------------------

    $20 Kill-a-watt meter from box store is good for measuring , Hz, voltage, watts, VA, PF..... and it's true RMS
    ------------------------------------------

    Mice are high on the damage list, experienced gen tech says "from looking at gens seems the mice carry bolt cutters". And they pee corrosive ammonia over relays and wire connections, killing them

    I had a squirel outside scrap his tooth on aluminum sheet metal square cab of old 60's Jeep all along the sides. In places he wore thru it. I put some Hot pepper wax (spray for vegetable gardens)on it, he stopped. Like bitting into a ghost pepper. HOTTTTTTTT.

    I have a kill-a-watt meter, as long as a ton of other test equipment.

    My concern was if something goes awry when I'm not watching it. It sounds like if you were me, you'd ditch the PCB and just run it manually?

    I'm after a generator I can leave outside, and just go out and hit start and then flip the interlock and connect it to the house.

    I don't see any RV generators that are designed to be left outside, unless I'm looking in the wrong places? Certainly not for $500?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
    Options
    These Onan gens have 12V battery starting, and remote start/stop controls, can start without going out in the cold .
    -----------------------------------

    Onan Rv type gens are ~ $500 USED on craigslist, prices vary with area of USA. Typically only have couple hundred hours on them and ~ 7000 hour life.
    JB/JC are ~ $600 -$1000 USED on craigslist, can outlive you.
    Have to wait for this reasonable pricing, lot of get rich quick people out there.
    -----------------------------------------------

    RV gens don;t come with enclosure, since RV's provide a small gen compartment. Would need to add a "doghouse" or shed if stored outside. Many people put them on wheeled dolley and store them inside garage.

    Onan 7.5kw JB and 12.5- 15 kw JC have available outdoor enclosures.
    ---------------------------------------

    Pic of pic RV Onan 6.5 NHE
    https://www.spaco.org/onan/NHE400Wide.jpg

    Pic of my Rv Onan 7 NHM (~ same size as 6.5 NHE) https://cdn3.volusion.com/dxylq.nruds/v/vspfiles/photos/48-7278-4.jpg?1494835309
    ------------------------------------------

    The JB and JC gens can be large since they designed for high reliability industrial use, used to back up phone tower transitters. With normal oil changes& maintenance they will likely out live you. I have a JB, it looks bullet proof, a real solid well designed machine.

    Pic of 15kw Onan JC model
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/3RB-kc8EFG8/maxresdefault.jpg

    Pic of 15kw Onan JC model with factory weather doghouse four outside storage. ( his price is high, used doghouse should be ~ $200-300)
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/ONAN-15KW-4-Cyl-Tri-Fuel-Generator-Air-Cooled-Used/113246706053?hash=item1a5e079985:g:gE4AAOSwx5hbmb8a:rk:44:pf:0

    Pic of 7.5kw Onan JB model
    https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5084/5270052186_715be2dc49_b.jpg
    --------------------------------------------------

    The newer RV types ( BGE/NHE) use electronic voltage reg ($220). It can die if you don't run gen once a month, or if it sits for months and don't clean slip rings before making AC. If reg dies can remove reg and apply ~ 36VDC to field (thru brushes to spinning rotor). But without reg my experiments say ~ 125V @ no-load will sag to ~ 108 at ~ 33- 40% of rated KWs. And voltage will be proportional to rpm , so on load dump voltage can rise briefly before gov brings rpm back to normal, about a second. Can get spare reg, or just do as I do, Clean slip rings before use after sitting 6 months, easy to do.
    JB/JC gens don't have this dead reg issue.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    edited October 2018
    Options
    Leonard said:

    These Onan gens have 12V battery starting, and remote start/stop controls, can start without going out in the cold .
    -----------------------------------

    Onan Rv type gens are ~ $500 USED on craigslist, prices vary with area of USA. Typically only have couple hundred hours on them and ~ 7000 hour life.
    JB/JC are ~ $600 -$1000 USED on craigslist, can outlive you.
    Have to wait for this reasonable pricing, lot of get rich quick people out there.
    -----------------------------------------------

    RV gens don;t come with enclosure, since RV's provide a small gen compartment. Would need to add a "doghouse" or shed if stored outside. Many people put them on wheeled dolley and store them inside garage.

    Onan 7.5kw JB and 12.5- 15 kw JC have available outdoor enclosures.
    ---------------------------------------

    Pic of pic RV Onan 6.5 NHE
    https://www.spaco.org/onan/NHE400Wide.jpg

    Pic of my Rv Onan 7 NHM (~ same size as 6.5 NHE) https://cdn3.volusion.com/dxylq.nruds/v/vspfiles/photos/48-7278-4.jpg?1494835309
    ------------------------------------------

    The JB and JC gens can be large since they designed for high reliability industrial use, used to back up phone tower transitters. With normal oil changes& maintenance they will likely out live you. I have a JB, it looks bullet proof, a real solid well designed machine.

    Pic of 15kw Onan JC model
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/3RB-kc8EFG8/maxresdefault.jpg

    Pic of 15kw Onan JC model with factory weather doghouse four outside storage. ( his price is high, used doghouse should be ~ $200-300)
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/ONAN-15KW-4-Cyl-Tri-Fuel-Generator-Air-Cooled-Used/113246706053?hash=item1a5e079985:g:gE4AAOSwx5hbmb8a:rk:44:pf:0

    Pic of 7.5kw Onan JB model
    https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5084/5270052186_715be2dc49_b.jpg
    --------------------------------------------------

    The newer RV types ( BGE/NHE) use electronic voltage reg ($220). It can die if you don't run gen once a month, or if it sits for months and don't clean slip rings before making AC. If reg dies can remove reg and apply ~ 36VDC to field (thru brushes to spinning rotor). But without reg my experiments say ~ 125V @ no-load will sag to ~ 108 at ~ 33- 40% of rated KWs. And voltage will be proportional to rpm , so on load dump voltage can rise briefly before gov brings rpm back to normal, about a second. Can get spare reg, or just do as I do, Clean slip rings before use after sitting 6 months, easy to do.
    JB/JC gens don't have this dead reg issue.

    The B&S 10KW is costing me $200 to buy as is. Plus the money I need to put into it. I have to believe the 570CC Vanguard engine is well worth that alone. And there's only 41 hours on it.

    Luckily, rebuilding the cabinet is almost free for me as I have the materials and a shop to do it in.

    It's all of the other stupid things that will add up in cost.

    I am wondering if there's any way to easily add a good voltage regulator to it though. I'm thinking there's gotta be a way to manipulate the exiciter easily.........
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
    Options
    That's an interesting idea. I assume caps are mounted on stationary frame and electrically feed to rotating rotor thru slip rings.

    I don;t know details of how these cap "regulated" gens operate. I ASSUME the rotor windings generate AC that's rectified to DC by diodes mounted on shaft then stored in cap to power that rotor. Sounds bit like a catch 22 situation but from looking at schematic I'm GUESSING that's how it works.

    If it were me I'ld try disconnecting the diodes and cap, connect rotor winding directly to slip rings ( make sure they are not grounded) . And try feeding slip rings ~ 6 or 12V DC and see what gen output voltage is and sine wave looks like.

    If sine wave looks reasonably clean, they have universal Ac voltage regs for gens to automatically supply correct rotor excitation to maintain 120VAC output . The guys on Smokstak.com like to use $20 cheap China clones of SX460 reg.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/AVR-SX460-Automatic-Voltage-Volt-Regulator-Replacement-For-Stamford-Generator/252854101446?epid=3017474321&hash=item3adf4765c6:g:eR8AAOSwU8hY6yfx:rk:3:pf:0

    It senses and is powered by 120VAC output , it feeds rotor with excitation voltage. Min rotor ohms is 15 ohms, but if rotor is lower than that just add series resistor. It also has limits on how high or low it's excitation voltage can be , but that's easy to check by experiment ( test what DC rotor voltage it takes to output 120VAC, variable DC power supply or gel cells in series).
    ChrisJSolid_Fuel_Man
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    edited October 2018
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    Leonard said:

    That's an interesting idea. I assume caps are mounted on stationary frame and electrically feed to rotating rotor thru slip rings.

    I don;t know details of how these cap "regulated" gens operate. I ASSUME the rotor windings generate AC that's rectified to DC by diodes mounted on shaft then stored in cap to power that rotor. Sounds bit like a catch 22 situation but from looking at schematic I'm GUESSING that's how it works.

    If it were me I'ld try disconnecting the diodes and cap, connect rotor winding directly to slip rings ( make sure they are not grounded) . And try feeding slip rings ~ 6 or 12V DC and see what gen output voltage is and sine wave looks like.

    If sine wave looks reasonably clean, they have universal Ac voltage regs for gens to automatically supply correct rotor excitation to maintain 120VAC output . The guys on Smokstak.com like to use $20 cheap China clones of SX460 reg.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/AVR-SX460-Automatic-Voltage-Volt-Regulator-Replacement-For-Stamford-Generator/252854101446?epid=3017474321&hash=item3adf4765c6:g:eR8AAOSwU8hY6yfx:rk:3:pf:0

    It senses and is powered by 120VAC output , it feeds rotor with excitation voltage. Min rotor ohms is 15 ohms, but if rotor is lower than that just add series resistor. It also has limits on how high or low it's excitation voltage can be , but that's easy to check by experiment ( test what DC rotor voltage it takes to output 120VAC, variable DC power supply or gel cells in series).

    It's brushless, so no slip rings.
    If I understood it correctly, there's essentially a secondary coil in the stator that the caps feed and that is what feeds the rotor.

    I did notice Varisters on the exploded view. I'm assuming they are what do the actual regulation.

    From Wiki :

    A brushless alternator is composed of two alternators built end-to-end on one shaft. Smaller brushless alternators may look like one unit but the two parts are readily identifiable on the large versions. The larger of the two sections is the main alternator and the smaller one is the exciter. The exciter has stationary field coils and a rotating armature (power coils). The main alternator uses the opposite configuration with a rotating field and stationary armature. A bridge rectifier, called the rotating rectifier assembly, is mounted on the rotor. Neither brushes nor slip rings are used, which reduces the number of wearing parts. The main alternator has a rotating field as described above and a stationary armature (power generation windings).

    Varying the amount of current through the stationary exciter field coils varies the 3-phase output from the exciter. This output is rectified by a rotating rectifier assembly, mounted on the rotor, and the resultant DC supplies the rotating field of the main alternator and hence alternator output. The result of all this is that a small DC exciter current indirectly controls the output of the main alternator.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
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    Open it up and look, I suspect you do have slip rings. From your schematic it looks like caps are wired to rotating rotor. Caps I've read about were mounted on stationary frame.

    The wiki description sounds similar to YD genhead design of some Onan JB/JC series gens. I don;t think you have that type, it's too expensive a design for a cap "regulated" gen. It's a different design, 2 gens on one shaft so don't need brushes that wear and induce electrical variations in output.

    In small 1-st gen a real AC voltage reg feeds it's stationary exciter coils. Rotating coils make 3 phase AC , which is rectifed to DC and drives rotating winding of 2nd gen. As it's magnetic feild sweeps thru stationary windings power is produced..

    Varistors ....... possible , but don't know theory of operation of that design. I just ASSUMED they cliped off any spikes to protect the diodes( not clearly shown)

    Pic of Onan YD type, note has 2 gens on one shaft
    http://fettingpower.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/IMG_3239.jpg
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    edited October 2018
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    Leonard said:

    Open it up and look, I suspect you do have slip rings. From your schematic it looks like caps are wired to rotating rotor. Caps I've read about were mounted on stationary frame.

    The wiki description sounds similar to YD genhead design of some Onan JB/JC series gens. It's a different design, 2 gens on one shaft so don't need brushes that wear and can induce electrical variations in output.

    YD design .......In small 1-st gen a real AC voltage reg feeds it's stationary exciter coils. Rotating coils make 3 phase AC , which is rectifed to DC and drives rotating winding of 2nd gen. As it's magnetic feild sweeps thru stationary windings power is produced..

    Varistors ....... possible , but don't know theory of operation of that design. I just ASSUMED they cliped off any spikes to protect the diodes( not clearly shown)

    They say it's brushless, I have to think that means no slip rings either.

    "MACHINE DESCRIPTION
    MR2 Series alternators are singles phase brushless units. These units do not require maintenance since they do not have slip
    rings nor slipping contacts
    "

    Here's an exploded view from the manufacturer.





    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
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    Here's the schematic of the alternator.
    I assume the black bars are coils..........but it's a pretty bad drawing.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
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    Well I'll admit I don't know much about these cap regulated gens. In past I lost all interest in them when I found how sky high the THD was. I then learned the better gen designs.

    Likely yours is brushless. Here's a better explanation of how they likely work.
    https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1523112
    Sounds like stationary cap is charged by a stationary winding, then that power makes a magnetic field that rotor picks up to excite it.

    Possible you could EE design a reg to take place of that cap....maybe. Liekly would have to deal with voltage initially being induced into that stationary winding.

    For what it's worth in Onan gens with real voltage regulators the stationary windings that power the reg are called quadrature windings. they are separrate from the main 120V windings. Never inspected where they were placed, but from MSME degree work I assume their voltage is 90 degs to main 120V winding voltage ( ei quadrature/orthogonal).
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    edited October 2018
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    Leonard said:

    Well I'll admit I don't know much about these cap regulated gens. In past I lost all interest in them when I found how sky high the THD was. I then learned the better gen designs.

    Likely yours is brushless. Here's a better explanation of how they likely work.
    https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1523112
    Sounds like stationary cap is charged by a stationary winding, then that power makes a magnetic field that rotor picks up to excite it.

    Possible you could EE design a reg to take place of that cap....maybe. Liekly would have to deal with voltage initially being induced into that stationary winding.

    For what it's worth in Onan gens with real voltage regulators the stationary windings that power the reg are called quadrature windings. they are separrate from the main 120V windings. Never inspected where they were placed, but from MSME degree work I assume their voltage is 90 degs to main 120V winding voltage ( ei quadrature/orthogonal).

    I don't think anything I have cares about distortion.
    Here's my current generator and nothing has an issue with it. Cheap and obnoxiously loud but reliable.

    https://youtu.be/6diY0EG32wM


    I'd love to know what kind of alternator that is but I've never had it apart.

    I suspect the only thing that may not work on such a generator is the fan controller I have on my AC condenser fan. I think that needs an actual sinewave.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
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    Easy enough to pull the end cover off genhead and look, usually only ~ 4 screws holding it. That pepper pot muffler isn't helping noise any. Although the 5.5kw Generac I just sold made almost as much engine noise as exhaust noise. Low hours but trashy engine noise even after I adjusted the valves. Got it free , had snapped push rod, poor engine design

    Is that the 10 KW gen ????
    8hp sounds small for 10kw, sounds more like a 4 kw gen.
    Typical rule of thumb I heard of is ~2 hp/kw.

    My 7kw 1800 rpm Onan NHM gen is ~960 CC, but then again Onans are very conservatively rated. ( they like to derate to increase reliability, and transient load recovery)

    If yours wasn't a cap reg type I'ld have lot of info for you.
    Have lot of experience in Onan BGE/NHE, JB, JC types.

    Got a scope ? Be interesting to put it on and see how clean sine wave is at different loads (RESISTIVE) , say 0, 25, 50 , 75, 100% of kw rating and post pics. Hair driers and space heaters get you there fast.
  • djackman
    djackman Member Posts: 12
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    Reading thru this I still don't see if you ever checked for basic output and/or did a field flash. If you didn't this is a descent basic troubleshooting for capacitor regulated units. Field flash procedure is nice and clear in this one.

    https://www.wincogen.com/wp-content/uploads/PD/Manuals/PSS/winco_60711-027_rfd_ts_guide_2017.pdf

    There's a lot to be said for the simplicity of air cooled sets but after my first Kohler L654 powered set (7.5k water cooled 4 cyl) I'd be hard pressed to ever go back to air cooled. Might be a gearhead thing but the low tone sound is pleasing to the ear.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
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    > @djackman said:
    > Reading thru this I still don't see if you ever checked for basic output and/or did a field flash. If you didn't this is a descent basic troubleshooting for capacitor regulated units. Field flash procedure is nice and clear in this one.
    >
    > https://www.wincogen.com/wp-content/uploads/PD/Manuals/PSS/winco_60711-027_rfd_ts_guide_2017.pdf
    >
    > There's a lot to be said for the simplicity of air cooled sets but after my first Kohler L654 powered set (7.5k water cooled 4 cyl) I'd be hard pressed to ever go back to air cooled. Might be a gearhead thing but the low tone sound is pleasing to the ear.

    No, I haven't had time sadly.
    If I had my way I'd love a 1800 rpm water cooled 20kw generator. Or even better, steam powered. :)

    But, it is what it is for now.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
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    First step... try flashing gen using an old drill pluged into 120V outlet of gen...Easy and fast, no disassembly. Try it with gen running.

    In above link flashing the 120VAC output leads with car bat ......... WOW ....... I'ld at least add a 120V fuse in series. IF gen comes up with 120 V output can be some MAJOR amps flowing into bat untill you disconnect it. So much so that if your slow to disconnect , then wires your holding may get RED HOT and burn your fingers. Had that happen with 12V car heater fan and steel paper clip jumper even ~ 20 amps.
    That's why they say be BRIEF about it.

    Carefull going with too large a gen if you don't really need the KWs, Fuel consumption doubles as KW rating doubles. And that applies to both no-load and full load consumption. Over few days of run time even no-load gets pricey, it's not insignificant to say the least.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    edited October 2018
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    > @Leonard said:
    > First step... try flashing gen using an old drill pluged into 120V outlet of gen...Easy and fast, no disassembly. Try it with gen running.
    >
    > In above link flashing the 120VAC output leads with car bat ......... WOW ....... I'ld at least add a 120V fuse in series. IF gen comes up with 120 V output can be some MAJOR amps flowing into bat untill you disconnect it. So much so that if your slow to disconnect , then wires your holding may get RED HOT and burn your fingers. Had that happen with 12V car heater fan and steel paper clip jumper even ~ 20 amps.
    > That's why they say be BRIEF about it.
    >
    > Carefull going with too large a gen if you don't really need the KWs, Fuel consumption doubles as KW rating doubles. And that applies to both no-load and full load consumption. Over few days of run time even no-load gets pricey, it's not insignificant to say the least.

    I was more scared about how the huge lead acid battery might react.

    I need to get time at work to get it back on the forklift so I can move it back to where my temporary gas connection is to run it. Remember this isn't a portable generator so no outlets and it needs natural gas.

    Funny you mentioned about the size. My boss has two 19Kw Kohler NG generators I had considered before this one. 1000cc vtwins. I saw the fuel consumption and dropped that idea fast. That and they had both been submerged in saltwater during Sandy. Apparently they ran, but I have no idea what kind of damaged that did.

    I figured out even this 10kw would cost $44 a day to run near full output. And probably no less than $20.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
    Options
    Don't know nat gas pricing but if run 24hours/day and gasoline fueled ($2.60/gal) I figure $35-$115 per day,, all gens are VERY THIRSTY ( only ~ 15% efficient at best......@full load). That's why you don't oversize beyond what you ABSOLUTELY need. Think about when power was down for 1-2 weeks ~ 8 years ago in that large ice storm that covered the whole northeast ( ~5 states).

    My gasoline Onan 7kw 7NHM uses:
    .4 GPH @ no-load
    ~ .7 @ 1/2 load
    1.3 @ full load

    So just ratioing kws (which works reasonably well ) if your 10 kw used gasoline it would drink:
    .57 GPH @ no-load
    1.85 @ full load

    On propane would use ~ 20% more GPH
    Propane has ~ 100K BTU /gal ( ~1 therm)

    So I estimate your 10 kw will use vapor fuel at rate of :
    ~ 68k BTU/hr @ no-load
    ~ 220 k BTU/hr @ full load

    Maybe a bit less, as a 15kw Onan JC ( 4 cylinder) uses nat gas at :
    ~ 100 k BRU/hr @ no-load
    ~ 240k BTU/hr @ full load.

    If you can find it's manual you can get better numbers on fuel use.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    Backup power in a home doesn’t have to be that expensive if you manage yourself, and your usage in an emergency situation like a minimalist. Providing most things are fired by other than electricity.

    Winter time.
    Heat
    Freezer/fridge.
    Sump pump
    Computer
    Minimal lighting at night. Burn candles.

    Summer is pretty much the same. Except one can exist with out AC for an emergency duration. Even if not an occasional run to keep temp, and humidity lowered.
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited October 2018
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    I'm in NH , here my #1 only priority is keeping oil furnace running in winter to make heat, food can go in cold garage. I've seen nights in February where there is COLD FAST winds for few days straight. Seems furnace ran constantly, so gen would need to also.

    My Onan 7NHM gen is oversized for that load , likely could have gotten away with 3-4kw gen (motor starting). But it was the first high quality gen I came across. And I didn't know about fuel consumption at the time. Only cost me $200 used and all I had to do was clean carb and replace a ~ $225 AC voltage reg.

    Other issue is with my larger 7kw gen easyier to stay under amp limit of each hot lead of 120/240 output (balancing your loads) . Adding autotransformer would allow you to draw all KWs out of only one 120V hot ( of autotransformer).
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,922
    edited October 2018
    Options
    > @Leonard said:
    > Don't know nat gas pricing but if run 24hours/day and gasoline fueled ($2.60/gal) I figure $35-$115 per day,, all gens are VERY THIRSTY ( only ~ 15% efficient at best......@full load). That's why you don't oversize beyond what you ABSOLUTELY need. Think about when power was down for 1-2 weeks ~ 8 years ago in that large ice storm that covered the whole northeast ( ~5 states).
    >
    > My gasoline Onan 7kw 7NHM uses:
    > .4 GPH @ no-load
    > ~ .7 @ 1/2 load
    > 1.3 @ full load
    >
    > So just ratioing kws (which works reasonably well ) if your 10 kw used gasoline it would drink:
    > .57 GPH @ no-load
    > 1.85 @ full load
    >
    > On propane would use ~ 20% more GPH
    > Propane has ~ 100K BTU /gal ( ~1 therm)
    >
    > So I estimate your 10 kw will use vapor fuel at rate of :
    > ~ 68k BTU/hr @ no-load
    > ~ 220 k BTU/hr @ full load
    >
    > Maybe a bit less, as a 15kw Onan JC ( 4 cylinder) uses nat gas at :
    > ~ 100 k BRU/hr @ no-load
    > ~ 240k BTU/hr @ full load.
    >
    > If you can find it's manual you can get better numbers on fuel use.

    I used it's consumption and calculated the cost previously.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment