PTO driven vs Gas engine: Tools - Generators  -- Tools Discussion Forum and Review PTO driven vs Gas engine: Tools - Generators -- Tools Discussion Forum

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 01-23-2004, 21:16 Post: 74899
tamanaco



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 PTO driven vs Gas engine

I'm looking at a Windpower 7000 watt PTO driven unit vs a Robin or Honda gas powered gen set. It would be used just for back up (power failure). I have mixed feelings about the best option. Comments






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 01-23-2004, 21:38 Post: 74901
F350Lawman



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 PTO driven vs Gas engine

If I was going to make more power say 12-15kw I would go with the PTO option. It would be cheaper as diesel gensets cost 3-4k minimum in that range and PTO gens can be had for $1600 with the shaft and cart.

Since your tractor is a little smaller than that and you are only going to make 7kws anyway I'd get a 6kw diesel portable which can be had for around $1500-2000 (see link). You 'll likely spend $1500 for a PTO setup anyway and why beat up the tractor? Plus you can move the portable to other locations easily

WHatever you do I wouldn't get gas, they burn 3 times as much fuel, you can't get gas easily during an outage, it doesn't store well and it's dangerous. If you heat with oil or have a diesel truck/tractor gas makes even less sense.






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 01-24-2004, 01:36 Post: 74908
Chief



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 PTO driven vs Gas engine

Scott nailed it. Couldn't have said it better myself! ;o)






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 01-24-2004, 09:07 Post: 74931
TomG

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 PTO driven vs Gas engine

A 6500W peak Honda gas is what I use. It runs pretty much the whole house through a transfer panel, but it does require selectively turning circuits on an off.

Most pto generators are large than 7,000W. Hours on the tractor and the hooking up the tractor during the middle of storms are negatives. The advantages of a small diesel standalone depend on how much the generator is used. Fuel economy and durability are small issues if a generator isn't often used. For fuel supply, you've got to store your own whether it is gas or diesel (most furnace oil works OK for diesels). Few service stations have generator backup for their pumps.

There certainly are gas storage and maintenance issues for seldom used gas engines, and I wish I wouldn't have had my initiation in the gathering dark at nearly -20F. Plus the house was already down to 50F when we got back from town. In that case it would have been easier to hook up the tractor, but I've learned my lesson and pay more attention to exercising the generator and use of fuel stabilizer.






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 01-24-2004, 09:32 Post: 74934
kwschumm



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 PTO driven vs Gas engine

If you don't care about portability and you have propane or natural gas at your house a gas engine with a propane/ng conversion kit makes a lot of sense. No need to store or haul fuel and you don't have to worry about the fuel going bad or gelling in cold weather. Sure, gas engines don't last as long as diesels but how often do you have outages? We have a Gillete propane generator with a Kohler engine and have zero complaints after four years and we have LOTS of outages where we are - sometimes a couple of outages a month.






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 01-24-2004, 09:41 Post: 74935
DRankin



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 PTO driven vs Gas engine

If you get a free standing gas model you must put yourself on a maintenance schedule where you run all the gas out of it every six months and refuel with fresh stabilized stuff.

Modern gasoline has a very short shelf life and there are also availability problems that have been noted in other threads. When the power goes off, so do the gas pumps.

So you really need considerable storage to get you through a crisis and if you are storing large quantities of gas you have to run it through your vehicles to keep the supply fresh. That alone creates several logistical problems.

Propane is a viable alternative, but you better have a weeks supply on hand as propane deliveries in a crisis are not too likely. And there are tank placement regulations and covenants that may come into play.

After wrestling through all the possibilities, I bought a John Deere PTO Generator sized for our smaller tractors, a 50 gallon diesel storage tank and a 12 volt transfer pump.

That should be enough fuel to get me through a couple of days and buy time to find more fuel if the crisis proves a lengthly one.

As far as the hours.... I don't care if I rack up an extra 72 or 96 hours running the tractor as a stationary powerplant. That's why I got it. If you think about it, those are not hard hours. You are not beating up the FEL or wearing out any rubber.






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 01-24-2004, 09:51 Post: 74936
kwschumm



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 PTO driven vs Gas engine

I suppose it depends on where you live, but if you are in the boonies and use propane for cooking or heating you could have your propane company install a 1000 gallon tank. We did, and they are VERY happy to fill it. We estimate about 10 days of 24/7 runtime out of a full tank and could stretch it out a lot longer by running the generator only as needed.

For us it would be difficult to store that much diesel fuel on hand and keep it reasonably fresh since the tractor is our only diesel engine and it only uses maybe 50-100 gallons a year.






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 01-24-2004, 10:02 Post: 74941
DRankin



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 PTO driven vs Gas engine

Diesel is much easier to keep fresh than gasoline.

Ken, I bought a square tank and put it on a pallet. I use the Rankin forks to load it in the bed of the truck and I filled it with off road diesel and saved 50 cents a gallon on the first fueling.

I am using Power Service and Red Line 85 Plus additive to keep it fresh and to bump up the cetane.






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 01-24-2004, 10:04 Post: 74942
Chief



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 PTO driven vs Gas engine

I have a Generac 6500 watt gas generator that I ran enough to get the engine broken in and then ran the gas tank dry and put fresh oil in. I also ran the engine on WD-40 after I ran the gas out of it to purge any possible left in the carb. I know in advance it is a coin toss as to weather it will run without a major hastle if ever needed. If I even buy another generator in the future; it will be either a diesel that I have portability with or a propane powered with a huge tank. Rather than leave a diesel generator setting with diesel; it is also an option to fuel it with Jet-A (heavily treated with a lubricating additive) for storage purposes as Jet-A will store much longer and cleaner than #2 diesel. It is also treated with PRIST to prevent gelling/freezing & microbial growth. Even Jet-A has its storage limits. It is pricier but you can switch to #2 diesel once you have the generator in use and anticipate a lengthy run.






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 01-24-2004, 10:29 Post: 74945
kwschumm



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 PTO driven vs Gas engine

I keep thinking about those week long outages that we get. During a major snowstorm there would be no way for us to get out and fill up a tank so on-site storage is the only way to go. Diesel has longer shelf life than gasoline, but does it have a 10-year shelf life? This was my reasoning in going with propane.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tools - Generators Forum

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