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3 Pt PTO generators

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Craig Ferris
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1999-02-27          1372


I neeed information regarding 3 pt PTO driven generators. Whats out there, where to find them, Watt ratings, what works, what does not. All I really need is a back up power source for the home, is this an option, or is it better to buy a stand alone unit?

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Sam
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1999-02-28          1378


I did some research on the same topic and decided to go with a stand-alone unit. One post I saw said that you need 2HP for each 1KW of power generated. The main reason I made my decision to go stand-alone, though, was because the PTO version would be hard for my wife, etc. to use if I was not there. Even if I was around, I wouldn't want to keep the generator on the tractor all the time and might not want to take the time / effort to put it on during a storm when the power goes out the most. Also, if the storm that causes the power outage is a snow / ice storm, I may need the tractor for other duties, such as plowing or pulling the car from a ditch. ....

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Bobr
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1999-02-28          1387


I too have wondered this question after a New Years Dayice storm that add realism to discussions and thoughts about gensets.I'm going with PTO as it saves buying another motor and it mostlikely will start. A neighbor has a big diesel backup unitand the last two storms he couldn't get it started or keep it running. One would have to regularly use the self containedgenerator or be conscientious about maintenance. I'm waitinguntil after 1-1-00 to buy mine, cheap, I hope. ....

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ED
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1999-03-01          1407


I HAVE ORDERED A PTO GEN 25KW I HAVE A JD770 SO I WILL ONLY BE ABLE TO USE ABOUT13KW MAX DO TO HORSEPOWER REQ. BUT THE TRACTOR NEEDS TO BE AT LEAST AT HALF LOAD WHILE RUNNING AT PTO SPEED SO MAKE SUR YOU HAVE A CONSTANT LOAD ON THE GEN FOR THAT MUCH IN MY CASE ABOUT 6KW ....

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Farminlady
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1999-03-01          1425


I'm curious! Why do so many people opt for PTO generators, and big KW ones at that?We all bought regular gas powered Coleman 5000W generators, and both my daughter and son-in-lawand I power the houses and barns easily with them. During the *Great Northeast IceStorm* we were without power for about five days, and lived quite comfortably withthe generator. It powered the electric water heater, pump, furnace, microwave, TV, etc.,and we were quite comfortable. Ours ran 24 hours a day during the mess after that storm.Strikes me that a PTO generator would be putting an awful lot of extra hours and wear and tear ona tractor engine! And I can't see having all that extra wattage unless you are poweringsomething large that really pulls the electricity. ....

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David
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1999-03-02          1427


Due to the flammability issue of diesel vs gasoline, the storage life of both types of fuel, and the fact that I have a water cooled, diesel engine available, I have chosen the pto driven route. Use the search engine at www.go2net.com, you can find a wealth of information that way. ....

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ED
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1999-03-02          1432


To start a 2hp motor takes about 7500 watts this size generator starts to get expensiveIf you allready have the deisel motor the pto gen is cheaper than another gen with motorplus I already have deisel on hand why store gas. (which is dangerous anyway) I dontneed the size pto gen I got but least i wont be pushing the limit. ....

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3 Pt PTO generators

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guest
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1999-03-02          1438


I agree, I also have a Coleman 5000 watt and it does everything I need it to. This is a much cheaper way to go than PTO powered units. While the PTO generators are most likely better built and will last longer than the gas units, if the main use is for power outages, the gas generators will last a lifetime with reasonable care. Who wants to be mounting a PTO generator in the dark in the middle of a storm. ....

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guest
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1999-03-02          1439


I've got a 5,000 watt Coleman job and have been very satisfied with it. I've taken it across town (actually keep it there) to build the shed I house my tractor in. A couple of years ago we had a snow storm that knocked down all of the power lines here. Power was out for four days (no where near as bad as the Ice Storm, which was a true disaster). I used it to run the house fine. Mind you, that I could not run the electric cook stove but I could operate the water pump, start the oil fired furnace and refrigerator and a light or two. I was mindful not to try it all at once, but everything worked out OK. If the power goes out tomorrow, I would simply go get it in my pickup. It would be a whole lot harder to do if I had to drive the tractor over. LeeqaZ ....

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guest
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1999-03-02          1443


I always have more gas on hand than diesel. In addition to the 5 gal can for the lawn mower etc, the truck and the car have lots of gas in them that can fuel the generator in an emergency. The largest motor I will need to start in a power outage is the water pump. The pump is 1.5 HP and the 5000 watt (6250 surge) Coleman generator starts it just fine even with the TV and more than a dozen lights on at the same time. We hardly notice we are not connected to the power grid. All this at a third the cost of a PTO generator. ....

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GreyDave
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1999-03-09          1598


I changed my mind. After realizing that I keep around 50 gallons of fresh gasoline in the fuel tanks of my wife and my vehicles I ended up buying a sears 4200 watt gasoline generator. The availability of fresh gasoline, and sears practice of keeping parts available forever (at least it's that way on every other sears piece of equipment I own), were the deciding factors. I also bought a hand pump at Quality Farm & Fleet to siphon the gas from the fuel tanks. But I still think that someone should be building a 5KW pto driven, portable generator for the thousands of smaller diesel tractors around the country. ....

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Glen Johnson
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1999-03-10          1629


I have also considered a 3-Pt generator, and got some info from an elecricalengineer. He warned me that a potential problem may arise due to the fact thatthe speed of the tractor engine isn't controlled by a governor and may causefluctuations in the frequency of the current (60hz/ 50hz etc.) when load. This may possibly be harmful to some motors and appliances. PTO generators were designedfor steady current applications like lighting. I am only passing along info which I have been told. Does anyone have any other input? ....

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al
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1999-04-03          2338


i recently purchased a pto gen 25kw,the cost between the 12kw and 25kw is only about $200 i purchased a generac,has both a frequency and volt meter that you can see from theoperator seat. these units are used heavily in farm countryfor backup power, and have been proven to be very reliable.i also dont want to service a motor that would rarely get used,and most likely would not work when you need it the most.diesel tractors are about as bullet proof as you can get,buy a coleman if you want, these are light duty units, meant for non critical use, there is a world of differencebetween the two units, as far as service life, construction,servicability ....

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al
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1999-04-03          2339


my pto generator is a generac 25kw unit, has both frequency and voltage meters facing the operator so you can adjust the outputfrom the seat of the tractor, i understand as long as you stay+/- 2% on the output you should be ok. ....

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Edmund Garza
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1999-04-26          3337


would like to buy a tractor power generator I am in south texas need information ....

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3 Pt PTO generators

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miguel Bas
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1999-07-02          5685


I try to find kubota generator (small) 6.5kw 60hz, 1ph, 120/240 vac very quiet noise<72db ....

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chris
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1999-07-18          6071


Coleman generators are not the best quality available IMHO ....What more can be said. ....

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chris
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1999-07-18          6072


Frequency poses a problem with high capitive loads such as flourescent lighting etc. Some lattitude is allowed with electric motors. WITH capacitive loads, commercial suppliers are allowed .25 cycles either way. Regardless, a brushless generator will be somewhat cleaner that with brushes. However, most brushless units I've seen are large pieces of ___. i.e. Generac, Coleman etc.<---------Not the Best there is. ....

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Roger L.
Join Date: Jun 1999
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1999-07-18          6076


Could you comment some more on brush type vs brushless generators?Price and quality? I'm tempted to go for the standalone Lincoln generatorwith its own 16 hp engine. I believe it is a brushless....but not sure. Ibelieve that the Honda AC generators are brush type generators. They are moreexpensive for the same output.....which seemed odd to me. This standalone generator thing is a little off of the compact tractor theme,but we might be able to transfer some of the knowledge to PTO type generators.Right now I am sort of lost on what makes some PTO generators better than others......or if there is any real difference. Roger L ....

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Bill
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1999-07-18          6083


Glen,I have a New Holland Sub Compact and my diesel engine has a governor on it. It holds the speed much better than any gas engine ever could. I don't think your friend, the electrical engineer, has had much experience with tractors. Any motor that you overload, beyond its torque capability, will loose speed and cause frequency fluctuations. But if the generator is sized to the PTO output horsepower, the engine should be able to maintain the frequence quite well. An awful lot of farmers use these to power various equipment, depending on the type farm it is. If what your friend says were true, a lot of farmers would go out of business buying electric motors. Electronics are much more sensative to over or under voltage than motors are. We have run some motors 20% over on frequency. It doesn't hurt them, they just run faster. Ask him if he ever heard of a frequency controlled AC motor. We have frequency controllers on many motors and run them down to 15 HZ, which doesn't affect them either. You will never see that much difference in a PTO unit, so I wouldn't worry about it. The Coleman units will probably give you more difference than the PTO units. By the way, I am a Electrical Engineer too. ....

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chris
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1999-07-20          6140


well forget the prime mover, especially in light of the PTO v. gasoline garbage.The alternator is really the meat and potatos. Important is number of poles i.e. RPM, and where it was wound. Really in the end, the rest doesnt matter. Chris ....

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Mike
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1999-08-05          6627


I work for a major investor owned utility company in Texas. We have been udating and testing for Y2K compliance for over 2 years now. The power grid has been forced into Y2K for testing and passed. I doubt that we will lose our electrical service but I have to admit that I am doing research about purchasing an electrical generator. I live in the country and the most important need I have is to be able to pump water from my 450ft well which uses a 2hp pump. Secondly I would like to be able to power my little 145 amp wire feed welder. The welder is rated at 22amps. I own a Kabota B7100 compact tractor and ran across this group while looking into PTO driven generators. I'm still not sure about stand alone vs. PTO generators.Mike. ....

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Rick
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1999-10-02          8464


I bought a 12,000 watt pto Gen. that I power with my JD 750, which runs fine up to about 9,000/10,000 watts. I chose pto because: 1. Mine is on a trailer and easy to hook up even for my wife. 2. I didn't want another engine to maintain. 3. I have a tank for diesel fuel which always has 50 to 100 gals. 4. I have elec. heat and can use this to partly heat the house. ....

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Curtis
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1999-10-10          8666


I just recently purchased a pto generator and I am looking forward to getting it hooked up so that I can power my house during power outages. I am tired of ice storms and hurricanes putting me in the dark for days at the time. Living in the country and being on a well, during these times I am also without water too, which makes it necessary to find another place to stay during these extended outages. I have done a bit of research here and I have found that if you already have a tractor to drive these generators, it is by far the cheapest way of getting a generator that will put out 25kw. Thats about what I will need to power up my home so I will never know that the power is out. Just keep in mind that you need 2horse power of tractor for every 1 kw you want to produce, or thats what I have been told. With a 45 hp tractor I should be able to get almost all the potential kw of this generator. ....

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al
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1999-10-11          8672


i have had a pto generator for about 6 months and would share these observations with you .i have a generac 25kw unit with built in voltage and frequency meter. the frequency meter is in my opinion very important if you are going to run electronic equipment . since the motor is not voltage or frequency controlled you need to be able to evaluate this, motor pitch does not reliabley help you with the frequency. in other words you can not tell if the frequency changes by listening to the motor sounds. poor frequency is extremely hard on electronic equipment.i have found in my particular case that i can set the frequency on 60.7 HZ with no load and will have plenty of power to start my 75 ft well pump (1hp) without dropping below 59HZ on startup. this is the largest motor i have. this is addition to the usual house hold load. i have installed a transfer panel from gentran to safely handle the power output. this is very important to anyone planning on using a generator.the other thing you might consider is that if your tractor is powering your generator you cant use it for other things like clearing snow, etc.all in all i am happy with the generac, very well built unit. weighs about 535 lbs without the trailor. hope this helpsal ....

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Frank
Join Date: Feb 2002
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1999-11-09          9539


I possess a generator and a mid-size tractor. Does anyone know of a source for a gear box to connect the generator to the PTO ? ....

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Martin
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1999-11-28          10418


I'm looking for a PTO generator in the 5 to 6 Kw range to run off my Ford
1210. Does anybody make one this small? I have yet to find a manufacturer
who makes anything smaller than 12Kw. ....

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jerry
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1999-11-28          10431


Just got my new Northern Catalog I noticed they had small PTO driven generators available try www.northerntool.com Jerry ....

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MichaelSnyder
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1999-11-29          10457


Interestingly enough...the 13kw unit w/PTO gear box is $1499. Without the gearbox=$699....Hummm, sounds like alot of money for a gear box. Bringing me to the next question. the PTO unit only needs a shaft and mount. The other unit needs a mount, and some sorta belt/pulley ratio (540rpms to 3500rpms) drive system...what to do, what to do.. ....

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Roger L.
Join Date: Jun 1999
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1999-11-29          10461


Well, I can tell you what I did. After debating with myself, I bought a stand alone welder/generator. Reasons were that I like to keep my tractor as a dirt moving machine, and also I wanted to be able to go on emergency power just by turning a few switches instead of hooking up something heavy. But the real decision-maker was having a gasoline powered welder for sticking things together. ....

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tom
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1999-11-30          10471


Ended up with standalone gas for same reasons as Roger. Mine is an emergency
backup idea. Figure I can do without computer, TV and electronic etc's. The
6500 Honda is adequate for furnace, pump, fridge, some stove and lighting. If
it's a long emergency, I can always shut some things down and heat a tank of
water.

My main purpose of writing is to comment on connections. In Ontario, the utility requires an isolated neutral connection. The most common form of
connection is a transfer switch with two 3 pt breakers--one to disconnect from
the grid and one to connect the generator to the house panel. Only only main
at a time can be on.

The reason for these requirements is safety. Apparently some linemen have
received some serious jolts resulting from people with improperly wired or
grounded generators. Most standard panels have 2 pt breakers which only break
the hot lines. It's possible to backfeed generator output into the utility
neutral.

Persons who connect their generators into 2 pt breaker systems should be sure
of their connections and their generator grounding. Better still, install a
3 pt transfer switch even if you don't have to. Serious injuries to utility
workers have resulted from improperly connected generators.

Tom ....

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KG
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1999-11-30          10500


I got a stand alone unit about 5 years ago to use while I waited for the power company to run a line to my construction site. It was great then but really payed for itself when I was out of town and my wife and kids were stranded at home during a unexpected snow storm, with no power. I had to tell my wife over the phone how to get the generator going and the house powered up, it would have been impossible for her to hook up and use a PTO driven unit. I keep two 5 gal cans of gas around during the winter for the generator. To keep the gas fresh every 4-6 weeks I just pour it into one of the cars and refill the cans.
I believe the ideal generator would be a stand alone diesel unit that I could hook to the 600 gal fuel oil tank I have for the furnace. But diesel units are expensive. ....

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Farminlady
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1999-11-30          10515


I've been reading over this thread, after I had commented very early on about PTO driven vs. standalone generators, and I still hold the position that a PTO generator is overkill for most homes or small farms, and the expense and wear and tear on the tractor isn't justified. If you have a bad storm and lose power for four or five days, why put an added 100 or so hours on the tractor?

Our 5000 watt standalone runs continuously during a power outage, and keeps us perfectly comfortable. The only thing it won't run is the electric water heater, and we're looking at switching over to gas for water heating anyways. And if the power's out because of a heavy snow storm, I don't have to disconnect and be without power while I'm moving that snow with the tractor bucket.

If you're worrying about months without electricity from Y2K, don't. Call your power company and find out what their situation is before you spend a lot of money. Most of them have either solved any Y2K problems they had, or have a workaround. No power company is going to go for months without being able to bill their customers! And if our power company said we'd be without electricity for five or six months, I'd go buy a standalone - a diesel, if I was worried about fuel storage. No way I'd put that many hours on my Boomer just to generate power!

....

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GreyDave
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1999-12-01          10522


I also contributed to this thread awhile back. Since then have sold the tractor and moved from Ohio to Georgia. But I still have my portable generator. Now I'm wondering if anyone knows of a conversion kit where I can change my gasoline powered gen to either propane or preferably natural gas. By the way, when either Outdoor Life or Field and Stream did an article on building a small cabin they chose the same generator I bought (but I paid less). ....

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MichaelSnyder
Join Date: Jun 1999
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1999-12-01          10523


We are looking for a Generator strictly for back-up purposes. Working for an electronics company, I'm far from worried about Y2K. I think the most that will happen is a "few" angry people, because of an error or software program oversight on a bill or something. But otherwise no-one will be going hungry or anything like that. At any rate, our necessities consist of a submersible well pump, oil furnace W/3 zone pumps. Otherwise, we could make due. I at least want to use bathroom facilities. Plus, 0-20 degrees outside, +wind will turn our house into an ice box pretty quick. Not to mention busted water pipes.
As rare as the event might or hopefully will be.. I always like to be prepared.
Furthermore...is it me, or do power outages seem more frequent in the past few years due to bad weather?? ....

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Bill
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1999-12-01          10537


I agree Farminlady (not picking on you though), if the price is wrong. I built a 3 pt hitch PTO genset. 10000 watt unit for about $850. About the same price for a 6000-7000 watt gas stand alone. Took some work, some scrap metal and a little welding, but it works great. Had a drive shaft from my tiller, bought a splined adapter for the shaft, a couple of bearings, two pullies and a belt. Oh and a little drawing to make sure it all fit. My PTO speed is not 540 though. If someone has a 540 pto they would definately need two steps up or a rather large 33" pulley on the PTO and about a 5" on the generator. So you see the need for two steps. When I am moving snow, I could leave this unit on for weight. It is well protected from damage in the frame. And it's made for outdoor use. But it isn't as difficult to put on the machine as you would think. Also with bad weather in mind, and the frequent power outages that come with it, I have 1000 gallons of fuel to get me through in the tanks. So I opted, with my wife approving, to go the PTO way. A deisel unit would be great(separate) but they are definately to expensive. I don't want gas in my garage, except for the car, so a gas unit is out. To easy to have an explosion. In so far as excessive wear on the tractor, well I bought it to use, and seeing a diesel runs best when it is used the most, I am using this for everything it's worth. It's a diesel, it can take it. In so far as having to big a genset, I would rather have excess capacity, than run the genset at its max output. Then you have something extra if you really need it. I have a deep well, and she still grunts starting that, but that is with the well pump running, and supper cookin on the electric stove.
Bill ....

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sid
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1999-12-16          11149


mls,
I saw your message about the generator with & without the gear box for a 13KW output and want to buy the generator portion only. Where did you see the advertisement?

Thank you ....

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brian
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2000-12-11          22357


I purchased a coleman 5000W genarator at an estate auction a few months back,
the carb was hanging on the frame by a peice of wire and the motor is shot.
the bid was only 40.00 so i figured what the heck it'll be something to tinker with. i was gonna put a new motor on it but after reading a few of the post i am thinking about making a pto unit out of it. what would be involved in this as for as parts and cost go. i have a yanmar 1500 to put it on and would use it for fence work and work around the barn and riding arena.
thanks for the help. ....

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Jerome
Join Date: Oct 2008
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2000-12-12          22364


Brian It should be a fairly easy conversion, you'll need to install a jackshaft with pulleys, so you can get the correct input speed. You'll need to find out what speed the generator needs to run at so it puts out the correct voltage, if the engine was a direct coupler that may be 3450RPM input to the generator, so you'd have to put pulleys on to go from 540RPM(PTO) to 3450RPM(input/generator).
Hope this helps alittle. Jerry
....

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Jerome
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 19 Quebec
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2000-12-12          22365


Brian It should be a fairly easy conversion, you'll need to install a jackshaft with pulleys, so you can get the correct input speed. You'll need to find out what speed the generator needs to run at so it puts out the correct voltage, if the engine was a direct coupler that may be 3450RPM input to the generator, so you'd have to put pulleys on to go from 540RPM(PTO) to 3450RPM(input/generator).
Hope this helps alittle. Jerry
....

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Jerome
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2000-12-12          22366


Brian It should be a fairly easy conversion, you'll need to install a jackshaft with pulleys, so you can get the correct input speed. You'll need to find out what speed the generator needs to run at so it puts out the correct voltage, if the engine was a direct coupler that may be 3450RPM input to the generator, so you'd have to put pulleys on to go from 540RPM(PTO) to 3450RPM(input/generator).
Hope this helps alittle. Jerry
....

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Jerome
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2000-12-12          22367


Brian It should be a fairly easy conversion, you'll need to install a jackshaft with pulleys, so you can get the correct input speed. You'll need to find out what speed the generator needs to run at so it puts out the correct voltage, if the engine was a direct coupler that may be 3450RPM input to the generator, so you'd have to put pulleys on to go from 540RPM(PTO) to 3450RPM(input/generator).
Hope this helps alittle. Jerry
....

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Jerome
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Posts: 19 Quebec
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2000-12-12          22368


What the heck happen?? I sent it once and it shows up four times!!!! ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2000-12-12          22371


If you're going to build a generator yourself, be sure not only of the speed the generator should run, but also of the DIRECTION it is supposed to run, or you may get a nasty surprise......... ....

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Steve in Buffalo NY
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2000-12-14          22429


3450 RPM? Um, according to my generator manual, they want it to run at 3600 RPM to give correct 60hz AC. That's direct coupled. 3450 must be metric? ;-) Regardless, that's quite a gear-up job for pulleys. That's why most PTO generators use a gear box I'd guess. ....

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Mike K
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2000-12-14          22448


The one problem with gas generators is maintenance. If you have long periods between power outages and dont run the generator periodically then you could have a problem with stale fuel and gummed up carburators which will render the generator useless when the power goes out. Make sure you periodically start and let the generator run and keep fresh gas on hand.
....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6885 Waterville New York
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2000-12-15          22483


Ran into a problem with a belt type drive a fellow had put together. What had happened in order to hit the RPM needed for the generator he had geared it so he didn't need to run the tractor at full RPM but ran into a problem with the tractor as he had no reserve to carry the load. Another words he set it up below the govenor's working range. What happened is that with load he couldn't maintain the RPM's to run in the proper frequency. ....

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MichaelSnyder
Join Date: Jun 1999
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2000-12-18          22563


Brian,
Your idea is definitely do-able. How well it works will depend upon your level of design and planning. Naturally the first thing you'll need is some sort of 3pt mounted platform. Next, ya gotta get that 540 RPM PTO up to the gen's rated speed. Chances are, you'll need approximately a 1 to 4 gearbox. NOT a 4 to 1! YA gotta increase speed not reduce. Your best bet may be to use a pully drive system rather than a gear. If for no other reason than cost. Otherwise, you'll spend just as much if not more than buying new.

Only MO. ....

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Jackie
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1 IL
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2002-04-10          37269


I need to know how to hook up a 120 / 240 switch the switch is numbered ,but I dont know what colored wire goes where? ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-04-11          37281


Jackie: It's good you asked the question, but it also wouldn't be very responsible to do 'how to' direction over the web. I'm assuming this is a switch in an ordinary house lighting circuit. There are some good wiring made simple books and maybe some sites on the web. However, there are a number of possible approved connection methods and an assumption contained in any directions is that the existing circuit is wired correctly.

In general, the connections to a standard residential light switch are two wires--one white and the other black. Many switches have two terminals and are not polarized so the terminals can be used interchangeably. The bare ground wire in standard AC line connects to a ground lug in the receptacle box but does not go to the switch.

Some switches may be polarized, in which case they should have different coloured terminal screws and the terminals are not interchangeable. Other switches may have a ground terminal that should be coloured green, in which case it must be connected to the bare wire in the AC line. Three-way switch and power through switch box wiring uses black and red wiring rather than white and black.

Anyway, a complete set of rules for connecting the set could become very long--especially if tests for a miswired circuit are carried out. One thing to know though is that in standard 120V wiring, the black wire usually is hot while the white is common or neutral. However, that colour rule is reversed in the standard connection for lighting switches.
....

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Bobby
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2002-12-24          46545


I have read all of these posts, but i have not actually read anything to sway me one way or the other. I am considering puchasing a pto driven generator for some of the same reasons i have read here. Only 1 motor to service and maintain, but i want the extra power so that i can power my heat pump, water heater and stove. Who makes a really good economical pto generator? ....

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Billy
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 975 Southeast Oklahoma
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2002-12-24          46547


Bobby,

You'd better have tractor with lots of HP if you want to run that kind of stuff off of a generator. It takes roughly 2 PTO horsepower for every KW of generator. I don't know but it would probably take a 20KW (if not more) generator just to get the heat pump going. At that you need a 40 HP PTO tractor. Most people use generators just to get by until the juice comes back on.

Billy ....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2002-12-25          46548


Generally speaking, economical and pto do not co-exist in the same sentence.
You can easily buy a very good and powerful generator with its own motor for half the price of a three point pto generator only outfit.
If that isn't bad enough, and here is the thing that threw me off the scent; how do you regulate the power?
A stand alone generator has a feed-back loop to the engine that will speed it up as demand increases and throttle back when it subsides. How do you get your tractor to do that? Near as I can tell you either over produce watts or suffer brown outs that send you running outside to kick the throttle up a notch.
Too many problems and too much expense for me. I have come to the same conclusion as my friend Billy. Buy enough generator (free standing) to eek by till the power comes on again.
Since I am in the midst of a remodel anyway, I may just run a separate set of wires/outlets to the refer, freezer, wood stove fan and a couple outlets for lamps. Then all I gotta do is drag the propane camp stove in the house so I can have some breakfast. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-12-25          46549


Early Christmas morning and nothing to do yet except talk about generators. Hope everybody has an enjoyable day.

Here goes. It's sort of like hydraulics. The output from an AC generator mostly depends on the load rather than the generator. Engine RPM mostly affects the frequency of an AC rather than the power capability. When the load increases, more HP is required and the tractor governor increases throttle in an attempt to maintain RPM.

The tractor's governor handles load changes but it does have to be good and also matched to the generator. The max generator load before the main breakers pop should not be capable of lugging the engine. 1 hp ='s about 750 watts. The 2 hp/1kw rule has to do with efficiency, duty-cycle, start up load surges etc.

Where RPM and load do come together is that the draw of inductive loads such as electric motors depend in part on frequency. Current increases as frequency decreases and low generator RPM can burn out electric motors.

Like most things, there are high-quality expensive generators and economy designs. Some design differences affect service life, duty cycle, surge handling capacity etc. and others affect quality of the AC. It's a good idea to examine the power needs. People who want to run electronic equipment may need high quality power and also need to pay for a generator that produces it. Dairy farmers have different needs in a generator. Homeowners who have heat-pumps as the sole heating need to a generator that manages startup surges.

The PTO generators likely to be found at a tractor dealer likely are designed for dairy farm use, and they will be expensive. Compressor and pump surges are going to be more extreme than in most home heat pumps. Places like Northern Tool likely have economy generators in PTO models that are more suited for typical homeowner needs. I'm not sure that I'd want to put 100's of hours on an expensive tractor engine running and economy generator though.
....

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sonnyjones
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 16 live oak, florida
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2002-12-25          46550


Brian: I have a generac 25k coupled to a kubota 2550 or a jd855. this generator is a two poled gen. unit. it works great and does keep the house and pump up and running when needed. when not needed it is kept on the small trailer built for it in the hanger. i also have the mans name that it was bought from , a generac dealer that sales wholesale. it cost me about 1700 to 1900 dollars and is well worth every penny. contact me at needed. good luck ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-12-25          46551


Mark: Here's an idea that might be useful. Before I installed my generator panel I used a 100-Amp service panel on 100' of flex 100A line. The panel and a flock of receptacles wired into the panel's breakers were mounted on a piece of plywood. I used the panel in the sound and lighting buz. A 30A-panel and line would be more appropriate for my generator.

I could put as many 110V and 220V circuits and what ever receptacles I needed on the board. The panel worked OK but my generator panel is much better. The old lighting panel is useful enough at construction sites that don't have AC that I've kept it around.

For the most part, use of the thing is consistent with codes as long as nothing the board is connected to is connected to the utility. For example, the inspector who passed my generator panel and renovation work made me get rid of a twist-lock plug I put into the well pump line. Even though the lines and ground are disconnected from the utility when it's connected to the generator, there is a potential connection to the utility through the well casing ground wire. The same is true for most furnaces. Use the panel and receptacles are fairly consistent with codes, but this type of thing should be wired by somebody with an electrician's knowledge. Anybody using it should have a good understanding of grounding.

The trouble with many generators is that they provide only two 15A 110V outlets which may be quite a bit less than the peak capacity of each side of the 220V generator output. Running extension cords from each 100V outlet into power-bars gives a bunch of outlets but doesn't get the whole capacity of the generator into the two 110V circuits. The power-bars also don't provide 220V and a special extension cord is needed to provide just one 220V outlet.



....

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DRankin
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2002-12-25          46558


Ok, are you guys saying that if I set up my tractor and generator to a certain speed and something kicks in that requires another thousand watts, that the tractor's engine governor will somehow compensate?
....

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TomG
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2002-12-26          46587


Mark: Lord I sure wrote a lot about generators. I got up hours before my wife did, and I guess I just wrote and wrote till we went into town for family dinner. I'm not surprised at all there are questions about what I was saying.

One HP equals about 750 watts, so an extra KW kicking in adds about 1.4 more HP to the engine load. The engine would lug and RPM would decrease unless throttle is added. The way most governors work is that weights are spun against spring tension. When RPM decreases, the springs pull the weights further in, which increases throttle to the point where rpm returns to the hand throttle setting. The weights again spin further out and throttle is decreased. That's generally the way governors on standalone generators work as well, but I suppose the ones on a generator might be a little more precise since they are designed specifically for the generator.

A governor attempts to maintain constant RPM given changing engine loads. Load switching in and out on a generator is similar to driving a tractor up and down hills. Both produce changing engine loads. Incidentally, the way a governor works makes them a good cold starting aid. Setting the hand throttle 1/2 - 3/4 in cold weather gives an initial big shot of fuel before the rpm comes up to knock back the throttle. It's sort of the diesel equivalent of a choke. Yikes, here I go just writing and writing again.
....

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DRankin
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2002-12-26          46593


First let me admit that the last time I dealt with a governor we shook hands and talked about the good old days. That is about where my direct knowledge stops.

My impression is that my tractor (and yours)uses a mechanical governor to set and control the engines top operating RPM. I thought that it came into play only when that pre-set RPM limit was reached and more load was applied to the engine, hence the smoke we see when we really make it work.
I have seen generators in operation that would idle under no/low load circumstances and then increase throttle settings automatically when a new electrical load was applied, thereby increasing RPM and power in some self adjusting manner.
This is the difference I was alluding to above, and why I think there is a fundamental flaw in the operation of a pto generator as compared to a designed engine/generator package.
It is also the basis for my comments about either overproducing or under producing wattage using the manual throttle setting on your tractor.
Am I off track here? Is my understanding of these basic principles flawed? ....

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Billy
Join Date: Oct 1999
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2002-12-26          46599


I think you're right Mark. Either you are or my governor isn't working right.

Billy ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-12-26          46606


Mark;
I don't know what generators you have been looking at but to obtain an alternating current of proper frequency you need to have the alternator/dynamo spinning at a proper rpm.
I guess if you have a DC generator and AC coverter you could work the system increasing the speed as you draw current, but this would only add complexity and lower reliability. The only generators I have seen like this are for welding.
Peters ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-12-27          46611


Well, let's try another illustration. Somebody is working with a backhoe, and the hand throttle is set for a desired rpm. The engine load goes all the way from the hoe not moving to digging forces that open a pressure relief valve.

If the engine stays at the same rpm, I'm curious where the power comes for the high loads except through increased fuel delivery. As far as I know for a given engine and rpm more load equals more fuel delivery equals increased throttle. I know that on my hoe, the rpm stays constant when I dig. It's not me that's changing the throttle, but I believe I can sure hear it change when I dig.

I believe I wrote a reasonably good description of how a typical mechanical governor on a tractor engine works. There are other types, but I haven't heard of any that don't vary the throttle under changing loads to keep constant rpm.

Anyway always a chance to learn something new and if there's another explanation then I'd surely like to hear it. However, I'm so sure of the basic idea that if I dug around for some tables I probably could come up with a rough estimate of how much extra fuel a 1KW generator load would require. There's probably a way to get from fuel to BTU's to HP to watts. I already did the watts to HP part.

HP is not just an engine spec, it's a measure of work done (550 ft lbs/second). An engine doesn't do work unless its delivering HP and the amount of HP delivered depends on the load and speed rather than the engine. There is a link between HP (or work done) and fuel. An engine is a way of producing btu's from fuel. BTU's equals energy equals work done. More work equals more energy equals more fuel. The throttle just has to change to keep the same load moving at the same speed, and the governor is what does it as far as I know.
....

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TomG
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2002-12-27          46616


In the above post I tried to reduce the idea to its basics. If I'm right I hope the post helps sharpen up ideas about how things work. If they're wrong, I sure want to know about it.

My standalone generator does have an automatic no-load throttle that drops the rpm in absence of a load. The voltage meter on the generator does decrease about 20V when the rpm drops. I've thought about why and don't have a ready explanation. Alternators change the output voltage by varying the field current to change density of the magnetic field. I don't know if generators do the same. I do know that output voltage is expressed as RMS voltage. RMS is .707 of the peak voltage for a true sine wave and doesn't change with frequency. Most generators don't produce a true sine wavy and a meter calibrated for RMS voltage may not be accurate if the wave form changes at lower RPMs. Just some ideas here and maybe I'll get my ideas about how generators work sharpened up. ....

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