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REALLY small PTO generator

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wigglybridge
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 82 Vermont
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2003-10-17          66423


I've got a JD 4110 gear on order, and had a transfer switch installed when we added a garage, but no generator as yet. We lose power up on this Vermont hillside 4-5x a year, and have been without power the past 2 days, so my attention is on this problem!

My calculations show I'd need about 8KW peak if I was running everything in the house. When I laid out the transfer box, I was pretty careful to distribute the motors on different legs and different circuits, so I think that 8KW is very conservative -- obviously I don't need to run everything at once.

I'm wondering if anyone makes a PTO generator smaller than the 10k units JD sells (which seem to be the same as the much cheaper one in the Northern Tools catalog). Or is the 10K unit (which requires 24hp PTO to reach 10k) fine on the 4110 (17hp PTO) if I don't try to max out the wattage?

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____________________________________________________________________________________
REALLY small PTO generator

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2003-10-17          66424


The horsepower requirement really only factors in when you get to, or near, full rated output on the genset.

I have run really big gensets with much less power than called for with no problem, as long as you are running much less load on the genset also.

Bear in mind however, HP to a 'tractor person' is like feet to a boater or an RV'er, you will always want/need/buy more.

IMHO buy the bigger 10kw. unit now, it will run just fine with a load of 5kw or 6kw on it. If you find it lugging, or pulling the rpm's down just reduce the load till it handles it OK.

Sooner or later you will get a bigger tractor, then you will be glad you bought that bigger genset way back in 2003.

Best of luck. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
REALLY small PTO generator

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6885 Waterville New York
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2003-10-17          66430


Murf did a good job for you. The extra power to get the unit to it's full potential is there with your tractor. If you do start to overload it you will hear it on the tractor load. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
REALLY small PTO generator

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6885 Waterville New York
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2003-10-17          66431


Murf did a good job for you. The extra power to get the unit to it's full potential is there with your tractor. If you do start to overload it you will hear it on the tractor load. ....

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REALLY small PTO generator

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4285 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2003-10-17          66435


I think Murf nailed it! ....

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REALLY small PTO generator

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2003-10-17          66437


If you do the math, I think you may find the Deere unit is cheaper than the Northern unit. ....

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REALLY small PTO generator

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wigglybridge
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 82 Vermont
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2003-10-17          66443


Thanks to all for the followups!

Mark, how do you figure the math for the Deere being cheaper than the Northern? If that includes the Northern trailer, I was figuring on doing my own, since the Northern one is sized for a 60kw generator, and looks almost road-worthy with those tires! I was thinking of just getting a set of wheels and cutting a chunk of plywood...

Otherwise, it looks like $1000 from Northern or about 1700 from my JD dealer. ....

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REALLY small PTO generator

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2003-10-17          66514


Yes, with the trailer and shippng, at least to my location, it is a wash. ....

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REALLY small PTO generator

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2003-10-18          66526


Well, let's be a little careful here. The question is whether an under-powered generator setup is bomb proof and if not do you want to run a risk. I'd take a careful look at eny electric motors run, what there start up surge requirements are and what's the potential for them starting at the same time. In thinking about risks, it's good to keep in mind that people don't think the same during power failures; the generator may not always be attended and people other than yourself may turn things on and off.

The risk is that if a load lugs the engine the AC frequency falls off and power draw increases. There's a chance that the load wouldn't pop a circuit breakers nor be enough to kill the tractor engine. In that circumstance, an electric motor could burn up.

Probably not a huge potential for that happening but it might be good to think whether you want to protect yourself against any potential. Smaller main breakers or a separate disconnect would provide protection. On the other hand, a large generator reduces the chance of inadvertently running a generator for prolonged periods in its peak rather than continuous power range, and that's a plus. ....

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REALLY small PTO generator

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wigglybridge
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 82 Vermont
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2003-10-19          66569


Tom, thanks for the extra cautions. The transfer box is pretty well balanced leg-to-leg and circuit to circuit, I was careful to get the motors and other big loads distributed evenly so we could be selective.

I'm lucky to have a pretty savvy wife (in fact, I could put commas between those words. ;) SHE was the one when we visited the dealer and were looking at upscale lawn tractors that said: "I want something with a bucket"!

So in the event she ends up hooking up the generator and hitting the transfer switches when I'm not here, she'll probably be more cautious than I would and just use what she really needs.

Judging from the feedback here, I now plan to go with the 10kw unit, and figure that at the PTO hp difference, 17/24x10kw will get me to about the 7500kw area, which would almost max out my transfer box, which was sized for everything running and allowing for simultaneous motor startup. So hopefully, I'm over-engineered here, but like I said, we're pretty cautious anyway.

Thanks again to everyone and to Dennis for such a great resource! ....

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REALLY small PTO generator

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2003-10-20          66617


Sounds like we may have similar systems. I used a 60A-generator panel that runs as a branch circuit from a 200A-combination service panel. I installed the new service and panels so I had to rewire the branch circuits anyway. The 60A panel was cheaper than a 200A-transfer switch so I just wired most of the existing wiring on the generator panel.

I too distributed circuits that supply motors across the both phases. I put an electric water heater and stove on the generator, but the dryer a few new basement circuits and out buildings are on the main panel. I figured it might be nice to have a hot shower during a long outage but I do have to remember to shut off the water heater as part of switching to generator. My wife wrote herself a 'how to' note.

The generator feed to the panel is about 100' and I used 10-gauge wire rated for 30A. The generator mains are 22.5A so it meets codes for long runs, but barely. It's adequate but larger feed wiring may provide better surge capacity, and that's about the only thing I'd do differently. In my case the generator mains rather than the panel breaker provides protection but I could still ruin the generator by prolonged operation above its continuous power rating. I know when the generator is into its peak range because it surges against its governor. ....

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