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Generators & Motors General Discussion Antique Generators, Light Plants and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Motors General Discussion

MEP 017A ????


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  #1  
Old 08-19-2004, 01:19 AM
micbial
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Default MEP 017A ????

I recently purchased 2 mep-017a 5kw generators and have a few questions. First, does anyone know what the real output potential of these generators is. Having served in the army for 6 years I know how the government likes to under rate or over engineer their equipment. I've been told that these generators actually put out about 7.5kw.

Second, I don't quite understand the output wiring of these generators. I'm very familliar with standard single and three phase as supplied from utility companies. If my meter readings are correct when connected for 120vac single phase lugs L2 and L3 each have 60vac. Is there no hot leg and neutral?

Third, is there a way of hooking up this generator as a backup power source that requires 240vac and 120vac single phase. Would I set the output selector switch behind the instument panel to position 4 (120/208v, 3 phase, 4 wire), and if so would lug L0 be the neutral with lugs L1, L2, L3 being the hot legs? What I'm trying for is to gain the full potential of the generator. I have 3 phase in my shop and it consists of 3 hot legs, one 240 and 2 120 legs. In this setup either 120 leg can be used with the neutral/ground for 120vac output. For 240 both 120 legs and neutral/ground are used or one 120 leg and the 240 leg are used with the neutral/ground. In this setup half of the 240 phase or sine wave is canceled out leaving you with more or less a 120 leg and the end result being a 240 outlet.

These generators are going to be used for backup power sources that will require 120 and 240.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Also, is there a way I can donate a few bucks to the site owner to keep this site alive. I'm glad I ran across it the other day as I have already found multiple good sources for old engine parts in the business card section of this site and lots of usefull information in the archive.

Mike
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2004, 09:29 PM
Jim McIntyre
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Default Re: MEP 017A ????

You've got two choices to use this to deliver 120/240. Option A is to put the switch in the set in the 120/208 position. L0 is your neutral, L1, 2, and 3 are the hots - pick two. You'll only have 208 in liue of 240, but thats fine for most loads.

Option B is to put the switch in the 240 position. L2 and L3 are the hots - you'll have 240 between them. Oddly, the set is not equipped to proviude a neutral, though. But, it's available internally. Find a schematic and use S1-9 or S1-2 as your neutral. (Why they didn't make L0 the neutral is a big mystery to me.)

If the engine is in good shape, you can usually get close to 10kW out of these sets, even in single phase, for a few seconds. I would not recommend loading them over 6kW for long periods of time. If this were a run-of-the-mill home depot style genset, it'd probably be rated at 8kW or so...
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Old 09-10-2004, 01:30 AM
walt
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Default Re: MEP 017A ????

Jim, I have a pair of 17A's, and a 16A. Which is the better way of using these for residential use? As described here, or as you described in the Low ZigZag style? Walt
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Old 09-10-2004, 11:14 AM
Jim McIntyre
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Default Re: MEP 017A ????

It's up to you, really. If you prefer to not mess with the internal wiring in the set, stick with the 120/208 method. 208 is plenty close to 240 for most practical purposes. If you're a stickler for details and like to see true 240 and don't mind making an internal modification, and are confident in your ability to do it correctly, go with option B.
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Old 09-10-2004, 08:26 PM
walt
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Default Re: MEP 017A ????

Many thanks. I have been using option A for four days with my 17 and my 16. In order to run the 3 ton heat pump, I would like to be able to draw the full potential for starting current for the compressor; that seems to be 8500 W. For this, I'll need to make the conversion to single phase, low Zigzag, will I not?
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2004, 09:01 PM
Jim McIntyre
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Default Re: MEP 017A ????

Actually, the low zig-zag connection won't offer any more starting current. It's a slightly higher voltage, but I really doubt if it'll make much difference in the set's ability to start that load.
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2004, 09:29 PM
walt
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Default Re: MEP 017A ????

(Chagrin) OK, I'm convinced; there is no way to make a generator that has 30 A breakers operate an appliance that requires 40 A breakers. Back to square 2; paralleling two generators. First, get two generators that have good frequency control. Then follow the instructions very carefully. I have them here, somewhere. Thanks for making me look at the problem more closely. I guess I'll stick with Option A. Walt
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Old 09-10-2004, 10:16 PM
Jim McIntyre
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Default Re: MEP 017A ????

I knew that would be next, Walt! Paralleling generators is tricky business. Not impossible, but not an easy thing to do either. I'd advise against it, at least as a quick-fix. These gensets are not designed with the proper protection circuits (reverse power protection) Some of the bigger Mil-spec units are. How important is it that you get your 3T A/C unit running? Could you temporaily use a smaller window unit?
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2004, 12:38 AM
walt
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Default Re: MEP 017A ????

Importance level: Low, since I installed the 9 KBTU heat pump. That, and the 5 KBTU window unit are sufficient. Just trying to do too much with too little, I guess. I better stick with what proved itself over the past few days. Again, thanks for pointing me in the right direction, and reining me in. Walt
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2004, 01:21 AM
Jim McIntyre
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Default Re: MEP 017A ????

Walt, glad I could offer some help. Connecting them in parallel is an interesting engineering challenge, but is likely to be troublesome.

Be careful - gasoline carbon monoxide, electrical wires all over.... Bet you'll be glad when the power's back.

best regards,

Jim
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  #11  
Old 09-11-2004, 01:32 AM
walt
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Default Re: MEP 017A ????

Absolutely right, Glad. After nearly 108 hours, I switched off the generator, closed the main breaker, and discovered that JEA had finally come through. Turned everything back on! What a great feeling. Back to seven cents per KWH, instead of fifty cents (at best - only at max load, which was seldom). Now, if I can only get both of the 17's back online before Ivan gets here Tuesday. I have to re-install the mag on one, and cure the blow-by on the other. Walt
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