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Genset 100kw ENBA NG to Propane Questions


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  #1  
Old 12-09-2017, 08:41:47 PM
Jonny Hotnuts Jonny Hotnuts is offline
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Default Genset 100kw ENBA NG to Propane Questions

Hello all,

I was given an Onan 100kw ENBA and 1K amp switcher (nice gift right! especially considering it has about 300hrs run time) but its factory natural gas. I purchased the Impco Model E gassifier/reg and Impco VFF30 (flow back stop) to convert to propane as we have no NG availability in my area.

NOTE- THis is the ENBA with the turbocharged Ford 460 and NOT the V10. The V10 lists fuel as NG/Propane, the 460 is NG.




Here is a pic of the components pre turbo. There is a 'Maxitrol' reg and what I am assuming is the mixer going into the turbo inlet on the compressor.

Questions:

-Do I remove the Maxitrol reg and connect the Model E gas output into the mixer or should leave (or would it matter) if I left this reg and connected the Impco into this reg? I almost like the idea of leaving it IF it doesnt hurt anything as it would be cool to have a 'NG/Propane ready' generator.


-Is there anything else I need to do to be able to safely run this engine with propane (jetting, ignition timing or other)?

-Do I need a post regulator pressure gauge or secondary regulation?

Thanks for any help on this matter!

~JH
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:18:15 AM
ulgydog56 ulgydog56 is offline
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Default Re: Genset 100kw ENBA NG to propane questions.

maxietrol is a pressure regulater,nat gas runs at 3.3 to3.8 in equip normally in usa,check equipment,ratings,lp gas normally runs at 10 to 12 ins of water collium, regs are adjustable,but from 1 gas to another u normally change regulators or springs and possably jet or orface size,should be a kit for it,make sure its got to be right......
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:59:43 AM
armandh armandh is online now
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Default Re: Genset 100kw ENBA NG to propane questions.

this is a total guess but
once the pressure is reduced to the inlet of the demand regulator
with a typical tank regulator of sufficient size

if the arrow in the picture is pointing to an adjustment screw with jam nut
it is likely the mixture to be adjusted less for the higher BTU fuel
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Old 12-10-2017, 04:13:20 AM
AngrySailor AngrySailor is online now
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Default Re: Genset 100kw ENBA NG to propane questions.

I wonder how long this would run on a BBQ tank

What a gift! Do you have a use for all that power?
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Old 12-10-2017, 04:30:42 AM
armandh armandh is online now
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Default Re: Genset 100kw ENBA NG to propane questions.

depends on the load

had a 71 Lincoln with that 460 motor
it had a GM style starter & solenoid
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:23:31 AM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Genset 100kw ENBA NG to propane questions.

The device labeled "maxtrol" in the picture is the demand regulator and that is the component that will need changed.

On dual fuel units, there will be a T between the demand regulator and the mixer and there will be a second demand regulator, one for each fuel, and the inlet solenoids select between the two.

Natural gas gensets, especially this big, use pressures more in the 11-14 inches range.

I am a little puzzled because the demand regulator is normally installed with the 'snout' straight up or straight down, because it's calibrated with a weight inside. Sometimes all you need to do to convert them is to flip it over and remove the spring.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:26:00 AM
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Jim McIntyre Jim McIntyre is offline
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Default Re: Genset 100kw ENBA NG to propane questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngrySailor View Post
I wonder how long this would run on a BBQ tank
Somewhere around 14 GPH Propane at full load and (guessing) 6 GPH at no load. With 3 gallons in your BBQ tank, that's 30 minutes at no load and 13 minutes at full load. Of course the BBQ tank wouldn't support this draw rate...
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:51:14 AM
JT240Z JT240Z is offline
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Default Re: Genset 100kw ENBA NG to propane questions.

That "gift" is going to cost you a ton to operate.
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Old 12-10-2017, 06:35:33 PM
Jonny Hotnuts Jonny Hotnuts is offline
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Default Re: Genset 100kw ENBA NG to propane questions.

Yes 'Big Pig' will use a fair clip of fuel. My calcs are a little better than the above estimation of GPH burn but do understand this is a big piece. My demand range for my house would realistically be in the 8K (lowest without heat and the water heaters cycled off) to 25-35K (highest). As can be heard in the video the sound is the WIND in our area (Columbia River Gorge). Its not uncommon for us to loose power for a few hours (often) or days (rare but it happens) a few times each winter. Ironically our power was out during the video and the second time in the last few days. I estimate the generator will be running at 10-20% load and we will only use it during awake-occupied times.

-My plan is to use 4x 100# tanks (ganged) and have 6x or so 30# 'forklift LP' tanks as backup.



Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasuspinto View Post
The device labeled "maxtrol" in the picture is the demand regulator and that is the component that will need changed.



Natural gas gensets, especially this big, use pressures more in the 11-14 inches range.

I am a little puzzled because the demand regulator is normally installed with the 'snout' straight up or straight down, because it's calibrated with a weight inside. Sometimes all you need to do to convert them is to flip it over and remove the spring.
I found this from Maxitrol for this 'LMP 53' regarding using this with propane:

Remove the cap on the end of the cone & notice the white plastic threaded adjuster that compresses the spring.
Remove the adjuster with a screwdriver & take out the spring.
Turn in the adjuster approx 2/3 - 3/4 of the way down the threaded cone so there is room to store the spring above the adjuster.
Replace the threaded cap at the end of the cone.
The spring is now just in storage and NOT used to regulate pressure, so now instead the regulator controls volume or flow, based on engine demand created by vacuum from the engine.
The device must now be positioned with the cone pointed DOWN, so that the internal "valve" will drop down and shut off the fuel until engine demand / vacuum calls for it.



Got the big pig to run!

I didnt point the Maxitrol down during test but it is now. I also have not connected the coolant passage lines to the gasifier or connect the back purge device. I just wanted to see if it fired and ran ok.

https://www.facebook.com/jonny.hotnu...3624522303418/


I was actually shocked how fast it started after not being run since 2003.
It fired in a split second and was running very smoothly.

Now the big question:

Now that shes running, how can I tell if its running healthy? Meaning if this was a gas engine I could check AFR/EGT or read plugs or listen to any knock to get an idea of engine health.
Some have mentioned that I may need to adjust mixture/jetting but how can you tell if any changes made are beneficial/detrimental?

Sorry if this is a bone headed question; this propane stuff is WAY out of my wheelhouse.

Oh....AND BIG PIG LIVES! LOL

~JH
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Old 12-10-2017, 06:48:47 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: Genset 100kw ENBA NG to propane questions.

I claim no expertise, but FYI- years ago my employer installed a 30kW Kohler and used 4 x 100 lb tanks as a fuel supply. The actual load was about 10kW, and the tanks would not vaporize an adequate volume below about 40 degrees.

My advice- consider liquid feed and a much larger tank arrangement.
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