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Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants Antique Generators, Light Plants, Typically 24, 32 or 48 volt although some are 110 volt. DC Lamps, Motors and appliances.

Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants

Delco-light Plant


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  #1  
Old 01-22-2011, 10:22:16 AM
monkeyboy racer monkeyboy racer is offline
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Default Delco-light Plant

Hello from the UK

Wonder if anyone can help with a problem I'm having with Delco-light Plant 850 model, 1926 ish?

I bought the generator with no knowledge of Delco, having been told it's 36 volt DC. I've since found out that it should be 32 volts but I have a problem in that I am getting 60+ volts from it when measured with my meter. Therefore, it is massively over charging the battery. Is there a voltage regulator built into the unit anywhere, if so can anyone tell me where and whether it's possible to replace it?

Any help/advice would be great. Thank you.

Monkeyboy Racer
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:56:59 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: Delco-light Plant

Monkeyboy:

The Delco 850 32 volt plants are designed to charge batteries for home lighting.

I think you have a shorted (or shunted) shunt field resistor. There should be a large wire wound resistor on the control panel. This should be an adjustable 5 Ohm, 50 Watt resistor.

It is used to adjust the output voltage of the generator. If it is shorted or gone, get a ceramic 5 Ohm, 50 Watt power resistor like the following:

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/...9rU8NgzS6rI%3d

At least, that's what I used and it worked fine.

Maybe Delco Don can add something or correct me if I'm in error (as usual!

Take care - Elden
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:54:51 PM
monkeyboy racer monkeyboy racer is offline
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Default Re: Delco-light Plant

Thank you Elden DuRand, I will investigate as soon as possible. The part I think you are referring to is on the front of the control panel to the left of the start lever that I had though was a fuse! Generators are new to me, so I am on a steep learning curve.
Thanks again, I will let you know how I get on.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:35:27 PM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: Delco-light Plant

Monkeyboy:

I think it IS an old fashioned cartridge fuse.

I've only restored one Delco and it was a 750. This is the plant that uses a 6-volt battery for cranking and does not use a 32 volt battery bank. It is designed to start on demand.

I think the generator part (if not the regulator) is the same on the 850 but I would prefer if Don Wiley (Delco Don, the Delco expert) chimes in here with the real story.

Please remember that I could be wrong (and probably am!)

You can see the restoration of the Delco on my web page below.

Take care - Elden
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:41:03 PM
Don C. Wiley Don C. Wiley is offline
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Default Re: Delco-light Plant

Elden;

You're right on with the Model-750, but the Model-850 doesn't use the resistor you're refering to. The 850 uses the charge current to regulate the speed the engine runs. The mixer/carburetor has a "tiny" hole in a jet that makes it run at around 1250 rpm under the charge load, so you MUST have a 32 volt battery load, to make it opperate as designed.

Monkey Boy;

Do you have two 12 volt and one 8 volt batteriew connected in series to give you the 32 volts required for the 850 generator. Four 8 volt batteries will give you the same 32 volts. If you have it connected to a 32 volt battery it should charge the correct amount. It yours is running at 1250 to 1300 rpm it should be charging about 40 volts. You need the extra voltage over the 32 volt rating to "push" the voltage into the battery. If you're not using a 32 volt battery it could charge too much, ie not enough of a load to regulate the speed of the engine.

"DELCO DON" Southern Illinois
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2011, 02:02:44 PM
monkeyboy racer monkeyboy racer is offline
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Default Re: Delco-light Plant

Hi Don, this is all very interesting because I bought my Delco as found on a trolly connected to 20 NIFe batteries (NICKLE-IRON). I was told when I bought it that it was a 36 volt set up that may have been used on the railways (couldn't be sure) to power a signal and, sure enough, when I first put my meter across it I got 36 volts. Then, to my horror, last week after running it up a couple of times when I put the meter across it I was getting as much as 50 volts across the battery terminals and 60 plus when I went back to the generator output. I have researched the NIFe battery and discovered that they should charge at 1.6 volts per cell so 20x1.6=36. I am now beginning to think that the different charging characteristics of the NIFe battery may have a bearing on my problem. All this is very new to me so I am trying to figure it out as I go. If anyone has any ideas I would be happy to be educated. Just a thought, but perhaps as I am not taking any charge out of the batteries other than starting the unit, maybe the batteries will keep building up the charge. If so, from what you say the generator would increase speed and therefore charge rate. Thanks for your help.
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