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

Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

natural gas generator


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  #1  
Old 06-20-2004, 01:58:53 AM
bentley
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Default natural gas generator

Has anyone out there had or know of any knowledge pertaining to the application of natural gas as a fuel in the operation of the hit & miss motor for use in the drive unit of a power generating system
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2004, 04:50:54 PM
robert haus
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Default Re: natural gas generator

Although not "hit and miss" engines, many of the engines used in oil fields to run pumpjacks are similar and run off of wellhead gas. I have a 6 horse Fairbanks-Morse (ZC-118) that is of this type...chugs along nicely at 350rpm all day long...I don't have natural gas in my area but have been using propane--works great. Arrow, Bell, and others also made similar engines...Arrow still produces a lineup of such powerplants, although they are not cheap. A common carb is the Impco 100 series. Impco and Beam sell a variety of carbs, regulators, etc...check in your area for a dealer--you may find the info you need from someone who works on forklifts, as many of them are LPG powered. There are some tuning issues, depending on the specific engine...and expect to loose between 10 and 20 percent power due to the lower BTU/lb content of the fuel...also, if your engine has hardened valve seats (for no-lead fuel) so much the better...if you can get one of the IMPCO tech manuals it will answer many questions. As for the generator part, look for a good low speed two bearing type that you can belt drive, but be aware that your frequency and to some extent the voltage regulation are going to be dependent on how well your engine maintains a steady speed under varying load conditions. If you go with a DC system and charge batteries then this is not a problem...then use a good sine wave inverter (like a TRACE) to make the AC power you need.

good luck,

rh
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Old 06-20-2004, 11:35:51 PM
bentley
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Default Re: natural gas generator

thanks rh, Have a gas well, just have to use it considering the gas prices...do you know if anyone sells units that compress it for use in vehicles? Looking up every ally! bentley
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Old 06-21-2004, 01:54:10 AM
Andrew Mackey
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Default Re: natural gas generator

There are quite a few municiple natural gas fired units, among them - Kohler, Generac, and Onan to name a few. How much power do you need? AC - DC? stand-by, or full-time use? are you using your source to heat your home - business? What is the source? oil-gas:natural, methane from old dump site or coal, other? Depending on the purity and water content - are you sure that it is suitable as motor fuel? As stated in earlier posts, oil-feild engines use gas straight from the wellhead. Reid and Bessemer engines saw oilfeild service as well as generater service. I'm sure other oil feild engines would do as well. Andrew
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Old 06-22-2004, 04:31:41 AM
robert haus
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Default Re: natural gas generator

Yes, you can buy equipment to compress gas for use in vehicles, but it is so costly to do that the fuel savings would never justify it for your own personal vehicle use...now if you ran a fleet, it may be a different matter. Even still, car engines are much more finicky about the grade of fuels used...more than likely, your fuel would run fine in a low compression "oil field" type engine for your genset, and could also help heat the house...but to run a modern auto engine may not be feasible, especially by the time you invest in tanks, compressors, etc. Of course, coal gasifiers were fitted to many cars of the 30's in other countries where gasoline wasn't a viable option...Lindsay's sells a book on building such units...

have fun,

rh
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