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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

110v DC?


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  #1  
Old 04-11-2018, 12:05:28 PM
Railroads Railroads is offline
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Default 110v DC?

Hi, I have been looking for info on the older home power systems that often ran 110v DC and used wind power. I would like to know more about what kinds of inverters could input the 110v DC for conversion to AC? And more in general about how these systems were setup and operated. I know that homes had both 110v DC and 110V AC plugs and lights from what I have seen in my vintage wind power book.

I really can't find much of anything about the older home power systems on the web. The only info I have is from a 1970's wind power book.

Robert
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:31:18 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: 110v dc?

Not an answer to your question but many of the small WWII gas generators were 110V DC. Meant to burn a light bulb. A bulb doesn't know the difference. And I assume the DC version may have been a simpler unit to build, and less apt to electrical problems, at the time.
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:48:17 PM
Frank DeWitt Frank DeWitt is offline
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Default Re: 110v dc?

DC generators were used because they are a bit simpler (and less expensive.) Kohler offered both 110 DC and AC generators for farm lighting. Back then most of the power was used for incandescent light bulbs, irons, waffle irons, maybe a coffee pot, ETC. These all were happy with AC or DC. the home owner would need to be careful when buying a motor (for example, for a well pump, or to run a washer ETC) to be sure it said AC/ DC or DC on the name plate. Typical brush motors were AC/DC

One real issue is light switches. The old light switches had a large gap when open and worked for DC The new ones do not.

Fun fact. The mt Wilson observatory in CA was designed to use 110 DC including a lot of large motors to move the dome and telescope and other jobs. They did this so thy could run from batteries at night and not have vibration or smoke from the generator interfering with the telescope. It is STILL DC They now use a huge inverter. The generator will run but is used only to show tourist like us.
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:55:23 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: 110v dc?

My 115 V DC Kohler was an emergency backup generator where 115 V AC from the mains came in and if the power went out the DC generator started automatically and supplied DC power to the residence so the two systems in the same place was not uncommon.
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Old 04-11-2018, 02:15:23 PM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: 110v dc?

Trying to do a bit of research on this for you Robert, I further discovered just how useless google is becoming. I thought I'd just do a date limited search on google books.... used to be able to enter date range, now the selection is limited to 18th, 19th, 20th or 21st century. Not very useful to narrow range down to 20th century.

What I was looking for was DC appliance advertisements from the 1930s.
Doc
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Old 04-11-2018, 02:40:36 PM
Railroads Railroads is offline
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Default Re: 110v dc?

Doc, Google is becoming absolutely useless. The results I get today are not what I used to be able to find when searching Google hence my increasing frustration with the internet.

Robert
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Old 04-11-2018, 02:57:16 PM
Power Power is offline
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Default Re: 110v dc?

Edison put DC residential and commercial lighting in part of NYC in late 1870's. I remember my grandparents having DC appliances. Much of it was in operation until 2007
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:29:52 PM
Railroads Railroads is offline
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Default Re: 110v dc?

Parts of England only had DC in the 1950's. The power was generated by the local coal mine generators. Although I have heard that DC was present in London into the 1960's or 1970's.

Supposedly the country of Bahrain is on DC or was on DC.

Robert
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:16:18 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: 110v dc?

DC will run resistive loads (heaters, toasters, incandescent lamps, etc, as well as electric motors that were wound for DC. Later on a lot of small motors, including drills, sheep shears, vibrators and more wer rated AC-DC. Most modern lighting will not work with DC, especially halogen lamps.

DC was a safer power, you were less liable to get killed by it than AC. I never heard of a DC plant being used for stand by for an AC system. Most of your heavy electric motors were strictly one type or another, not both. (washer, refrigerator etc..

Incandescent lights DO know the difference between AC and DC. On AC, the filament lasts a long time, as current reversal cancels distortion of the filament. On DC, the filament will bend slowly, if current is not reversed after a time. An old electrical book I had said to reverse the power leads once a week, to avoid breakage On my Kohler C 110 VDC unit- I changed polarity at every show. I used 250 Watt clear glass bulbs, and you could see the bend in the tungsten filament change over time, until it broke.
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:55:53 PM
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Default Re: 110v DC?

Yup. Halogen lamps do not operate on DC very well at all. I have four engine drive welders which are all DC output on welding current and convenience outlet power. I have to carry 300W incadescent worklamps to work after dark as halogens just don't work operate from them.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:09:27 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: 110v DC?

I have seen some 120vdc to 120vac inverters in uninterruptible power supplies, usually pretty large systems. The last one I saw was sold in December at the Trona power plant auction. The batteries brought big$, the inverter sold cheap. As for size, the inverter would have been a full load in the bed of my truck. I'd guess you could find them smaller, start looking at the old UPS systems.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:02:35 PM
Ken Karrow Ken Karrow is offline
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Default Re: 110v DC?

110vdc generators were used on oil well drill rigs in the '50s. When dad asked a super why dc he said cheaper to buy and lots less of them get stolen.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:34:04 PM
Newoldstock Newoldstock is offline
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Default Re: 110v dc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Mackey View Post
DC was a safer power, you were less liable to get killed by it than AC.
Old battle by Edison trying to discredit Tesla still has echoes to this day...
Both kill, one is no safer and deserving of no less respect and fear than the other.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:42:12 PM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: 110v dc?

Robert, perhaps of slight interest a thread I found on here (using "Bing" search) from 2004. https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15946
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:24:09 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: 110v DC?

I have an older book from the 70's that discusses old wind powered chargers, DC was used because it could be stored, end of story. As to voltage, many were used, 32 volts was very common, 110 or 120 was less so in DC but it allowed many of the things (resistive loads) used in the city with AC to be used on a remote farmstead. I'm not sure why 32volt was so common except that it was low enough so flash over was less of a concern than at higher voltage, but high enough so cableing didn't have to be as large as lower voltage.
32 volt survived well into the later years on shipboard, many things were made in 32 volt, from radios to refrigeration.
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:10:01 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: 110v DC?

DC also meant that it was not necessary to try to make the wind turbine run at a constant speed. But storage is indeed the real driving factor.

32 volts also required a less expensive battery. It would use more expensive larger cells, but only 16 of them instead of 56. Much easier to maintain too!
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:11:12 PM
Larry Rusch Larry Rusch is offline
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Default Re: 110v dc?

Well, I wonder. Seems to me that incandescent lamps were used in automobiles, trucks, etc. since day one (except for the carbide lamps pre-battery era) with no particular problems. Matter of fact, halogens were used in headlights since the early 70's and have performed very well. And automobiles, at least the ones I've owned, have all operated on DC. Hmm, well after the rectifier pack on alternator equipped vehicles introduced in the 60's. I have even worked with resistive ballasts used for subway lighting which were powering fluorescent lamps on DC in NYC subway cars. Regarding safety, talk to anybody who has operated an AC/DC welder and ask them if they can draw a longer arc on AC or DC. Translate that to a circuit breaker opening a 2000 volt DC supply vs a 2000 volt AC supply and take a look at the arc snuffer on one versus the other. Then tell me that AC is more dangerous.....riiiiight. I have also owned radios (table top superhets) that were AC/DC. On those you did have to pay attention to the polarity when operating on DC so you would get the plate voltages right. Filaments were in series or voltage dividers were employed (or both). They worked fine and the 120 v DC was enough to power the plates. In cars (6 or 12 volt tube type radios), of course, a vibrating power supply was used to generate an alternating current which was transformered up to about 250 volts to power the plates and other components. 'Nuff said.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:03:25 AM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: 110v DC?

DC on tungsten lamps becomes more of a problem at higher voltage. The filament experiences notching near the negative end.

It is possible to add something to the tungsten during manufacture to mitigate this problem for lamps designed for operation on direct current.

It's been a long time since I read about that. I'll have to look it up again.
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Old 04-14-2018, 10:02:04 AM
DMeed DMeed is offline
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Default Re: 110v DC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Mackey
...most modern lighting will not work with DC, especially halogen lamps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troll View Post
Yup. Halogen lamps do not operate on DC very well at all. I have four engine drive welders which are all DC output on welding current and convenience outlet power. I have to carry 300W incadescent worklamps to work after dark as halogens just don't work operate from them.
Umm - Never heard before of Halogen bulbs not working on DC - can someone point me to more information on this. - CFL or fluorescent I can see, but the halogen bulbs I know of are just incandescent bulbs using some halogen gas in the bulb to capture and redeposit the tungsten atoms from the filament to allow it to run hotter without failing.

I remember switching car headlights from incandescent to halogen bulbs - a lot brighter than incandescent. Why wouldn't they work on DC if they use them in cars?? (And the little mr16 track lights are halogen - some of them have little power supplies that convert to 12vdc to feed the lamps, etc.).

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Old 04-14-2018, 10:40:50 AM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is offline
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Default Re: 110v DC?

My experience years ago with 300 and 500W, 120v tubular halogen lamps was that they worked on 120VDC, but the life of the lamp was very much shorter than on AC. The filament became distorted, and failed soon after.
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