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Powering Diesel Gensets


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  #11  
Old 03-10-2017, 06:15:05 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: Powering Diesel Gensets

Nearly all of my applications are for standby use, so fuel costs are not a large issue. Diesel fuel is cheaper than a hotel room will be. And a large tank of diesel fuel is more reliable than the local natural gas service by a large margin.

I have thought about bi-fuel, but just in the context of a "what if" situation- as in "what if" I end up in a situation where natural gas is plentiful, but diesel isn't.
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:22:55 PM
Gunny Gunny is offline
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Default Re: Powering Diesel Gensets

When I worked for Cummins/Onan, commissioned a few. Not that hard to do, absolutely important to set it up right or you would have a serious problem quick.

They worked quit well for load management but nt so good when assuming a large load.

The idea is that the diesel is the pilot fuel, provides the ignition. Changing the fuel rate of the injection pump works to throttle the engine up and down, same as in a straight diesel engine. Within a range. Drop a large load on it at the edge of this envelope, you might start melting things real fast. Will need some logic to detect knock.

Do NOT try that with propane. That is a recipe for disaster. Like lift the heads right off the block.

For a smaller home standby, no. A larger genset used for load management, yes, can be very cost effective. Also cleans up smoke/emissions on older engines. Yes can work fine on 2 stroke engines also.
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:36:02 PM
soundbos soundbos is offline
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Default Re: Powering Diesel Gensets

We have installed many LPG Bi fuel setups on Irrigator motors The last was a John Deere 250 HP with an Impco setup
They run about 60-70% propane
Engines run quieter and cooler

Butch
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:44:15 PM
yellowlister yellowlister is offline
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Default Re: Powering Diesel Gensets

All of the buses and some city vehicles like trash trucks have been converted from diesel to natural gas here.. but being that the largest natural gas storage is a mountain between here and simi valley fuel costs are super cheap..

Does anyone remember the natural gas leak a year ago in the San Fernando Valley?

But mostly done for emissions reasons.. the cost to convert them was crazy.. something like 30 million just for the city buses and trash trucks
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:10:33 PM
Richard L Richard L is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Powering Diesel Gensets

I have no use for diesel with ethanol , in it . Ethanol is a water magnet, have seen new tractor injection pumps that have rusted shut, sitting over the winter. My injection pump guy says ethanol in diesel is a MONEY MAKER for him. It also will freeze up in the cold weather, and several school bus companies found this out the hard way.
Re diesel/natural gas units. Sold some EMD powered 2 MW units to a project to provide 12 MW prime and then they decided that they wanted them to be set up for natural gas/5% diesel kicker.
The cost of the conversion system, gas supply lines and the install price canceled the order.
The other side of the Ethanol story, is what it really costs to produce a gallon of it and the effect that it has had on the real price of fuel.

Cant get political, its crap.
My $.02 worth.
R
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  #16  
Old 03-10-2017, 09:39:44 PM
I like oldstuff I like oldstuff is offline
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Default Re: Powering Diesel Gensets

[QUOTE=yellowlister; Does anyone remember the natural gas leak a year ago in the San Fernando Valley?[/QUOTE]

Poof goes a block of San Bruno. Pretty sad as residents were complaining of gas smell for weeks prior.
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Old 03-11-2017, 01:25:06 AM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Powering Diesel Gensets

It seems like, even for standby service, the natural gas burning diesel generator set could be pretty nice. You have the general superiority of the diesel engine. The greater efficiency. But then you also get the lower unit fuel cost of the natural gas, as well as the infinite supply that comes with it. And, you get fuel redundancy! If the natural gas system also fails during the power failure (a very real possibility), your set continues on like nothing happened, now running on your on site diesel fuel supply. I think it would be fantastic!

One could do the same thing with a spark ignition gaseous fueled set, running on natural gas with propane backup. But when the natural gas fails, AND your on site fuel runs out, it would be MUCH easier to source some more diesel than it will be to source propane.

Interestingly, my very first job as an electrician was a building with a (IIRC) 60 kW Onan, running on natural gas with AUTOMATIC propane backup from a tank on the roof. It was pretty sweet! Close the natural gas supply valve to test while the set was running under load, and the engine would surge a little during the brief switch over, then continue to run as normal! Open the valve back up, and the switch back was undetectable.
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Old 03-11-2017, 02:01:36 AM
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Jim McIntyre Jim McIntyre is offline
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Default Re: Powering Diesel Gensets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
...And, you get fuel redundancy...
Sort of. But when you're out of Diesel fuel, it's lights out...
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Old 03-11-2017, 02:27:22 AM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Powering Diesel Gensets

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Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
One could do the same thing with a spark ignition gaseous fueled set, running on natural gas with propane backup. But when the natural gas fails, AND your on site fuel runs out, it would be MUCH easier to source some more diesel than it will be to source propane.
Not really. On a diesel set, the only real control is over the fuel volume. More fuel=more power. Bleed something into the intake, like natural gas, the diesel pump cuts the fuel to keep the speed constant. You could in theory get by with a hose in the intake and a manual valve. On a LP or even gasoline unit, if you just simply add fuel, it will run rich. You would have to figure out a way to simultaneously throttle back the other fuel to keep the mixture the same. A bit more complex then the diesel.
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:59:44 AM
Mikey NY Mikey NY is offline
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Default Re: Powering Diesel Gensets

I have heard of some people doing hydrogen boosting in cars, to get better fuel mileage. I forget where I read that though. It might be more feasible and user friendly than trying to mix in nat. gas or propane on a genset .
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