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Military MEP and Aircraft Gen-Sets MEP Mobile Electric Power, APU Auxiliary Power Unit and other military surplus generators.

Military MEP and Aircraft Gen-Sets

Navy N-15 / PE-95 Military Generator?

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Old 11-01-2017, 11:13:27 PM
Highboy75 Highboy75 is offline
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Default Navy N-15 / PE-95 Military Generator?

My first post on here, hope i'm doing everything right...
So a while back I purchased a military genset that was slated to be scrapped. I paid basically scrap value for it with the intention of restoring it, (the guys I bought it from laughed at me when I said I wanted to fix it up) they told me it hadn't run in ten years, I had it running the second night i had it home.
The unit in question is a U.S. Navy N-15 made by O'keefe & Merritt. This unit is basically identical to the U.S Army PE-95 series of generators the only major difference being this unit is 3 Phase 220v 15 KW. It took next to nothing to get it running, one stuck intake valve. Pulled the cylinder head, next to no signs of wear no ridge, commutator has no groove and brushes look new. It appears to have very little hours and runs great, however Im having an issue with the 12v charging system. This one like some of the others uses the 28v exciter to supply power to the 12v system to charge the battery. After about 30 min of running it will begin to boil over the truck battery I have in it. The system is definitely overcharging and I suspect the charging regulator to be bad. On the diagram it lists as Autolite TCA-4001, but this is an obsolete part. So my question is, does anyone know if you can retrofit another regulator in place of this one or will any of the old mechanical style regulators work? Also Im missing the rear half of the sheet metal enclosure for the unit, two louvered side panels and one rounded top panel. These are the same used on the PE-95 and a lot of the others. If anyone has some of the panels they'd be willing to part with I would greatly appreciate it as this is pretty much the last piece needed in my restoration. I hope to post some pictures once I figure out how.
Thanks in advance - Highboy75
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:39:47 PM
Gary Barber
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Default Re: Navy N-15 / PE-95 military generator ?

I found an air cooled flat 4 cylinder many years ago in a local scrap yard got it very reasonable tinkered with it and got it running (sounded pretty cool just like an old vw aircooled bug motor) the interesting fact about it was that it was a 24 volt unit (as most military units are) but it would start fine on 12 volts. of course it didn't crank as fast on 12 volts as it did 24 but nonetheless it did crank fine on 12 volts and that included pulling in the engagement solenoid (starter and solenoid were both stamped 24v) You might have a single battery box however there are 24 volt batteries made that fit the same footprint as an automotive 12 volt (talk about a crowded bunch of cell caps) Just some food for thought ?????? Gary
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:39:26 AM
Kevin K Kevin K is offline
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Default Re: Navy N-15 / PE-95 military generator ?

I have a PE-95K that is similar to your generator. On mine, the Start/Stop switch could be left in the Start position with the generator running, which would keep the starter solenoid engaged. Because it is exciter cranked, this is not obvious to the operator, but it allowed the 28 volt exciter voltage to be applied directly to the battery, which started boiling fairly quickly. I replace it with a spring loaded momentary contact switch so I would not have this problem again.

The TCA4001 is a voltage sensitive relay that pulls in at about 13.5 volts. The PE-95 uses three resistors in the charging circuit. A 2.5 ohm resistor is in the circuit at all times. Two 3 ohm resistors in parallel are switched in the circuit when the battery voltage is low allowing faster charging. When the battery voltage comes up to about 13.5 volts, the TCA4001 contacts open removing the two 3 ohm resistors from the circuit reducing the charging rate.

First get a wiring diagram and check the circuit to make sure a previous owner didn't make any changes. Then check to see if the TCA4001 contacts are opening when the battery voltage gets over 13.5 to 14 volts. You can remove the cover of the TCA4001 to check the contacts. With the cover removed the opening voltage may change a bit. If you have a variable power supply, you can remove the TCA4001 from the generator and directly check the opening voltage.

Occasionally a TCA4001 shows up on Ebay.
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