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Delco 32V Light Plant ID


Last Subscription Date
Looks to be an 850. They were designed as a battery charging generator. Originally they were hooked up to 16 glass jar batteries to run small farming operations. Use 2- 12v & an 8v battery if you want to try and run it.


Why not use 3 12V lawn & garden batteries, the light plant doesn't mind and they are wayyyy cheaper than 8 volt.



Regarding batteries for Delco plants. I had a 750 Delco for several years that I took to Engines Shows and Fairs. It was mounted on a trailer and powered a wringer washing machine and a water pump with 32-volt motors, as well as lights and a Delco Power Stand.
The Ideal solution for batteries is four 8 volt ones, but they are pricy. I ran mine on two 12 volt and an 8 volt but had problems with the 8-volt battery, as it did not get charged enough since it shared the same charging current as the 12-volt ones. I tried to compensate this by adding resistors to a 12-volt charger, that I used on the 8-volt battery occasionally.
I finally settled on three 12-volt batteries. The only difference was the unit ran a bit faster but was not a problem.


After reading the posts re batteries I found the following post, which I have copied in part "8-03-2010, 10:09:04 AM
Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
I also believe that you can get by with three 12 volt lead-acid batteries in series. Set the voltage to 40.5 when you get it running. This combination will make the voltage a bit on the high side but should be fine. If you set the voltage of the generator much less than I specify, the batteries will not fully charge and will sulfate, eventually ruining them".
I am +90 and have forgotten a lot but how do you set the voltage?
Thanks, Gerry
To the best of my knowledge, the voltage output of a Delco is limited by the maximum battery voltage. The battery voltage and load also limits (governs) the engine speed. In other words, there's no way to "set" it, so I'm not sure what Elden meant by that.

Note: my comments apply to the 850. Other Delco plants may have some form of voltage adjustment, but I've never seen it.


Thank you for your response, George. That was what I thought as the speed of the engine was controlled by the electrical load, which was basically the batteries, If you use two 12s and an 8, the 8 is undercharged and doesn't last very long. If using three 12s all undercharged, so the only real solution is to use four 8s.
I did operate my 751 for several years on two 12 and an 8, but I altered a 12-volt charger to deliver 8 volts to charge the 8-volt battery on a regular basis.
I eventually bought 4, 8 volt golf cart batteries from NAPA. Spendy, but much easier to maintain over time. At this point I'm just running some lights in my shop.....but I have plans for the 32 volt motors in my stash. Not EVERYTHING needs to be 110 volt powered! :O

Tim B

Last Subscription Date
George, do you have any picture or videos of your set up. I use my 3-12volt lawn batteries for the show. They only get ran maybe a couple of hours a show weekend with 5-6 lights.