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Neat old 2-71 GM Diesel

pegasuspinto

Registered
prolly rated 12.5 KW, might be able to make 15 or 20 KW if it's a particularly frisky set. 100 RV's and the park too? nah....lol
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
The railroad ones were 12 kW, but this one looks different than those. Usually 20 kW if 1200 rpm, 30 kW if 1800 rpm. The 100 RVs must be only when their A/Cs aren't on. :D

Keith
 

I like oldstuff

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Tag says 32v dc. Also note the four 8 volt batteries and you sure don't need that much power just to crank a 2-53. I'll bet it was backup or charging for a telcom system.
 

pegasuspinto

Registered
Telcom is 45 volt, not 32, tho I have seen a telco set use 32 volt cranking for no apparent reason.

I was guessing marine use maybe. RR use doesn't seem to fit, but who knows.

I -THINK- it's just 32 volt cranking, but not sure on that.
 

BTPost

Moderator
Staff member
Age
70
Last Subscription Date
12/29/2008
Actually, most Telcom Battery Systems are 48Vdc... with Regulated AC Charging Systems run from Grid Power and Genset Backups....
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Yeah, I saw the 32 volts too, but no amps or kW so figured it was just for controls and cranking. Was not uncommon back in the day. The real nameplate appears to be in the bottom corner of the third photo....
 

Railroads

Registered
Yup, Back in the day of the Edison Cell and later the glass jar lead acid types. The farmers that used such batteries would sometimes try to steal them from the Railroad signals.

Robert
 
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pegasuspinto

Registered
You can buy long lasting lead-acid cells, you just have to PAY for them. And they won't last so long if you don't take care of them. So in then end, it's easier to pick up a pallet of cheap, reliable lead acid batteries.

Another factor is the current draw. Used to be a box of relays running a constant burning incandescent lamp. Now it's a circuit board running a LED lamp more or less only when someone is there to see it. Current draw is so low a 'small' solar cell now powers many signals. The labor and material savings on not maintaining the 'telegraph' wires and/or paying for a utility electric service every mile or two is obviously enormous.
 

Birken Vogt

Registered
Regarding lead acid batteries. "They" can make them any way you specify. It just costs more. The lead flakes off, and positive plate growth has to be allowed for. More allowance for these, more cost. At some point the purchaser says, I am not going to pay that much more for a long life [400 amp hour] battery when I can get these L16s at Costco here. And frequently making a 20 year commitment to batteries instead of a 10 year might not be economical. What if they have to move away in that time?
 

Railroads

Registered
When going on about batteries I was thinking of the constant complaints from off grid folks about short lived batteries and frequent replacements. Of course my opinion is there are limitations to how much current you can pull from a battery bank. Using 12 volts and trying to get 3KW or more is a bit insane. Your talking something like 300 amps continuous. Not practical at all. Up'ing you working voltage is the only way to proceed when trying to run these larger inverters. The completely off grid folks that complain about batteries always seem to be running 24 volts or using sub standard batteries on a 48 volt system. I am starting to feel that they need to start making 60 volt systems more common as there is a real advantage to using the higher voltages.

It's always about the costs vs longevity. But there is chemicals that used to be added into the lead mix that would help control the sulfating of the plates. Over the years they have either scaled back or completely quit putting in the chemicals. Recent studies have shown that adding certain chemicals can significantly improve the performance and longevity of lead acid batteries. Most of the manufacturers don't want to loose the profits they make if you have to buy new batteries every year. Starter batteries are a prime example. I usually stick to either Group 24 or Group 31 batteries for my little inverter.

My dream setup is 6 volt batteries series connected for 12 volts in groups of two, Then wired in parallel until I have 4 days of just battery power running a 1500 watt inverter. The expensive nature of batteries and associated equipment, coupled with a need for a dedicated area of my shed makes the setup a little impractical. A battery bank of that size is going to take up some space. I'm just not sold completely on inverters. I prefer to just invest in the fuel and have my generators on standby if a storm of any significant size is approaching.

Robert
 
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Birken Vogt

Registered
I work in the business and we recommend only fork lift style batteries, or similar, as a bare minimum. Whatever they buy has got to last at least 10 years before we will sign off on it. Manufacturers have charts of cycles vs depth of discharge before the battery is worn out. And our experience bears this out completely. 4 years from an L16, 10+ years from an industrial battery, it all follows the curve on the chart pretty much exactly.
 

Railroads

Registered
If I was going off grid I would be looking into those industrial batteries. It's the only right choice if your serious about living off the grid. There are those who don't like the cost and then suffer the consequences of their poor decisions. It's those who complain the loudest.

Robert
 
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Birken Vogt

Registered
Just to clarify. L16 are not industrial batteries. L16 are toys for hobbyists at best. Their quality seems to have gone downhill in recent years, maybe to prevent raising their prices.

Industrial LA batteries have a steel outer case and individual 2 volt cells. Where L16s claim "400 Ah", industrial batteries can be gotten in any reasonable size up to about 2000 in one string. So there are always 24 cells to water, even on a large 48 volt system.
 

Railroads

Registered
My mistake. I fixed my above posts too. As I said, I am not into inverters and batteries. I still think these setups are impractical to some extent. A better solution would to be to have a diesel generator and cheap source of fuel. Not going to happen either. :bonk: Diesel is more expensive in the US. A shame really. :brows:

Ideally, The best source of power for living off grid is having a micro hydro power plant if you've the source of flowing water to drive the turbine. I've been quite interested in having a micro hydro system as I feel it's the only practical solution to an off grid power setup.


Robert
 

Birken Vogt

Registered
Micro hydro will always have problems. Problems with the filtration at the inlet. Sediment in the pipe. Slugs in the nozzles. (The kind that slither) The generator looks like it was made in some guy's garage because it was made in some guy's garage. Problems with corrosion, water and electricity don't mix. Generator always located in the bottom of a horrible canyon, hard to walk there and hard to bury wires. Wires too long. Penstock hard to bury in a rocky canyon and likes to move due to water hammer due to careless shutdown. Pelton wheel metal erodes.

It does work well for those 0.5% of people who have the water and fall to make it work, and have their own knowledge and resources to keep it working, and not always trying to cut corners and make it become flaky.

Best by far is solar, excess solar, and batteries. No moving parts. But batteries cost you roughly $1000 per year in deterioration/depreciation, no way around it.
 

Railroads

Registered
Micro hydro will always have problems. Problems with the filtration at the inlet. Sediment in the pipe. Slugs in the nozzles. (The kind that slither) The generator looks like it was made in some guy's garage because it was made in some guy's garage. Problems with corrosion, water and electricity don't mix. Generator always located in the bottom of a horrible canyon, hard to walk there and hard to bury wires. Wires too long. Penstock hard to bury in a rocky canyon and likes to move due to water hammer due to careless shutdown. Pelton wheel metal erodes.

It does work well for those 0.5% of people who have the water and fall to make it work, and have their own knowledge and resources to keep it working, and not always trying to cut corners and make it become flaky.

Best by far is solar, excess solar, and batteries. No moving parts. But batteries cost you roughly $1000 per year in deterioration/depreciation, no way around it.
Always will be drawbacks to most of these setups, Whether it be wind, solar, hydro, diesel. The only other option is to just give up and buy the power from the Po-Co. The cost of having them put up wires can be prohibitive. :crazy:

Never a perfect solution!

Robert
 
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