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wacker/kohler 180 Hz 240v genset (HGG)kohler

miraclewhip

Registered
Bought this for emergency power supply for refrigerator.Bad news! Now have new Refrigerator!didn't know it was 180Hz. Is there a practical modification to allow 60Hz power delivery? The Kohler K series engine powers the Kohler generator. The refrigerator didn't adapt to 180 Hz very well!
 

Zephyr7

Registered
180Hz? That’s an oddball frequency. Usually you see either 60Hz (North America), 50Hz (most of the rest of the world), and 400Hz (aircraft APU).

If you’re seeing 180Hz, then I’m guessing your meter is not reading correctly, or you’ve found some ultra oddball unit, or maybe (but unlikely) you have an APU that someone tried to slow down to 60 Hz (which won’t work).

You can sometimes bring a 50 Hz set up to 60Hz with a speed adjustment, and usually a setting on the voltage regulator too. If you have a 400 Hz set and have electronics skills, it’s easy relatively easy to rectify the 3 phase 400Hz power into DC and then build a PWM inverter to make 60 Hz AC from that.

Bill
 

Steve Dawkins

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/04/2016
^ and some old electric jackhammers. That's the only time I've seen 180 Hz. Not aware of any way to reconfigure for 60 Hz. I don't know what size engine or generator you have, but maybe you can buy a 60 Hz gen head from Northern Tools that will bolt up to your Kohler engine. It will probably be easier to just try to sell the Wacker genset and buy a 60Hz generator. Wacker equipment is designed for the construction industry.

I'm sorry for your misfortune, but your comment "The refrigerator didn't adapt to 180 Hz very well!" made me laugh.
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
And chainsaws too! Probably numerous portable tools. Homelite, for one, made many 180 cycle, three phase tools and generator sets.

I'd turn that dude down to 1200 rpm, thus delivering 60 cycle current. :D This assuming it's 3600 rpm to begin with.

Don't know what kind of excitation this one employs, but something could be worked out to make it work at the slower speed.

The output voltage would be 1/3 of nameplate, so a transformer would be used to step it back up the desired value. Power output would be ~1/3, a bit less on a continuous basis due to reduced airflow through the generator. :brows:
 

Zephyr7

Registered
Is that 180Hz stuff still being made? If not, when was it made? I’ve never seen any of it and I’ve seen a lot of old gear.

Bill
 

Steve Dawkins

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/04/2016
We rented an electric jackhammer to use on a jobsite in the early 1970s. I remember that it was supplied with a Homelite 180 Hz portable generator, probably in the 4-5 kW range. It may have even supplied 3 phase for the hammer. I remember the power cord was twist-lock, but don't recall the number of poles. You could use the generator to power incandescent bulbs and power tools with universal motors. You definitely could not connect it to induction motors or lighting that used magnetic ballasts that were rated for 60 Hz.

The electric jackhammers that we rented in the past 20 years all operated on 120V, 60 Hz. I have heard of 180 Hz concrete vibrators, but all the ones I saw on jobsites had universal motors, and would operate on standard 60 Hz power.
 

Zephyr7

Registered
Could you rectify it to dc and use an inverter to get 60 cycle a/c?
Yes, you can! I mentioned this in my post #2. The higher frequency is easier to rectify too (smaller capacitors and inductors needed). The tricky part is the inverter, but that’s not all that difficult either. The generators existing voltage regulator will take care of voltage regulation.

Bill
 

miraclewhip

Registered
Bill,thanks for input. I didn't measure the Hz, listed directly on generator nameplate.F urther checking with light,mirror and 3Mpar revealed the folloring;PF 1,PH 3,rpm 3600,twistlock connectors 4post 20A 250-3. Built by kohler for Wacker,Spec#42765-H,kohler controller number A?233821N,class A.Looks like it must be 3Phase,180Hz,230Vac. Controller has both 2 twistlock 4pole sockets, and 2 120v receptacles, with a toggle marked on/off. The 120v recep.mislead me and I failed to test output voltage before plugging in the fridge! ohohoh,won't do that again!!Thanks to everyone who jumped to my aid!!!
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
A lot of times the 120 volt output on these "high cycle" three phase generators was DC. For running series motor tools like drills, grinders, saws, etc, and lighting. Your fridge *really* wouldn't like that!


Have any photos of this set? Would be interesting to see it.
 

J.B. Castagnos

Registered
Last Subscription Date
01/01/2006
If you would go the rectified-inverter route, couldn't you govern engine speed to load since hz wouldn't matter? Should make an efficient unit.
 

Zephyr7

Registered
If you would go the rectified-inverter route, couldn't you govern engine speed to load since hz wouldn't matter? Should make an efficient unit.
Too low a frequency can be a problem, but not usually as much for a generator as it would be for a motor. You probably wouldn’t be able to use the existing voltage regulator if you do a variable speed setup either. The varying output frequency will also make it a little more complicated to do a good job rectifying into DC, especially if you use a phase controlled rectifier for voltage regulation. Nothing insurmountable though.

Bill
 

pegasuspinto

Registered
your best bet is to part it out, sell the engine to someone who needs that engine, scrap the copper end, and call it a wash. Or sell it whole. Or keep it as a interesting collectible of history. But converting it is WAY more trouble then it could -ever- be worth.
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Well I certainly whole heartedly disagree with that. NOTHING of quality should ever be destroyed and scrapped. That's counter to the whole point of the Smokstak.

Where others see uselessness, or complicated solutions, I see elegantly simple opportunity. Set the governor for 1200 rpm, make the necessary changes to secure adequate excitation. And step up the resulting ~80 volts to 120 volts. That would be FUN! :D

I have a six pole, self excited, 180 cycle, 230 volt, three phase generator that I plan on performing just such an experiment with. To start with, I'm going to reconnect the six field windings from all in series to three groups of two. This should bring up the excitation adequately at 1200 rpm, and it ought to put out around 75 ~ 80 volts. A variac would be a simple (and adjustable!) way to boost that up. :brows:

The beauty of these simple reconfigurations? They are easily reversible, should you come across some neat old 180 cycle power tools!
 

Zephyr7

Registered
+1 for not scrapping the unit! The ‘Stak is a community of tinkerers, and we like to fix stuff up and keep things running. I wouldn’t scrap anything unless it was totally destroyed. Just rusty or something like that doesn’t mean it’s junk — look what JohnnyC is able to do with a few tools, the right paint, and his time and skills. His rebuilds look like new!

I’d either keep the 180Hz unit as a curiosity, fix it up and keep it and sell it to someone else, or expieriment with it and build an inverter to make it useful. Lots of options.

Bill
 
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pegasuspinto

Registered
If you don't scrap some of it, nothing will ever be rare or special! Just in the way........

My point is, that converting it doesn't make sense, especially if you have to buy parts to convert it. Slow it down from 3600 to 1200 RPM? How many useful KW are you going to have at 1200 RPM? If you want a challenge and you have a sizable junk box, it's one thing, for someone who just wants a working, practical generator, that's another thing altogether
 
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