Generator?

e3120

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Northumberland
The on-trend topic of the moment. Little lister genny has been keeping the borehole running (small kettle at a push) but it's getting tedious doing everything else by torchlight. Can't afford any more chippy teas.

I acquired this at a sale for scrap money with a view to a stationary electric PTO project. 45 kW on the plate. It was advertised as a generator. Mechanically it's a 6 spline shaft, gear-up pulleys and a big motor.
IMG_20211129_152512.jpg
On the electric side we have a 'Brook Control Gear' box with this isolator on the back with socket.
IMG_20211129_152523.jpg
Front has start and stop switches (no lights)
IMG_20211129_152534.jpg
Inside looks like this. Heavy yellow wires form a long trailing lead with chunky ancient alloy plug on end. Motor connections (6) in red on bottom left. Main, delta and star contactors from left to right. Contactor at top right is for the small socket on the back.
IMG_20211129_152555.jpg
We've got something to measure/detect current/voltage/frequency? on one of the phases
IMG_20211129_152611.jpg
Which has something to do with this circuit board
IMG_20211129_152615.jpg
and potentially the smaller contactor and these fuses
IMG_20211129_152619.jpg

So, question is - Have I got a generator at all? As far as I can read, this would be an asynchronous one that would need mains to excite it into life. There are no capacitors. Could it be just for boosting mains power where the grid was weak? Does a star-delta starter make sense here (there appears to be a timer unit)?

If this thing can be made to work (just read @sjt01 comment about power wall or lead battery + inverter with interest), how do you get a neutral for single phase loads when it swings over to delta?

Or is it just exactly what I was originally looking for - an electric PTO?
 

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Wisconsonian

Member
Trade
Male plug on the end of the cord? must be a motor then. I've never seen that sort switchery on a generator, must be a stationary PTO.

You'll have to translate your first paragraph. Is there something you're trying to accomplish there?
 

e3120

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Northumberland
Thanks all. Every time I looked at it I came to the same conclusion. I just thought that it was unlikely someone had the same plan as me.

Plug on the big cable but I'm some bodgers have that on their gensets.

@Wisconsonian and other not so locals: This part of the UK had a bit of breezy weather on Friday and, being typically unprepared (nation, electric Co, family), volts and amps are still scarce.

I had 2 jobs in mind: one of those 'probably never happen' projects to convert bruiser and spud chopper to electric and; possibility to rig it up to get the lights on.
 

David.

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
J11 M40
I've forgotten more than I can remember about it, so don't quote me, and don't try this without reference to an electrical engineer; but I think a 3 phase motor can operate as a generator and produce current if it is driven.
The switchery required I have no idea.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
I am certain it cannot just generate power as it needs power to excite the system, since the whole motor relies on electro magnetic fields to run. Feeding electricity into the system makes opposing forces which spin the motor. That is my very crude understanding of the physics
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
Little lister genny has been keeping the borehole running (small kettle at a push) but it's getting tedious doing everything else by torchlight. Can't afford any more chippy teas.
If it can power a borehole it can light your house - but you need LED bulbs rather than halogen. Best change anyway and save yourself a fortune in leccy bills.

Always worth keeping a small gas stove from the camping shop in your emergency cupboard too, alongside the candles.
 

Timbo

Member
Location
Gods County
The on-trend topic of the moment. Little lister genny has been keeping the borehole running (small kettle at a push) but it's getting tedious doing everything else by torchlight. Can't afford any more chippy teas.

I acquired this at a sale for scrap money with a view to a stationary electric PTO project. 45 kW on the plate. It was advertised as a generator. Mechanically it's a 6 spline shaft, gear-up pulleys and a big motor.
View attachment 1000520
On the electric side we have a 'Brook Control Gear' box with this isolator on the back with socket.
View attachment 1000521
Front has start and stop switches (no lights)
View attachment 1000522
Inside looks like this. Heavy yellow wires form a long trailing lead with chunky ancient alloy plug on end. Motor connections (6) in red on bottom left. Main, delta and star contactors from left to right. Contactor at top right is for the small socket on the back.
View attachment 1000523
We've got something to measure/detect current/voltage/frequency? on one of the phases
View attachment 1000525
Which has something to do with this circuit board
View attachment 1000526
and potentially the smaller contactor and these fuses
View attachment 1000527

So, question is - Have I got a generator at all? As far as I can read, this would be an asynchronous one that would need mains to excite it into life. There are no capacitors. Could it be just for boosting mains power where the grid was weak? Does a star-delta starter make sense here (there appears to be a timer unit)?

If this thing can be made to work (just read @sjt01 comment about power wall or lead battery + inverter with interest), how do you get a neutral for single phase loads when it swings over to delta?

Or is it just exactly what I was originally looking for - an electric PTO?
No, It's motor. (as in to drive a grain drier or similar) - as already said.
 

sjt01

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Norfolk
You can generate with a 3 phase induction motor, but what you generate in terms of volts, amps and frequency will be random and is likely to blow up the load. A generator will have an AVR (automatic voltage regulator) which will control the excitation and regulate volts, it is up to your engine to maintain frequency
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
If it can power a borehole it can light your house - but you need LED bulbs rather than halogen. Best change anyway and save yourself a fortune in leccy bills.

Always worth keeping a small gas stove from the camping shop in your emergency cupboard too, alongside the candles.
LED bulbs may not like Genny power, dont ask me why, buyout the hassle I have had with 12 volt LED bulbs is beyond belief!
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
LED bulbs may not like Genny power, dont ask me why, buyout the hassle I have had with 12 volt LED bulbs is beyond belief!

Interesting. Not had that problem here, running off a Screwfix special inverter genny. I seem to recall they are happy with a much wider voltage spread too, so I'd have thought them well suited to genny running. Could it be the transformer that's the issue? I only have 240V LED bulbs, apart from a few on the Christmas tree when that time comes.
 

Timbo

Member
Location
Gods County
LED bulbs may not like Genny power, dont ask me why, buyout the hassle I have had with 12 volt LED bulbs is beyond belief!
That will be a reflection on the output of your generator, rather than the bulbs. Alot of cheap petrol 2 pole units are very 'dirty' on the outout, as well as massive voltage swings. If you add some pure resistive load to them the output will clean up abit.
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
That will be a reflection on the output of your generator, rather than the bulbs. Alot of cheap petrol 2 pole units are very 'dirty' on the outout, as well as massive voltage swings. If you add some pure resistive load to them the output will clean up abit.
I remember having one 2K genny that was rather "dirty" in it's output, some electronic kit really was not happy, so I ran them off a small UPS. It got stolen and the replacement has been much, much better and not found any issues. I have a surge protector in front of the PC etc mind. ...
 
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Timbo

Member
Location
Gods County
I remember having one 2KW genny that was rather "dirty" in it's output, some electronic kit really was not happy, so I ran them off a small UPS. It got stolen and the replacement has been much, much better and not found any issies. I put a surge protector in...

Given they are almost always 2x 115v legs with a floating centre tap, not referenced to earth, no electronics are going to like it.
 

e3120

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Northumberland
Yeah, that's why I'm not keen to use my existing one to do any more. Besides, I've tried to spread the single phases loads (inc the farmhouses) across the phases so would only ever have a partial job. I had to hand crank the grainstore door on Sat morning to load a wagon - that spurred me into action.

Thanks all for the feedback on what I've got - half expected that (the Physics MA not completely wasted!). Final question from me to put me in a better position with @Thick Farmer ;) Does the collective think the final contactor for the auxiliary socket is switched based on current draw on the motor? i.e. would it switch on/off if it drops/rises across a thereshold?
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
Interesting. Not had that problem here, running off a Screwfix special inverter genny. I seem to recall they are happy with a much wider voltage spread too, so I'd have thought them well suited to genny running. Could it be the transformer that's the issue? I only have 240V LED bulbs, apart from a few on the Christmas tree when that time comes.
I have no idea what the issue is. When I moved in the present house 15 years ago it had all 12 volt halogen downlighters. After a coouple of years more than one burnt out and caused blackening around the fittings. So we replaced all 56 of them with LEDs. Since then we have had no issues with lights or bulbs. However the LEDs then were not that powerful and with advancing age, I thought we would upgrade to a larger output bulb now they are available.
This has not been a success as every bulb we have tried has either flickered badly or blown in a few minutes.
Sadly none of the big makers Philips, Osram etc make an MR 16 bulb which is not a narrow angle beam and so not suitable for the location
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
I have no idea what the issue is. When I moved in the present house 15 years ago it had all 12 volt halogen downlighters. After a coouple of years more than one burnt out and caused blackening around the fittings. So we replaced all 56 of them with LEDs. Since then we have had no issues with lights or bulbs. However the LEDs then were not that powerful and with advancing age, I thought we would upgrade to a larger output bulb now they are available.
This has not been a success as every bulb we have tried has either flickered badly or blown in a few minutes.
Sadly none of the big makers Philips, Osram etc make an MR 16 bulb which is not a narrow angle beam and so not suitable for the location

I think I'd be ripping out the transformers and going to mains voltage if I were you - change the fittings to something more helpful (GU-10?) at the same time.
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
I think I'd be ripping out the transformers and going to mains voltage if I were you - change the fittings to something more helpful (GU-10?) at the same time.
I would tomorrow, except for one little issue. Removing the fittings to extract the transformers makes an awful mess which requires replastering. And for some strange reason my wife is not at all keen on it ;)
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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