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OT Diesel Generators

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  • OT Diesel Generators

    With the decision to go generator instead of solar, I think diesel would offer the best option where I live with regards to availability and price of fuel. Comments were made that 1800 PM generators are far better than the 3200 RPM units, and that's easy to see. However, searches seem to turn up Chicom units that do not have good feedback.

    What I'm looking for is somewhere in the 5K to 7.5K size. I know this isn't particularly big enough to get into major brand stuff, but I want a dependable unit, not Chicom cheap stuff. So what is out there that is good stuff, not cheaply made stuff?

  • #2
    if i was in the back and beyound ..
    i would get a listeroid

    this is chinese or indian copy of british lister engine

    can be run on low grade fuel ..veg oil, kerosene ..

    and they are water cooled so you can use the water as heating ..

    so you get the water for heating ..and you have very high efficiency.

    like what's the use of chucking away free heat

    they run at 600 rpm..and you may have to pulley it so it turns the genny at 1800 rpm if it dont come with one.

    all the best.markj


    • #3
      If you would be willing to spend ~$5K, can handle a ton, and would like the extra capacity of 12KW (or is it 20KW), there are a number of places selling rebuilt generators powered by 2-71 Detroit Diesels. Usually 1200 RPM, although they sound like they're running much faster due to the fact that they're 2-strokes. Many are 3-phase, all are very heavily built and should last a very long time.

      Last edited by The Doctor; 07-26-2011, 07:38 PM.


      • #4
        i agree with epsilon about the india knock off Listers, never owned one, but would get very serious about buying one if i was needing a unit.

        Pretty impressive,, 600 RPM,, there is a site don,t have it handy right now, but a couple or more are selling them, one of them had a lot of info and pics of generator hookups, think it was a site called "Rocket Boy", try googling that, and then google "Listeroid".
        Listeroid is the generic ? name of these lister copies.
        One of the sites actually sold complete belted up units complete with a meter board etc, it was quite impressive.


        • #5
          aboard_epsilon: very intresting point about water cooling, I wonder why more generators don't have water cooling option.

          5000W generator = 15000W heat or so! Of course, lots of that goes out the exhaust... And you may not exactly want potable water through the engine...

          but a couple heat exchangers, 10,000W heat... Enough to take a very warm (hot!?) tankless shower/bath id suspect!

          Or heat a small house in the winter... Hour on, 4 hours off.

          While <Censored>'s thread about using a generator to reduce his hydro bill was laughable at best, I wonder how well the price of gas (or diesel) verus electricity pans out, If you are using the majority of the waste heat from the engine to heat your house, AND generating electricity (Some people are allready using oil heat, So it could be economical conversion, though modren heaters are pertty dang efficent)

          Of course, this would seriously depend on the price of electricity/fuel in your area, since it can easily be 5x higher then other areas. And how much of that electricity you can use.. Since not many generators are grid tie.

          Still, Might be worthy of some basic math to check into and see what price electricity has to be to break even.

          (This post self censored for the sake of the forum)

          PS: you don't need a pully to run a generator at 600rpms, you just need a 6 pole generator. Not exactly dirt common, but not uncommon either. (1200rpms works with 3 pole, 1800 with 2 pole, 800 with 4 pole, etc etc)

          A tractor PTO generator might be a good match. (Or search term for a low rpm, multi pole generator)
          Last edited by Black_Moons; 07-26-2011, 07:51 PM.
          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


          • #6
            Re: the price of gasoline to run a generator, compared to the cost of hydro for the same time period,, i was off grid, and on a generator for 25 years, so i can say that the fuel costs of gasoline per month, (Here in Canada anyway,) were double that of the cost of electricity.
            AND______ Don,t forget,, you cannot run that generator 24/7 like the electricity that is available to us.

            I ran mine only to run tools for a project, during the day when needed, night time especially in winter i ran it for 4-6 hours per night usually, which i did projects then also as it was already running for the lights etc.

            Elecricity i agree seems expensive,, but if it costs you say just for a figure of $100.00 per month, that gives you 24/7 power and that,s only $3.00 per DAY!! That keeps the freezer froze, the fridge cold, the water pumped, the water heated, any light convenience one needs, etc etc.

            But the cost to run a "Backup Generator" is very minimal when one considers the losses and inconveience being with out power can cause.


            • #7
              Have to agree the Literoid diesels are hard to beat both for efficiency and longevity ( once you get it all sorted out at least).

              Here's a link to a site dealing with the Listeroid and others:


              Another option is Generac, everything from small portables, residential backup units that kick in automatically, warm up for 3 min. then go to work, and all the way up to 9000KW industrial diesel units.


              I"m not sure from you post if this is generator will be used as a portable, emergency back up, main supplemental source, or what it's intended duty cycle would be.

              Also, although I am a very firm believer in diesel power, it does have it's limitations.
              Fuel prices are probably going up, fuel life although better than gasoline still has to be considered. It won't keep forever, especially in warm humid climates, and then there is the storage issue. This last point could be a problem in urban areas if you intend to store a quantity not approved by local ordnances.

              Have you thought of natural gas or propane? Infinite storage life, usually lower cost, and in the case of natural gas, no storage issues if this option is available to you.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​


              • #8
                Supposedly the listeroids are getting hard to get in the states due to epa regs.


                • #9
                  Re: EPA regs: Yes i read about the Listeroid emissions, they were a bit on the heavy side, at 600 RPM it makes sense.


                  • #10
                    Is that the same one Hardy used to sell?
                    "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
                    world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
                    country, in easy stages."
                    ~ James Madison


                    • #11
                      RWS you got me a thinnin,

                      are there fair size storage tanks that can be filled half way and then just pressurized by the pump? you wouldn't need a sloped lot or a two story house for gravity feed - just your pump pressure and an air pocket and a fair size tank in the ground, long as your pumps got a good check valve system then all's good no?

                      im just saying - engines and generators don't come cheap either - and you got to feed em...

                      imma gonna start talking more like a hillbilly - just cuz...


                      • #12
                        If you have money to burn ignore what I have to say about this topic.
                        Everyone would like a super nice gen set. I would.
                        I live in an area with frequent power outages, 6-12 times a year with a minimum of 6-10 hrs to a max of 9-10 days duration with a major storm.

                        There is a field of study called "engineering economy", there are books for the same. What it boils down to is how much money to spend to overcome a 'likely' event. Consider it like 'self insurance'- what kind of loss is unacceptable and prepare for that with your back up system.

                        I have 3 back up generators. 2 kw 6 hp gas, 4 kw tractor driven with PTO, 15 kw Caterpillar or tractor driven PTO.

                        It all boils down to what you really "need" vs want. The 2 kw will run lights but not start my 240 v 1.5 hp water pump, it was a freebee. The 4 kw will start and run my pump -(WARNING - READ the max electric motor starting capacity of any gen set. The 4 kw is rated to start a 1.5 HP motor, others will only start a 3/4 hp motor. THIS IS CRITICAL). I really never use either the 2 kw or the 4 kw any longer.

                        I find running a back up power system expensive. I will run the 15 kw with my 21 HP Kubota tractor - fairly economically. When it gets extremely serious and I need full amperage, 24 hr power, I get out my D 2 Caterpillar with PTO. It will run 24 hrs a day, 7 day a week, for as long as I need it to "dependably". It burns roughly 16 gallons of diesel in 20 hr. This is expensive per kwh.

                        So what do you 'need'? Water? Hot water? Many buildings worth of minimal emergency power?

                        What is the frequency of power interruptions?

                        What is the severity, economic or otherwise, of the consequences of a power failure. Hospitals need big gen sets for obvious reasons. Grocery stores need to keep freezers and fridges running or toss out everything.

                        I find I have 2 different situations.

                        Summer, short duration, outages where pumping water is critical as are keeping fridges and freezers cold, plants watered. I use the Kubota and the 15 kw here

                        Winter, sometimes long durations and usually with 1-3' of snow, where keeping greenhouses warm is critical and the likely hood of financial loss is greatest. I use the Caterpillar here. This can run me $80.00+ a day in fuel alone.

                        People often ask me how to size a generator for them to do "everything".
                        Here is what you do;
                        Take all automatic loads, that turn on by them selves, water heaters, pumps, furnaces, and figure them at 100%. Next add a percentage of manual loads - lights, coffee pots, and assign a percentage of that load.
                        Next get out a big wad of cash.

                        I hope this helps


                        • #13
                          Abner speaks volumes about generator usage.
                          I also have three generators on insurance against power outages.
                          Since I have acquired them I have had to put very little hours on them, as the power utility has been stone cold reliable ever since. Go figure.

                          In addition to what Abner has listed also consider maintenance and or replacement if you intend to put any serious hours on them.

                          Generators are viable for back up in emergencies, but they are a very costly source of electricity compared to grid power.
                          Use them only as a last resort.
                          Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                          Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Willy
                            Since I have acquired them I have had to put very little hours on them, as the power utility has been stone cold reliable ever since. Go figure.
                            AARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGG... I have this exact same problem! Power go out damnit! And not just for an hour this time... just as well... iv not bothered making a cable to backfeed the house yet anyway.
                            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


                            • #15
                              What about this plan -- I got city water - hopefully city water is on backup gens so I don't hab to worry bout it - if this is the case then next time there's a power outage hook-up turbine genset to city water --- disconnect water meter, run waste water down the sewer... how it know?

                              whole block has power outage and I have extension cords for use @ $10.00 bucks a pop - ebrybobby hab lighps and hole neyborhoob is quiepe...