Bus Conversion Magazine Bulletin Board
January 16, 2018, 03:41:03 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an Online Subscription: You can zoom in to make the text larger and easier to read.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Generating electricity  (Read 1756 times)
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5218

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« on: June 02, 2008, 06:28:23 PM »

I guess this is both off topic and hypothetical.  I saw a 15kw diesel Onan generator for sale locally for about $1500 (by the way, let me know if anyone wants the info).  This started me thinking.  What if someone bought a generator and ran it about 10 hours a day on WVO feeding the current back into the grid.  It seems you would be producing about 4500 kwh/month.  Is such a thing feasible?  I know that I would probably not be happy with the noise, and having a large, dependable supply of WVO would not be easy.  However, the crackpot idea of today could be useful next week.
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
Sean
Geek.
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2585


'85 Neoplan Spaceliner "Odyssey"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2008, 08:32:07 PM »

Lin,

In order to feed electricity back to the grid, your generator must be exactly synchronized to the grid.  That means that not only does the frequency need to be "dead on," but also the waveform must match exactly -- the peak of your sine wave needs to happen at the exact same time as the peak of the grid's sine wave.

Sophisticated "grid-tie" inverters, such as the Trace SW series, can do this.  For a mechanical generator to do it, however, requires a very sophisticated control system, including safety cut-outs and "islanding" detection.  Something you won't find on a $1,500 Onan.

In general, it's not worth the money to synchronize a generator until you get into the ~half megawatt range.

Individuals who are legally back-feeding the grid with alternative energy are generating it in DC and using a grid-tie inverter with appropriate listing to do it.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
Logged

Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5950




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2008, 07:52:46 AM »

Currently, utilities are paying retail rates for electricity sold back to them by small producers like homes with solar panels. 

This is expected to end before long as electric companies can't cover their costs when they buy for retail and sell for retail.  Expect to see utilities get the ability to pay only wholesale for electricity sold back to them in the future as more and more people install solar and wind power generation at home.
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5218

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2008, 10:50:11 AM »

Another plan to become a major independent utility collapses!
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
HB of CJ
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1730




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2008, 01:57:06 PM »

Feasible?  Yes.  Practical?  No.  Figure your cost per Kilowatt and do the math.  Big metro area with high power prices?  Maybe.  We are blessed up here in SW OR with very low electricity costs of around (for me) 4 cents per kwh.  Last Pacific Power electricity bill was $32.00.  Smiley Smiley Smiley
Logged
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5218

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2008, 02:20:13 PM »

Yeah, it is not practical for several reasons, but here we pay .12 for the first 500 kwh with a graduated scale going above .40/kwh.  With the need for AC here in the desert, one does not stay in the lowest tier.  I have looked into getting a windmill which would pay for itself in 7-10 years depending on rate increases.  That includes the state picking up about 1/3 of the cost which totals about 60,000 for a 10kw system on a 120 ft tower.  I actually have about 2000 watts worth of solar panels and a grid tie inverter that I may be installing.  Unfortunately, the roof here does not face south, so I may have to come up with a different place to put them.  I may put one or two panels on the bus though just to keep the batteries happy.
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
Jeremy
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2178


1987 Bedford Plaxton


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2008, 03:09:01 PM »

It has occured to me in the past that if you wanted to get into home electricity generation (not necessarily selling to the grid), rather than paying a lot of money for a 'proper' generator, a far cheaper approach would be to get hold of an old diesel car, remove the rear axle, and connect the propshaft to a scrap industrial motor of some sort to produce the power. I know it's not as simple as that, but it seems to me that a crude set-up like this could work quite well given that a car engine has both a widely variable throttle and a gearbox that could be used to adjust the speed and torque as required to suit the motor/dynamo. You would no doubt also need some electrical gubbins to get the correct voltage to charge your battery bank, or to convert straight to AC if that was the way you wanted to do it.

I don't know what the market is like for old industrial motors, but you could certainly get hold of a non-roadworthy car with a running engine for no money at all.

Jeremy
Logged

A shameless plug for my business - visit www.magazineexchange.co.uk for back issue magazines - thousands of titles covering cars, motorbikes, aircraft, railways, boats, modelling etc. You'll find lots of interest, although not much covering American buses sadly.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!