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  1. #81
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    8,826
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    Don't know much about fuel consumption for gas generator sets but will say for small jobs the Hondas' are pretty miserly. For larger diesel gensets I have found a good rule of thumb to be 8kw / gallon of fuel/hour. So I would expect 24kw output to use about 3.0 gallons/hour, with no load you still need a bare minimum of fuel to keep the engine running at rated speed which would vary by manufacturer but atleast .2gph and may be higher for a larger hp engine.

    I should add that whether to use a tractor or a dedicated genset would depend on the amount of run time you expect to see annually. I would not want to use my tractor to make power if it entailed alot of hours each year as it would hurt resale. Just something to consider.

  2. #82
    Bronze Member Copperhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    74
    Location
    Central Iowa

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    Been pretty busy, but finally gave the JD PTO 10Kw generator a good test to see how it does. The meter on the unit is not a very good, simple analog style gauge. I used a Technology Research AECM20020 Digital Monitor on it and could get the unit to the right frequency. I highly recommend anyone get something like this monitor to get the generator output correct. Got it right and then threw the switch to the house, barn, etc. Did a great job running everything. Electronics in the house had no problem with the power. Left the unit hooked up and putting out power for a shade under 4 hrs. I had it on a New Holland TC33DA. Now, we didn't try and see about overloading it or doing some other kind of endurance test, and we didn't gauge the actual power usage thru the test, but we ran electric water heater, propane furnace, microwave, electric stove (oven and two burners), propane garage heater, and all the normal electronics stuff throughout the house. Obviously, not everything was running continuously. Can't imagine running the furnace, water heater, or microwave for almost 4 hrs straight. I started this little test with a full load of fuel in the tractor. When we stopped, I filled the tank and it took about 2.5 gallons. Temp outside was in the teens.

    Overall, really like it. We don't get power outages frequently, but when they do happen, they seem to last for a day or two. Longest was during an ice storm a few years ago. That one was 5 days. Used a Generac portable 7Kw unit thru that one. Had to monitor what we had on or it would overload it. Not now. If someone wants some backup power, has a decent CUT, and really can't justify a dedicated standby generator (with the associated maintenance), this JD PTO unit is pretty good. And I like I can take it easily where I might need some power anywhere on the property.

  3. #83
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4
    Location
    Valley Center, CA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    A couple of thoughts. Remember, 540 PTO RPMs is very likely 2200-2500 engine RPMs. Diesel is still cheaper than propane. The reason I opted for a separate gas generator is that it will be used for emergency use in winter storm and earthquake country. I figured I didn't want to tie up my tractor for house power. I will probably need it for clearing debris. I increased the size of my propane tank and got a genset that runs on propane. Doesn't cost that much to keep the fridges cold and a couple of lights and a TV. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  4. #84
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    128
    Location
    NE Connecticut
    Tractor
    Branson 3820i

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    I run my 13 Kw generator with the pto set to the 1000 rpm setting at 1300 engine rpm's. I have the analog gauge, which seems to be the cheap way to go, but it does work. I have used it through many storms with no problems. I do not run my computer when the generator is being used, But all the fancy big screen TV's work fine and I've not had one problem. My tractor is a 38 HP Branson and I use about 3/4 gallon per hour. The generator is mounted to a carry all on the three point and again, no problem.

  5. #85
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    84
    Location
    Eagle creek Or
    Tractor
    Kubota 3400

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    I will bet running your tractor will cost a lot more.

  6. #86
    Bronze Member Copperhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    74
    Location
    Central Iowa

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    Running the computers does not bother me. I use a line conditioner and UPS on all of them. In my semi, the inverter kicks out a modified sine wave that can be a problem with very sensitive electronics, so I learned to use a line conditioner there. Really makes a whale of a difference.

    The debris situation is not really a problem for me. Just maybe a little snow removal during a storm, and then usually after it is over due to a lot of blowing and drifting. If someone has to use the tractor quite a bit, then the PTO thing might not be the best choice. And the infrequency of long power outages is such that forking out for a dedicated standby unit was not cost effective. I get a lot more versatility out of going the PTO route. And the cost to run the tractor for this is really inconsequential. I burn thru more diesel in one day with my other stuff than the CUT uses most of the year.

  7. #87
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    46,366
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    Quote Originally Posted by 3pointpat View Post
    A couple of thoughts. Remember, 540 PTO RPMs is very likely 2200-2500 engine RPMs. Diesel is still cheaper than propane. The reason I opted for a separate gas generator is that it will be used for emergency use in winter storm and earthquake country. I figured I didn't want to tie up my tractor for house power. I will probably need it for clearing debris. I increased the size of my propane tank and got a genset that runs on propane. Doesn't cost that much to keep the fridges cold and a couple of lights and a TV. Good luck with whatever you decide.
    keep in mind that even if the tractor is running a pto gen set.. there isn't anything that says that you can't unhook it for 15 minutes to run go push a tree off a road, then drive back.

    once a tractor is on a pto genset.. it's not married or anything. it can leave when it wants and come back when it wants.

    unless you are running emergency life support equipment.. you liekly don't need line power 100% of the time.

    if you ARE running life support.. then an in place genset is the way to go..

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