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  1. #11
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    1,444
    Location
    South-central Michigan
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Belt-driven vs PTO-driven generators

    I'd suggest you also look at some other generator web sites. Try nooutage.com and best-power-generators.com. There's also a genpower site but I don't know the address. My guess on the cost differential is the size as well as the gearbox both contribute. You also may want to contact your local Generac or other manufacturer dealers. Unless, you get free shipping, you'll probably spend quite a bit on shipping to buy mail-order. Let us know how you make out.


  2. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    110
    Location
    Clinton, New Jersey
    Tractor
    Kubota L4310 HST, GE ElekTrak, Cub Cadet 125

    Default Re: Belt-driven vs PTO-driven generators

    Let me clarify-
    The generator would be run at the proper speed to put out 120V at 60Hz. By using pulleys I could run the tractor PTO at say 300RPM and still maintain the proper generator speed. Why run the tractor engine at 2500 RPM to get 540RPM and 40PTO HP when you may only need 20PTO HP to run a small generator?
    If I buy a gearbox type PTO generator the gear ratio is fixed and can only be run at 540RPM to get the proper voltage and frequency.


  3. #13

    Default Re: Belt-driven vs PTO-driven generators

    Patrick,

    You may also consider auctions...

    This spring, I saw a PTO driven generator {about 24kw?} go for about $600. They sold the John Deere gas engine mounted to it separately for about $300! {if it was a diesel, I'd buy in a heartbeat...}The whole works was mounted on a "steel pallet-like" frame to transport around.

    There is a formula you use {don't know what it is...} to convert from available PTO power to KW max. generator to drive.

    You may find, it's actually cheaper to purchase a stand-alone powered generator though...




  4. #14

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    160
    Location
    TEXAS, CROSBY
    Tractor
    CASE 580 BACHOE JOHN DEERE 920 AND 820 FARM-ALL CUB

    Default Re: Belt-driven vs PTO-driven generators

    I have a 18hp 4cylinder miltary engine that I plan on using with the belt driven generator. The one mentioned earlier from northern or harbor seem to be the most econimical(sp). I had a web site at one time that gave the pulley sizes etc. to make it work correctly. This will be a awkard marriage but I need to use the engine for something.


  5. #15
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    679

    Default Re: Belt-driven vs PTO-driven generators

    Thanks to all for the different responses.

    I haven't made any progress in finding specifics - I have to believe that anyone that has mated a belt-driven generator to a tractor PTO is either selling the generator/gearbox/coupling as a unit (like Northern) or just did it as a one off. Certainly for a home-brew it seems that pulleys and belts would be easier than gearboxes. The ratio of output shaft speed from the PTO to the required input shaft speed to maintain voltage would seem to be easier to tune with pulleys than gears.

    I think I'll have to spend some time poking around farm auctions this fall before I make a decision. I'm kicking myself because I was at an auction this spring where a PTO generator on a trailer went for only a few hundred bucks.

    In the meantime I did find some very good reference pages:

    1. Standby Electric Generators for Emergency Use - Ontario Ministry of Agriculture

    2. ELECTRIC GENERATORS FOR TEMPORARY USE - Iowa State Agricultural Extension

    Patrick


  6. #16
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    1,709
    Location
    MA/VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740 cab + FEL, Cat D5G dozer, Kubota KX121 excavtor

    Default Re: Belt-driven vs PTO-driven generators

    I'd spend a lot of time thinking through how this pulley system will work and go together. You need to mount the generator to something, and be sure it doesn't hop away while running. you then need a drive shaft to some sort of support bearing and shaft with a pully somehow mounted to it and positioned and aligned with the pully somehow mounted to the gen drive shaft. You need to find out the required rotational speed for the gen. Although output voltage factors in, it's usually regulated onboard the gen. The correct rotational speed is required to get 60 HZ output. If it's off, then AC motors, including those in clocks (if they still exist these days) will turn at the wrong speed. In most cases this won't really matter, but you need to be within a few HZ of 60 or you might cause problems with the power supplies in electronic equipment. You then need to fuss with the pulley sizes and belt sizes to get the ratio right. And don't forget the tension mechanism for the belt, and be sure it doesn't alter the gen/drive shaft alignment. And how much HP will it take to drive the gen and will you need double belts. I'm not even sure how to find out the power transmission capacity of different size belts.

    Starts to make that portable generator look good.

    High techie, reciently founded a startup company and struggling for tractor time.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Re: Belt-driven vs PTO-driven generators

    RichN, Good idea! This is the best argument I've seen for belt driving a DIY genny set. Good economy and lower wear on engine than a PTO, especially if you don't need the HP available at PTO speed. Only reason I would want a PTO genny myself is for occasional use other than for electrical outage emergencies, something like powering heavy tools and heavy welding away from my "grid" fed 50 amp 240 vac outlets. 15KW would do me fine unless I should find a bargain on a larger welder (which I probably don't really need). How many RPM does your engine need to turn to provide about 2HP/KW for however many KW you want. I think I recalled the rule of thumb correctly.

    Patrick


  8. #18
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    65
    Location
    Central Arkansas
    Tractor
    New Holland TC45D

    Default Transfer Switch for Sale

    In conjunction with all this Generator discussion, I have something someone may want or need. Last winter I installed a 35kw Cummins / Onan GenSet. It is a Ford 300 cu in in line 6 cyl on propane. The guy I bought it from already had a 225 amp Cummins Automatic Transfer switch I could not use since I have 300 amp service coming into my home. The switch is NEW in the Box and fully automatic including Exercise cycle and battery charger with full meter package installed. It will work with any 3 pole 110 / 220 single phase system. It will start and run any brand generator that uses a 2 wire start system. The Cummins distributor tells me the switch costs him $2600. I am trying to get $1600 for it plus shipping. This thing is big and controls a whole house system by starting the generator when power fails and stopping the generator when the utility side returns to service. Too many features to note here. I am in Central Arkansas. Ask around, this is a steal for someone who is considering a backup generator. My e-mail is subguns@swbell.net.


  9. #19
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    65
    Location
    Central Arkansas
    Tractor
    New Holland TC45D

    Default Picture of Transfer Switch for Sale

    Picture added for your enjoyment!

    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    1,390
    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Re: Transfer Switch for Sale

    OOOOOOOOOOH, a tad rich for my blood but I do envy your 300 amp service, especially if it is residential.

    Patrick


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