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AC electric power

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Mastiff, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Anyone ever set up their truck to generate serious AC electric power? We recently lost power for a full day, and I got to wondering what's possible to put under the hood of the truck. If I could find a good solution, it might be cheaper than a stand alone generator, would not take up garage space, and could run for longer periods without refuel. Plus, it would just be handy to take AC power wherever you want.

    To run my well pump I need 220 V, which makes things a little tougher. I did find some 3kw inverters on-line, but they're kinda steep at over $500.
     
  2. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    the silverado "hybrid" they've had for a few years seems like that, basically. hybrid is really a bad name for it, though. it's a 5.3L v8, but the generators crank out ac current to run power tools from the bed and stuff. pretty cool, i guess. not a useful on the street as on the trail, thought. a construction crew could make good use of it.
     
  3. W7NB

    W7NB 1/2 ton status

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    Several companies make under hood welding/generator packages. The only problem is that they are all based on a standard high output (up to 200 amp) alternator.

    If you do the math 200 amps at 13.8 volts = 2760 watts. If you could run the alternator at full load unlimited periods of time (you can't, it would burn up) you still loose at least 15% running through an inverter - somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I've never seen an inverter that was above 85% efficency.

    So actual yield would be 2760 watts X .85/115 volts = 20 amps. So IF the alternator would survive you would have to run your truck at 2400 rpm 24/7 to provide the power of a $250 Home Depot 2.5 kw generator.

    Oh, and the under hood rigs cost $500.

    Just cough up the money and buy the generator. You are way ahead.
     
  4. Smitty

    Smitty 1/2 ton status

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    That's one of the many reasons I bought my 1031. The thing has a PTO driven 12k generator built in. I sweated my a$$ off after Ivan came through and knocked our power out for a couple of weeks. Had the windows open without a breeze and listened to all of the other generators. I now have a transfer box and just need to plug it in when needed.
     
  5. W7NB

    W7NB 1/2 ton status

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    Great idea! A PTO driven generator would rock, especially if you could leave it on the truck to take out on projects. I would not have to lug a generator with me out to our acerage.
     
  6. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    other ways..

    An inverter usually struggles to power electric motors,and often fail rapidly when used to power appliances like washers and driers,or electric heaters,which are basically a dead short..

    You can modify a GM alternator to produce 110V,but not 220V..it will also be three phase current,not the usual household single phase--thereby limiting what you can power with it..mostly only lights and some AC appliances with transformers..flouresent lamps wont work,and you can't use it on anything with a motor unless they have brushes and are AC/DC rated..

    You can convert an ordinary AC electric motor into a 110V generator quite easily,by doing nothing more than adding a few capacitors,and driving it a bit faster than its rated RPM..but they too do not run motors well either..great for lights and other stuff like TV's,etc..look on google under "homebuilt generators" and "alternator secrets" for more tech info..very informative reading..

    But I think a generator from Northern Tool you can bolt to your engine would be the best bet..a 220V capable one will cost close to 500 bucks though..:crazy:
     
  7. Mastiff

    Mastiff 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I'll still look into this... I found some belt driven ones on-line, but all very high end like multi-thousands for 5kw. Clean power for ambulances and the like.
     
  8. garlicbreath

    garlicbreath 1/2 ton status

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    I have a transformer type inverter (old, found at an auction) that ran half my house off my 140 amp alternator when we had that big northeast blackout.
     

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