Author Topic: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.  (Read 32332 times)

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mike_belben

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starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« on: January 05, 2013, 02:45:51 PM »
my wife and i have secured a purchase and sale agreement on 5.5 acres in cumberland county.  the long and narrow wooded tract has a grid-tied cabin right off the street.  we'll live in the cabin initially while building the new house, which will likely be over 1000' or more from the power line.  the shop will probably be halfway back between the two houses.  i need min 15hp of 3phase for my equipment and think a large military diesel generator is the ticket, which i will convert to veggie and probably use the waste heat for the jetwash.  genset will only be turned on to run the bigger equipment as needed, sporadically.  i have large 220v single phase welders and plasma cutter, a 10hp 3phase compressor and 10hp 3 phase lathe plus small 1 and 3 phase CNC equipment.  30hp is probably a better target for the future incase it ever becomes more than just me running the shop. 

the property has a small year round stream that im pretty sure i can dam up to a 3' head or so but not much flow, though ill try a waterwheel gen anyway.  there is also tons of sunlight on the rear property line, as well as decent wind from a monsterous open pasture.  if we put the house to the rear property line on the edge of the woods facing the pasture (southwest of the house), it will get tons of sunlight during winter months and hopefully a good deal of shade from the trees in summer to reduce heating and cooling.  theres no problem putting up windmills or solar PV + hot water, and i will be heating all buildings with wood.  i have perpetual oak supply, and own a forced air wood furnace that will become a hybrid outdoor boiler as well.  all slab buildings will be radiant, but i expect a basement and ductwork for the house and would like conventional AC. 

ive got two years to acquire as much stuff as i can before quitting my job and moving down full time.  i will probably find an AGM battery bank, and am comfortable building home brew PM magnet motors to suit our needs but i dont know the slightest thing about charge controllers and invertors.  im thinking that will be key for us.  the house will probably not be grid tied because its so far from the pole, but id like the house and shop to run off a large AGM bank and be charged by wind, solar, water and genny, possibly all at once. 

can you point me in the right direction on the electronics?  what key terms to look for and what i should expect to spend?  id prefer 48v wind and water power to reduce the gauge of transmission lines over the long runs across our land but dont know where i will run into voltage compatibility issues on the generator, which will probably be 220v 3 phase + 120v 1phase output.  some of my machines are run off Variable Frequency Drives. 

thanks in advance, sorry for all the yapping.


mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 03:01:36 PM »
note the pasture and sunset.






at my back line looking left/south


looking right/west


and squarely into the pasture where i would likely put house


from street at front of property, all pics from mid dec.



dnix71

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 08:16:21 PM »
Nice looking property. We call those spaghetti farms. Long and narrow. Direct solar water heating is simple and cheap, and direct solar thermal panels for space heating is simple and cheap, too. That would let you save the oaks for barbequing.

You might want to get your solar panels now before the US/Europe go at it again over tariffs and penalties against the Chinese for their government's subsidies on solar. Don't skimp on batteries and make sure they will be kept warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Do you have city water, or will you depend on a well? You can't make electricity for anywhere near what you buy it from the local power coop, so be careful about disconnecting from the grid.

bob g

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2013, 01:06:27 AM »
you might consider a diesel drive welder generator
many are tough as nails and some of the larger ones are 3 phase output as well.
a machine shop can always use another ac/dc welder too

stick the face of the rig through the shop wall like a window airconditioner, and put a lean too over the noisy parts. this will help
to keep things quieter in the shop.

rather than buying one large unit, i would look into the feasibility of two smaller units.  that way you always have power if one is down for service.  smaller units are more available on the used market too.

bob g

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mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013, 07:22:43 AM »
i should have mentioned the shop is going to be 5000sf with a 17 foot ceiling, plus a few other small buildings, i have a lot of space to heat and wood is the way.  ive got a number of wood stoves, the outdoor wood furnace/boiler and a few grand in pro saws, so wood is just part of my lifestyle.  i do a lot of vegetable oil year round, the hot water from the boiler is a necessity for dewatering WVO batches, and for my jetwash in the shop.  theres no other way to run those that can compete with wood fire, and ive got a timber stand of my own now.  it would be absolutely crazy not to.

i can sweat it out through summers in the shop with a fan or two, but the house's gotta stay cool and dry which is why i dont want to put it out in the blazing tennessee sun.  the trees will help, and the breeze of that back pasture will too.

if the house goes to the back where i want it, the cost of running to the pole is going to be substantial, id have to cut a powerline path and have probably 4-6 poles put in.  its no small feat, and i really dont want a thousand feet of line .  the money and effort invested toward going on the grid would be much better used toward staying off it IMO.

water around the shop, probably a high mounted rainwater catch plumbed to a sink.  just enough to wash hands and keep the jetwash topped off.  ive got a large pressure vessel that ill fill from rainwater or the stream and keep under air pressure in case of fire.   the house will need well water.  i own two small generators now that could be used for that. 

i do come across ancient diesel welder gens at the scray yard now and then but from a welding standpoint theyre a huge step backward over my current equipment, and from a gen standpoint theyre too small.

my experience has been the opposite with generator sizing, there are very few customers willing to bid on an old military 60kw diesel on a trailer so theyre hovering close to scrap price.  ive seen dozens of these and will pick one up as we get closer to moving.  itll live an easy life inside a woodshed with a sound barrier over it and a scrubber for the exhaust noise. 

im 32 with a wife, 2yr old daughter, 2 dogs and a baby on the way.  this is where im digging in for the long haul,  and im willing to do the work to get what i want.  biggest gray area right now is charge controller and inverter specifics.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 07:31:42 AM by mike_belben »

mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2013, 07:32:10 AM »
i should have mentioned the shop is going to be 5000sf with a 17 foot ceiling, plus a few other small buildings, i have a lot of space to heat and wood is the way.  ive got a number of wood stoves, the outdoor wood furnace/boiler and a few grand in pro saws, so wood is just part of my lifestyle.  i do a lot of vegetable oil year round, the hot water from the boiler is a necessity for dewatering WVO batches, and for my jetwash in the shop.  theres no other way to run those that can compete with wood fire, and ive got a timber stand of my own now.  it would be absolutely crazy not to.

i can sweat it out through summers in the shop with a fan or two, but the house's gotta stay cool and dry which is why i dont want to put it out in the blazing tennessee sun.  the trees will help, and the breeze of that back pasture will too.

if the house goes to the back where i want it, the cost of running to the pole is going to be substantial, id have to cut a powerline path and have probably 4-6 poles put in.  its no small feat, and i really dont want a thousand feet of line .  the money and effort invested toward going on the grid would be much better used toward staying off it IMO.

water around the shop, probably a high mounted rainwater catch plumbed to a sink.  just enough to wash hands and keep the jetwash topped off.  ive got a large pressure vessel that ill fill from rainwater or the stream and keep under air pressure in case of fire.   the house will need well water.  i own two small generators now that could be used for that. 

i do come across ancient diesel welder gens at the scray yard now and then but from a welding standpoint theyre a huge step backward over my current equipment, and from a gen standpoint theyre too small.

my experience has been the opposite with generator sizing, there are very few customers willing to bid on an old military 60kw diesel on a trailer so theyre hovering close to scrap price.  ive seen dozens of these and will pick one up as we get closer to moving.  itll live an easy life inside a woodshed with a sound barrier over it and a scrubber for the exhaust noise. 

im 32 with a wife, 2yr old daughter, 2 dogs and a baby on the way.  this is where im digging in for the long haul,  and im willing to do the work to get what i want.  biggest gray area right now is charge controller and inverter specifics.   i want to purchase in the next 6 months.

Crispy

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 09:18:49 AM »
Mike,

Check out some of Chris Olsens posts. He has a large equipment shop and I believe runs most of his big equipment off a generator as well. He has some solar and multiple home brew mills that powers his home and smaller loads in the shop.

Keep in mind if you follow the rule to only discharge your battery bank no more than 20%, you will be spending around 10K for a battery bank that will give you about 13 KWH per day @ 48v in useable storage. Enough or perhaps more than enough provided you have excess power production while the sun shines and the wind blows. Hard to say without knowing your actual loads, the timing of them and how reliable your wind is.

For your charge controller, try Midnite Solar's calculator here http://www.midnitesolar.com/sizingTool/index.php
First you will have to calculate your actual loads in order to size your PV array and ultimately your inverter. You will want a pure sine wave inverter capable of 120/240 split phase with the generator auto start option and battery charging option. The capacity in watts will depend on the load in watts your home and shop will have. You may need more than 1 inverter and charge controller depending on the size of your loads......or your budget. You will also need a distribution panel with breakers and automatic bypass for the generator to name just a few of the components contained within. That alone can be several thousand $$$.

I have been planning a DIY solar installation for several months, hoping to get started on it come Spring. For 10 KWH +/- per day depending on old Sol's cooperation and 4KWH useable battery storage I'm up to $12-14K if that helps put any of your plans into perspective. How much would it cost to do the 1000' connection to the grid? Not sure if you are going for self sufficiency at all cost or if you think grid connect will cost more? Me, I'm 50' from the pole so it's a combo of self sufficient and a hobby for me. I know that there will be no payback on my investment in my lifetime considering an average of almost $500 per year will have to be saved to replace the battery bank every 7 or so years. That's about 8 months worth of grid power per year for me so my net payback is about $250 per year assuming no other equipment failures along the way (not likely)

Shoot us some numbers on what you think your power needs will be in KWH and their timing, IE if the bulk of your power consumption will be during peak solar time during the day, you may be able to work with a smaller battery bank and use more of your budget on panels. Everybody's situation is different in some way or the other. Give us some more info on your power needs. There are plenty of experienced people here who'd be glad to assist.

Crispy



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ChrisOlson

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2013, 09:57:07 AM »
i should have mentioned the shop is going to be 5000sf with a 17 foot ceiling, plus a few other small buildings, i have a lot of space to heat and wood is the way.

I used to heat my 10,000 sq ft off-grid shop with an outdoor wood boiler.  I got a log skidder, semis and a big a chipper with a 900 HP 12V-71TTA Detroit diesel on it and select cut trees on our farm to fuel it.  This last November we put in a Cummins 4BT 45 kVA cogeneration set.  It supplies 480/277 three-phase for the shop, plus heat and AC.  It drives a generator and a big heat pump so we can have air conditioning in the shop in summer too.  The cogen has been running since early December and has burned only a fraction of the diesel fuel that I used to burn in just the V-12 Detroit on the chipper.

We also have a 250 kW Cummins N14 480/277 three-phase genset.  I run both generators off a 20,000 gallon fuel tank.  I buy contract fuel by the tanker load and get a really price on it when the transport can drop a full tanker at a time - so good of a price that it's not even really worth messing with biofuel.

I usually got multiple projects going in the shop all at the same time like this:











Since we put in the cogen I've found I get more done because I'm not outside messing with the wood boiler all the time.  It gets down to 20-30 below here in the winter and the colder it gets the more time it takes to keep the wood boiler going.  The cogeneration system is pretty trouble free.  I shut it down late Friday afternoon.  Later tonight I'll go to the shop and start the little pump that circulates antifreeze from the storage tank and Modine heat exchangers in the shop thru the genset engine.  There's usually enough heat left in it to warm the engine up to 50 degrees or so, so it will start.  Than I'll start it and leave it run all night and when I get to the shop on Monday morning it will be 65 degrees in there and ready to go to work.
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birdhouse

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2013, 10:04:59 AM »
mike-
interesting situation and welcome to the forum! 

the shop sounds like a three phase genset is the only way to go.  as for the house...  i'm skeptical with the money needed to have it off grid.  especially the central air part.  thats a huge power hog!  including the rest of the house, you'd probably need a battery bank that costs 20k+...  then there's 5k in solar, 2k to mount, 5k in an inverter, 2-3k in charge controllers, and another few thousand in bits and pieces...  that doesn't include wind.  these are off the cuff numbers...

i'm not saying it can't be done, but creating/storing large amounts of your own power offgrid is not a cheap endeavor. 

try this on...

so you'r going to have to build a road to get to the back house.  why not trench along the roadside and pull wires back there.  get a dedicated 200A service at the road line, use a step up transformer for the 1000' run, then step back down at the house. 

i'm guessing this would be cheaper than doing it with RE.  you could still run a small offgrid system at the house for outages, ect. 

since you asked...
as for inverters: start looking at stuff made made by xantrex, outback and magnum. 

as for charge controllers:  midnite solar, morningstar, xantrex, and outback. 

adam

ChrisOlson

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 10:20:45 AM »
the shop sounds like a three phase genset is the only way to go.  as for the house...  i'm skeptical with the money needed to have it off grid.  especially the central air part.  thats a huge power hog!

We're putting Central AC in our house this coming summer - running off the cogeneration set.
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mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 09:44:47 AM »
thanks for the replies gents, and chris, nice setup. 



this is my 74 kenworth A model thats pulling all my junk down there.. a 12' camper body is going on the back, its a 350 small cam, 15sp roadranger and a singled out neway air ride rear with 19 feet of frame.  it runs like a top and cost me $1500, just over 10cents/lb.   its a 20hr trip each way at 75mph so when you load my trailer with equipment and slow me down to safe speeds plus a cranky family we need the leg room to turn them into 2 day trips each way.  i gotta do all the driving.  my veggied 12valve dually will do the smaller hotshot runs.

present sketch-


as for batteries, i just had to junk a stack of GNB absolyte IIs.  peter demar of battcon advised me that they were too far gone to recover via catalyst and rehydration.  on the bright side, i have 3 friends employed by corporate entities with rooms full of AGM battery stacks, so its only a matter of time before a stack falls below its 80% rating and im there with truck and cash, helps to know some inside guys.  this is high on my list, but im at the mercy of luck here, just have to see what turns up. 

i still have to call the power company to figure out what cost im trying to beat, the holiday slowed me down.

very interesting about the generator driven AC, can you give me a model number to research?  im in the maintenance dept of a very large industrial manufacturer, my friends are all serious plumbers, electricians, hvac guys and so forth.  how hard can it be to move refrigerant from condensor to coil?  hmmm

mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 10:20:41 AM »
i looked up some micro-cogen units and emailed myself the links to read for later. 

let me ask a specific question to see if i can get a specific answer.  im not terribly good with windings.. assume my electrical skills end at the difference between delta and wye. 

say i take any PTO device.. gas,diesel, whatever.. a spinning shaft, and i couple it to a "motor" ..  i know that spinning magnets within a field generates a sine wave of alternating current with voltage rise and fall.  i understand you get DC by lobbing and smoothing the sine wave with rectifier and capacitor.

-what determines how much voltage at what cycle you get? 
-can you get AC and DC from the same powerhead or is it one or the other? 
-split voltages from an alternator.. say 230/115.. is that just from how many legs you use?

ChrisOlson

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 10:50:19 AM »
Our cogen is a Cummins/Onan 4BT genset with the cooling system plumbed in to the old hot water system for our wood fired boiler, and a Sanyo compressor on it for the AC.  They're common as dirt.

I got a nice set of chromium plated fully illuminated gen-u-ine accessory Alcoa wheels for that old Kenworth.  My wife took 'em off her Pete and put on new ones because they weren't shiny enough - and then she bought raised white letter Dunlops for it too



I think if I search in the shed I got a 9500-series Roadranger 13-speed that will bolt up to that small cam and get rid of that 15-speed.  You only got 10 road gears with them confounded 15-speed transmissions and the gear splitter in the 13 is really nice to keep 'er wrapped up when you want to run with Big Boys.  Put a different button in the pump on that old 350 and bump it to 475 and you could have yourself a cool hot-rod with Big Smoke and everything    ;D
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ChrisOlson

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 11:44:16 AM »
-what determines how much voltage at what cycle you get? 
-can you get AC and DC from the same powerhead or is it one or the other? 
-split voltages from an alternator.. say 230/115.. is that just from how many legs you use?

All generators generate AC power.  DC generators have a quite intuitive mechanical rectifier in the form of a commutator and brushes.

Split phase power (US 120/240V) is generated by a generator that has two coil groups 180 degrees out of phase with another in relation to the generator poles, and connected together by a common center tap to the winding called the neutral.  Three phase in its various voltage forms is basically the same, except that the three phases are displaced by 120 degrees.

The dual voltages comes from leg to leg vs leg to neutral in both types.  For instance the old 120/208 or the wild leg 120/240 three-phase systems are 120 leg to neutral  (except for the wild leg on high leg delta systems will be 208V to neutral) and 208 leg to leg (120/208) or 240 leg to leg (high-leg delta).

The more common these days is 277/480 wye configuration which allows you to run large motors like this without breaking the bank for wiring to the load:



For 120/240 split phase loads powered off 277/480 you have to install transformers in your shop, either in the equipment or standalone for things like 120V wall outlets.  All my machine tools (lathe, vertical mill, welders, air compressor, etc..) are all 480V three-phase.  But we do have a big "box" transformer for 120V power in the shop, that converts the center leg of of the 277/480 to 120V single phase.

So it all depends on the size of your loads and how much you want to spend on wiring.  If you have a big shop you'll use 277/480.  If you have a lot of split-phase equipment (240V air compressor, plaz, machine tools, etc.) you'll likely use US 120/240 split phase power.  If you have a lot of smaller three-phase machine tools you'll use 120/208.

It all depends on your major draw equipment.  If the majority of your big equipment is 120/240 split phase then installing a 120/240 split phase generator is the best, and install a phase converter to run your three-phase stuff.  If the majority is three-phase, then install a three-phase generator and transformers to run your split phase stuff.

I don't know what you have, so I can only guess and provide all the scenarios I can think of.

In the case of generators to run your shop, the generators that are available are not permanent magnet.  They are self-exciting wound field type.  They have to run at a specific speed to produce 60 Hz current, and a device called an AVR regulates the field current to produce the correct generator output voltage.
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mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 08:40:29 PM »
thanks for the excellent tutorial sir!

-your wheels are bling, but im a painted steelie guy, i shy away from owning nice things and the anxiety of caring much about their wear and tear.  the tires in picture are just rollers to get it on the lowboy.  i bought it sitting on drums, bound for china.  rims and rubber is on the list.

-ive got an RT009513 ("double over") but its reserved for a 5.9 build one day, as the input torque rating is a bit low for the small cam.  i expect the KW loaded up and truckin will be in the 50k gross range so weight wise not so bad but my 240" wheelbase plus a 35ft trailer (tn limits campers to 65' combined) trying to creep through the woods at my place while loaded down with tippy bridgeports.. little iffy, im not willing to give up the deep redux on that 15, i love my blue button!  its only coming out if i trip over an 18 speed.  my injection pump experience starts and ends at P7100s, but the rotary pump on there looks pretty simple.  still on the hunt for big chimneys that arent big bucks.

-my equipment is all 230VAC 3phase, or 110.  i have a very big KVA transformer at the shop that i believe is only to provide the center tap neutral for 110. the mills is 230 4 wire feed iirc.  much of my stuff is sub 4hp cnc motors run off 230 3 phase vfd.  welders and plasma are 230 single.

-i presume AVR is automatic voltage regulator, and that the generators throttle is slaved to it for constant speed under variable load? are these particularly complicated or pricey devices?  could they be reasonably retrofitted to a variety of engines and motors or is that the playground of electrical engineers?

ChrisOlson

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2013, 09:53:18 PM »
-ive got an RT009513 ("double over") but its reserved for a 5.9 build one day, as the input torque rating is a bit low for the small cam.

9513's were used for years behind NTC330's and 350's.  With the advent of N14 Celect Plus like I got in my Freightliner, that puts out 1,650 lbs of torque @ 1,200 rpm, and bumps it to 1,950 lbs of torque in high gear, then you have to go to the 1600-series with the bigger countershafts in it.  The N14 will blow both sides of the case right out of a 95 series, but they're fine behind a NTC350.

Quote
-my equipment is all 230VAC 3phase, or 110.

You'll be looking for a high leg delta three phase generator.  That's not that common anymore but it is nice because you can get 240 three phase, 240 split phase and 120 single phase all from the same box, without any transformers.  Just make sure you get a big enough genset to run your split phase loads because you're only using the two 120 volt legs for split phase power, and the high leg (208V) is not used.  So that can be hard on generator windings when you're running both split phase 240 and three-phase 240 loads simultaneously.
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ChrisOlson

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2013, 10:43:05 PM »
i expect the KW loaded up and truckin will be in the 50k gross range so weight wise not so bad but my 240" wheelbase plus a 35ft trailer (tn limits campers to 65' combined) trying to creep through the woods at my place while loaded down with tippy bridgeports.. little iffy, im not willing to give up the deep redux on that 15

I have to chuckle when I hear dump truck drivers and such talk about their off-road gears in their 15's.

I got a RTLO16913 in my Freightliner with 370 drivers.  2 or three years ago we loaded up the hopper to about 112,000 in the field and I took off with it to take the load back to the dryer.  The field was a little soft and I spun out going up this little rise in the field.  Truck wouldn't go ahead or back and the trailer was sunk in about a foot.

So I hollered on the radio for my hired man to get over here with the Cat Challenger and hook on the front to pull me up this little hill.  The Challenger wouldn't move it.  So he went around to the back and hooked on the rear of the trailer.  Pulled the truck backwards until I got back on more solid footing so I could take a different route around the side of that hill where it was a little more solid.

I hollered on the radio and told him to stop because this is good and I'll be OK from here.  I waited for a bit for him to unhook the chain - hollered on the radio to ask him if he got it unhooked - no answer.  I figured it must good so I took off around the hill.

Next thing I know I see my hired man running in the field waving his arms for me to stop.  So I stopped and he comes up and jumps on the step and I asked him what the problem was.  He never got the chain unhooked and I was dragging that 55,000 lb Challenger in park, with both tracks sliding, behind the truck.  I didn't even know it was back there.

Quote
my injection pump experience starts and ends at P7100s, but the rotary pump on there looks pretty simple.

That's not a rotary pump on there.  It's a PT (Pressure Time) pump and all it does is vary the fuel pressure in the injector rails.  The amount of fuel that gets into the injector for injection is determined by an orfice on the injector and the amount of pressure in the rail.  The higher the pressure, the more fuel gets into the injector before the injector lever operates it.

The old trick on the NTC's with the PT fuel system was to put a shutoff valve on the rail return that could be operated from the cab.  When guys wanted Big Smoke they just reach down and turn the shutoff valve to restrict the return, which sends the rail pressure thru the roof.

Give me about 30 minutes with that old Kenworth and I can make it come right to life.  I'll have all the liners loose in the block within 10,000 miles - guaranteed    ;D
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birdhouse

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2013, 08:54:46 AM »
Quote
i still have to call the power company to figure out what cost im trying to beat

i think this is a non issue.  power companies provide power to a lot, not every building on the lot.  they'd probably even look at you funny if you wanted them to string lines all the way to the back of the lot.  not to mention the expense of them doing it. 

this is why i suggested getting a second 200A strung up to the existing cabin.  then you can do the rest yourself.  find two suitable transformers, a bunch of 4" conduit, four fat wires of 1000' and your off to the races.   heck if you get direct bury wire, you don't even need the conduit, just a deeper trench and some warning tape buried a foot or so above the wires. 

adam

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2013, 09:06:17 AM »
i think this is a non issue.  power companies provide power to a lot, not every building on the lot.  they'd probably even look at you funny if you wanted them to string lines all the way to the back of the lot.  not to mention the expense of them doing it.

Even if you can buy grid power for 12 cents/kWh, three-phase power can be incredibly expensive in rural areas.  The transmission lines along state hiways are probably three phase.  But the rural branch lines are typically only single phase.  That's the problem with irrigation wells in this area and why everybody runs them on diesel power.  Installing a rotary phase converter, then paying the single phase price to run a three-phase well doesn't pay.  Diesel power is cheaper.

Up here it's $580,000 in today's money to get three-phase power run 2.5 miles from the state highway to our place.  11 years ago they wanted $165,000.  We put in the 250kW set for only $40,000 and there has been many, many times over the past decade that we have stayed up and running when the power was out to the rest of the county.
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Chris

mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2013, 10:10:47 AM »
i think this is a non issue. [...]this is why i suggested getting a second 200A strung up to the existing cabin.  then you can do the rest yourself.  find two suitable transformers, a bunch of 4" conduit, four fat wires of 1000' and your off to the races.

a thousand feet of trench through the thick of a forest, under a stream and around slabs of rock? remain at the mercy of the power company for every bill and outage for the rest of my life? its cheap and easy to suggest, but not to implement.  thanks for trying to help though.   


Give me about 30 minutes with that old Kenworth and I can make it come right to life.  I'll have all the liners loose in the block within 10,000 miles - guaranteed    ;D

youll hang around to assist with the inframe soon as she cools down right? ill order beer and pizza   :P 

so its a mechanical common rail.  does the high pressure pump siphon from the tanks or is there a lift pump also? any reason you wouldnt run it on WVO or a veg/d2 blend?  i built a pretty dependable (all manual) system for my dodge and havent had any substantial issues in 30k miles, got a fairly thorough filter/dewater operation as well.

what i really like about the 15 is more about going very slow than pulling huge weight.  deep reverse is awesome.  in low side reverse i have to ride the clutch just a hair in tight spots while wrestling the manual steering box. with deep reverse, just let it lurch along with my foot on the floor, one less thing to worry about when im 3 inches from peeling my brand new door frame open on either side.  id like high side splits, but ive got a lot of projects to get to in a short amount of time and thats just making one extra right now.  im gonna run the truck for life, so maybe down the road.     

got a lot going on this week but im gonna start homing in on the big genny auctions toward the end of the month. 

mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2013, 10:15:32 AM »
Our cogen is a Cummins/Onan 4BT genset with the cooling system plumbed in to the old hot water system for our wood fired boiler, and a Sanyo compressor on it for the AC.  They're common as dirt.

sanyo as in the automotive style compressors?  is it running on the front accessory belt of the 4bt via a 12vdc clutch pulley? thermostat calls for cooling, clutch kicks in, pump cycles refrigerant?

ChrisOlson

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2013, 11:00:18 AM »
sanyo as in the automotive style compressors?  is it running on the front accessory belt of the 4bt via a 12vdc clutch pulley? thermostat calls for cooling, clutch kicks in, pump cycles refrigerant?

Yep.  It's going to have two of 'em on there - one for the shop and other for the house.  I don't have the one for the house put on it or hooked up yet.  The compressors came off a CaseIH combine.  They got the 12V clutches on them and the whole works.  Real simple but they pack a big punch in a small size - they're axial piston type compressors and a Honda GX390 has all it wants to drive one.

I suppose the fuel system in your old 350 could be called a primitive mechanical common rail.  The PT pump feeds fuel to one head and there's fuel jumpers with straight slot screws that connect the fuel rail head to head.  If you look down between the rocker boxes you'll see them in between the heads in there.  But the injectors are not unit-type.  They're the old TS (Top Stop) type with zero lash links.  The injection timing is set by changing the shim gaskets in the cam follower boxes on the left side of the engine.  The max fuel rate is controlled by a "button" in the pump.  The higher the rail pressure, the more fuel is forced thru the injector orifice, hence the Pressure Time designation.

Whatever fuel gets forced into the injector body is injected when the cam follower operates the injector.  The cam followers hold the injector plunger fully shut most of the time.  When it goes into metering the flat spot in the injector cam lobe comes around and the injector plunger goes up and opens the metering orifice.  This is the PT metering as the injector body fills with fuel.  Then the cam lobe rotates, the injector lever pushes the plunger down, closing off the orifice and injecting the fuel thru the injector tip.

It's a real simple fuel system and it was used for better than 20 years before the Celect system in the N14 and L10 with unit injectors came along.
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Chris

ChrisOlson

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2013, 11:25:49 AM »
does the high pressure pump siphon from the tanks or is there a lift pump also? any reason you wouldnt run it on WVO or a veg/d2 blend?  i built a pretty dependable (all manual) system for my dodge and havent had any substantial issues in 30k miles, got a fairly thorough filter/dewater operation as well.

There's a gear pump in the rear of that PT pump that acts as a lift pump and provides pressure to the PT system.

The only issues I can think of in running one of those on biodiesel is the injector o-rings might deteriorate (so have to change them to newer style).  And the aneroid diaphragm might not like it.  Your pump may or may not have an aneroid on it.  If there's a pressure line coming from the intake down to the pump, then it has one.

The purpose of the aneroid is limit fuel rate during acceleration until boost catches up so there's sufficient air to support combustion and prevent smoke.  Most guys put a spacer in there anyway and eliminated it.  Without the aneroid it cackles and belches out a big puff of black smoke when you stand on it, which is always a Good Thing as far as truck drivers are concerned    ;D
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Chris

mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2013, 12:16:31 PM »
you oughta start a hillbilly consulting service.. where do i sent payment?  i can backdate that to eek out a few more deductions from fiscal '12

i run straight veg in heated 2 tank setups, no methanol or seal problems so far.  the truck is pickled for winter on my godfathers farm but ill have to give it a look over in the spring and see whats what under the hood. 

thanks a bunch chris.

mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2013, 07:51:09 PM »
little bit of progress today.  volunteer electric coop is the company that services my street.  theyll run the first 750' of above ground line from the street to my meter base, its $2.50 per foot past that.  right now, single phase 220vac is around 10c/kwh but the nearest 3 phase is like 4 miles away so im still committed to generator power no matter how i look at it.  grid tie might not be a bad thing at that price. 

ChrisOlson

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2013, 08:00:01 PM »
grid tie might not be a bad thing at that price.

Actually, I have never really seen where grid tie is a good thing when you're generating your own power.  Grid power will be cheaper than generating your own.  And if you have a generator on-site then you have backup for when the grid goes down.  In that case living off-grid is something you do because you want to be independent, and be prepared to spend a LOT of money if you want to live comfortably.
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Chris

mike_belben

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Re: starting from scratch in tennessee, offgrid machine shop.
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2013, 10:04:21 PM »
i will not spring for a generator that isnt diesel powered and suitable for WVO conversion, and i tend to have more than 500 gallons on hand most of the time, which is usually free.  i need the 3 phase so genset is a must if i cant get it from the grid.  if the generator has to run whenever im in the shop, it might as well charge some batteries too.  theyll eventually come along, i know where to look.

this one look about right to you?  the 120/208 setup? 



« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 10:19:00 PM by mike_belben »