Author Topic: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage  (Read 735 times)

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jenkinswt

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Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« on: December 03, 2017, 09:30:31 AM »
Well the other day I got the generator craned up and finally got it wired in. About the only tests I have done is that I can operate this as a motor. I assumed if it would motor, it would generate. It had sat for many many years before I purchased it and the previous owner never got it installed either so condition is unknown. I had tried to spin it on the ground but didn't really have a good setup but only observed 7 volts at the most.

Yesterday the winds were very calm but there was a few hours where it was spinning pretty good but we really only had 2-4 mph winds. Today were up to 5-8 mph and headed into really strong winds this evening through tomorrow. My multimeter junked out the other day so I can't test exactly but I have a 12 volt bulb that will light up on a 8 volt battery but not from the wind generator.......which really has me concerned.

This is a Jacobs 110 volt big commutator shunt generator model 60.   Is there any ideas other than craning this back down and taking it to a motor rewind shop?

Harold in CR

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2017, 12:36:15 PM »

 Usually the blade needs to be turning pretty well before the controller will " kick in " and start putting out decent voltage.  If you don't have a strong enough, steady wind, the genny will immediately start stalling the blade speed and cause "cut out". Think of your blade assembly as a flywheel and what it needs to stay spinning when the genny starts charging.  I would guess closer to 10 MPH steady winds to overcome the cut in voltage.

 This is not to say there is nothing wrong. I would leave it up and see what happens.

 In the days of generators on cars, instead of Alternators, if a generator was "motored" to be sure it was working, once installed on the car, you needed to "Flash" the controller by physically opening the points in the controller and then letting them snap shut. It's been over 50 years ago that I remember doing that, just not quite sure I said it correctly.  ::)

jenkinswt

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2017, 01:12:03 PM »
We're up to 12-15 steady winds now with stronger gusts. So does the field need flashed every time after motoring? From what I've read, I have to separate the field from the armature when flashing. Such as raising the brushes out of  holders, then applying voltage. Virtually impossible today with these winds.

Another issue I have is the tail chain is somehow stuck and I can't furl the tail out of the wind. We're supposed to have 40+ mph gusts tomorrow so the blade fueling is the only means of slowing it down right now. I left a little slack in case it somehow unbinds itself, but not enough that it would bang sideways.

hiker

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2017, 02:15:16 PM »
Try hitting the lead out wires with 12v for a secoud or two...should start charging...worked on my old 1953 panel truck...if not you'll be picking up pieces of blades or what ever ..when that wind hits..good luck.
WILD in ALASKA

jenkinswt

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2017, 03:18:48 PM »
Tried that, still no output. I climbed up and worked the chain free while my son unwound the winch. Slowed down alot, which makes me feel a safer. I was wondering if I need to try flashing it next time the wind stops and I can get the back cover off to lift the brushes. I could send 48 volts up. I dunno, I'm just guessing at this point.

hiker

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2017, 04:14:03 PM »
How's the brushes look and gen...may need to clean both..steel wool..or fine emery cloth..spray off with wd40 or a electro cleaner...
WILD in ALASKA

joestue

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2017, 04:23:14 PM »
can you disconnect the field coils and run the wires down the tower?


Harold in CR

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2017, 04:52:15 PM »

jenkinswt

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2017, 05:06:09 PM »
Hiker - I cleaned with emery cloth when it was done and wiped with a cloth, didn't spray a cleaner maybe I should have. The brushes appear almost new.

Jostue - I've thought about that but it might be a mess, also I could only put 48 volts to them. Or was you thinking temporarily to excite it?

Harold - thanks for the link, I've read that before. That's how I was thinking about trying to flash it. I'd have to do it with no wind though.

I appreciate all the help as I'm feeling pretty discouraged at this point.

jenkinswt

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2017, 06:34:11 PM »
There's also a capacitor at the back of the generator, could this be  a problem?

Harold in CR

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2017, 04:47:42 AM »

 On a lower wind day, You could crawl up the tower and hand furl it so you can stop the blades and tie one fast to the tower so it doesn't start up. I have done this several times, once the wind was around 18-20 MPH.

 I did have plenty of experience with being belted off and swinging around working on power poles, though.  :)

jenkinswt

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2017, 07:56:15 AM »
It sounds like I need you to swing by! It does look like I will have to work with the wind at this point as I don't see any calm winds in the forecast. I was up most of the night hoping I could figure something out and get it to kick in and charge. I found a home power article where they had similar condition with a Jake and they worked through testing each part of the system and it ended up being a short in the armature windings. I hope that's not the case but really don't know at this point.

While it was on the ground I did flash the field with about 20 volts but then later on I motored it, will motoring change the poles in the coils? I'm wondering if flashing the field coils again and not motoring it would make it work? If it doesn't wouldn't this lead to another issue?

I don't know what a fair rewind cost would be for just the armature, or if its possible to map it all out and wire myself. I'm thinking it'd be better left with a shop as they have the equipment and expertise.  With only 20 volts to the field coils I could get a small wrench to hang from all the coils so I think their all good.

Harold in CR

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2017, 09:45:09 AM »
 ;D  I'm a little too old for that, anymore. I'm currently working on a 2 piece 40' telescoping tower for my place. Even that is almost too high, before cranking it up.  ::)

 Where is your controller located ? I would think you can flash it and get the residual magnetism loaded up.

 I believe whenever a genny is motored it needs flashing. Just not sure what voltage for a 120V genny, though ? I was used to 12 and 24V gennys back in the day.  You asked about a capacitor. It might well be that is where the magnetic charge is stored.  I would try that before taking it down. There must be someone that could give more insight to you. Have you googled Jacobs rebuilders and tried calling them ?

 Maybe give these guys a call. http://www.kansaswindpower.net
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 09:50:35 AM by Harold in CR »

hiker

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2017, 10:00:27 AM »
http://www.jacobswind.net.       Google search.   Lots of vids and few sites....  Might help you out.
WILD in ALASKA

jenkinswt

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 12:48:39 PM »
I called Bob at Kansas wind and he is quite knowledgeable on these. I think I have a plan once these winds die down. What I thought was merely a ground wire at the slip rings is actually to the field coils. I have a wire at the junction box I can use but didn't get it wired in. Right now the blades are right in front of this box so I can't access it. I can't safely reach the tail either.

I will update once I figure something out. I appreciate you all helping me out.

jenkinswt

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2017, 12:32:27 PM »
I have it working now! Just need to clean up my wiring but its producing some power. Not sure which mode to run on the classic. The solar mode worked pretty good but it let the voltage climb real fast once and went past 150 volts. I don't know how to use wind track mode yet.


SparWeb

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2017, 09:25:13 PM »
Great!
Have you contacted Midnite to get their take on the best set-up for a Jake?
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

jenkinswt

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2017, 10:15:54 PM »
No not yet, I did switch to dynamic mode and it seems to keep it under control. I'm wondering about adding resistance to raise the voltage as it seems it should be making more power. I'm pretty happy for the moment though having night time power without starting a wore out gasoline generator!

This has been quite an adventure and were thrilled. There's a lot of little things I want to improve and add to our power setup but this is one step closer.

Oh and Harold when I was on the tower today in the wind I couldn't help but think of you! It was quite windy and I used a 10' PVC pipe to put a rope with a hook on the tail, then my son from the ground steered it until it slowed enough for me to tie a blade off.

I'm not sure what my peak power has been but I did observe about 1400 watts once.

Harold in CR

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2017, 03:47:52 AM »
 ;D ;D  Makes you feel kinda in charge doesn't it ?  What was the cure for low/no voltage ?

 Glad you get it figured out.  8)

jenkinswt

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2017, 04:04:26 PM »
I didn't have the field wire wired in, I temporarily wired it up to the positive wire with a fuse in between it, then it came right to life!  I'm planning to move all my electronics at some point and will clean it up some inside a box. I sure don't get much sleep staring at the mill or the screen seeing the power. ;D

Now I need to convince my wife that we need 1 or 2 more!


SparWeb

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2017, 07:49:25 PM »
Congratulations!

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

DamonHD

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Re: Jacobs generator - low/no voltage
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2017, 01:53:17 AM »
\o/

Well done!

Damon