Connecting an Alternator to horse drawn buggy

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I live near an Amish community. They are required to use lights on their horse drawn buggies at night. They use 12V marine batteries which last about 7 to 10 hours. Then they have the non-Amish neighbors charge them, or use a gas generator. I was talking to one of them and he said he would like to connect a car alternator to the wheels. I told him that seems doable. That got me thinking. Wiring a delco with built in regulator is easy. There are two problems.
1. Mounting it so a pulley can be connected to the wooden spoke wheel hub. I can sort of see a means to attach a belt pulley, but the belt would have to connect to a shaft or it would be outside too far.
2. Alternators will not charge until they reach a specific RPM. I doubt the buggy wheels would reach that. This means a gear assembly would be needed to increase the rpm. I also heard that some tractor alternators charge at a lower RPM, so I have to check into that.
Anyone have any suggestions? What could I steal a simple gear unit from? How do I attach a pulley to a wooden hub, spoke wheel? Has anyone ever done anything like this?
I'm having fun with this project....
Alvin
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a small wind turbine. It would work night & day and put out about 2-6 Amps @12v.

body, fix full pully wheels around the diameter and use a long belt. That would give you the gearing you need without much loss in power or slippage.
I'll not to draw it in ASCII art
HTH
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Terminal_Crazy

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look into a generator as compared to an alternator , produces voltage at lower rpms , years ago , cabooses on trains had a similar system the wheels would turn a generator which would charge storage batteries for 12 volt systems on the caboose , as far as mounting the drive gear or pulley , look into mounting a pulley directly to the spokes with the center of the pulley , lining up with the center of the drive wheel , then its a simple matter of mounting the gen or alt , and using a belt , a fully loaded alternator will require a bit of horsepower to keep it turning and you may actually find that it will produce so much drag as to actually cause to drive whell to lock up once it fully enrgizes , thats why i suggest using a generator ,
cant beleive a fully charged deep cycle would only last 8 hours in this instance , unless they are using headlights also ,
snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

7 to 10 hours. Then they have the non-Amishoneighbors charge them, or use a gas generator. I was talking to oneeof them and he said he would like to connect a car alternator to thetwheels. I told him that seems doable. That got me thinking. Wiringba delco with built in regulator is easy. There are two problems. in1. Mounting it so a pulley can be connected to the wooden spoke wheel
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The Freon Cowboy wrote:

I expect they are. I agree with you that a generator is the way to go. They were used for years on both cars and airplanes and will generate electricity with virtually any movement at all. The reason the auto and aircraft industry shifted to alternators was the more even output. A car with a generator would darken its lights markedly at a red light whereas a car equipped with an alternator would not.
You can get one at JC Whitney for as little as $84.
http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/Product/tf-Browse/s-10101/Pr-p_Product.CATENTRY_ID:2010339/p-2010339/N-111+10201+600001596/c-10101
(Sorry for the long URL... alternately just go to http://jcwhitney.com and do a search for "generator".
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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On Nov 8, 7:29 am, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote:

Leds are more efficient , my bicycle light of 5 red leds lasts 300 hours on 2 AA batteries. Getting enough rpm will be hard if the wheel spins on the axle, you will need alot of gearing to get prm fast enough to spin the generator. With Leds the battery will last many times longer.
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I think LED lights are the way to go! Way less complex than a generator, very low power use, life near forever, no extra drag for horses to pull. simple straighforward change.
even if you have a generator you will still need a battery for non motion times.
LED should cost less too.
just go look at some current LED lanterns, WOW was my first thought.
If you REALLY want a generator get a small hand crank one the amish kids can wind to keep the battery charged!
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On Nov 8, 7:16 am, snipped-for-privacy@-insightbb.com (The Freon Cowboy) wrote:

No they don't. In fact higher output at lower RPMs is one of the main reasons that alternators replaced generators. The other being lighter weight.
nate
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However, a permanent-magnet generator will charge a completely dead battery. An alternator will not.
I don't think operating RPM is a big issue; as the top speed of a horse and buggy is not that great. simply gear the alternator to be running at its optimal RPM at "cruising speed."
nate
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Would that be a one horsepower generator or two?
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They have LED lights now and they use very little current, all auto stores have them.

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On Thu, 08 Nov 2007 02:16:53 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

Attack the problem from the other end. Install LED lights. They will draw about 90% less electricity. If you want to get really fancy, you could find a spot on the buggy for a modest solar panel to keep the battery charged.
I replaced all the navigation lights on my sailboat and the difference in power consuption is astonishing. I also no longer have to be winched up the mast to replace burnt out incandescent bulbs. The LED's will outlast me and the boat.
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Alvin,

I don't know much about the Amish, but I thought the idea was to avoid modern technology? Couldn't they use lanterns as was done before electrical lights were available?
Otherwise, I'd start with a switch to more efficient lighting so the battery lasts longer.
I don't know if they still make them, but once upon a time you could get lights for bicycles that were powered by a little generator that ran on the top of the bike tire. Seems like it would be easy to adapt to a buggy.
Otherwise, maybe you could install a small gas powered generator? A hybrid buggy? :)
But it seems like it's getting away from the Amish ideals to me?
Anthony
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It's not so much an avoidance of "modern technology", it's more of an avoidance of depending on outside resources. Electricity isn't as much of an issue as being connected to the grid is. Tho, it depends on "which" Amish you're talking about. There are different levels of interpretation, and different levels of willingness to adapt to the modern world.
Eg: they won't have a car. But most won't turn down a ride in one if it's going somewhere they need to go, and some aren't shy about asking for a ride ;-)
Eg: many Amish in the US came from Canada (south west Ontario) when Canada imposed refrigeration requirements on dairy production. When the corresponding US states imposed refrigeration, some Amish moved either to states that didn't require it, or to Mexico. Others adapted and stayed where they are. Most Amish, for example, refuse to have a telephone. But as an example of "modern compromise", some will have an outdoor phone for calls pertaining to their dairy operation.
My wife and her sister bed-and-breakfasted with Pennsylvania Amish farm families, and recounted the amusing incident where the Amish family's teenage daughter had to stand outside in the rain at the "dairy phone" to talk to one of her friends.
I thought of bicycle generators (car-size alternators or generators will sometimes present too much load to the available horse power ;-) too.
However, I don't think they'd be terribly effective long-term solutions. They'd always be diddling with them. Something simple and mostly maintenance free is better.
Perhaps LED lights and a smallish solar panel. Should allow them to use smaller/cheaper batteries too.
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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On Nov 8, 10:37 am, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:

Sounds like a good community to have a way station with a few solar panels and a few group owned batteries on charge, swap out your discharged battery for a charged one along the way. Wouldn't need to be any bigger than an outhouse.
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Amish communitees are very well spread out. They're not towns, they're farming regions with a mixture of Amish and non-Amish farmers. In many cases the non-Amish outnumber the Amish by a substantial margin.
In order to be useful, "way stations" would have to be impractically numerous ;-)
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Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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I found it amusing when we visited amish country in Indiana. We went to their modern type general store that has gas lights and sunpipes and skylights. So far so good. Then, all around the perimeter of the store are modern refrigerator cases. What runs them??? A/C power made from inverters off a bank of about 100 car batteries being charged by the thermoking reefer unit out on the semi trailer. I goes out to look. Upon this thermoking unit are 6, Yes count them SIX, high output General motors style alternators to charge this bank of batteries. A huge 500 gallon diesel tank stands near by to feed this fuel monster. Now how is that being disconnected from society??? It's rediculous to burn all that diesel when all he'd have to do it hook up to the electricty.
s

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Nobody said it has to be entirely logical. Or at least to us.
Most religions have a number of things in them that seem more than a trifle inconsistent or counter-productive or varies in surprising ways from one place to another. Or at least to outsiders who don't understand what the point of the whole thing is.
This will demystify it considerably:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amish#Modern_technology
There are many things to admire in their way of life. We could all do with a little less advertising for example. I just don't like some of the other facets...
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Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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On Thu, 08 Nov 2007 15:37:04 -0000, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:

You are pretty much correct about the more modern Amish. My neighbors do have an outdoor phone in a small shed and are connected to an answering service. Some of them have small electric generators and will power up a standard trouble light when they shoe their horses after dark. Their local sawmill is a huge diesel powered engine with shafts and pulleys all over the place to power different devices. They can drive a tractor, but not own one. They can not drive a car, but can ride in them, and often do. I give them rides quite often. I charge their batteries too. They are nice people. I find their "rules" a little strange at times, but I accept them for what they are. For example, they can not be hooked to the "grid" (electric service), but they can use most anything electric if it connects to a generator. My neighbor even has an electric razor and shaves in the barn when his generator is running, which is used to run an air compressor connected to a 500gallon LP tank. That air is used to pull water from their community well. They have indoor plumbing, but only cold water. They have to heat it on an outdoor wood burner, or on their kitchen wood stove. They use gasoline or LP for their generator or compressor, but can not have an LP cook stove or furnace. They can smoke cigars, but not cigarettes.
You get the picture......
Like I said, they are nice people, but do things in strange ways. Yet, who am I to say. At least they dont have an electric bill, and the whole community shares the phone bill, and that is a good thing.
Therefore, an alternator or solar panels would be acceptable in THIS community, but not others.
I enjoy their company and they love to come over and watch movies with me. Of course a few of their younger kids have found ways to hide portable DVD players which they power off their 12V battery until dad finds out why the battery is dead......
Alvin
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I donno. Why don't you go to Amish.com and ask them.
http://www.amish.com /
Jim
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Why are they called apartments, when they\'re all stuck together?



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snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

How about solar panel?
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