Power Cuts/Generators yet again

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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

Thanks. That's what I suspected. [Sorry didn't read your post until I had posted another question along these lines].
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It's basically a Vellerman kit from the likes of Maplin with a few mods. It produces a near perfect 50 Hz sine wave when feeding my CH. It would be an expensive solution (perhaps) if bought direct from Maplin as I estimate the parts cost at about 70 quid if bought retail - high for a 160 watt (or 320 from 24 volt) invertor. However, I bought all the bits from Ebay - although it took several months to gather them all together. I intend it for other use than just a CH back up, though.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 10:20:39 +0000 (GMT), Dave Plowman wrote:

<snip>
Change the car battery for a "leisure" type battery. Generally car batteries do not take kindly to deep discharges, a few cycles and they are dead or have a dead cell.
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Since I've already got a near new battery for pennies, replacing it with a leisure one wouldn't be cost effective. If I discover it's not reliable enough for my purposes, then of course I'd consider the correct thing.
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On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 10:51:42 +0000 (GMT), Dave Plowman

I think from what others have said car batteries don't last long if deeply discharged frequently. I can't comment on that because I have no knowledge of it.
But so what? The likelihood is that it will rarely if ever go into deep discharge! Most power outages last only a short time (an hour or two), which the car battery can easily hold out for.
If your car battery is being deeply discharged by the UPS arrangement then my guess is that there's some sort of major disruption to the power grid connecting to your property - and you'd be sorting that out as the critical issue - not fannying around trying to find a battery that is friendly towards being deeply discharged.
I have a Smart UPS on my PC equipment here - which from memory I think holds up for 25 minutes. Now and again I hear it clicking in as the lights go dim for a second or two. A couple of times over the last few years it has had to come online seriously when we lost power to the house for a considerable period of time - which was fine because it gave me time to shut things down gracefully.
I think your decision is okay personally :)
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It's said to be true - they certainly don't like being flattened. I remember buying one AC Delco 'Freedom' car battery which had a three year warranty for car use, but one year for golf buggy or wheelchair etc.

That's what I'm gambling on. If it proves wrong, I've lost little and can simply buy a traction battery.

The Acorn I use doesn't suffer as much from being inadvertently shut down as a PC - all you'll loose is your work from the last save - and on important stuff I set it to save every 15 minutes. ie rarely. ;-)
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On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 12:47:44 +0000, PoP wrote:

Try telling that to the last few people to be reconnected 48hrs after any major storm... I expect there will be a few down south on tues/wed without power after Mondays storm (if it happens, something will but how big?)
Power outages might only last an hour two at your location but up here they are either a second or so as the auto recloser resets but if that locks out then the power will be off for 5 or 6 hours. Say 1/2 an hour for the supply company to get enough reports to indicate it is their problem, 1 1/2 hours to get the engineers out of bed and drive in and a couple of hours to find and fix the fault.

Personally I'm not going anywhere near the 11kV distribution. If my incomer is dead I get on the phone, couple of minets job done. B-)

No you'd start with a battery capable of handling repeated deep discharges. I'd like something like Mr Firth has recently outlined, especially the wind turbine part but I'd also like to put the whole house on it all the time thus reduce consumption from the grid or even sell back...
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Yes, but I live in Central London. If I lived where you do, I'd probably have a full blown standby diesel genny by now - you've presumably not got a space or noise with neighbours problem?
Large non portable gennies can be very cheap - relatively - second hand. It's the 3 ish kW ones which cost a fortune.
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On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 18:07:45 +0000 (GMT), Dave Plowman wrote:

It was high up the list when we moved in. A couple of the poles supporting our (we are the only people on it) 1/2mile single phase 11kV spur are at rather odd angles and apart from the odd bit at substations I suspect our supply is overhead from the power station to the house wall. This includes both feeds (33kV and 11kV backup) to the local 33kV substation that pass over Hartside (1900') enroute to the 125Kv substation to the north of Penrith.
As it happens the supply is pretty stable and I can cope with an average of one 6hr outage a year. This is *much* better than some people living in urban areas near major cities. Of course having said that we'll get a big storm this winter that brings down our spur and half the other lines in Cumbria/Northumberland/Durham and we'll be without a mains supply for 5 days...

No plenty of space and nearest neighbours would be well out of earshot of any half decently silenced genset.

Thats probably what I'd go for, preferably able to run on 28sec heating oil as we have a good supply of that. Cheaper than red diesel as well...
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On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 23:30:56 +0000 (GMT), Dave Liquorice wrote:

Have you actually bothered to give them a bell and tell them a couple of poles are leaning? Better to tell them and have them come and push the poles up in decent weather than wait until a storm brings them even further over and possibly cuts off your leccy supply.
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On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 07:36:01 +0000, Wanderer wrote:

On the two occasions (once to lower the volts to within spec and once to replace one of the 11kV insulators) that we have had engineers here I've pointed the leaning poles them out. They don't seem overly concerned and they are friendly engineers willing to chat not just lets do the job and get outa here.

I doubt that you could just "push a pole up" as a) there is the best part of 6' or more pole in the ground b) you'd have a void on one side c) you need to compress the ground on the other side. The only solution is to plant an new pole, in a new hole. Which round here might be fun as the bed rock is rather close to the surface in places.
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No!, you can't do that with today's accountant driven supply industry. Preventative maintenance and genuine customer care?!. Leave it out, its far cheaper, whoops economic, to wait for the things to collapse rather then have that money wasted before they do.
Perish the thought!.....
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On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 23:30:56 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"

What sort of engine would that be? A multi fuel engine from a fighting vehicle may be a bit large, an old BMC engine set to run on tvo or maybe a small gas turbine?
AJH
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This lot had some decent inexpensive ones when I last looked. Unfortunately they don't update their website as often as they might....
http://www.betagenerators.com/html/used_gensets.html
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wrote:

Ah, but I doubt any of them are designed to run on 28 sec heating oil as Dave L stipulated. I have a couple that do but they produce 110V @ 400Hz, itsy bit noisy too.
AJH
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Isn't 28 sec very similar to TVO? So an old tractor engine?
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On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 13:53:11 +0000 (GMT), Dave Plowman

Yes I think so, although I think tvo was a bit nearer to petrol than ornery paraffin. Esso were the last to produce it and now the vintage enthusiasts trade various recipes for a substitute. BMC used to make a tvo version of the A series (I think) that was put in Nuffield tractors as a tvo engine, grey ferguson tractors had a tvo version also. Both still up in the 30hp class, I wonder if those old 6hp hopper cooled Listers ran on it?
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On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 10:08:15 +0000, Andrew Heggie wrote:

Donno. I'm not an engine man, though I see from your other postings in this thread you probably are. I'd gained an impression in the past that a diesel (35sec) would run on 28sec with little if any adjustment. Though I guess "run" might need to be clarified... B-)
28sec heating oil is pretty much the same as parafin and jet A1. So a little more volatile than 35sec diesel, gas oil etc. If you inject not as much and a bit later than you would 35sec would it not do the job?
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On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 01:21:53 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Liquorice"

I posed the question on uk.rec.engines.stationay, few responses but a bit of consensus. The heating oil (28 sec) will run in a diesel but some extra lubrication will be required for the injection pump. I think because its cetane rating is wrong it will not ignite as well, one poster had experience of it tarring up an engine.
Your suggestion of derating could work well, especially if it meant the injector could be optimised, I think you would have to inject at the current timing and maybe shorten the time to injection cut off.
If I were planning a standby generator I would stick with petrol if I thought it would run <40hrs a year, propane if greater and diesel if full time (in which case there would be no need of the domestic heating system).
AJH
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On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 19:50:08 +0000, Andrew Heggie wrote:

Well I don't mind adding a bit of petrol and a dash of 2 stroke oil, though it would be nice if it ran "neat". I can appreciate that heating oil is not intended to be an internal combustion engine fuel so one should expect the odd snag.

All I know about diesels is the basic school boy stuff. Are those two tweaks easy, the timing I guess is but the second?

I agree that petrol for small infrequent use gensets is probably best but it erks me to pay around 50p/litre for Duty on road petrol when I have a couple of thousand litres of 28sec at less than 20p/l available... I don't think there is an easyly available petrol version of red diesel, I'd like some for the strimmer and lawn mower anyway...

Propane could be an option, at the moment we cook on electric and I hate it. So at some point a couple of 47kg propane cylinders will appear along with at least a gas hob.
CHP would be nice but the economics don't quite add up the right way, not to mention the non stop noise.
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