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PTO generators

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Awlknottedup
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote


What can anybody tell me about the PTO driven generators? I have a 29 hp tractor with a three cyl Diesel engine. Would a PTO generator be cheaper to run than a stand alone gas or propane generator? I am looking at the 7500 Watt range of stand alone.

Winter is coming with the possibility of ice storms and I will be down for several months with leg and knee operations.
 
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Billy Shafer
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

With your condition. I would go with a standby unit. Kohler and G E make the best at this time.You can have them set up with a transfer switch. So that you don't have to do anything if power fails. They will do it all for you. Cost a bit but worth it.

Stay away from Generac. Poor quality,expensive parts.Poor if any service.
Cummins/Onan Poor quality,very expensive parts and poor service.
 
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Dick2
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:29 am    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Brother has a PTO generator, but in a blizzard snow will blow into the generator and short it out as the whole unit has to sit outside.

In your case, an enclosed stand-alone with automatic transfer switch would work best. Check out the price or the transfer switch and cost of having an electrician install it correctly - sometimes that can cost almost as much as the generator.

As the man said, avoid Generac.
 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:30 am    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Can you get by without your tractor in an ice storm? I know I sure wouldn't want to have to uncouple my tractor from a generator every time I need to pull a stuck vehicle.

7500 watts is on the small size for a PTO generator. If that's all you need, then a portable unit is probably more practical. Your tractor will be lightly loaded at 7500 watts and won't be delivering its best fuel economy. Probably still cheaper to operate than a gasoline unit, though.

How much power do you really need? If you intend to run an electric range or heat pump, You'll need a lot more than 7500 watts and a PTO unit will start to make sense. But if you only need to run a refrigerator, well pump and lights, then 7500 watts is overkill. A portable unit gives you a lot of flexibility, and of course nothing beats a dedicated standby unit for convenience.
 
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Butch(OH)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:04 am    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Like any other type a PTO generator may or may not be the best for you. Some of the disadvantages have been noted however there are some advantages to PTO generators. Per KW they will be cheaper to purchase, quite a bit cheaper if powered by same quality diesel engine as your tractor. As compared to any other fuel it will operate cheaper on your small diesel tractor. This can amount to CONSIDERABLE $$$ if the power is out for a days at a time. You also have the advantage of one less engine to maintain year around for a few hours, maybe none, of usage. Gasoline should be your last choice for fuel. Do you already have propane or natural gas on the property? Then thats another cost to add for a stand alone unit. Just some additional food for thought.

The best/handiest PTO installations I have seen have the generator head inside a shed next to an outside wall. A small opening is cut out of the wall for the shaft and when needed the tractor is outside where it should be. The head stays inside out of the weather where it should be and it is hard wired to a transfer switch as it should be.
 
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David G
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:23 am    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have both and they are 20KW. The standby generator is nice, because you do not have to hunt around in the cold and dark to setup the generator. I also have the standby generator hooked to 1000 gallon propane tank so it can run for a long time. It is a pain to fill up the tractor tank every 8-12 hours.

I would get a bigger generator than you need, the cost is minimal at the time.
 
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LJD
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:48 am    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you already have a tractor, a PTO generator is nice to have for backup. The problem with stand-alone generators is they often sit for years without being run. Often when they are needed, they won't start.

In my area, those that have PTO gens say the biggest problem is all the people who want to borrow them when power is out.

I've got a 17KW pto gen I paid $500 for maybe 20 years ago. My 32 horse tractor runs it easily when powering my house. But I've also run my house on a 4400 watt gas driven generator. I just had to be careful not to let two big appliances run at the same time. My 3/4 horse, 220 volt well pump is a pretty big draw.

If you are really looking for a back-up system, your choice of fuel is the big issue. If power was out for two weeks and you could not buy gasoline - do you have something at home to use? If you had heating oil or farm-diesel on hand, you'd be all set IF you had a diesel powered generator. If you've got a big LP tank, an LP generator makes sense. Same with natural gas if you are on a pipeline.
 
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dhermesc
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:36 am    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Personally I would go with the PTO generator (been looking for decent priced used one for a couple years). As mentioned below most likely your tractor will start while the engine on the generator may not after sitting for a year.

But if you are going to be down with leg an knee operations are you going to be able to get around in an ice or snow storm to set up a PTO generator?
 
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Billy Shafer
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Good stand by generators. Can be set up to test once a week for a half hour.
 
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buickanddeere
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:11 am    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Your tractor would play with a 15KW and handle a 20KW just fine.
Go with a larger 20 KW pto generator so you don"t have to run around flipping breakers or reminding the wife and kids not to turn on every electrical device in the place on at once.
7500W is just a toy that will apply low voltage and low frequency to delicate and fussy electronic equient . When ever a motor starts.
Assuming you have a proper transfer switch? There are 10KW transfer switches that install under the electrical meter. And units the same size as your electrical service. I"ll send a link next time when on the home computer.
 
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timcasbolt
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:53 am    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I built my pto generator. Got the alternator from harbor freight, sprockets and pillow blocks from ebay, drive shaft from Central Tractor (yea, I've had it awhile) angle stock was stuff that was laying around. My Kubota B7200 makes 14 hp at the pto, so I can get about 6 or 7 KW out of it before the tractor runs out of steam. This one is for 858 rpm pto. I've built other ones for 540 pto, but it requires a speeder (intermediate sprockets) to get to 3600.

 
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dhermesc
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

All it takes is money.
 
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Billy Shafer
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It comes as part of the transfer switch.
 
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buickanddeere
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:32 pm    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Chain drive not enclosed in an oil bath?
Any shields planned for that pto shaft?
 
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Dusty MI
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: PTO generators Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If your tractor is much larger than is needed for the generator, and the tractor has 2 speed PTO, 545 and 1000 RPM. Set the generator up for 545 RPM, and use the 1000 RPM output from the tractor and run at engine at the speed needed for the generator for 545. The tractor will burn far less fuel that way.

Dusty
 
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