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PTO driven farm generator questions

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oldfarmall
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:34 am    Post subject: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hello-

I have been thinking about buying a PTO powered generator for power outages. These are the type on a two wheel trailer and powered by tractor PTO 540 RPM.

My question is if I wanted to use a 15-25KW generator, how big of a tractor do I need horsepower wise to run the generator assuming I am using the generator at full load? I have a Farmall H, Farmall 300, and Farmall 450. Would any of these tractors work, preferably the smaller two to save on fuel?

Is there much that can go bad in these, things to watch out for?

Still would have to get an electrician out to install a manual transfer switch. Thanks in advance.

-Jesse
 
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Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:53 am    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Rule of thumb is two PTO HP for every KW, so you'd need 30 to 50 HP.

As to which tractor will work best, besides the needed HP, having a good "snappy" governor is a plus. Diesels are usually better at that than gassers.

Lots of things can fail in those generators, one of the worst issues is if mice have been able to get in and do their dirty mouse thing.

Also, check for CLEAN oil in the gearbox, if the oil is dirty or milky, moisture may have gotten in while it sat unused and there may be rust on the gears or bearings that will lead to failure even if the oil gets changed. A failed gearbox would likely be the $$$$ death of the unit.

(Just a few thoughts that didn't answer all of your questions!)
 
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rrlund
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have a 12KW. I could run the milking system with it or the bulk tank,but not both at once. It runs the house now just fine. I run the electric water heater,220v submersible pump,everything just like the power was on from the line. My Oliver 66 runs it just fine,sometimes for days and nights on end.
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Just adding a second "yes" to Bob's idea about two horsepower per KW.

One horsepower equals about 746 Watts. They are both units of power, so they convert to each other.

746 Watts is just under 1KW.

If you assume that the generator has about a 50% efficiency to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy... then...that gives you Bob's quoted number of 2 horsepower from the tractor to get 1KW out of the generator.
 
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oldfarmall
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:39 am    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

lastcowboy32 wrote:
(quoted from post at 09:25:04 08/13/19)
Just adding a second "yes" to Bob's idea about two horsepower per KW.

One horsepower equals about 746 Watts. They are both units of power, so they convert to each other.

746 Watts is just under 1KW.

If you assume that the generator has about a 50% efficiency to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy... then...that gives you Bob's quoted number of 2 horsepower from the tractor to get 1KW out of the generator.



Thanks for the info on the generator. If I stick closer to the 15kw I will most Likely throw the Farmall 300 on it. That tractor has lots of power and is pretty good on fuel. If I find something bigger, I will have to get the 450 out. The H is getting tired, so it may not cut it.

-Jesse
 
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JMS/.MN
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:02 pm    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Important thing for reliability is to buy a good brand to start with. I bought a new Winpwer 25/45 KW in 1977. Still works fine, never a repair. Our dairy had a 10hp milker pump, 5hp compressor. Feeding had to be done separately, with 2 silo unloaders and the TMR to run. Normally ran it with the 3020, but with just the house to maintain, the D17 worked fine.
 
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RickB
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We had the same unit maybe a few years older. I sold it to my buddy when we moved south. Greased the u joints and changed the gearbox oil maybe twice. No other repairs.
 
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oldfarmall
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote


So from what I am seeing online while looking at pto generators, most have a 240 outlet and 120 outlet on panel of the generator. I would imagine the 240 outlet is only rated for 30 amps or so? What if I want to hook the pto generator to my power pole to supply whole house and barn? I assume there is a spot on the generator to hook a heavy gauge pigtail to a double throw switch? Then you could use the whole potential of the generator correct?

-Jesse
 
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lastcowboy32
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:53 am    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

oldfarmall wrote:
(quoted from post at 10:27:58 08/14/19)
So from what I am seeing online while looking at pto generators, most have a 240 outlet and 120 outlet on panel of the generator. I would imagine the 240 outlet is only rated for 30 amps or so? What if I want to hook the pto generator to my power pole to supply whole house and barn? I assume there is a spot on the generator to hook a heavy gauge pigtail to a double throw switch? Then you could use the whole potential of the generator correct?

-Jesse


Where I grew up, we had a 25KW Winpower generator. That had outlets on the side for 120/240, etc.

It also had a big connection under a flap; where you could plug in this large adapter cable that was specially designed to go to a box on the utility pole next to the barn.

The box had, like you said... a big double throw knife switch; that would switch from utility to generator.

Fun fact... My brother in law was an Oakland Raiders fan... he was at the house to watch the initial Monday Night Football of the season, back in... I don't know... early 80's.... Oakland vs Dallas, if I remember correctly.

Aaaaaaaanyway. We're sitting in the living room, waiting for kickoff. Just as the kicker runs up to the ball... pfffffft! There goes power to the whole farm.

After my brother in law pulled his bottle of beer out of the TV (kidding) and ended his swearing fit... about ten minutes later, the power comes on.... My brother comes in the house and lets him in on the prank... My cousin stood in the picture window facing the barn and waved his hand just as kickoff was imminent; at which point, my cousin threw the knife switch on the Winpower box Smile

Except there was no generator hooked up.

Smile

Had to make our own fun, back before the interwebz.
 
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Alvin 41
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:44 pm    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thats a goodd story. We have 3 phase line but only dairy and grain dryer hooked to it .Houses are single phase so they go off depending on which line is out. 3phase go's out if either line fails. 3 phase motors take less amps. Main thing is that tractor can hold a constant speed as too fast or slow will damage some equipment.Best way to get voltage correct I found was to check an electric (plug in)clock with a watch to see if it is gaining or loosing time.
 
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Russ from MN
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:07 pm    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I would think the 220 outlet would be rated for the output on the generator. A 25 kw would have a output of over 100 amps, so
that's what it should have.
 
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ohiodick
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have a 15 kw generator to sell ran it with 40 hp just wasnt big enogh had to upgrade.
 
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RJKeith
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:37 am    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Good rule of thumb, 2 Tractor HP per generator KW.
 
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JMS/.MN
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:42 am    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Remember that the generator responds to the load on it- so you can run a bigger gen with the smaller tractor as long as the load is light enough. Look at what your demand load is.
 
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oldfarmall
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: PTO driven farm generator questions Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-JMS/.MN wrote:
(quoted from post at 10:42:27 08/15/19) Remember that the generator responds to the load on it- so you can run a bigger gen with the smaller tractor as long as the load is light enough. Look at what your demand load is.


That is a good point. My load may not be that much, mainly the house, so I could maybe get away with using the Farmall H most of the time. I have a power pole in the yard that the electric service comes to. Then it splits and goes to garage, barn, and house via overhead lines. Would be using generator to power all buildings in case I needed power other than the house during an outage. Thanks

-Jesse
 
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