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I have (from my parents with their trailer) a good small Honda Generator. But I also have, sitting in my shop, a B&S 10hp Intek engine. It is 24 years old and has never been run, just the crank turned periodically.

Anyway, I got an itch to do something with it this summer and have been contemplating buying a generator head and setting it up to run as a Tri-fuel generator. My intent would be for Natural gas for an emergency generator, but also to ability to run on Propane and Gasoline if needed. I'd likely build a frame and put it on a small pad in the back of the house near the electrical panel.

Have any of you GTers done this?

As far as the difficulty and fab, not an issue. I have a good shop and I have built race cars from scratch.
 

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I have never done this, but I am very interested. If you do it, please do a build thread so those interested can watch it.
I did make my generator run on natural gas and built a hose that I can connect to the dryer outlet as I have an electric dryer. I have not used it yet.
 
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Sounds like a real project for sure. Of course a 10HP motor will optimistically give you around 5KW running. Rigging up a frame to keep the engine and generator in alignment is beyond my welding abilities, but am sure a lot of people can do it. Making sure the engine maintains the right speed to give you 60 cycles (3,600 rpm for a two pole generator) As you go from gasoline to propane there is a small derating, but natural gas has a lot less power per pound.

Really can't be of much help, but sounds like a real interesting project for sure...and I'm not gonna' say that buying a store bought generator would be cheaper and safer. Have fun and am sure a lot of people will chime in.
 

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I did make my generator run on natural gas and built a hose that I can connect to the dryer outlet as I have an electric dryer. I have not used it yet.
Man...be real careful with that set up. If you forget to disconnect the feed from the utility and fire up the generator really really bad things can happen.
 

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Dreaded doubletap.
 
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Man...be real careful with that set up. If you forget to disconnect the feed from the utility and fire up the generator really really bad things can happen.
What FC said. You need to run your generator power in through your service entrance panel with the appropriate interlock so that it's not possible to backfeed to the utility (the guys working on restoring your power), or for the utility power to blow up your generator.
 

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Man...be real careful with that set up. If you forget to disconnect the feed from the utility and fire up the generator really really bad things can happen.
THIS.

If you backfeed into the utility you could easily kill a lineman. If it is discovered you were responsible expect to be sued for everything you have and rightfully so.

That is why “suicide cables” are illegal.
 

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Rigging up a frame to keep the engine and generator in alignment is beyond my welding abilities, but am sure a lot of people can do it.
It's doable as long as the frame is rigid and OP knows how to align couplings very well (shims and dial indicators). Otherwise lots of torn up bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know that 5KW is about the size generator I will need. Know how to align couplings as well, although I will probably use a Lovejoy style regardless.
 

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Man...be real careful with that set up. If you forget to disconnect the feed from the utility and fire up the generator really really bad things can happen.
a transfer switch is what's required, and they come in manual or automatic. I've seen 50A auto transfer switches at Home Depot for less than $500.
 

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I think you all are misunderstanding. I have a transfer switch to supply generator electricity to the house. I get natural gas to run the engine through the tap for the dryer.
 

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I think you all are misunderstanding. I have a transfer switch to supply generator electricity to the house. I get natural gas to run the engine through the tap for the dryer.
Ha-Ha...yeah...big difference...BUT DON'T SMOKE around your dryer!!

Sorry....had to find something to be a worry wart about.
 

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LOL I understand. Like I said I haven't used the set up yet except proof of concept. I did it after hurricane Ike, thinking natural gas is available when gasoline is not. I will probably just get a a stand by generator installed and call it a day.
Of course Ike was 10 years ago. We didn't lose power during Harvey.
 
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Boy, a hand-crafted 5Kw gen is a lot of work when there are pretty economical off-the-shelf options available.
 
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I know that 5KW is about the size generator I will need. Know how to align couplings as well, although I will probably use a Lovejoy style regardless.
Flex plate. 3 or four sheet metal disks of the correct alloy.



THIS.

If you backfeed into the utility you could easily kill a lineman. If it is discovered you were responsible expect to be sued for everything you have and rightfully so.

That is why “suicide cables” are illegal.
Only thing that you're going to kill, is your gen.

Every breaker on the grid everywhere would have to be tripped, and the lineman would have to make a few critical errors.
 

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Flex plate. 3 or four sheet metal disks of the correct alloy.





Only thing that you're going to kill, is your gen.

Every breaker on the grid everywhere would have to be tripped, and the lineman would have to make a few critical errors.
Never forget Murphy. He is a real A Hole!
 

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I am in no way a fan of multi fuel.
If it were me, I would make it run right on whatever fuel supply is most readily available and not worry about the others.
 
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