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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Portable generator problem

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George Marsh

01-14-2013 14:58:36

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My air compressor sits in an unheated garage. It struggles to start when it's cold. I would suggest changing oil to a 5w-30.

It was around 30 and I tried starting my generator, which is a rope start. Had a heck of a time getting it started. After it warmed up I changed oil to 5w-30. What a big difference.

You may want to read up on your generator. Your motor's lock rotor amps may be larger than your genny can safely handle

If my only way were to power up an air compressor is with a generator, I would find the smallest pulley I could get for the motor. Then I would loosen the belt a little, let it slip on start. A belt is cheaper to replace than a generator.

Can't help you much with fixing your generator.

I know I shouldn't mention this because it will definately cause a stir, but I will. I power factored my 3/4 hp well pump. It took 200 MFD's to get the job done. I had a bucket full of used capacitors, so it didn't cost me anything. If you are friends with a HVAC man, he can get you used ones from units they scrap out. It would cost you a pant load to buy new ones to do your job.

My well pump used 12.5 amps before I added the capacitors. Now it draws close to 9 amps. In MHO, my generator seems to start the pump much easier. Some people may say not to do what I did. I would definately power factor an air compressor and see if it helps the generator. Can't see how it would hurt. I power factored my pump, not to save money from the electric company which will be very little if any, but if I ever lose power, I want to use my generator to pump water.


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01-14-2013 17:51:14

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 Re: Portable generator problem in reply to George Marsh, 01-14-2013 14:58:36  
You are correct. With the compressor having run capacitors added to obtain .9 power factor or better. It will start better than a non corrected typical single phase induction motor of .6 to .7 at full load.

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George Marsh

01-14-2013 19:37:48

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 Re: Portable generator problem in reply to buickanddeere, 01-14-2013 17:51:14  
My PF measured .97.

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David G

01-14-2013 15:21:02

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 Re: Portable generator problem in reply to George Marsh, 01-14-2013 14:58:36  

You bring up a good point. Power factor correction is needed if you are supplying Watts and VARS, but is not needed if the utility supplies them and you only pay for Watts.

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George Marsh

01-14-2013 15:28:58

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 Re: Portable generator problem in reply to David G, 01-14-2013 15:21:02  
I did say your savings from the electric company will be very little if any.

I think it's helps my generator.

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David G

01-14-2013 15:43:48

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 Re: Portable generator problem in reply to George Marsh, 01-14-2013 15:28:58  
You will not save any money from utility by power factor correction if you pay for KW. Usually only industrial customers pay for KVA, so it is beneficial for them to add correction.

The generator must provide KVA, so it takes fuel regardless of who generates. The earlier meters where not complex enough for both, but now I do not know why utilities do not charge everyone for KVA.

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George Marsh

01-14-2013 15:52:56

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 Re: Portable generator problem in reply to David G, 01-14-2013 15:43:48  
David, Because it costs too much to measure the KVA.

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