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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

PTO driven farm generator questions

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oldfarmall

08-13-2019 08:34:09




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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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JDEM

08-17-2019 06:09:15




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
500 watts per horsepower. I ran my house with a 15KW PTO generator many times with my Case VAC that is only rated 18 HP. Obviously not a full load. I'd need 30 PTO horsepower to do that.



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jsborn

08-17-2019 05:24:29




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see
you load est on water heater is a good bit high. 4.5 KW for typical residential water heater.

Just saying



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Greg_Ky

08-16-2019 06:04:23




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
Most high amperage connections are Anderson Power Pole.



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lastcowboy32

08-15-2019 11:42:43




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
Of course... you may need the other tractors for other things, and the H may be all that's available.

I don't know any of those particulars about your situation.

The H will most definitely turn the generator, you may have to be careful of what electric equipment you run in order to manage... but it's still probably better than no power at all.



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lastcowboy32

08-15-2019 11:34:15




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
A farmall H is rated for 24 horsepower. If you buy a 25KW generator and try to run it at 10KW... (about the power of one electric hot water heater)... you would be tempted to use the H...

But I would opt for the bigger tractor or a diesel.

Why?
Because the generator may be less efficient at lower power levels, and you may need more HP per KW.

Because those old governed gas engines are going to surge and fall, according to the governor, especially if you make them run hard. So everything on the line will be surged and dipped the whole time the generator is on.

Also, when operating a generator, you're not moving the tractor itself, so the power required to move a heavier tractor doesn't factor in. As far as stationary PTO horsepower per gallon of fuel goes, I would bet that a bigger tractor could be just as efficient as a smaller one.

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oldfarmall

08-15-2019 10:49:09




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
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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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RJKeith

08-15-2019 04:37:45




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
Good rule of thumb, 2 Tractor HP per generator KW.



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ohiodick

08-14-2019 21:25:50




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
I have a 15 kw generator to sell ran it with 40 hp just wasnt big enogh had to upgrade.



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Alvin 41

08-14-2019 17:44:52




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
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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lastcowboy32

08-14-2019 10:53:50




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
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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 :-)

Except there was no generator hooked up.

:-)

Had to make our own fun, back before the interwebz.

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oldfarmall

08-14-2019 10:27:58




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
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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Russ from MN

08-14-2019 20:07:12




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-14-2019 10:27:58  
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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JMS/.MN

08-13-2019 21:02:25




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
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

08-14-2019 10:20:50




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to JMS/.MN, 08-13-2019 21:02:25  
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

08-13-2019 12:39:48




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
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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

08-15-2019 10:42:27




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 12:39:48  
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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lastcowboy32

08-13-2019 09:25:04




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
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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rrlund

08-13-2019 08:59:16




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
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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Bob

08-13-2019 08:53:40




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 Re: PTO driven farm generator questions in reply to oldfarmall, 08-13-2019 08:34:09  
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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