19
Jul

Lets try the tri-fuel

   Posted by: RobPatton   in Treehugger Stuff

So, I’ve always hated the idea of a Gasoline powered generator.  First, its VERY hard, not to mention dangerous to store gasoline,  and it gets borrowed, stolen, or evaporates.  In the middle of a major power outage, the gas stations are down, and fuel is hard to get, making it even more of a pain.  Gasoline is also a very dirty fuel, causing much maintenance to be needed on the equipment that runs it.

Most *real* generators run natural gas. The large ones still need the power of diesel, but most of the middle of the market is natgas or propane.  Best I can tell, Propane in an engine will produce 15% less power than a gasoline fuel, but runs SO much cleaner, and cooler that it is worth the loss.  Natural gas then takes another 15-20% loss on top of that.  So Propane seems to be the sweet spot.

Since I already have a gasoline generator (genset) in my garage, a conversion seemed an inexpensive yet practical direction to go.  I headed over to http://www.propanecarbs.com and read for 30 mins, learned a lot, but was still totally lost. I understood the process, but was unable to actually use the site to pick a solution. Enter the telephone, still one of the greatest ways to get things done.  One call, 5 mins of what I wanted to do, and a kit was on its way to me.

trifuel_011.jpg

Here is the kit (unboxed). The number of parts was confusing at first, combined with the fact that a packing mistake caused me to be missing to parts I needed. Once I sorted that out, I called and got those shipped, but went to Home Depot and spent 7$ to go ahead and have them. (I hate to wait)

The process is simple. Bottom right hand corner you’ll see a std(ish) bbq regulator from there to a model KN fuel controller, then a small line over to a bolt on adaptor that actually feeds the propane to the engine. I’ll note it works a lot how a nitrous plate on a race car works, but is controlled by vacuum instead of an electrical solenoid.

Took me all of about 20 mins to do the install (once I had all the parts) and once I understood the primer button, the unit started on the first pull, and has since.

I just need to clean up the install and mount the controller a little better, and I think it will be good to run for years.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2007 at 11:55 am and is filed under Treehugger Stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.