[aprssig] Generators and LPG Conversion (was APRS in NOLA)

Dave Baxter dave at emv.co.uk
Fri Sep 2 05:59:53 CDT 2005

If you can "Dual Fuel" it, and control that remotely, or automate the
changeover, then starting should be a lot easier than on LPG alone.  And
of course, you only need liquid Gasoline for the start/warmup time.

Diesel for standby purposes is about the best.  The "Fungal" growth
problem is actualy a bacteria, and can be virtualy halted even without
extra aditives (usualy present in modern fuels anyway) and by careful
use of a desicator on the tank vent to keep moisture out.  Keeping the
tank as full as you can will also help prevent condensation from forming
in quantity.

Periodic draining of any accumulated water helps too of course.

Even with bacterial growth in the tank, for standby purposes, unless it
gets so bad as to block the pickup pipe or filters, it doesnt affect the
fuels ability to power an engine.  For mobile or portable use, it's not
good, as it will get stired up, then get drawn into the filters, they
block, engine stops.

Maintenance, Diesel engines are just like any other, do the usual at the
regular specified intervals (Oil & fiters, tappets, timing checks and
any belt changes etc) and they will easily outlast any gasoline engine
by a long way.  Keep the fuel sedimenter clean and regularly checked,
and the main filters will last a long time too, protecting the injection

Cleanliness really is next to Godliness as far as the injectors and pump
are concerned!

Starting, modern (10 year old or less) Diesel, they should start "on the
button", or even the first good wind up on a handle if a small unit.
Don't forget the preheat if cold, or the primer if fitted..  If it
doesn't go easily, something is wrong and needs fixing.  They should
also NOT smoke!!  Perhaps a puff or three of black at startup, but
that's all.  No White (unburnt fuel) and definately no blue (engine oil,
worn rings etc)  Black, it's running rich, usualy a blocked air filter
or restricted air feed, or it's running overloaded.

But...  For a given output, they are a lot heavier and (acoustically)
noiser than gasioline/lpg fueled machines, but the newer units are
getting much better.

It's horses for courses as we'd say.   For portable/emergency use
(intermittent and under 4KVA load) gasoline probably does the job.  For
a continuious load much above 3KVA, or fixed standby, Diesel is probably
the best.  The bigger alternators also often have better voltage
regulation too.

Oh yes, they last much longer (engine life) if they run fairly well
loaded when in use.  See the Ford Diesel web site as to why...  (All to
do with piston rings!  The article about "breaking in a new diesel",
sorry but I've lost the link.)

In any case, for emergency use, use whatever you can get hold of.  Gas,
Diesel, wind, sola, steam, airport GPU, or even aircraft APU? etc.....

Keep the APRS lights on!   If you need to, diesel's will run of
vegetable (cooking) oil quite well.  Just that anyone down wind gets
hungry!  So if the Gas staitions can't pump the stuff, go raid the


Dave G0WBX (and long time oil burner.)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org 
> [mailto:aprssig-bounces at lists.tapr.org] On Behalf Of Ray McKnight
> Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 6:23 AM
> To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] Generators and LPG Conversion (was 

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