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Monday, May 16, 2011

Diesel Generator/Battery Charger, Part 2

Original Article

Here is another video of my cobbled-together generator, taken a few hours after the first one. In this video you can see the setup a bit better, because I rigged up an overhead light. I know it's a mess in there, but I had to move stuff around in the dark and drag the generator out from where it had been residing under a workbench, then haywire it all together.
You will notice in the last clip that the inverter is complaining. That is because I had just turned on a 900 watt coffee-maker in addition to the fridge, lights and other stuff that was already operating. This is only a 1500 watt inverter, but that is not why it was complaining. It was complaining because the input voltage was getting low due to a combination of insufficient battery capacity, insufficient wire size and connection quality both from the alternator to the battery and battery to inverter, and not enough output from the alternator to make up the difference. But a bigger inverter, higher capacity battery, and proper wire sizing and connections would allow much larger short-term loads, such as my coffeemaker, without increasing the size of the alternator.
This video is from the power outage following the Alabama tornadoes, which I wrote about here.

Here is a link to the store I bought this engine from, back in 2007: small diesel and gas engines
This one is 10 hp, but they have other sizes as well as gas engines.

For those who have seen the Harbor Freight coupon for a 2000 watt inverter for $130, this one is a better deal:

At 2000 watts for $130, the HF inverter costs $65 per KW. At 2500 watts for $160, this one is $64 per KW. Plus you get free shipping on this one, but you have to pay either shipping, sales tax, or both on the HF.


  1. Look for a reliable service provider when it comes to matter like this. Safety should always be prioritized. You can just check online for a list of responsible providers.