«Previous    Next»
"Made It Myself" Genset Powers Up Off-Grid Home
A couple of homemade gensets are all Joe Ferro needs to keep his off-grid battery packs topped off. Ferro has a small 105-watt solar panel, but sometimes it doesn't provide enough power to run home appliances and lights on a sunny day.
"If it's a cloudy day or snowy or when it's really hot and we are running fans, the battery pack runs down fast," says Ferro.
That's when he fires up what he calls his Type III genset. It's a 5 hp Honda with a direct drive 12-volt alternator. It's three years old and has more than 4,000 hrs. on it. It's more than enough to keep the house's battery pack topped off. Power is fed through a 750-watt inverter.
Ferro has a second belt-driven system he calls his Type II to power the shop. It's 6 years old and has more than 14,000 hrs. on it.
"I have a 5,000-watt generator I fire up for welding, but otherwise the small one handles band saws, drill presses, lights and such," says Ferro. "I am a big believer in not creating more electricity than I need at the time."
In fact, Ferro figures the 5 hp Hondas are bigger than he needs. He never runs them at more than high idle. At that rate, they will run 6 hours on two quarts of fuel. If Honda still made 4 hp motors, he would've bought them instead.
"Why burn more fuel than you need to?" he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joe Ferro, 38 Winship Rd., Hodgdon, Maine 04730 (ph 207 521-4191).

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2009 - Volume #33, Issue #5