2009 - Volume #33, Issue #5, Page #43[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Mows Grass Using Natural Gas
The tractor is equipped with a standard Kohler 10 hp gas engine that can be powered by either gas or natural gas. He pulls a 32-gal. natural gas tank on a home-built trailer behind the tractor, with a smaller tank mounted on a bracket behind the tractor's seat. A flexible hose runs from the 32-gal. tank up to a "demand flow regulator" that mounts on one of the tractor's fenders. From there the gas goes through a heater hose to a venturi that's connected to the tractor's carburetor where it's sucked into the engine.
"We have a lot of natural gas wells in this area. I get 100 lbs. of pressure out of our gas well to fill my tanks. I use a quick coupler to hook a hose to the tank so I can fill up my tanks. I didn't have to make any modifications to the engine," says Turner.
He borrowed the demand flow regulator from a Lincoln welder that he had bought 30 years ago. "The welder came with a 10 hp Kohler engine, which I had the company set up to run on propane. They added a small propane tank and mounted the regulator on the welder's handle. Propane ran from the tank through a high pressure flexible hose and up to the demand flow regulator.
"At first I used just the trailer-mounted 32-gal. tank, but I was able to go only for about 20 minutes before I had to refill the tank. By adding the smaller propane tank I can now go a half hour before I have to fill up again," says Turner. "It takes only about 1 1/2 minutes to fill up both tanks. I use an on-off valve located behind the demand flow regulator to switch from regular gas to natural gas.
"I mow about two hours per week which would probably cost me about $5 worth of gas ordinarily, but instead of spending money for gas I spent $80 on hoses that I use to hook up to the natural gas well and more money on the tank and fittings, so it'll take a while to break even. However, I'm a tinkerer and enjoy trying new ideas so it was worth my time."
He says a similar system could be used to operate on liquid propane.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Turner, Rt. 1, Box 148AA, Belington, W. Va. 26250 (ph 304 823-2485).
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