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Lister Engine Fitted With Cruise Contral
Calvin Carroll loves his Lister engine-powered generator, but he loves it more since he put cruise control on it. Initially the 16 hp Lister had plenty of power for the 8 kW generatorāuntil the generator came under load.
"When an extra load was added, the Lister, with its heavy flywheels, was slow to recover rpm's," says Carroll. "After much trial and error, I added a cruise control that works great."
Carroll bought the Lister engine after dealing with occasional power outages lasting up to three days. He had read about the "cloned" Lister engines in FARM SHOW. Eventually he located Stoltzfus Enterprise in Pennsylvania and bought the single cylinder diesel and the generator to go with it.
Carroll first bolted the units to a slab of concrete 4 by 5 ft. by 18 in. deep. He then installed new pulleys and heavy-duty belts to gear the engine's 650 rpm's up to the 1850 needed by the generator. A glass pack muffler reduced the moderate noise of the engine and generator.
The next change was to add the cruise control. Rather than drill holes to install a vacuum sensor cruise control system, Carroll opted for a magnetic sensor control from Specmo Enterprises. Not only was it simpler, but it also cost less than 1/4 the estimate he received for a vacuum system.
"I had to attach magnets to either side of the flywheel and an electric solenoid to sense them," says Carroll. "When the flywheel starts to slow down, the cruise control adjusts the throttle to maintain rpm's."
Carroll installed a solar panel and a battery to power the electric solenoid. The Lister engine was $1,600 and the generator an additional $600. The cruise control added $250 to the cost. It's been a good deal for Carroll, especially since most of his fuel is free.
"I have a son-in-law whose family is in the restaurant business, and I get all the used vegetable oil I want from them," says Carroll. "I let it set in the sun for a few days to settle out, then I filter it through a couple of layers of cloth a few times. It smells like someone is cooking when it burns."
Carroll uses the vegetable oil in a 50-50 mix with diesel fuel in the winter. The rest of the year, he burns it straight.
"I can run the whole house, including electric heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, for a gallon of fuel over 4 to 6 hours," he says. "It's green economically and environmentally, and I like that both ways, especially the first."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Calvin Carroll, 2668 Holletts Corner Rd., Clayton, Dele. 19938 (ph 302 653-6854; gcarr12@juno.com).
Equipment source:
Stoltzfus Enterprise, 291 White School Rd., Honeybrook, Penn. 19344 (ph 610 273-3602).
Specmo Enterprises, Inc., G3189 Dort Hwy., Flint, Mich. 48529 (ph 810 744-2940; info@specmo.com; www.specmo.com).

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3