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Old Nov 20, 2010, 10:03 AM
The Eh Team
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Joined Aug 2000
954 Posts
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Hybrid generator-battery power supply for charging?

Hi all,

Has anyone out there put together a hybrid generator-battery power supply for field charging? My thought is that a 1000W or 2000W (peak) generator would do a lot better for our chargers if there was also a battery in the circuit to take care of peak loads, which would be recharged by the generator off-peak. This would allow a transportable setup that might have a single 50-lb generator and a single 30-lb battery+inverter. Perhaps a commercial UPS could even be employed? My interest is to keep the weight down so that it can be transported, as opposed to a pure battery setup which is much heavier.
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Old Nov 20, 2010, 08:06 PM
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La Habra, California
Joined May 2004
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my solution is to buy a high powered charger or chargers that will charge the new 6c charge rate packs in 10 min. Just run your car motor while charging for 10 min. I pull 60 amps out of my battery with the motor running without a problem. It is a lot cheaper and easier than lugging around a charging station.
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Old Nov 20, 2010, 09:04 PM
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Kamloops
Joined Dec 2001
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Originally Posted by paracanary View Post
my solution is to buy a high powered charger or chargers that will charge the new 6c charge rate packs in 10 min. Just run your car motor while charging for 10 min. I pull 60 amps out of my battery with the motor running without a problem. It is a lot cheaper and easier than lugging around a charging station.
what charger or chargers are you using?

Thanks
Mal
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Old Nov 20, 2010, 10:07 PM
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USA
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Originally Posted by eajohnson View Post
Hi all,

Has anyone out there put together a hybrid generator-battery power supply for field charging? My thought is that a 1000W or 2000W (peak) generator would do a lot better for our chargers if there was also a battery in the circuit to take care of peak loads, which would be recharged by the generator off-peak. This would allow a transportable setup that might have a single 50-lb generator and a single 30-lb battery+inverter. Perhaps a commercial UPS could even be employed? My interest is to keep the weight down so that it can be transported, as opposed to a pure battery setup which is much heavier.
Check out the Honda/Yamaha line of inverters. They have units that are 2000W peak and < 50 pounds.
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 03:38 AM
JustFlying
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Joined Dec 2005
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what charger or chargers are you using?
Look at the iICharger3010 (1000W 10s) or the PowerLab8 (1344W 8s)
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 06:13 AM
Canadian Bacon
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Kingston, Canada
Joined Jun 2004
12,749 Posts
I use a 35 lb. 1000 watt Champion generator that works great. No need for the batt.

Gord.
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 07:06 AM
HAL... Open the damn doors!
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Miramar, Florida
Joined Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by eajohnson View Post
Hi all,

Has anyone out there put together a hybrid generator-battery power supply for field charging? My thought is that a 1000W or 2000W (peak) generator would do a lot better for our chargers if there was also a battery in the circuit to take care of peak loads, which would be recharged by the generator off-peak. This would allow a transportable setup that might have a single 50-lb generator and a single 30-lb battery+inverter. Perhaps a commercial UPS could even be employed? My interest is to keep the weight down so that it can be transported, as opposed to a pure battery setup which is much heavier.
I have a Yamaha 1000 Watt (very quiet) generator hooked up to my 2 x 10 Amp marine Gel Cell charger/conditioner mounted to my trailer wall which charges 2 x 140 Ah marine Gel Cells. I simply tap off the 12 volt batteries (hooked up in parallel even though sharged independantly) and charge, the generator keeps them charged and works a little after hours to top them off. That's the best option I've found for large events as drawing right from the generator sometimes maxes it out (3 chargers). Transportability, yes, as long as it's mounted in my trailer, otherwise @ 90 lbs per Gell Cell, forget it!

Jack
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 08:58 AM
JustFlying
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How about getting an used car 55A alternator (750 watt) with a 1kw+ engine to turn it. It is a cheap way to DIY. You will at least need a small 7Ah 12V battery to power the alternator, but can use anything up to a big 120Ah for capacity storage as well. It will run cheaper than running you car engine. Remember that just idling the car engine does not give enough rpm to the alternator to charge at full capacity, so you need to increase the run speed to 1200 rpm or more. That consumes even more fuel and more wear and tear on the engine.
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 09:06 AM
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USA
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How about getting an used car 55A alternator (750 watt) with a 1kw+ engine to turn it. It is a cheap way to DIY. You will at least need a small 7Ah 12V battery to power the alternator, but can use anything up to a big 120Ah for capacity storage as well. It will run cheaper than running you car engine. Remember that just idling the car engine does not give enough rpm to the alternator to charge at full capacity, so you need to increase the run speed to 1200 rpm or more. That consumes even more fuel and more wear and tear on the engine.
Cheap, but perhaps noisy as hell?
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 09:09 AM
The Eh Team
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Joined Aug 2000
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There have been some interesting ideas here, I think illustrating that there are many solutions to fit different needs.

For myself, I already have a 2000W Honda generator and cannot transport a larger one. I have chargers that together can use over 3000W continuous, and obviously cannot use them all at once right now. Ideally I'd like 30V@60A and 15V@50A, in order to maximize my flying time. I don't have a trailer (no place to park it) so everything needs to fit in my car - generator, chargers, tools, 35% plane, a couple 2M-sized planes, and a foamie or two, and I need to be able to arrange heavy items and strap them down so that they wouldn't become lethal projectiles in the event of an auto accident (this is one of the big problems I have with carrying 200lb of lead-acid batts in the car).

My thought was that perhaps something like a 3kW UPS could be put inline with the generator and take over when the generator browns out, but there are a lot of details that would need to work out exactly right for that to work. For instance, the generator would have to brown out in a way that the UPS can detect and not simply trip a breaker so that a person needs to go back and reset the generator all the time.

Having the generator dedicated to charging two modest-sized 12V plus one similar sized 6V gel cell might work, then just run everything off of those cells..? The idea is that I probably only need to be able to supply peak demand for 10 minutes at a time, and at off-peak times I've got 1600-2000W of recharge capability to keep the modest-sized batts from getting depleted.
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 09:22 AM
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USA
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How big and heavy is a 3kW UPS?

I know it's expensive, but since you already have a Honda generator the easiest option may be to get another one as these units can be paralleled. The you have the option of bringing only one to the field if necessary.

Like you, I don't want 150 pounds of lead in the car either, nor did I want to carry it around or be putting it in the car every time I go to the field. I don't have a trailer either.
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 11:24 AM
The Eh Team
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Joined Aug 2000
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I don't have room for two generators, and there are noise and efficiency issues as well. My premise (which may be false of course but I think it's true) is that I have extra generator capacity most of the time, and that it's only rarely that all my chargers are simultaneously demanding peak power. The purpose of the battery would be to handle those peak loads.
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 11:35 AM
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USA
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Perhaps then just lowering the charge rate will suffice. I have an old Unison on-line UPS and a bunch of APC UPSs. I really wouldn't want to haul one of those back an forth the field in addition to a generator.
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 12:12 PM
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Miramar, Florida
Joined Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by eajohnson View Post
I don't have room for two generators, and there are noise and efficiency issues as well. My premise (which may be false of course but I think it's true) is that I have extra generator capacity most of the time, and that it's only rarely that all my chargers are simultaneously demanding peak power. The purpose of the battery would be to handle those peak loads.
You are absolutely correct, most of the time my generator is putting back more than I'm using unless flying e-jets, then we suck it up but in general, you'll need something deep and with a large capacity to soak from and of course the better batteries have different chargers than the simple old 12-Volt car chargers. It will cost you but I saved by using gel cells from Yachts when they cycle them @ 2 years, still a few years left in them for a fraction of the price...

Jack
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Old Nov 21, 2010, 01:32 PM
PGR
Low AltiDude
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United States, CA, Costa Mesa
Joined Jun 2004
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Originally Posted by eajohnson View Post
Has anyone out there put together a hybrid generator-battery power supply for field charging?
Put together? Not exactly, but a flying buddy bought something like that already built: It's called a Toyota Prius and yeah, it works real good.

Pete
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