Help Joe with his generator

Help Joe with his generator

32Generator
Joe wants to do something with his generator – “There is something inherently cool about being able to generate your own electricity. From the dawn of history, man has always tried to produce power: From fire to wind, coal to fission, every generation has tried to gain more control over the world around them. It was this poetic vision of power and independence that convinced my conscious mind to fork out $400 for 3500 watt generator. Now the vision is disappearing, and I find myself thinking, “Why did I ever get this?”. What in the world am I going to do with my generator? Any ideas?” – post up in the comments!

58 thoughts on “Help Joe with his generator

  1. eccramer says:

    I’m sure that there’s some way to make it into an UPS system some how. The hard part is getting it to turn on when the power to your house goes down. Dunno how you could do that, but I’m sure that other people here more talented than me can give you some advice. Best of luck to you!

    -E-

  2. fightingfortofu says:

    wow. i wish i was fortunate enough to have $400 to spend on something i really had no use for.

  3. radiodork says:

    I’m thinkin’ Nitro-burning Fire-breathing ottoman.

    Or you could use it to power an electric motor connected to a fan pointed directly at another fan connected to a turbine, and use it to generate free electricity.

    Which could power another electric fan….

    Pointed at another fan……oh this is good. Screw this, I’m heading out to the workshop.

    Radiodork

  4. Vrogy says:

    sell it, buy parts, make a solar power system, stop crapping on our environment.

  5. jdubiner says:

    Well, burning man is going up in … 184 days… You should build a generator cozy (something to keep it quiet) and offer it to a camp. There are MANY camps which could use a decent generator.

    If burningman isn’t your thing; then I’d consider taking it to some community which has frequent power outages…

  6. jdubiner says:

    Well, burning man is going up in … 184 days… You should build a generator cozy (something to keep it quiet) and offer it to a camp. There are MANY camps which could use a decent generator.

    If burningman isn’t your thing; then I’d consider taking it to some community which has frequent power outages…

  7. thrhymes says:

    battery-type-ups’ usually do have serial output or something to alarm the computer about the outage. that could be used to switch a relay instead of the generator start-button. in between the battery should last for a few things to be powered.

  8. MadGravity says:

    My house is powered by solar panels and L16 batteries and I use a generatetor to charge them up on cloudy days and to run my washer. //bob

  9. MadGravity says:

    My house is powered by solar panels and L16 batteries and I use a generatetor to charge them up on cloudy days and to run my washer. //bob

  10. BrK says:

    Bluto Box!!

  11. mreddygbr says:

    As we are talking about generators, I have an incredibly knackered Citroen Xsara diesel car. Could anyone help me to convert it to a combined heat and power generator for the house. I even think it could be able to run vege oil with a convertor kit, but the big problem is how best to get electricity efficiently and to convert heat from the engine space and the exhaust gases without – as my wife bluntly put it – killing us all with toxic fumes.

  12. BrK says:

    Sorry, meant Blotto Box (forgive me, it’s been a while).

    A very humorous idea: http://home.intekom.com/scotland/cookbook/043.htm

  13. dissident75 says:

    You could always wire it to your home system, using a simple wall wart power transformer to run a relay attatched to your generator that will automatically start it (if it’s pushbutton start) when the power fails. I’ve always wanted to do that, but as power is not an issue i’ve never had need to do so.

  14. SpaceMooseMasterOfTime says:

    Three words, man:

    Portable. Tesla. Coil.

  15. sisqocracker says:

    Do the math to figure out the flow required for that displacement of a motor, and hydrogen boost it. It’ll go a lot further on gas and be cleaner burning. Possibly cleaning the air as it runs. Need stainless exhuast put on it, but not making it hydrogen only saves on some problems with conventional hydrogen only running motors.

  16. paulrothrock says:

    I’ll second the “Go off grid” option.

  17. Loquax says:

    Homemade electric chair. Kids love to play “Is there a God?”

    No, actually, I was going to suggest a homade lamia flow stirling engine (heat engine) in place of the combustable one and heated by solar mirrors. Nice clean solar power!

  18. airship says:

    Definitely figure out how to wire it into your house. And get a couple hundred gallon gas tank for it. With all the potential disaster scenarios out there, you’re bound to end up the only one in your neighborhood with electricity sooner or later.

  19. burndup says:

    Using a gasoline generator to power your home will be EXPONENTIALLY MORE EXPENSIVE than just paying for grid power.

    Here’s what to do:

    1) Build /buy /convert some sort of vehicle into an electric vehicle.

    2) Attach generator to roof rack and connect the output.

    Bam, (semi) instant hybrid!

    For the guy interested in running a diesel engine off veggie oil, if you have a climate like I do in Southern California, you can just pour the stuff (I like soybean oil) in the tank and forget it. On an absolutely freezing morning (here that would be 50 F) you will have to run the glow plugs a bit longer. Anything below that sub-arctic fridgidity, you will need to preheat the fuel.

    However, having had two biodiesel vehicles in an urban environment, I feel that electric cars are a much better “solution.” Especially if you can do all your charging at work on your employer’s dime!

  20. lwatcdr says:

    Send it to any city where they have hurricanes. Somebody will use it.

  21. burndup says:

    Three ideas stand out in airship’s post…

    “couple-hundred gallon gas tank”

    “neighborhood”

    “potential disaster scenario.”

  22. gnomic00 says:

    If it is deisel, turn it into a greaser (run it from veggie oils).

    Design/hack a muffler that makes it run silently (or quieter at least)

    Interface it with a gumstix.com computer

    Create a rube-goldberg hybrid electric go-kart

  23. andys@collegenet.com says:

    The main thing you have to worry about if you have it set up for emergency power is what happens when the power comes back on. You absolutely DO NOT want that thing plugged into the mains of your house. You WILL electrocute yourself and might cause an explosion if you don’t hook it up correctly. That wall wart idea sounds good, but in practice… just dont hook it into your mains. Wait for the power to go out, then plug your fridge and freezer into it so you don’t lose your food.
    Otherwise the grid is surprisingly reliable…

    I think you should use it to try out some gas efficiency ideas. start here:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=super+high+mileage

  24. andys@collegenet.com says:

    The main thing you have to worry about if you have it set up for emergency power is what happens when the power comes back on. You absolutely DO NOT want that thing plugged into the mains of your house. You WILL electrocute yourself and might cause an explosion if you don’t hook it up correctly. That wall wart idea sounds good, but in practice… just dont hook it into your mains. Wait for the power to go out, then plug your fridge and freezer into it so you don’t lose your food.
    Otherwise the grid is surprisingly reliable…

    I think you should use it to try out some gas efficiency ideas. start here:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=super+high+mileage

  25. andys@collegenet.com says:

    The main thing you have to worry about if you have it set up for emergency power is what happens when the power comes back on. You absolutely DO NOT want that thing plugged into the mains of your house. You WILL electrocute yourself and might cause an explosion if you don’t hook it up correctly. That wall wart idea sounds good, but in practice… just dont hook it into your mains. Wait for the power to go out, then plug your fridge and freezer into it so you don’t lose your food.
    Otherwise the grid is surprisingly reliable…

    I think you should use it to try out some gas efficiency ideas. start here:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=super+high+mileage

  26. andys@collegenet.com says:

    sorry for the multi-post

  27. wantedfoot says:

    I have the perfect solution…be kind enough to give it to me and I will make some good use of it…

  28. toolman205 says:

    you should make a cool go-kart with it, all you really need now is lots of other stuff.

  29. toolman205 says:

    you should make a cool go-kart with it, all you really need now is lots of other stuff.

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