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Old 11-02-2012, 12:04 AM
NewYorkNewbie NewYorkNewbie is offline
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Default Lister Generator or Natural Gas generator?



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So th S has H The F here in ny, sort of, no power for 2 weeks it looks like. Just wondering what you guys think would be the best move, a lister 13,500 watt hand cranked tried and true 1928 design diesel powered generator that can run on anything from diesel, veg oil, old motor oil and has a rep for durability? Or a natural gas powered Olympic that starts when the lights go out? The lister would be about $5000 without hook up, and the Olympic is $7000 for everything with financing, and it Would power the heat, ac, lights, 3 fridges and even the tv.

Not sure how much the lister at 13,500 Would power.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:19 AM
Joboo Joboo is offline
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I would go with the Olympic, because its new. The Diesel also sounds interesting having almost unlimited fuel, However can you get parts for it?

Just re-read your post, Lister 1928 tried and true, is it new? If it is then My pick would be the Disel for the Multi fuel / unlimited capability. Motor oil could be scavenged from trucks and cars after a SHTF situation.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:31 AM
Sled Dog Sled Dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkNewbie View Post
So th S has H The F here in ny, sort of, no power for 2 weeks it looks like. Just wondering what you guys think would be the best move, a lister 13,500 watt hand cranked tried and true 1928 design diesel powered generator that can run on anything from diesel, veg oil, old motor oil and has a rep for durability? Or a natural gas powered Olympic that starts when the lights go out? The lister would be about $5000 without hook up, and the Olympic is $7000 for everything with financing, and it Would power the heat, ac, lights, 3 fridges and even the tv.

Not sure how much the lister at 13,500 Would power.
Yeah go with the Olympic, but pm me All your info on the Lister
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Old 11-02-2012, 04:40 AM
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Wonder how many natural gas lines are now shut down in the area due to uprooted trees or drifting homes breaking lines? Natural gas sounds good but useless if the gas lines get shut down due to an event.


Diesel fuel can be stabilized for over a year, but you only have a finite capacity to store it...getting more during an event may not be possible.

I have solar and wind, even that would not be fool proof in a hurricane unless you took it all down before the event....

There is really not a perfect solution.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:42 AM
Meat Guy Meat Guy is offline
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If I were going off-grid, it would be the Lister. Those are neat engines. Very simple design, and should run many years before overhaul is needed.
Like fullofit mentioned, N. gas is often not available.
Some home units are N. gas and L.P. That would give you the option of running on N. gas when available, and switching to a bulk L.P. tank when it isn't.
A portable gen. with 3-way carb might be another thing to consider.

Don't go so large of gen that you can't keep enough fuel to run it.
During an outage, most would like to have the home like the grid was on.
For more than a few hrs., that isn't feasable.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:00 AM
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The lister is producing over 100 amps of current at 120 volts; that should run most everything you'd need.

If it were me, I'd be looking at something less than what you're contemplating. You've defined the problem as, apparently, buying enough generator to run everything as per normal, and you're willing to pay $7k or more to do that.

Unless you simply cannot adjust to live without *every* electrical applicance you're used to operating, all operating at the same time, it seems to me that a lesser setup would serve you just fine. I have a 4000-watt generator. It's enough for me to handle furnace, a refrigerator, air exchanger and water heater, and some lights and even enough to handle the microwave.

And the refrigerators and freezer--I don't have to run all that stuff at the same time, I just need enough to get me through a couple of weeks. So I'll rotate the running of the freezer and fridges. Might only run the generator just a few hours a day, just enough to keep the fridges and freezers going. And you'd better believe I'll consolidate food from two to one ASAP, so I have one fewer to maintain.

You're going to need a LOT of fuel for that Lister (good engine, BTW). Where will you store it? You can stabilize diesel for a LONG time (more than a year), but still, you'll likely need 100 or more gallons for it, maybe 200-250.

And running on Nat Gas is nice, so long as the natural gas flows. A dual-fuel generator makes more sense to me, one that will use nat gas plus gasoline plus propane, so that if nat gas goes out, you still can fuel it.


I'm also wondering if this isn't a bit of overreaction on your part--and I know, I'm not sitting there with the lights out like you are. But often our reaction is "this will NEVER happen again" and be willing to pay almost any price when the reality is that you have more than two choices here, including choices that may even be better.

PS: I know generators are in short supply, so perhaps these are the only options for you. If so, please take my comments with a grain of salt.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:41 AM
Meat Guy Meat Guy is offline
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After the power is restored, there will be MANY generators show up on craigslist or E-bay.
There should be some bargins.

The 100 yr. storm is done. Don't need that thing taking up space is what many think.
Buy a quality unit with a few hrs. and save $$$.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:19 AM
MattB4 MattB4 is offline
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Diesel stores a lot longer than one year. I have used diesel that is decades old so long as you watch to not get any water and use a stabilizer that prevents mold. The Lister engine is more likely to handle old diesel than newer styles that run on ultra low sulfur content diesel. However, if this is a old unit, you have to wonder about its repair if something should break.

13.5 KW is more than sufficient to run a home. I use a 6.5KW diesel gen as a emergency power supply and it works just fine. That does mean watching what is running and selecting loads so they do not start all at the same time. You should pay attention to your running generator like you would driving your car.

Understand that generators are not a infinite buss like utility power. They are best run at somewhere between 50 - 75% loaded. They can only handle surge up to their max starting amperage. They may not deliver as stable a voltage or frequency as your utility does. This can shorten life of electrical machinery. Often this is not noticed even though you find yourself replacing things a few years after being on the generator for extended periods.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:16 AM
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Is the lister an original English model or an Indian clone? The former are true jewels and typically run forever with mild maintenance. Perhaps more importantly they are made to be repaired easily in the field by peasants, with few tools. They are popular among the engine diesel hobbyist. Very large and heavy and do best with a permanent mount in a cement block.
I have an Indian clone of the 12 HP lister as yet to be coupled with a chinese 7.5 watt generator. I'm working on the steel tubing base.
I have enough spare parts put up to keep it running for many years.
I agree with the need to rethink how much power you will really need. I need enough to run a well pump, heat circulating pump, a refrig. and a freezer a microwave and a few lights. Our plan for a longer outage involve pumping water once a day into 7 gallon jugs, and then turning off the transfer switch to the water pump, we will heat with auxilliary wood (Huge wood furnace) and Cook with propane and wood or charcoal.
The nice thing about diesel is you can tap off your house heating oil to run it, or run it on bio. even a jug of wesson oil will run it if a warming coil is used (in winter)....Nevertheless these are not turn a switch and forget it type systems. If you don't like messing with mechanical things then they are not for you.
Why not consider a Honda 6500 watt water cooled twin. They are reliable and run a long time. Mine goes to an 8 circuit transfer box and powers all of the above. Though it runs on gas which we store and rotate. Cost about $3000 key start wheels very slick.
Downsize your expectations and needs to what you realistically need and you will be happier and do just fine. Good Luck.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:48 AM
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Both. The lister should be a low RPM engine which helps to conserve fuel and extend engine life, however, the generator head will be more expensive.
Starting from scratch, I would do the following:
1st, pick up the lister or comparable generator that the RR used. Then parts for a rebuild.
2nd, a battery bank and inverter to store excess power, this allows you to conserve fuel by not having to run the genertor as long and allows you to shut it down when large loads are not required.
3rd, solar, wind, water turbine, bicycle, etc for alternate power source to charge battery
4th gas generator, can be converterted to tri-fuel and use multuple fuels such as wood gas, methane hp/lp propane etc.

However, since I already have the gas generator sitting in the toy hauler, I am starting at priority #2 and will finish with building my diesel generator using a VW TDI engine, which I already own.
Old 11-02-2012, 11:18 AM
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Lister, No Contest. Too Heavy to "Borrow", 900 RPM = Low and Quiet. Runs on easy to find oils, and You can make your own from Deep Fat Fry oil, Crankcase drain oil, and so on...

Fuel leaks will result in only a small fire, not a HUGE Conflagration like NG can do....
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:06 PM
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LISTER, for the aforementioned reasons....


Jronwood
Old 04-28-2013, 11:44 PM
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I am looking for a Lister generator. I already own two gas generators, and they are noisy and require a lot of maintenance. The Lister, from what I've learned, can run for up to 6 months without any major maintenance. The gas gensets I have require oil changes every 50 hours. That is once every two days if run full time. I have one 5Kw and one 10Kw, and both will run most things in the house. The only thing the 10K will not run is the central air because it is 3 phase and the genset produces only single phase.

For short duration outages, three to four days or less, the gas gensets can't be beat. But, for anything longer, a slow turning Lister is the way to go. Also, be sure to get the right size generator. The 10Kw genset eats more fuel, even when running the same load. I'm looking for a 3.5Kw Lister to run most of the house all day, and use the gas gensets to power the large items like an electric stove, or washing machine for a limited time during the day. It also helps to have backup power if you need to work on your generator.
Old 04-29-2013, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarnEvil View Post
... The only thing the 10K will not run is the central air because it is 3 phase and the genset produces only single phase.

...
Rather unusual to have 3 phase power at a personal residence.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:21 AM
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with a methane digester, or wood gasification system you'll be able to keep your olympic fueled more easily but keeping it maintained will probably move much more difficult than the lister which will require farming of algae or oil bearing seeds (canola, sunflower, nuts etc) for vegetable oils. (you will also need alternate fueled farm equipment for this).
Old 04-29-2013, 09:05 AM
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So the deals are about even money. If the Lister needs a transfer switch, AVR, controller and various bits, its going to be about the same cost as the Olympic.

When machines such as the Lister are available, they are a great fit for your scenario. They usually involve some level of DIY and have some definite advantages not to be overlooked.

The low-rpm nature of the Lister is very attractive. With a good muffler, they are great.

You could hypothetically hook it up to a home heating oil tank as well for long-term use.

Unless you have a very large home with some very unusual loads, the power rating of the generator appears more than adequate.
Old 04-29-2013, 12:25 PM
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fOR LISTER REMAN ENGINES AND ALL SPARE PARTS, GO HERE:
http://www.diesel-electric.us/lister_reman_engines.htm
i HAVE ONE. WE ALSO HAVE A HONDA V TWIN POWERED TWIN 7.5 kW RUNNING ON NG/PROPANE. THE KEY TO RUNNING IT FOR THE LONG TERM IS MOBI8L EXTENDED SERVICE OIL; THE LISTER/ LISTEROID IS THE LONG TERM PROVEN WINNER AS IN BOATS AND LIGHTHOUSES.

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Laus Deo
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:33 PM
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Don't know anything about the generator head but lister engine is nice, long lasting lasting work horse.
Old 04-29-2013, 01:03 PM
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The diesel, because of more options to fuel it. you have to run a genset daily for a while to really appreciate just how much fuel you gotta have on hand. It adds up fast and any type of disruption be it storm or other and you will have an unusable (natural gas) generator.

also the greater the load the more fuel you will use.
Old 04-29-2013, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trilect View Post
Don't know anything about the generator head but lister engine is nice, long lasting lasting work horse.
WE are using a pmg head; makes EMP sense.
overbore
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