Tractor PTO Powered Generators
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Tractor PTO Powered Generators

This is a discussion on Tractor PTO Powered Generators within the Alternative Energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro etc) forums, part of the Off-Grid Lifestyle category; A while back I looked at buying a PTO Powered Generator instead of a larger "whole house" Gasoline or LP Gas Generator. I may have ...

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Thread: Tractor PTO Powered Generators

  1. #1
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    Tractor PTO Powered Generators

    A while back I looked at buying a PTO Powered Generator instead of a larger "whole house" Gasoline or LP Gas Generator. I may have asked the forum but I don't remember. So, I'm looking at them again and want some input.

    The upfront cost is cheaper per KWh than a larger stand by gennie and being able to run it with my diesel powered John Deere was an interesting option. Not having to mess with the internal workings of an engine is also a Pro and being able to mount it on a wheeled cart of some sort and move it around my place was also a Pro.

    Does anyone use a PTO Generator and if so, what are the Cons? Obviously not having it as a "stand by" but what else?


    PTO Generator - Tractor-Driven PTO Generator, 16,000 W Max

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    You see them in farming sometimes to run Milking equipment and coolers. You need a good tractor to run it but they work. Bother in law used one for years.
    Slippy likes this.
    New life as a house husband, major shift in duties.

    Karl Marx said, "Destroy their culture, rewrite their history. Ruin their art and literature, and defame their heroes, by offering fabrications to scandalize that which they considered good.
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    PTO driven backup generators are fairly common in this area for the industrial chicken houses during power outages. Losing 12,000 chickens (one average size pullet house) because the grid power went down is bad for business.

    The one's I've played with were 10 kw and larger and to keep the frequency at 60 hz it's important to run the PTO at exactly (within 4%) of the correct rpm so know your PTO speed (usually either 540 or 1000 when the tractor is at 1750 rpm) Not too hard to do with a static or lightly changing load but major load changes (such as a large well pump kicking in) may require some throttle adjustments. You want the tractor throttle to be very smooth and need at least 2 or 3 hp per kw capacity. If you've got a little 24hp tractor I wouldn't get more than a 8 kw generator.

    I've seen stationary generators (back the tractor up to the generator and park) and generators that use the 3 point hitch (drive the generator around) which seem to be easier to use although sometimes tough to hook up.

    Here is a site that discusses PTO generators Tractor-Driven Generators: Producing Quality Power
    Last edited by 8301; 11-22-2016 at 07:25 PM.
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  5. #4
    hag
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    Slippy we use one at the dairy during power outages to keep the bulk tank cool and also to milk and feed if it's that time of day. I don't know the power output of it but it will run the entire milk barn, cooler, pumps vacuum receivers as well as two silo unloaders at the same time. Very efficient and makes alot of electricity but takes a 150+ hp tractor to run it. I will try to get out to the shed tomorrow and get some numbers off of it if you would like
    Slippy likes this.
    We don't rent pigs

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hag View Post
    Slippy we use one at the dairy during power outages to keep the bulk tank cool and also to milk and feed if it's that time of day. I don't know the power output of it but it will run the entire milk barn, cooler, pumps vacuum receivers as well as two silo unloaders at the same time. Very efficient and makes alot of electricity but takes a 150+ hp tractor to run it. I will try to get out to the shed tomorrow and get some numbers off of it if you would like
    Thanks @hag ,

    I'm looking at a much smaller Generator like the one below from Harbor Freight, something that my 30hp JD can run. The one that you use at the Dairy sounds like a Beast!

    PTO Generator - Tractor-Driven PTO Generator, 16,000 W Max

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slippy View Post
    Thanks @hag ,

    I'm looking at a much smaller Generator like the one below from Harbor Freight, something that my 30hp JD can run. The one that you use at the Dairy sounds like a Beast!

    PTO Generator - Tractor-Driven PTO Generator, 16,000 W Max
    Your 30 hp tractor may not be able to pull that generator under full load. But I doubt you'd ever need to, 15kw is a lot of power, 125 amps at 120v.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Your 30 hp tractor may not be able to pull that generator under full load. But I doubt you'd ever need to, 15kw is a lot of power, 125 amps at 120v.
    15kw is a lot, probably more than I need. Here is my next choice, a 7800 surge/7200 rated watt PTO generator.
    NorthStar PTO Generator — 7800 Surge Watts, 7200 Rated Watts, 14 HP Required | PTO Generators| Northern Tool + Equipment

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    Either generator should run any loads you'd have including the well pump although the 7200 watt generator probably couldn't pull your home's central AC. Since the larger generator only has one 30 amp 240v outlet it also may not be able to pull the AC although it certainly has enough electricity to do so.

    Both have good reviews so roll the dice and take your chances. I think either one would cover things if the power went out for a week.

    And for people who don't think AC is essential his wife has diabetes and FL can be very hot with it's high humidity. Unless a person is acclimated to FL weather without AC it can be very tough during the summer.

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    I have worked in generators for years now. Worked on a good bit of PTO generators... PTO gen sets are good for farming use mainly. They tend to sit for a while, and loose residual magnetism. If you want a whole house unit go with Cummins 20gsbb with automatic transfer switch. I have an automatic generator system at my house and I believe that is one of the best decisions I ever made. A farmer friend of mine has had a PTO for years and had issue with horsepower of his tractor. I sold him a Cummins unit and he was blown away

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
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  11. #10
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    If you have a generator that looses it's magnetism it's easy to "polarize" with a tractor/truck/car battery and jumper cables. This happens on the old tractor gennies. You just flash it with the cables and you are good to go.
    hag and SOCOM42 like this.

 

 
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