[Vwdiesel] Anyone else use a VW diesel or Changfa for an electricpower generator?

Mike & Coreen Smith ve9aa at nbnet.nb.ca
Sun Apr 10 20:43:27 EDT 2005

I don't know what to say........you're a busy lad !
I'd be REAL interested in how you powered a generator of some kind from your
VW engine.
Can you please email a few pics to:
ve9aaa at gmail.com
(not this address.........we're on a deathly slow dialup and, unless the pix
are small, it'll take too long
and my connection will crash.)

I keep talking to the wife about getting wind (we just moved to a high hill)
and solar.  It's my longterm dream.  Currently we're using electrically
heated hot water in the concrete floor downstairs........it's a start......

Mike in NB
86 Golf 1.6NA

Mike, Coreen & Corey Smith
699 Rte 616 Keswick Ridge
E6L 1T1
----- Original Message -----
From: "Area31 Research Facility" <stephensrw at stn.net>
To: <vwdiesel at vwfans.com>
Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2005 8:45 PM
Subject: [Vwdiesel] Anyone else use a VW diesel or Changfa for an
electricpower generator?

> Hi All,
> I had been thinking of using a VW diesel for a long time in a standby
> genset for my farm estate.  The attraction to this particular engine was
> extremely good fuel economy, the ability to run the engine on WVO, WMO, or
> used automatic transmission fluid, and well size matched for a direct
> 1800 RPM alternator in the 10-15 kW range. At such a slow speed compared
> the life in a car and all the other benefits in care and feeding that a
> stationary installation can afford an engine including no cold temperature
> starts, I figured on much longer service life.  As a plus, automotive
> engines are fairly easy to get and cost a lot less than similar sized
> industrial engines.  Being a water cooled engine they last longer and are
> quieter than their air cooled cousins and co-generation is possible.  I am
> using the engine coolant to preheat waste oil fuel and also to heat my
> building.
> I began my DIY power plant back in January of this year and started with a
> 1984 NA 1.6D from a Jetta.  Unfortunately the engine was in really bad
> and I have had to replace it but I was making good power for a while
> testing.
> Last week I obtained a 1980 NA 1.5 and have been trying to coax a grunged
> Bosch FI pump back to life.  I seem to be having success and have finally
> achieved good starting and running now with no smoke, with no load yet on
> the crankshaft.  Today I am re-installing my flex coupler to the big 3
> alternator (12-15 kW rating thereabouts) and hope to try the engine under
> load this evening or tomorrow.
> I have built this plant from the ground up and am very proud of my work.
> can email a picture file to anyone interested or contemplating a similar
> project.  George at www.utterpower.com will be doing an article about my
> project.  One of the obstacles to using this engine in a genset is the odd
> flywheel on flex plate arrangement that makes it difficult to put a
> conventional pulley on it as it cannot support side loads.  The way the
> sterter is mounted away from the engine doesn't help either.  I have
> designed a flex coupler that appears to take the extreme abuse that a
> coupler in this location will see.  My design can be DIY'd by anyone with
> lathe, drillpress, 3/8-16 tap and arc welding capabilities.  Using an
> impossible to start engine gave the prototype coupler a real worst case
> abusive workout.  The rubber components in the coupler were actually
> they got so hot on more than one day  while I was wasting my battery ( and
> poor starter!) trying to start the beast.  I propose to make my coupler
> design public domain as a contribution to the alternate energy/home power
> crowd who need all the help we can get trying to survive despite the
> enormous mess all the damage that the well funded utility companies have
> created.
> In my searches for an affordable replacement engine I located a driveable
> Jetta with a 1.6 TD in it.  The engine was rebuilt recently and I
> it cold start not being plugged in at -20C.  It took right off first
> cranking.  I was impressed.  I am buying the car tomorrow, so I hope to be
> driving a VW turbo diesel soon as well as using a VW diesel at home for
> electrical power.  I have to build a second VW diesel powered genset as a
> backup to this plant and I also have plans to DIY a 10-15 kW wind turbine
> my property this year as part of plans to go off-grid and be energy self
> sufficient.  I can no longer afford rising utility bills and the crippling
> cost of car gasoline.
> I am also planning to build a small co-generating DC genset out of a
> cylinder Changfa Chinese diesel for just the house. I am looking at the
> and 18HP models. It will provide domestic got water using my hot water
> as the cooling hopper for the engine, and will charge the 48 volt forklift
> batteries when the wind turbine cannot.  The house will be on inverters.
> The VW diesel plants in the workshop are to power and heat the workshop
> (3500 sq.ft.) and to provide electrical backup to the house when needed.
> Initially (now) this first VW diesel plant wll serve to provide emergency
> power for the house and shop in te case of utility outages, and to provide
> economical 3-phase power to run my machine shop.  My rotary converter that
> now use is very inefficient and the power bill to run it is very
> That alone is justificationenough for a VW powered genset.
> I could use some advice about the Changfa single cylinder horizontal
> I am looking at.  They both have swirl chambers but the CR is different.
> 15 HP @ 2200 RPM (903 cc) engine has higher CR at 20:1.  The larger 18 HP
> 2200 RPM (1093 cc) has a CR of just 17:1.  Since I plan to run this on
> filtered waste transmission fluid  I'm not sure which compression ratio
> would be better for me.  I plan to run the engine 24-7 at around 900 RPM
> load it to maybe 3 kW max for battery charging.
> Regards,
> Rob
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