DIY Electric Car Forums banner

Diesel / Electric Locomotive Technology

2637 Views 75 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  SeattleTrainGuy
I wish to follow the technology of the diesel / electric locomotive, as I have a 1983 Isuzu P/U with a 58hp, 4 cyl diesel engine, that I would like to have power one of my 10kw generator heads, with a 120v or 240v electric motor powering my rear axle.

My intention is to remove the 5-speed manual transmission and put one of my 10kw generator heads in its place, then idle the engine at the RPM necessary to achieve 60Hz, and direct-wire the A/C 120 or 240V drive motor to the generator head to supply power to the motor.

It doesn't make sense to me to spends thousands of dollars on batteries, along with adding the extra weight, then having to recharge the batteries, when I already have a complete power source.

If anyone knows where I should be searching, please point me in that direction? Thanks!
1 - 4 of 76 Posts
Suggestion - do a lot more reading. You have no clue about what you are doing and you are no smarter than any automotive engineer.
Suggestion - do a lot more reading. You have no clue about what you are doing...
Great. That only took 10 postings.

Your mistake was thinking you could attach a harbor freight generator and rectifier to an ICE that's 5x its power rating. And then you said 60Hz, which requires a synchronous generator with an ICE running at a fixed, governed, speed. You knew just enough to throw a sentence together, thinking you were onto something nobody else was doing.

Your mistake is taking 1940's technology (rectifiers have massive heat losses - a big part of a loco's bodywork accommodates massive radiators; low frequency generators are massive) and applying it to 2023 to replace a battery. A train is efficient because of its low rolling resistance, not because of its CVT.

And, after all that , you still need a battery for your proposed rig.
A 80% generator connected to an 80% motor has 36% losses as heat. Throw in your 30% efficient ICE and you're at 81% as heat loss and 19% of the thermal energy being propulsion. Ignoring gearing losses.

A 33% thermal efficiency coal plant charging a 95% efficient battery, discharging at 95% into a 98% inverter into a 95% motor means 28% of the thermal energy goes to propulsion, 72% is heat loss, of which 67% is at the coal plant.

Now, do the math with wind and solar, which are FREE feedstocks.

Energy is $$. You save NOTHING by running a small, inefficient, heavy, engine, except an Arab's bank balance.

Your money is better spent with solar on the roof or building a wind turbine out of that 10kW generator.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 4 of 76 Posts