Kerosene Generator..How To?

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Yobarnacle, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 1,735
    Likes: 127, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 851
    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    On internet, I see lots of kerosene generators for sale around the globe, many in India. Good brands like Honda. Don't see any for sale in USA.
    Saw several threads where old British Seagull outboards were converted to run on kerosene by adding a 2nd head gasket and a hotter spark plug.
    Anybody know any tricks how to convert to run a 4 cycle gasoline gen like the little Honda or others makes on kerosene? Apparently Honda knows how. They're selling them in India.
     
  2. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 4,862
    Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Dont know how they do it. Evinrude markets outboards for kerosene. I believe its more difficult that you think to adapt an engine to kerosene. I think somewhere on Boat Design net is a thread concerning the subject.
     
  3. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 1,896
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 739
    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    No idea how, but I do wonder why? The price or K1 is around 30% higher than gas in the states.
     
  4. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 1,735
    Likes: 127, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 851
    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    Why kerosene when more expensive? How much is life and health worth? Kerosene much safer than gasoline. I have a 33 gal diesel tank in my boat I'm considering cleaning up for kerosene. No diesel engine. Kerosene cabin heaters, galley stove, and a Dometic kerosene chest freezer options are in consideration.
    A small Honda kerosene gen would be interesting, too.
     
  5. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 1,735
    Likes: 127, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 851
    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    Did a thread search for "kerosene" and got 8 pages full of links. I browsed thru all that looked likely might have had a conversion from gas to kero, but no joy. I read others that sparked my interest for one reason or another. I did not read every post in every thread, but I suspect nothing has been posted on converting a gas engine to run on kerosene.
    I'll chech if there's something on converting a gas engine to run on diesel. I'm thinking on what words to search for.
    Searching just for "diesel" as I did for "kerosene", probably won't turn up any links at all! :D
     
  6. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 148, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Kerosine or kerosene is a lousy fuel for gasoline engines. Not only because it has a different viscosity and boiling point, but also an undefined octane number because it is not intended to be used for that purpose. This means that the chemical composition may show large variations between suppliers and production batches.

    It works reasonable well in simple, low compression engines designed for low octane fuel.
    Long time ago I experimented with a small 4 cyl. engine, but starting at low temperatures was very time consuming. I proved possible to use a 50-50 gasoline mixture in winter and up to 80% kerosene in summer.
    At the time kerosene was widely available and cheap because it wasn't taxed like gasoline, but now it is only available as lamp oil. Because of the low demand the price has risen considerably so people lost interest and the attention has shifted towards vegetable oil and diesel engines.

    The properties are more or less the same as aviation fuel for piston engines, the latter has tighter specifications but is difficult to obtain in small quantities.
     
  7. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 1,735
    Likes: 127, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 851
    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    Thanks CDK
    I live in the south. Florida is my native state, and I spend about half the months each year there. My wife is mexican, and we return to Mexico frequently, so about half each year is spent here.
    Low temperatures aren't a problem for me, and wouldn't enjoy boating when it was cold. I sailed ore freighters on the Great Lakes for 10 years of my career. Cold on the water I been.
    I plan solar panels or thermocouple panels for underway charging and a towed generator spinner if anchored in a good current. Mostly, I'll charge batteries with shore power.
    Was just considering my options. I'd like to keep that diesel tank in the boat, and debating uses for it. Kerosene, a flotation tank, holding tank, ect.
    The Dometic freezer I'm looking at uses one liter kerosene per day. Galley stove very little, and cabin heaters little, and not used much. Cost of kerosene in the amounts I would use it is not much concern. I wonder if a visit to the small plane local airport toting a couple 5 gal jerry cans would they sell me the kerosene? Maybe if I BS-ed them I ran out of fuel and emergency landed my personal jet couple miles away on the county road, and need to refuel with cans? :D
     
  8. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 1,896
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 739
    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    CDK,

    At least in the US avgas is pretty available. Almost any small airport will sell it to you in any quantity, though the prices can be much higher than normal gass... As much as three times depending on your area.

    Yobarnacle,

    My question was why use K1, not why get rid of gass. At least in my head I was clear. A better question is why not use diesel, since it is cheaper, likely already on board, and much easier to get in quantity.
     
  9. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 1,735
    Likes: 127, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 851
    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    diesel is a viable option for cooking, cabin heaters, and refrigeration. and there are lots of choices for diesel gen sets available, even cheap air cooled portables just for contingencies.
    Probably it is a better plan to use diesel. Though, kerosene smells better by my recollection. Just considering my options. Nothing is cast in concrete yet.
     
  10. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
    Posts: 1,735
    Likes: 127, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 851
    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    Changing topic just slightly, two favorite areas of mine are Santa Rosa Sound in west Florida and Corpus Christi Texas. All the water in Santa Rosa Sound, Escambia Bay, and East Bay, ebbs and floods through one narrow inlet. You could probabably anchor all the yachts and small boats in the USA in Santa Rosa Sound and not fill it up. It's a very large and under utilized harbor. Primarily because of the solitary inlet I mentioned. Out going current at Pensacola city docks has been clocked at 8 knots. Ideal for streaming a spinner gen while anchored. And west Florida has some beautifull beaches.
    Corpus Christi Texas always has wind. A sailors paradise. and South Padre Island is great beach.
    Both locales have fabulous fishing.
    Preceding information for what it's worth.

    http://santarosasound.com/
     
  11. Landlubber
    Joined: Jun 2007
    Posts: 2,640
    Likes: 124, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1802
    Location: Brisbane

    Landlubber Senior Member

    My tractor is a Ferguson TEA20, it has a Standard engine in it and many models were made to run on kero, they have low compression engines around 6:1, and exhaust manifold covers to act as heaters to the inlets, they start on petrol and switch over to kero when hot, then back to petrol to run out before shuting down. Kero is a very chjeap petroleum product to make, is is low on the octane rating scale and can handle many variations of mixes.
    During the war here many vehicles were running on kero type fuels.
     
  12. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 4,862
    Likes: 115, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I understood that one problem with running Kerosene in a diesel is kerosenes low "lubricity ". Hard on the injector pump.
     
  13. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 148, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Thank you Stumble, that explains something.
    Avgas is available at airports of course, but because Europe has extremely high taxes on gasoline, they charge you comparable prices if you want to buy a small quantity. For commercial airlines some countries have complete tax exemption like Amsterdam airport with $ .51 per liter. If you have a private plane the rate goes up 4-fold, that makes it just as expensive as gasoline. And if you turn up with nothing but a few empty canisters they will probably release the dogs to chase you away.
    It seems that only in countries without proper legislation, like Bosnia you can get any quantity for $ .33.
     
  14. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 14,549
    Likes: 681, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Low compression gas engines can be made to run on kerosene. The octane will vary with fuel, so the timing may need to be changed from tank fill to tank fill. I have run old cars (1920's) on kerosene. They foul plugs more often, and most need to be warmed up on gas. It was more of an experiment to test the tricks my father told me from WWII when gas was not available.
     

  15. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Yobarnacle: What diesel refrigerator or freezer have you seen? I'm still working the systems for the new boat and had never seen one of those.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.