Attention: Due to a number of situations beyond my control, PMGs will no longer be offered for sale through Utterpower. I’m working to delete or modify pages that suggest you should write for information. I will leave the PMG pages up for customer reference and your reading pleasure. If I find a way to deliver a quality PMG at a cost effective price in the future, I will make an announcement right here at the top of this page..
I leave this page up as a record of where I’ve been…kind of like foot prints.
UTTERPOWER Mission Critical Alternator
American Quality Control
In stock and ready to ship! This 3kw continuous duty unit is $699.95 with the drive pulley, bushing, bolts, Quality Marine Grade. Five Years in the Field providing the only source of power at one full time family residence test site. See below for actual screen shots of this unit under load.
120/240 AC 60HZ 3KW Continuous Duty
Above Picture: Note the anodized cases, quality plated marine grade pulley and fittings, the connection box is heavy, has a seal, and the fasteners are stainless. This is NOT designed to compete in price alone! If you’re looking for cheap, keep looking..
Mission Critical, Highly Reliable AC Generator, unit can start large inductive loads, scroll down for technical info.
Solar Storms? http://eclipptv.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=9745 The PMG will survive! Small diesels have no electronics, they will survive too!
This would be Mad Max’s choice for an off Gird Generator. See the results of our 10,000 hour ‘destructive test’ below. This alternator can handle everything the Lister CS can deliver and more. It’s done so for 10 straight 24 hour days in one test. Note the advanced patented cooling system, simply a must in a high power rare earth PMG.
It’s EMP proof! (see foot note) If the unthinkable happens the diesel powered PMG will have total immunity. Yes we have experienced an unthinkable event recently. Some of our Government Officials readily admit, “they don’t know what to do”. Some think they have allowed the barn to burn down and now they are all working on putting the Cow back in! What will they totally mismanage next? Maybe there is something to be said about the Boy Scout Motto? Many are awakening to the fact that you can’t count on the Government, those that demand to be taken care of may be very disappointed in the months, years to come.
The development of the PMG has everything to do with why conventional generators FAIL. I have spent years studying these failures, and I’m sure that some people would be dumbfounded to learn that some of the ‘so called’ advanced features found on their generators actually caused them to fail. Furthermore, the repair is often more expensive than buying the generator over again! I found this out with a Honda Construction Generator I once owned, and so have a lot of other people with a range of brands.
The Utterpower PMG
- No rectifiers.
- No electronics.
- Totally sealed to run in harsh environments, dust and grit, BUT with a (must have) patented cooling system.
- Meets important ANSI standard C84.1 from no load to full load, and runs cool while doing it.
- Potentially higher efficiency to assure that your ever higher fuel costs are lowest possible for a kilowatt hour of energy produced.
- 3kw Continuous 120, 120/240, or 240 VAC (all selectable by you) 60hz AC model, this unit has started and ran two 17,000 BTU air conditioners at the same time!
- Broad International Patents, and a team with the means and motivation to protect these patents.
- North American Repair Facility
I consider myself very fortunate to be in communication with people around the world who live off the grid, some are in the jungles of South America, some in harsh environments in Africa, and still others are living in climates where -20F is not considered all that cold. My friend Mamad in Iran has probably been to some of the harshest environments anyone could imagine where he made repairs to equipment he specializes in. Mamad for one knows what it takes for machines to survive in these hostile places, it’s often all about “SSR” Simple_Rugged_Reliable design (KISS engineering).
It just doesn’t seem to matter where the generator is or how it’s used, 99% of all reported failures of Generators (Alternators) occur in certain components. If the Generator has a voltage regulator, this is the device that often fails, and it is also reported as the most expensive item to replace. Fact is; some people report that buying another generator was cheaper than the estimated replacement or repair of their voltage regulator. Some are shocked to learn that it was the voltage regulator they paid extra for that damaged the field or other components by boosting the current as their generator ran out of fuel. Other items responsible for failures are rectifiers that supply the DC current to the field winding, brushes or brush holders, worn out slip rings, broken or damaged wiring associated with the brush rigging, and defects in the field winding on the rotor.
In the case of the Brushless Alternator designs, there are still components on the rotor that fail, diodes and capacitors are often used, and they fail. Some Brushless Alternators have an access door that will allow you to replace these components without taking the generator apart, in other generators; you’re in for some work, or you’ll pay a high labor charge to have someone else disassemble the machine and fix it. If you know Murphy as well as I do , these components ALWAYS fail when you need the generator most.
Prior to developing this unit, the only acceptable high power PMGs I could find were either Military pieces, or expensive aircraft alternators.
About 4 years ago, I placed an utterpower built 6/1_PMG listgen in an off gird location in the North Western Cascade Mountains in Washington State. This unit usually runs eight hours a day, seven days a week. The test site is rather perfect, fewer mechanical skills in the house hold and until last month the family had no idea they were running one of the more powerful 60HZ 120VAC PMGs I’ve ever seen. This family will readily admit that this 60hz generator set has not received the best of care, the family has learned what not to do, and all troubles have been related to the prime mover, zero troubles in PMG or drive.
Just to note, total harmonic distortion on this machine was measured at 3.6% or less and this 3KW (conservatively rated) unit has carried 4000 watts plus for some hours without over heating in the LAB and again in the field. That’s well beyond what most off grid families ever need, and there’s more surge capability left. One of the strong points of this design is it’s ability to start larger induction motors like those found in 1.5HP 240Volt well pumps. In a lot of locations, if you can’t start the pump, you haven’t found the right solution. In my opinion, there is a reason to utilize the AC generator for charging batteries, in many cases, it’s just too easy to select an Inverter with a built in battery charger and AC transfer switch, AND take advantage of the convenience. If you have a 48 volt battery bank, the PMG works great as a battery charger, simply run the prime mover at lower RPM, and feed the output into a quality high power rectifier and onto your batteries, this offers a great ‘back up’ should the built in charger in your inverter ever fail.
In 2007, the PMG was further refined, with units in the jungles and harsh saltwater marine environments.
So you ask… if they’re so good, why doesn’t Sears and Roebuck have them?
I think part of the answer is the EXTREME effort it involves to properly engineer a PMG for a specific use, unlike the Synchronous Generator; you can’t tweak the field current to make it right, you need design it exactly right and you find that the PMG is not exactly scalable. There are certainly more challenges beyond that, you don’t go to “HappyMagnets”, and stick any old thing to the rotor , each magnet is custom machined, then charged and >certified< to have the proper flux density; this is a time consuming process, but it is the only way you can get what we are after from no load to full load, and again, we can’t cheat by increasing the current in the field. We also need to note that the PMG rotor is currently far more expensive than a few turns of wire, and the other components used in the more common designs. Both the rotor and the cooling system are patented, this work came about after studying another effort that failed miserably as per voltage droop and other criteria, but that doesn’t stop people from marketing it!
Other problems with the PMG design involve air flow and properly cooling the Generator while keeping dust and dirt out that erode the protective coatings of the magnets and stator windings. The Utterpower design cools the rotor directly, but it’s a sealed unit, so no dust or dirt is blown thru the stator windings or past the magnets to contaminate the inside of the unit. Open framed PMGs can prematurely fail as we soon learn that there is a lot of ferrous materials in soils and in and around the typical operating environment of a generator set. We must remember just how strong these magnets are. The Utterpower PMG makes use of patented technology to keep the unit cool and to provide a superior voltage droop. Do not buy a PMG without knowing and understanding it’s voltage droop, research the ANSI standard and learn why it’s important to have a generator that can meet ANSI voltage droop specs like this one does!
There are several test sites where the Lister 6/1 and PMG are the source of power feeding (AC IN) to inverters that are known to be a little particular as to the Frequency and voltage of the generators, since this PMG makes a nice clean sine wave and the expected peak voltage, these finicky Inverters connect to the PMG when they reject other Generators, some of them have respected names.
The model 1003 120/240 60hz unit is a perfect match for the mighty 6/1, and it can make all the current that the massive flywheels can help deliver for starting heavy loads like well pumps.
One of the major advantages of the PMG is it can be sent via UPS, or FEDEX. This is a major savings over other generators all by itself, and as we know, the cost of fuel continues to increase the cost of truck shipping.
The voltage droop in the utterpower PMG will allow you to operate at 60hz and meet ANSI C84.1 from no load to full rated load, and if we look at the ANSI utilization chart, if your distribution system is short or heavy gauge; you can place a 48% overload on the PMG and still meet the standard in many cases.
Above: A veggie burning test site in Africa. 50HZ 220VAC Utterpower PMG. Note the exhaust system, there’s a condensate trap, and the exhaust exits away from the work site. That looks like a grain grinder to the right? Also notice the pre heater for the SVO fuel. Notice how clean they keep the platform. See other test sites below.
6/2010 Add…BEFORE YOU BUY AN ALTERNATOR, find out what you are buying!
We all know there’s stuff out there that is rated at what the alternator can do in the first few minutes, our 3KW can run all day in moderate ambient temperatures at much higher output. In our research, we found one alternator that literally started smoking and failed when it was ran at it’s advertised rating for two hours! Following is actual screen shots of a 3KW PMG on the Variable Frequency Drive Test Bench. We are plenty happy with the power analyzer we own, and I guess FLUKE like it to, because they now own the company who made it…
Above: 4000 Watt (4KW) load
Above: Utterpower PMG provides an excellent voltage even when it is operating well above it’s continuous rating. I would have put more load on the unit, but it wasn’t handy at the moment.
Above: Notice how low the total harmonic distortion is with this 4000 watt load, 2.9 THD is not something you’ll likely see in an ST generator or many other generators.
Before you compare the Utterpower PMG with another alternator, find out what the other one promises, what kind of voltage does it put out at rated capacity? How long have their units been in service?
One of the first Utterpower PMGs was placed in an off grid year around house hold in our Northern Cascade Mountains. Due to the location in densely wooded terrain with a steep mountain slope to the south, there is little chance of using solar. Average run time is 8 hours a day, and now that we have suffered far cooler temperatures in this area, average run times are around 10 hours a day. This is year 5 for the PMG with no maintenance! during on customer visit, we did put the PMG on the test bench to measure voltages and THD under load, we could find no changes. This unit is still running on the original drive belt!
There’s other things to think about when you buy an alternator for mission critical applications like storm or Hurricane duty. What kind of “hands on” knowledge and experience does the Dealer or Seller have? One I hear all the time is “The salesmen was a really nice guy”.