I’m sure you remember Fantasy Island?
Noel’s Parents immigrated to the Fijian Islands from Scotland some where in the later forties I’m told..
I remember having a Fijian born customer drop by my shop here in Washington State years back, he was a handsome young man, and his Inlaws owned an Island here in the San Juan’s north of me. He and his brother-in-law were designing new power for the family Island and bought a generator. We talked a little about Fiji, and I took the risk.. “Do you know Noel Douglas?” The young man looked stunned.. his jaw dropped, he gave me a wide eyed look and said ” YOU KNOW……. MY UNCLE NOEL?” I replied, “sure but that’s not too amazing in the alternative Energy Crowd… because your Uncle Noel is pretty well known in our circle.
Noel Douglas came to Fiji as a boy, he learned at his Father’s side the same way my friend Soon Wah Lee learned from his Father in Malaysia. All of them involved in making plantations run in their earlier years. They moved on to other things, but never able to stay away from their love of engines and mechanical things. Noel does import a lot of stuff, Fijians normally need make their own power, pump their own water, and more.
Since the Island pretty much runs on diesel, and diesel is normally sold in 55 gallon drums, there’s a lot of logistics to keeping guests in luxury, and in Air Conditioning during parts of the year. This includes a specialized boat designed for running to a fuel dock on one of the larger main islands, and Noel has experimented and now does this task with half the energy.
One engine Noel has had good luck with is the GM90 from Lovson in India, they sell it branded as the LG6, or LG8. The failure we discuss below happened at 20,000 hours of service, a remarkable feat for a third world engine. This particular engine was doing water pump service for the island.
Here’s Noel’s email to me:
Hi George,I am attaching images of a crank shaft broken in two. I never thought this could ever happen. This engine is one that drives my water pump which supplies water to the Resort. I have had amazing service from these engines which run continuously year in year out. This one would have done over 20,000 hours without any parts replaced. The engine before it ( same type ) had done over 30,000 hours when I replaced it and it still runs today making electricity for one of my workers in the village.When this crank shaft broke all the bearings were still perfect and the crank where the bearings fit is still perfect.I am at a loss as to how and why this happened.Regards,Noel
Noel Douglas Matangi Private Island Resort Box 83 Waiyevo Post Office, Taveuni. ph 679-7780061 mob 679-7105113OK,
Pretty remarkable he’s getting this kind of service, but as I have said before, this is a testament to the design, but you are foolish if you think India builds everyone of them with the same QC. One thing we’ve learned is that Lovson is good to send parts and offer support when things go wrong. I’m not so sure they’ll offer you a free new crank after running the equivalent of over 300,000 miles though, I know I couldn’t do that. Yes, I already have some theories about this failure, and I was going to share, but I thought it would be more fun to hear your theory first. All so easy to scroll down and leave a comment. Quinn, are you ready? Here’s three pictures Noel sent (gifts to us all)
Thanks Noel for all you share with us Students.