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  #1  
Old 09-13-2008, 05:47 AM
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Using a MB in hurricanes for electricit production?

The thread below about Hurricane Ike got me to thinking. I have read articles about people in disasters hooking inverters up to their cars to make small amounts of electricity, enough to run a refrigerator and a couple of lights. How practical is this? Will it hurt a MB diesel engine to idle long periods to keep the alternator going? How much fuel does a 616 engine consume at idle? Seems like an inexpensive way for people to make do for awhile and putting a MB to good use. Thoughts?

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  #2  
Old 09-13-2008, 06:29 AM
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Its only 55amps, less at idle and less from age/wear. 660watts is barely enough to run a fridge.

Typical energy consumption of various appliances
http://www.abaris.net/review/wattage_energy_consumption.htm
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2008, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ForcedInduction View Post
Its only 55amps, less at idle and less from age/wear. 660watts is barely enough to run a fridge.

Typical energy consumption of various appliances
http://www.abaris.net/review/wattage_energy_consumption.htm
I see the carving knife comes in at 100 watts. If I am in a disaster situation I will be sure to leave that behind.

But seriously, if you overload an inverter in a car, will you heat up the wiring in the car and also damage the motor in a fridge that is hooked up to it? We have used an inexpensive inverter in our van on trips for a laptop and I noticed that the inverter has gotten pretty warm at times.
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2008, 10:47 AM
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A really good inverter will supply enough amps for a fridge to start up. A normal sized fridge uses about 180-225 watts once running, but can take 1000 watts to start up (for like 1-2 seconds) At idle a 55A alternator might produce 250-300 watts.....maybe 350 for a 65A unit. At least with a 240d you can raise the idle speed. At max idle you might get 400-450watts from the 55A in a 240d....enough for a fridge and several compact fluorescent lights.

Idling a long time won't hurt it, especially at a high idle. Just be sure to give it a good Italian tune up afterwards.

A 616 uses probably just under a gallon every three hours, a 617 uses around to slightly above a gallon every 3 hours (of idling).

However, the $$ you'd pay for a real good inverter could practically buy you a generator!
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2008, 11:09 AM
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Well, if you are really serious, you could look into a bigger alternator possibly two. mayby from a H/D truck. It would take some mods, obviously.

Last edited by 94mgm; 09-13-2008 at 11:28 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2008, 11:46 AM
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Yep, you can go up to like 120-150A units on the 617 engine with only minor mods, that'd give you nearly 900-1000 watts at idle or so....plenty to run some stuff.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2008, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaschanks View Post
The thread below about Hurricane Ike got me to thinking. I have read articles about people in disasters hooking inverters up to their cars to make small amounts of electricity, enough to run a refrigerator and a couple of lights. How practical is this? Will it hurt a MB diesel engine to idle long periods to keep the alternator going? How much fuel does a 616 engine consume at idle? Seems like an inexpensive way for people to make do for awhile and putting a MB to good use. Thoughts?
Not inexpensive, but a PTO and powerhead would be the way to go if your in a hurricane prone area and lose power often. We've got a PTO driven generator on our field repair truck to run a welder.

How and where you'd stick a PTO on a 240D...
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2008, 02:11 PM
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On the 617 you could fabricate a bracket to hold another like 150+ amp alternator that would mount where the A/C compressor was, they're about the same size and shape so I doubt it'd be too hard, then just use an appropriate v-belt/pulley + possibly a clutch to run it off the crank where the A/C would have been. Then just engage it and hook up a battery/inverter and you've got lots of power.
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'01 E320 - 179k - dad's (OC-182,500)
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2008, 03:41 PM
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Well I don't know about power generation but as mentioned on vegoil site, it was nice going by everybody waiting all day in gas lines, being able to get things for others on street when power went out. Now having a diesel generator running on vegoil would make one a bit more independent when disaster hits along with ones vehicle being so powered.
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:25 PM
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I did exactly this using my 87 300D when we had the tornado come thru downtown Atlanta a while back.

Ran it for about 12 hrs idling to power fridge and entertainment center

Powered a full size fridge and TV/entertainment center. All my neighbors brought over food to stuff in the fridge. I used a 300w inverter hooked directly to battery. Inverter was only warm to touch.

All this on veg oil ofcourse. FU OPEC, Georgia Power.
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2008, 09:38 PM
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Exhaust manifold + food in aluminum foil = hot meal


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  #12  
Old 09-13-2008, 11:42 PM
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A 300w inverter ran a fridge? I find that hard to believe, I had an 400watt/1000 peak unit and it couldn't muster enough to start a small fridge. Usually you need a pretty strong one for that.....
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'15 GLK250 Bluetec 83k - mine - (OC-85,500)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 13k - wifes (OC-17k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 179k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 131k - dad's (OC-132,500)
'01 SL500 - 51k - dad's (OC-52,000)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 57k - Brothers (OC-64,000)
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2008, 03:22 AM
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What about the loss in the inverter? Doesn't seem really efficient.

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