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How to Use Car Alternators for House Power

Alternators can be used to power devices other than an automobile.
New car petrol engines image by Christopher Dodge from Fotolia.com

You can use car alternators to power a home. One method of doing this is to use the alternators to recharge storage batteries. These batteries could then be used to power an inverter, which would produce the AC voltage needed to run the house. This setup helps to simplify the needed calculations for this type of power system. Another advantage to this system is that it can easily be modified to add solar or wind power to reduce the amount of input power needed. In general though, a gas engine can be used to drive the alternators.

Connect the alternator and gas engine together using a V-belt. As the gas engine runs, a pulley on the gas engine shaft will turn the pulley on the alternator which allows the alternator to produce power.

Connect the large red terminal on the alternator to the positive terminal of the battery. Connect the negative wire of the alternator to the negative side of the battery. As the gas engine runs, it will recharge the battery.

Connect the red positive terminal of the power inverter to the positive terminal of the battery. Finally, connect the black negative terminal of the wire to the power inverter. The size of the power inverter is dependent on how much equipment you plan on running off it. Using a very large power inverter may require additional batteries. Small inverters typically have electrical outlets to plug appliances into. Large inverters can be wired to a power panel.

Things You'll Need:

  • Alternator with electronic regulator
  • 5-Horsepower gas engine
  • Power inverter
  • 12-Volt car battery
  • Electrical wire
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