I'm interested in emergency back-up power of around 10 kW for our home. The weather in the region ranges from humid summers with thunderstorm/tornado risks to cold winters (-20F typically) which are dry, but come with blizzards. So this can impact the use of a generator during times of power outage. I currently have a ~7 kW PTO generator for a tractor
which runs well and has been reliable, but with the tractors having only 540 rpm PTO speed, you have to wind the engine up pretty good to run the generator (we may have to part with a Yanmar 'grey market' tractor which has been great and has higher PTO speeds in addition to 540). Without naming the brand, about 2 years ago I bought a portable ~ 8 kW gas-powered generator that was pretty nice....when it ran. But as I may only have needed it a couple times per year, it sat for months without use. This past spring, I tried to start it and it appears the engine is seized.....don't know where--valves, cylinder, where ever....., but this is the latest in a few recent starting problems.
In the event that I get rid of this generator, I've been thinking about getting a generator head that is made as a "belt drive" unit for use with a gas powered engine. A few questions: 1) Is there any reason why such a generator, designed as it is to run at ~3600 rpm, could not be direct-linked to the engine via a shaft instead of a belt?, 2) could one then also rig up a pulley so that a belt, driven from a 540 PTO from a tractor (with the appropriate pulley ratio) could power this same head if the gas-powered engine fails, and 3) is it possible to use a centrifugal clutch with the gas-powered engine so that if the engine were idling at lower speeds the generator would not turn?
Any other suggestions or links to ideas? Thanks