Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Driving the alternator
There is so much for me to learn in so many areas. I'm still learning where to get things, as so much of what I need is outside of my current experience. In this case I originally did not even know what I needed, let alone where to get it.
The picture shows how the new alternator, in the bottom left of the picture, is connected to the donkey engine. The red drive belts you can see are a special type which are designed to drive machinery using any length needed by simply joining the required number of pieces, similar to joining the links in a bicycle chain. It has the advantage of being easy to fit in the middle of a shaft. I never knew you could get belts like that, being used only to continuous drive belts like the fan belts you get on a car.
I did have the option to fit continuous belts, but felt the extra expense for belts which could be fitted without having to upset the existing generator setup was probably worth it. I would otherwise have had to loosen the existing generator, completely undo the bearings on one end of the drive shaft, thread the new belts through, then tighten everything up. My experience is: If stuff works, don't mess with it unless you absolutely have to.
Fitting the alternator is nearly complete, needing only final welding in place, fitting the second belt and welding the adjusting screw brackets so as to allow tension to be maintained on the drive belts. Oh, and painting the fittings so as to keep the rust off.
Once fitting the alternator is complete, the job of wiring up the new mains system can begin.