Help with GenSet
I'm a tour guide at Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park. I'm trying to do some research on a Caterpillar / General Electric 15KW DC generator set that was "new" to the Castle in the fall of 1954. I cannot find a nameplate on the engine but the generator was mfg. in 1942. The generator is rated at 15KW, 110Volts at 1200RPM. We're assuming that the organization that owned the Castle in the 1950's bought (or had donated) this unit as WWII surplus as we don't think that the original owner would have bought, or tried to buy, something like this during the war just to put out here in the Valley as a standby power unit for the Castle. Is there a serial number cast on the engine somewhere that could be referenced in lieu of a nameplate? I've attached some pictures and any help or pointers in the right direction would be appreciated.
I am not surebut your motor should be a 4400and the plate back the governor should give you some informations.
Kind of odd to find in the dessert but it appears to be a WarII production D3400 Marine Engine with water cooled exhaust and auxilliary water circulating pump for heat exchanger cooling plus direct electric start. Don't know if there are any secret number stampings on those.
Yes, now that I read gemdozers post there appears to be a data plate in the usual place just behind the governor linkage.
Last edited by Old Magnet; 07-19-2010 at 05:46 PM.
Gen Set Sn
Last edited by Kelly; 07-19-2010 at 11:31 PM.
Old Caterpillar Watch Fob.
Without history, a society shares no common memory of where it has been, of what its core values are, or what decisions in the past account for the present circumstances
First, thanks folks for all the quick responses, it is much appreciated.
At first thought it does seem like a marine diesel in the desert is a bit odd; however, Scotty's Castle is in a canyon at the far north end of Death Valley at the 3,000' elevation. Approximately 1 mile north of the property is a group of natural springs which serve the Castle with about 300 gpm of potable water pretty much year round.
When the Castle was constructed in the late 1920's almost every system in the house used water in one way or another. The original electric plant, which is still operational, was a 7.5KW DC generator driven by an 18" Pelton Water Motor. This was supplemented in 1929 by the installation of a FM Model 30 marine diesel with a 30KW DC generator. According to our oral history project the CAT was added in 1954 as a backup to the FM. The CAT being a marine engine makes total sense given the amount of water available in the power house for cooling.
By 1955 the FM and CAT were being used in parallel to supply an ever increasing electric demand here at the Castle. In 1964 commercial power arrived in the canyon and the property was converted to AC power. The FM and CAT gen sets were taken out of service and a 75KW GM/Delco 3ph set was installed. This set was last used in the mid 90's.
So it sounds like the engine is a Model 3400. The name plate is behind the governor linkage but I didn't see it as it was completely covered with 4 or 5 layers of paint. Removed the paint this AM and find that the plate is pretty badly corroded; however, I can read the some of the stamped information. I'm going to try and remove the quadrant lever today/tomorrow and perhaps make the plate more readable.
Here's what I have so far, from top of plate to bottom.
Upper left corner - "model" and underneath that I see what appears to be a stamped 4 followed by 00. Hopefully if I can get the quadrant mechanism off I'll be able to read it easier. On the upper right hand side - across from the first stamping is a stamped "3/4". Directly below that are the following numbers:
To the left of the '1200' the name plate appears to say "Governed Speed" but it is very hard to read. A governed speed of 1200 matches the speed rating of the generator which is a GE model 52A514. Any further information on the meaning of these numbers is appreciated.
Again, thanks for all your speedy help.
The D3400 engine is a 3-3/4 inch bore.
D3400 marine engines started with serial number 01N07001 but it also could be and Industrial engine conversion.
OK, got the paint off the plate rivited to the block above the governor. This plate is marked "Power Unit Number" and is stamped '1N7080SP'