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Lawnmower generator

Put your lawnmower to use making electricity
  (+9, -2)
(+9, -2)
  [vote for,

Like many suburban homeowners, I have a large number of small gasoline powered engines cluttering up my garage (lawnmower, snowblower, weedwacker, chainsaw, leaf blower etc). For every engine, besides the occasional oil changes and air filter cleaning, the fuel needs to be completely drained at the end of each season to prevent it gumming up the carb if it sits for too long.

I am now considering getting a small generator for emergencies. I had to stop and think, why the hell do I need to keep so many individual engines around when I would NEVER need to be running any two of these devices at the same time? If only the engines were easily “swapped”, I could possibly make do with two of them: one large one approx 6 horsepower (lawnower, snowblower, generator) and a small 2 cycle engine for all the handheld tools (blower, weedwacker, chainsaw). Some manufactures have started to realize this, and you can now buy a weedwacker (string trimmer) that can be also used to power a small tiller, snowblower or leafblower. But what about the big engines?

I propose for instance a simple standard vertical shaft lawnmower with a PTO shaft (power-take-off) opening on the top. A perfect accessory for this would be a small generator that clamps to the top of the mower. Or, generator could instead be integrated into a platform that you sit the whole mower onto. This generator platform would have prongs or a socket of some sort that mate with the lawmower’s shaft (no need to even remove the blade). Such a device could even be made to work with your existing un-modified mower. When you no longer need the generator, just lift the mower off and go back to cutting your grass.

Yes, many commercial generators have higher power outputs, and larger fuel reservoirs than this type of mower/generator hybrid, but I still think there would be a market for this type of device (except of course for people who would want to be out mowing their lawn during a blackout).

I’ve come across some websites that give instructions on converting old mowers to generators using automotive alternators, but they all involve more or less “permanently” converting the mower from a grass cutting tool to a generator. My whole idea is based on leveraging the existing horsepower sitting idly in your shed to perform new tasks.

ServoMan314, May 06 2006

Halfbakery: Multi-purpose Lawnmower Multi-purpose_20Lawnmower
"generator" is one of the listed uses. [jutta, May 06 2006]


       I love the spirit of this idea, but I think the practicality may lie in having a generator as a base, and having the lawn impliments as accessories. For instance - Honda puts out small briefcase-sized gas powered inverters. Have an electric lawnmower with a space on the deck so snap-in the generator. Similarly have a backpack attachment that the inverter snaps into so that you can easily carry around the quiet, gas-fueled inverter to power the leaf blower or weed-wacker. When you need the generator, just bring it where ever and use it like that.   

       BTW - a standard AVR set-up that is industry standard for commercialy available gas-powered generators can be compact and easy enough for the system that you've described to work effectively and simply enough. [+]
Letsbuildafort, May 07 2006

       It seems that the link Jutta sent (SunStone's multipurpose lawnmower) has already hit this on the head.   

       Sorry for the newbie question, but since my idea is already "baked", is it the proper etiquette for me to delete it?
ServoMan314, May 08 2006

       If you want - I get getting less picky as people become more reasonable.
Letsbuildafort, May 08 2006


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