Circa-1986 Petter Diesel Generator

Learn about the durable, reliable 1986 Petter Diesel Generator that Harold Sohner managed to track down to power the backup power system for his work shop.

| December/January 2020


Circa-1986 6-1/2hp Petter AC1 Diesel Generator

Manufacturer: Lister Petter Ltd., Hardwicke, England
Year: Circa 1986
Serial No.: 50263
Horsepower: 6-1/2hp @ 3,604rpm
Bore & Stroke: 3in x 2.625in
Compression ratio: 18.51:1
Ignition: Compression ignition diesel w/direct injection
Governing: Throttle
Cooling: Air
Generator Output: 2,900 watts, 120v/240v

Harold Sohner is a retired engineer living in the Texas Hill Country. In the mid-1970s, he worked for the Collins Radio Co. in Dallas, Texas. One of the programs he was responsible for was establishing a microwave communication system along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. Eight stations were installed and the energy for each was supplied by a battery bank charged by a generator. The generators were powered by Petter engines. The durability and reliability of these engines made a lasting impression on Harold and the other engineers involved.

Petter diesel owner Harold Sooner.

Later, in retirement in a rural area, Harold wanted to have a backup system to support the electrical system in his workshop. Upon learning that his friend Richard Kepler Sr. had a small Petter diesel engine for sale, he purchased it and belted it to a generator that could be tied to his workshop’s electrical system to maintain the building’s heating and lighting systems in the event of a power outage.

Harold’s Petter engine is a compact unit – 17.9 inches long, 17.2 inches wide and 17.9 inches high. It weighs 103 pounds. It is an AC1 (Series 2) engine, number 50263, and a member of the A Range, which includes engines AA1, AC1, AC1 (Series 2), AD1 and AD2. It was built some time after Jan. 1, 1986.


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