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I love the way the ZENA welder on my truck works -- is it possible drive it from an electric motor so that I can use it in my shop?

Yes, it can be done. All that you need is a suitable 220V single phase (or 3 phase) electric motor (properly fused and properly wired), suitable drive pulleys, and a 12V power supply to provide power for the welder's electronic controls.

NOTE 1: A 12V, 10A power supply of the type used to provide power to a "base station" CB radio will work for this application. This sort of power supply is available from Radio Shack, or a similar electronic component supplier.)

NOTE 2: With proper ventilation, a good "12V" power supply for the welder can be a small 12V lawn mower battery with an appropriate 10A automatic battery charger (of the type which will not overcharge the battery) attached. In this case the battery voltage will be about 13.8 to 14.25V, and a "normal" power generator welding rpm can be used.

Our 150A welder can be driven to maximum (or near maximum) output power by an 3,450 rpm continuous duty/heavy duty 5 hp electric motor for a short period of time. As welding power is produced for an extended period, the 5 hp electric motor heats up and looses power. This results in a gradual loss of welder power as the hot motor becomes unable to drive the power generator without a loss in motor rpm. Therefore, a continuous duty/heavy duty 7-1/2 hp electric motor is the practical minimum needed for 100% duty shop use.

In this case, a 4.75" (or a 5") (single or double "V") drive pulley on the motor and a 2" (single or double "V") shaft pulley on the power generator (providing a 2.375:1, or greater, pulley ratio - producing a power generator speed of approximately 8,000 rpm) is a good choice.

NOTE: The ZENA power generator is optimized for operation in a 12V vehicle electric system. In this sort of system the operating voltage received by the power generator is approximately 13.8 to 14.5VDC. When operating from the lower voltage produced by a regulated 12V bench power supply, the recommended welding rpm should be increased by approximately 20% -- i.e., from approximately 7,000 rpm to approximately 8,400 rpm.

This higher "target" welding rpm is well within the operating range of the power generator. In fact, it's less than 1/2 the power generator's maximum recommended safe operation speed. NO detrimental effect, whatsoever, will be caused by operating at this speed.

A 200A power generator would require a 10hp @ 3,450 rpm continuous duty/heavy duty electric motor -- approximately 50% more power than the 150A power generator. Otherwise, all of the comments above would also apply to 200A power generator/welder set up.

Feel free to call our customer support department if you need more information about this sort of application.

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