Author Topic: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...  (Read 556846 times)

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Offline AdironDoc

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #650 on: November 04, 2010, 03:42:43 AM »
Wow, I knew there would be voltage loss with 12V but hadn't really considered just how big a challenge it would be. A game changer was also a voicemail this am from the code enforcement officer who told me that my cabin would need to have conventional wiring even if "off-grid".

My assumption was that an inverter would rob some power while, um, inverting, and add to the expense of the setup. In light of what you have said, I'll plan around a 110V system. I'd venture to guess the appliances will be cheaper too. Moreover, running a considerable length of wire out to the well pump will be far easier in 110V. I figure 30-50ft to the well, then down 50-100ft. That's a long stretch.

Now if I run an inverter, are there any appliances that are better at 12V such as the ShurFlo, or can it just as well be all 110V?

Thanks for sharing your wisdom, guys.

Doc

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #651 on: November 04, 2010, 05:18:04 AM »
Glenn, just wanted to pass on info on the SUN SL 3024 inverter/charger. I sent it back to sunelec yesterday. It was giving constant over voltage alarms and would not reset properly without having to completely disconnect the unit from the dc bus. I contacted Tony with sunelec and he said to ship it back to his attention, should be there by Friday. I have since rolled back to a backup HF 1200 Modified Sinewave inverter for lights/gargedoor opener.
The price on the inverter/charger was great but I guess you get what you pay for. Will probably be looking for Xantrex or Outback model after final dispostion.

Hmmm,   well I guess that settles that....

It was nice to think something good might be available for a low price.  Looks like we have to stick with the standards who care about their name.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #652 on: November 04, 2010, 05:25:14 AM »
I'm with the rest, Boc. 

Even a small good quality, FULL SINE wave inverter is better than running DC in my opinion. 

Your list has way too much stuff that would be better on AC in my opinion.  Not modified sine wave though. 
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline MountainDon

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #653 on: November 04, 2010, 05:43:46 AM »

Now if I run an inverter, are there any appliances that are better at 12V such as the ShurFlo, or can it just as well be all 110V?


The Shurflo is available in 12 and 24 VDC and 115 VAC. I run the 12 VDC version of the Shurflo cabin interior water supply pump. My reason was that it is easy to find a replacement 12 VDC pump if the need ever arises; any good RV dealer will have one on the shelf whereas the 24 VDC or 115 VAC would need to be ordered. Plus I could also pull the one out of the RV. Or vice versa.

Running the 12 VDC pump required additional expense to be able to hook it up as my DC system is 24 volt. I have a solid state voltage converter, 24 to 12 VDC.   Shown Here  That is better (for the batteries) than running a tap off them for 12 VDC.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #654 on: November 10, 2010, 10:31:10 AM »
I'm very happy with my AIM 2500 inverter.  Cost was about $200 and I've run a sawsall and jigsaw off it as well as a TV and playstation, CFL lights, incandescent lights and the Composting toilets dehydrator.  We also used it to charge my cell phone and Ryobi batteries for the drill :)

With 6 GCB's my reserve power is limited but with the SunElectric 205 watt panels (3) I'm getting the bank charged to 13.5vdc even on low light days.  With full sun it goes up to 'fully charged' which is 14vdc according to the inverter lights.

All in all I'm very happy but have already thought about adding two more batteries and perhaps a 4th panel in the future.  Of course the Iota charger will work fine to get the bank charged up more but I haven't wired it in yet.

Offline Windpower

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #655 on: November 17, 2010, 12:45:50 PM »
Just got the quote from the Solar Biz for the batteries
(thanks for the Solar Biz tip,  Don)


going with the 6V 546 AH   6-CS-17PS Surrettes @ $710 each

(8 of these for the 48 V bank)





the shipping is only $120  (at least that is the quote -- I think I better grab it before they change their mind)

at over 1700 pounds (220# each) I know I could not get them with the truck for that

This is exciting !

eta

I just noticed there is no handle on these things -- but it looks like there is a molded 'hook' on the side -- anybody know where to get a handle ?




Often, our ignorance is not as great as our reluctance to act on what we know.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #656 on: November 17, 2010, 02:27:27 PM »
 [cool]  nice batteries, good choice     8)
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline AdironDoc

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #657 on: November 22, 2010, 10:00:10 AM »
Wow, moving those around is going to either take some sweat or some thought. I'm not a burly sort and if I had those, I'd slice the bottom off a dolly and spot weld two blades extending forward like a forklift to catch those grooves. You could roll up, tilt back and away you go.

As my wind project finally comes to completion, can someone tell me whether there is any difference in load on an alternator for a single 12V battery and an entire bank of them? My father says a larger bank of batteries discharged to, lets say 70%, will take more torque at the alternator rotor than one or two. I say once the voltage exceeds the battery's, it pours in like water into a tank, regardless of how many there are. Of course it would take much longer, but at the rotor, I can't imagine you'd know the difference? What say you?


Offline MountainDon

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #658 on: November 22, 2010, 10:29:47 AM »
The alternator has an upper limit as to how many amps or watts it can deliver. If the alternator is rated at 70 amps output (840 watts) that is the maximum it can deliver whether it is connected to a single 12 volt battery or to a hundred 12 volt batteries(in parallel).  It would take 100 times as long to charge the 100 batteries but the alternator can't tell any difference.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #659 on: November 22, 2010, 11:15:05 AM »
You mentioned a discharge of 70%. I hope this is not your planned aimpoint for depth of discharge, but rather just an example.  I would aim for no more than a 50% discharge (DOD).

If a battery is discharged to 50% every day, it will last about twice as long as if it is cycled to 80% DOD. If cycled only 10% DOD, it will last about 5 times as long as one cycled to 50%.



The graph is for a Concord Lifeline battery, but others will follow a similar pattern


Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline AdironDoc

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #660 on: November 22, 2010, 06:44:58 PM »
Sorry for the confusion, guys. I meant as an example, and my plan, that the batteries are discharged 30% leaving a 70% charge. I was hoping not to discharge to 50% if can help it.  d*

Offline AdironDoc

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #661 on: November 27, 2010, 02:41:04 PM »
Ok, it's been a gusty day and I've finally come to the close of a wind turbine project. Cost was $96 for an aluminum high torque five blade 5ft radius design, $130 for the all-weather alternator. The 34 ft Rohn telescoping antenna mast ran $160. Building the frame and furling tail section proved frustrating at times, but the time spent with dad, priceless...parts, maybe $15 at Lowes. At 15ft up and in turbulent wind, today's gusts pushed the unit to average 20-60 open volts. With discharged deep cycle battery, between 1 and 4 amps or current. 15-50 watts isn't much and I'm not thrilled with the output for all the effort. Nonetheless, I wanted to get in cheap and test it's feasibility before taking the plunge on a much larger and expensive setup. I'm thinking no one single source will suffice. Now, back to microhydro and hello solar..

Doc
http://theadirondoc.blogspot.com/p/elements-running-with-wind.html



wrapping up the frame:
today's open voltage test:
alternator vs. 12V dead battery:

Offline MountainDon

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #662 on: November 28, 2010, 03:28:09 PM »
Do you have equipment that would permit the collecting of data for a period of time, day, week etc? A little bit of power over a whole day can add up.

It was good to see real blades, not carved up PVC pipe.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline AdironDoc

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #663 on: November 29, 2010, 09:33:13 AM »
I have no equipment for that yet but I did manage to find a good deal on a bank of batteries. I'm the proud owner of 8000 watts of potential energy..  ;)

The 50ft bluff on my Adirondack camp is likely to be windier than my "testing grounds" out on Long Island, NY. We'll see what it will put out over a week or two when spring rolls in and I hoist it up. I need to find a good charge controller with load diverter this week. Oh yes, a dump load as well.

Cheers,
Doc

Offline AdironDoc

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ultralife batteries? Hmm
« Reply #664 on: December 01, 2010, 04:40:32 AM »
Found a great online deal on Centennial 6V 220AH batteries, $89/each. After shipping, not so great. I was told by them that the Trojan T-105 is a much beefier battery and offers better lifespan. I appreciated their candor. They offered a local distributor location so there would be no shipping but there will be state sales tax. Unfortunately, locally they carry neither Centennial nor Trojan but the following:

6V 210Ah UltraLife $125/ea
6V 235Ah UltraLife $135/ea

There is a CORE fee of $15/battery

I've never seen any reviews of this brand. Can anyone tell me anything about them? I'm looking for an inexpensive entry-level set of batteries. Plans are for 24V so 8 in total.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #665 on: December 01, 2010, 05:59:49 AM »
No nearby Sams Club or Costco?  My Sams stocks golf cart 6v 210 amp for $79 + $9 core.  MTL the same as those Ultralife
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline AdironDoc

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #666 on: December 01, 2010, 06:41:22 AM »
No nearby Sams Club or Costco?  My Sams stocks golf cart 6v 210 amp for $79 + $9 core.  MTL the same as those Ultralife

I have both but have never seen the batteries available. A visit to their websites yields no "6V batteries" or references to "golf cart". If so, I'd have bought 8 of them today....bummer

Offline MountainDon

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #667 on: December 01, 2010, 09:28:22 AM »
I've noticed that my Sams does not list the batteries on the web, but does carry the batteries in stock. My Costco does not carry batteries but the one across town does. ???  puzzling
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 10:54:33 AM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline AdironDoc

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #668 on: December 01, 2010, 05:50:11 PM »
That's good to know. The cheapest interstate and  energizers I found on the web are $120 and up. I'll call the local Costcos and Sams' and scout around.

Doc

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #669 on: December 01, 2010, 06:20:23 PM »
Hey Doc, Nice experiment on the wind turbine.  Thanks for posting it.  I think you will be a lot happier when you get it up higher and away from turbulence.  Wind at 85 to 100 feet is about 3 times that at ground level but anything over 30 ' above treetops is better than near the ground.

I built my 85 foot tower and put it up by myself with a gin pole but it was a real chore.
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Offline AdironDoc

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #670 on: December 02, 2010, 03:52:28 AM »
Thanks, Glenn. I extended the telescoping rods up near their 34ft max to see how hard it would be. Lift the mast sections vertically, with the unit on top, and cables hanging is really at least a two person job. The gin pole method with a winch suddenly seemed attractive. I guess there's no easy way, huh?

Im really impressed that you build your own mast. That's no small feat. What's your turbine put out? I'm considering the windy nation 750 which is on sale this week only at $899. It's ratings are real world, the support has been great, and the unit has impressive stats. My Delco will never measure up to my energy use.


Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #671 on: December 02, 2010, 07:44:51 AM »
I have a Bergey XL1 - 1000 watts rated although I have seen more in a storm.  I am a dealer but haven't sold others due to the fact that we are not in a great wind area and peoples unrealistic expectations could cause me problems.  Last I checked it was over $2000.

My install was really rough as I did not want to cut my Oak trees so I had to work the side cables around them too.  Took me about 10 and 1/2 hours to get it stood.

I based my design on the materials in the Bergey mast after I conned a few answers out of them.  I used 20 foot sections of light weight 4" blow pipe I had left over from well drilling - threaded and coupled on the ends - I made a cable attachment collar to slip on top of each coupling so guy wires every 20 feet and  I roughly copied their base tower and gin pole mount.  Anchors are 3 foot long steel stakes driven through the base into the ground.

I want to build my own wind generator next time using PM motors - likely gearing up with a multi-v belt.  I now have 3 off of treadmills.  I have plans for a well designed carved PVC set of blades and commercial PVC -green - water pipe to make them from.
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Offline AdironDoc

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #672 on: December 02, 2010, 09:22:42 AM »
Wow.. that's a great plan. I saw someone on the web who also did their own and it worked out very well. Carved his own wood blades which, if I'm not mistaken, were 8 or 9ft in length. In the end, he was putting out over 1.5Kw consistently and said he had more power than he could use at that point. That's everyone's dream, I suppose.

I liked Hugh Piggot's diagram for a tower and might use that concept. His guy wires lie on the ground already taught, side to side, the one in the rear, slackened. It prevents any problems laterally while hoisting. I'd like to attach a hand winch to the gin pole, which when fully erected, would fit in a groove atop a cement block and get locked down. That would potentially be a one man operation if done right.

I'm intrigued at the idea that the swept area of the rotor has a great effect on the power as it is squared. That makes for an exponential curve upwards for radius increase. The loss of torque from gearing, however, is a simple ratio of teeth to teeth making the curve of loss linear. I'm thinking, capture a large swept area, then make up for the loss in tip speed by a simple two cog gearing at say, 1:3. Maybe we can capture the benefits of a large swept area and still stay in a high RPM range for optimal PMA output. I'd love to experiment with that.

I'm on the fence today about taking advantage of the windynation 750 one week sale. They tend on the conservative side and back up their claims with videos demostrating under real loads. After a tax rebate, the complete system runs me around $650. The alternative is to put in a bit more and do the solar now. Ah..decisions.



Offline AdironDoc

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #673 on: December 02, 2010, 09:29:48 AM »
Just weighing this against intro solar kit. Wind is...well, sporadic and unpredictable. Solar, on the other hand is...well, same ;)


Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #674 on: December 03, 2010, 09:07:39 AM »
I find the hybrid system to be the best, Doc.

Some of each - wind works at night and in storms.  Solar on cloudy days is about 10% or less of the total panels.  Micro hydro could be good in the winter but doesn't work well with ice.... [ouch]
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