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Self-Sufficiency Basics: Electricity

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posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 12:06 AM
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I thought I would make a thread about some basics of self-sufficiency. The information is all relatively available, but I havent seen a post here that combines it into a thread. And, I was thinking that my last thread on tech may simply be too much for many to take in. Noting, however, that I only skimmed the surface there and what was referenced wasnt just hypothetical ideas. And look how long it was


Before I start, it might be a good idea to check regulations and laws for your area.

This will focus on Electricity. Im going to try to keep it as basic as absolutely possible, because I think that anyone and everyone can use this stuff, but many resources have a steep learning curve and those that dont tend to be conveniently provided by companies selling product. And, if you know more than the basics, this probably isnt going to contain new info. Though please feel free to help in any way you can! I will almost certainly miss stuff, and my goal is to essentially avoid all math and try to just give universal numbers while also avoiding too many links that might get outdated. This is.. A very tricky task on this topic and I would still strongly suggest doing research. Just be very, very wary of getting info from those also selling products. Remember, you can ALWAYS scale up!

Everything here is calculated for about a 10kWh system, with some info for smaller systems. The average house in the US uses ~30kWh per day, but note that this will include large power drain systems like central AC, water heaters, typical incandescent bulbs, etc. The 10kWh is, in my opinion, a very good platform to either jump off from, or as a goal to try to achieve. We can discuss a bit about technology that can complement this lower power usage than average, but its something to keep in mind. It is also all 12v, and based on 5 hours of sunlight/day.

The three main types of batteries are AGM, Gel, and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo). The latter is arguably the "best," however, it is also the most expensive. AGM (absorbed glass mat) and Gel are quite similar, but I would genuinely suggest just going for the Gel. Gel type batteries tend to be made for slower, continuous use and for our purposes, thats perfect. If you can afford it, LiFePo really is great, but Ill only expand on that if someone is interested. There are pros and cons to all of these though, and its strongly advised to use the same type for the whole bank. Theres nothing saying you cant have multiple banks though. In fact, for our system, thats exactly what we will do!

When it comes to selecting the actual batteries, you may notice that many state "10hr" and "20hr." Neither is necessarily better, but they are made for different purposes. The 10hr batteries will have a different internal construction that is made for quick discharge. Basically, they are designed for emergency use when the power goes out. The 20hr construction is made to be used as a daily power source. Depending on what you want to achieve, emergency power or supplemental power, both can work great. Either can technically be used in any system, but they arent as efficient when deployed outside of what they were designed for. So, if you have a bunch of 10hr golf cart batteries laying around, dont think you CANT use them for continuous power, because ya can.

Now we move on to capacity. There are plenty of calculators out there.. But the astute may notice that they are usually on sites that are.. wait for it.. selling products. The NREL site actually has some pretty good tools (and you only need to put in city/state). But, for the purposes of making this is as easy to digest as possible, you are probably looking at about 2,000ah of storage for our 10kWh system, using AGM or Gel batteries. This number accounts for the fact that you want to *avoid* discharging the batteries less than 50% and certainly never more than 80%. It also provides a bit of a buffer for some cloudy days, etc. Batteries come in many capacities, but as capacity per battery increases.. so does weight. Two common capacities are 100ah, which usually weighs 60-70lbs, and 200ah, which usually weighs 125-140lbs. The cost per ah tends to be less with a 200ah battery, but thats also quite a bit of weight to deal with.

NOTE: This does not necessarily include major power hogs like central AC. Systems like that consume so much power that if you are looking to do that, you are starting to really jump up system size for single devices. Its also not necessarily considering some large appliances, or anything that might use something other than ~120v (typical US power in a house). There are so many variables with it though, that it makes it immensely difficult to give a one-size-fits-all solution. Despite trying to do just that in this thread


Important to note again, is that these systems are quite scalable. So, you can start with much less and then slowly expand over time. A good starting point with that in mind, would be a 500-600ah battery bank. That would be something like 5 x 100ah or 3 x 200ah and will run around $1k(us) for the batteries. Check your area too though, since there are many programs that will offset costs. The most direct is simply savings on the monthly power bill. This size of bank might require a bit of thinking to figure out what may be necessary or not. The actual use scenarios are so specific to each individual & house that it is very difficult to give hard numbers. But, as the systems are scalable, we can just expand as needed. If you have the money, just go all out. If you do not, getting a single 100ah battery ($200-$250) is a great place to start.

Next up are the solar panels. Like everything else, the amount required will depend strongly on location and application. Areas that get a lot of sunlight, and placements that get a lot of sunlight, can get away with less than areas & placements that do not. During the daytime, you ideally want the panels to both handle power needs as well as recharge whatever was drained from the battery banks overnight. There are a lot of different efficiencies and sizes and designs, but mainly we will look at Poly and Mono panels. Poly isnt as efficient, but it is cheaper. Dont avoid them!

For our 10kWh/day system, we will be looking at roughly 1500w-1750w of solar panels. There are a ton of different options here, but aim for that. So, if you look at 250w panels, you will need 6-7 and for 100w panels, you will be looking at 15~17.




posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 12:06 AM
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Next on the list is the Charge Controller. This takes the power generated by the solar panels and throws it into the batteries. This is a very important piece of the puzzle though. Rechargeable batteries in general need specific charging profiles according to type, for the best (and safest) operation of the system. We will be looking at two types: PWM and MPPT. If you want to look into them more, go for it, but MPPT is the "better" of the two. Its also much more expensive. With our 12v system here, we will be dealing with ~150 amps and if that number scares you.. Good. Thats a lot of amps, ok? Ok.

If we get the right charge controller, we can also add in both wind and hydro power to the same system. With wind, we can use 3D printed turbines for much smaller footprints than typical turbines too. With hydro, I think it might be a bit much to try to really cover and it will only be applicable in the right locations. But the option is there!

The best way, in my opinion, to go about distributing the charge controllers is just to split things up. Notably though, there are charge controllers out there that can be run in parallel for someone that is a bit more comfortable with these things. Otherwise, we will essentially split our solar array into multiple controllers and multiple banks. This also has the benefit of enabling us to have a system for different types of needs, as well as different battery types (but not in the same bank!).

Keeping it simple for our system here though, we can either split it into 3 x 60amp controllers, 4 x 40 amp controllers, or 5 x 30 amp controllers. With the latter, there is less wiggle room, but with a good quality controller it should be able to handle what its rated at without issue. There are tons of options out there with regards to different charge controllers in all kinds of amp ratings, so this is just to try to make it clear what we are doing with 3 specific examples. We would then just split the batteries, panels, and inverters evenly per controller. Technically, we end up with three 60a systems, four 40a systems, or five 30a systems.

The last piece is going to be what is called an Inverter. Up to this point, we have been dealing with DC. However, for most household electronics, we need that to be AC. The inverter is what handles this, and usually just looks like a box with some 3 prong outlets on it. We can look at going with a "standard" inverter (Modified Sine Wave), or a Pure Sine Wave inverter. The pure sine wave will more closely mimic normal wall power, and is more desirable, but is also more expensive. Really try to go for the Pure Sine Wave, even if its more expensive though. Its necessary if you are looking to tie your system back into the main power grid(not covered here), and some modern electronics may struggle to operate on the "normal" inverters.

When it comes to the wattage rating on the inverter, get the highest you possibly can! There are multiple reasons for this, but what that rating means is how much the inverter can deliver, not what it will deliver. Meaning, if you plug in a 60w bulb to a 3,000w inverter, it *will not* give that lightbulb thousands of watts. It will simply provide what that bulb needs. Very roughly speaking, you want those numbers as far apart as you can get them.

Now its time to connect and install everything! Solar panels work best when the sun hits them directly, or perpendicular to the panel. As the sun moves away from that, it will not produce as much power. Now, its not a massive difference, and there are certainly ways to install it so that it follows the best position, but for the most part we have built this system with that in mind. Just try to position the panel so when the sun is in the middle of the day, its about 90 degrees to the panel.

Depending on how we split our controllers, we might need different gauges of wire as well. For 60a we would use 6AWG, 40a we would use 8AWG, and 30a we would use 10AWG. As with any project like this, we want to put fuses between the controllers and batteries, and between the solar panels and the controller. The fuse between the controller and batteries is easy; Just use a fuse rated for the same amps as the controller (i.e. 60a controller = 60a fuse, 40a controller = 40a fuse, 30a controller = 30a fuse). The fuse between the panels and controller is a bit trickier, but the equation is (Isc+Isc+..)*1.56 where Isc is the short circuit current of each panel connected in parallel. I tried to figure out how to do all this without ANY math, but there are just too many different panels and that fuse is important!

But.. If we were to use this, we can see that the Isc = 8.85a (in the item description) and if we were to use that with our 60a controller setup, we would have 2 of them on each fuse. So, it would be (8.85 + 8.85)*1.56, which equals 27.612. We would round that up to 30, and use a 30a fuse.

There are pretty decent starter kits out there too, like this one from Renogy. We would also need a battery like this one, along with wires, any brackets, etc. However, knowing what we are trying to accomplish before making any purchase is pretty important for the long term and scalable nature of technology like this.

When all is said and done, we can now just plug into an inverter and use it like any normal wall socket that everyone is used to using. There is little to no maintainence (though cleaning the panels is good, periodically checking connections, etc.) and while it can be a higher initial investment, we can earn that back over time with the added bonus working towards electrical self-sufficiency!
edit on 14-4-2020 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 12:07 AM
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TL;DR & Quick Reference:
Prices are very rough reference points

10kWh/Day System(~$4,000us~$10,000us(with wind/hydro capability)

    ~1,500w~1,750w in Poly or Mono Panels

    2,000ah Battery Bank(Gel or AGM)

    Charge Controller/Inverter**:

    °3x 60a w/ 6AWG wire, 3x3,000w Pure Sine Inverters
    °°Fuses:
    °°°3x 60a, 1 between each controller & battery bank
    °°°3x "(Isc+Isc+..)*1.56" between each panel array & controller

    OR

    °4x40a w/ 8AWG wire, 4x2,000w Pure Sine Inverters
    °°Fuses:
    °°°4x40a, 1 between each controller & battery bank
    °°°4x "(Isc+Isc+..)*1.56" between each panel array & controller

    OR

    °5x30a w/ 10 AWG wire, 5x1,000w Pure Sine Inverters
    °°Fuses:
    °°°5x 30a, 1 between each controller & battery bank
    °°°5x "(Isc+Isc+..)*1.56" between each panel array & controller


~2.5kWh System(~$1,100us~$2,000us)

    ~375w~500w in Poly or Mono Panels

    500ah-600ah Battery Bank (Gel or AGM)

    Charge Controller/Inverter**:

    °1x60a w/6AWG Wire, 1x3,000w Pure Sine Inverter
    °°Fuses:
    °°°1x 60a, between controller & battery bank
    °°°1x "(Isc+Isc+..)*1.56" between panel array & controller

    OR

    °1x40a w/8AWG Wire, 1x3,000w Pure Sine Inverter
    °°Fuses:
    -
    °°°1x 40a, between controller & battery bank
    °°°1x "(Isc+Isc+..)*1.56" between panel array & controller

    OR

    °2x 30a w/10AWG Wire, 2x2,000w Pure Sine Inverter
    °°Fuses:
    °°°2x 30a, 1 between each controller & battery bank
    °°°2x "(Isc+Isc+..)*1.56" between each panel array & controller


Budget Starter System(~$400us~$900us)

    100w~250w in Poly or Mono Panels

    100ah-200ah Battery Bank (Gel or AGM)

    Charge Controller/Inverter**:

    °Same as 2.5kWh system, with the exception that you can run 1x30a controller


**As previously stated, try to just go for the biggest inverters you can. If the choice is between max wattage versus pure sine.. Go for the pure sine wave. If either is too pricey, go with the "normal" modified sine inverters. Regardless, take note that whatever you plug in, it doesnt exceed the wattage rating of the inverter. The Kill-a-Watt meter can be absolutely invaluable for all this.
 

 

 

The amps we are working with are up there. The voltage isnt high, but to be clear, we are dealing with lots of amps. Take them seriously. Consider: It will power large portions of your house. Dont lick the batteries.
 

 

 

edit on 14-4-2020 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 07:21 AM
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I met a guy who took plenty of solarcells from these pocket calculator and hocked them up. He could charge whatever run on USB... Quite amazing.

Myself went with car batteries they are very cheap you might even get some secondhand from your closest scrapyard, you can maintain them and another good thing is you find plenty of light bulbs, music systems, and electro engines that run on 12v.
If money is an issue this is the cheapest solution by far.
You won't run a house with electro ovens, waterheater, and radiator. This is for the very basics only. Light, sound, communication. If you are a little handy more is posible but heating anything with electricity is very ineffective.

Inverting 12v DC to any AC voltage gives you quite a loss, and some electrosmog. why if you can run anything with 12v DC.

per example the motor to run the wipers on a car, you can use to substitute the motor of your mixer or drill. You need more power like for a table saw, no problem take the starter engine from a diesel engine. Less power.... the windows that go up and down use electro engines too. They all run on 12v DC.
i still had a small inverter for charging laptops, mobile phone, and the battery drill. If i was more techsavy I would have build a device where i could tune the dc voltage to the required amount for each battery.
If you think about it you have DC then invert it to AC to transform it back to DC so your mobile battery gets charged properly... stupid.

Sincerely NC
edit on 14-4-2020 by NoConspiracy because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: NoConspiracy

Yup, plenty of stuff runs off 12v!

The entire thread is very specifically trying to help someone who doesnt know a thing about any of this though. I went to great lengths to do so, but also tried to give enough info for those a bit more savvy to check my math.

Still cant figure out how to simplify finding the fuse rating between panels & controller.. It irks me.

I was actually making things like my own charge controllers, since I felt I could do better for cheaper. Stuff got wrecked though.. So much uses 18650 batteries too, that they can be a great option in the DIY sphere.

I specifically suggest to those who are brand new to really avoid too much DIY if they can, to start.. There are ready made solutions that are good to go, and given those amp levels, Thats Good. I think many are just outright intimidated by a lot of this, so my goal is to alleviate that and I noticed that many companies outright take advantage of it too.

Buuut, I strongly suggest moving over to 12v LED lighting for errybody. The energy savings are absolutely staggering.. And, with typical LED strips, the customization is pretty amazing. Been harping on about their virtues for years, but I think some.. just dont believe the numbers. So, I tend to approach it from the customization angle! For many, all they will need is a basic 12v power supply and lots of bulk LED strips (theyre cheap).

Very low cost DC-DC converter options out there, btw. Search terms: Transformers, 12v to 5v regulators, 12v to 5v schematics. Absolutely not the level of knowledge/experience Im trying to target with the OP, but they arent too bad!

The first thread is also a good one for a bit more advanced stuff
edit on 14-4-2020 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 03:58 PM
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a reply to: Serdgiam

The problem with todays solar is still payback. Solar Panels are cheap but trying to implement them into existing house system is troublesome. People don't want to have extension cords running all over the place so there's added cost of wiring to get the inverter power to appliances. Electricians arn't cheap.

If I take your 2.5kWh System for example. I would be lucky at my location to get average of 1.8kWh. That equates to 55c saving (at 30c kilowatt) a day, or $200 a year, at best case scenari. Working out at a payback of over 7+ years if battery and other equipment lasted that long. They won't.

If I implemented a system without batteries, payback can be lessened. A 600w Grid Tie Inverter with Anti Islanding Protection can be purchased at $140, With 500w of panels you looking at total system of $450 that can be plugged directly into a power socket to power all appliances through house wiring (No electricians necessary).

The payback of such a system, best case scenario is 2.5 years. That's sweet, but of cause, it isn't legally allowed. If you install it without approval, smart meters will detect excess energy and you in trouble. If you don't have a smart meter the system can wind the clock so any excess energy might be seen as usage charged against you.

Thats why I havn't bothered with solar. I just try minimizing requirements best I can. Currently using 5-6 kWh on average. With a computer that sips 2-4 watts on average helping (not including monitor).

If anyone intersted smaller stealth grid tie systems ...




posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 04:24 PM
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a reply to: glend
you could run one of the rings on a isolated comsumer unit/fusebox 5amp or so for your lighting and low power devices usb chargers-tvs etc, then your utilites/heating off the main supply
also consider solar-water, you can make most of it yourself for a low temp system or a ready made installation which can bring temps well over 200F nowadays
recirculating heat can save a bit as well, for a friend of mine i have networked his home office pcs using watercooling to heat his up living room



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 04:56 PM
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Excellent thread Serdgiam!

More than 10 years ago, we went solar & wind. The first thing to "weed" out of a person's system are the big power drains -- water heaters, electric stoves, etc. If a person can switch to propane or NG, that is often a cheaper and cleaner resource.

Our first solar application was pumping water to the house. For that we used (and still use) a 12-volt Shurflo pump. It doesn't need an expansion tank, because it is a diaphragm pump, and it pressurizes to 45 PSI. Plenty for house pressure. We have a separate 12-v battery bank, charge controller, and solar cells for that. Moving and heating water pay for themselves very quickly.

I built a solar collector out of copper tubing, set into an aluminum frame with glass over it. I initially used 3/4" tubing, but discovered that the heat transfer was actually greater and faster with smaller tubing. I should have know that. The current model is 3/8" tubing set it a simple cross-grid and a small 12-volt pump pushes the water up into the collector, and into the 30-gallon water heater in our house. I had to install an expensive tempering valve on the output side of the water heater, as the water frequently got heated to more than 150 degrees. The tempering valve measures the water temperature of the output and mixed cold water with it to comply with the temperature you choose.

You've done a great job of giving the basics of an alternative energy system; well done! Our main system is 24-volt. One of the most efficient things we bought were Sundanzer chest-style freezer and refrigerator. It takes some getting used to to use the refrigerator. Both use very efficient Danfoss compressors, and both boxes are fantastically insulated such that if I killed the power on the freezer, it would keep everything frozen for several days. Together, both appliances use about 1/3 the power of just a conventional, modern refrigerator. They are pricey, but not totally out of line, and pay for themselves fairly quickly.

Because we have a light, wandering wind, we opted for a smaller wind genny, an Air Breeze 500 watt. 500 Watts isn't so much, but then it runs all day and all night. A bigger generator might not have had the available wind to run all that often. This will produce decent power in 8-10 mph consistent winds.

We are still on the grid, but we make 3/4 of our power.

Agree with what you said about batteries. We went with AGM, mostly because of their ability to be oriented in any position. Sadly, they are near the end of their cycle, and we didn't get new before the Covid-19 changes. I'm looking at the LiFePo; not only are they very efficient, but can tolerate deeper discharges without damage. AND, they are much lighter in weight for the same power. The older I get, the more difficult it becomes to flight 65 pound batteries around.
They also save space over the old-style batteries, and we can almost double our battery bank for the same space. Of course, as you mentioned, they are VERY pricey.

If you have a general wiring diagram of an average solar/wind system, that might be useful for people to visualize the wiring.



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 05:14 PM
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OK, I need to finish reading this thoroughly, but I wanted to add in a few things off the top of my head (and mark it for future reference). I am an electrical engineer, and power systems are one of my fortes.

You missed one potential source for batteries: lead-acid (just like the one in your car). I'd highly recommend going with marine batteries, as they are designed to more fully discharge and charge than the typical car battery, which is usually kept fairly well-charged. A solar system is going to either be tremendously expensive or will cycle deeply, so marine is definitely a good idea and worth the extra cost.

Batteries can be "banked" by simply connecting the positives and negatives together, but this can be a problem after a while. All batteries weaken with age, and one battery in a bank can draw the others down (this will also cause overheating). There is a way to overcome this fairly cheaply using diodes, and I will gladly explain how to safely set that up, but later. It's not complicated.

The wattages you give are reasonable (~10kw), but only for average power draw. Everything before the batteries can be sized for that, but everything past the batteries must be sized to provide sufficient power for instantaneous demands, which can be much higher. A single microwave can draw ~15kw, but it only does so for a minute or two. That's a low average power use, but a high instantaneous use.

Inverter types: it is difficult to get a true sine wave inverter with the kind of power most will want. I would recommend going with a modified wave inverter for most things, and using a smaller true wave inverter for the few things that are sensitive to frequency. Most electronics today use switching regulators internally (like computer power supplies) and a modified will work just as well as a true wave. Older electronics will need a true sine wave... if you are comfortable taking off a cover, look to see if it has a large transformer; if it does, you might want to consider true wave. Electric motors are also pretty sensitive to wave shape, so refrigerators/freezers that use an electric-driven compressor need true sine wave if possible.

Essentially anything that presents a large inductive load will need true wave. Certainly anything that is installed on a slow-blow breaker/fuse will; those are for inductive loads.

More later.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 05:38 PM
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a reply to: suicideeddie

thanks I will look into that.



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 06:27 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Looking forward to your continuation for my own selfish purposes; we're soon to be upgrading.



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 06:40 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Just to clarify here, and then Ill go back through..

System is designed as 10kWh, not 10kW.

For my intent here, Id argue against typical lead acid, in favor of SLA like AGM and Gel. It requires more maintainence, pure and simple! Everything here is specifically selected and laid out essentially as an alternative for the type of person that may go to some company and say "heres my money, now do it all for me."

Thats not a dig on such folks either, I was just disappointed with resources that were available in this regard. Given what we are working with, it makes sense in a lot of ways though.

In that, Im not sure a person with that knowledge level would even know what something like a transformer is, much less be able to identify one. So, Im trying to make it as accessible as possible, while still hitting all the bases, as well as cutting off any possible issues at the pass.

I do figure, however, that parts of it will still be valuable to those who know a bit more, or just as pertinently.. Those who wish to learn more. Im not against taking the thread in a more technical direction, as long as the intent and design goal of the OP is considered.

My goal here is to try to do my small part in moving towards decentralized, self-sufficient systems. Specifically by making them as accessible as humanly possible for a limited (at most) knowledge level. Im still working on the aquaponics thread, but it aint going well..
edit on 14-4-2020 by Serdgiam because: Clarrriitttyyyy



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 06:49 PM
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a reply to: glend

Definitely some salient points about the financial side of things.

I specifically avoided going too much about tying back into the grid. I figure if someone really starts to actually work on it, they can dive into the numerous sources out there. Though, I did note to look into the laws local to a given area.

My own concerns and motivations here are not really financial, as such, so Im probably not the best to speak on it honestly.

I guess one could look at it a bit like a Cliff's Notes version of an Idiots Guide to some of the pieces that were driving a much larger suite of technology.

Basically, the goal was.. if someone had $1k laying around, or one of the other price points, and they wanted some solar power but didnt know anything about it.. They could hit up this thread and get the info they need quickly and easily.



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: argentus

Thanks Argentus!

45 psi sounds pretty darn good to me. You are spot on with the large power drain devices. The systems I listed are absolutely not made for them, and they can take special consideration.

Heating water, specifically is an interesting one. Using solar *electricity* to heat it doesnt seem like the best way in my tinkering. However, using solar energy can be absolutely fantastic. Its relatively easy, and as you say, the pumps, etc. can be run off the solar.

I had been messing around with some.. uh.. strange things in regards to refridgeration. When it comes to DC appliances there, I am woefully ignorant. So, the link is very much appreciated.

Where I am at now has a nice breeze most of the time, whereas where I used to live had horrible wind all the time!

I was trying to use multiple, relatively small 3D printed turbines and had some success. But.. The wind was so strong (very frequently triple digit mph gusts) that it made things quite tricky. Ive been thinking about giving it a go again here, but Ill have to print everything again. Not only is that A LOT of hours, it also means Id have to repair my printer. It seems like I always have something else to do lol

I hear ya on the weight though.. I had been working on some stuff for energy storage for just that reason, but not much. I have to get someone else to move anything like that.

Ill get to work on that diagram, slowly like everything (
), but maybe one to illustrate how each of the basic systems here might look.



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 07:32 PM
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Free PDF Download

Energy Devices

www.free-energy-info.com...



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 08:02 PM
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originally posted by: Serdgiam
a reply to: NoConspiracy

The entire thread is very specifically trying to help someone who doesnt know a thing about any of this though. I went to great lengths to do so, but also tried to give enough info for those a bit more savvy to check my math.


First of all, I thoroughly appreciate the time and effort you put into this thread. Great job.

Secondly, this thread won't really help those who don't know a thing about any of this. This is a long, fairly intricate and specific informational thread, not for the faint of heart. Which is why more people don't take advantage of solar power. It's complicated and difficult to do yourself and costs a fortune for someone to do it for you.




edit on 14-4-2020 by StoutBroux because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 08:18 PM
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a reply to: StoutBroux

Thank you SB, and thats most certainly a fair point.

Its not exaclty what I had envisioned years ago.. But, I gotta work with what Ive got.

Even so, its already gotten substantially more response than I expected. I already consider it a "win." Really, for a while there it looked like just one person had read it, and I was still thrilled.

And, to be honest, Id like to see "counter-seeds" planted to the full blown corporate centralization I have long believed we are working towards. I figure Ill just do the best I can


The OP and ensuing discussion may inspire something Great, even if it isnt a solar array. Things can be funny like that... Ya just never know, and if there is someone (now or in the future) that was looking for a resource like this, there wasnt much around.

The quick reference provides an easy shopping list, and then they can just refer to the rest when it comes to assembly.

Almost as easy as a piece of Ikea furniture... Well.. maybe thats not the best standard



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 09:26 PM
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a reply to: Serdgiam

Heating water is a no brainer for me, because I live in the Caribbean. Even in the *cough* winter, it's not bad.

When we first set up the wind genny, I put surveyors tape high in the trees all around the area to study the wind currents. Until that point, I was going to get a 1kW turbine. When I watched how the wind wandered, I thought I would need sometimes smaller that could follow it. Now, that said, when we have REAL winds here, the 500W turbine will turn so fast, it turns out of the wind. I usually hit the kill switch then.

I have a locker outside that I built for the batteries and the components. It doesn't take on a drop of water. With the new batteries, I could lay in enough batteries (assuming we could afford it), to run the entire house, instead of just most of it. That would be sweeeeeeeet.



posted on Apr, 14 2020 @ 10:34 PM
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a reply to: argentus

You know.. The older I get, the more wisdom I see in living in warmer climates. I absolutely love spring and fall though. Them be my favorites. I mean, Im only mid 30s.. But my health issues arent pleasant. Super hot, or super cold.. Both are rough.

I was looking at those wind gennys and the DC fridges and especially dig the latter. Money is always tight though, being disabled, and Im currently trying to build some semblance of self-sufficiency back up again. So, other priorities.. But some DC appliances are on The List now


Basically, I had designed and prototyped (most) of this massive tech platform and long story short; a lot of it was destroyed, stolen, notes destroyed or stolen, etc.

So, I find myself in an interesting position now, which is why I started doing threads in this vein! I might not be able to accomplish what I set out to do all those years ago, but maybe its more about shifting gears than turning off the car. Or something like that


The turbines I used were similar to these, though not quite.. And heavily modified. I had them running on tracks that would find the best current position at any given time with my software.

Its probably one of the lesser explored areas for me though. When I say it was "frequently" windy where I was.. I sure mean it. It was a deep valley that was perpendicular to a 14k' mountain. Even locked down, things just broke constantly. I think the highest wind gust was something like 136mph, but it hit triple digits on a weekly basis in the winter. Was also surrounded by 80-100ft trees..

That said, I figured if I could design it to survive there.. Itd be solid. I had so, so much other work to do though and everything takes me a very long time.

I think I might move up the priority on the wind aspect here after speaking with you though.

Ive also been considering doing a solar collector water heating system soon. Have you thought about making a thread on yours?

Part of my tech platform used that concept, but it was tied into so many other things that the random notes Ive got left are.. borderline useless for a more focused system. I was using it to deliver hot water, but mainly to disperse heat/cold, move temp deltas around to complement insulation, etc. Neat stuff, imo, but I think Id rather focus on more typical systems for now.

It really seems like the energy bottleneck is still storage though. Could even come up with an incredible & novel generator design.. But storing it is tricky. Weve come a LONG way, and stuff like LiFePo is darn cool.. But we still look at a lot of weight and a lot of money.

My immediate next project is aquaponics, but Im finding that the loss of the notes on my experiments on that one is not easy to overcome. And, since everything was made accessible through that same software as the turbines.. I dont know how to simplify it without it.

Bit of a talk, bit of a vent
Just found myself getting frustrated today with trying to make aquaponics accessible without my automation software!

Thanks for your contributions here
They mean a lot.



posted on Apr, 15 2020 @ 02:33 AM
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a reply to: Serdgiam

my advice : hire a professiona engineeer to do a survey of your power reqirements and possible " tappable energy " you can access - and get the specification of what you need [ ie 40% wind , 30% solar , 30% mini hydro with xx kwh battery bank ] - and then build a plan and budget what kit will satisfy the requirements

an independant engineer with no affiliation to a particular tech or supplier - will give you better advice

if you go alone - you better know what you are doing - few do



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