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Getting "off the Grid"

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posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 12:09 PM
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Heat isn't really a problem, the LED can get a little warm, but be careful not to overload it as it will burn up fairly easily. The idea is to create a loop between a cell or two and the LED itself. Reflecting surfaces in your box helps too.

See, both the LED and solar cell are diodes. Put power in one and you get light, put light in the other and you get power. So, the loop is obvious in itself. Both are semiconductors and don't require much maintenance. The LED can be replaced when it burns out. Bright light or a simple battery can get the thing jumpstarted. It should run by itself from there on.

Those little cells can produce about 3.3V-4V at about 80-100 mA. The LED needs about 3.3V at about 60-80 mA.

This device exploits the efficient shine of the LED. I mean manufacturers are using these things for flashlights now because of their long life and minimal drain on batteries.

You could also make one using a reflective dome like a flashlight. One LED mounted in the dome, and then seal the dome on the other side with a bank of cells. Some are connected to the LED for the power loop, and the others are the spare free power from the residual shine.

The main thing is just shopping around on the net for the right cells and lamps. The ones in the optical mouse are a little difficult to find, I guess because of the limited use for such a bright red LED. We use LED scan guns at work instead of laser ones. They shine up to 5 feet and have a wide light spread from an acrylic lens which could also be handy for delivering light to more cells. There are some companies in Japan and Taiwan that make the really good solar cells for calculators. Don't try the chinese ones, they're too wimpy.

No laws are broken with the device, its just a small version of the sun and solar cells. But this light source can be wrapped up and it will feed itself as well as produce power. Sure its small, but just like SETI's networked supercomputing with desktop computers, it will scale up with other boxes to do more useful work. Fill a small car with them and hook it up to an electric motor and drive all day and night if you want too.

Sounds silly, but sit down and think about it, hell, big business and the government have missed this little toy. Get all your lights and appliances off the grid and tell the power company to stick it.




posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 02:09 PM
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Teknik,

Thanks for posting all that information. Sounds like quite a life,
and it sound like you REALLY REALLY have to be ok with yourself,
as well as your partner, to live such a way.

Pumping Summer heat into a reservoir, Thats interesting.
How do you go about collecting this heat?



posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 09:03 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
Capt. Proton,



It sounds like one of the Laws of Thermodynamics is being broken somehow?



I'm having trouble with this one..
Links? other info?
Capt. Proton , Someone is trying to sell you a magic box , be carefull.... I sell light bulbs , send your money to me (kiddn') . If you want to read about a real "poor man's linear accelerator tho' look up the" Radioactive Boyscout" link thru ATS boolean search .

Spacedoubt , Look up the science behind panels and how they work . Just like buying a car , find the model that suits your needs .

Term to be informed about : PNP process , Band Gap (the area where 2 disimilar metals meet in a panel . This is the area where electrons get booted out by the sun for use by you) , Spectrum , Frequency , Efficiency . Not hard to understand and tons of info ouy there ..

Also , never NEVER put a giant manifying glass over your panels ...... It just won't work ....


XL5

posted on Jun, 13 2004 @ 09:22 PM
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LEDs no matter how bright, will always out put less light power then the electrical power that was input (less then 90%eff). Solar cells will output less electrical energy then the input solar or LED energy (less then 70%eff). So the efficiency will add up fast and won't work.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 12:20 AM
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Well oddtodd, I work in the semiconductor industry. The stupid cheapy panels you can buy online at getting off the grid type websites surely won't work. The thinfilm substrates on them are too inefficient. The small ones are of a higher quality, and those can be made even better if they invested in thin-film reactors like those used at the plant I work at.

Keep selling your light bulbs. LED's are not the same, and oh, they will eventually replace most regular bulbs.

And XL5, I only need 2 cells providing 50% for 100% total to feed my LED.
Sure its hard to do with off the shelf parts not exactly made to do this particular job, but its doable.

Or I can use an electroluminescent panel instead of the LED. Trust me, technology is a little further ahead than that 70's earth lovin' junk sold on a lot of websites. It's there, you have to find it and put it together.

I guess a microchip with thousands and thousands of tiny pivoting mirrors smaller than the end of a human hair to display images on a screen can't work either? Would you like a link on where to buy that impossible device?
It's like a magic box too...



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 12:23 AM
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There is a debate here for some info on the subject.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 12:47 AM
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By linear accelerator, I meant somthing like a rail gun. To accelerate something down a straight line.

check these guys out....

www.powerlabs.org...

Impressive, but they use way too much power to achieve the results they are getting.


XL5

posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 04:06 AM
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Don't get me wrong, I do think there is free energy BUT it works off of little knowen things in the right arangement. We know solar cells and LEDs, are you saying that the energy recieved from the red light is not absorbed into the solar cell?

Example: 1 LED outputs 100mW of light energy. You have 4 solar cells, each one absorbs 25mW of light energy and each one outputs 25mW of electrical output at 100%eff. Where does the extra energy come from unless the red light is reflected but still produces electrical output?



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 04:31 AM
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Originally posted by CAPT PROTON
Well oddtodd, I work in the semiconductor industry. The stupid cheapy panels you can buy online at getting off the grid type websites surely won't work. The thinfilm substrates on them are too inefficient. The small ones are of a higher quality, and those can be made even better if they invested in thin-film reactors like those used at the plant I work at.

Keep selling your light bulbs. LED's are not the same, and oh, they will eventually replace most regular bulbs.

And XL5, I only need 2 cells providing 50% for 100% total to feed my LED.
Sure its hard to do with off the shelf parts not exactly made to do this particular job, but its doable.

Or I can use an electroluminescent panel instead of the LED. Trust me, technology is a little further ahead than that 70's earth lovin' junk sold on a lot of websites. It's there, you have to find it and put it together.

I guess a microchip with thousands and thousands of tiny pivoting mirrors smaller than the end of a human hair to display images on a screen can't work either? Would you like a link on where to buy that impossible device?
It's like a magic box too...
Capt. Proton , Well a bit more info from you has me intrigued to the point of sarcasmless (a word?) response . I know about Light Emmiting Diodes , and since you are in the SC industry you know about "band gap" so a couple serious questions for you ....

Can an LED provide the proper power to knock an electron loose (and how much do they consume , I know it is miniscule) . And what kind of light frequeny do they cover . I have heard of the newer progress with germanium blends producing a true blue colored LED , and was wondering if that was closer to UV (but still visible) rays that current panels favor .

It sounds interesting , and LEDs would be a real benefeit to use for lighting a home from current PEV technology being so bright and efficient . If it really is doable , it would be cool to try and jerry rig a little proof of concept module . I just have a problem with what sounds able to be a closed loop system .
I have a couple more about the type of efficient cells you are talking about , but don't want to change the nature of spacedoubts topic , and I'll spend some time looking them up ..

If you are in Cali , I am 20 miles from Palo Alto and would love to see your better lightbulbs , mine don't sell as well as I had hoped , and they break alot when my son and I play catch with them .
( have to get him that ball he's been asking about) Peace , odd

edit- read your post a little better , and answered my first question , still have more... will u2u you if thats cool - edit

[edit on 14-6-2004 by oddtodd]



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 12:23 PM
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go here....

www.lbl.gov...

"One of the most fundamental limitations on solar cell efficiency is the band gap of the semiconductor from which the cell is made. In a photovoltaic cell, negatively doped (n-type) material, with extra electrons in its otherwise empty conduction band, makes a junction with positively doped (p-type) material, with extra holes in the band otherwise filled with valence electrons. Incoming photons of the right energy -- that is, the right color of light -- knock electrons loose and leave holes; both migrate in the junction's electric field to form a current.

Photons with less energy than the band gap slip right through. For example, red light photons are not absorbed by high-band-gap semiconductors. While photons with energy higher than the band gap are absorbed -- for example, blue light photons in a low-band gap semiconductor -- their excess energy is wasted as heat."

For the LED, you only need to worry about matching the wavelength of it to the cell. A 640-700 nanometer wavelength will do. When you buy LED's, this is how they are rated to denote their color. Brilliance is another factor. The higher the candle rating the better, microcandles (mcd) I believe rate their glow. I have seen an LED rated at 1 candle and red too. Now if I can get my hands on some.

You can run your own experiment with a solar calculator (without battery assist) and a range of LED colors of the the same candle rating. Only the red will keep it running. Orange, and on down the line to blue will not even get its attention. Take car to find LED's of 15000 mcd or more or the calculator will slowly grind to a halt. The bright light of an optical mouse keeps it going. I'm having trouble getting the specs on these. I may refer to this guy.

ledmuseum.home.att.net...

He runs lots of tests.

If I sound sarcastic, its because you guys talk about getting off the grid and only accept the solutions currently available to you as provided by those who control energy. Technology is getting powerful enough to get assymetrical with the energy guys. No one could compete with microsoft, until Linux decided to give away its code and allow everyone to contribute.

Did you know gasoline powered generators sold abroad are more efficient than here, they're not even allowed to be sold here.

Did you know of a US law that says foreign built cars can be as fuel efficient as they want, but when a foreign company builds those same cars here or in Mexico they get to slap a $3000-4000 penalty for being too fuel efficient. Nissan Sentra is the example I'm citing, and CNN ran the story. If that doesn't say car companies, the government, and oil companies are sleeping together, then I don't know what does. My dad worked in the oil industry and he had an "F" the consumer attitude. I'm telling you, they do not care one iota.

And I'm sure anyone living in California has heard the famous Enron tapes of these guys taking California to "the cleaners". Texas power was deregulated here a few years back and in the paper they ran an ad saying Texans now have a choice in power suppliers. 5 were listed, BUT 3 were owned by (drum roll please) ENRON. HAH, some choice.

Pay attention people, the 6 foot shaft is only hanging out a few inches from our rear-ends.

I was toying with the idea to create a project or community where people try to make a power device to save energy but to be in the public domain or be open as in the Linux example. Naturally a business would have to build the thing, but they wouldn't own the patent and if they charge too much, someone else could jump into the business with little to no barrier to entry.



posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 01:01 PM
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Thanks CP , great info . I see myself taking apart a few old calculaters in the forseable future . Got my elements wrong on the blue LED , but seems the red is the only good one ant the proper candle power . Save me a little surfing and tell me what elements are used to get red if you don't mind .

I also agree with current energy producers not wanting to share anything but the older inefficient technology that makes one chase ones tail aroud the mullberry bush .

Also . In an articleI read , those new double band gap cells are much cheaper in materials and possible production than ones that need a solid silicone backing , or the amourphous panels that are riddled with defects .

Off to work now , gotta get rid of all those bulbs........

Might just have to try and build me one of those magic boxes . Where would we be if we didn't try.......


XL5

posted on Jun, 14 2004 @ 11:43 PM
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So your saying that the red light knocks electrons out of the cell and all the red light is reflected? If that is what your saying, then you could arrange many of those panels in a multi segment "Z" resonator and use an old 670nM 5mW pointer or ruby laser and correcting optics to bounce the beam off of thousands of cells?

If you could send me a video of this device on a glass table and show it working, then I'd try it and argee that it works.



posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 09:24 AM
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This seems very interesting! I'm going to try to build my own, although I doubt I'll have much success. The brightest LED I could find was the Red Luxeon Star - Lambertian (LXHL-MD1D). Supposedly 1 watt produces 44 lumens of red light @ 625nm wavelength, uses about 2.95VDC power.

www.luxeonstar.com...::81&partno=LXHL-MD1D

Price is the killer though, about $10.00 each


Toshiba makes a much cheaper ($3.00), albeit worse, LED (TLRH190P) that operates on 1.95 - 2.5VDC power @ 20mA, has a 644nm wavelength, and produces 15,000 mcd (probably narrow beam though).

I found another, but much harder to get without being rich (due to how many you have to buy at once, 100,000 total at about $8.00 per hundred, or about $8,000 total lol) which is supposedly the brightest currently available at 20,000 mcd. It uses 2.1-2.7VDC power @ 50mA, and has a wavelenth of 611-660nm. www.vishay.com... I wonder if I could get them to send me a few as a sample... probably not :\

The solar cells are even worse though... Having a lot more trouble finding acceptable solar cells though at a decent price.

If this works, the applications are vast. Huge underground 'solar' farms, small power packs for personal use (such as a cell-phone charger) and so many more.



posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 11:25 AM
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yeah finding acceptable solar cells is difficult. I'm trying to find where I can order the style of cell used in say a Casio or Texas Instruments calculator. They're pretty sensitive and have a pretty good output. I've lost the links to some Japanese and Taiwanese manufacturers of these tiny cells. So now I have to search again. I personally think any cells made here are made like dogs on purpose. In the mean time, I just have to cannibalize perfectly good calculators.

I'm thinking about ordering some of these as soon as I figure out their ordering system...they have some reds rated as candles (cd) with modest power requirements.
www.roithner-laser.com...

There are so many different variations and styles of LED arrays, that a large one could be made with the right cells, it may be easier to work on, I have trouble with these tiny parts.

The laser pointer won't reflect off of the cells, or at least not good enough to bounce around like you suggest. Maybe if the cells were covered with a polarized reflective film, maybe, but the pinpoint nature of the laser wouldn't light up enough of the cell to do any good, unless the laser hit a spreader over the cell as it bounced by. Then there is the pulse nature of the pointer. Some won't stay on continuously.

My reason for coming up with this little box was primarily to replace batteries on paintball equipment. Nothing worse than a dead battery while being shot at. But a real good setup might have helped that Mars rover. You're not dependent on the weak martian sun or the dust slowly coating the solar panels. That's the other thing, no panels, just an enclosed box.



posted on Jul, 14 2004 @ 09:32 AM
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There are at least three companies developing for market solar nanotechnology which is supposed to cost a fraction of the cost of today's photovoltaic cells.

I installed a solar hot water collection system in my home in 1990 and I calculate that it saves me about $100/mo. in electricity costs. I found the new panels (6) from a company that used to manufacture them for Sears in the '70s for $150 each. Spent less than $2000 for the whole thing. So, payback was less than 2 years. I'll collecting free energy now from 1960s technology.

Until affordable solar electric cells become available, I suggest looking into solar hot water.

SolarMark



posted on Jul, 14 2004 @ 10:52 AM
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What does anyone know about "field generators" or so-called free energy?? home1.gte.net...
Very intriguing.



posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 08:31 AM
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Here it is 2 years later and I'm wondering how much Solar technology has improved in the last 2 years, since this thread was started.

My husband and I are seriously thinking about adding solar to our home to reduce our electric bill. I have been researching it and am in touch with an energy engineer here in our area. We would be starting with the intention of being self-sufficient should the grid go down, but we'll probably start with a few panels and buy a few panels at a time with room for expansion.

Here's the site of the guy I'm talking with. Solar Biz

I've read here that solar is a "huge waste of money" and going off the grid is miserable, but I don't understand that. Why? How? What's the problem exactly?

If anyone has any recent advice, words of wisdom, experience or anything, I would appreciate it greatly! Thanks!



[edit on 20-4-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 11:04 AM
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BH thank you for reviving this thread. This is one of those things that catches your eye but gets lost among other great ideas. I reads this thread in one sitting and now I am motivated to read all the links.

I seriously hope these members are still around to share their discoveries.



posted on Apr, 20 2006 @ 12:07 PM
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I'm just mostly wondering if there are any real disadvantages to having Solar. And I can't find anything except for the up-front cost. And there are tons of advantages.

But for those here who state it's not worth it and it's a waste of money, I'd like to know specifically why they think that. I'm still looking for the down side.




The advantages of solar energy are almost endless.

* The power source of the sun is absolutely free.
* The production of solar energy produces no pollution.
* The technological advancements in solar energy systems have made them extremely cost effective.
* Most systems do not require any maintenance during their lifespan, which means you never have to put money into them.
* Most systems have a life span of 30 to 40 years.
* Most systems carry a full warranty for 20 to 30 years or more.
* Unlike traditional monstrous panel systems, many modern systems are sleeker such as Uni-Solar rolls that lay directly on the roof like regular roofing materials.
* In 35 states, solar energy can be fed back to the utilities to eliminate the need for a storage system as well as eliminating or dramatically reducing your electric bills.
* Solar energy systems are now designed for particular needs. For instance, you can convert your outdoor lighting to solar. The solar cells are directly on the lights and can’t be seen by anyone. At the same time, you eliminate all costs associated with running your outdoor lighting.


apc

posted on Jun, 8 2006 @ 08:36 AM
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I think the only disadvantage to solar is battery replacement every 5-10yrs.

I'm in an apartment so I can't go crazy, but I'm now running 100watts of solar with a single 105Ah battery. I just power wall warts and a few 12V lights at night. I regulate as much as I can from the 12V to avoid inverter losses. Everything with high loads pulls from the grid. I have yet to discharge my battery enough to not fully recharge during the next day.

Some people might see the electrical lifestyle change as 'miserable.' It's just a matter of conservation. If you're already in the habit of leaving a minimal footprint on your electric bill, the only new focus you take is finding loss.

And incase anyone happens to know: Has anyone ever installed bypass diodes across individual cells in a panel post-production? It would be nice to make smaller inexpensive panels shade tolerant by just soldering in a handful of diodes.



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