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Going Solar:A Work in Progress

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posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 03:08 AM
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Originally posted by kdog1982
reply to post by jaynkeel
 


That sounds great!
I think wind is a good backup also.

I purchased a durolast 12v,85 ah marine battery today,it is currently running this desktop computer and a 60 watt ( or equivalent to incandescent) florescent light ,which uses about 7 watts,the computer,about 70 watts.

I'm using my old inverter for now,it's 200 watt continuous,400 watt max .

I will now see how many hours I get out the battery till it dies,then see how many days it would take to recharge it with the solar panel.

My plan is to have more batteries in rotation.

edit on 13-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



You could have done some math to save the trouble.

Numbers:

12volt system
45 Watt solar panel charge
85 amp/hr battery, half is 42.5 amps
Consumed 77 Watts
5 hour battery drain time.....

I believe Watts divided by volts gives you amps.

77 Watts ÷ 12 volts = 6.416 amps

6.426 amps x 5 hours is 32.08 amps consumed in 5 hours.

You need to check your inverter safety shut off/alarm to see what voltage it starts beeping, because it might not be
exactly half drained, the safety is included to reduce battery damage and help prevent sulfation of your lead plates.

45 Watts...Charge rate ÷ 12volts= 2.5 amps

32.08÷2.5=12.832 hours of charge time. Just think you run your battery more dead and it will take two days to charge it. Two days charging versus 6 hours of run time or so. Also do nit forget about the charge controller consumption. It is usually minimal, but every Milli amp counts.

These numbers will vary due to inverter consumption, true voltage and amperage at charging, which depends on sunlight. And surges in consumption, such as a computer might u se more power while it is working harder.

With a little tweaking and figuring out your system you can regulate with accuracy how much you can consume versus how much you charge. For example my panels charge at 18 to 20 volts. My 10 Watt panel puts out. 55 amps at 19 volts or so.

Just thought I would share some information with you.


I monitor my battery voltage every 15 minutes or so when I run my inverter. The girlfriend thinks I am nuts, but I smile and say we got a light and radio don't we.

Tweek it and don't damage the battery. It wont hold a full charge if you do.


edit on 14-11-2012 by liejunkie01 because: phone spelling, sorry




posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by liejunkie01
 


lol a fellow battery spy! i haven't got to 15min inspections as of yet but i'm working on it!
just tell your girlfriend you are sane in a world of nuts. fakedirt approves.


the current (no pun here) questionable capacity limit i would say is 50%. once the system goes below that point, issues will arise, alarms will ring and clockwatching will occur with amps/volts/watts circulating in the brain.

a system i installed for a friend suffered due to this chap watching the motor racing into the wee hours and falling asleep with it on. funny thing was he insisted he only watched the tv for 3hrs max. i busted him at 2:30 in the morning in his mobile home, snoring his ass off with the radio on standby, table light on and tv flickering! lol a quick bang bang on the window did the trick. i had to educate him on the limited supply his system held. after he considered his options, he invested in another thixotropic 125a/h battery. no more problems after that.

btw standby systems on tv's,ps3's,radios in fact anything with standby built in should be factored into the equation if the habit of keeping things at the ready is too strong! otherwise all stanby systems should be totally switched off from the supply.
f(uk).
edit on 14-11-2012 by fakedirt because: spell rite!



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by liejunkie01
 





Just thought I would share some information with you.


Thanks,much appreciated.

Yes,I'm sort of lazy on the math,was just figuring things out in my head.
I'm learning more everyday.




posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by rick004
 


Sorry it took me so long to reply,otherpower.com... is a really cool site.



And thanks to all of you contributing,it means alot and I am relearning what I learned some 27 years ago,just never really put it into solar.
It's funny,cause I work on elevators using ac driven dc generators to power a 45+ horsepower dc motors at 170 vdc or more.
We also had these elevators that would run off of batteries when the power went out.
facilities.alaska.edu...

But I have been so conditioned with everything setup and ready to go,I forgot the basics.

I will be up to speed soon.

It's all coming back too me,ohms law,sizing wires to amperage and so on.

That is another thing to consider is making sure your wires can handle the load or it's a meltdown and possible fire.
edit on 14-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 04:10 PM
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Thank you for the creation of this thread.
I, and I'm sure other members are enjoying your sharing of experiences.

The way you are approaching this, building it piece by piece, I think is a good one.
A smart way to not suffer buyers remorse. I have a neighbor, who bought a "lock stock and barrel" system.
Installed a huge array, and all the goodies at the same time. It looks impressive, but looks aren't everything.
I don;t remember the exact numbers. But I know at the time, I looked up his panels and noticed that he paid a higher price than the current market value. I don't think he did his homework.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 06:54 PM
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Well, the only problem with photovoltaic systems is that they are quite difficult to CREATE.

Sure, you got your PV system all ready to go... but what if hail? Bird-strike? (Hey, don't laugh... it's happened before), or general degradation?

What you need, my friend.... is a solar collector that focuses light onto a Stirling heat engine!



Yes sir, that's right... it's a solar power system that is mechanical in nature, and to repair it, you don't even need access to pesky Chemical Vapor deposition facilities, doping equipment, or silicon purification furnaces and crystallization chambers!




Or, you know... you could use the standard "Solar Hot Water Heater":



And just slap a sterling heat engine on the side of it.







It's quite a bit more repairable than a PV system.... not as efficient... but you can always take a hot shower


It's by no means portable.... but it is far less complicated, and can be repaired with lower levels of technology than PV systems.







LowTec Style.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 08:44 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
Thank you for the creation of this thread.
I, and I'm sure other members are enjoying your sharing of experiences.

The way you are approaching this, building it piece by piece, I think is a good one.
A smart way to not suffer buyers remorse. I have a neighbor, who bought a "lock stock and barrel" system.
Installed a huge array, and all the goodies at the same time. It looks impressive, but looks aren't everything.
I don;t remember the exact numbers. But I know at the time, I looked up his panels and noticed that he paid a higher price than the current market value. I don't think he did his homework.


It's more of an education for me than anything.
Just learning the possibilities and limitations is priceless to me.

But,what I really want is something that costs a few thousand dollars,and with xmas coming up,not going to get the ok from the misses,if you know what I mean.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by ErtaiNaGia
 





Well, the only problem with photovoltaic systems is that they are quite difficult to CREATE. Sure, you got your PV system all ready to go... but what if hail? Bird-strike? (Hey, don't laugh... it's happened before), or general degradation? What you need, my friend.... is a solar collector that focuses light onto a Stirling heat engine!


Wow!

A lot of great ideas there,man.
Thank you for sharing that,something to definitely look into.




posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:06 PM
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So,instead of trying to match my power that I need,I'm am decreasing it.

Little LED flat panel TV.
No need for the desktop,I have an Ipad and also this ATT plan...

The RESIDENTIAL GATEWAY (RG) is located inside your house and uses electrical power to deliver all your U-verse services. The battery backup for the RG must be installed inside your house near the RG, and be easily accessible. The RG battery backup supplies power for your AT&T U-verse Voice service; it does not supply power for cordless phones (and it does not supply power for your network interface device or ONT, typically located on the outside of your home, which may also require battery backup power for your AT&T U-verse Voice service to function). If you have AT&T U-verse services (voice, high-speed Internet, and/or TV), you must also have battery backup power for the Residential Gateway for your AT&T U-verse services to function during a power outage. AT&T will not provide support for, or be responsible for, ongoing maintenance or management of equipment, including the initial RG battery backup unit or the initial ONT backup battery provided to AT&T U-verse Voice customers. If you have Internet Service, you must provide battery backup power for your computer, if you would like to have access to the Internet during a power outage. For example, your computer could be plugged into an Uninterruptible Power Source (UPS), available at certain home and electronics stores.

www.att.com...

Plus the iphone,that is if any of it works.

Just the basics.

So,my battery got down to 12.3 volts,thats why the alarm was going off occasionally.
It's had a full days charge today,because I didn't get it all setup the day before.If I had,I would have had two days worth.

Today,it was at about 12.7 volts.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 09:16 PM
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Soon,I will have pictures of this low cost little solar power backup system,if you want to call it that.

But,thats after I get it all organized .

Right now,I have the solar panel sitting in my back driveway,facing south with at least a good 6 to 8 hours sunlight.
The battery and controller are on my back porch,away from any rain and weather.
But,it has been getting colder ,in the mid thirties,and I need to make a safe warm place for my 1 battery.
Going to by a plastic tub for it.



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 10:12 PM
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reply to post by ErtaiNaGia
 



Was watching the vid on the stirling heat engine and was thinking,why is this not widely used and commercialized yet?

www.solarheatengines.com...
edit on 15-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2012 @ 10:20 PM
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Originally posted by kdog1982
reply to post by ErtaiNaGia
 



Was watching the vid on the stirling heat engine and was thinking,why is this not widely used and commercialized yet?

www.solarheatengines.com...
edit on 15-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)


And while scrolling through that link I provided,does it have enough torque and speed to drive an alternator from a car to charge a battery?



posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 03:48 AM
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Originally posted by kdog1982

Going to by a plastic tub for it.


depending on the type of battery you have it
will be important to consider venting the box.
a lead/acid battery will require two small
holes on opposite sides for dispersion of any
gasses so they do not accumulate in the box.
a weep hole in the bottom may be required
just in case any fluids wish to build up in
the bottom. fibreglass or solid polyurethane
insulation slabs to line the box work a treat.
lining the bottom also diminishes cold-bridging.

you will notice over time that cold batteries become less efficient
and hold less charge but as soon as they are in a warmer environment
they recover quite quickly.
best wishes fakedirt



posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 06:39 PM
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I have been eyeing this portable unit.





1200 Watts of Power to Start Practically any Vehicle
12-Volt DC Power Outlet for DC Accessories and Appliances
100 Watt AC Output for Operating Household Appliances
5V USB Port Charge Cellphones, PDAs or Power Up Consumer Electronic Devices
260 PSI Air Compressor Inflates Low Tires, Sports Equipment & More Heavy-Duty Cables
LED Work or Emergency Light & Jump Starter Safety Switch
Battery Status LEDs & Reverse Polarity Indicator Maintenance-Free High Efficiency Sealed Lead Acid Battery Unit Dimensions (HxWxD): 13.25" x 12" x 5.5" (336.5mm x 305mm x 140mm), Unit Weight: 10 lbs. 5.6 oz. (4694.7 g)

www.12volt-travel.com...
But they are all sold out!

So far,just running the two lights provided with the kit,charging my iphone and ipad and with my modem hooked up is working out pretty good with one battery.
Iphone and ipad draw about 7 watts together for a couple of hours while charging.
Modem about 22 watts per hour.

I think during an emergency type of situation,I'll be ok.But I'm still buying more batteries,when funds allow.
edit on 16-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 07:00 PM
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When you've got your solar power and battery going, you need to add a grid tie. I just added a grid tie inverter so I don't waste any electrons when the batteries are happy and charged. "Cause when the batteries are charged and you're not using anything, you might as well be putting that sunlight into the grid abd lowering your bill a bit.
Video in a week or so...



posted on Nov, 16 2012 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by davjan4
When you've got your solar power and battery going, you need to add a grid tie. I just added a grid tie inverter so I don't waste any electrons when the batteries are happy and charged. "Cause when the batteries are charged and you're not using anything, you might as well be putting that sunlight into the grid abd lowering your bill a bit.
Video in a week or so...


Thank you and when I get into the phase where I'm replacing what I draw from the grid into producing my own that will be my next step.

It's funny to think how people were first introduced to electricity and it's potential,and now here we are trying to make it cheaper (or free) and more efficient. Why is this not more widespread,why is it not cheaper to acquire these materials?
edit on 16-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 07:43 AM
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reply to post by kdog1982
 



uk based.
several years ago there was a rash of companies
that formed here in the uk. i would say they
were subsidised too much and this didn't in
any way reflect as a benefit to the end user.
the majority of companies offered packages
of installation and service tied in with
finance agreements. most speculated that
the systems would pay for themselves over
20+ years. tie-in was a big pull where
connecting to the grid reaped a 'rebate'
so to speak.
recently a parliamentary committee critisized
a government attempt to lower the tie-in
tariff on existing pv solar owners with a reduction of 35%
(give or take) on the feed-in tariff. this as i
understand was blocked and the reduced tariff only applies to
recent owners after a cut-off date.
with massive subsidies for the wind farm industry,
it seems an overspend arose and an attempt was
made to reduce the liability on the taxpayer.
with the incentives reduced i noticed a lot of
sme (small,medium enterprises) downsizing their
companies to reduce costs and stay in the black.
with service and inspection costs to consider
when signing contracts, i suspect a lot of
owners realised the financial benefits were
not in keeping with the salesmens pitch.

i feel that those who had/have the passion
for going it alone will reap more benefits
from the systems they have invested in as
opposed to being tied in with a middleman
or company. it very well may be cost-effective
to sign up for the deals, however those with knowledge
of pv systems and are confident in undertaking such a
project really don't need a middleman involved in the
supply and service chain.
compliance testing (for tie-in) on an annual basis is, i
understand mandatory in the uk to ensure end user
and grid are safe and functioning correctly. this has
the potential to negate any rebate earned or a good
part of.

it would be reasonable to say that the industry is
quite cutthroat and overproduction of panels can
tip companies over the edge.

for the diy'er i have a comparison.
in 2003 a sharp 125w polycrystalline panel retailed at
around £420. current price of a sharp 190w module is
now less the £200.

www.solar-pv-systems.com...

regards fakedirt.



posted on Nov, 17 2012 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by kdog1982
 



And while scrolling through that link I provided,does it have enough torque and speed to drive an alternator from a car to charge a battery?


It depends on the construction of the sterling cycle engine, and the deltaT (temperature difference across the hot and cold side)

I've seen dish sterling systems that are 35% efficient. (9 meter wide dish, 25kw output max)



posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 02:43 AM
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What are the odds of being able to use a system like this to grow small veggies (spinach/tomatoes/perhaps potatoes) and such using a small LED array or two in a bugout spot/shtf type of setup for 1-2 people.

I believe for those particular plants aside from the tomatoes you could run your led grow lights continuously or have a timer controlling them so as not to drain the system.

Gonna have to look into this as a secret garden/stealth setup that could be used practically anywhere and is just good enough for that and small item charges.

The stealth part is important as if you run power out of a creek your line will be prone to being found.
So I was thinking what if you got an array of small low reflective leds that could be mounted outside your shtf shelter or in a tree while also using some micro wind turbines?

The micro wind turbines (assuming they can be had for a reasonable price). would be tough to spot while in a large tree and I would imagine you could either run them all tied into the same battery bank or seperate just for ease of use.

The only problem I can imagine is a forest fire destroying them which would be bad enough for you to get out of there anyway.

I am not talking massive amounts of energy but only bare bones enough to grow a small garden that could produce dehydratable goods for trade.

Anyone have some ideas on this? I'll be off fleshing that idea out for now.



posted on Nov, 18 2012 @ 09:17 AM
link   

Originally posted by kdog1982
So,instead of trying to match my power that I need,I'm am decreasing it.

Little LED flat panel TV.
No need for the desktop,I have an Ipad and also this ATT plan...

The RESIDENTIAL GATEWAY (RG) is located inside your house and uses electrical power to deliver all your U-verse services. The battery backup for the RG must be installed inside your house near the RG, and be easily accessible. The RG battery backup supplies power for your AT&T U-verse Voice service; it does not supply power for cordless phones (and it does not supply power for your network interface device or ONT, typically located on the outside of your home, which may also require battery backup power for your AT&T U-verse Voice service to function). If you have AT&T U-verse services (voice, high-speed Internet, and/or TV), you must also have battery backup power for the Residential Gateway for your AT&T U-verse services to function during a power outage. AT&T will not provide support for, or be responsible for, ongoing maintenance or management of equipment, including the initial RG battery backup unit or the initial ONT backup battery provided to AT&T U-verse Voice customers. If you have Internet Service, you must provide battery backup power for your computer, if you would like to have access to the Internet during a power outage. For example, your computer could be plugged into an Uninterruptible Power Source (UPS), available at certain home and electronics stores.

www.att.com...

Plus the iphone,that is if any of it works.

Just the basics.

So,my battery got down to 12.3 volts,thats why the alarm was going off occasionally.
It's had a full days charge today,because I didn't get it all setup the day before.If I had,I would have had two days worth.

Today,it was at about 12.7 volts.


It's so funny you post the att u verse thing, I have been eyeing buying one of these off ebay to run my ecotech marine pump on my reef tank. The pump itself moves 1500gph and uses 12 volts and can operate off of one of those backups for about 4 or 5 days at full power even longer at half, It's amazing the things you find while researching the power your house consumes.





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