We are giving away 4 copies of Steve Gabriel's book, Farming the Woods
Steve will be answering your questions in the woodland forum Monday through Friday!
See this thread for details
Permies likes wheaton laboratories and the farmer likes solar workshop, june 16-20 permies
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solar workshop, june 16-20

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
This has been in the works since the end of December. And stuff happens and then there is the full court press for the kickstarter and ....

We are bringing in Steve Heckeroth and Stuart Davis. There will be a limit of 24 students. We will be videoing this with the intent of making a DVD.

The primary focus will be:

- install a solar system in a small building. Probably the wofati
- upgrade and electric vehicle to use swappable battery packs and have a solar power canopy
- install a heliostat to add winter solar heat to a conventional home
- proper care for the electric vehicles, the solar power cart and the solar tractor
- add materials to a pickup so that it will behave as a generator and power source
- simple power backup system for a home
- play with a fresnel lens

Stuff that will be here that will be discussed/demonstrated/etc:

- solar power cart with 750 watt panels on a pole, batteries plus propane generator
- solar tractor with 1kw panels, swappable batteries, inverter
- both the solar power cart and the solar tractor can
- - - run the electric sawmill
- - - run the electric chainsaws
- - - charge the four electric vehicles


Steve Heckeroth


Not only has Steve Heckeroth, renewables.com, built more than a dozen electric tractors and several electric cars, but he has invented batteries and solar panels. His farm is running off of solar panels he designed. His battery work would solve electric car problems and is currently being sat on by chevron.

Stuart Davis


Stuart Davis, Wiser Works, is an electrical engineer and permaculturalist. He was co-founder of Tigo Energy, a leading-edge photovoltaic company where Stuart pioneered solutions to solar module power and performance issues. Currently, as the founder of Wiser Works, Stuart provides off-grid power systems and is passionate about helping people live more local, independent lifestyles.

$680 for five days. Include a spot to pitch a tent. Attendees will be invited to join me at my table for meals. If you don't like my food, then you're on your own. Send payment via paypal to paul at richsoil.com. Ask questions in this thread or see workshop FAQs.


sign up for my daily-ish email / rocket mass heater 4-DVD set / permaculture playing cards
Sam Barber


Joined: Nov 27, 2013
Posts: 453
Location: Missoula Mt
    
  33
Here is some video vidoe of steve heckeroths projects.



May your journey always be fruitful.
Sam Barber


Joined: Nov 27, 2013
Posts: 453
Location: Missoula Mt
    
  33
If you are wonder what all of this "Electric Tractor" business is all about here is everything that you could ever want to know about electric tractors in five great Podcasts!!! Enjoy!
Here are all of the podcasts with Steve Heckeroth.
Steve Heckeroth Electric Tractor Questions
Steve Heckeroth Electric Tractors Part 1
Steve Heckeroth Electric Tractors Part 2
Steve Heckeroth Electric Tractors Part 3
Steve Heckeroths Farm
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
work trade: spend three weeks here before the workshop and you can take this workshop for free

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Some of the things Stuart will be presenting on.


[car-generator.png]

[house-backup.png]

[solar-bike-trailer.png]

[solar-contraption.png]

[solar-hand-cart.png]

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
The 3000 watt solar trailer that is currently under construction. This is an effort by Tim and Steve.


[3000-watt-solar-trailer.png]

[3000-watt-solar-trailer-engaged.png]

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Stuart will also be doing some demonstrations with a fresnel lens. We might try some cooking, but mostly we will set stuff on fire.


[fresnel-lens.png]

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
We will be installing a heliostat to augment heat in the office next winter.


[heliostat.gif]

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
As an added bonus for this workshop, each student will get five minutes of experience in MIG welding - if they want.
Shane McKee


Joined: Mar 02, 2013
Posts: 99
Location: Northern Ireland
    
    7
Loving the sophisticated heliostat graphic! The usage of sun for heat in winter is a great idea. I once set fire to my house (ouch) in February in *Ireland* because I had stupidly left one of those magnifier-plus-crocodile-clips thingy holders on a south facing windowsill - the low angle sun was strong enough to set my curtains alight once it had been focused through the lens. Of course the deal for thermal storage isn't the absolute temperature you can achieve with a lens, but the overall amount of energy you can deliver to the concrete. Looking forward to hearing how this one pans out.


"And they'll carry our dreams to the stars from the canyons of Mars." http://answersingenes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/one-way-to-mars.html Tw: @shanemuk
Vickie Reed


Joined: Nov 07, 2013
Posts: 9
What is involved in the 3 weeks before for the "free" workshop? Thanks!


“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone.'
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Vickie Reed wrote:What is involved in the 3 weeks before for the "free" workshop? Thanks!


Whatever we can think of. It would be all the same stuff that the gappers are doing.
Richard Chastain


Joined: May 18, 2014
Posts: 1
Love welding. Five minutes. It takes two years in a technical school, that is learning to weld, to get good at welding but then using MIG, TIG, STICK, OXY- ACETYLENE, and welding on stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, cast iron, pipes, and passing tests and getting certified and stuff. Oh well. Five Minutes. Whatever.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Richard Chastain wrote:[color=cyan] [/color[size=24]]Love welding. Five minutes. It takes two years in a technical school, that is learning to weld, to get good at welding but then using MIG, TIG, STICK, OXY- ACETYLENE, and welding on stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, cast iron, pipes, and passing tests and getting certified and stuff. Oh well. Five Minutes. Whatever.


I am utterly baffled at the purpose of this post.

At the bb-gun arcade do you tell people how many years of practice it takes to become a professional sniper or marksman or hunter?

When children write their first sentence do we need a reminder of what it takes to become a professional author?

Many people have never welded before. They might get a kick out of firing up a welder.

In the earthworks workshop we let people drive the excavator - and they had a blast.

We're not suggesting that anybody will end up with any level of expertise.
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2571
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  64
Vickie Reed wrote:What is involved in the 3 weeks before for the "free" workshop? Thanks!

Goodness, we have all kinds of things going on. There could be some general janitorial or kitchen help, finishing up some of the structures and carts to be used in the solar workshop, prepping camping areas and/or the compost hot water showers, hugelkultur maintenance, finish work on a wofati, moving livestock fences, picking up garbage, peeling logs, chopping wood, and other both skilled and humble tasks.


Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
Stuart Davis


Joined: Nov 25, 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
    
    3
Hi everyone. I'm so looking forward to the solar workshop, meeting everyone, and helping with Paul's empire.

My family and I have been living off grid for 15 years. I have developed some electronics through that time to make off-grid life easier and get better use and work done from the power produced from photovoltaic and micro-hydro systems.

Permies has a great solar forum. Check it out. Please let me know if you have any questions before the workshop.

Hope to see you there.
Stuart

P.S. You too can get PUMPED UP with a Fresnel lens.


[fresnel1.JPG]

Vickie Reed


Joined: Nov 07, 2013
Posts: 9
Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
Vickie Reed wrote:What is involved in the 3 weeks before for the "free" workshop? Thanks!

Goodness, we have all kinds of things going on. There could be some general janitorial or kitchen help, finishing up some of the structures and carts to be used in the solar workshop, prepping camping areas and/or the compost hot water showers, hugelkultur maintenance, finish work on a wofati, moving livestock fences, picking up garbage, peeling logs, chopping wood, and other both skilled and humble tasks.


Thanks Jocelyn for the list of things to be done! I live out of a 25' Airstream trailer. Would I be able to "camp" there in it and learn enough about solar that I could fix something up to power the Airstream?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I live out of a 25' Airstream trailer. Would I be able to "camp" there


Yes. Although we might need you to be parked in a less-than-convenient spot. And, depending on the spot, we might ask that you not run a generator.

and learn enough about solar that I could fix something up to power the Airstream?


Some people use just a teeny tiny spec of energy and are okay with the idea that when they park, they put out a small solar panel all is right as rain.

Other people might have heavy needs and ideas on on mounting five kilowatts of panels to the roof of their airstream.

I think that this workshop will discuss both approaches and even present portable solar in many forms. And I fully expect that rather exact questions will be asked about particular situations. I suspect that many people will leave the workshop feeling like they now have the knowledge they need to use solar to meet their electrical needs.

I guess I am trying to be careful to qualify my response so that folks don't feel like there are absolute gurantees. Gobs of solar information will be presented, but that does not guarantee that the knowledge will be retained or that the knowledge could be used for things outside of what was presented. I suppose somebody could choose to interpret "power the Airstream" to mean giving it enough power to drive all day every day - and when it does not do that, they could be pretty sore.

Vickie Reed


Joined: Nov 07, 2013
Posts: 9
Thanks for your answers Paul.
Sincerely,
Vickie
Erik Little


Joined: Oct 25, 2013
Posts: 146
Location: USDA 5b - Central IL
    
    3
Would love to find out more about the peel and stick solar panels Steve mentioned in the youtube video that was linked in this thread.


"If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else." -- Dave Ramsey
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1279
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Erik Little wrote:Would love to find out more about the peel and stick solar panels Steve mentioned in the youtube video that was linked in this thread.


Yes I thought those were interesting as well. The thing to remember is to include the cost of replacing your roofing to work with the panels. This is not a down side really as any panel requires a mounting system and if your roof is needs replacement anyway, it is just a matter of making sure your roofing works with the panels. I thought the manufacturer's application notes were very clear on what roofing was needed including example of the right product. Because the roof would be metal, it should be possible to collect drinking water with this system too. The main thing to look for is that the flat part of the panel where the solar part will fit needs to be wide enough (12in?) and flat with no creases in it. Metal roofing commonly has creases in it for strength or looks... I'm guessing All I know is that any of the metal roofs I have seen around here have creases in them.

If you happen to be building the building you can make sure the roof is at a good angle (both directions) for solar collection.

I have not read any long term reports on how well these last in the long term. If the UV dulls the surface over time, if they are more or maybe less sensitive to hail or other objects.

As I am not in a position to install solar I have no first hand observations.

I have also seen solar panels that look like duroid shingles and are designed to coexist with them. Of course their life span would be limited by the life of the duroid. In the case of the stick on panels the metal roof may have it's life span limited by the life of the stick on panels.
Erik Little


Joined: Oct 25, 2013
Posts: 146
Location: USDA 5b - Central IL
    
    3
Will the Solar Workshop DVD be another Kickstarter?

I have Steven Harris's battery backup video but it looks like you guys did some other stuff that I would like to learn about!!!

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15039
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
We might do a kickstarter in january.

I thought we would sell out all the tickets in 24 hours. Instead, we had several work trades, a few deep roots folks and one ticket sold. And about $50,000 in expenses. So all the money from all past kickstarters is now gone.

So the walkaway message I am getting from this is: there is not as much interest in solar as I thought. So if we do a kickstarter, I am concerned that it would flop.

We got a HUGE amount of stuff done here. And we have video of it. And we need to gather more footage. And now we are focusing on the wofati workshop that starts in less than a week. Where we have five paid participants.




Erik Little


Joined: Oct 25, 2013
Posts: 146
Location: USDA 5b - Central IL
    
    3
paul wheaton wrote:We might do a kickstarter in january.

I thought we would sell out all the tickets in 24 hours. Instead, we had several work trades, a few deep roots folks and one ticket sold. And about $50,000 in expenses. So all the money from all past kickstarters is now gone.

So the walkaway message I am getting from this is: there is not as much interest in solar as I thought. So if we do a kickstarter, I am concerned that it would flop.

We got a HUGE amount of stuff done here. And we have video of it. And we need to gather more footage. And now we are focusing on the wofati workshop that starts in less than a week. Where we have five paid participants.



It could be a timing issue (vacations, Jack's battery backup workshop not that long ago, etc.) and not exclusively a lack of interest in solar. I personally am more apt to do something online or dvd based.

**You might be able to combine the Wofati & Solar Workshop into a single Kickstarter, add in some solar stuff for the wofati like what this guy is doing on his tiny house(tiny home electrical). He was a recent guest on TSP. Just some thoughts.

I think one of the biggest opportunities is getting true high speed internet (not DSL or Cable) to the country side, I mean Fiber. In my area we are seeing a huge expansion of Fiber but it takes a lot of effort for communities to understand the value. I wouldn't be surprised if my view on this lowers my Wheaton Eco scale score, lol, but I think that there is a lot of innovation that is occurring in the rural areas and having this bandwidth limitation only hurts the spread of these ideas. If you had Fiber Internet you could have streamed this live (removed the travel hurdle) as well as recorded it (adds texture for those of us that maybe couldn't attend the live session), thereby creating an edge like interaction. The copper POTS should be recycled to offset the cost of deploying fiber. I am trying right now to engage my City in obtaining a franchise agreement with the Fiber provider in my area.
Cassie Langstraat
volunteer

Joined: May 05, 2014
Posts: 563
Location: Zone 9b
    
  26
If any of you missed out on the solar workshop, here is Paul and crew summarizing how it went.

Solar Powered Homestead Part 1
Solar Powered Homestead Part 2


Cassie Langstraat

"Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem."

- Walt Whitman
 
 
subject: solar workshop, june 16-20
 
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