An anila design stove might work as well with less need to break down the plastic. In that one a central core has wood in it that burns down to coals with the plastic on the outside layer boiling off gas to holes in the bottom that then flows through 5he char. Ratios will be the hard part to figure out to assume the energy dense plastic does not overwhelm the reactive hot char...
I don't suggest burning plastic unless you have to BUT when I make charcoal for my gasifiers I sometimes use a top lit updraft gasifier to make the charcoal. The idea is that you fill it with wood or wood chips, light the top and let it burn down to coals. Once the top layer turns to charcoal the red hot coals act as a sort of catalytic converter that breaks down the woods into clean burning gas. I have experimented with small layers of plastic shredded sandwiched between the wood. It works well. I think you have too much to make it work properly but maybe as a partial solution. it uses Sticks, wood chips, shells... easy to make , very efficient. I can't tell you how clean it burns you would have to experiment.
TLUD is the acronym you need to look up
here is a mother earth lecture on it a few years ago:
I had a lot of predator pressure and ended up with a 3x4 coop built onto a 3x8run with 1/2 inch hardware cloth on the walls and 1x4 fencing on the floor. One side accepts wheels to move it around like a wheel barrow. Its really only good for about 8 laying hens. I use it in the early spring and fall and roll it into the hoop house for overwintering my laying hens. In the warmer season I move them to an enclosed trailer with a run made out of electric fencing and get all my new chicks to grow out. I buy dual purpose birds so I choose good prospect to keep come fall. I still have to make sure to lock them up at night in either coop though since the predators never give up. Come winter when all the edges of the hoop house are snowed down ill give them the run on the place. They do an awesome job of removing any and all vegetation. I usually overwinter kale and fence them into only one section but they got out this winter and razed everything...
I live in an area that was first exploited by the english for white pine as the best material for ship masts and for superior hand hewn beams for timber framing. Loaded into hulls and shipped back to the motherland which was awash in oak...
A mix of local hardwoods, fir and spruce would be my choice in your position.
One thing that has become abundantly clear to me these past few years of living out here is that the quality of a lot of materials (manufactured and otherwise) is going down. I won’t go into why that is right now, but an example that concerns me is timber. As many are aware, a lot of the world used to be covered with quality timber trees, and indeed, trees that served all sorts of purposes. I’m not an expert on timber and woodworking trees, but I’d like to learn more. I’ve been on a kick of trying to make things better in my area for future generations. Up until now, that’s revolved mostly around planting food trees. And that aspect of my work will definitely continue.
But, I might be acquiring more acreage soon, and I’d like to include some timber trees for future generations, including any children that I might adopt, or their future children. I know it would be a drop in the bucket but I’d like to at least try.
I’m located in the Pacific Northwest, Again, I don’t know much about what makes for good timber, but here are some trees that I have thought about planting:
Oak (unsure of what kind)
Mazzard cherry (a rootstock that I’m betting could work for this. Hopefully in the meantime it provides food for birds and bees)
Empress tree (for crafts and in the meantime, feeding insects)
American persimmon seedlings? (I hear that it eventually creates a true ebony heartwood)
What are your thoughts, tips, and advice on this?
The question I would ask is what do you want to use the wood for? All the hardwood trees you mentioned I would consider trim flooring and cabinet wood. for structural wood used for framing, sheathing etc you can't beat fir and pine for speed of growth and structural strength. Yes when building on pristine old growth you come across hardwood timbers in old buildings but its much slower growing and mostly unnecessary. All personal opinion but I've been a wood butcher for over 20 years now.
Mart Hale wrote:So now I am going to start testing how long I can run a 30 watt led via inverter via my 12 Amp hour 12 V lithium battery I salvaged. I hope to use it via hydroponics. I have added a wifi switch that pulls 2 watts of power that allows me to control the lights from home automation. If battery gets too low the charge controller will switch off and automagically reset when power goes over a threshold.
Interesting. Is the wifi switch not powered by AC? How big is the inverter? Usually one sized to run at 50-75 percent load would be at its most efficient profile. Brand new you are looking at 144 watts in the pack so with age and losses... A good real world experiment. Probably 3 hours.
Devin Lavign wrote:Oh btw just in case you haven't drilled rock or concrete, you will likely want to use a hammer drill. These are sort of like mini jackhammers.
You can often rent one at decent rental places, or buy one at most hardware stores. Some hardware stores do also offer rentals as well.
Thank you so much, I agree this is the way to go I just need to find a place nearby that rents one in a cordless or gas powered version. One location nearby had one for rent but when I described my intentions he did not want to rent it to me anymore.... I also need to find an Auger for 4" wide posts for the support braces to be set to attach the roof onto from the bolts if I manage that far. Thank you very much for your sugestions, extremely helpful!
If you are renting, rent a "rotary hammer" not a hammer drill. Hammer drills; great for cement and hole 1/4 inch or less granite and 5/8 holes; rotary hammer. Trust me your patience will thank me!
Hard to say without seeing the rock. If it was me I would do them in pairs to avoid bolt Shear on 32 inch centres starting 4 inches in from the edge I would use a 1/2 inch threaded rod minimum drill my hole 1/8th inch bigger all the way around and purchase some two part epoxy for fastening in rock not just expanding cement to minimize my chances of spawling. You used to have to have the special Hilti hit type 2 gun dispenser now you can buy it for regular caulking guns.I usually tack the header in place with tap cons just long enough to get my bolts in. As to whether its good enough, hard to say your call...
Hi Mike, nice to see you've digested all the info and are ready to give it a try; welcome to the black hand gang! When looking into electric conversions for tractors I came to the same conclusion as you. To restate some points for the new thread Charcoal gasifiers were as common as wood gasifiers during the second world war. The gas composition as mentioned is different then raw wood gasifiers. Its mostly CO but you could use a water drip to enrich it with hydrogen I use exhaust myself its simpler. The very simplified version of the chemistry is in a charcoal gasifier you are running an exothermic reaction (combusting Carbon) and an endothermic reaction (converting CO2 into CO) at the same time. That very odd double reaction is what makes the build so much easier. You are letting the endothermic reaction do the work of the cooling rails. In a raw wood gasifier you are running a mostly exothermic reaction which creates your charcoal as you go. Its more energy dense but you have to cool it in at least two stages, remove condensation and soot and run the engine in a fairly narrow window to keep it hot enough to make good tar free gas and cool enough to not melt. For your build I would say you would want to look for a vessel that would hold 9 or 10 gallons of charcoal. Its important for the white hot gas to pass through a certain amount of unreacted charcoal for the system to work. So you want your tank to be 3 times the size of the amount of char you want to burn down for maximum efficiency. On the drive on wood site most of the charcoal builds are under the small engine section. This link should bring you right there: http://forum.driveonwood.com/c/small-engines/charcoal-gasification This one I think is the thread of the guy who built the garden tractor above. Jeff's work is awesome. http://forum.driveonwood.com/t/air-carbon-fuel-cell/1640
I'm around here and on www.driveonwood.com and can't help but notice a good charcoal thread so if there is any way I can help.
Graham Chiu wrote:I'm in Wellington, New Zealand. We don't have freezing in our pipes.
I think the controller is fine. If I set the delta low enough for the conditions the pump starts working ie. collector sensor is greater than bottom tank sensor + 6K. Could the water from the bottom of the tank thermosiphon back to the collector when I apply power?
I'm not sure how to remove the glass tubes. Never got shown how to do it.
hard to say it sure seems like it if you can heat up the collector. Ok so you are most of the way there. Tou know the controller works and the pump... leaving the tubes.
Graham Chiu wrote:The installation documents say it's an Open-loop system using water as the heat transfer fluid type.
When I heat the water up in the cylinder using the 3kW element, the temperature in the collector also goes up which I thought was odd. It was setup to pump only if the difference in temperature between the collector and the bottom of the tank sensor was greater than 6K. So, why would it pump hot water up to the collector?
Yup, Where about are you Graham? you need a warm weather guy. We don't do systems like that up north. The way you are set up Think of your collector as an extension of your hotwater tank. Water sits in the collector until the controller tells it the temperature in the tank in less then the temperature in the collector. Click pump turns on and the hot water from the collector is exchanged for the cooler water in the hot water tank. So either the water in the collector never gets up to the right temperature so there is never a call for the pump to turn on due to dead tubes, the thermostat reading on the collector is wrong so the pump never gets the signal to turn on or the pump is dead so can never turn on... I would suspect the controller or the tubes.
So what type of system is it. Does the water stay in the manifold or does it drain back to a reservoir when the controller tells it to? I ask because I've seen a few where the thermostat reading from the roof is bad and it never sends the signal to fill the line. Here they do either glycol filled and heat 3xchanged or tanked with a drain back feature running straight water
Graham Chiu wrote:I've got 20 evacuated tubes on my roof oriented NW, and I'm wondering if my system is working or not.
It's connected to a Resol DeltaSol BX controller.
The controller is saying that at peak sun my controller is only registering 31 deg C (89F) at the tail end of summer. It's 20C today outside.
I went on the roof to check if there were any obvious damage, and there wasn't. But feeling the tubes, only 5 of the 20 were cold, and 15 were warmish.
We don't really get below 0C most years so I doubt the tubes have ruptured inside.
Does this mean it's likely that 15 of my STS Sunsaver tubes have failed?
I think you have your answer... lost their vacuum bad batch maybe?
There are a lot of types of evacuated tubes... do yours have a metal top piece that fits into a metal sleeve at the manifold? Or are they built into the manifold?
The troubles with moving water to the roof and back and the huge drop in the price of solar electric have taken their toll on the solar thermal industry...
Good luck David
As is so often the case with your posts Frank, I could not agree more. I did a 750 watt retrofit for a senior couple with health issues who had dead batteries and were running a genny 10 hrs a day then kerosene lamps... It opened a new world for them and made my heart sing... Big plans for the greenhouse this year. These are a few years ago so hopefully I get more help from the cucumber thiefs this year!
[quote= and i cannot afford the gold i spin for a living, especially not as a paper weight or door stop.
An FM 100 would make a great small boat anchor!
Now that is funny. It made my Friday night. I often feel when I try to explain load shifting or inserting the smart human to manage an off grid system many of today's clients with 5000watt arrays and auto generators just look at me strange... I will put in a new array for myself this year probably in the 2700 watt range for my 24 volt system. A pretty penny but probably time.
Bob how big of a fridge do you want to end up with? It seems like the r600 limit is more to do with the total volume in the fridge reflected in the total amount of r600a used in the appliance. I'm attaching a paper that refers to the north american limit of 57 grams of r600a in appliances where in europe its 150 grams... I've been looking into chest freezers and mini fridges most of which are r600a powered. up to 11cu ft for fridges and 7cu ft for freezers it seems easy then they disappear... Interestingly enough they are mostly using the manual thermostats which is another plus for off grid as there is no inverter loss issues with the electronic thermostat loads. I know the whole point is to go DC but if you can get an off the shelf ac with r600 for a comparable price to just the dc compressor and the fridge tech to do the work with no inverter losses... Just a thought.
Yes I saw the reply to Frank after I typed mine in. It's a good plan. You will want to use a mechanical thermostat retrofit due to the dc current on the compressor unless you plan on powering the control board that currently runs most ac fridges and using its compressor trigger to run a relay for the new compressor. Hmm if it's a fridge/freezer combo you might have to keep the fan that pushes cold from the freezer to the fridge... an interesting project to get the gears turning. be sure to post lots about it!!!
Fridges are much more efficient then they used to be. You should top out at less then 1 kW Hr per day for a full sized fridge with freezer. The dc fridges are really expensive put the money into more panels and buy an efficient ac unit. My 19cu ft with bottom freezer and the defrost line still hooked up runs at 890 watt hours per day with two kids discovering the joys of opening and staring into the fridge. When it starts up there isn't even a flicker unlike the pump and it settles in at 160 watts when running. Your new inverter should have a surge rating to cover momentary start loads like fridges. If watt hours are that precious a chest freezer modified with a refrigerator thermostat will greatly reduce watts consumed.
Pond aeration has traditionally always been done using small windmills. I tend to agree that a pond will only need aeration if you are trying to push it beyond its natural energy state. Of course that is what most gardening and food production is... How effective a wind only solution would be depends on the wind at your location. For solar there are a fair bit of direct drive pumps out there which have only a panel and a pump so no controllers, no batteries, just a pump to wear out and a solid state solar panel. It would stop when the sun goes down but you size accordingly. All tech has its strong points and drawbacks. The windmills have mechanical parts that require maintenance and replacement.
I built mine to take a 2x4 pan using an airtight stove as the base with the top cut off and insulating the heck out of it everywhere else. Its installed in the greenhouse now for early season warming up and adding moisture after the long dry winter in there and making charcoal. For fuel consumption using soft wood only I can boil down 160 litres of sap using a stack about 2ft by 4 ft by 16" so its efficiency is pretty good. Im sure the rocket outperforms it but probably at the cost of constant tending of the fire. I think the box design allows you to walk away for longer periods of time. That does have drawbacks as you can't leave it when you start getting close to finished because the coals keep it chugging along for hours.
installed in the greenhouse
frank li wrote:Peoples cost and values are generally different. Like a 400$ wood fired boiler. I would estimate 4k$ to start unless you are speaking dhw only, and or diy, even then... unless you are talking about a heat exchanger and controlled circulation, id still be at a loss to buy that for 400 dollars.
The Boiler (brand new) was about 300 US$, it has (iirc) 1200W electrical heating, which I haven't connected, an extra heat exchanger (8 kW), which I haven't used so far. you could attach a solar system to it or some radiator, while the last makes little sense, since the boiler is not really thought to be fired permanently. About 100 US$ for the missing tubes, water/exhaust and so on which I had not onsite already.
I have everything setup on my own. Yes it is not expensive and working like a charm, though it might not be that great in terms of efficiency, it doesn't matter to me. From calculating you get about 50% efficiency in the summer and maybe 75% in the winter, due to room heating. I like that it is very simple, what is not there can simply not break.
+++In addition it needs zero electricity and even without power, I can still take a shower and alike.+++
Mike do you have a link to the boiler or some pics...
The renogy inverter you quoted has a standby draw of "less" than 24 watts but probably not much less. That kind of draw will eat a small system alive. For a charge controller find a bigger one to take the whole load. Competing cheaper mppt chargers are not a good idea as 0ne will always be slightly ahead of the other and if they dont talk one array will underperform. If you have the money a name brand there will pay off. If you can manage it using a small inverter for critical loads and your big one switched off except for charging or heavy draw works well for small systems. The morning star works well in that application ; enough for a small fridge devices and lights with a tiny standby draw. https://www.morningstarcorp.com/products/suresine/
Double check the shunts mV rating!!! You need a specific mV rating for your battery monitor! The shunt should be stamped. Double check that it's right with the battery monitor literature. Otherwise I would suspect a bad battery monitor
I think this is more likely than a defective shunt or a defective monitor. The shunts are one of the highest quality and most stable and trouble free parts in the system. True it takes creativity to test a shunt without lab equipment set up to do so or a swap check..... didnt think about that until you said it, never had to test one!
Ive had to swap out two and both times it was the bmk module not the shunt. This is totally Magnum's domain odd you are having that much trouble. I usually get through within 20min or get a call back within an hour...
Power through it...
Mike Jay wrote:Sorry about that. It's pretty standard to have hot and cold water going to cloths washing machines around here. I didn't even think to mention it.
OK, got it. Here those machines are pretty rare and according to tests some are not even that efficient. Of course you need something cheaper then electricity to heat up the water. Solar fluid tubes systems should be in the summer times optimum, but if you want thermosiphon (w/o pumps/etc) a bit tricky to setup, as the panels need to be below the boiler.
Where abouts are you Mike? I know all front loaders I come across have hot and cold. I generally do a hot wash and cold rinse. Power consumption is usually just shy of 200 WHr. I use a propane hot water tank and a conditioning tank fed off the wood stove. If I time it right the water feeding the propane water heater is almost up to temperature already. In terms of efficiency it depends what you are testing for. The front loaders use more electricity for the same amount of laundry BUT use far less water and remove far more of it in the rinse cycle. If you are heating water to wash and use a dryer the front loader wins hands down. If you are water stressed the front loader also wins. The top load is a simpler machine so should last longer.
Hi gerry so glad that fixed it. peak in on the contact every now and then to see if its carbonizing. If it isn't, all good if carbon builds up do the relay. As to the tank the water is actually in the rubber bladder not the steel tank so it should not jiggle too much. If its not storing enough water drop the tank pressure a few psi at a time until you come to the right balance. You want a good continuous discharge rate not an ebb and flow. There is also adjustment on the pressure switch the big nut does on off pressure the small one does differential between on and off pressure...
Gerry, we had a bmk acting that way. it ended up being a faulty unit. We changed all the components. It was 4 years old though so no warranty. Apply a known load to it and see what its amps out reads. I usually have an amp clamp multi meter on the battery wires when I do this. Ours was 40 amps out... And again trigger the ags on voltage not state of charge. The magnum does better that way. Set its turn on voltage to whatever you choose, set the clock at 3 or 4 minutes to avoid nuisance starts, turn the off voltage all the way up to float to avoid conflicts. Absorb time... While a long absorb time will add more to the batteries it comes at a high cost in fuel usage as the efficiency goes down as they approach full. Its a balancing act between battery health and genny lifespan and fuel usage.
I go on battery voltage alone for the ags settings. We have tried soc triggering but it just never seems to work as well and consistantly as the voltage trigger. Your ags should be your last resort. The smart human in the mix controlling genny time is always a better solution. Just remember to turn it back to auto when done!!! (Most common reason for ags fail)
As to why it misrepresents I dont know. Battery specs have different absorb settings based on temperature so I'm not sure the compensation range is enough if the settings have not been seasonally adjusted. We generally set bank temp indoors at 20c. If someone is really keen on their system and the batteries are outdoors well teach them how to adjust seasonal values... Batteries are a dark art... they are chemical and alive not electronic.
Tough it out with magnum... Just work through the setup with them to rule out mistakes. I find about 10 or 11 am eastern time mon Tues weds work best. Some basics: Battery size is programmed in correctly? The absorb voltage numbers are equal to those suggested by the manufacturer? Absorb time is right for bank size? You've run a bulk, absorb, float run with the genny. Temp sensors are installed midway down the battery case taped to an inside battery? I've seen it "thinking" for 24 hours before. I'm not a fan of state of charge... with our climate the cold seems to throw off the state of charge readings. So all winter with lack of absorb time and temperature affecting how well the batteries absorb it goes wonky. Personal opinions of course...
Hi gerry what I think happens is as the pump head rotates it temporarily goes above the required pressure and turns off then the chamber it's on bleeds a bit and it falls below pressure so it has trouble reaching it's set pressure. I found the pressure switch on the shurflo too sensitive and limited which is why I suggested a stand alone full size pressure switch. Like this one https://www.amazon.ca/Electric-Pressure-Control-Switch-Adjustable/dp/B079QJX8HN/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1548642716&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=pressure+switch&psc=1 Canadian link given only for an example. The nice thing is they will last for 40 years, have a sizable switching mechanism in them and are fully adjustable both on and off pressure and the differential between them. Its rated for ac so again use it only to trigger the dc relay not switch the pump... all that might be overkill but that is how I solved that very annoying continuous switching as the shurflo reached shut off pressure.