I thought I would share. As so many of us are off grid pumping water efficiently is of utmost importance. Sure you can do the RV pump for very low head wells without much back pressure but they wear out pretty fast. Then comes the Jetpump a beast that although is very simple with little maintenance will consume 1kW Hr to pump 5 GPM and has a starting rating of 2kW. If you have a shallow well Piston pumps are a great answer. Extremely long lived and easily maintained they will pump greater then 5gpm using slightly more then 300 watt Hr with a starting wattage of 450watts Here is a link to my restored and running Duro 255. Forgive the horribly neglected garden in the shot. Cost of the pump used: $70 rebuild kit $20 probably good for another 60 years. It was fairly easy to restore as all the main fittings were brass so they released easily. A third the energy for the same water flow at the cost of some maintenance...
The air bag will powered by a fuse listed on the fuse panel in my experience. If you disconnect it as mentioned above many cars will throw a code. If you need regular inspections for plates you will ca use problems. Call the service desk and dive into what the recall covers. If it does not deploy well judge your risk. The problem could be it accidentally deploys which could be horrible. I do think it's just the cost you have to pay living in the boonies. I generally choose cars with a dealer within 90 minutes preferably closer regardless of brand. Fords and gm still Rule this part of the hinterland.
If it is like every recall I ever have seen you will have to jump through the dealer's hoops or they will not provide the replacement part. The second trip is odd. Probably the recall only affects certain batches of airbags and they need to verify if your is on the replacement list. Maybe call them to verify if it will be for sure replaced or just maybe replaced. A replacement airbag is a good thing maybe incorporate other stops in your trip.
Running an inverter generator and an air conditioner off it is your best option for efficiency unless you want to invest some serious coin. Just be sure to run your air con full out and turn the gennie off when it gets cold, turn it on only to cycle it. No idling on gas to maximize efficiency. The marine crowd and the trucking industry both run large air cons off of engines directly. Belt driven compressors like those found in cars but more industrial. Its custom and small market so expensive. Solar could be a good fit for it just lots of panels, tiny battery and use all the juice coming out of them to run the air conditioner keeping just a little extra for an emergency power supply. Run the gennie only after the sun fades. Extended life on the gennie and a second system for redundancy.
Sounds like you should aim for what is called a flash boiler. Keep the water and exhaust separate though adding that water to the exhaust stream will probably mess up your draft. Use the heat over an exchanger and meter in small quantities of water to flash it to steam immediately. Safer then a batch boiler but be careful because steam is an unforgiving dangerous mistress.
When you do the ceramics add a cement board layer under them or if you have the space a layer of thin pvc tubing for radiant. The extra mass takes up no space and could make a difference and you will have your solar hot water radiator. from the wood burn number you gave that is not much heat loss. The traditional solution is plate collectors or vacuum tubes and water storage to be circulated to a heat exchanger at night maybe your beautiful new radiant ceramic floor... 13 years and counting. I've never regretted going radiant. No solar element to it though.
Would it be possible to quantify how much wood and of what species you burn over the winter, and in what kind of stove. Next would be you listed square footage and insulation but the missing variable would be square footage of windows and what quality. I believe you will find that a combination of active solar and good thermal drapes could get you most of the way there other then the worst night. A fun exercise on a rainy night.
yup that's what I thought. Three wire start. Here is the hack from Magnum energy. This is for the ags-n (network) you would need the ags-s(stand alone) and confirm with magnum tech support it would work the same way. Hope this helps and does not just pee on the parade. Maybe someone else can give you a better answer. I sure would like to know.
Hi Joseph, you might have a problem if your ags is only set up for 2 wire start. I watched the company's video and since they can start it at the generator using a 3 position switch which returns to neutral once its started instinct tells me you would need to have an ags for 3 wire start. Here is the difference. 2 wire start generators have a relay waiting to close on a signal. when the relay closes it tells the generator to start. Remove signal and it stops. the generator itself does crank time, number of trys etc from an an board controller. Its very simple at the ags, complicated at the generator. For 3 wire start like on onan generators its 2 separate signals to 2 separate relays. relay 1 turn on relay 2 turn off. The generator on a 3 wire start does not maintain the signal to relay one but uses it only for starting. Crank time number of tries, successful run is all controlled from the ags. Smart ags, dumb generator... Clear as mud? You would probably need the ags stand alone type from Magnum Energy and hack into the on off switch at the generator. You could try hacking your fob to jury rig something. Understand I'm not sure and would have to play with it... What is the model number anyways. You have me intrigued since we have a lot of clients who want a cheaper option then what we offer as auto start generators.
Outside for sure if freezing is not a concern. The evacuated tube provides all the insulating you need much like a thermos bottle. They are used here into the -40 range with glycol. Inside your greenhouse you will loose an additional 10 percent of your heating potential due to the extra layer the light has to pass through. On top of the loss of grow space. I would love to see pics!
State of charge is a tricky thing. what voltage are you reading when it says 90 percent and 60 percent? Were there any draws from the battery to bring it down? Next would be how are your panels wired in. I'm guessing 100 watt 12 volt panels? if its an mppt charger it can take strings of up to 100 volts that is the 4210a so check the manual. if you have them wired for 12 volts that would not be a large enough voltage difference for an mppt charger to work properly... just some thoughts.
David Baillie wrote:So This is one of those sales techniques I mentioned. While lithium can be discharged to the 90 percent level you should avoid it. For lithium you can get EITHER 10000 cycles OR really deep discharge rates. The claims are mutually exclusive. I'm not familiar with the bank you quoted but at 90 percent discharge most of the lithium iron phosphate packs will last 1500 cycles. Ask your supplier to provide a cycle versus depth of discharge table. It is a standard industry measure and should be available to him... In the lithium world I like the blue ion system myself. Their cells have 10 years of test data behind them...
Cheers, David B.
this is the datasheet I have access to: http://www.windandsun.co.uk/media/943876/BYD-B-Box-LV-Datasheet.pdf doesn't seem to state a lot ... there's a round trip efficiency of 95%. In the shop where I got this info, they told me the 90% value was considering a 6000-cycles life. While a lead-acid was rated at 50% with 1400 cycles. thats a significant difference...
Well... I don't want to be a naysayer. The charts I have seen show the values I quoted based on the iron phosphate cells most commonly used. The data sheet does not tell you the depth of discharge they used to achieve that result of 95 percent efficiency and 6000 cycles isn't mentioned anywhere. If you read the bottom of the sheet it does mention that to achieve the 95 percent efficiency rating they used a charge rate of .5 C . That is not a realistic test for an off grid battery a c10 rate of charge would increase the lead acid battery's efficiency up the the 80 percent range and is more common for charging. Batteries are kind of the wild west. Everyone has different numbers they throw around and it gets really confusing. The website looks good. maybe do some searches for reviews online not affiliated with the sellers site? Whichever system you choose try to size it in the 30 -50 percent per day range to give you ample reserve and long life. I wish you good luck.
So This is one of those sales techniques I mentioned. While lithium can be discharged to the 90 percent level you should avoid it. For lithium you can get EITHER 10000 cycles OR really deep discharge rates. The claims are mutually exclusive. I'm not familiar with the bank you quoted but at 90 percent discharge most of the lithium iron phosphate packs will last 1500 cycles. Ask your supplier to provide a cycle versus depth of discharge table. It is a standard industry measure and should be available to him... In the lithium world I like the blue ion system myself. Their cells have 10 years of test data behind them...
Cheers, David B.
Like everything in the RE world; it depends. Notice in the video when they talk about longevity of nickel iron batteries they are only showing you the original Edison batteries from 60 ish years ago. .. the current version of the nickel iron are made in Russia and china. In the us you would contact iron Edison or elsewhere probably through alibaba direct from the manufacturer. They do have problems though. They boil off a lot of water so produce more h2 then lead acid. They have greater internal resistance then lead acid so "loose"more of their energy then lead. They are expensive usually 3 times the cost...
In terms of embedded energy lead is common easy to manufacture and fully recyclable. Nickel is harder to mine and manufacture but will last longer. Lead is still the norm in the solar world. Nickel is probably a better option if you can afford a battery bank as large as the lead equivalent. Due to price the sales tactic for nickel is to say you can undersized it since it lasts longer... that is a mistake. Nickel does have a finite life it's just longer. Push an undersized nickel bank too hard and it will wear out faster.
Lithium iron phosphate has potential but is currently not recycled due to low volumes and problems in its composite nature. It's real advantage comes in its ability to take a huge inrush of current in a short time.
They all have strong points and weaknesses.
Hope that helps somewhat and does not make it worse.
Cheers, David B
Hi Mark, from the sounds of it you need a full system workup. Your numbers seem right based on sizing the system for 12 months of solar only generation. Usually you would include a generator element for periods of cloudy weather or unexpected load changes like guests or heavy tool use. That allows you to shrink the solar element at the cost of running a generator. Your confusion comes from daylight versus sun hours. Sun hours are an average over a season. so you can have 8 hours of sun one day then 3 days of cloudy weather. The MPPT controllers will compensate somewhat for that. We find our systems outperform their rated sun hours in the winter time. I would suggest you find a load analysis spread sheet and work through it with your kill a watt meter. Your chest freezer versus upright fridge will probably save you 500 watts right there. I'd have to run it through my software knowing your long and lats to be sure but if you wanted a full solar system we would say 8 l16 batteries, a magnum pae4448 a midnite solar classic 200controller or the magnum charger installed at magnum and either 8x72 cell 340 panels or 12 60cell 300 watt panels. It all depends on budget and goals though. You can consciously downsize but you have to know going in you are going to have less power to work with. Hope this helps somewhat.
For most electric vehicles you don't really tap the main battery you tap the auxiliary 12 volt battery which is topped off by the main. You can only continually draw whatever wattage it charges at and you leave the car"on" with all accessories turned off. You can either use that directly or feed it into a charger like an Iota to charge your house battery. Here is a decent link to a video there are tonnes of links to it... not the most efficient system but it could save you the backup generator expense.
The first question I would ask is if the power company wants that kind of money how far do they need to travel onto your land? If there is a spot at the edge of your property near a utility pole ask yourself can I build a shed there to house a grid connection? A few thousand for a connection That becomes your car charging station while you are commuting regularly is reasonable. Eventually you incorporate the slow charging of the car(15 amp plug)off of a modest house based system once you are at home during prime charging hours. That is usually the Achilles heel of electric cars and off grid solar; a mismatch between time of use and time of power generation. As a bonus the battery pack can be used to trickle charge your house battery and act as a backup generator for you saving you some system costs. Just trying to think outside of the box for you.
Cheers, David Baillie
All and all that is a good system. I would change a few things though to bring it up to date or if I was putting it together today.
1) replace the small inverter with a morningstar 300 watt inverter it's standby losses are in the less than a watt range and it's pure sign. Less than $300 and she could cut out the filter which uses power.
Replace the charge controller with a more modern mppt unit. On a day like that and 270 watts of solar she should be making over 150 watt per hour with an mppt instead of 12 she mentioned. I think if you were buying new I would suggest saving the money on the dc freezer and buying an efficient ac unit and add a panel for less moneythan the sundanzer. Other than that a great minimalist system.
Once upon a time off gridders would run all dc and either not have an inverter or use it infrequently due to inefficiencies and such. That is going back to the days of solar being in the 6$ per watt range. Also that was before inspections on off grid houses. It is possible to get a dc only house code compliant but it's not easy and usually not worth the hassle in this day and age. Some problems I have run into:
DC current arcs so by code in a house all cabling should be armored or in metal conduit. All standard switches are made for ac so you will have to source dc rated recepticle switches which I have not found. You can derate an ac switch but it's 90 percent (15 amp switch is now 1.5 amps) all plugs are ac rated only so again you need to source a dc plug... if it's a cabin or a trailer you can get away with it but if it's a full sized house that will be mortgaged or permitted you will have problems. Up to you if they are worth overcoming. I still run some dc loads and have rejigged my greenhouse for 12 volts only but we never go that route for clients.
Cheers, David Baillie
Agreed do you have a link to the charger's manual? It's obviously in the controller. I would also look into how those strings of 3 are wired. We are assuming they are wired for 36 volts going into an mppt charger but I've seen a lot of older systems with smaller panels that had the 12 volt panels wired in parallel into a pwm charger. Then they upgraded to an mppt and never re did the strings. I would take a volt meter to each string where it enters the charge controller and get more detail on the controller.
Cheers, David Baillie
It requires between 1.5 and 2 kw of electricity to generate 1kw worth of hydrogen in the best industrial plants which are far more efficient then a diy rig. That is without compression or storage losses which are large. Efficiency of charge controllers and batteries are greater then 80%. So Solar and battery storage come out the clear winner. A fun experiment nonetheless worthy of effort. I will not delve into the HHO pool as mentioned above suffice it to say I believe in the laws of physics.
Cheers, David B.
Great work up of your numbers first off...
Do you have a meter on your solar charge controller? I would want to verify production for sure.
Next I would see if I could track down the inverter efficiency curve. If you are in its bottom 10 percent of inverting capacity efficiency falls off. Hmm... maybe verify your battery specs to make sure the amperage quoted is the 20hr rating not the 100 hr rating. Battery companies tend to muddy up the waters some when it comes to numbers.
Those diaphragm pumps are pretty much the best at turning electricity into flow. Less power hungry then a jet pump but they wear out faster. If pumping from a tank you might even beat the flow rates listed since you have negative head. It won't run at the 15 amps listed probably closer to 10. So 120 watts of power per hour of operation plus losses due to battery efficiency and the peripheral timers you have to power. I would check out the ends on your irrigation system as well and see if I could not make it run gravity only. A lot of commercial gear assumes municipal water pressure so the end are a way to limit flow... not your problem.
As stated above you don't remove something that works. 130 seems steep. I see them come up in the classifieds locally for $50. I would not go for it I'd rather install evacuated tubes or the new solar collector heat pump setup. I might incorporate them into a ground array with storage so I could keep an eye on them. Good luck. Interested either way.
First off nice build.
I'll assume you are using well seasoned wood as a start. What comes to mind is your large steel tank is robbing too much heat and stunting your draft. I would start by adding a section of chimney but that won't help with your turn down ratio. Next would be to insulate your firebox up to the tubes. If it was me I would fire brick the whole bottom third. If I wanted to test that theory on the cheap I would cut up a 50 gallon barrel and lay it ridges down under your grate to create an insulating jacket around the fire the ridges will give you a 3/4 inch air gapl. Cut the largest section of curve that will fit through the door and bolt two sections together if necessary. You want to raise the fire's temperature to get a clean burn before you start drawing heat from it. As an added bonus it will act as a sacrificial liner to protect you main tank from corrosion from the fire.
My two cents.
Cheers, David Baillie
Hmm you will not accomplish your goal with solar electric heat for sure. As an example I was just asked to design a system to keep a single bucket of water from freezing. It's draw was 80 watts it's duty cycle was over 40 percent so I had 540 watts of solar a charge controller and 2 agm batteris in the mix for 1 bucket... it was not ideal but I had to work with their existing setup.
For your situation I would probably change the tank to one that is much more narrow and more vertical. Dig it into the ground as deep as is practical and get the bottom below the frost line and insulate the sides. Add a bubbler to move the warmer water to the top and keep things moving. Moving water will freeze at a lower temp. That setup is sometimes used here and can even include a water line buried below the frost line feeding it from below... it's more work then brute btu horsepower but cheaper and more low tech reliable.
Cheers, David Baillie
Personally, I love this idea, but I have also had some of the concerns voiced in this thread.
I would be much more comfortable with a solar roofing system that came in 4'x8' panels, with modular post fittings that were also the electrical connectors. I would love to see something engineered such that a malfunctioning panel was easy to diagnose, remove and swap out with another, while the malfunction was fixed and the panel set aside for the next malfunction.
And if you needed to ship your 4'x8' panel off to Tesla or wherever, or to take it in to a dealership for service, so be it. I think it's much more important that this sort of thing be designed for disassembly and repair rather than planned obsolescence.
I am also interested in the possibility of increased clean rainwater and dew capture from off of glass tiles. I doubt the quality would be any better than off of, say, a steel roof with a baked enamel coating, but stacking functions is a permacultural passtime. Roof cladding, electricity generation, and water capture? The execution is necessarily tricky, but that sounds like permaculture to me.
the replaceable panel is basically what we have now. A 72 cell panel is 40 inch by 78 in unit not 48 by 96 but about the limit for tempered glass. If you throw a micro inverter behind each one or an optimizer you can monitor them at a panel by panel level. The racking provides the air space needed so the things don't cook and loose efficiency. Most of the water flows right over our panels so could easily be caught by a standard eavestrough system. My personal opinion is there is a small market for the tesla tiles. There is already 3 flush mount systems on the market now which make the panels dissappear. Give solar a decade and you will be able to custom order entire array sections and have them craned into place perfectly matching the underlying roof flashed at the edges so no rails show through. Then don't forget that the building industry is already adapting. The age of the intersecting roof is over as energy rates climb. If it has a southern face it will be designed optimised for solar. All opinions and musings...
Dado Scooter wrote:It probably would be more viable in California with our solar incentives. Plus building is so expensive here anyway, and our tight housing market would make a solar roof almost non-consequential in terms of cost. Solar has become the norm, but unfortunately it's not for off-grid reasons. Everyone with solar is grid tied in my area and most installers will not deal with the disconnect switches required to charge a battery bank. So owners are still SOL if the grid is down.
Frankly I'm more interested in Tesla's battery bank development. I will be re-roofing sometime in the future so this will be interesting to watch.
You want to Google "ac coupling" in regards to using your net metered system during a blackout. Basically it's a second battery based inverter that can generate the ac signal required to make the normally grid connected panels provide power. It's a work around and costs you efficiency but they are getting more and more strict about high voltage dc strings on roofs. We don't even use central inverters for roofs anymore and have switched completely to micro inverters to bypass all the rapid shut down requirements. High voltage dc it a tricky thing.
Troy posted for a while on
It is the go to online gasification site to check out. Through there you can order Wayne Keith's book; one of the best there is on gasifiers for mobile applications. Also there are research papers and book pdfs as well as links to other sites and books. (Edit Troy does mention them in his presentation) from personal experience I would suggest you stay away from the fema listed above as it's a known engine killer. There is nothing wrong with the old books listed but check out what people are building now using materials and techniques from today first.
You say an ashley wood stove. Is it an EPA rated model? Does it have seals on the door allowing you to reduce the air intake with the use of a damper on the stove? If so it's designed to control burn through the use of those not by a damper in the chimney... hopefully I did not misunderstand your explanation.
Great system details! Based on what you have laid out your system is well designed although as you noted a little light on the solar.
When I look at your stats I come up with another idea. Can you split up your pressure tanks? If you have valves at each tank try shutting one off at night. Ideally you will have shortened the pump runtime in half and lessened the hit your l16's are taking when they are at their most weakened. If a scenario like that works I might consider doing away with one tank completely or some solenoid valves on tank 2 for nightime shutout controlled by a timer. Yes you will create more run cycles on the pump but will probably add life to the batteries to compensate and will have minimal cost for new gear. If you switch to Nife batteries remember that their instantaneous discharge rate is lower then lead so size accordingly.
Cheers, David Baillie
Nice video. The pans are a great way for using up scraps. I just harvest coals for my gasifiers and biochar the dust. I used to use containers but they wear out with time. Nice clean efficient setup. Here is my much messier rig. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LKZPTBA-boU Best regards, David Baillie
There are tried and true methods to accomplish most of what you want. If you have a stove you can sit one or 2 disconnected but full hot water heaters as close to the stove as possible. Also not uncommon is to stack as much brick as is practical on top of the stove and wrap the chimney on 3 sides that way. Anything to store heat in mass. A hot water heater stripped of insulation painted black near the wood stove hooked up to water and acting as a buffer for your hot water tank is another great way to store btu's. Stoves work best in the middle range of their burn profile not tampered down or roaring. Use it to your advantage and give that high heat somewhere to go and coast between fires. Same general idea as an RMH but using what you have within its design parameters...
Cheers, David Baillie
Hmm. First things first how was the crawl space heated before? Was there a heat vent down there? If there was you will need to do heat tape or an electric space heater. Buy a good one with a thermostat, a metal body and a safety shut off in case it tips. Why no electric space heaters? They are twice the price of gas heat to run but they are safe. If I was just waiting for the money to change the gas furnace that is what I would do. Do not risk the pipes and the flooding costs to save a few dollars. There is no magic bullet in the infrared heaters they can warm up things close to them faster but a watt is a watt so heating a whole room or house they would make no difference over a much less expensive electric heater.
Cheers and good luck. David B.
I'll take a stab at it. A chest freezer in the tropics assume a kw hr a day, blender depending on how much you use it 300 watt hr to 1kw hr. Add another for lights and charging. 3 kw hr per day. Start with that so to be safe 1 kw of panels, an mppt charger an inverter and battery storage for approx 2 days of storage. Outback makes a marine rated inverter that would probably do well in a high humidity environment. Probably an outback marine mppt charger. You can probably go with a simple pwm charge controller if the array is close and money tight. Dc breaker boxes if you can get them or fuses if they are more common. Lots of South American battery makers so the heavy stuff source locally. Start with good equipment on the important stuff if you are remote as it won't leave you stranded. It's not much of an answer but it might trigger some responses.
Best regards, David Baillie