Jay Peters

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since Mar 20, 2013
Montreal, QC mostly. Developing in Southern New Brunswick, Canada.
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Recent posts by Jay Peters

Due to covid reality, mill breakdowns and fire warnings my trip is being postponed...

however I will still be trying to get this system together in preparation.

I've ordered one of these to do the thermostat control. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00G9HUKDA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

i did a bit of research and it seems like the temp ranger is 0-47 f which should also make is suitable for running the freezer as a fridge if I wish.

also probably gonna add a solar panel and charge controller.
1 month ago
Thanks Jay - that seems like a great strategy to extend the OFF portion of the duty cycle.

I wonder if where ocean water sits in terms of density as compared to the brine your using. I will have access to lots of that ! Either way, it sounds like water of any density greater than unsalted water would be a benefit, whether it crosses the threshold your speaking of or not (as compared to regular ice as ballast I mean)


1 month ago
That looks right, though the wiring diagram is a tad confusing looking like its connecting 12VDC power supply input to 110v supply for Heat/cooling - i'm assuming though  the outputs are simply relays and are rated for AC/DC up to 110v /10A.

If that's what it does, it would work fine. I wonder what IT draws ? Have to look more after work
1 month ago
great thoughts all - thanks as ever.

The Freezer is currently on the medium setting, and has quite a bit of ballast in it right now. Its not being asked to freeze anything in these experiments, just to keep things frozen ! That would be the goal throughout I think. If I need to make Ice, that can be done on the genny while using tools.

Re: The insulation/physical design of the freezer. Thanks for the info - I always wondered with their not being any coils on the exterior like a fridge. Instead I will endeavor to just keep the thing in a cool shady spot, Maybe get some foam as an inside lid.

Re: Timer - that was my first thought, but I wasn't sure where to find a timer that would allow multiple short on/offs over the course of the day and run off 12v (easily and quickly - don't have much time to get this together). But I will investigate further.

Re: Thermostat I'll have to keep looking - maybe a there's a programmable 12v thermostat available that allows for N/C or N/O. Or a passive one that works in reverse. BRAINWAVE : I suppose I could always use a 12v Normally Closed relay to accomplish this, though that adds a small draw to the battery as well.

Something like this > Thermostat contact closes when temp drops below X (normally turning on a heating element > This will instead trigger the Relay to OPEN turning OFF the Inverter. When the temp rises above X, the opposite would be true. The trick is again finding a thermostat that goes into the negative temps


Re: Fast Charging I have an automotive charger that does up to 10 or 12A  - I will see how fast that charges the set-up and perhaps just use that instead if needed.

I do think it will be useful to have the Inverter shut down automatically (with an overide for lights or whatever in the evening - this would probably just take the form of me unplugging the phone cord *remote*) as it is certainly still drawing some current. Unfortunately I can't say how much right now without my meter. (Also, its a modified Sine Wave, so stepped, not a Pure Sine wave unit, so its a bit crappier, but also in theory a bit more efficient)

After writing this last night I had a look at some cheap solar stuff. Given that the load is light, maybe it would be worth it for me to buy a "cheap" package. If I'm going to spend more money I would rather do so on a panel/charge controller than a battery. When its time to buy batteries I will probably try to buy a a bank (where the on I have has already been used a bit it would risk unbalancing a bank and always draining first).

Comme ca :

https://addison-electronique.com/en/products/battery-s-chargers/ono-solar-module/

or piece something together ...

https://addison-electronique.com/en/products/battery-s-chargers/solar-charge-controller-solum-15-15e/

https://addison-electronique.com/en/products/battery-s-chargers/130-watts-polycrystalline-solar-panel-for-12v-system/


Next steps :
1) Try turning the thing off for a period of time and monitoring the Temp...I wish I had a temp stick for that ! (they're cool - I use them at work...thermometer/humidity reading that connects to a network and shows you analytics via web app)
2) See what the inverter is actually drawing with "no" load.
3) Test a "quick charge" set-up
4) Research Timers and Thermostats and relays
1 month ago
Hi Mega Brain,

I'm hitting the woods in a few weeks and I want to bring my wee freezer. Its a lil danby I got second hand for 60$ a few years ago when I started buying meat farm direct. I keep it in my back shed, winter and summer. Screw the fridge, but I can't live without a freezer...especially since I will be in quarantine for 2 weeks after arriving at said woods. Won't be popping out to the farmers market on the weekend...gotta come prepared.

We will have a generator for tools (...mostly skillsaw, grinder, heavy duty drill...this is a building trip) but  I hate the idea of running it constantly.

I have a blue top 55Ah 12v battery from work..it was bought for a project, didn't get used, wasn't being maintained so I went on mission and took it to maintain (and use) until we need it at work again. Its been on a trickle charger the past 8 months and occasionally used with a cheap small inverter to run my internet stuff when the powers been out.


My idea was to upgrade the inverter, which I just did with another cheapish 1500w (3000w peak) modified sine wave inverter (just a motomaster...was on sale) and charge the battery off the generator whenever we're using tools using the same lil charger.


I've been testing it with the freezer the past couple days...here is what i've found.

-the inverter shuts down when the battery voltage drops below 12v, so no worry about over discharging.

-the inverter draw an unspecified amount somewhere under 2amps which is a lot of loss ! That's from the documentation which does not specify at what voltage that current is drawn and I can't easily measure it right now my contactless meter is at work, where covid prohibits me to go !

-the readout on the inverter reads 80watts when the freezer is actually running.

-I can run the freezer, with it doing its thing for about 6 hours on a full battery before the battery drop to just under 12v under the load

-It takes at least 7 hours on the wee charger to pump the battery back up to full.

At this rate, I will have to run the generator more than more than 1/2 of the time and won't be able to get through a full night without it IF i want this freezer to be a freezer.

Then I thought...

What if the inverter and freezer are ONLY on during when the freezer pump has to kick in? I estimate the duty cycle of the freezer to something like 10% actually running, 90% just chilling ( ) ...  The inverter came with a contact closure remote on/off switch on a phone cord. I was thinking I could wire a phone cord to a passive thermostat, inside the freezer somehow...but in reverse...so that everytime it goes OVER x degrees the thing would turn on as opposed to off (I assume the switch is a closed = ON open = OFF...need to look closer)

I'm betting that given the mad waste of the inverter itself, as well as whatever is consumed by the freezer in standby (not pumping) i could likely save a lot of energy this way, and gains would total least 30% of the battery charge which would get me through 8 ish hours, or a full night sans generator. I would hope that I can actually take it to 200% for 12 hours, and not have to run the battery down that low ever.

I'm also thinking that I could up the ante on the insulation. I could add 2" of foamboard inside...it would reduce capacity but there would definitely be gains in terms of performance.

What if i take that a step further and throw a bunch of hay bales around and on top the thing ? I know that these things should produce heat when they do their thing, but this one never seems to be warm on the outside.

If a combo of these ideas doesn't give me a 200% improvement in efficiency my next best option is probably to just buy a better battery but as per the title of the thread, quick n dirty's the game here, so that would not ne ideal right now. I also realize a few hundred watts of panels would go a long way to keeping the battery topped off as well, but that's more expense not just for panels, but charge controller etc. Maybe money is better spent on some kind of quicker charger for the battery, though it seems debatable whether a quicker charge is good for a lead acid battery (10A for instance - they exist though, and compared to another battery, they're pretty affordable).

any thoughts on this ?

anybody every do the thermostat in the freezer move before ?

thanks!


1 month ago
200 yeas is hard to find examples. The vernacular is rare in original shape at all, even the newer instances, but it generally looks like timber frame, thick plank sheathing (1-1/2" or sometimes more) pine or cedar siding either as shakes or clapboards. Interior would be plaster with horse hair over slats creating an air gap in between. Sometimes these gaps were stuffed with buckwheat (i remember being told it was grain, but I'm thinking it was probably actually the straw but don't actually know)..

All buildings that needed to be heated would have had uninsulated attics and the cedar shingles would have have often been attached to slats (probably the wrong word here) again, meaning the roof was not completely sheathed.

The roof pitch was always steep on the main home though often the wood/store/hay sheds etc. built off the back had a gentler pitch.

Theres a great historical village that i went to a bunch as a kid and a few times as an adult called Kings Landing not far. A family friend used to be the blacksmith way back. They have a working overshot waterwheel powered flour mill (grinding mostly buckwheat apparently) and I think theres a wood turning shop in there too with a million straps turning machines around the workshop, attached to the main power source and geared up.

(ASIDE)

The vernacular here in Montreal is quite different and very weird and interesting. I'd like to try and break it down at some point in a post. I live in a building that was built in 1913 and is largely original. Just got new windows and doors in the past 3 years (!). I initially thought the electrical was added to replace gas fixtures, but I'm no longer sure. Montreal Light was founded in 1901... The structure is very odd...but that's for another post ! I will say that these buildings do have tar paper over the sheathing as well, which you will find brittle but intact over the weird 2-3x10-12 balloon/timber frame/sheathing combo under a single mostly non structural facade of brick or stone.If it sounds crazy...its cuz it is (as far as i can tell).

(ASIDE COMPLETE)
2 months ago
Indeed - Although I know that tarpaper or whatever you want to call is not exactly wholesome it seems the best option for keeping things dry and not allowing condensation to build up. Indeed i'm trying to keep it as 'natural' and particularly plastic and adhesive free as possible. Even the rockwool is a compromise, but its one I don't feel particularly bad about and it has the properties i'm looking for - I'd prefer to source the material locally, hence the interest in woodchip slip.

cheers

j
2 months ago
Ryan, Julie - The WHOLE plan originally involved a deck, a screened in outdoor kitchen/ relax away from the bugs space, and  uninsulated, built in a day one room tiny cabin / shed to sleep in. The goal would have been to start with this, then get started on the structure we're talking about here. However the plans have changed (may change again given the situation) and I think we will stick to just the deck, kitchen, "shed" this season if we can get down at all.

The greater plan includes a pole structure but given the time it takes to get to the site from where we live full-time (9 hours) we want to start by making a comfortable living space and build out from there. I also hope to use the lumber in site for the majority of the infrastructure, as there is lots, and it great. But I need to be there to make that happen, whether myself, or by hiring in a guy with a mill. Though I'd like to put a mill under that pole structure in short order !

SO yes, I agree ! And as I said we will reduce the scope of this years plans (even though I *may* end up working online and therefore be able to stay longer) and delete the 500sq/ft cabin this year in favour of insulating the tiny cabin/ shed, using the principles discussed previously in this thread.

Rufus - I've seen much the same in my neck of the woods. I'm not super concerned about the roof other than making sure condensation doesn't build up anywhere it can't be expelled naturally. All the weather here. Sometime very cold, lots of rain and snowfall, ice, lots of wind seasonally. Very common to get hurricane remnants and microbursts giving us heavy horizontal rain. The traditional siding is clapboard or cedar shingles directly over tar paper and mostly not tongue and groove sheathing. Being near the Atlantic, but not right on it makes for some interesting stuff. One thing that's positive is that it gets cold enough that snow sticks around mostly, not living in perpetual slush or snow/rain but it also doesn't stay damn cold for too too long.

j

2 months ago
Thanks Julie - Good point regarding pitch.

Trying to keep it steep enough to avoid a product such as water and ice shield, however this experiment may prove to me that water and ice shield is worth the costs.

planned pitch is 12/12.
2 months ago
Hi Dave,

Interesting idea and I’m definitely into checking out the info but ultimately the time constraints I have will not allow me to build this way, this time.

Cheers
j
2 months ago