David Baillie

pollinator
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since Jan 07, 2016
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kids dog books chicken earthworks cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
Builder, tinkered, gardener, charcoal gasification enthusiast.
North central Ontario
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Recent posts by David Baillie

Dustin Talley wrote:Hey guys, I thought this was a 24v panel but its overwhelming my charge controller is 30v plus. Can you tell me the voltage of this panel? Thanks!

Hi Dustin. as mentioned already to use those panels you will have to change your charge controller to an mppt unit. Most of them require 1.5 times the battery bank voltage coming from the panels to work best. So usually on a 24 volt system, a 30 amp mppt controller with a peak string voltage of 150 volts would use 3 of those panels hooked in series putting out say 8 amps but at 90-120 volts...  Mppt chargers allow for thinner wire from the array to the controller and much better charging on cloudy days. Panels that have voltages that match the battery voltage are usually reserved for smaller systems now a days.
2 days ago
To add to all the great advice above please do not try to convert any of the existing plugs to solar as the small inverters are what is called floating neutral and your house is bonded neutral. Use an extension cord to move power around as the existing outlets are not considered safe to run as floating neutral.
3 days ago

Andy Marshall wrote:

David Baillie wrote:

Andy Marshall wrote:Anybody have suggestions for a blower motor? The one Peterson recommends is only available in batches of 200. He says it must have at least 9" of water lift, but most blowers are rated in CFM. I am running a 500cc generator with a 1-liter hearth ratio configuration, so I assume I will need a secondary blower to make up for the lack of engine suction. In fact, I have found nothing that is rated in water lift. It's funny, going through the book it struck me that Ben has thought of everything. Yet finding this seemingly critical motor has been very difficult.

Thanks!
Andy

That's probably because Ben has sourced them and probably has them for sale. Most people I know start with either an air powered venturi or a series of marine bilge blowers hooked up in series Or a dimmer controlled vaccuum or a battery powered leaf blower...  Lots of work arounds. If you check out www.driveonwood.com you can quiz the brain trust there for free and read most posts. there is a paid section but if you are building an imbert style downdraft unit like Ben's style those threads are all on the free side...
Cheers,   David



Thanks David. I am building the unit in Ben's book. I don't think he still sells the blowers. I've been to driveonwood, but I'm still looking for specifics--either names/part numbers of the exact units people have had success with, or at least a number for CFM, RPM, lift, etc. Finding high-suction blowers in DC is tough. That said, since I'll be using my gasifier to power a genset, I don't see why I can just use an AC unit with 20 inches of lift.


Usually the problem Andy is that you might not have ac until you start the generator...  That said this one is ac. I used this one on my tractor Gasifier it was big time overkill but mine is charcoal. Canadian link...
 
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00M3ESNM8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
6 days ago

Andy Marshall wrote:Anybody have suggestions for a blower motor? The one Peterson recommends is only available in batches of 200. He says it must have at least 9" of water lift, but most blowers are rated in CFM. I am running a 500cc generator with a 1-liter hearth ratio configuration, so I assume I will need a secondary blower to make up for the lack of engine suction. In fact, I have found nothing that is rated in water lift. It's funny, going through the book it struck me that Ben has thought of everything. Yet finding this seemingly critical motor has been very difficult.

Thanks!
Andy

That's probably because Ben has sourced them and probably has them for sale. Most people I know start with either an air powered venturi or a series of marine bilge blowers hooked up in series Or a dimmer controlled vaccuum or a battery powered leaf blower...  Lots of work arounds. If you check out www.driveonwood.com you can quiz the brain trust there for free and read most posts. there is a paid section but if you are building an imbert style downdraft unit like Ben's style those threads are all on the free side...
Cheers,   David
6 days ago
Personally I found buying a dilapidated trailer was the way to go. Built in shower, kitchen, bedroom, storage, lights... dig a greywater trench for shower and kitchen drains but do the outhouse of course. Add a 200 dollar solar panel and controller and you have device charging as well. There is upfront expense but when not if the timeframe goes long you are not exposed to harsh elements. We are rebuilding this summer and will be using this template again except maybe this time better financed so a bigger trailer due to kids...
1 week ago

Tom and Jenna Moran wrote:Greetings. We’re thinking of “modernizing” our 20 year old solar powered house. Running 24 volt newer magnum inverter ( capable of 220v), and now using 4 Trojan ind 17(?) 6 volt monsters.
The present idea is to go with 2 Simpliphi 24 3.8  batteries which should theoretically run our place for over a day and not be fully discharged.  We’d keep the Trojans for a separate system.
does anyone have experience with these simpliys? Are they good? Are they worth spending 2200 each plus shipping) ($250) plus an expert to do final hookup so they’re warranty is good?
Thanks to all you experts out there! Tom


I worked for a company that installed a few systems and did the analysis of competing batteries. If I was to choose a lithium system I would use simpliphi. The cels they use have been tested for their recommended cycling. The only unknown I had was the BMS system was complex and Must function  for the batteries to work. Lead acid is low tech as you know and hard to kill. Cost wise? Not sure. If everything works as advertised the cost will be roughly 3 time lead acid and give you 4 to 5 times lifespan depending on how hard you cycle. I find lithium is best if your array and or generator is very large and you want to take advantage of lithiums ability to quick charge.
Cheers,  David
1 week ago
if they are 6 volt deepcycle wet batteries then they are most likely good. They probably wont last as long as they could have but water them, then give them 3 or 4 charged to 50 percent discharged cycles and they should bounce back. If not still worth $15 a core...
Good find! David
1 week ago
I would suggest a thicker wire from batteries to the inverter. Technically is should be 4 or 2 gauge... at least a multi strand 6 gauge to reduce losses through the wire. Where abouts are you? If you get cloudy periods of the year I would suggest you get an mppt charger so that you can run 2 strings of 2 panels each and get some charging on those cloudy days. As voiced above get more charger then you need right now. An mppt charger will also let you change the array without having to rewire to the batteries...
Cheers,  David
1 week ago

Chris Watson wrote:Is this an efficient idea? Is it affordable? I've seen premade units offered for sale at absurd prices. I'm wondering if I could do better and power an entire homestead.


Hi Chris, as mentioned above charcoal is a great way to get into the gasification game. I make charcoal while heating my house. you could assume that to replace 1 gallon of gasoline you would require roughly 11-13 lbs of charcoal. If you use a wood gasifier you could assume roughly 20 lbs of wood to replace 1 gallon of gasoline. Charcoal builds are much simpler but you must make the charcoal. If you have use for the heat it is the clear winner. If the amount of fuel you need is large a raw wood unit would be the way to go.  The best site online for anything woodgas related is www.driveonwood.com in the small engine section. Most of the content is free including many DIY plans. There is a premium side as well for the more advanced designs. I would suggest you start there. There are a lot of "look at me" videos on youtube with little in the way of follow up or engine longevity numbers.  I have over 40 hours on my charcoal gassifier tractor and about 40 on a generator conversion.
Cheers,  David
3 weeks ago
So denise, the place you want to install solar to, does it already have wiring for plugs, outlets etc?
1 month ago