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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 57 total)
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  • in reply to: off grid in australia #68676
    12vman
    Participant

    I believe that I gave you an invite a while back, Holly. But, there was no response..

    I can only guess that I frightened you when I said a 4WD was a necessity to gain access here.. LOL

    Thanks, Wretha.. Well said..  ;)

    in reply to: off grid in australia #68582
    12vman
    Participant

    Is there an area near your home that has any cell phone signal? If so, perhaps one of these would work..

    https://www.criterioncellular.com/repeaters/dual-band-repeater-cm.html

    With a couple of these..

    https://www.criterioncellular.com/antennas/grid-antenna.html

    The repeater usually operates on 5-9 V.D.C. @ 1-2 amps which can be easily operated on solar power in a remote location. (Possibly on top of a hill) Aim one antenna towards a signal source (Cell Tower) and the other antenna towards your house. Keep 2-3 hundred feet separation between the antennas for best results.

    Food for thought..

    in reply to: off grid in australia #68519
    12vman
    Participant

    Sure! Me and the wife would be glad to show you both how we do things around here..

    I’ve hosted Carla Emery and her husband twice here at my humble little abode in the woods. My living room has been full of curious folks like yourself..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carla_Emery

    Don’t expect a mansion because it’s not. Expect an unfinished shack that has become my lifetime experiment..

    windorsun (at) aol (dot) com

    in reply to: off grid in australia #68516
    12vman
    Participant

    I found a piece of property that no one else wanted. (~10 Ac.) It had set in a dormant estate account for 30+ years. Purchased it in ’89 for 2K. Found it through a realtor that was working for a bank to tie up loose ends. It was even land locked! (No access to road frontage) I worked with a neighbor to purchase a strip of land to make things legal. That 1/3 Ac. plus survey/paperwork cost more than the 10 Ac… lol

    Since then, I converted something that was totally worthless into 960 Sq. Ft. of heaven, totally solar powered, no well, (Collect cloud juice) No septic, (Composting system) Almost totally self sufficient! Wood heat and propane fridges/cook stove. (Could survive without the propane if needed)

    There’s more off grid folks in Pa. than you know. I’m aware of several through other forums. Some take advantage of the mountain streams for power..

    I’m in Ohio so I’m not too far away. Plan for a road trip! See a real off grid situation..

    in reply to: off grid in australia #68471
    12vman
    Participant

    Make a decision from the start on which way to go. I’ve been total 12 volt for over 15 yrs. and everything has been designed around it. It would be an expensive change for me at this point..

    I knew from the beginning  that I was going to be a 12 volt system and I built everything practically by myself. (Light Fixtures, Audio/Video, Security, ect..) I use propane fridges but I could convert to d.c. units. It’s one of my goals in the future but at the time that I was building, propane was easier. I was limited by money and I already had the fridges. I don’t need to invest yet because everything is working just fine..

    I like my D.C. system because it’s simple. (Charge Controller, Battery, Panels) Less to fail. If you become reliant on an inverter and it dies, it can upset your whole world. With a D.C. system, you’ll know if there are any issues long before a total loss of power happens. You have no need for an immediate back-up because you can still function as long as the battery holds out. If you have a back-up charging system for the battery, (Generator/Charger) you have more time to fix things with everything operating normally. If your battery goes down, well, you should have known that long before it actually happens..

    I do use one inverter. It’s a 400 watt unit and I use it on a few things that I didn’t design for or can’t run directly from the battery. (Soldering Iron, Hot Glue Gun, Charger for my Hand Power Tools) Beyond those few things, everything else is direct to the battery..

    I have the blessing of a technical background and my situation became a living experiment. I wanted to see what I could accomplish with a 12 v.d.c. system. I have everything I need, including a 74″ projection video system with surround sound. Had an issue with a ground loop problem between the DVD player (HDMI) and the projector operating from the same battery. I had to build a separate solar power system to operate the DVD/Sound System! It’s been a fun adventure..

    in reply to: tankless water heaters #68378
    12vman
    Participant

    https://www.eccotemp.com/eccotemp-l5-portable-tankless-water-heater/

    We use one of these. (And have a spare for less than $250) Plenty of heating flow for a shower. (1.5L) Ignition and safety controls use 2-“D” cells. Burner isn’t any bigger in BTU’s than a standard propane oven so no need to vent outside. Just add batteries and propane..

    2 quality “D” cells will last for over a year. I use a standard grill propane tank/regulator system for the propane supply. 2-3 showers/day and the tank will last ~3 months. No need to impose on the solar system..

    in reply to: New to the Forum #68364
    12vman
    Participant

    I find sometimes that if I don’t refresh after coming here, I miss things. If I don’t refresh, I still see yesterdays page! (And it will repeat the next day too!) After a refresh, things update to present. Must be my browser.. Idunno..

    in reply to: Thoreau Cabin Replica Build For $1000 #68250
    12vman
    Participant

    Good to see you, Lamar! And thanks for all that you do..

    in reply to: New to the Forum #68231
    12vman
    Participant

    I lived in a 20′ camper for 5 yrs. Heated my bath water on a kerosene heater. (Which also heated my camper in the winter) Carried 2 Marine Deep cell batteries in my work van, connected to the charging system of the van so they would charge while I was doing my daily things. Carried the batteries inside at night to operate a few little items. (TV, Lights, Car Stereo, Water Pump) Heck, I had it made!

    in reply to: Battery question, need advice #68210
    12vman
    Participant

    It will work fine the way they are. the only thing that I would change is the black wires (Negatives) of the inverter and the charge controller on the top two batteries in your diagram. (Just swap them) This will keep the resistance of the jumpers equal on both the charge and the discharge of the battery..

    By swapping the commons, this will “series” all of the jumpers (include the resistance of the jumpers) in the circuit and makes the charge/discharge more equal on all four batteries instead of pulling on one set and charging the other set directly. Leave the green and blue jumpers where they are..

    Good Job!!

    in reply to: Battery question, need advice #68212
    12vman
    Participant

    Very good! Just so you understand why this is important..

    in reply to: Battery question, need advice #68154
    12vman
    Participant

    I don’t ever recall it happening at night, one strange time it almost always happened (again only during the day) was when the fridge would shut OFF (not coming on) the inverter would shut off for 5-10 seconds then come back on, don’t know if that would give you a hint about something or not…

    Sounds like when the load leaves the inverter, it allows the battery voltage to rise above the inverter input threshold voltage before the controller can correct it down to the bulk voltage level. The inverter sees the voltage correction of the controller and resumes to normal..

    When the load is on the battery from the inverter, the controller is letting all of the current from the panels pass through unrestricted to assist the battery to supply the inverter. When the load is removed, the voltage can spike for a few nanoseconds until the controller responds and brings it back down to the adjusted bulk level. The inverter sees this spike and does what it’s designed to do..  Shut down if the input voltage goes too high..

    Worn out batteries will allow this to happen, being the internal resistance of the battery is higher (less resistance) and it would be easier for the panels to push the voltage up. If the battery provided a better load to the controller, the voltage spike wouldn’t be so extreme..

    I’d venture to say that your batteries are weak and you have the bulk voltage setting on the controller too near the input voltage threshold of the inverter..

    in reply to: Battery question, need advice #68156
    12vman
    Participant

    When you equalize, this bypasses the bulk setting and allows the voltage to go to the highest point of the controller, (uncontrolled) which can be near 15 volts! It will set at this level for an hour or two and return to the float setting..

    You must be careful when you equalize. Things can fry with the voltage being this high! You’re suggested to disconnect all loads and just let the controller work the battery alone..

    in reply to: Battery question, need advice #68158
    12vman
    Participant

    My first concern on those batteries would be.. “How old are they?”

    in reply to: Battery question, need advice #68147
    12vman
    Participant

    I’d go with 4. That would give you ~100 aHr. of usable reserve..

    They usually don’t care much on what type of core that you take to them. Just as long as its one for one and about the same size. It has more to do with recycling..

    I would set the bulk charge voltage at ~14.2/14.4 volts and the float at ~13.2/13.4 volts. This is where I have my settings now. (I have 8-Rolls Surrette S-600’s) When I had 4-6 volt golf cart batteries. I carefully watched the voltage and never let them go below 11.9 volts and I got 8 yrs. usage out of them. I didn’t change the settings on my controller when I changed the batteries out..

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 57 total)