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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 547 total)
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  • in reply to: Charge Controller Size? – Help Please #66784
    elnav
    Member

    There are several better choices in companies than Xantrex. In fact a manufacturer is not as good a source as a multi brand distributor for giving advice. Reason they will always attempt own company brand to your situation rather than giving you the best advice then fit a product to the application.

    South west Wind Products is one such example who have given me good advicce in the past. Xantrex has had several turn overs recently wherin their best people went elsewhere like Outback and Magnum. Independent distributors are your best bet for more impartial advice in both wind and solar power applications.

    elnav
    Member

    you are still talking about many cell interconnections made by hand if your description is understood correctly. Whole house systems typically require battery banks far larger than what you propose. Yes I am aware you can add to or extend your system in theory but in practical terms there are going to be limitations. Adding more connections will reduce mean time between failures to the point you would always be trouble shooting for problematic connections.

    Good systems should be capable of running months if not years between failures.

    elnav
    Member

    For limited current applications this would work but most OTG home need more power (amps) so this increases cost. Recycling AA size battery is not practical in most applications

    in reply to: Best 12v Cable for Indoor Lighting ? #66756
    elnav
    Member

    Phoneguy suggested using data cable. Don’t do it! I once ruined a data cable by letting it lay on floor too close to a heater source. Despite being a foot away the plastic inside melted and the wires shorted out. Temp rating and ampacity is important and using data cable for powering lights is not recommended. Even if it is low currrent LED

    in reply to: Looking for a 4″ solar fan for my greenhouse. #66741
    elnav
    Member

    suggest getting industrial AC fans of right size and flow then use small inverter to power it. maybe not quite as efficient but it works.

    in reply to: 12volt appliances #66730
    elnav
    Member

    I favour AC appliances because they are better built, mass produced and often found cheap in second hand and good will stores. Because the amps are so much less for a given wattage they do not burn out as quickly. AC can easily be converted by transformer whereas DC require expensive DC-DC converter.

    Yes you need batteries for quiet time but a small AC generator properly used will suffice in many cases and the cost of pettrol is comparable to paying for utilities. Sometime it is even less expensive if you are careful about power use.

    in reply to: Home made lead-acid batteries? #66726
    elnav
    Member

    There is an Australian nickle iron battery manufacture. Although not any cheaper these will last many decades. No accurate life span data is available because none have died a natural dealth as yet. All existing batteries were removed from service while still functional.

    in reply to: 12volt appliances #66725
    elnav
    Member

    Let me endorse dustoffer’s suggestion. I have been designing off-grid systems for a decade now. Except when you live in a small caravan going DC simply does not make sense.

    in reply to: 12v vacuum cleaner #66608
    elnav
    Member

    After blowing the fuse in a friends car by plugging in my laptop I discovered that the normal automotive standard for cigarette lighter outlets was 8 Amps max I took a look at the whole issue. As a marine electrician I must have installed dozen and dozens of such lighter outlets in boats but always wired them with fuses and wire gauge to handle 15 amps. The damn things are an anachronism dating back to WW2 when it was considered cool to light up while cruising down the road in your Studz Bearcat convertible looking like some Hollywood jerk in the movies.

    BTW crocodile clips are not really suited for lots of amps, they are just convenient. There is insufficient contact area for a solid connection to carry all that current. When I worked for Xantrex we included a note in our product manual to cut off the cig plug and hard wire even our 300 watt product. the reason being at 300 watts @12V the DC current is 30 amps. The only reason we made small inverters with a cigarette plug was because a major retailer demanded these be included as a condition of them buying the small inverters by the truck load.

    If you need plug-in convenience look for something called Anderson connectors. They make plugs rated as much as 200 amps DC and I have used them on 2000 watt inverters.

    For an over view of what is available in small dimension connectors look at companies like MOLEX industrial catalog then find an electronics resale outlet who can order in small quantities. In North America Digikey is an excellent source but I am not familiar with UK retailers.

    Sometimes you can improvise by cannibalizing old computers most of the connectors and pins used are good for 10A at 12V

    Now that even older models of computers found in the rubbish bin have USB ports you can often find wire assemblies with A suitable USB socket suitable for other projects. Look for desk top computes having USB sockets in front panels. these invariably plug into the mother board with a wire harness. If you intend to carry a full 10A best upgrade the wire size. A normal USB current rating is under 1 amps. Wires used in computers may be as small as #22 or the metric equivalent. The wires coming out of most power supplies are #18 and can carry 10A.

    in reply to: Different Style Off the Grid Living #66601
    elnav
    Member

    People have been living here for thousands of years, and thriving. Nearly everybody here has a vegetable patch and many put enough away for the winter in their root cellar. Smoked fish is rapidly being replaced with canned fish.

    We happened to pick a house in a bad location too close to the mountain. Further away out of the shadow things are much improved.

    So we are looking for a better location. Winds seem stronger closer to the mountain as are the steeply falling streams you can put a water turbine on.

    Its all a trade off.

    Natives have congregated here long before the white man arrived.

    in reply to: At it again #66595
    elnav
    Member

    My neighbor at the last place we lived was teaching himself how to make gun power (black) for use with his muzzle loader rifle. As a backup he was also learning how to use a cross bow.

    He used to work as a blacksmith and knew how to hammer weld two pieces of iron together.

    The trouble with stock piling stuff being it will deterioatee, corrode, or get stolen. But if you know how to make it from scratch, so much the better.

    in reply to: At it again #66599
    elnav
    Member

    Corrosion is oxidation, meaning oxygen from the air interacts with whatever is in contact with the air. Water certainly accelerates corrosion but is by no means the only agent. This could spawn a whole new off grid technology- hermetically sealed airless storage. < smile>

    Sailors have been seeking these solutions for centuries. While getting closer they still haven’t found the right solution.

    in reply to: Different Style Off the Grid Living #66596
    elnav
    Member

    Where does the self heating come from? Plants, animals, or solar collection?

    Are the backup wood stoves and gas heaters for when no sunshine. We have a problem being on the north side of a 6000 foot high mountain and January is often 30 days of cloud cover.

    How well does it insulate against -35 F for a week or so at a time.

    in reply to: Different Style Off the Grid Living #66590
    elnav
    Member

    Dustoffer have you got power consumption numbers for your inside gardens. My information is this cost plenty of power. Unless you have a high profit crop like BC Bud it is hard to finance.

    Locally at latitude 57 everybody has good crops (food) even outdoors.

    No financial reports on the good cash crops since too many are getting busted so everybody keeps mum.< smile>

    in reply to: At it again #66591
    elnav
    Member

    EXACTLY! Even if you are totally off-grid and self reliant how are you going to buy forged axe heads or shovels and other hand implements used in the vegetable patch.

    Unless you regress to a hunter gather society you need some form of technical development. Even my native friends who keep us well supplied with salmon, moose, mushrooms and wild berries travel there in their 4X4, use nylon nets and GPS to find the good locations. ?? off grid?? Oh yeah!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 547 total)