Need GT Braintrust to tell me I am either right or wrong... [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Need GT Braintrust to tell me I am either right or wrong...


Glock20 10mm
10-17-2012, 15:35
This is a serious question that I need to find an answer to. As most of you know I live off grid, no PG&E available (and at $40,000.00 just to connect... will never be available on our property) and I have a nice solar array and battery set up that is working great. BUT we are now moving into the winter months which as we all know means shorter days (less time to recharge via sun) and cloudy days (really screwed on production!).

So I have been looking at various ideas for power generation using what I have readily available or at least affordable to procure and install. Wind is a great alternative where I live... but that's an additional $2,000.00 - 2,500.00 I don't have and that's a conservative estimate. Anyhow we just installed a wood stove in our cabin (removing the propane heater we had... hallelujah for that!!!) and as I was finishing the brick work for thermal retention and radiation... I thought, there has to be a way to produce power when I am burning wood.

And lo and behold this thread appeared today --> http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1448153

So that started me on a path of looking about and this is what I found:

http://www.shop.customthermoelectric.com/1261G-7L31-24CX1-Power-Generation-Module-1261G-7L31-24CX1.htm

So my question is this, according to my math (which sucks most times) if I get 8 of these and wire them in series I should be able to produce a theoretical 31.2V @ 4.9A @ 152.8W of power, which I could then run through a charge controller to keep my batteries charged during the cold nights and short days. So with the stove running at peak heating capacity say for 5 hours of the day, I would be able to produce 764wH at 24.5AH of DC power that could be put back into my battery array.

Is my math right based on the specs in the link? And do you think I can do this, in other words do you think it will work? I really hope so, because it would mean I could build a thermal power plant for less than half of a wind turbine and that I could control operations at my will instead of relying on mother nature.

I have at my disposal 77 acres of land with plenty of wood for fuel (hell the wind knocks enough crap down from the trees that I don't even need to run a chain saw! And I could very easily build a barrel stove outside to do the same thing...

Well?

Glock20 10mm
10-17-2012, 17:37
Bumppp

CincyRed
10-17-2012, 17:57
Don't know about your calculations, but with a little search found this company.

http://tegpower.com/

GlockinNJ
10-17-2012, 18:07
I have no idea but sure hope you keep that cute baby warm and toasty this winter.

Hell, maybe global warming will solve your heating problems!

Glock20 10mm
10-17-2012, 18:16
I have no idea but sure hope you keep that cute baby warm and toasty this winter.

Hell, maybe global warming will solve your heating problems!

Heating is not the problem... power generation is. AS for stinky... she's like her ol' man, likes it cold.

Gunhaver
10-17-2012, 19:20
That's seriously cool if it can work and I see no reason why it wouldn't unless the generator chips have a short enough life that the replacement rate makes it cost prohibitive. I don't know about your numbers but you might want to take your questions over to Candlepower forums. There are some guys over there that will point out things you never thought of.

I wonder what the power output is if they were painted black and in full sun compared to a solar panel of the same surface area. If you could devise some way to expose the same cells you have on your furnace to something black and in the sunlight you should be able to pull power from them in the summer with no fires going and get double use from them.

DaneA
10-17-2012, 19:28
If I'm understanding that thing right the only problem I could see is burning them up. I have had my wood stove go 800 degrees. The 572 degrees that these things max out at could be a problem depending on where you place them.

ithaca_deerslayer
10-17-2012, 19:33
Interesting ideas.
Above my skill level.

Doesn't most our electricity come from burning stuff?

Dennis in MA
10-17-2012, 20:17
Th=300celcius?

I assume that means they put out that power at 300 Celsius. What's that? 550 degrees? Can you get them that hot?



And with this thread title, I thought this was going to be a "My wife says that" You're wrong! Lol

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 10:48
If I'm understanding that thing right the only problem I could see is burning them up. I have had my wood stove go 800 degrees. The 572 degrees that these things max out at could be a problem depending on where you place them.

I thought of that and realized I could use the chimney stack just outside the roof penetration. The temp there is around 475F. So I would have at least a 430F difference in temp which should cause the TEGS to generate enough voltage to power my charge controller. I have a 24VDC system so in order to effectively power the charge controllers to charge the batteries I have to hit a minimum of 28VDC, 32 is optimal and my panels are rated at 31.8VDC.

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 10:50
Interesting ideas.
Above my skill level.

Doesn't most our electricity come from burning stuff?

Yeah, but the process used in main power plants it to burn a fuel source, flash water to steam then turn a turbine which then drives the generators, or drive an engine to turn a generator.

This idea is to take the waste heat and put it to use which by doing so increases your efficiency and Watts per Therm output.

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 10:55
Th=300celcius?

I assume that means they put out that power at 300 Celsius. What's that? 550 degrees? Can you get them that hot?



And with this thread title, I thought this was going to be a "My wife says that" You're wrong! Lol

LOL!! The TEGS I have found use ceramic shielding so the 300C is their peak temp. They start producing power as soon as there is a significant temperature difference.

I found a youtube video where a guy made his own TEG out of common metals around the house. As soon as I find that vid I will post it, until then check this one out!

Copper Oxide Thermoelectric Generator Can Light LED - YouTube

Dennis in MA
10-18-2012, 11:01
There was a kid in HS that made one of those for his science fair project. The teach said that if you had the $ for the metal, you could drill down to warmer rock in the earth's crust and run electricity on that. . . but the cost of metal was cost prohibitive.

M&P15T
10-18-2012, 11:01
I don't get it.

You had propane, there has to be an easier and cheaper way to get power using propane.


Ask Hank Hill.

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 11:04
25 Watt Thermoelectric Generator in Action! - YouTube

Thermoelectric Power Generation On Wood Stove - YouTube

Thermoelectric power generation - thermoelectric power generator - YouTube

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 11:07
I don't get it.

You had propane, there has to be an easier and cheaper way to get power using propane.


Ask Hank Hill.

That's a resource that costs money each time I have to fill the tanks. The goal is to get all power derived from fuel sources on the land and solar. Where I live earthquakes are a reality, and if we get a big one we may be stuck on the mountain for a bit... the ability to keep my batteries charged (making an assumption that the panels are damaged) is paramount as my fridge and deep freeze run off them.

I want to get away from being dependent on any infrastructure I do not have direct control over.

M&P15T
10-18-2012, 11:33
That's a resource that costs money each time I have to fill the tanks. The goal is to get all power derived from fuel sources on the land and solar. Where I live earthquakes are a reality, and if we get a big one we may be stuck on the mountain for a bit... the ability to keep my batteries charged (making an assumption that the panels are damaged) is paramount as my fridge and deep freeze run off them.

I want to get away from being dependent on any infrastructure I do not have direct control over.

Good luck with that.

Just consider what you're spending and giving up to have the illusion of control. I would look at having back ups, in case of emergency, instead of trying to "live off the grid".

But it's your call.

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 11:40
Here is the video I found... I think I might be able to build this on a larger scale... put the center in a 55gal drum for heat with the ends protruding outside. That would give me an excellent thermal difference...

thermal electric generator home made - YouTube

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 11:43
Good luck with that.

Just consider what you're spending and giving up to have the illusion of control. I would look at having back ups, in case of emergency, instead of trying to "live off the grid".

But it's your call.

In the long run I am spending less. The solar panels will have paid for themselves in 4.5 years. The batteries in about the same time. The idea of being independent is in my core. So far living off grid there have been a few bumps but nothing I couldn't get past. A simple life makes for... less stress and just a more simple way of life.

Meant to add, that we sell water off our property to a local delivery service. It costs us money to pump that water out of the ground, that's less profit for us in the long run. If I can get one of these systems up and running and producing enough power I won't need the generator to pump which means more money in our pockets.

There are many incentives for me to make this happen... and I am stubborn enough to do it just to prove it can be done.

Mayhem like Me
10-18-2012, 14:17
That's a resource that costs money each time I have to fill the tanks. The goal is to get all power derived from fuel sources on the land and solar. Where I live earthquakes are a reality, and if we get a big one we may be stuck on the mountain for a bit... the ability to keep my batteries charged (making an assumption that the panels are damaged) is paramount as my fridge and deep freeze run off them.

I want to get away from being dependent on any infrastructure I do not have direct control over.

First off I commend you for that , second do you have running water on your property that could power a turbine?

Mayhem like Me
10-18-2012, 14:26
A firend of mine has one from these folks that powers his house on a mountain stream.
http://www.microhydropower.com/

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 15:14
First off I commend you for that , second do you have running water on your property that could power a turbine?

This is a yes no question. During the winter we do get running water but it's insufficient for hydro (I already checked) BUT we do pump water to storage tanks from the upper property (where the well is) down to the tanks which are 3800 feet away and a 600 foot elevation drop.

We have discussed putting a micro hydro unit in the pipe line but in order for it to provide a real gain we have to eliminate the use of fuel derived power to pump. So there is the dilemma. NOW during certain times of the year, we can siphon the well into the tanks, but that's not an option until the well recovers. Right now it's down around the 86ft mark so no way we can siphon. Once we get some rains and our well recovers above 27ft, we can siphon with no need to run the generator.

But that won't happen until close to spring time.

norm357
10-18-2012, 15:44
I don't have an answer for you, but I sure would like to see pictures of your place.

Rinspeed
10-18-2012, 16:20
I don't have an answer for you, but I sure would like to see pictures of your place.





Same here.

FPS
10-18-2012, 16:21
No idea but are you trying to make a large version of this thing?

http://biolitestove.com/

.

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 16:32
No idea but are you trying to make a large version of this thing?

http://biolitestove.com/

.

Yup... something that I can use to charge my 24VDC battery arrays with. I have some stuff on the property that I can use in an ad-hoc test, if I have time I will see if I can run a demo tonight. The idea comes from one of the videos I posted earlier.

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 16:42
This is down by the cabin we are living in while we sloooooly build a house...

http://i735.photobucket.com/albums/ww351/AmericanScotsman/2012-04-22_19-42-01_518.jpg

From the mailbox looking down onto the house we are building...
http://i735.photobucket.com/albums/ww351/AmericanScotsman/2012-03-18_09-15-04_400.jpg

Down by the cabin which is about 60ft to my left in this photo... the trees to my right? I have shot at least 8 gray squirrels for dinner out of them.
http://i735.photobucket.com/albums/ww351/AmericanScotsman/2012-01-01_16-02-55_194.jpg

I don't have many other photos... although I can look around.

Glock20 10mm
10-18-2012, 16:50
Here are the solar panels currently in use to power our cabin, the building (I call it the barn) is a storage shed that sits between the house and the cabin, the great thing is you can't see it from the road!
http://i735.photobucket.com/albums/ww351/AmericanScotsman/DSC00689.jpg

The back side of our tiny cabin, this is the addition when we started. It's my step-sons room plus a heating room.
http://i735.photobucket.com/albums/ww351/AmericanScotsman/DSC00661.jpg

The view out of our bedroom window...
http://i735.photobucket.com/albums/ww351/AmericanScotsman/2012-08-29_16-58-49_989.jpg

CincyRed
10-18-2012, 19:35
... the trees to my right? I have shot at least 8 gray squirrels for dinner out of them.

I heard somewhere that squirrels were high in cholesterol.:supergrin:

Slackinoff
10-18-2012, 19:44
Thanks for the pictures. Looks like a nice place to live.

CincyRed
10-18-2012, 20:05
On a serious note, I also appreciate the pictures and am a little jealous that you can even come up with an option to be self sufficient.


Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine

Glock20 10mm
10-19-2012, 10:29
On a serious note, I also appreciate the pictures and am a little jealous that you can even come up with an option to be self sufficient.


Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine

It's been my dream since I was a boy. Took a while but I finally found the right combination and now I am making my dream a reality. Not as fast as I would like but I am working on it.

Glock20 10mm
10-19-2012, 11:28
I heard somewhere that squirrels were high in cholesterol.:supergrin:

Well darn... we are having squirrel for dinner tonight!

janice6
10-19-2012, 11:28
The operation of these thermoelectric generators depends on the difference in temperature between the two surfaces.

The hotter you can get one side, and the cooler you can get the other side, will determine the amount of power you can get from the generator.

The problem with this is getting the maximum temperature differential between the two sides. This means you have a relatively small surface in which to concentrate the heat, due to the relatively small area of the generator, and a comparable, relatively small surface to cool down (the other side of the generator).

The problem is the small surfaces. It depends on the method you have, to pull the heat out of the "cold side", and the method you have, to put heat into the "hot side".

These surfaces are first of all small in area, and you need a very efficient method of coupling a large area heat source, into the small surface area of the generator. Then you have to remember that these generators are very thin and the problem is how to efficiently pull the heat from the cool side which has a small area, and dump it either into the air, or cooling liquid.

This is the problem. Efficient heat transfer either into, or out of the device.

If you try to cool with air flow, you need a very large heat sink with good air flow through it. If the fins are close together it will be difficult to get high air flow due to the turbulence between the fins.

If the fins are too far apart (to get good air flow or velocity, to remove more heat) then the efficient thermal conduction surface area to the air is reduced, because of less fin surface area to couple to the air.

If the heat sink is very large, both heat into and out of the device, They require large areas, then the radiation from the hot air sink across to the cold air sink (think of a sandwich with a small cracker inside), may bypass the generator by radiation (bread to bread around the cracker) and the generator efficiency is less, because the cold sink is now hotter. Remember, temperature differential is paramount.

Suggestion:
I would use Aluminum to couple the heat into the generator. Liquid will have a higher heat capacity than air and conduction in a smaller area is more reasonable to couple the heat out of the generator. Then put in some kind of radiator to get rid of the heat from the liquid.

I cannot tell you what specifics of the liquids are to be, due to the very high temperatures and the cost of available coolants. You are above boiling water temperatures.

Antifreeze will raise the boiling point 3 degrees for every pound of temperature, but you are limited by the pressure you can sustain, cheaply.

I know I haven't solved any of your problems, however, I have pointed out the issues you asked about.

If it were easy and cheap, everyone would do it.

Good luck.

Glock20 10mm
10-19-2012, 12:06
Thanks Janice... for the cooling medium I have a reservoir that I was going to put a 50/50 mix of water anti-freeze in and pipe it through either a thin copper tube or aluminum tubing on the cold side, I plan to set it up so that it will pump by thermal action. The hot side would be centered over a fire that would be contained within a 55G drum. For added shielding of hot and cold I have (darn can't think of the correct name off the top of my head...) thermal board that will be placed so I can eliminate heat gain via radiant heat off the drum.

Since the entire contraption will be outside I will have a good source of cool air to work with as well. You definitely bring up valid points that I am working on now. In my original question I was thinking about using several ready made elements in series to generate an estimated 31VDC. But that's a pretty expensive test... so after viewing the video where a fellow made a small TEG with dissimilar metals I got the idea to scale that up to see if I can increase voltage based on larger conductors.

I found some copper and stainless flat bar, they are about 1/8" thick and 1" wide and 6' long. With the dimensions I have and the idea of how to install them I believe it should work. For me the truth will be revealed in the test. Which I am hoping I can get time this weekend to perform. If I do I will take some photos and maybe a short vid of my success / failure for GT peer review. I know what my target voltage is... now to see if I can actually get there easily and reliably.

janice6
10-19-2012, 12:15
Thanks Janice... for the cooling medium I have a reservoir that I was going to put a 50/50 mix of water anti-freeze in and pipe it through either a thin copper tube or aluminum tubing on the cold side, I plan to set it up so that it will pump by thermal action. The hot side would be centered over a fire that would be contained within a 55G drum. For added shielding of hot and cold I have (darn can't think of the correct name off the top of my head...) thermal board that will be placed so I can eliminate heat gain via radiant heat off the drum.

Since the entire contraption will be outside I will have a good source of cool air to work with as well. You definitely bring up valid points that I am working on now. In my original question I was thinking about using several ready made elements in series to generate an estimated 31VDC. But that's a pretty expensive test... so after viewing the video where a fellow made a small TEG with dissimilar metals I got the idea to scale that up to see if I can increase voltage based on larger conductors.

I found some copper and stainless flat bar, they are about 1/8" thick and 1" wide and 6' long. With the dimensions I have and the idea of how to install them I believe it should work. For me the truth will be revealed in the test. Which I am hoping I can get time this weekend to perform. If I do I will take some photos and maybe a short vid of my success / failure for GT peer review. I know what my target voltage is... now to see if I can actually get there easily and reliably.


I sincerely wish you success. I believe nothing is gained without trying. You are on the right track.

Remember, the differential you will see is whatever the heat input is and the boiling temperature of the output. Just antifreeze will stop corossion but will not help raise the boiling point without inreasing its pressure.

You will find some information relating the output power, efficiency of thermal transfer and temperature differential. these will probably be ideal, and only a goal to shoot for, not actually attainable.

Some preliminary background:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_cooling

arclight610
10-19-2012, 12:28
Have you looked into running a generator using a wood gassifier?

IndyGunFreak
10-19-2012, 12:54
Wind (while money might be an issue) sounds like the most suitable solution to me. It's year round.. if the windmill is high enough, it will always be providing electricity.

Interesting situation.

Glock20 10mm
10-19-2012, 13:00
Wind (while money might be an issue) sounds like the most suitable solution to me. It's year round.. if the windmill is high enough, it will always be providing electricity.

Interesting situation.

Wind for us is actually seasonal. We have 3-4 months of excellent wind potential, but we also have an issue that where we are located we can and do get winds that will gust up to and over 80MPH, which could be very hazardous to small scale wind turbines.

During the summer, solar is king for us. And the array I have installed coupled with the batteries works great. The key issue is right now I don't have any extra $$$ to invest into a wind turbine, tower and all the ancillary equipment needed to keep the wind turbine on our property during high winds.

Originally I was going the wind route... but $$$ dried up so I have to look at alternative solutions for the interim.

Glock20 10mm
10-19-2012, 13:09
Have you looked into running a generator using a wood gassifier?

I have looked into it and it's on the table, but there are a few things against it right now:

1. Wife doesn't want to hear the generator, so I have to address the exhaust noise.

2. For it to function properly and efficiently the source wood needs to be dry, very dry and small. That requires a lot of labor time I don't have.

3. I can't seem to find a really good set of DIY blue prints that include materials used. I have seen a lot of YouTube videos, and the ones I see are made by guys that have welding equipment (see item 4) and experience.

4. I don't have welding equipment and the two guys I know that do are so busy they can't loan it to me or allow me time on it.

The wood gasifier is a great idea and my research shows that it's been around since 1798 when it was discovered you could produce a combustible gas by burning wood hot enough. It didn't really catch on for a while as there was no real need for it. It wasn't until WWII when Europe was suffering under fuel shortages that the wood gasifier made it's big entrance into society.

Once the war was over and gas started flowing again it disappeared. Then during the 1970's oil embargo it started to make a come back here in the United States, but it's been kind of like Linux, relegated to a very small niche and kept rather obscure to all but a few.

It may turn out that I will end up making the wood gasifier and using the proteolytic process heat to operate a TEG simultaneously. But for now I am looking at options that I can pursue within my tool and skill range.

Glock20 10mm
10-19-2012, 16:38
The other thing I think that will help is the large version I will build soon, will be operated mostly during rainy / cloudy weather so that there will also assist with removing heat. These are only foul weather items, at least that is my plan!

Green_Manelishi
10-19-2012, 17:35
the ability to keep my batteries charged (making an assumption that the panels are damaged) is paramount as my fridge and deep freeze run off them.


Depending on where you live, winter's deep freeze will provide the refrigeration without electricity.

Glock20 10mm
10-19-2012, 17:36
Depending on where you live, winter's deep freeze will provide the refrigeration without electricity.

We get snow occasionally and it freezes once in a while. But our winters are mild compared to other places.

volky
10-19-2012, 17:49
Hold on!!!! Putting them in series will increase the voltage, BUT THE POWER OUTPUT will still only be 19watts/4.9 amps. Putting them in parallel WILL increase the current but not the voltage.

norm357
10-19-2012, 17:56
On a serious note, I also appreciate the pictures and am a little jealous that you can even come up with an option to be self sufficient.


Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine


This!

I hope to do the same some day!

DustyJacket
10-19-2012, 18:12
In addition to finding more power sources (OP) you can try reducing your usage.

Run a 12-volt system through your abode and put in automotive LEDs for casual lighting and stuff. Also 12-volt fans.

Inverting to 110-volts wastes some power. And 110-volt bulbs use a lot.

Can you tilt your panels to get better efficiency as the sun moves lower?

A successful off-grid power system is a mix - not all solar; not all wind, etc.

Glock20 10mm
10-19-2012, 19:41
In addition to finding more power sources (OP) you can try reducing your usage.

Run a 12-volt system through your abode and put in automotive LEDs for casual lighting and stuff. Also 12-volt fans.

Inverting to 110-volts wastes some power. And 110-volt bulbs use a lot.

Can you tilt your panels to get better efficiency as the sun moves lower?

A successful off-grid power system is a mix - not all solar; not all wind, etc.

If I reduce my usage any more I will have to unplug! For lighting I have an independent 12V 210AH battery array hooked to a 45W polycrystaline solar panel. Almost all of our lights are 12VDC LED with the exception of 2 5W 12V CFL's (I hate those things...) My total light load is around 37Watts and the illumination is more than adequate!

On the heavy load side I have a refrigerator that we added extra insulation too in order to reduce thermal loss and reduce compressor run times (it works quite well!), a chest type deep freeze, a Sony Bravia home theater. And occasionally my laptop and the wifes cell phone.

Our total electrical load is around 2.5 to 3kWh (not counting the lights) The batteries can handle it but the problem is I have a threshold of 60% that I don't want my batteries to go below. Right now we are averaging 70% depth of discharge and 100%+ recovery. But we have rain predicted for Monday and that means... lower production potential on the panels.

As a method to allow better charging I have my batteries broken into two banks: 4 batteries per bank at 380AH @ 24VDC per bank. I can select one bank on load and the other on charge. You can see the set-up below.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0rVU6vTs13c/UFIlUlzlfuI/AAAAAAAAAJ8/KzU1Xab8bJY/s1600/DSC00641.JPG

As for the panels they were installed for optimal performance during the winter. Since I have excellent solar days during the summer I can get away with leaving them aligned for winter operations.

I want a mix but as I noted before... comes down to $$$ and that's something I am lacking extra of right now.

c6601a
10-22-2012, 05:01
Hold on!!!! Putting them in series will increase the voltage, BUT THE POWER OUTPUT will still only be 19watts/4.9 amps. Putting them in parallel WILL increase the current but not the voltage.Volky, if you don't know about something, it is best to stay quiet.

Putting them in series will increase the voltage of the string, but the CURRENT coming out of the string will stay the same. But power is voltage multiplied by current, so the POWER will increase.

That said, there are other reasons why putting them in series is not the most efficient way to run a TEC. When you put them in series, the current has to pass through all the devices and you start dealing the "weakest link in the chain" issues. This means the current output is controlled by the unit that is working least hard. If you have 5 units in series, 4 of them are getting a lot of heat but one of them is off to the side and not getting as much heat, that is the one that will control how much power you get out of the system.

Putting them in parallel has its own problems. You will need to isolate them with diodes which will rob them of about 0.5V of output voltage per device. If you put them in parallel without a diode, the lowest output unit will steal energy from the higher output ones.

In the end it is a delicate balance and you need to get it just right to get 5 times the output of a single unit by having 5 units. You should also realize that the specification is what you can ideally get under a very specific set of circumstances. Those are usually not achievable in real life and certainly not by a hobbyist, which is where you are. An average user, without access to professional level tools and knowledge is not going to get anywhere near those numbers. Think 50% to 75% of what the spec is saying.

Good luck!

dango
10-22-2012, 05:41
Re-think your life style , you can rough it. What heats your water ? Unplug or flip breaker , cut back on useage to a minimum. Invest in a wood burner for heat , chain saw etc. , !
Decide what you need ! There are many things you can cut back on (Guzzelers).

Only heat water when you need it , close off whatever you can
and still be comfortable.! Rethink , there are many things you can do without if you re-think ! Also , you will save money and that is what it is all about !

lunarspeak
10-22-2012, 05:52
i was just wondering...you live out in the sticks now but what about 10,20+ years from now...will you have neighbor sand if they are on the grid will you hook on to it


i knew this guy that bought some land in the middle of nowhere that had a small fishing pond on it..there was a field right next to it where some guy raised cows my buddy planned to turn the place into a little hunting place for himself ..wasnt 5 years later that the old farmer died and his son sold the land to a developer that put up a development right next door..with a school so there went his hunting plans...and everytime he went to go fish some kids were ther fishing or swimming in his pond

RenoF250
10-22-2012, 08:02
I think you are barking up the wrong tree, not much power to be had from those. I think 400F is well above their max temp also.

I think you should look into using steam to run a generator. Find an old tractor engine or something. Just be very careful with the boiler.

Glock20 10mm
10-22-2012, 09:48
Re-think your life style , you can rough it. What heats your water ? Unplug or flip breaker , cut back on useage to a minimum. Invest in a wood burner for heat , chain saw etc. , !
Decide what you need ! There are many things you can cut back on (Guzzelers).

Only heat water when you need it , close off whatever you can
and still be comfortable.! Rethink , there are many things you can do without if you re-think ! Also , you will save money and that is what it is all about !

Dango I can't cut back anymore without going into the stone age. I don't think you have been reading what I have for electrical loads. I have set everything up to be as efficient as reasonably possible. We just eliminated the propane heater, and once I get the tanks for the stove, we will eliminate propane for the hot water as well. Electrical load is light. We only consume about 2.5 - 3kWh daily. The problem is during nasty weather (such as today!) and renewing the batteries off the existing solar on days like today.

Yesterday the batteries were charged to 100% from 86% by 12:45 So the rest of the day was maintenance via solar and the MPPT charge controller. Yesterday was partially cloudy. Today... it's raining cats and dogs and the cloud cover is pretty dark. This is my problem area and why I am looking at alternative ideas/solutions.

Glock20 10mm
10-22-2012, 09:51
i was just wondering...you live out in the sticks now but what about 10,20+ years from now...will you have neighbor sand if they are on the grid will you hook on to it


i knew this guy that bought some land in the middle of nowhere that had a small fishing pond on it..there was a field right next to it where some guy raised cows my buddy planned to turn the place into a little hunting place for himself ..wasnt 5 years later that the old farmer died and his son sold the land to a developer that put up a development right next door..with a school so there went his hunting plans...and everytime he went to go fish some kids were ther fishing or swimming in his pond

Right now and in the foreseeable future their is a limit to how many homes can be built per lot and there is a lock on parceling land out. We are not allowed to parcel out and it's 1 home per plot (that's what I understand). All of the plots around us are 40-100 acres, our's being 77 acres. Also many of the plots around us are now vineyards... so I am not worried about neighbors getting closer. They would still have to buy our our 77 acres and parcel it down for that to happen.

Glock20 10mm
10-22-2012, 09:53
I think you are barking up the wrong tree, not much power to be had from those. I think 400F is well above their max temp also.

I think you should look into using steam to run a generator. Find an old tractor engine or something. Just be very careful with the boiler.

I did think about this but having dealt with boilers in the Navy... I am a bit leery of having one anywhere near me. All it takes is one safety to not work and even a 100lb boiler can be nasty. But I may look into this option again, as finding an old engine around here is pretty easy.

Rabid Rabbit
10-22-2012, 10:03
Take a look at residential combined heat and power systems. Some are simply gas or diesel generators that allow you to pull off the heat from the radiator systems. I was looking in to these for a house build that is on hold for a while. If you live in a colder area a CHP unit could work for you. They seem to be big in Japan and Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_combined_heat_and_power

lunarspeak
10-22-2012, 22:26
would a second solar unit help you out??

Glock20 10mm
10-23-2012, 11:23
would a second solar unit help you out??

It would but again... $$$ is my limiting factor at the moment. Which is why I am looking to build something from materials I have available at home and through friends.