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Old 08-21-15, 08:00 AM   #171
jeff5may
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For now, rig up a micro inverter to your existing home power. Grab a panel or two and directly cut your power bill while the sun is shining. Let the utility grid be your battery. Later, you can expand, if you buy the right panels.

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Old 08-21-15, 11:09 AM   #172
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Yes that is the best route, but I'm not wanting to use the grid at all, I know it's more expensive, but we are crossing stuff of our list slowly but surely to be able to completely cut all ties with the power company.
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Old 08-21-15, 07:44 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by MEMPHIS91 View Post
Yes that is the best route, but I'm not wanting to use the grid at all, I know it's more expensive, but we are crossing stuff of our list slowly but surely to be able to completely cut all ties with the power company.
OK, I understood what you said, but not sure how much you can afford to pay right away. Nor how much power you will be generating eventually. I suggested a micro inverter based on your current conditions. If you are planning to go with a large system, you should be looking for a combiner box, charge controller, inverter, and racking, cabling, wiring and such as separate components. For anything you want to own long term, none of this is considered cheap at all. Not something you would want to have to upgrade later.
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Old 08-21-15, 08:51 PM   #174
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I 100% agree with you, it is best for what I have right now. I should have been more clear, when most people say off grid it is some distant dream of no power bills. For me it is a realistic way to raise my family and what I am feeling led to do in the current crazy insatiability of the world. It will cost much more money. With the high cost of solar that is why I was considering the other options. But in an off grid house cheaper isn't always better. I am currently taking with a local company to get a used 24VDC 875AH forklift battery. Just really considering if putting hot water on the needed kWh load of the house is the wisest idea or not. Do they make DC compressors this small?
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Old 08-30-15, 02:00 PM   #175
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Memphis, can you share any further detail on the drilling setup?
Is the PVC pipe just turned by hand on the way down or is there more to it?
Do you use a swivel arrangement at the top?
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Old 08-31-15, 04:16 PM   #176
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Memphis, can you share any further detail on the drilling setup?
Is the PVC pipe just turned by hand on the way down or is there more to it?
Do you use a swivel arrangement at the top?
Sure can Fionn,
Yes you are just turning the pvc pipe by hand. It will make you sleep very well at night from exhaustion. No swivel at the top.
Think of it more as a hammer. The bit you have on the bottom should have some type of small "probes" that will drive an inch or so into the ground each time you pick up the pipe and slam it back into the hole. Then simply twist the entire pipe while still maintaining downward force and twist the soil loose that your probes just drove into. Don't think of it as a drill or you will just wear yourself out due to the fact that it takes a great deal more force to "cut" into the very compacted earth than you might think. Leaning on the pipe with all your weight into it and twisting wears you out and doesn't get very far.
So to simplify all that info. The best way I have found to bore is.
Pick up the entire pipe about a foot or two.
Slam it with a lot of force into the borehole.
Twist the entire pipe to loosen the dirt.
Repeat.

Shalom
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Old 09-01-15, 04:07 AM   #177
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Thanks Memphis for that detailed reply. Sounds like hard work but very worthwhile. Amazing results and speed for such a simple setup!
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Old 09-01-15, 05:25 AM   #178
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Yes it is pretty amazing for how simple it is. Though it does all depend on your soil. The higher the clay content the harder it is to bore, but the more stable you're hole is. The more sand you have the easier it is, but your hole will try to collapse in on it self. Enjoy your work out and get a buddy to help you if you can, it makes it go much faster.
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Old 09-01-15, 08:36 AM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEMPHIS91 View Post
Yes it is pretty amazing for how simple it is. Though it does all depend on your soil. The higher the clay content the harder it is to bore, but the more stable you're hole is. The more sand you have the easier it is, but your hole will try to collapse in on it self. Enjoy your work out and get a buddy to help you if you can, it makes it go much faster.
I don't know if you picked up on it from the 'Manifesto', but when I dug the 16 holes in my backyard, my most successful technique was to use 3" ABS pipes and a really powerful Rigid shop vac. It was able to handle (suck out) sand and smaller rocks just fine. I used a variety of other techniques also.

As I write this, I don't recall if it was 2" or 3" diameter pipe that I used. I tried all diameters. I discovered that smaller pipe had greater velocity, but at the same time it had more resistance to air flow. The larger pipe had lower velocity but lower resistance, also. I selected ABS pipe because I could glue male & female couplings onto the pipe and screw together sections to make up just the right length as the drilling proceeded.

I would take one 10 foot length and cut it into 1.5 ft and 3.5 ft and 5 ft segments, with screw-together couplings on each end, except the drilling end of the shortest segment. This gave me the ability to mix & match to other 10 ft sections.

I cut the drilling end of the shortest segment at a 45 degree angle, like a syringe point, and I would lift & bash and rotate the whole drilling stem by hand. It actually worked quite well.

I also taped a cheap, tiny flashlight to the smallest segment so I could see what was going on down hole.

This whole vacuum scheme only worked for the sandy sections of the hole. My soil conditions were, from top to bottom:

humus (6")
clay/humus (12")
clay (18")
clay/sand (18")
sand & small stones (10 ft)
black wet sand (2 ft)
tough, consolidated clay hard pan

I finally learned that for my situation, use a gas powered hole auger for the first 18" or so, then I switched to a water fed power auger to get through the clay, then the previously mentioned vacuum drilling techniques, until I hit hard pan.


Best,

-AC
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Old 09-01-15, 10:25 AM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEMPHIS91 View Post
Ron, thank you, I hope your system fires very well.

I forgot to post the 2 month data, so far from start to 2 months it used 144 kwh.

Next step/ idea, I really love this DX system, but going off grid makes for some changes. I have a few options that I would like some opinions on.
First would be to solar power the system, I could turn down the thermostat lower and decrease the max needed amps. Then 500 watts of solar power. I could use no battery and only let it run during the day, with 90 gallons of storage I could go a day or 2 without any sun and still have some hot water. And have a generator just in case I got no sun for longer than that. Or a could add some batteries and extend the run time.
Second would be to go solar water setup and use the heat exchanger in a closed loop system.
Or a could use a combo of the second option and a wood boiler loop in the chimney of one of my 2 wood stoves.
Or a could do a huge tangled mess of things and use all three options with the DX in the bottom of the tank and put in another hear exchanger in the top for solar and wood boiler loop.
Ideas?
Very nice work MEMPHIS91! I have enjoyed reading this thread, and all the support this community provided is really inspiring! Just to throw my two cents in, I think the battery and PV capacity is going to be pretty expensive; just the PVs with grid tie makes some sense, like Jeff said.

If you go DC, I know there are some small DC compressors available on ebay. I might be assembling a small air conditioner for a teardrop trailer in the coming months. I'll post it when I have something.

I'm a fan of simple things that don't destroy much exergy, like solar thermal, or a flue exhaust heat exchanger, that you spoke of.

By far, the easiest way to get off grid, is by conserving first. I can't imagine trying to convince to a teenager the value of a NAVY shower, but provifing the family a little water consumption feedback with a water meter might be valuable.

Anyway, great work on the bore hole and the tank heat exchanger!

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