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Old 09-02-19, 11:21 AM   #161
randen
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September is upon us. Here in southwestern Ontario Canada fall is approaching fast. The additional panels were of great improvement especially for after 5:00 pm

This summer the mighty Geothermal heat-pump air conditioner was flexing its muscles using solar produced electricity. The addition of 3.5 kw helped with a state of charge that would have us cruise through the night in total comfort. If the morning greeted us with sunshine we are set for another day. However if the morning sun was a little shy we had to make the switch to grid for an hour or two until it was bright enough to gain us some electrons.

All in all many days would pass and the off grid smile was still present.

Today holiday Monday we sill have the switch off grid Charging the car, air-conditioning and washing clothes with fridges and coffee pot in operation

Additional batteries and a little wind are on the list as well as a little larger low pass filter for the inverter. During high energy uses it gets a little warmer than Id like but no smoke.

Its a win

Randen

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Old 09-08-19, 09:32 PM   #162
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Randen, I'm impressed that you made your own inverter! I would love to come by sometime for a peek at your systems since it is very encouraging what you have done.

About 3 1/2 years ago I had to pick up my son at someones place near Saranac, MI. For some reason, I went into the garage/shed and saw a huge board, about 4' x 6' full of light bulb bases. I asked if they were trying to provide a load on something, and was told that this gentleman's friend had designed (on kitchen napkins) and built an inverter that was 10K(?) watt. I was duly impressed! I never got back to that place, sadly enough, so, I don't know if there was more progress or anymore details.
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Old 09-10-19, 05:07 PM   #163
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Today a bit of an interesting event. But first a little history. Yesterday mostly sunny and a full pack at 7:00pm. Dinner was cooked on our electric stove top and a meatloaf in the oven again electric. A load of wash took place after followed by a half hour of tumble drying. I had mentioned to my significant other that we probably would not have enough power to dry the load completely. So she put the clothes on the drying rack to finish drying.

I have to encourage her to embrace the new solar power system to change habit and do high energy tasks during noon time. She has the habit of doing these tasks off peak with time of use grid costs.

Last night was uneventful and we coasted though the night off grid. The morning light (thin overcast) started the charge as usual we cooked breakfast and had showers all those menial morning tasks. At 10:30am the car is scheduled to start charging and thats when the clouds rolled in. About noon we had exceeded the batteries capacity and the system shut down.

No real problem the car has lots of charge, so stop the charge and the house battery recovered in 1/2 hr and we resumed the off grid life style.

As of about 6:00pm we have a full charge to do it all again.

High energy demands and irradiance conditions still can complicate things. But it sure beats a power bill!!!

I can see where a huge 85kwh battery would be nice!!!

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Old 11-28-19, 03:55 PM   #164
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Here in Southwestern Ontario Canada the energy company just announced costs increases. I understand that through regulatory bodies the prices are reviewed twice a year. This year a sizeable increase was pushed through.

The price for peak TOU went from $0.14 to $0.20 Ouch. 43% increase for the 1st of Nov.

We are Really pleased we don't feel the full force with this as we do spend most time off grid.
Although the winter months can be quite overcast and a lot of snow covering the panels

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Old 11-29-19, 09:23 AM   #165
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Randen,
See my latest post on a LiFeP04 backup battery bank in the "Solar Power" section
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Old 12-16-19, 05:43 PM   #166
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Fellow EcoRenovators

Winter has begun here in southwestern Ontario. Days of overcast and wind. The 14 kws of solar only produce on the average 15 kwhs of stored energy. So not near enough for operating consecutive days off grid.

The next facet was to investigate wind. I purchased a small turbine and have mounted it on a steel pole. I want to study this a little bit to possibly expand this in the coming summer.

We have built a voltage boost circuit to increase the wild AC output to 390 VDC to charge the lithium pack. Yet to design and incorporate a proper dump load and redundant charge controls.

Oh well I have the whole winter

Randen
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Old 12-17-19, 02:41 AM   #167
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This is an awesome post you share here. Thank you for sharing this blog with us.
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Old 12-18-19, 12:04 AM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randen View Post
The next facet was to investigate wind. I purchased a small turbine and have mounted it on a steel pole. I want to study this a little bit to possibly expand this in the coming summer.
Our farm in northern Maine sits on a ridge facing the west, and presumably has decent wind potential. I've often toyed with the idea of using one of those small turbines to tinker with. However, I may just set up one of my Davis weather rigs with an anemometer using an arduino or Raspberry Pi as a man in the middle to scrape data. The anemometer is just a series of contact closures per set period of time. This sort of remotely accessible data may prove useful to determine our potential wind feasibility.

Looking forward to your experiments Randen!
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Old 12-18-19, 09:19 PM   #169
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I had been interested in wind for a long time. I was very fortunate to have a close friend that had been in the business of manufacturing these for a short time. These 1-10kw turbines were used in remote areas and were plagued with maintenance issues. It was the day of lead acid batteries and lack of robust designs to keep the costs to a minimum. A proper tower and controls coupled with the cost of installations with proper footings made them quite expensive.

There are so many hurtles with wind. The first one is speed control in strong winds and even more so when the battery is full. To open the charge circuit when the battery is full can allow the turbine to run away with no load and one can expect a catastrophic failure with blades flying in any direction. The furling type is still dependant with having a constant load, however the turbine with pitch adjustable blades does not. Although more complex, for a larger turbine this is highly desirable. If the load is removed from the pitch adjustable turbine, the rpm doesn't increase.

Another factor is the wind is not kind to any dynamic machine. That large spinning propeller being spun this way and that are susceptible to some huge gyroscopic loads. Blades flexing and bearings in weather extremes don't make their expected life spans. The slip rings carrying the current from the alternator down the tower preventing the cable from twisting up, also has a hard life.

I had explored the thought of building an axial wound alternator large enough to power our home but the task is huge. A 5 kw alternator would be a sizeable machine with huge blades to carve and a tall robust tower. $$$$$ A concrete footing with a steel 50' tower, the costs would be prohibitive.

The wind resource is another part of the equation, little wind, no energy-simple enough. Here in southwestern Ontario the winter provides a decent amount of cold dense wind. The solar panels are covered with snow and that coupled with overcast and limited hours of daylight negates the energy equation. So bring on the wind.

The experiment with the 500w turbine is to check power/wind resource and resilience of a mono tower without guy wires. The pole is actually my sons basket ball pole. He won't be using it anytime soon so until then its on turbine duty. When I have some results and firm up plans I will elaborate with the group.

Enjoy Christmas Holidays

Randen
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Old 12-18-19, 09:30 PM   #170
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I did some research on wind but I am South Carolina and we donít have good wind.
Luckily, we donít have snow to cover our solar panels.

Good luck I will sit back and watch this one.

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