Ben Farmer's posts

Posted by Ben Farmer on Apr 15, 2012 06:14 pm

#1 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Legionnaires' disease with SHW system
I've set my 80 Gallon Richmond SHW tank's backup element to 115 degrees to save money since my system is usually crankin in the CO sun. But I just learned that having hot water tanks below 140 F is not a good idea because of this. I see 160 degrees from collectors coming into the tank so I'm wondering if this alone can flash kill the Legionella. Should I turn up the element on the tank to stop at 130 or 140 instead of the 115 where it's at right now? Only reason I'm worried is the electric backup element is located at the top of the tank vs the bottom and I'm wondering if the bottom temp is ideal for Legionella. Anyways, wondering if anyone has come across this question before. Thanks!....Ben
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Sep 10, 2010 02:21 pm

#2 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Re: Need a SHW Installer advice on current issue with system
Oh, and I also installed a ball valve before the pressure tank and air vent so in the future will make for quick switches....Ben
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Sep 10, 2010 02:20 pm

#3 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Re: Need a SHW Installer advice on current issue with system
Hey Tom,
  It turns out it was the Air Vent that failed. After replacing it the pressure swings stopped and has been running beautifully. Thanks for all your helpful advice. Best Regards---Ben
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 23, 2010 01:54 pm

#4 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Re: Need a SHW Installer advice on current issue with system
Interesting note on the air vent. My colleague has also install an air vent near the expansion tank. And even bringing down my system to 25 lbs, I already see the loop pressure at 60 lbs again in the full sun, even with 1gpm output from the pump. A swing of 35 degrees on a hot day cannot be right. Me thinks the system needs to be re plumbed to include a air vent and ball valve at the expansion tank instead of the top of the collectors. Bummer, air vent is only 3 years old.
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 23, 2010 01:11 pm

#5 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Re: Need a SHW Installer advice on current issue with system
yup, air vent at top of loop above collectors. But you make me wonder if purging the air from the expansion tank while loop was under idle pressure of 36 just filled the expansion tank more with fluid even though system pressure went down, and wondering if I expanded the bladder too much letting out pressure that I may not have room for expansion now.....
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 23, 2010 10:41 am

#6 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Re: Need a SHW Installer advice on current issue with system
I just checked my expansion tank with an air pressure gauge and it was at 36 psi!!!! I just decreased it down to 25 and the system pressure went down in unison. Lt's see if that helps today....
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 23, 2010 10:36 am

#7 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Re: Need a SHW Installer advice on current issue with system
Hey Tom,
  Thanks for the reply. I recharged my system using a 3/4 jet pump and had circulated it for 15 minutes before closes the vales to close the system. I had the pressure before at about 20lbs and when recharged decided to follow Bob Ramlow's recommendation for 30lbs, but.......Good find on the Laing pump spec showing only 9ft of head in the flow chart. My system head is about 15 ft. I think you are right about the pump not being the right fit for the job. I'm thinking that switching to an AC pump and Diff controller being the right thing to do so I can increase my flow rate. I think i will also decrease the system pressure as well.
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 22, 2010 01:59 pm

#8 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Need a SHW Installer advice on current issue with system
So, I have a closed loop system with QTY 2 4x8 collectors going to a 80gallon tank with heat exchanger, currently being pumped using a 24v 20watt PV setup running a Laing DC pump. Recently lightning struck near my system and blew the Laing pump (system wasn't grounded but will be soon.) So I replaced the Laing pump and recharged my system to about 35 psi, with the expansion tank at about 30 psi. I'm now experiencing large pressure swings in the system, seeing about 65 psi during the day (August in CO). The flow rate is at about 1gpm or slightly less. I used to see temps at about 160 and pressure fluctuation only about 10 to 15 degrees. Now after the Laing pump exchange I'm seeing pressure swings of 30 lbs and incoming temps at about 110 degrees. I took off the pressure tank before replaceing the pump to see if that was busted but no. Any ideas what might be giving me the large psi swings and lower temps? 
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Jun 26, 2009 02:01 pm

#9 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Over 7,000 years of practice...
The future is not written, and so far I'm optimistic for the future. As a whole I think most people have the potential to be human but choose to delve into their animal instincts mostly in regards to wants and drives. But there is an evolution happening where we might have a chance to reach our full potential without destroying our mother earth. This forum is a perfect example of the few trying to help the masses through living a RE lifestyle. And technology is advancing so quickly now as opposed to the last 7000 years. We might have ridden up to the edge of a cliff, but the advance in technology and a shift in human consciousness might in fact steer us back towards our potential. But like i said, I'm an optimist with a desire to help effect our/my future through avenues such as RE.
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Jun 16, 2007 11:11 am

#10 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Solar in Iraq
Hi Anna,
  I would look at the product below. Its used frequently by the military. There's a few other items you will need with this, but that should get you started. Contact me at ben @ altenergystore.com if you'd like a quote emailed to you....Ben

http://store.altenergystore.com/Global-Solar/m30/Solar-Electric-Panels/Foldable-Solar-Panels/Global-Solar-Cigs-Technology/Global-Solar-P3-48-48W-12V-Portable-Power-Pack-Desert/p565/
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Apr 10, 2007 11:30 am

#11 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Best way to pump 170'/2500gpd w/o power
Sure, I can send you a complete quote. Just email me your contact information to ben @ altenergystore.com
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Apr 10, 2007 09:50 am

#12 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Best way to pump 170'/2500gpd w/o power
Hi Jim,
  We have several pumps that can do this. I have one that can pump 2500 gallons per hour. And this pump only needs QTY 1 Evergreen 115 watt panel to give you 3000+ gallons per day. 2500 in only 4 hours. Click on the link below to view.....Ben Farmer

http://store.altenergystore.com/Solar-Water-Pumps/Surface-Pumps/Suncentric-Centrifugal-Pump/Dankoff-Solar-Suncentric-7322-DC-Surface-Pump/p381/
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Apr 9, 2007 08:33 pm

#13 -  AltE > Discussion > Re: What Voltage to use for battery bank
Hi Greg,
  The benefits with going from 12 vdc to 24 vdc is that you can size the wire smaller to make your wiring job much less expensive. And you'll find higher wattage inverters only come in 24 or 48vdc.
  The downside is you will have to double your battery bank size which incurs more costs, and if you are looking to buy DC appliances, you'll find a large variety at 12vdc and less in 24vdc, since the 12vdc market services the RV and Marine industry that usually have 12vdc battery banks. Hope this helps---Ben Farmer
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Oct 8, 2006 02:05 pm

#14 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Whisper Vs. Bergy, et. al...
Hi Chris,
  I've actually toured Bergy Windpower's manufacturing facility and find these guys build top notch turbines, very ruggedly built.  I think you should definitely check out the Bergy XL.1. -----Ben
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Oct 1, 2006 08:40 pm

#15 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Unisolar Module or is there better?
Hello Bob,
  Those are really nice panels for a boat. Either those or the Kyocera 130's, since they are certified to be used in marine environments. But I think your first choice is the best one, the UniSolar's that is.--Ben
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Sep 26, 2006 04:56 pm

#16 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Choosing solar modules
I would focus on the Sanyo 200's since they are a Hybrid Amorphous/Monocrystalline panel which will produce power at lower light levels as well as increase the charging time for your location. Click on the link below to view.---Ben

http://store.altenergystore.com/Solar-Electric-Panels/150-Watts-Up-Solar-Panels/Sanyo-Solar-Sanyo-HIP-200BA3-200W-PV-Panel/p2529/
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Sep 24, 2006 12:48 pm

#17 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Cranking and deep cycle batteries
Hello Jorge,
  As you already know, motor batteries (cold cranking batteries) will work for backup power but not as well as deep cycle batteries.  I cannot tell you the percentage that deep cycle will last as compared to the cold cranking, but it would be in your best interest to invest in a deep cycling battery for having predictable energy storage.  What you could do is get a battery bank monitor such as the Bogart Trimetric to see the results yourself.   
  As for connecting dissimilar batteries, you should not do this as the brand new batteries will work at the lowest common denominator, and in essence become just like the old batteries. Your best bet is to buy a whole new battery bank. I put a link below for you to view some options on batteries as well as the battery bank monitor.---Ben

8D battery - http://store.altenergystore.com/Batteries/Batteries-Sealed-Agm/8A8D-Agm-245-Amp-Hour-20Hr-Sealed-Batt/p771/

Battery Bank Monitor - http://store.altenergystore.com/Meters-Communications/Meters-Battery-Monitors/Ammeters-Voltmeters-Battery-Monitors/Tm-2020-Trimetric-Meter-Battery-Monitor/p254/
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Sep 23, 2006 01:07 pm

#18 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Remote power supply needed to power heat tape.
Hello Tom,
  At that altitude you should have plenty of sun. What about solar hot water heating? You could run this all day and store the hot water in the tank, and then circulate this with another pipe connected directly the the length of pipe you trying to keep from freezing, and then surround both pipes with insulation.  This would be a much more affordable solution.  Not sure if this could be done given your situation, but just trying to think outside the box for you.  And solar water heating is much more efficient at creating heat than through solar electricity to run a heating load. ---Ben
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Sep 20, 2006 10:43 pm

#19 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Can I use Microhydro?
Hello Chris,
  If you can get 2 ft of vertical drop and 500 gallons a minute, you can get a steady 100watt output from the LH1000 by ES&D. Click on the link below to view. ---Ben
http://store.altenergystore.com/Hydropower/Energy-Systems-And-Design-Hydroturbines/Lh1000-Low-Head-Microhydro-Turbine/p504/
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Sep 16, 2006 09:11 am

#20 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: Wanted Wind generator for RV/Motorhome
Have you already checked out the Air-X's? The link is below.--Ben
http://store.altenergystore.com/Wind-Systems/Wind-Turbines-Electric/Southwest-Windpower-Turbines-Parts/Air-X-Wind-Electric-Turbines/Southwest-Wind-Power-Air-X-Wind-Turbine-Land-400W-12V/p1429/
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Sep 1, 2006 11:12 pm

#21 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Finanching off the grid
Hey Debra, let me know what you come up with, since I'm eventually gonna head back to Taos and build an off-grid home.  I used to winter in Taos and work at the ski shop at the mountain. Did that for like 7 years.  Ever since then I cannot get Taos outa my head and will eventually move there full time.  (And of course still sell for Alt Energy Store) From the sounds of your location, your either deep in Taos Canyon or past the gorge out in the Mesa. I lived in one of Mike Reynolds Earthship homes for the winter. That was very cool. Anyhow, good luck with finding financing.---Ben
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 31, 2006 07:15 pm

#22 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: What would be the cost of a PV system for an "average" income household?
Great question, probably the number one question we get asked. And the truth is there is no simple answer.
  The average cost could be as small as $3000 or as large as $100,000. Its not the size of the home, but the energy consumption of the home that determines this answer.
  You can figure this out by looking at your electric bill. See what you consume per month in KWH on average.  And then choose when of our Energy Calculators from the link below to figure out what a system roughly would cost.
http://howto.altenergystore.com/Calculators/c5/
  But above all, the rule of thumb is thus "For every $1 you spend on making your loads more efficient, you will save $5 in system costs." Meaning its better to work on making all your electrical loads as efficient as possible first before you try and figure out costs of designing a system.
 
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 28, 2006 09:09 pm

#23 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: What would be the cost of a PV system for an "average" income household?
Hey John, I completely agree.  Its all about getting these systems out there.  Whether its 120 watts or 10KW, every panel in use is empowering someone and off-setting Fossil Fuel use.  Plus, its cool stuff!!--Ben
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 26, 2006 08:12 pm

#24 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: hot tub for solar application
Hello Jerry,
  Instead of relying upon what the distributors say, I would recommend talking direct to Heliodyne.  You can find them at contact information below. Best Regards--Ben Farmer

Heliodyne, Inc.
4910 Seaport Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804
(t): 510.237.9614
(f): 510.237.7018

Sales inquiries:
sales @ heliodyne.com
http://www.heliodyne.com/
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 26, 2006 09:50 am

#25 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Inverter for 1.5 hp 220 Volt Submersible pump
Well, 1 HP = 756.7 Watts, so you would need at least a  1118 Inverter with appropriate surge for your pump.  I would look at the unit below as a good choice. Also, you will need a transformer as well since we do not carry inverters with 220out at 60htz. Also, you might want to consider switching your AC pump to an efficient DC power Submersible Pump. Consumes less power, and could run directly off your battery bank. Best Regards---Ben

Xantrex 2500W Sw Plus 2548 48V Inverter/Charger - http://store.altenergystore.com/Inverters/Off-Grid-No-Utility-Needs-Batteries/2000-to-2999-Watts/Xantrex-2500W-Sw-Plus-2548-48V-InverterCharger/p2253/

Xantrex Trace T240 Transformer - http://store.altenergystore.com/FusesBreakersEtc/Transformers/Xantrex-Trace-T240-Transformer/p2259/
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 20, 2006 08:45 am

#26 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Very New to Solar
Hello Thomas,
  Instead of trying to power an AC inefficient pump, you might wanna consider going to an energy efficient DC
Pool Pump. For every $1 you spend on efficiency, you save about $5 in system cost. Meaning its better to spend the money first on an efficient load, then try to buy a solar setup to power an inefficient load. Click on the link below to read the specs on our DC Pool Pump. If this is something you'd be interested in, feel free to email me back and I can send you a complete system quote.  Best Regards---Ben Farmer

http://store.altenergystore.com/Solar-Pool-Heaters-and-Solar-Spa-Heaters/Solar-Pool-Pumps/Dankoff-Solar-SunCentric-P-Solar-Pool-Pump/p467/
 

Posted by Ben Farmer on Aug 19, 2005 04:57 pm

#27 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Very Good Customer of Alt E Store has Xantrex DR 2412 For Sale
This inverter was Brand New 2 weeks ago and customer has found some of his loads will not run off of a Modified Sine Wave. Please contact customer directly. His name is Frank Mullen and his telephone number is (931)-593-2695. Selling for a low price of $828. Or you may contact me directly at extension 101. ---Ben Farmer / Sales
877-878-4060 ex 101 or Ben @ AltEnergyStore.com
 
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