David Ames's posts

Posted by David Ames on Jan 14, 2009 02:16 am

#151 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Distance of Inverter from batteries

�  good eyes on that rpm issue. don't want to try pulling more than about 10amps or so. and like the drill press idea, that would save remaking the driven cog of the motor/gen a bunch of times chasing the rpm/power curve around for best input cadence. (we only know rated power rpm, and off rpm at this point). would you know if the volts per rpm stays constant throughout the rpm range? if so then we also know cut in speed is 1250rpm at 12 volts..(24v/2500rpm=0.0096volt per revolution)? i see on some of the pedal gens the use of a small flywheel on an extended shaft of the pm generator with an additional bearing support on that side of the armature shaft. not sure if that is for bearing pressure, twisting forces or what? some jpg images
�  http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&resnum=1&q=bicycle+powered+generator+picture&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&resnum=1&ct=title

 anyway should be fun to poke around with this...

 best regards, thanks. dave

edit 3/19: project completed.

Posted by David Ames on Jan 13, 2009 02:35 am

#152 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Distance of Inverter from batteries
 hi folks,

 all this talk of pedal generators has inspired a new project. i have access to several stationary bikes to choose from and have selected this little scooter motor. the target will be 100watts output at 12vdc nominal. the exercise bike has a 20" flywheel and a comfortable cadence with the friction bands on is 92 full pumps (184 half pumps) of the pedal per minute. with this bike the flywheel goes around 3 1/2 times per pedal rotation and we would like the pm motor shaft at 2500 rpm.. the nameplate rating for the motor.

 lets see.. thats 92rpm x 3.5 (1:3.5) ratio gives a speed of 322rpm at the flywheel. we need 2500rpm so 2500/322=7.76 gear ratio needed. to increase the 322 to 2500 with a 20" driving sprocket (the rubber flywheel) at a 1:7.76 thats 20/7.76=2.57" driven diameter. i have a 2 1/2" rubber skateboard wheel that may work out.

 i believe i'll try going into the 12 volt nominal battery unregulated thru just a 30amp schottky diode with a 20amp fuse.

�  �  �  �  � here is a cut and paste of the motor specs.

 24 Volt 250 Watt Electric Scooter Motor
24VDC 250W 2500RPM electric scooter motor. Powerful four brush permanent magnet electric motor design with 100% ball bearing construction. Includes 14 tooth drive belt cog for 5mm pitch drive belts. 12" long power leads with 1/4" push-in connectors. Shaft rotation reversible by reversing power leads. Dimensions: 4" wide x 3-1/4" long excluding shaft, 4-1/4" long including shaft. Mounting bracket measures 4-1/2" x 2-1/8 with 4 threaded mounting holes. Weight 4.3 lbs.
item # MOT-24250BCompatibility: Razor E300 Belt Drive Scooter, X-Treme X250, Sunl, Dolfin, Boreem, E-Scooter, Star II, Z Scooter Lightning SE, plus other similar makes and models.
Cross references motor numbers: MY1016, MY1018, BD250

 looks like it might be under a hundred bucks out the door!

 any observations, overlooks, advice etc welcome.

 cheers, dave

-wish that shaft were longer..only 1"

 edit 1/13: heres the link to that motor source.

�  http://www.ElectricScooterParts.com/

edit 3/19: project results posted.

Posted by David Ames on Jan 11, 2009 11:51 pm

#153 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Distance of Inverter from batteries

 oops..sorry but now i see there were some questions left unanswered.

   "OK, I just noticed something in an ad for a amp meter: It says to connect in-line on the  positive line.  I think I have mine connected with both positive and negative lines.  Again, I am a total novice... Can this be the reason for the load making it difficult to pedal?"

 you are correct on that..the loop of wire from the gen through the "paralleled" ammeter(amp meter)is trying to operate at a short circuit from the gen..and also will be a short circuit if wired to the battery that way (the meter won't last long connected that way)

  "Does this mean I want to get it down to 2 or 3 amps for it to be easier to run?"

  correct on that to..that sounds like a good starting point when getting up to speed. then try for higher current (amps) later, some of the numbers i see say a human can sustain about 140watts output. thats about 12 amps (140watts/12volts = 11.66amps)
  some good info here if you have not seem it.


happy trails and trials, dave

Posted by David Ames on Jan 11, 2009 07:22 pm

#154 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Distance of Inverter from batteries

 hi mark,

 heres a link that gives a good visual on the ammeter connections. could be that it's hooked up as a dead short.

 as far as using that size dc pm motor for a wind machine? it would need a gear up ratio and somewhere in the 8-10ft prop range...i'm in no way any expert on the subject but it would be fun to help work out the ratios if needed..that said, there are better starting places to look for pm generators/alternators..one that has a proven design without the complications of the whole gearing issue.

best regards, dave


Posted by David Ames on Jan 11, 2009 02:07 pm

#155 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Distance of Inverter from batteries
 hi mark,

 sounds like your having fun with that pedal power rig your building. i have not tried building one of those YET but from an armchair quarterback point of view (read as: take with a grain of salt) there are a few things you might try while waiting for that new motor to come in.

 sounds like we are trying to pull way too much current off that generator and it is bogging down. if you feel like playing, we can try putting a regular incandescent light bulb in line with either of the conductors. ie: the positive from the gen wired thru a standard edison base fixture using something like a 100 watt bulb then on to the battery and see if it might limit the current. we might get a current limit of say 1 amp throughput and some percentage loss of that 100 watt bulb. a big 500 watt floodlight might let thru 5 amps (not sure on the actual values). also if you still have those 2 blue wires handy you might try a variable resister from an auto interior dimmer controll (even an ac dimmer switch would test the concept). as a test try shorting out those two blue wires and see if the generator spins freely.

 have fun! regards, dave

edit: i assume you already have a one way gate setup at the output? ie a diode? the rube goldberg bulb setup would go between the gen and blocking gate (diode) cheers!

Posted by David Ames on Jan 7, 2009 11:16 pm

#156 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: snow on air-x blades

  hi ray,

  sounds like you have some good wind resources there. i've had that same concern and found that armor all seems to help with those black plastic blades and car wax works well with aluminum blades.

 don't think the snow should harm them or warp them.

good luck, dave

Posted by David Ames on Jan 7, 2009 04:07 am

#157 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: AGM batteries - Life Expectancy

  hi folks,

 although not one with a mindset of believing that it's time to start circling the wagons in preparation for the much advertised armageddon. i like the idea of having a good sized bank of backup power ready to go. not sure if that puts me in the battery abuser camp or not but don't see any downside and the peace of mind on the upside might be the trump for some.

 not so sure on some of the other issues but jonathan raises the interesting topic of desulfators. until recently these devices were regarded as "snake oil"..there seems to be a change of heart happening about using these devices as a full time preventive measure to keep those sulfating problems from occurring. the pulser/desulfator topic makes for an interesting read. this open source design by alister couper in homepower #77 started it all.


 i picked up this one last fall and have been pleasantly surprised so far. i'll know more in ten years or so.


  patrick, could be that your sized emergency system might fit nicely into a discarded refrigerator or chest freezer. perhaps it would blend in with the decor and provide protection from poking fingers and prying eyes. if you really wanted to go nuts you could even put it in a working refrigerator set at some lower constant temperature with temp corrected charge. true that lower temps mean lower capacity is available but when we let that cold fully charged battery warm up to operating temperature we have our full available capacity back. (and back without recharging) interesting also is the lower storage temp slows the aging of the battery.




 and consider this info for the mix when running multiple parallel strings in a bank.


 all data suggests that running positive and negative busbars is the way to go.

 interesting topic.

 best regards, dave

Posted by David Ames on Jan 3, 2009 05:18 pm

#158 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: PV configuration

 to use all 10 pv modules it looks like 5 strings of 2 at 52 volts.* with the fm-80 for a 24vdc nominal system. we are right on (over) the max output for that 80amp controller

 48vdc would be nice but we may not get enough output from those modules.

*(5 parallel strings, each made up of 2 modules in series)

good luck

edit: we may end up with a better system just using 9 modules in 3 strings of 3 at 78vdc and a 48vdc nominal setup.

Posted by David Ames on Jan 3, 2009 04:39 pm

#159 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: basic inverter wiring question

 the stock answer here is the "ahj"(the authority having jurisdiction) has the final say as to code requirements. my guess would be no. but that is exactly what i would do. i would attach a plug and treat that romex run as an extention cord with six lights attached. be sure that it is totally isolated from all other power and ground sources and permanently physically disconnected from all other connections.

good luck,

Posted by David Ames on Dec 30, 2008 11:38 pm

#160 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: newbie, example first system review

 looks like you lucked out big time with the roof slope and orientation. nice when things work that way..

"I had also considered a battery monitor, but wasn't sure how necessary it was."

 brian, i suggested the monitor because i am sold on the idea of seeing exactly whats happening to every piece of equipment and every variable in the changes that occur throughout the charge and discharge cycles, as the clouds roll by and the temperature changes, as the loads are switched on and off. you can get a real feel for whats occurring and why. this is in itself the most excellent tutor i have encountered while playing with all this renewable equipment. chances are that you will never outgrow this monitor and my hat goes off to anyone who can. also if you trade that $112 controller for the $165 mppt version you are giving up that limited display info from the go power pwm unit..and we all like to look at some pretty display.

 some thoughts on a battery choice..now this is my opinion only so take it as such. those expensive agms are super choices..but, may i suggest that you start out with an el cheapo marine deep cycle "hybrid" battery as a disposable learning tool? at fifty bucks for a group 27 battery you can't go wrong. and if we kill it within six months i bet we get more than a fifty dollar education from the experience. i know of people that can kill a battery in six weeks! i also know of folks that can make them last for ten years! experience and knowledge will make you one of the folks in the latter group.

 also with an inverter choice..thats alotta clams for a dinky little micro inverter. i would be tempted to go the el cheapo route there as well. something like a $40 throwaway 400watt modified sine wave unit. the thinking here is you will most likely grow out of that 200ish watt pure sine wave inverter and 100ah battery bank very quickly when you see what you have done and what you are capable of.

 on that note- i would strongly reccommend one of the classes there in hudson ma. you are a candidate for that pv 302 class imho. (jumping ahead of those first two courses)


 if you look into this class, double check with the instructor for a waiver to take the advanced class without the basics classes. (looks like you have all that covered)

 cheers, 73 dave

Posted by David Ames on Dec 30, 2008 05:40 pm

#161 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: newbie, example first system review

  hi brian,

  it looks like you are serious about going ahead with the system plans. much of your design is going to depend on the pv module location. that is.. the wire distance from the array to the controller. lets say for example your barn is orientated with its four corners north, south, east and west
and we can mount that module on the south corner at the proper angle and obtain a full solar window all year long there (see fig.3-5 and 3-7 pages 33 thru 36 of pdim) high enough so that we avoid head damage. and have our charge control setup inside that corner of the building only ten feet away. or a more conventional roof top mounting with the controller 50 feet away. lets look at those wire run examples for 10 feet vs 50 feet in this example. (see table 9-5 pg 97)when we look at the voltage (%2) drop tables for 8amps at 12vdc we see we are good for 12 feet with #10awg and need #4awg for 49 feet. thats not too bad, but lets say next year we would like to add on and max out that 25amp controller. we can do that no problem with #6awg at ten feet but would need no less than #2/0 awg cable for that 50 foot run! so brian, i ask.. how does your site survey look?

 depending on the above lets look at some of the components to build this system. first off that kyocera module. i love the new look of that d.blue line and i'm getting so i can spot them at 100 yards. never had my hands on one yet, but looks good and is a proven cell poly/multi. vs thin film. looks like this line should be around for a while. (i would double check when ordering) also has a friendly j box vs sometimes difficult techno wacko connectors. nice aluminum frame..not much to not like.

 gotta go for now.. check out chapter 7 pages 73-82 and check out this link.

 also consider,


  there may be some real big advantages to going with mppt with this setup.

 more latter, dave


Posted by David Ames on Dec 28, 2008 12:34 am

#162 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: newbie, example first system review

 hi brian,

  looks like you nailed those calculations. right by the book (page 117-118) of the manual. i would recommend this manual to everyone. i think they are a bit over optimistic with the battery efficiency of %80 though, i find it closer to the %60 mark. we may want to go a little bigger with the bank and round up from that 74ah to a standard 100ah battery.

 you may be a bit high with that $900 for pv, altE has 100-120watt modules for around $600 but we can go through that "extra" $300 with mounting/wiring etc.

 and i agree "It seems that it is very expensive to create a system for even a relatively small system." the plus is the satisfaction of seeing the system up and running. i predict you will be adding on in no time!

 best regards,

Posted by David Ames on Dec 26, 2008 05:26 pm

#163 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: how to set up a battery based PV system with GRID BACKUP

 hi jerry,

 i like the idea that xantrex had with those power hub all in one units. looks like a good way to get your feet wet in renewables.

 that model you have has a 20amp automatic transfer switch built in so when the line (ac) power goes down it goes into battery backup mode.

  what we need here is a voltage sensitive relay driver like the one john mentioned in this post.

or if you are handy with an iron heres a kit.

 with a driver like this we can power a relay to shut the line power off to that power hub and go into battery mode at a user settable (high) battery voltage and back to the ac pass thru/charge mode at a settable (low) battery voltage.

 i like the idea of using that generated power in some useful way rather than diverting it to a dump coil (wind) or shutting down production (solar).

 we did not see what you are using for a solar charge controller but some of them have a built in settable trigger for this sort of thing.

 yikes! i'm in the middle of this post and i see that this setup won't work with this application...when the ac power comes back on line it will keep triggering the cycle!!(due to the built in charger)oops.

 how about this. we set a timer to shut off that line power to the power hub for a few hours every afternoon and watch the results and adjust the timer/load accordingly?

 back to the charge controller, we may be able to grab a trigger source from a (charging indicator) on the controller? or right from the pv input..not sure?

best regards,

Posted by David Ames on Dec 14, 2008 09:52 pm

#164 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: for sale: air-x turbines(SOLD)

  (contacted by phone)

 thanks hal,

 please keep us updated as to how you made out.

 kind regards, dave

Posted by David Ames on Dec 8, 2008 08:29 pm

#165 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: for sale: air-x model turbines
 hi hal,

 is this you?


 that is some sweet cabin you have built!

 regards, dave

 ps- we can drop one of those shipping charges with both  units to the same address.

Posted by David Ames on Dec 6, 2008 09:34 pm

#166 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: can conservation be immoral?

 yes ken 100% electric here.
 this place is 14x22 with 8ft ceilings. five sides against other heated/cooled spaces and 14ft south facing wall to the outside with a 4ft square window. with this location i only have exposure to the outside temperature on that one 14x8ft wall. and the temp will rarely go below 60* or over 90* by itself. that 4x4 window gives a big boost to the room in the winter. it's after 9pm the sun has been gone for four hours now and it's still 71* in here..current outside temp is 33*.

 i've been here since 04 and the first 2 1/2 years my monthly average was between 600 & 800kwh. that was before i realised i had a choice. these days i choose to purchase only 150kwh per month.

 i have to confess that i have taken some of my conservation methods to the extreme with a new goal of 3kwh a day. with the cold here i'm unplugging the fridge till march and rotating freezer packs in and out of my trunk till then..call me crazy?

 stay warm, dave

Posted by David Ames on Dec 6, 2008 05:03 pm

#167 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > can conservation be immoral?

 this question came up while getting the electric bill today.

 i live in a three story building with the first floor as offices and the other two as separate apartments, 10 identical units per floor.

 i spoke with a neighbor at the mailbox who commented that the winter heating season has arrived while waving his $218 power bill around and complaining about getting ripped off. i asked him why is doing soo much business with someone who is ripping him off? this led to a discusion about power use and conservation. and the fact that every time you use an electrical appliance or flip a switch you are making a choice to buy from someone who you think is ripping you off.

 i showed him my bill of $46 and he wanted to know more. so i advised him to go home and shut off every breaker in his flat and see what happens. he asked why what will happen? i told him that nothing would happen..and that's the point. the world does not end and you don't die. we went on to discuss treating power as an optional convenience not as a necessity. then we came to my choice of thermostat settings 60*f winter and 90*f summer and things went sour! he stated that my choice of settings means that he and the rest of the building are paying to heat and cool my flat! i can see his point. can anyone here see this as theft?

this is my usage this year (projected to 12/31/08)
2200kwh electricity
5,500 gallons water
260 gallons gasoline

caution: conservation can become an obsession.

all the best, dave

Posted by David Ames on Dec 5, 2008 02:40 pm

#168 -  AltE > Announcements > Re: The Dec Renewable Rewards Winner

  wow keith! congrats..i hope you are playing the lottery!!


Posted by David Ames on Dec 3, 2008 02:04 am

#169 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > for sale: air-x turbines(SOLD)
 we have two(one land and one marine model) air-x 12v 400w turbines looking for very windy locations. the air-x land was up for 90 days. this marine model is new in box(opened).



 all with original packaging and paperwork.

derate these retail prices by .5 add $20 for shipping* and pray for wind and they are yours.

disclaimer: my advice is to derate your expectations by that same .5 factor before even paying half price. these air-x models are a fun way to learn about wind power. and if you think of it as a "model", you won't be disappointed.
�  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  �  � 
land version�  � $370 total

marine version $460 total

*coast to coast shipping

any payment method would be fine. the easiest would be a check via us mail.

best regards, dave

Posted by David Ames on Dec 2, 2008 01:39 am

#170 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Wind Turbine going Overvoltage

�  hi guys,

�  excellent info on that controller. i agree with you that this is what this forum is all about. we may never know how many other folks you have helped out today or in the future with this same sort of problem. here is a link that shows those dip switch settings for the thread archives.


also an interesting aftermarket retrofit pcb here

best regards

Posted by David Ames on Nov 27, 2008 11:15 am

#171 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: 40hp submersible pump design problem

 hello aslan,

 yikes! i'm not sure you will want the details when i say that we are talking about a $150,000 usd pv system here? (low ballpark)

best regards

Posted by David Ames on Nov 25, 2008 10:39 pm

#172 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Charging Batteries with generator problems - suggestions?

  hello william,

  good to hear you have solved the problem.

 out of curiosity and for future reference for those searching the forum topics with a similar question, can we review your configuration?

does this sound right?
-genset ground and neutral bond broken @ generator.
-240 ac out from a 2pole 50a breaker.
-L1 of output to designated master inverter.
-L2 of output to designated slave inverter.
-master inverter ground and neutral bonded with jumper.
-slave inverter ground and neutral with no jumper.
-genset ground to system ground?
-no neutral from genset?

 thanks for the update and any added info for future reference.

best regards,

Posted by David Ames on Nov 23, 2008 01:13 pm

#173 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: 3 Things you should know when Looking at Solar Water Heating

 mr. jim

 i looked at your link and ended up at a "clean" coal site?
i like to check out the links provided by the community- sometimes they are interesting, educational or amusing. did i miss something there?

best regards

Posted by David Ames on Nov 18, 2008 08:00 pm

#174 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: What will replace oil wells-?
 hi folks,

�  up until very recently i thought i knew the basics on the care and feeding of modern steam turbines. this thread has prompted me to have a closer look at the technology. (extra credit) things have really changed since the school days. has it actually been over 30 years? i never would have guessed as to the importance of the steam condenser in these modern combined cycle turbines. they really suck. but in a good way. as johnny used to say " i�  did�  not�  know�  that "


 also interesting is gordons soda can solar panels. neat.


 -no matter how far you push the envelope it remains stationery.

Posted by David Ames on Nov 10, 2008 01:45 am

#175 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > mini nukes

 hi folks,

  this one came in real fast under the radar. i thought this was years and years out.



 all we have to do is decree nuclear power to be "green" and we are done. or done for?

best regards

Posted by David Ames on Nov 5, 2008 06:18 pm

#176 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: series pv panels into parallel in combiner box

Posted by David Ames on Nov 3, 2008 11:15 pm

#177 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Charging Batteries with generator problems - suggestions?
 hi guys,

  eric, i'm not sure we understand your ac wiring to the fx2024. did you say it's hard wired with 220vac from the generator plug? or are you just trying to use one leg of that 220 line for the inverters 110ac input? or could it be the fx2024/et model which needs 230vac input? sounds weird..sorry to ask more questions. is this the same cord you were using and the same hard wire setup to inverter input as before the generator was repaired? it seems like perhaps one of the legs of that 220vac gen output was down before the new motor was installed (only giving 110vac) and now it's back working again and trying to feed the 2024 with 220vac? did they even make the fx2024 with a 220vac input? as far as i can tell we want to go from the genset to the inverter with a standard three prong 110vac cord hardwired into the inverter 110vac input.
 sorry if this all sounds like crazy talk, but i don't know what else to think.

 we have to recheck our generator output and the inverter input.


Posted by David Ames on Oct 31, 2008 10:05 pm

#178 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Wire Size

 hi andy,

 our host has an easy to use calculator that does a nice job at wire run sizing.


 when we plug in our info it looks like an acceptable 3.5% voltage drop using that awg#2 cu wire you have. 2% is what to shoot for but up 5% would be a go. (depending on the pv module)

 the same #2 wire from controller to battery bank is good.

 as far as the cable from battery to inverter goes, that would depend on the inverter size but we really want to go for the overkill with this connection. nice big lugs,oversize wire size and short run. ie.#00 cable minimun and five feet max. (my opinion only)

 andy. i would rethink my charge controller options. even with the biggest 60amp pwm controllers we are right on the max or even over with the derate. think about going with one of the open format mppt units. you will be able to come down at much higher voltages at reduced current with a very reasonable wire size and have better pv production with the muiti(sometimes called maximum) power point tracking.

 also, maybe it's just me but i don't like any aluminum wire in any part of a dc power system. it's great for ac subpanel service runs tho. (opinion only)

best regards,

Posted by David Ames on Oct 31, 2008 08:07 pm

#179 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Distance of Inverter from batteries
hi mark,
  this motor question is a tuff one. i can buy into the red=positive and the black=negative line of thought but those blue wires might be anything. if the (controller) you mentioned is for rpm adjustment the blue wires might be an electronic on/off for the motor. i would try to get more information on this motor to be sure of the proper connections. do you see any tag attached to the motor with a diagram? or the name of the unit.. it sounds like a pwm speed controlled motor. but not sure.

good luck.

Posted by David Ames on Oct 28, 2008 12:52 am

#180 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Blackhawk AR-10 Tilt Rotor - In the news!

 well bruce, it doesn't get much better that that! great job on that brief presentation. it has now hit the syndicated news wire and your off and running! good job on the re branding. re "tilt rotor" everything looked super sharp. nice touch with the black paint then the fresh screws as a contrast. fantastic!

  don't forget folks.. we got the preview here first! all thanks to our sponsors, the altE store who make this open forum possible.

73 dave

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