David Ames's posts

Posted by David Ames on Oct 27, 2008 10:56 pm

#181 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Triple Hybrid 1.5 Kw Solar, Micro-Hydro, Wind-turbine system.

 hello my friend,

  i looked around a little for some more info on that inverter. it looks like it is now a discontinued product. one possible thing you might try is a hard reset. it may be detailed in your manual? not sure of the exact sequence for that model or even if there is an exact sequence for it. you would disconnect it from all power. (all cables removed from unit. ac, dc, rts and all. wait for a set period of time. perhaps an hour or more then reconnect the unit in a given order. i can't find the info for this one. but if you search around you will see several reset procedures for other xantrex/trace units. i would try disconnecting it for an hour or so then reconnect it per original connection order in the manual and see what happens.

 i'm sure in your case that xantrex will rise to the occasion and get this resolved. i see that you mentioned last year that the cover screws were too long and were touching the circuit board. does this look like the cause of the trouble?

 on the possible replacement of this unit for a pure sine wave inverter. you may wish to think about a marine environment unit. with 90% humidity much of the year it may be a better option?

 your right about those startup surge numbers. inductive loads are funny in that they may surge to twice the running watts on startup one time then surge to five times the running watts on another startup. i think it has alot to do with where the motor came to a stop. and the lead/lag of the driving phase. interesting stuff.

 good luck, dave kb1mfz

Posted by David Ames on Oct 26, 2008 02:10 pm

#182 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Triple Hybrid 1.5 Kw Solar, Micro-Hydro, Wind-turbine system.
  too bad about that inverter. i hope xantrex can help out. sounds like it's not bringing the frequency all the way back down after the big step-up that takes place during conversion. i'm changing my big system over to 24vdc nominal after loosing my el cheapo 12vdc pure sine wave inverter..come to find out that this inverter would not shut off in the event of a dead short circuit. and that event happened! on the bright side now i have lots of parts for other things.

 so i just picked up the samlex 1500w heavy duty psw 24vdc inverter. so far so good. however i don't care for the inverter cable connections (set screw compression type) i like the lug and stud connections.

 i am mistaken in calling the trigger on the fx80 a solid state relay- it is a 12vdc 200ma outout max. can be normally open or closed and many different setting options. i have not set it in the way i would like yet. (to trigger the line power off to a modified ups i hacked). it has been taking some time to learn to navigate this menu. but i like this controller very much. after fooling around with some of the cheaper ones i believe i should have gone with this or the mx first.

  we see this theme time and time again about regretting our first purchase. we live we learn. i see many people on this forum speak highly of the exeltech inverters. and this samlex is to new for me to give an opinion of it's lifespan but it will handle a short without frying itself..one of the first things i did was short it out to see!

 take care and stay dry,(fall monsoon season?)


 ps, i was curious why you went with the inverter/charger route with no grid? was there a possibility of a backup genset?

Posted by David Ames on Oct 25, 2008 02:17 pm

#183 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Triple Hybrid 1.5 Kw Solar, Micro-Hydro, Wind-turbine system.

 hello sir,

 while recently looking for information on hydro power i happened upon your posting. it has somehow gotten buried in this forum without comments about your fine job. what a beautiful system you have put together there. i especially like the use you have made of the outback power panel. i believe it is the ps4dc (discontinued in favor of the flexmax) series panel. i see you have changed it over to a hinge style panel..very functional. and as my dad used to say "if you can get the cover on the project box closed,  there is enough room" the cooling fans are a good insurance at minimal cost. have you seen the new flexmax controllers? they seem to be the mx series with cooling fans. i just picked up the fx80 and am impressed so far. the fx series controllers have a 5 year warranty and a built in ssr that has settable trigger voltages.

 thanks for including some photos of the countryside. looks like a lovely place.

 the one thing that impressed me most was, in about one years time you went from asking what a dc source center is to a complete and impressive power system using all your available resources. well done!

 wishing you all the best, dave

Posted by David Ames on Oct 19, 2008 11:47 pm

#184 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Solar Hot Water and Solar Radiant - Costs - Why so much extra for Radiant?

 hi keith,

 it looks like we are missing some of the specs of those radiant heating systems here. neither the text nor the product documentation show the needed thermalboard and manifold with assorted valves. it does say "all components included (except piping)".

  we just laid down 1200sf in new construction and they are getting about $4sf for that "special" board. if we did it again i would seriously consider laying down a high density 3/4" fiberboard then getting out the router for my pex channels, lay the circuit loops and then put an aluminum flashing over that. they are not giving away that pex tubing either. approx 50 cents a foot for the 3/8ths dia. the contractor insisted on the "red" but we have used the plain pex on water heaters without any trouble..maybe someone knows the reasons?

 anyway we have not decided how to drive this system yet but only had that one chance to get it in the floor so we at least did that for now.

 so it looks like the higher price is in line for the radiant system upgrade but the product description needs tweaking.

good luck and happy hunting.

Posted by David Ames on Oct 18, 2008 08:01 pm

#185 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Tilt Rotor AR-10 Wind Turbine PPT
hello bruce,

 i really enjoyed that powerpoint presentation the I.T. guys put together. lots of close up shots of the progression of the project..never knew what PPT stood for till now. i had some trouble with the video clips. i expected as much because i am still using dial up. but i'll check it out again with a faster connection later.

 after visiting the cpm site i went over to the patent office thinking i would have a quick look at your application. well four and a half hours latter my head is spinning and my eyes hurt. that's some tough reading! but well worth it. i think it might have been easier with several pc's running to cross reference between "said claims" and drawings. i was taken by surprise by illustration fig.12.(full furling) i never would have imagined that range of motion! in the real world we would probably never see a full furl and it would settle somewhere in between? also interesting to see that the rotation can be in any direction, and the pitch control rods can be above or below the rotor. neat also is that you can have top converging/bottom diverging or top diverging and bottom converging configurations. that would be handy if installed under a high bridge or the like.

 i've totally enjoyed the evolution of the prototype that can be seen in just the few photos that i've seen. i believe we see at least three different generations of rotor tilt limiters/dampers in the photo shots. i bet now there are a lot of pictures you wish you had taken.

   overall, a real fine job and a real treat to see.

 thanks soo much for giving us an inside look into a fascinating project.

all the best, dave

ps. did i also read that you did all the drawings? WOW!

added 10/19..i see now that fig 12 is referring to the huge scaled version (ar-800) for startup and stopping. thats 80 times the size of the prototype machine!?

Posted by David Ames on Oct 14, 2008 01:20 am

#186 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: What kind of wind turbine is this?
  hi folks,

  for any of you who may be following this vawt discussion on this thread. take a moment and see if you share any of the impressions that i have come to regarding this blackhawk ar-10 prototype and its designer.

  i have found this discussion to be very interesting, extremely educational and darn right refreshing.

  here we have a prototype turbine that was stumbled upon and basically outed to the public - way before its intended rollout.

  then we have the inventor sign on and proceed to give us every detail of his propriety designs on this public forum without any wild claims or requests for funding.

  i for one will be watching for the production development of this tilt rotor vawt with interest.

  edit.(i have removed a comment about project funding here..pure speculation on my part, that i later thought of as better left out).

  in any case i believe we have been treated to a look at a real project with real numbers using real engineering methods by a true pioneer!

  well done! mr. bruce boatner

cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Oct 13, 2008 08:41 pm

#187 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Grid Backup For PV System

 fine business. yes i'm all for poking around with different things, idle hands and all that.. recently i've even had to buy new electronic components just to rob the needed parts for whatever project was at hand! seeing that my local (audio shed) has all but gone out of the parts supply business. so that comment about home built was in no way meant to be flippant. just the opposite to be sure Smiley

  happy hunting, dave kb1mzf

Posted by David Ames on Oct 13, 2008 07:23 pm

#188 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Grid Backup For PV System

 hi chris,

 a low tech low budget solution might be to use a plug in timer with a battery charger and set it to top off your battery bank every night or every few days (weekly timer) for a few hours. you can watch how things run and adjust the timer accordingly.

good luck with your project, sounds like fun.

do let us know how those home assembled panels turn out?

all the best, dave

Posted by David Ames on Oct 12, 2008 02:46 pm

#189 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Why is The AlteStoreRipping People Off?

  mr. smith,

  sorry to hear about your troubles dealing with this store. (what were those problems exactly).

 i am happy to say that all my dealings have been 100% satisfactory.

 as far as the voracity of the owners and staff goes; they have my complete confidence until they or someone else proves otherwise.

 all the best.

Posted by David Ames on Oct 10, 2008 07:57 pm

#190 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: What kind of wind turbine is this?

  hi folks,

 for anyone interested in wind turbines or those folks just interested in interesting things i would recommend having a look at this new wind machine.

 bruce, i looked at the video shot a few more times trying to get my head around the center of rotation.

"The center of inertia of the entire system is located at a still point at the geometric dead center of the universal joint in the hub.  Thus there is no wobble or vibration at any speed or any rotor tilt angle."

  it looks like your universal joint/hub design takes all the side to side loads as well as the thrusting loads into the hub assembly and only lets through the rotational torque to the alternator/generator. nice...that also means it's reasonably easy to swap out different spec generators based on wind resources and power needs?

 i looked up that four digit airfoil. was that 12% by design
or trial and error.

 i hope you can tell us more about your choice for the powerplant as well as the gyroscopic precession correction methods you teased us about.

 all the best.

Posted by David Ames on Oct 7, 2008 09:56 pm

#191 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: What kind of wind turbine is this?



  thanks for taking the time and effort to join us here on the altE forum. it's not all that common to be able to discuss a new idea with the inventor.

  please correct me if some of my observations are not accurate. it looks as if your design is based on the emergency procedure called autorotation used to bring a disabled helicopter in for a safe landing after an engine failure. the common myth with helicopters is that they drop out of the sky like a brick if the engine fails. but actually when the proper inputs are used a controlled and safe landing are even more likely than with a fixed wing aircraft.

  a few questions if i may. how are you able to control the cyclic pitch of this machine? (the counter rotation caused as a byproduct of lift) also are you seeing any noticeable ground effect on the low airfoil? also have you considered installing your machine inside a caged corral of air straighting fins?

 this is a groundbreaking design..do you believe it is scaleable?

 thanks, dave. kb1mzf. asel vfr only

 and as always thanks to our hosts here at altE for making this forum possible and keeping it civil when required.

Posted by David Ames on Oct 5, 2008 02:53 pm

#192 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: What kind of wind turbine is this?
�  it looks like they had you pull your video off the you tube site. and they replaced it with their own demo video with even more information. looks like a nice machine. this new design seems to fall into it's own category with the tilt rotor and changing pitch? this video looks like the same location. super cool.

heres the new link
�  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4-MuOFl1ts

more info about the company (hope it's ok to post here)

all the best.

Posted by David Ames on Oct 2, 2008 10:39 pm

#193 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Need a little help

  ken. thanks for the informative post and good references.
this is an interesting and important topic. i was not aware of that link..lots of good onfo there.

Posted by David Ames on Oct 2, 2008 12:02 am

#194 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Need a little help

hi joel,

 sounds like a nice cabin. there are parts of the world where that size home would be considered large even for a family unit of three generations. my apartment flat is about the same 14x22 and does the job. somewhere along the way we americans seemed to have moved toward the mc'mansion way of life and use our cell phones to call everyone to the dinner table when the pizza arrives?....
"I just want to do the basics of lighting, 4 to 5 lights. I acquired 1 MK E27SLDG storage battery today it is rated at 98 AH. Will this be enough to run some low wattage LED lighting, or more exactly how long will they run before the battery needs to be recharged"

  check out the 12vdc c.crane lights they have here at altE


 four of those dc lights @ 2.5 watts each would equal 10wh of energy used if they are all on for one hour.

 your battery has a rated capacity of 93ah lets say we want to use only 60ah of our battery capacity. that would give us 720wh of available power. (12volts x 60ah = 720wh) we can run these four lights for 72 hours non stop. or a 60watt load for 12 hours.

 good luck with your project. 73

Posted by David Ames on Oct 1, 2008 09:24 pm

#195 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Amp Hours
hi guys,

  i just want to add my two cents on this thread. for the benefit of others who may be looking over these forums for information.

  homepower ran a good article about this subject.


 this article gives some reasons why mixing different batteries is not such a hot idea. and especially a bad idea when trying to mix them in a series arrangement.

  if it were me i would treat these two batteries as separate "banks" and not leave them connected to each other in a parallel configuration. and i would not consider any kind of series connection with this pair (the 27sdlg is a gel cell and the sc90 is a sealed cell) except in some kind of emergency.

 incidentally there are ways to mix oddball batteries in a parallel configuration- and it can be done. but it involves hand picking a match after a whole lot of measuring and testing.

best of luck.

Posted by David Ames on Sep 22, 2008 12:50 am

#196 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Evergreen Solar Panels
 sounds like we are good. i vote for adding another series string of the 180's.

  you are right about evergreen ending production on those modules. the entire sl line (made in usa) and the rl line(made in germany) are being replaced by the sl-ku line (made in usa) and rl-tu line (made in germany) these new modules are for (suitable)for the ungrounded pv systems that are becoming the world standard. don't anybody panic. we can still ground these new modules because we just love  driving copper rods into the ground here in the usa.

"In simple laymen's terms ... the string is limited by its weakest link."

  this is the case here with this example. but we should not get carried away mixing and matching. here we have the same family of module and fairly close imp's. with the same shape i/v curve. i have only gone up and down one module size (to keep imp close) while mixing this line of pv and always have predictable results. i would not consider mixing.. say a cigs module in with a polly. then again it might be interesting for fun? i guess what i mean is mixing of modules in series strings is possible however it might not be the best option but a very useful one when building a system over time with limited funds. that said- mix and match at your own risk.

 you can still find some of those "b" modules around. altE has had them from time to time. i don't see any here now but maybe give them a call and see.

the best of luck.

Posted by David Ames on Sep 21, 2008 03:32 pm

#197 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Evergreen Solar Panels
 hi keith,

  from your recent posts i see you have some really great projects in the works. there is a real satisfaction that comes from planing out a system, putting it together and having it run as expected. even the debugging is fun if it does not run quite as expected.

  as far as those evergreen modules go- i just love them. i swear by the b module specs. i have some of the a's and some of the b's and i can't see any difference in them..one of the b modules i got a great deal on has a small scratch on the aluminum frame. but puts out exactly like the a spec modules.

  now, about adding on to your system.
 first off i see from your posts that you are running a xantrex xw controller in the roanoak area. your controller has an absolute max voc (volts open circuit) rating of 150vdc. the record low temp in Roanoke is -11*f. we will need these numbers latter.

 the mixing of modules is a hotly debated subject and there are both pros and cons to it. one advantage would be that you can just pop another module in while building up to your final system size, and it can be done. a disadvantage to this is that you limit your string current output to the lowest module specs in that string. ie running a 180 in a series string of two 170's would limit the imp (current max power) to that of the 170 module. moreover we increase our total voc to the combined total volts of all the modules in that series string. normally we think of this as a good thing while using an mppt controller. until we start getting close to the controllers max voc that is. this is where our low temp for our area comes into play. there in Roanoke it's -11*f and we have to go to nec 690.7 for our needed correction factor. i can't find a free link right now so i'll list the correction factors for the forums use.
                nec 2008, table 690.7
ambient temp *f    factor
76 to 68           1.02
67 to 59...........1.04
58 to 50           1.06
49 to 41...........1.08
40 to 32           1.10
31 to 23...........1.12
22 to 14           1.14
13 to 5............1.16
4 to -4            1.18
-5 to -13...........1.20
-14 to -22         1.21
-23 to -31.........1.23
-32 to -40         1.25

 here are the specs for those evergreen modules
 vmp (volts max power)
 imp (current max power)
 voc (volts open circuit)
 isc (current short circuit)
 current (amps)
es 170 watt is vmp 25.3 imp 6.70 voc 32.4 isc 7.55
es 180 watt is vmp 25.9 imp 6.95 voc 32.6 isc 7.78
es 190 watt is vmp 26.7 imp 7.12 voc 32.8 isc 8.05
es 195 very rare module, never seen one but listed as
es 195 watt is vmp 27.1 imp 7.20 voc 32.9 isc 8.15

 if we take for example a series string of two 170's and one 180 we get a string that acts like three 170's with a voc of 32.4 & 32.4 & 32.6 = 97.4 x 1.2 temp correction =117 voc. still in good shape with that xw's max rating of 140voc (operating max). now if we try to squeeze another 180 in we get 130 x 1.2 = 156voc corrected and bye bye controller. as an aside this has always bugged me.. we pay good money for a controller and then we have to derate it for an event that may or may not happen every couple of years. i suppose in a case like this you can dial in an extra 10% voltage drop for winter operations (an extra legnth of wire or something) but that should be built into the controller imho.

 so keith when you get up to four modules you have to start going with separate series strings. ie two 170's in series. and two 180's in series with the outputs paralleled at a fused pv combiner. then you could add on in twos. (another series string of two at a time). up to the max current output of the controller. your max input will be limited by the nominal voltage of your system. about 720 watts of pv @ 12vdc and about 1440 Watts of pv at 24vdc nominal. one good thing is these controllers are rated for continuous operations and don't need the duty cycle derating.

i do hope this helps more than it confuses you.

good luck.

Posted by David Ames on Sep 15, 2008 02:25 am

#198 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Generate amps or Generate watts?

 well in theory anything is possible. but in practice only things that are possible are possible.

so i would say no. even with two inverters.

good luck

Posted by David Ames on Sep 15, 2008 01:21 am

#199 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Generate amps or Generate watts?
 it is good to see that you are trying to understand the relationship of power. the volts, amps, and watts are all tied together in unbreakable rules. here is a link (maybe) that helps to show how they relate and they have a useful ohms wheel. the "rosary" of power if you will.�  � 

�  http://www.elec-toolbox.com/Formulas/Useful/formulas.htm

�  if we take our 200 watt pv module at 24 volts equals 8.3 amps example. 200/24=8.3 we can express it as 24x8.3=200 or 200/8.3=24.they are all the same. now lets see how the relationships change with voltage. lets try 12volts in our formula. 200/12=16.6 amps. how about 48 volts thats 200/48=4.1 amps. these examples are all still the same amount of available power. lets try one more..how about 220 volts. 200/220=0.9amps.

�  now our approximate equipment requirements for this exercise 220 volts and 450amps (thats without the needed 3^ calculation thomas mentioned) we have the following�  �  �  �  � ?watts/220volts=450amps. or 450x220=99,000 watts of pv for a pv direct scheme.

 don't be discouraged, keep looking for a solution to your goals. (what are the goals exactly) there is more that one way to skin a cat. so keep at it.

�  here is something interesting about making potable water from very dirty supplies even sewage!


best of luck, 73

Posted by David Ames on Sep 13, 2008 07:12 pm

#200 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Generate amps or Generate watts?
  wow! you were not kidding when you said you need amps to power this unit. thats 450amps at 220vac.

  you are not gonna like this but lets look at the numbers.
  first off amps, volts and watts are like the holy trinity of power. when we have any two in the equation we can find the third. ie volts x amps = watts or watts / volts = amps
so for example we have a 200 watt pv module with a voltage of 24 volts we get 200/24=8.3 amps

 now for the bad news.. our example has 450 amps @ 220 volts 450 x 220 = 99,000 watts of pv! the price tag on that kind of array at $5.00 per watt is a half million dollars. and that is before any derating and other required components.

 i'm sorry the news is not better but it looks like a pv solution would be difficult in this installation. perhaps a big diesel generator would be more practical.

best of luck!

Posted by David Ames on Sep 13, 2008 02:14 pm

#201 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Generate amps or Generate watts?

 fantastic! you have the spec sheet.

 my dial up is very slow downloading files of any size and to keep this a true open forum we can stick that pdf file into a free file sharing site for all to have a peak at.

 i just put this 600kb photo up. heres a link-sort of

 you will have to cut and paste because i still have not figured out how to post a live link here.

 ok so post it at sendspace and provide the file id back here and the forum can have a go at being of some help.

 all the best

Posted by David Ames on Sep 13, 2008 11:51 am

#202 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Generate amps or Generate watts?

  this post makes no sense to me? either it is way over my head or we have have a communications problem. we need to go to the equipment or spec sheet from the manufacturer and get the power requirements. get all the numbers you can find with any letters with those numbers such as w, v, va, a, ac, dc, hz or other combinations of letters and numbers. or just copy the whole sticker.

 could this machine of yours be (generating) 450 ampules of water per hour? where did that 450amps come from? thats alotta juice.

good luck.

Posted by David Ames on Sep 13, 2008 11:15 am

#203 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Help Selecting a Solar Water Pump Solution


  somehow we picked up an extra zero in our watts calculation. thats something i do all too often when doing the numbers in my head. so that 1.5 hp pump sounds about  right 10a @ 120 = 1200watts x 2 = 2400watts. that brings our battery bank down to a reasonable 500ah (12v) at 50% soc. we may want to only go to an 80% soc with the bank so lets say 1000ah at 12vdc. now we still don't want to get too small with our pv input. perhaps bring our bank back up to full in two or three days (batteries don't like to sit for long partially discharged) and then float there till next month. somewhere between 100 and 200watts should be fine. that brings our ballpark cost to a reasonable? three grand (without the plumbing).

good luck on your project.

Posted by David Ames on Sep 12, 2008 08:30 pm

#204 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Environmentalism Causes Suffering!!!!!!!!!!!!

  surely you can't mean that the world would be a better place simply by not being here? i am painfully aware that there is terrible suffering in the world. but there is also an abundance of joy and beauty as well. is there not? have you not felt the happiness of a child's laughter or happen upon a batch of wild flowers in bloom a involuntarily smiled to yourself. perhaps you are going through a rough time in your life but this to shall pass.
  please! if these feelings of suffering and dread seem overwhelming i ask you to call your minister, a close trusted friend or call (1.800.273.talk) there is help to get through these feelings. people care. you can find joy in the world if you look for and expect it.

wishing you only happiness.

Posted by David Ames on Sep 11, 2008 12:25 am

#205 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: How many watts ?
hi allen,

  looks like you will be in good shape adding that 24v nominal sharp module to that 24v series pair of kyrocea 12v modules. they are all polycrystalline cell technologies (also called multi)- the voc (volts open circuit) and vmp (volts maximun power) are right in there. voc (21.9 x 2)= 43.8v & vmp (17.6 x 2)= 35.2v for those kyrocea 130w combined for 260w series pair. with voc 43.2v & vmp 34.8v for the new Sharp 170w module.

  the expected combined array rating is stc (standard test conditions) of 430 watts. oddly enough we end up back at ~340watts rating when we derate to ptc (pvusa test conditions) sometimes called performance test conditions. (430 x .Cool= 344 watts.
(430 x point eight)
  our "sticker" might look like this.
  voc ~43.6v
  isc 13.67a  (current short circuit) 5.47 + 8.2
  vmp ~35v
  imp  12.29a (current max power)     4.9  + 7.39

  you may already know that how these two strings are combined matters. we want to bring their outputs to an overcurrent protector (fuses or breakers) at a pv combiner box and from there to another breaker (rated at least for the combined output)then to the c35. don't be tempted to try and parallel the outputs right at the modules. lots of reasons why this is bad. the best reason in this case is that our new sharp module has a max fuse rating of only 10 amps and our possible isc is over 13 amps even before the required 1.56 derate factor.

  so the positive and negative from the kyrocea series pair to the pv combiner with a 10amp (or 15amp) breaker on the positive conductor. and the sharp outputs to the combiner with a 10 amp breaker on the positive. and then the combined outputs to another breaker rated to protect that wire run then into the controller. this might be a good time to consider beefing up that wire run from the pv combiner to the controller for future expansion. also don't forget the egc (equipment grounding conductor) all the module frames, steel mounting hardware, and combiner box to the system grounding bus.

  also that sharp module comes with mc connectors. you will need a legnth of mc cable to make the run from the module to the pv combiner. get one cable twice as long as your run and cut it in half and you will have one of each plug male/female and bare ends for the breaker at the pv combiner. i'm sure you know all this. but others might find something useful here.

best of luck to you.

Posted by David Ames on Sep 2, 2008 11:48 pm

#206 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Power needed for remote wireless signal repeater
hi eric,

  i was just playing with the calculator and i see that it is aprox 40 days not 4 days! for that 100ah battery example. thats more like it. somehow i lost a zero in the math. oops!

all the best, 73 dave

Posted by David Ames on Sep 1, 2008 10:38 pm

#207 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Power needed for remote wireless signal repeater
hi eric,

  it's so good to hear that you went ahead with your project despite all the obstacles.

  that sounded like some job drilling for those anchor bolts, thankfully that was a one time effort.

  i have thought about your project and wondered what solution you came up with. so thanks for the post.

  are you able to monitor the battery soc remotely? the numbers work out to about 4 days power from a 100ah battery with a 800mw draw and a deep 20% soc (80% dod) it will be interesting to see how the hard real world numbers compare.

  have you started working on your battery enclosure yet? i'm very curious to see how you make out. if you can get it insulated up to about r-50 and divert some power to warm it during Arctic conditions..maybe some soapstone in there as a sink? very very curious.. on the other hand, if it goes down for a day of two during a record cold snap there won't be any real harm done i would think.

  on that 200' outcrop there must be a nice stiff breeze most of the winter. check out the ampair micro turbines. we have used the little 100watt unit at the boat yard with good results. i have found the ampair 100watt out preforms the air x 400watt turbine in our installations. we always go with a pv setup alongside the turbine installations though.

  thanks again for the update. it's always interesting to hear about other peoples projects.

good luck, dave

Posted by David Ames on Aug 27, 2008 01:03 am

#208 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: School Project Help
hi taylor,

  that sounds like a fun project you have there. of course the big three immediately come to mind (photovoltaics, wind powered electric generators, and hydroelectric.) if this is a class effort i'm sure you will see mostly these kinds of generators. as well you should because they are the workhorses of todays renewable energy production.

  now, if you have posted a request for information here i have to assume that you are taking this project quite seriously and have looked all over the web and have seen all kinds of ways to harness power. from the big solar concentrating Sterling turbines to the long life thermocouple powerplants on some spacecraft. energy is everywhere constantly changing forms. it's ours for the taking. and take we do and how! ..we.. as humans always like to take the easy way out. so for the past hundred years we have been picking all the low hanging fruit on the tree. (namely fossil fuels) now the bus is running out of gas and the cheap ride is close to over. do we get off at this stop, the next, or just stay on it till the end of the line? it looks to me as if we might need an executive order in the magnitude of the "manhattan project" to pull ourselves out of this mess. blah. blah. blah..end of rant.

  when i first saw your post i thought of the old lemon battery trick. a non organic lemon could easily be found for under $250. then there is the hamster powered wheel generator. but we probably don't want the equal rights for rodents people out in front of the school with their signs and megaphones.

  perhaps you have come across the term piezoelectric in your reading. you might consider building a quartz effect generator for your project. it would cost very little and the effect is fairly impressive. "amaze your friends" and all that. the click type lighters have an assembled piezoelectric actuator in every one. the discharge of a single click has enough power to light (blink) a standard compact floresant lamp (cfl). it might be neat to mount eight or ten on a stationary hub and fire them off in rapid
succession with a cam mounted on a wheel of some sort and feed them to a cfl for constant lighting. something to look into. rube goldberg rest in peace.

read, research, experiment. above all have fun! more specs on request.

Posted by David Ames on Jul 25, 2008 07:05 pm

#209 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: 3 years off grid! And............

 wow! i just checked out your gallery. your accomplishments are truly awe inspiring. some of us might know the theory behind how something might be done, but you have actually done these things with your own hands. well done. you can show all us want-a-bees a thing or two. you are the true aggridant of eupsychia!

     a quote from castaneda's -journey to ixtlan-

  "for me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. i wanted to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here only a short while; in fact too short for witnessing all the marvels of it." -don juan

 wishing you all the best, dave

Posted by David Ames on Jul 21, 2008 12:06 am

#210 -  Renewable Energy > Wanted > Re: 3 years off grid! female designed & constucted homestead seeks 80 watt panel(s)

  as an afterthought. i believe you should take a few minutes when you call the store to speak to mr. cormican altE's technical adviser to make sure you don't face any compatability issues adding on to your system. he  will need to know what your running now, at least the module name and number. if you can give him the voc and vmp numbers off the label so much the better he most likely would know these anyway. as well as your nominal (battery) voltage and your charge control setup. he may want you to go with an entirely different module than those we mentioned, follow his recommendations. a word of caution here when dealing with james, make sure you say photovoltaic module not "solar panel" things could get ugly real quick. all kidding aside he is brilliant and won't steer you wrong.

  karen, about the path you have chosen..i applaud you! it is what some of us have only day dreamed about. i'm not sure i would have the guts.

  as for myself i live in a small studio flat and have no way using re but have gotten my daily power usage down to less than 5kwh through conservation methods. such as leaving my electric hot water off until ten minutes before i need it. and adjusting the fridge to best economy with a kill-a-watt meter. (lowest is not always best) and teaching myself to shut things off!

  it's been sort of a game to me to try and offset my usage by producing power at other locations with different projects at my friends and families properties. your original posting brought back fond memories of hiking through joshua tree and prompted me to act on your behalf. so it is my pleasure to help out. mentally i will add .5kwh per day production to my tally.

  also that evaporative cooler should work great in your low humidity. i'm sure you've seen the charts that show your expected temperature drop across the pleats. as for refridgeration you might consider going with an lp setup.

 "vicariously living in the high desert"

all the best, dave

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