Thomas Allen Schmidt's posts

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Apr 23, 2004 04:57 am

#661 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Small scale energy independence
This is what I am "talking" about. Although I would prefer an earth sheltered home.

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Apr 19, 2004 08:03 pm

#662 -  Renewable Energy > Wanted > Wanted:
Where can I salvage sliding glass doors for reuse in a green house?

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Apr 19, 2004 05:01 am

#663 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > VDC electric fence's
LAST EDITED ON Apr-19-04 AT 07:58 PM (EST)

LAST EDITED ON Apr-19-04 AT 07:52 PM (EST)

Having a computor with internet access I am sure you have allready searched using the keywords -electric fence- but just in case you havent just to name one. It seems unusual that this would be a hard item to locate because VDC fence enegizers are a common item. All thats really needed is; batteries, a wheather tight box, possibly a charge controller, and a PV module or array to recharge the batteries. A major concern would be to keep the batteries from freezing. The site above doesnt list "solar" in its home page contents but if you click on "energiezers and chargers" in the contents it will take you to solar and 12 vdc items.


Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Sep 1, 2003 04:11 am

#664 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: solar panel system for cabin
I forgot about the crystal question. It makes little differance. Look instead at the modules working voltage ; 16.9, 17.4, 18 etc. The hotter the climate the higher the voltage needed. I started with modules that have a 16.9 working voltage which did very well in the winter time but not in the summer. The next set I got has a 17.4 working voltage, these work well in the summer and very well in the winter. I believe the next set I get will be 18 volt. This is in NC. with a 1200 amp hr. battery bank.

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Sep 1, 2003 03:55 am

#665 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: solar panel system for cabin
So many things should be taken into consideration; how many hours a day the module(s) will see full sunlight, how many watt hours of light will be used, budget, but one good thing about PV modules is that they are moduler. If you know the amp hour rating of your battery (at the 20 hr rate) find 20% of that. Example 220 amphrs.x 20%= 44 amphrs. Ideally you would want to keep the battery in this top 20% of charge. To replace that 20% the next (sunny) day lets pick a panels rated amperage output at random, 6 amps and divide the 44 amphrs. 44 / 6 = 7 So with that panel and battery you would need 7 hours of full sunlight on the module(s)something we dont have even here in NC. but I think AZ. comes close. But if you divide 7 hrs. by 3 modules you will only need about 2.5 hrs. of full sunlight. Find your batteries amp hour rating and start from there. Staying in that top 20% percent of charge will give your battery a longer life and better performance (brighter light) and a faster rate of recharge from the PV modules.

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Jul 2, 2003 05:44 pm

#666 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: where do I begin?
Where to begin. I was fortunate to have grown up with the Mother Earth News as sort of handbook for living off the land. It is still in print but its nothing like it was when John Shuttleworth was in charge. When other guys my age were reading comic books or hotrod magazines or even watching mtv I had my nose in the Mother Earth News learning how to be self sufficient. From about 1980 until present we have lived off grid by choice. I love to remind folks that electricity as we know it today is only about 100 years old and that mankind had lived without that electricity for over 7,000 years prior to Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse. I know some elderly folks still alive today that were around before electricity was the status quo. But back to your question. At first we lived without any electricity at all and then eventually with solar electricity. When we decided to start harvesting sunlight for electricity I found a subscription to Homepower very helpful. I dont know of anywhere that will trade but there are places that will buy used appliances I am sure. There is only one way to live without electricity and its just to quit, cold turkey. Like any other substance electricity is, at the very least, habit forming. I know, I kicked the habit for over a decade and still I came back to it when we went solar

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Jun 28, 2003 10:40 am

#667 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: I'm just getting started and could use some advice.
There is no inexpensive way. One way as opposed to another may be less expensive. When you figured up how much you had to spend on it did you figure in the amount that conventional power would cost you for the shed, for the rest of your life, and what it would cost you to have an electrician install a 20 amp circuit from your house? A rule of thumb is that whatever it would cost for conventional power paid out over a lifetime is what it would cost for independent power all at one time. Lets say I paid on average $100 a month to my local power and light company. Thats $1200 a year, times 40 years. Thats $48,000 (its a lot more than this when the real world cost is figured in) that I would have to spend on a renewable energies powered, off grid home. This is in a perfect world of course. I over simplfied just to give you an the idea.

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Jun 16, 2003 04:09 am

#668 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > The law and electricity
Speaking with someone the other day the subject came up that I live off grid. Off grid? he inquired. I simplfied this too not having a line from the local power and light company attached to my home and subsequently no monthly electric bill. Upon hearing this his reply was, "isn't that against the law?"  So is this what it has come to? There are people out there who are affraid of being punished by the US government simply because they do not purchase there electricity from a corporation? What other fears are there that some folks have? It would seem to me that with all of the wonderful things that corporations advertise they do for mankind the one thing that none of them advertise is how not to become dependent on them or there product. Does progress for mankind mean that as time goes by more and more of the daily aspects of our lives will no longer be of a natural order but of a manmade order? I wonder what the price tag on that will read. Who will we pay?

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Dec 27, 2002 09:16 pm

#669 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Need Direction
Dave, what I do cant really be called surfing, its more like fumbling around in the dark, anyway I stumled over this place once but I havent looked it over yet (still trying to find the light switch)maybe you can find a directions here.

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Dec 27, 2002 09:01 pm

#670 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Permanent Magnet Alternators

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Oct 11, 2002 11:03 am

#671 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > End user's lament
From what I have read financing and incentives for the use of renewable energies is catering to; big industry first, small business second, and the end user last. Would anyone care to prove me wrong? Maybe I have missed the point but it would seem to me if the powers that be want to incourage the use of renewable energies there would have to be a market for RE hence the end user. What good could it do to incourage the use of RE if the end user's are stifeld by a lack of accessable financing incentives? I for one would like to see financial institutions advertise mortgage options for people that are interested in homes that incorperate renewable energies and energy efficency.  

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Oct 11, 2002 09:58 am

#672 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: tax breaks and mortgage assistance for Solar Energy
North Carolina State University has but together a state by state list of tax incentives and guidelines at and I remember a HomePower magazine article stating that GMAC financing offers a deal for new homes that use renewable energies technologies. I will try to find more about these, so stay tuned.

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Oct 7, 2002 06:43 pm

#673 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Alternative Energy Festivals

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Sep 26, 2002 03:58 am

#674 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > GFP breakers
I would like to know why Trace is the only company thay has a Ground fault protection breaker for use on roof mounted PV arrays and why they are so #$*@$* expensive. Uh, well I guess I already answered that question with the first question. Does anyone else manufacture a PV GFP breaker that can beat Trace's price?

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Sep 24, 2002 07:13 pm

#675 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Poly Phase AC Electricity
Can anyone tell me who was president of the United States of America when the very first poly phase AC electric service was install at the Capitol biulding in Washington DC.? What amp service was it? Single phase? Three phase? 208Y 120? 120 240 with a high leg? 277 480 with open ground?

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Sep 24, 2002 07:04 pm

#676 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: Any ideas would be appreciated
You could always go back to the old ways before Nikola Tesla walked the Earth. Call me crazy go ahead I've heard it all before. But think about this, man has been on this Earth for over 7,000 years, do you agree? Poly phase AC electricity is only about 100 years old. To me, the fact that mankind is still alive on this Earth is testimony to the fact that mankind does not need electricity to survive. Its not easy I admit. Its even harder for someone who has lived with it all of there life. But it can be done. It was done for 7000 years.

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Sep 24, 2002 03:24 am

#677 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: Wanted: Good used solar panels and equipment in NC
I dont mean this in an ugly way but, who isnt. Its been impossible for me to find used solar equipment at resonable prices. I tryed for 15 years. I to live in NC. Nash Co. We have lived off grid for a little more than twenty years. Most of that time was without any electricity at all. This was by choice, sort of. The last utility power pole is about 300 yards away but the power company would only route there line in such a way as to open up a 30 foot wide swath of trees that would have made a funnel for northwest winter winds to blow right at our front door. Also being at the end of the line with very little chance of other customers hooking up we would have to pay for the extension as well as clearing and maintianing the swath. I wont even go into the hoops the county put us through when we tryed to get a temporary service. So for us the moved to solar was payed for with what we saved from not having a electric bill. E-mail me and I will let you know of some places where I found some deals on new solar electric stuff.  

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on Feb 13, 2002 05:15 am

#678 -  Renewable Energy > Wanted > Re: KEROSENE POWERED REFRIGERATORS

Posted by Thomas Allen Schmidt on May 9, 2000 09:05 pm

#679 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Alt-E Vision Vol. 1 No. 5 - "TROUBLESHOOTING A PV ARRAY "
I have found that larger module interconnect wire can help with the lose from increased summer heat. Originally I had #10AWG interconnects and I was recording voltage highs of 13.6 in 90 degree F weather. After switching to #8AWG I now record voltage highs of 14.2 in 90 degree F weather. With a battery bank of 1320 amp hrs. at 12 volts and only 6 MSX 77's I was bypassing the C30A in the summer. I wonder what #6AWG would do?

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