Author Topic: Power Generator and Solar Panels  (Read 3700 times)

Offline cubedemon

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Power Generator and Solar Panels
« on: July 07, 2015, 09:44:57 AM »
Would it be possible to create a generator that is powered by a battery which is charged by both the electrical grid and/or solar panels?

With this generator is it possible to create a statistical program that records over time the power consumption of my house and determine the times of day when is most used?  Once I do this could one make the program switch between electrical grid and generator during this peak time and have it use the generator for this peak time therefore reducing consumption of the grid thereby reducing one's electrical bill?

What do you all think about this?

Offline Solar

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2015, 10:39:30 AM »
Yes and no, it all depends if you're on metered service, where you are charged less during evening hours.
However, it has to be a significance difference, because there is a minimum of 25% loss in conversion with batteries from charge, to recovery through DC to AC inversion.
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Offline cubedemon

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2015, 12:01:17 PM »
Yes and no, it all depends if you're on metered service, where you are charged less during evening hours.
However, it has to be a significance difference, because there is a minimum of 25% loss in conversion with batteries from charge, to recovery through DC to AC inversion.

Ah, I didn't know that.  I think it would be fun to experiment and see if I could do it but I don't think the other occupants would be happy if I messed up the power.

Would use two batteries make up the difference?

Offline Solar

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2015, 01:31:32 PM »
Ah, I didn't know that.  I think it would be fun to experiment and see if I could do it but I don't think the other occupants would be happy if I messed up the power.

Would use two batteries make up the difference?
No, you'd need about 20 grand in batteries to store enough power to be feasible, which in itself makes the project unworkable.
If power costs were cut by 90% in the evening hours, then it's possible, even power companies do it by pumping water back into a holding reservoir to generate power in the day when they can make a profit off of it.
Hell hole and French meadows reservoirs do this in Eldorado county Ca, near Tahoe.
Look it up, pretty cool stuff.

I live exclusively on solar, and it probably costs me ten times what it costs you to hook to the grid. There are no shortcuts.
Using alternatives to generate power for the grid is a complete and total rip off to the customer.
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Offline cubedemon

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2015, 02:08:51 PM »
Quote
No, you'd need about 20 grand in batteries to store enough power to be feasible, which in itself makes the project unworkable.
If power costs were cut by 90% in the evening hours, then it's possible, even power companies do it by pumping water back into a holding reservoir to generate power in the day when they can make a profit off of it.
Hell hole and French meadows reservoirs do this in Eldorado county Ca, near Tahoe.
Look it up, pretty cool stuff.

I live exclusively on solar, and it probably costs me ten times what it costs you to hook to the grid. There are no shortcuts.
Using alternatives to generate power for the grid is a complete and total rip off to the customer.

Thanks my friend.  I will definitely look it up.  By what you say though, it does sound unworkable. 

Offline Solar

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2015, 03:13:08 PM »
Thanks my friend.  I will definitely look it up.  By what you say though, it does sound unworkable.
Of course it works, but it is not cost effective.
In truth, you'd probably be better off running a generator during peak hours, assuming fuel is not too costly in your area, than investing in batteries.
But even then, it will still cost more than what you pay now.

The only way to avert the cost of energy, is to turn off everything and use candles.
There's no escaping what the Marxist has done to energy production in this country. His entire goal is to destroy Americas ability to produce, in an effort to bankrupt the country. And no, I'm not kidding.

His every move proves this.
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Offline Hoofer

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2015, 10:14:21 AM »
Would it be possible to create a generator that is powered by a battery which is charged by both the electrical grid and/or solar panels?

With this generator is it possible to create a statistical program that records over time the power consumption of my house and determine the times of day when is most used?  Once I do this could one make the program switch between electrical grid and generator during this peak time and have it use the generator for this peak time therefore reducing consumption of the grid thereby reducing one's electrical bill?

What do you all think about this?

Unless the batteries and rest of the gear is FREE, it's a net loser.


a.  one near lightning strike can wipe out your whole grid tie system, charge controller, solar panels, LED lights, oven control, dishwasher - everything electronic.  My neighbor just experienced that!
b.  Batteries are expensive, absorb more power than put out & self-discharge whenever they are below float voltage.  A "wall-wart" consumes less power than a string of batteries.
c.  The pay-back time is calculated in DECADES, not years, so if you're REALLY trying to save money, solar & wind are financial LOSERS and maintenance GAINERS.

If you work in the communications industry....  batteries, racks, UPS, rectifiers, etc., are probably free.  They replace the batteries on a 3 year cycle, regardless.  I send ours to the guys with repeaters and emergency communications, first.

My family operates a small hatchery, we have frequent power outages, and a dozen years of experience with backup power configurations - we're tried everything.
We average 3000KWH per month, and our battery strings keep the incubators running 1st., and power a few things 2nd.

The solar averages for Virginia put us about 4.0~4.5hrs of useful charging light per day.   That SUCKS for the guys with a solar arrays!  It really sucks for the guys drawn in by these commercials on the radio, "solar generators" etc.,  with these impressions that you can power half your house off a car size battery and a 60watt solar panel.

It would take in the neighborhood of a 12,000 watt array to keep my place running, with 6000ah battery string(s) for the non-generatiing hours.

If saving energy / power, is the ultimate goal - insulate and keep heat transfer surfaces clean and unobstructed, filters, fridge, freezer, AC, etc.. Plastic over the outside of the windows in the winter can make a huge difference for just a few $.
If having a backup for power outages is the goal, Propane lasts forever, and can power a fireplace, stove, generator with little or no maintenance.
A nice looking Kero lantern from K-mart and some ultra-pure lamp oil is wonderful during an extended outage.

Unfortunately, we have "dirty power" here, so florescent lights, LEDs, etc., die often and at the least convenient times.  A plain ole light bulb is cheaper!
If we had a creek....   it'd have a micro-turbine in it.  400-600watts 24hrs a day beats a solar array many times that size - cost, maintenance, payback...

KJ4ADN - Bill
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline Solar

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2015, 12:28:37 PM »
Unless the batteries and rest of the gear is FREE, it's a net loser.


a.  one near lightning strike can wipe out your whole grid tie system, charge controller, solar panels, LED lights, oven control, dishwasher - everything electronic.  My neighbor just experienced that!
b.  Batteries are expensive, absorb more power than put out & self-discharge whenever they are below float voltage.  A "wall-wart" consumes less power than a string of batteries.
c.  The pay-back time is calculated in DECADES, not years, so if you're REALLY trying to save money, solar & wind are financial LOSERS and maintenance GAINERS.

If you work in the communications industry....  batteries, racks, UPS, rectifiers, etc., are probably free.  They replace the batteries on a 3 year cycle, regardless.  I send ours to the guys with repeaters and emergency communications, first.

My family operates a small hatchery, we have frequent power outages, and a dozen years of experience with backup power configurations - we're tried everything.
We average 3000KWH per month, and our battery strings keep the incubators running 1st., and power a few things 2nd.

The solar averages for Virginia put us about 4.0~4.5hrs of useful charging light per day.   That SUCKS for the guys with a solar arrays!  It really sucks for the guys drawn in by these commercials on the radio, "solar generators" etc.,  with these impressions that you can power half your house off a car size battery and a 60watt solar panel.

It would take in the neighborhood of a 12,000 watt array to keep my place running, with 6000ah battery string(s) for the non-generatiing hours.

If saving energy / power, is the ultimate goal - insulate and keep heat transfer surfaces clean and unobstructed, filters, fridge, freezer, AC, etc.. Plastic over the outside of the windows in the winter can make a huge difference for just a few $.
If having a backup for power outages is the goal, Propane lasts forever, and can power a fireplace, stove, generator with little or no maintenance.
A nice looking Kero lantern from K-mart and some ultra-pure lamp oil is wonderful during an extended outage.

Unfortunately, we have "dirty power" here, so florescent lights, LEDs, etc., die often and at the least convenient times.  A plain ole light bulb is cheaper!
If we had a creek....   it'd have a micro-turbine in it.  400-600watts 24hrs a day beats a solar array many times that size - cost, maintenance, payback...

KJ4ADN - Bill
Excellent post Bill.
I've been in the alternative industry for 30 years and all you stated is right on, especially the point about grid tie and lightning wiping out an entire system, they better have insurance to cover acts of God.
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Offline Hoofer

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2015, 11:30:18 AM »
Solar,
While not in the alternative energy industry myself, I deal with many of the same components of it.   in the '70s, I build a 4 layer vertical S rotor, and a second vertical wind mill a little later...  yeah, I was a real sucker for that momma-earth-snooze magazine, until I read the article on the "stoop toilet"...  that did it for me.  Lots of idealistic nonsense makes it's way into those publications, and the current crop of radio commercials, yet... nobody is saying it's a scam!  People spend a fortune to figure out, windmills on cars, gravity engines & motor-generators cannot defeat the second law of thermodynamics (or what ever it is).

I've built solar food dehydrators, those actually work & solar ovens (saves about a buck worth of gas, but costs $150 to build - so they never pay back).  It didn't take long to figure out why nobody is marketing a "solar BBQ grill", or "solar smoker" - which are really good concepts, until the clouds roll in and spoil your picnic!  gee... now I'm gonna have to build one...

If the goal is saving money, alternative energy should be considered until all other cost savings have been implemented - starting with super insulating & a heat recovery air exchange system.

If you like to tinker (I'm addicted...), cheap solar projects are fun & safe (heating, cooking), wind power shouldn't be considered without at least a year of real time wind speed / direction recordings of +8 mph, and if you're blessed with a small creek with vertical drop of +10.... (that's where you'd start for power).

hmmm....   Looking into my front yard...  I have 3 large satellite dishes, and 100' of reflective mylar...   hmmm....   I could put the mylar in the attic and reduce heat infiltration (saves money, but boring), or I could line a dish, make a steam boiler, run a turbine or heat my shower water (more fun because it's dangerous)...   naaa!   I'll throw a couple more logs on the home made grill (from a big propane tank), and slow cook a ham (most satisfying choice).

KJ4ADN - Bill
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline Solar

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2015, 12:29:17 PM »
Solar,
While not in the alternative energy industry myself, I deal with many of the same components of it.   in the '70s, I build a 4 layer vertical S rotor, and a second vertical wind mill a little later...  yeah, I was a real sucker for that momma-earth-snooze magazine, until I read the article on the "stoop toilet"...  that did it for me.  Lots of idealistic nonsense makes it's way into those publications, and the current crop of radio commercials, yet... nobody is saying it's a scam!  People spend a fortune to figure out, windmills on cars, gravity engines & motor-generators cannot defeat the second law of thermodynamics (or what ever it is).
You crack me up, a man after mine own heart.  :thumbsup:
I never fell for the Green BS, I simply loved the concept of electricity from sun. And yes, theres no beating oil for power.
The whole Green energy grid tie BS is pure scam, and the only way the Marxists can make it work is to kill off all sources of cheap energy, like coal, nuclear and oil.

Quote
I've built solar food dehydrators, those actually work & solar ovens (saves about a buck worth of gas, but costs $150 to build - so they never pay back).  It didn't take long to figure out why nobody is marketing a "solar BBQ grill", or "solar smoker" - which are really good concepts, until the clouds roll in and spoil your picnic!  gee... now I'm gonna have to build one...

Same here, and yeah, it was cool to come home after a long day at work to a hot meal, like a whole cooked chicken, but as you pointed out, if it was cloudy, all you managed to do was create a breeding ground for botulism, a cold uncooked chicken and hungry.
 :biggrin:

Quote
If the goal is saving money, alternative energy should be considered until all other cost savings have been implemented - starting with super insulating & a heat recovery air exchange system.

If you like to tinker (I'm addicted...), cheap solar projects are fun & safe (heating, cooking), wind power shouldn't be considered without at least a year of real time wind speed / direction recordings of +8 mph, and if you're blessed with a small creek with vertical drop of +10.... (that's where you'd start for power).
Agree. Which is why I refused to sell grid tie systems, I believe it would be ripping off customers, taxpayers and enabling govt to further it's goal of killing Americans ability to produce cheap energy.
As to the creek, most low cost turbines are truck alternators, which require a minimum of 30' of drop with at least 30 gallons per min flow.
I wanted to put one in my creek, but I'd need a quarter mile of one and a half inch of pipe.
But sadly, that would have put me a quarter mile from my house, which would have required a battery bank, inverter, and 8 ga wire to handle the load and loss.

I did use fire hose in the same location for a dredge, but was always having to walk the quarter mile plus to clean out the intake because it kept sucking the reservoir down and pulling in debris.
Still, it did work excellent.

Quote
hmmm....   Looking into my front yard...  I have 3 large satellite dishes, and 100' of reflective mylar...   hmmm....   I could put the mylar in the attic and reduce heat infiltration (saves money, but boring), or I could line a dish, make a steam boiler, run a turbine or heat my shower water (more fun because it's dangerous)...   naaa!   I'll throw a couple more logs on the home made grill (from a big propane tank), and slow cook a ham (most satisfying choice).

KJ4ADN - Bill
I wish I still had your energy because I have all the copper panels to heat water I picked up over the years and could easily heat water, but sadly, I've lost my drive.
I did buy a wind turbine about 20 years ago, and quickly found out even 15 mph wind was worthless, and now that my forest has grown significantly around me, I get no wind at the house. :cry:
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Offline Hoofer

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2015, 04:39:49 PM »
Solar,
I was at a farm Wednesday morning, the guy was sitting on a great micro-hydro situation - and, and no idea.
about 20' of head over a 150' distance, and a small pond or area to back up some water for additional head was right there - all on his property, and 150 yards from his house.  Oh well....

Last winter, we were playing around with a 40' x 3" piece of AL tubing - the stuff they use for those message carriers... about 25lbs, so it's easy to handle.
We painted it black, put a screen on one end (which stayed on the ground), and stuck the other end on a window ledge.
We'd open the window when it was sunny and because of the slight pitch, the warm air would come rolling in.
That's the kind of Solar Energy I can go for, $20 for the pipe, $7 for two cans of black paint, and when (or if) I make a parabolic reflector... about 8x concentration....
I might have $50 in it, if I scrounge a bit more.

Scott Davis did an interesting solar project awhile back, he used a downspout, painted it black and put it in a box - laid it along his house so the neighbors wouldn't object.
a fan to pull the heated air out of it, neat little system.  He lives in Mass., so his winters actually get cold, unlike mine in Virginia.

We're not really full of energy and ambitious, it's more of a wandering mind...

KJ4ADN - Bill
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline Solar

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2015, 08:04:26 PM »
Solar,
I was at a farm Wednesday morning, the guy was sitting on a great micro-hydro situation - and, and no idea.
about 20' of head over a 150' distance, and a small pond or area to back up some water for additional head was right there - all on his property, and 150 yards from his house.  Oh well....

Last winter, we were playing around with a 40' x 3" piece of AL tubing - the stuff they use for those message carriers... about 25lbs, so it's easy to handle.
We painted it black, put a screen on one end (which stayed on the ground), and stuck the other end on a window ledge.
We'd open the window when it was sunny and because of the slight pitch, the warm air would come rolling in.
That's the kind of Solar Energy I can go for, $20 for the pipe, $7 for two cans of black paint, and when (or if) I make a parabolic reflector... about 8x concentration....
I might have $50 in it, if I scrounge a bit more.

Scott Davis did an interesting solar project awhile back, he used a downspout, painted it black and put it in a box - laid it along his house so the neighbors wouldn't object.
a fan to pull the heated air out of it, neat little system.  He lives in Mass., so his winters actually get cold, unlike mine in Virginia.

We're not really full of energy and ambitious, it's more of a wandering mind...

KJ4ADN - Bill
:thumbsup:
What a great idea, I never considered doing a smaller scale, thinking it was even remotely feasible.
I think I'll give that a shot. Thanks for the tip.

I have, on the other hand, been toying with a summertime cooler along the same line, where I bury a 1' dia pipe 100 feet long about 3' down, extruding out of the ground in the forest above the house drawing in cool air, so the cooler air flows naturally down into the house.
I may take a shot at it in a couple of months.
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Offline Hoofer

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2015, 06:12:16 AM »
I have, on the other hand, been toying with a summertime cooler along the same line, where I bury a 1' dia pipe 100 feet long about 3' down, extruding out of the ground in the forest above the house drawing in cool air, so the cooler air flows naturally down into the house.
I may take a shot at it in a couple of months.

---------------------

MOLD

We're originally from Wisconsin, west of the Madison area there is a group of semi-underground homes, near Cross Plains - a whole community.
Based on what my brother (who toured a few of them, and did minor maintenance repairs), MOLD control is a problem.

Without going into it too much, the air coming into your pipe needs to be CLEAN, the pipe needs to stay clean, and you'll need some way to drain off the condensation.
As heated air will hold more moisture than cooler air, when you drop the temperature of the air, you get FOG or RAIN (relative humidity stuff...).

Add a little dust / dirt to those humid, moist surfaces, and the environment is quite suitable for growing all kinds of nasty stuff.

The basement of the farm house I grew up in was really nice in the summertime, maybe 65-70 degrees (very thick rock / concrete walls).  The moldy smell was omnipresent...  But, we also weren't bringing in fresh loads of mold spores and forest nasties.

Maybe a "loop" from the house into the woods, and back - a heat exchanger of sort.

KJ4ADN - Bill
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline Solar

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Re: Power Generator and Solar Panels
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2015, 07:02:58 AM »
I have, on the other hand, been toying with a summertime cooler along the same line, where I bury a 1' dia pipe 100 feet long about 3' down, extruding out of the ground in the forest above the house drawing in cool air, so the cooler air flows naturally down into the house.
I may take a shot at it in a couple of months.

---------------------

MOLD

We're originally from Wisconsin, west of the Madison area there is a group of semi-underground homes, near Cross Plains - a whole community.
Based on what my brother (who toured a few of them, and did minor maintenance repairs), MOLD control is a problem.

Without going into it too much, the air coming into your pipe needs to be CLEAN, the pipe needs to stay clean, and you'll need some way to drain off the condensation.
As heated air will hold more moisture than cooler air, when you drop the temperature of the air, you get FOG or RAIN (relative humidity stuff...).

Add a little dust / dirt to those humid, moist surfaces, and the environment is quite suitable for growing all kinds of nasty stuff.

The basement of the farm house I grew up in was really nice in the summertime, maybe 65-70 degrees (very thick rock / concrete walls).  The moldy smell was omnipresent...  But, we also weren't bringing in fresh loads of mold spores and forest nasties.

Maybe a "loop" from the house into the woods, and back - a heat exchanger of sort.

KJ4ADN - Bill
All good advice, but here in Ca Sierra Nevada mountains, the air, 90% of the time is around 19% humidity, so mold is never an issue.
Many of the homes around here are built on mine shafts for this very reason, controlled climate year around.
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