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Old 09-14-2008, 09:03 PM   #26
Carol
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Default Re: We ARE off the grid, using solar and wind, via boat

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Originally Posted by Peace of Mine View Post
We set up our 44' sailboat to live completely grid-free, using solar and wind, and back-up gen if needed. We could use some more solar panels. Has anyone actually checked out the "homemade solar panels???" It would be important to have them waterproof, and foolproof, but solar and wind is not complicated to understand.

We use an E-Meter to monitor how many amps we use, how many we're putting back, what the voltage is, and a history of battery storage. We use 2 8-D AGM batteries, 440 amp hours, to run our systems. That is, excellent refrigeration, unlimited laptop and internet, all lights, tvs, soy milk maker, crockpot, etc. We use solar hot-water - we made our own - and cooking is by LPG stove with oven, grill (seldom used - we're vegetarian) and solar oven.

It is very satisfying, to know how to set up your own system and learn to monitor and maintain it. Yes, it requires some compromises, and you have to be very aware of how much each appliance uses. You learn how many amps a hairdryer pulls, and which ones require a power boost before flicking a switch. You set up keel-kooled refrigeration, which is extremely energy-efficient.

Given inexpensive solar and wind options, it is not rocket science. The problem is that many inventions have been bought off (or the inventors killled.) Many countries, like Sweden, have done a much better job than the USA in utilizing alternative energy.

A great site to monitor for new projects - the goal is to make them free for all - is www.peswiki.com,

And keep the excellent info coming, everyone! Isn't this forum awesome??? Thanks, Bill and Kerry, and fellow compatriots!
Thanks for the link You're story is inspirational. Where are you currently located?
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:32 PM   #27
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

I should have mentioned turning off the power first to the house or when society collapses in on itself and the power grid is off it can then be used safely. Thanx for the concern lads. Peace out
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:16 AM   #28
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

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I should have mentioned turning off the power first to the house or when society collapses in on itself and the power grid is off it can then be used safely. Thanx for the concern lads. Peace out
OK, but still get an electrician to do it. I'm an electrician and I have seen many cases where someone has or could have seriously injured themself or others because they figure "Hey I can follow instructions". Maybe you could do it right, but it's too easy to mess up and hust someone.

And as someone mentioned before, when hooking up your house to any alternate form of energy other than a powerline, you need a TRANSFER SWITCH. This is exactly what it sounds like: it switches the house's power source between the "grid"(powerlines) or generator/whatever. They make ones that will do it automatically during a power outage, but you can set them up so that the house will run, when possible, purely on solar/wind/etc. and when available power dips below a certain level it will switch back to the grid.


This is one example why a transfer switch is nescessary:
Say power goes out in your area, so you start up your generator (you have no transfer switch). The generator powers your house, but it's unlikely that you'll be drawing the maximum output of the generator (if it's of good size)running your lights, refrigerator, computer, whatever. So this extra energy needs somewhere to go and since your house is still hooked up to the powerlines, the energy goes back onto the powerlines- this is called BACKFEED.

Someone down the street or the power company guy can get killed during a power outage because you decided to fire up your generator.


But you probably already know all that, I'm just saying it just in case.
-Good luck
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:04 AM   #29
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

Please do not take any information in this post as gospel or advice.

If we are going to discuss alternative power / energy, it may prove useful to investigate and/or shed some common misconceptions and societal memes.

Many building codes have been reviewed and found not to increase safety, but to have been implemented for fiscal agendas (similar to the way some pharmaceuticals seem to have no efficacy but generate much profit). One must scan hard on the web, but there are studies done on this, if I round some up I'll post links.

Fatalities and injuries occur from all power sources, however, jumpering car batteries was one major source back when carburetors and open fuel fumes were more common. Safe procedures and understanding (intelligence applied as wisdom) was key to making the process safer, not addition of expensive equipment.

Transfer switches are often convenient, practical and sometimes (often?) required by codes, laws and regulations, but are not technically required.

One approach to minimize risks, such as in an emergency, is to open up the main breaker in the power panel, connect first end of a 'jumper' cord (both ends with the receptacle prongs) to an outlet in the residence, connect second end to the generator and finally start the generator. When normal power is restored, reversing the procedure by first shutting down the generator, then removing jumper cord from generator, then from residence with last step being the turning back on of the main breaker ensures the jumper is never handled energized and that the utility and neighbor's wiring isn't backfed / supplied by the generator.

I raise this issue because in times of crisis and emergency, some interesting choices will be presented, and if it involves following a code / rule / meme or saving a life or increasing chance of survival, my choice will be clear.

If one is wealthy or unable to follow instructions, or wants to follow a required law / code, then a transfer switch is the way to go. I just wonder where we will get them in times of need should systemic failures cascade through systems ...

Namaste!

Last edited by Zynox; 09-16-2008 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:03 AM   #30
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Zynox, you're totally right. You seem to know what you're talking about

I was going on the thinking that this was something that was going to be set up and utilized NOW, to have on hand for a disaster/collapse situation. And I agree, alot of codes and rules are financially motivated. And yeah you can accomplish the same thing with 'jumpers' and turning the breaker off. A switch is just a lot safer and easier, and if price is an issue and you are good with tools you can MAKE a switch- it's essentially a big 3-way switch like you have in your house to turn on a light from 2 or more locations. I made one for a customer who (obviously) didn't want his house inspected and wanted systems that could be fixed (opposed to replaced).
If one is setting this up now really try and do it right, and I'm not talking about code here, just done safely.

BTW- I don't have a transfer switch, I have the genny on it's own breaker, so just I open the main and close the genny breaker. So atleast this way I have some overcurrent protection.

Last edited by 371; 09-16-2008 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:26 AM   #31
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

What will happen to the solar power installations after EMP attack or emission? Will they work or fail? Can someone please clarify this.
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:52 AM   #32
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

@Zynox
@Truth Voice 2012

Sorry if this sounds like an attack, or preachy - it isn't - I promise! Normally I give up at this point but I am still bothered by this.

It is evident you know how to look after yourselves - don't get me wrong.

The principle behind me posting is this: if skilled men who, with the best motivation give instructions that include the fabrication of dangerous things, or the means to kill or wound, then they should at least explain all the relevant factors and dangers to those less skilled.

In this case, that would be mentioning fully disconnecting (both poles) your house from the grid first - you didn't and thats dangerous. Second, the two plug extension lead still sounds to me criminally irresponsible and you would want to mitigate the risk you are creating by fabricating the lead only at the point of need, and then destroying it when you are done with it. If you have already made one up, and some kid finds it an plugs one end into a socket and touches on the other - well you can see where I am going...

We are all here with much knowledge to share, but at the same time we are karmically responsible for the words we utter or write and thier consequential effects on those other perhaps less experienced/knowledgable selves that hear and read them, and this happens whether we like it or not.

Finally, and this isnt just to get the last word in, there is another point to be made, and its about preparation vs. emergency measures. Transfer switches are obviously not required to use a generator in the manner you both described, but it is a safe way and an easy way, and if you are planning ahead, why not install one? Then others asides from yourselves with specialised knowledge can safely use it. Surely if you can afford a generator, and the fuel, the fuel storage systems, the fuel preservatives, oil, spares parts, tools and maintenance equipment, and all the other paraphanalia you need (or should have considered) to depend on one, then you can probably afford a transfer switch.

A..

Last edited by Anchor; 09-16-2008 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:57 AM   #33
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

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Originally Posted by storm4ce View Post
What will happen to the solar power installations after EMP attack or emission? Will they work or fail? Can someone please clarify this.
Good question, I'd like an answer on that too. When you look around the web there is a lot of conflicting information.

Your inverter and charger systems might suffer more than the panels. There are often longer runs of cables involved which act like antenna for the EMP.

If your system is grid-tied, then potentially the cable lengths are longer still (on the grid side).

I wonder if lightening suppressors would help? Anyone know?
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:54 AM   #34
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

The electronics is much more sensitive to high voltage/static, so they are burnt out by the EMP. They can be protected by an electrostatic shield (Faraday cage), but you need to make sure it is totally disconnected, and that no wire that can pick up the EMP will connect it to the components. eg. if you store your PC in a metal container, it would be protected during the EMP.

For solar cells, if exposed, will the generated voltage damage the cells is the question. To be safe, they should be protected also, otherwise, the second best is to disconnect the wires going to the panels temprarily; wrapping the panels in aluminum would also shield the panels from EMP.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:05 AM   #35
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"I havent tested this yet by the way. Its still just an idea. Im waiting on parts to arrive at the mo and ill post results and videos when/IF complete."
These sentences here mean: This is an idea and the generator and safety precausions that go with dont exist yet. Once I have built and tested it SAFELY I will let people know whether it works or not.

I put my hands up to this one though: "Make a lead with a plug at either end and if the main power should go out plug this lead in to the generator and then into one of the wall sockets of your home." What I should have said was "I will make a lead..." instead of "make a lead..." and "...wall sockets of MY home." instead of "...wall sockets of your home. This was completely irresponsible of me. I gotta watch my grammar. Ill be the only one taking the risk here and its my own business if I wish to do so. I was just looking for input on an idea not a condescending ego debate. I appretiate the input on the transfer switch but the message have been delivered in more respectful manner. Yup, the future is looking bright for the human race alright. (last comment on this thread)
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:40 AM   #36
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

>condescending ego debate.
>message (should) have been delivered in more respectful manner

Ooops I did it again. I am really sorry.

Guilty as charged. I know I am very bad at this sometimes. I don't always know how to word things to avoid sounding condescending - its always a challenge for me. This isnt the first time I get accused of being condescending. I don't want to be. The first time (in another place) I had to look the word up and was horrified at what I was being accused of.

I seem to always feel the need to express my ideas fully and accurately and this then gets me in trouble.

A..
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Old 09-17-2008, 03:42 AM   #37
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

In other words, be safe. disconect from the power grid first and then plug your gen set into a good load carrier circut, like your dryer outlet, or stove outlet.

just a suggestion.
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:48 AM   #38
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Concerning wind generators - check this out.
Peace.
wholly cow that site is hard to read!
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:02 AM   #39
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

To save energy I went and bought some outdoor solar lights, I put them on my balcony during the day and bring them in at night. I don't have to turn the lights on at all. I use one to carry around like a candle and I can turn it off when I go to bed and leave the other in the living room as a night light. I'll see how well they work in winter.

To me this is a simple and inexpensive way to light my home in the evening now not just when the grid goes down.
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:26 AM   #40
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

Quote:
Originally Posted by zynox View Post
please do not take any information in this post as gospel or advice.

If we are going to discuss alternative power / energy, it may prove useful to investigate and/or shed some common misconceptions and societal memes.

Many building codes have been reviewed and found not to increase safety, but to have been implemented for fiscal agendas (similar to the way some pharmaceuticals seem to have no efficacy but generate much profit). One must scan hard on the web, but there are studies done on this, if i round some up i'll post links.

Fatalities and injuries occur from all power sources, however, jumpering car batteries was one major source back when carburetors and open fuel fumes were more common. Safe procedures and understanding (intelligence applied as wisdom) was key to making the process safer, not addition of expensive equipment.

Transfer switches are often convenient, practical and sometimes (often?) required by codes, laws and regulations, but are not technically required.

One approach to minimize risks, such as in an emergency, is to open up the main breaker in the power panel, connect first end of a 'jumper' cord (both ends with the receptacle prongs) to an outlet in the residence, connect second end to the generator and finally start the generator. When normal power is restored, reversing the procedure by first shutting down the generator, then removing jumper cord from generator, then from residence with last step being the turning back on of the main breaker ensures the jumper is never handled energized and that the utility and neighbor's wiring isn't backfed / supplied by the generator.

I raise this issue because in times of crisis and emergency, some interesting choices will be presented, and if it involves following a code / rule / meme or saving a life or increasing chance of survival, my choice will be clear.

If one is wealthy or unable to follow instructions, or wants to follow a required law / code, then a transfer switch is the way to go. I just wonder where we will get them in times of need should systemic failures cascade through systems ...

Namaste!

how do you know all these things, are you plugged into the matrix lad?
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:23 AM   #41
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

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Originally Posted by 371 View Post
OK, but still get an electrician to do it. I'm an electrician and I have seen many cases where someone has or could have seriously injured themself or others because they figure "Hey I can follow instructions". Maybe you could do it right, but it's too easy to mess up and hust someone.

And as someone mentioned before, when hooking up your house to any alternate form of energy other than a powerline, you need a TRANSFER SWITCH. This is exactly what it sounds like: it switches the house's power source between the "grid"(powerlines) or generator/whatever. They make ones that will do it automatically during a power outage, but you can set them up so that the house will run, when possible, purely on solar/wind/etc. and when available power dips below a certain level it will switch back to the grid.


This is one example why a transfer switch is nescessary:
Say power goes out in your area, so you start up your generator (you have no transfer switch). The generator powers your house, but it's unlikely that you'll be drawing the maximum output of the generator (if it's of good size)running your lights, refrigerator, computer, whatever. So this extra energy needs somewhere to go and since your house is still hooked up to the powerlines, the energy goes back onto the powerlines- this is called BACKFEED.

Someone down the street or the power company guy can get killed during a power outage because you decided to fire up your generator.


But you probably already know all that, I'm just saying it just in case.
-Good luck
Thank you for the advices. As an electrician what form of alternative energy would you use to power a townhouse that has not been upgraded to the 200-size? The original electrical box from the mid-70's is still working.

I admit, even though I can emit electricity I really don't know anything about it.
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:38 AM   #42
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I admit, even though I can emit electricity I really don't know anything about it.
That's cracked me up
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:39 PM   #43
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

Here are the facts on the most popular Alternative Energy Systems:

Wind Generator - installed cost is about $18,000USD for a Skystream and requires a LOT of wind to be useful, like 20mph per day. It is Grid Tie - provides power directly to your property and excess to the grid, and shuts down in a power outage (UL 1741 rule). 12mph average annual wind produces around 400kWh/mo power.

Photovoltaics - installed cost for 3kW is around $22,000USD. It is Grid Tie - provides power directly to your property and excess to the grid, and shuts down in a power outage (UL 1741 rule).

Battery Backup to Grid Tie System - for an additional $7,000USD you can add a battery bank and inverter to provide emergency power in case of a power failure. The batteries will provide one day under normal usage and two days if you are really conservative with your power loads. An additional battery bank to double your time off grid would cost an additional $4000USD.

Totally Off-Grid - This is a combination of the Battery Backup system mentioned above and the Photovoltaics (or Wind Generator) to provide the recharging power for the batteries. A total system is around $34,000USD with battery capacity for four days without sun.

Backup Generator - in case of prolonged power outage or you are off-grid and you don't have sun (PV) or wind (turbine) for several days then you are forced to recharge the batteries using a conventional fossil fueled generator. I use a 13kW generator that attaches to the rear PTO of my tractor running on B20 biodiesel.

Solar Hot Water - two Evacuated Tube Collectors, an 80 gal stainless steel storage tank, and a backup on-demand hot water heater (Toyotomi uses oil/biofuel, Rinnai uses propane) will provide domestic hot water (DHW) for up to four people and the backup heater will only run 15-20% of the time annually, saving around 200 gal of fossil fuel. A larger system of 6 collectors, 300 gal storage tank, and backup heater when used with radiant floor heating can save up to 600 gal of fossil fuel annually. These figures are based on the climate in New England.

Costs - your out of pocket costs for these systems will vary according to any state and local utility rebate/incentive programs.

Wood and Pellet Stoves are also a 'carbon neutral' and cost effective way to heat a building in northern climates where biomass (trees) are abundant and locally available to reduce shipping costs.

Further information is available on my website:

http://solrheatsystems.com

Aside from a global public release of free energy technology (one can only hope) these systems are the current 'state of the art' and there are no game changing developments or technologies in the works that will be commercially available for the next 3-5 years. A lot of unscrupulous people will be drawn to this industry to rip people off as people go into panic mode over the current energy crisis. If you see something that seems too good to be true, it's probably bogus. Do your homework and select a system that's been around with a proven track record.

Caveat: my advice is worth exactly what you just paid for it!

Last edited by skyking; 09-18-2008 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:17 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by DenisSelivanov View Post
how do you know all these things, are you plugged into the matrix lad?
DS,

I have been in the trenches of electrical work since I was a wee-lad, as hobby, then career. Funny things along the way, I have witnessed many electrical events that seemed to defy the physics and electrical theory I was taught at the university, and this excites me, one might say electrifies me, as it leaves me knowing we have much to learn regarding all forms of electro-magnetic-scaler? energy.

As for the matrix, I feel I was suppressed by it along the way, does that count as being plugged into it? Unlike Neo, I have never really felt like I had an inside connection to it, more like I sensed it, as something most repulsive.

In another thread where I elected not to post further in the escalation, you asked, what is namaste. Namaste is an Indian greeting / blessing, and I apply it to you, my polar brother, "The divine in me honors the divine in thee", thus,

Namaste!
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:25 PM   #45
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Caveat: my advice is worth exactly what you just paid for it!
Skyking,

To me, your post was worth the free read inflated to great succinct detail, see inflation may be our friend! Excellent presentation!

I'm embarking on a road trip ( http://www.projectavalon.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=1944 ) to get into the trenches and learn/work/support folks in the solar/wind endeavor, and I will check out your site. I hope we may develop some mutual value to each other, beyond your information.

Also, if I may be of any free service to you in the electrical field, please feel free to contact me.

Namaste!
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:34 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Zynox View Post
DS,

I have been in the trenches of electrical work since I was a wee-lad, as hobby, then career. Funny things along the way, I have witnessed many electrical events that seemed to defy the physics and electrical theory I was taught at the university, and this excites me, one might say electrifies me, as it leaves me knowing we have much to learn regarding all forms of electro-magnetic-scaler? energy.

As for the matrix, I feel I was suppressed by it along the way, does that count as being plugged into it? Unlike Neo, I have never really felt like I had an inside connection to it, more like I sensed it, as something most repulsive.

In another thread where I elected not to post further in the escalation, you asked, what is namaste. Namaste is an Indian greeting / blessing, and I apply it to you, my polar brother, "The divine in me honors the divine in thee", thus,

Namaste!

As for the matrix, I feel I was suppressed by it along the way, does that count as being plugged into it? Unlike Neo, I have never really felt like I had an inside connection to it, more like I sensed it, as something most repulsive.

could you elaborate on that?
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:31 AM   #47
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

I can relate to the generator info, lived in the sticks, needed one to keep my pipes from freezing in the winter when we would lose power for few days post snow storm. With the way things are looking for the future, just bought some solar panels, inverter and giving it the ole college try. Got everything for less than four hundred bucks, should run basics if i watch what I do. Experimenting this weekend. Won't run the furnace, but can switch to wood,.....
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:08 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by DenisSelivanov View Post
As for the matrix, I feel I was suppressed by it along the way, does that count as being plugged into it? Unlike Neo, I have never really felt like I had an inside connection to it, more like I sensed it, as something most repulsive.

could you elaborate on that?
Greets again,

Since this is an energy thread, you could start another thread and send me a link or e-mail/message if you want more details, I have a fascinating story, to some, and I'll only tease and say, I have been real close to a lightning strike and been bumped across space and time from 1000 volts AC shock ...

~ namaste ~
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:44 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Zynox View Post
Greets again,

Since this is an energy thread, you could start another thread and send me a link or e-mail/message if you want more details, I have a fascinating story, to some, and I'll only tease and say, I have been real close to a lightning strike and been bumped across space and time from 1000 volts AC shock ...

~ namaste ~
can u give more detail?
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:27 AM   #50
meekforce
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Default Re: Alternative energy for your home

Here is a link for a motor - gives instructions - my understanding is it has a torquee up to 1600lbs

http://www.members.shaw.ca/motorlab/...Test%20Results
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