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Author Topic: Solar for dummies  (Read 6804 times)
NeoplanAN440
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« Reply #45 on: January 24, 2010, 12:31:18 PM »

cody

if the house is allready disconnected no problem!!

you can go into you main breaker box.problem is that the house will be separated into two phases to share the load for the 100amp or 200amp its rated!!!
a 3000 honda will get you only 1 phase 110v if i get it right
so you will have to connect the two main busses in the breaker box to use all circuits in the house!!
for 3000 watts 10 gauge is good!!!

as for a cord to a sockett
problem is that the plug will be unprotected incase some body takes it out while the gen is running!!
gen connector are build opposite .no power can be touched when unplugged!!
look at the marine shore connector they are the same as gen conectors or panels


but for this ,be sure you house is disconnected from grid,or a certified electrician installs a disconnect!!!!


hope this gets me into the right light!!!
i just like to try everything!!!
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cody
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« Reply #46 on: January 24, 2010, 12:32:18 PM »

I didn't know the meter had been removed until jamie and I went out to the house yesterday, my asking them for guidance on the idea was enough to put the wheels in motion for them,  The note left in the door clearly explained that they are taking premtive measures to insure that I won't be generating any power, problem is that they can't stop me but they certainly can prevent me from being in anyway connected to their grid.  The equipment I have is a small honda inverter generator (3000 watts) and a magnum 2800 watt inverter, I have a lot of heavy wire ranging from 00gauge to 14 guage romex, I realize the wire won't leap from the generator to the breaker box so I'm asking how to complete that gap.  I also have a 6500 watt onan generator that after I complete a quiet box for it will replace the honda but for now the honda will do until I suppliment it with wind or solar and the onan. I also plan on buying enough batteries to create a battery bank for storage but the finances dictate a slow start on the project.
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NeoplanAN440
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« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2010, 12:42:15 PM »

when i started ,i found that the cheapest way was to start on the generator site.

if you do it longer you will find out that a diesel is must!!!

i went later with a Listeroid engine coupled to st gen head.
running all night on two gallons and heating the house by using the waste heat from the coolant!!

i went trough severall onan,kubotas,you name it.
got tired of maintenance and cost for filters gasketts.......

whenyou got the gen.you can focus on an inverter and a battery bank.
keeps you from running the gen at night,when almost no power is needed!!
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NeoplanAN440
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« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2010, 12:47:34 PM »

after doing it a while,you will find that you change your lifestyle and need only half the power or you get tired and go to the grid again!!
if you keep on going,you have to find out wind or solar.
whats best in your location??
i went for solar first,started with only 400watts just enough to trickle charge.
went to 1000w  build my sun tracker with cheap actuators and some trow away 5w panels.
then i got wind for the stormy season

now i ended up getting a outdoor jacuzzi as a heat sink to waste my excess power,as her in new mexico the coop only gives credit for power.they dont pay for it.so i said why hassle with them if i dont get anything
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cody
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« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2010, 12:56:20 PM »

The intent of starting the thread was to explore the possibility of solar and wind but I don't have the hundreds of thousands of dollars I'm told it takes, I couldn't convince anyone that the need is minor, I just added up the total wattage of the light bulbs in the house and if every bulb was on it would total only 220 watts unless I turned on the dusk to dawn light, the refrigerator has a start up of 6 amps and runs at conciderably less.  I felt that a couple of 400 watt wind turbines to take advantage of the almost constant breeze, coupled with around 320 watts of solar and tied into the 8 AGM batteries I have now and the 2800 watt magnum inverter would take care of some of the needs and the honda would assist when needed.
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belfert
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« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2010, 01:05:56 PM »

I don't know who told you hundreds of thousands of dollars, but a system for the average house will be over $10,000 and probably well over that.

Notice I said average house.  Your house may use well less than average.  I am probably a bit below average and I use about 20 KW a day in the winter by my figuring.  (I think I recycled all my bills.)  Figuring maybe 8 hours a day of light and 50% usable watts I would need as much as 5,000 watts of panels to go completely off grid.

My usage doesn't figure in the air conditioning I use in the summer.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
NeoplanAN440
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« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2010, 01:13:09 PM »

there you see

as belfert says.he has a 20k usage.that was me before i went this way.
i bet after watching the power in and out like i had to do the first year,you wonder why you are down to 10k or like me less then that.im still living the same.look tv,have my computer and play in my shop welding milling and drilling....
its just the small things like the light in the hall,the tv at night...you get it.
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NeoplanAN440
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« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2010, 01:17:18 PM »

i build my first generator from a vw engine and an st head for less then $500
had 15k of power on diesel and wvo.

then i build my gen from a listeroid and a 5k st head with heat exchanger and water heater as storage for less then 2k
saved money as i was heating the house with the coolant via hydronic heating.
then i searched for my first panels 400w  ther went my next money.

but i did it in steps and upgraded while learning to live with the system
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cody
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« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2010, 01:18:39 PM »

Sean told me the hundreds of thousands of dollars figure, I just can't even see how it would cost the 10K your talking about, heres the numbers and you tell me what I need, I have 8-12 watt CFL light bulbs, a 32 inch LCD tv, the toaster and coffee pot are the heavy hitters but only run on occasion, a refrigerator that uses 6 amps at start up, the laptop, and a well pump that uses 9 amps when it's running.  I don't know the amps needed for the tv and the toaster and coffee pot would be the major hitters but I don't know the wattages of them, occasionally a microwave, it's a 450 watt unit. thats the total power thats out there at this time, now I can't see where that adds up to any major usage.  I'm trying to find out how to do it, I've already got enough people telling me I can't do it.  I have no A/C, no electric heat, no electric water heater, nothing like that just a simple basic household.  I just pulled my last light bill out of the file, I had used a total of 78 KWH for that month, does that help in figureing it out?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 01:25:24 PM by cody » Logged
Sean
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« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2010, 01:21:52 PM »

Sean, the only way I could kill someone 3 blocks away is if the electricty could leap thru the air and hit them,


Dan, just to be clear, that was not directed at you, but rather at the advice (which could be read here by anyone) that it is possible to backfeed the grid with a generator.  Simply put, not safely.

Quote
the power company has taken the meter, there is no longer any connection of any kind to the grid, I'm told they will even be taking the wires that used to run the power from the road to the meter.  I'm asking questions and just not getting answers to my questions.  What I'm saying is simpley this, how can I hook the generator into my breaker box, if I cant backfeed 30 amps thru an outlet that is wired with 2 guage wire, how do I do it, can I run it directly thru the mains?


The simplest way to do this, if there is no longer a meter and you don't plan on one for some time, is as follows:

  • Open the main panel.
  • Disconnect the two hot and one neutral wire coming in from the meter.  Tape off the ends with electrical tape, and secure them out of the way.
  • Punch a 3/4 hole in a convenient place on the panel.
  • Get a sufficient length of 8-4 or 6-4 (depending on generator capacity) type SO cord.  You could also use 8-3/10-1 or 6-3/8-1 if that's available (ground is permitted to be one trade size smaller).
  • Also obtain a type SO connector/strain relief, and the proper plug for your genny.  All these items are available at Lowes or Home Depot.
  • Run the cord through the strain relief installed in the hole.
  • Connect the red and black wires to the two hot lugs, the white wire to the main neutral lug, and the green wire to a spare ground lug.  Leave the existing ground in place, as it likely runs to the driven ground at the meter.
  • Install the plug at the genny end per instructions.

You are permitted to run this type of installation for 90 days as a "temporary" installation.  If you need to do something more permanent, the code really requires you to completely remove the meter connection, put a proper junction box ahead of the panel; install a driven ground connection, and run conduit over to the generator location.

Hope this answers your question.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
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NeoplanAN440
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« Reply #55 on: January 24, 2010, 01:23:47 PM »

your mainproblem is your well pump!!!
depending how the start box is working its drawing some serious amps to start.
and you wont play with it as they like to burn out if low on voltage.

is it 110 or 220??

you will need some real inverter like xantrex or outback

most others claim ratings they never hold
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NeoplanAN440
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« Reply #56 on: January 24, 2010, 01:31:03 PM »

xantrex dr inverter are nice starter units,but will give trouble with some electronics.
for sample i had stripes on my tv

i went with a xantrex sw4024    4000w 9000 surge
i can even weld on it with a tranformer or now i have them tied to have even 240v

there is a ps2524 or 2024 on ebay and the guy is asking $690 for it
it will handle all the load you have at this time and can be upgraded to have same functions as the sw

looking around and knowing what you want can save lots off dollars

this time lots of people selling solar stuff to make money!!!
i dont say it loud,but looks like thay cashed the tax refund and now get rid of the components!!

found my sw for $800 in original package

just look


what in your bus (gen etc???)
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cody
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« Reply #57 on: January 24, 2010, 01:36:05 PM »

Thank you sean, the breaker box is already grounded to a rod driven into the ground, the meter is completely disconnected and in a box in the back of the linemans truck somewhere, the line that went into the meter box is already in conduit and at the side of the house at a convienent level for a plug in spot for the generator, the well pump is 110 volt and the inverter is a magnum 2800 watt pure sine wave inverter/charger, I kinda think it is a REAL inverter unless I'm mistaken which I could be.  This is the information I was looking for, so my understanding is that I can use the line that used to go to the meter box to connect a plug from the generator, I realize that I will need to modify the system at the point where I add solar or wind turbines to it.  I already listed what all uses electric in the house and it really doesn't add up to a lot of power requirement, as I said the last bill only I had only used 78 KWH total, and that was with the house being lived in full time.
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cody
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« Reply #58 on: January 24, 2010, 01:46:25 PM »

The equipment that I have right now are a choice between the honda 3000I or the 6500 watt onan generator, I have a 2800 watt magnum pure sine wave inverter/charger with ample surge, and 8-105AH AGM batteries.
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« Reply #59 on: January 24, 2010, 01:47:41 PM »

To put this into the mix..   My son has a HS Science project this year..   The theme is "green"  We have decided to make a efficient solar panel.

I have located 6" x 6"  German made "mono"solar cells rated at 4watts..   I am getting them for $3.50 each.   I am going to make a small panel to "show" that it is possible to have a very current panel at cheaper costs per watt.    The 210 watt panels made by Evergreen or Sharp run between $600 to 750.    I'll toss the panel on top of the bus to keep my "start batteries" maintained when my son is done with the project.    It's also interesting to see the new cells coming in from China.   Back to back testing has not been done by anyone.  So it's a buy beware situation.  

In the end I will buy Kyocera 210 or 220 watt panels for the bus.  
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