Machine Nation

Irish Politics Forum - Politics Technology Economics in Ireland - A Look Under The Nation's Bonnet


Devilish machinations come to naught --Milton
 
PortalPortal  HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  GalleryGallery  MACHINENATION.org  

Share | 
 

 Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
AuthorMessage
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:48 am

You might find this interesting:
http://www.earth4energy.com/?hop=mcolella
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:54 am

soubresauts wrote:
You might find this interesting:
http://www.earth4energy.com/?hop=mcolella

Did you read it? He believes you can get started for less than $200 dollars which is probably true but it would be very modest; and putting a windmill into your system could be the business ..
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:13 pm

I posted details of this discussion on a UK forum where there are many environmentally aware posters and the following contributions have so far been offered to our chat here:

Quote :
Siwmae XXXXX! Please repost this comment anywhere you think that it might be useful:

I have two neighbours who, like me, are ship-dwellers. One uses wind and solar, the other solar only. Their gear is quite small stuff. They both have mains back-up, but find that they can get by fine mainly on their renewable inputs, with automatic switchgear, available off-the-shelf, that moves them back and forth between mains and off-mains, as demand and supply balances require. Like me, they live fine on what most of our land-lubber friends would find pitifully small amounts of electricity.

The friend who runs the boatyard where we have our moorings doesn't even bother to read the meter to mine, because he says that ten or fifteen pounds a year isn't worth the worry, and he can just as easily let me have the power as a freebie built in to the mooring charges.

I don't use a panel or a mill, but I cook and heat only with a super-fuel-efficient wood-stove, originally developed, ironically, for use in refugee camps and amongst the world's poorest and most fuel-starved people. That's the Winiarski Rocket stove; worth a google; pioneered by Larry Winiarski and a team working on Appropriate Technology at an American uni. I built my own slightly tweaked version in heavy stainless tube, because I know from previous trials that that will last indefinitely. Ramblin' with the dogs and picking up odds and ends of dead wood here and there is the full extent of my fuel-getting obligation, at any time of year. The electricity feed is really just a minor top-up to that. And that includes demand for a welder and other power tools from time to time.

Neither I nor my neighbour skippers could be described even remotely as energy-poor. We're all full members of the Pampered Twenty Percent. Massive power-down from the current insane usage levels now regarded as standard amongst the PTP, or even as 'essential' -- god help us! -- is both feasible and comfortable. Don't fear it.

PS: Killing the vampires helps amazingly to reduce electricity demand. Look around your electrical appliances and see how many have stand-by lights and liquid-crystal displays glowing. Also. check all your little in-the-plug transformers that remorselessly grind out low level heat, even when the devices that they power are switched off. In my partner's land-based home, I find that I can walk around in the dead of night seeing perfectly well where I'm going simply by the glow of the constellation of stand-by lights. Kill 'em! (Yeah, I know, it means you have to re-tune every time you switch on. Peccato! Deal with it!)

And on altogether different but relevant subject:

Quote :
Here in the south of Thailand, Chinese solar panels are finding their way onto the sides of houses and into gardens in a similar fashion to the way that satellite dishes appeared at the end of the eighties in the UK. Further offshore on the islands, they are even more popular. Most of the lighting is fluorescent strips or low voltage stuff and you never need to run a heater in this country. People usually go to bed when it's dark as well- and get up when the sun rises- that saves money. The killer is in Bangkok where they have to run aircon 24/7 to avoid being frazzled in a concrete condo. But it is the dirtiest place I've ever lived- horribly polluted by unfiltered smoke from every orifice.

Cooking around here is either done on a small charcoal stove or a burner from a gas bottle- everything is fried - no ovens (so not much bread - boo!)- I think my toast obsession is the biggest energy offender around these parts- although I don't run a TV- those CRT's gobble up the power

The really efficient idea around here imho is the little food stalls/ food halls- just family affairs selling all kinds of nice little breakfasts, lunches and dinners- most people don't have a kitchen- just a rice cooker so they can have something to go with the food that they buy from the lady around the corner. There is also a culture of eating together such that that the neighbours tend to turn up for a meal every night so you can just boil one big pan of rice.

It all works on a nice local level too- there's a local market seemingly around every corner full of local produce (mainly rambutans at the moment).
Even Tesco and the other price dumpers have trouble competing- but then, the Thais will go to so many more lengths to save money than we would in the UK and, as Tescos will wholeheartedly admit- every little helps!
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:02 pm

Great stuff Aragon - reading that boater's account gives me a warm fuzzy feeling - these people are in tune with nature using 'appropriate technology' as he calls it - tech which you can often build yourself and for that it is much more in harmony with nature than a series of different industries from mining to refining to distillation which produce another product that is a lot less harmonious, having a bigger eco-unfriendly footprint. Automatic switchgear - that's the job - allow you to install a partial solar panel set up which is coupled with the grid and you live off the grid when there's no sun. All this is done more or less invisibly by some relatively uncomplicated switches in your shed.

And Thailand .. ah yes. The streetfood is a joy there - I can say I renounced vegetarianism in order to enjoy the snacks and treats cooked on Koh San Road and elsewhere. I suffered no sickness either there but got desperately sick in Morocco from some of the street food there. Best to avoid milk products in these places if possible.

The little project I'm thinking of might be useful for many different things - powering your Christmas tree at Christmas for example without drawing anything from the grid. I wouldn't mind learning how to calculate how much a 13W panel can do as a maximum. I can picture a battery powering my tree's lights at Christmas - we'll see.

Today in the eco news there is some good sounds from MIT on combining solar with hydrogen as researchers there say they have made a breakthrough with the efficiency of hydrogen production which could 'catalyze' - haw haw - the hydrogen economy.



Quote :
The new technique uses inexpensive catalysts containing cobalt and phosphate. But the biggest deal is that it bubbles 100% of the oxygen produced, meaning that they can close the loop and not have to discard any water to keep efficiency high
http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/1953/78/

This is also being reported in the London Indo by Steve O'Connor:
Quote :
Until now the concept (electricity from solar panels to split water into oxygen and hydrogen) has stagnated because it has been too costly and difficult to use solar-generated electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen in a domestic setting, but the new method relies on the discovery of a catalyst that speeds up the conversion of water into high-energy fuel.

Daniel Nocera of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, said the discovery could remove one of the major obstacles that has prevented solar power from being taken up widely as a viable alternative to fossil fuels such as oil and gas.

"The discovery has enormous implications for the large-scale deployment of solar since it puts us on the doorstep of a cheap and easily manufactured storage mechanism. The ease of implementation means that this discovery will have legs," Dr Nocera said.

A warehouse roof in Germany
Back to top Go down
Ex
Fourth Master: Growth
avatar

Number of posts : 4226
Registration date : 2008-03-11

PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:58 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:


The little project I'm thinking of might be useful for many different things - powering your Christmas tree at Christmas for example without drawing anything from the grid. I wouldn't mind learning how to calculate how much a 13W panel can do as a maximum. I can picture a battery powering my tree's lights at Christmas - we'll see.

Audi, these calculations are easy.

There are some units you need to be clear on.

Voltage - measured in volts (V) . This is the electrical potential. It is sort of analogous to the height of a water tower, not the amount of water flowing from the tower, or the speed of the water. The way most things are designeed, they have a narrow voltage acceptance range for input voltage. Example, a battery radio that works off a 6volt battery will probably operate ok between 5volts and 7 volts. Any lower and the circuits will start to shut down, any higher and the circuits (especially the IC's) will get very unhappy. In the electronics business we call it 'letting the smoke out'

Current - Measured in Amps (A). This is sort of analogous to the amount of water flowing from the tower. All devices have a current rating, which is usually an average figure as the current bobs up and down depending on what the device is doing. In the 6v radio above, all the circuits will draw current they need to operate.

Power - measured in Watts (W) . This is like the ability of water flowing from the tower to do work, such as turn a turbine. It is not related to time. Well it sort of is related to time because it is the rate of doing work. But it is like a snapshot measurement.

In electrical terms power = volts X amps. (P=V.I)

Energy - Measured in Watt.Seconds.(or kW.Hours) This is work. It is the equvalent to the number of times the turbine above turns in a given time period.

Energy = Power X Time (E=P.t)

So if your solar panel can do 13W, and the output voltage is 12 V, you can supply upto 13/12 = 1.08Amps.

More later...


Last edited by EvotingMachine0197 on Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarified power def. sort of)
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:51 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:

There are some units you need to be clear on.

Voltage - measured in volts (V) . This is the electrical potential. It is sort of analogous to the height of a water tower, not the amount of water flowing from the tower, or the speed of the water. The way most things are designeed, they have a narrow voltage acceptance range for input voltage. Example, a battery radio that works off a 6volt battery will probably operate ok between 5volts and 7 volts. Any lower and the circuits will start to shut down, any higher and the circuits (especially the IC's) will get very unhappy. In the electronics business we call it 'letting the smoke out'
Thanks for going to the trouble there - I've got some of these units into my head even since yesterday so you're not wasting your sweetness.

When you have the chance you might try to explain this one if possible. My laptop is 19 Volts and my car battery is 12 Volts, now that's what confuses me when I try to think of what Voltage really is. I think I can imagine what Amps are - more later as you say, let's take this slow because this is "Audi's World" after all (a reference not to "Tomorrow's World" but to "Sophie's World" ....)

My car has a starter motor which I'd imagine is possible to hand-crank up into life if I had to but you'd think a laptop might be easier to fire up if such a hand crank existed but it doesn't and isn't - the laptop requires a lot more head of water than a yoke which will turn over my engine .. (which leads me to this question - could my laptop battery start up the engine of my car? Very Happy )
Back to top Go down
Ex
Fourth Master: Growth
avatar

Number of posts : 4226
Registration date : 2008-03-11

PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:17 pm

Audi, just think about voltage like water pressure. You want water to come into your house at say 10psi. If the council upped this to 2000psi you would not be happy because your taps and pipes and tanks would explode.

Your laptop is designed to accept energy at this 19 volts. Internally this gets converted to 4 or 5 different other voltages for disk drives, comms ports, memory, processors etc. Usally +12, +5, +3.3. +2.5 and +1.8 and sometimes -12V. All the different bits are designed to operate at different voltages for various reasons.

Processors and memory operate at very low voltages because they can go faster ! Communications ports prefer higher voltages because the noise immunity is better. etc...
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:22 pm

Ah that makes sense splitting the voltages up of course - so I could start my car with my laptop battery then?
Back to top Go down
Ex
Fourth Master: Growth
avatar

Number of posts : 4226
Registration date : 2008-03-11

PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:32 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Ah that makes sense splitting the voltages up of course - so I could start my car with my laptop battery then?

No you can't.

Because it takes a lot of power to start a car. A car battery can supply 12V (about 13 really) but at about 100Amps. Thats 1200 Watts.

Your laptop battery could only manage 200 Watts or something like that before it goes on fire or something. It's probably Lithium based. Most lithium batteries have built in protection against over-temperature and over current.

Car batteries are lead-acid. Very hefty yokes.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:44 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Ah that makes sense splitting the voltages up of course - so I could start my car with my laptop battery then?

No you can't.

Because it takes a lot of power to start a car. A car battery can supply 12V (about 13 really) but at about 100Amps. Thats 1200 Watts.

Your laptop battery could only manage 200 Watts or something like that before it goes on fire or something. It's probably Lithium based. Most lithium batteries have built in protection against over-temperature and over current.

Car batteries are lead-acid. Very hefty yokes.

Ok I might be getting the picture now - my laptop battery holds 19V and using your water pressure analogy then that battery is at very high pressure - I'm imagining it as an upright cylinder of water held a storey above the ground but it holds very little water (two litres) and so very little power in terms of current ... which is what ? the size of the pipe coming out of that battery/reservoir ?

If I wanted to turn a yoke like a starter motor I'm picturing it as an old-style mill wheel and my little laptop battery would have enough pressure but couldn't release it over the right amount of time - God this is hard pale

Is current then something to do with time and size/amount of sine waves coming out of that voltage? The two litre cyclinder one storey up has a lot of very thin pipes coming out of it (current) which will never turn that wheel. As watts = current X voltage, if my laptop battery was 20 litres then maybe over a short period of time it would turn that water wheel (in reality a starter motor needs such a kick to literally get it to turn the engine through a couple of strokes isn't that right? are you going for a few Tubers, it's Friday?)
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:36 pm

So, would you know anything about this then: my solar panel is 13W and can charge a 12V battery. Is it possible that I can charge my laptop - not while using it simultaneously - or similar device - a dvd player/mobile phone battery directly from the panel ? I need to attach a regulator to it don't I? Or would a 19V laptop battery charge at all or would it just charge more slowly?

I have that inverter too - I'm going to try it - it's very sunny today. It worries me that there is no configuration in the manual for what I'm about to try ... hopefully I'll be back soon (I'm wearing rubber-soled shoes if that's any good for me ...)
Back to top Go down
Ex
Fourth Master: Growth
avatar

Number of posts : 4226
Registration date : 2008-03-11

PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:51 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
So, would you know anything about this then: my solar panel is 13W and can charge a 12V battery. Is it possible that I can charge my laptop - not while using it simultaneously - or similar device - a dvd player/mobile phone battery directly from the panel ? I need to attach a regulator to it don't I? Or would a 19V laptop battery charge at all or would it just charge more slowly?
Is the laptop battery an internal one? does it say 19v on the label ? Any other info on it? What is the voltage on the mains power supply unit?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:06 pm

The laptop says 19V, 3,42A underneath on the label. The adapter for the laptop says 100-240V ~ 1.5A (1.5A) 50-60 Hz.

If I somehow manage to attach them all up would the solar panel (via the fuse/regulator) sort of trickle-charge the laptop or mobile phone (which is a lot lower Amps from the plug/regulator) ? Or do these devices need the Amperage they state on the plug?
Back to top Go down
Ex
Fourth Master: Growth
avatar

Number of posts : 4226
Registration date : 2008-03-11

PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:18 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
The laptop says 19V, 3,42A underneath on the label. The adapter for the laptop says 100-240V ~ 1.5A (1.5A) 50-60 Hz.

If I somehow manage to attach them all up would the solar panel (via the fuse/regulator) sort of trickle-charge the laptop or mobile phone (which is a lot lower Amps from the plug/regulator) ? Or do these devices need the Amperage they state on the plug?

What is the DC output of the adaptor. does it say some lower voltage on the label, like 24V or something?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:28 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
What is the DC output of the adaptor. does it say some lower voltage on the label, like 24V or something?
The adaptor only says 19V , 3,42 A, nothing else ...
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:56 pm

I give up - I don't have a switch wire for the 3, 6 and 12V outputs at the top of the 'charge controller'. I think I'll need one of these to charge up a battery or something. Or to get the power out of a battery - I have a little one of those rechargeable batteries too - 12V, 2.2Ah but I don't know what the power of it is or anything but I'll find out if it kills me.

There are plenty of good enough deals on solar if you are willing to try out a few things on your shed or something.
Maplin

Found a good forum where people are discussing how hard it is to be green .. their forum organisation is quite nice too...
http://www.itsnoteasybeinggreen.org/forum/index.php
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sat Aug 02, 2008 10:23 pm





The above are two adapters for a portable battery and a portable dvd player. Given that I have a 12V/13W panel then I take it that it won't power the batteries of these items up directly so I'll need some intermediate battery - 12V/10-40A which I can power up slowly and then power the yokes above from it..? (or use my car battery for now)

What size of a panel would I need to deliver power to these things above? 25W? (or two 13W fellas? - I wonder how that would work out?) I'm multiplying the Volts by the Amps up there to get watts and it turns out to be 18 watts for either of those yokes so would a 25 W panel power them directly? Of course it would have to be doing 25W max which it probably wouldn't... maybe two panels would power up my hand-held radio ... Rolling Eyes .
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:23 am

EVM, I reckon this type of yoke is the way to go (feck the solar)

and this
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:26 am

Forget that and have a look at how low tech this is (and have a read about finding the focal point here Twisted Evil )

http://solarcooking.org/plans/
Back to top Go down
Ex
Fourth Master: Growth
avatar

Number of posts : 4226
Registration date : 2008-03-11

PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:32 pm

Hope you have not electrocuted yourself yet.


Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:55 pm

Thanks for that. I'm at least getting the idea of the names of the things involved ! I'm also getting a few voltages into my memory too but not that many.

In your diagram can you tell me if the yoke I have already is a regulator? It's the fuse box on the other page ... I'll link it in a second. Do you know if that's a regulator?


Now, if it is, I attached the bits and pieces which I already have in the form of the above already. I think. I should make a diagram of what I did but it's like that above. The mains invertor which i have is maximum 150W although it tells me it can deal with a surge of upto 400W .. I should really study what an invertor does or rather how it does it - it converts DC to AC from 12 to 220V .. that sounds impressive.

Whatever way I connected them seems to have blown the fuse in my invertor too - it's for plugging into the car lighter and it's blown. How the feck could a 13W panel blow a yoke like that? Moisture? My digitial multimeter seems to be talking gibberish too ... it's all going down the swanny fast dude ...
Back to top Go down
Ex
Fourth Master: Growth
avatar

Number of posts : 4226
Registration date : 2008-03-11

PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:16 am

Yeh, that wee box is the regulator. But it's other purpose is to protect the panel from the battery and vice-versa, and to control battery charging.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:23 am

So you're saying that it probably won't take an inverter attached to it? I did already blow the inverter fuse unless it was already blown. (I don't need my car engine running just to test that inverter using the car battery do I ? That would defeat the purpose of using less fossil fuels)

But should I get a seperate regulator to charge different batteries so, do you think/know ?

And one last question before I make more tay - will a solar panel like the thing I have 'trickle-charge' more or less any battery ?
Back to top Go down
Ex
Fourth Master: Growth
avatar

Number of posts : 4226
Registration date : 2008-03-11

PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:51 am

Get me the info on the invertor. Make and model will do. They are quite inefficient, so they need some juice before they can even start to make juice.

Question: Is it heavy ? About 10Kg ?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:03 am

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Get me the info on the invertor. Make and model will do. They are quite inefficient, so they need some juice before they can even start to make juice.

Question: Is it heavy ? About 10Kg ?
This is it here

It's as light as an empty eggbox (half dozen). That's not good I suppose ...
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?   

Back to top Go down
 
Anybody know anything about powering your stuff with solar?
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 2 of 3Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 Similar topics
-
» Stuff Snow Queen----FRANSKI WAS MUCH BETTER
» Green stuff for your head
» What baby stuff do I need for my reborn baby?
» Dream of throwing up?
» MY FATHER ASKED ME TO DO THINGS

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Machine Nation  :: Machine Nation :: Energy, Transport and Infrastructure-
Jump to: