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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Announcements
Solar powered .ca
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Caneri

Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 1580
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue 08 May 2012, 12:49    Post subject:  

good discussions gents...very interesting.
I'll chime in later but for now some pics of the inverters and cable size.

The cables are closer to 5/8 to 3/4 in size with the plastic insulation.

Eric
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linuxbear

Joined: 18 Apr 2009
Posts: 621
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

PostPosted: Tue 08 May 2012, 15:04    Post subject:  

average power on the sine wave (at 60hz) is about .606 X peak power. If your cable is rated for 10k Dc and you are pumping AC through it, you'll have a a few extra atoms more than you need to help propagate the electrons....
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2668
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2012, 11:46    Post subject:  

Aitch wrote:
ezeze5000

The tide has turned against CFLs....it seems there's a mercury problem when they break...hoovering up spreads it everywhere...very toxic/carcinogenic......change to LED or ESL

http://epa.gov/cfl/

http://www.ecogeek.org/efficiency/3711

http://www.earth.org.uk/LED-lighting.html

7/11 watt LEDs provide good light levels, but are more focused than ESLs/CFLs, and work best in up/downlighters or reading lights


WE are such energy junkies....just use less! Very Happy

Aitch Smile


The other problem with CFLs is that they don't "cold start" -- relevant to us in the cold, northern climes.

I put some of the Phillips LED (75W equivalent) in my cold locations. They're pricey, but are basically "instant on" - there is a fraction of a second delay, like many indoor CFLs show - but have no "warm up" time.

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Caneri

Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 1580
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu 10 May 2012, 17:48    Post subject:  

Thanks sunburnt, Aitch, RTG, Sylvander, linuxbear , aarf, AND Thom the hillbilly Wink for being interested in this project/thread.

Solar power seems a good path, in my thinking, for earth's future energy needs..at least in the day time. Night-time is for the stored energy in salt based liquid batteries.

I'm storing power on the grid for now until I can use it to heat my house in winter.

This entails a storage of heat in my house.....we will see about the next direction for the project...hopefully more panels Eric

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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Fri 11 May 2012, 17:27    Post subject:  

RTG wrote:
It's not so much that he will be burning 10kW, it's that in the depths of winter, he might only get an average of 2-4 hours full sunlight/day (NREL shows that November tends to be the worst month, due to general cloudiness).


From looking at Eric's panels, I'd have thought snow coverage would be the biggest problem in winter....?

Eric

I think the salt storage idea is for a different type of solar install

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/02/storing-solar-power-in-salt/

This site is quite useful.....

http://www.altestore.com/howto/Solar-Electric-Power/Design-Components/How-to-Size-a-Deep-Cycle-Battery-Bank/a94/

....although I'd have thought your rig to be configured for high voltage grid tie/inverter rather than battery charging

Also check out thermal solar water tubes, such as this

http://www.solarthermal.com/

or heatpumps

http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/publications/residential/heating-heat-pump/4345

http://www.cleanbreak.ca/2012/02/20/ontario-leads-canada-with-installation-of-geothermal-heat-pump-or-geo-exchange-systems-but-residential-lags-commercial-market/

...which has the advantage of still providing heat when it's cold/dark

You are fortunate to have the space [and maybe grants?] to experiment...

Aitch Smile
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Caneri

Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 1580
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat 12 May 2012, 15:50    Post subject:  

Hi Aitch,

Quote:
Night-time is for the stored energy in salt based liquid batteries.


I should have been more clear. The salt based storage is for solar heating with a heat storage chamber (aka battery) based on salt that turns gelatinous when cold and thins to liquid when heated thus losing heat as it solidifies (I think that's close).

One of these days I might even understand all this stuff.

Love the beard...Eric

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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
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Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Sat 12 May 2012, 18:39    Post subject:  

Caneri wrote:
based on salt that turns gelatinous when cold and thins to liquid when heated thus losing heat as it solidifies

Sounds like "Latent Heat" in action.
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2668
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat 12 May 2012, 21:05    Post subject:  

Sylvander wrote:
Caneri wrote:
based on salt that turns gelatinous when cold and thins to liquid when heated thus losing heat as it solidifies

Sounds like "Latent Heat" in action.


Yup. Energy stored and released during the phase change process (e.g. ice to water, liquid water to steam).

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Caneri

Joined: 04 Sep 2007
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun 13 May 2012, 16:21    Post subject:  

One thing about solar heat is that it's seems to be geared towards commercial/industrial installs...or just a hot water tank which is not what I want.

I guess I need to get my pencil sharpened and look at a home build.

When I ask about what solution/solid that they use it seems to be a state secret.

The chase begins lads and lassies...Eric

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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 13 May 2012, 18:28    Post subject:  

Caneri wrote:
One thing about solar heat is that it's seems to be geared towards commercial/industrial installs...or just a hot water tank which is not what I want.

I guess I need to get my pencil sharpened and look at a home build.

When I ask about what solution/solid that they use it seems to be a state secret.

The chase begins lads and lassies...Eric


If you're doing a home build, how about just filling it with auto antifreeze solution (adjusted to survive your local low temps). If you want to heat water for internal use, couple it elsewhere with sealed heat exchanger of some sort (or use perhaps use RV antifreeze to eliminate toxicity, in case of a leak).

Of course, if you can ensure that your hot water will never freeze, you wouldn't need to run a dual system.

But in these cases, we just talking home heat and hot water (not mechanical work, or electricity).

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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
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Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Tue 15 May 2012, 07:26    Post subject:  

A DIY molten salt setup would be both expensive and potentially dangerous as salt melts at around 230 degrees Celcius, achieved by focusing many parabolic mirrors on a tower

http://www.reuk.co.uk/Molten-Salt-for-Heat-Storage.htm

Nevada's new molten salt setup even produces power at night, but cost many millions of dollars

http://inhabitat.com/nevadas-new-molten-salt-solar-plant-will-produce-power-long-after-the-sun-sets/

A concentrated solar water heating setup should be within your capabilities, though, using an insulated swimming pool as a heatstore, with insulating balls floating on the surface, [or other method of store of choice] and heatpumps to convert the low grade heat to higher grade for heating the house/buildings...or try utilising the planet's natural latent heat with underground pipes tapping the heat, also fed to heatpumps....but be aware, if there is a power outage, you'll need to supply power to all pumps, compressors, fans and control equipment

http://www.nrel.gov/csp/troughnet/thermal_energy_storage.html

http://diygeothermal.com/

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/geothermal/484-homemade-heat-pump-manifesto.html

Tricky business, energy...the secret is to reduce use to a minimum, rather than try to produce as much as you're used to using...unless you intend to become a local supplier...with all the responsibility for people lives that carries...?

Aitch Smile
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aarf

Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 3620
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Wed 30 May 2012, 10:47    Post subject:  

something stinks…can you smell it too
Quote:

Truckers test LNG
Bloomberg News
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Chad Porter wants to run his 18-wheeler trucks on frozen natural gas across Canada’s Rocky mountains
even before the world’s longest chain of refueling stations gets built to keep them fueled.
The chief operating officer of oil services company Ferus Inc. bought two vehicles to test liquefied
natural gas and reckons switching from diesel may cut 22 percent from his fuel bill, or about $1 a
gallon. At the moment, Calgary-based Ferus uses mobile tankers to refuel his trucks, which cost about
$100,000 more than conventional vehicles, adding expense to a project that’s about saving money. A
Royal Dutch Shell Plc project will make it easier to fill up.
Shell’s plan to spend $250-million on an LNG plant and a string of filling stations is the biggest single
investment yet in making frozen gas a transport fuel, a shift advocated by proponents of energy
independence including billionaire investor T. Boone Pickens. Switching engines to run on LNG is
becoming economic because a glut of fuel from North America’s shale rocks has made the U.S. the
world’s largest natural-gas producer and forced prices to record discounts versus crude oil.
“LNG holds great potential as a transport fuel,” Mark Williams, Shell’s director for downstream, said in a
speech this month. “North America, for example, now has a century of gas supplies at current
consumption rates. So gas is likely to gain market share in transportation.”
Special Coolers
Using LNG in vehicles has limitations, from fuel evaporation to the special coolers needed at filling
stations to keep the gas at minus 162 degrees Celsius (minus 259 Fahrenheit), making it mostly
suitable for long-haul trucks with large gas tanks. U.S. truckers spent more than $135 billion on fuel
last year, according to American Trucking Association.
“We would take advantage of any infrastructure that gets built,” Ferus’s Porter said in an interview from
his office in Calgary.
Shell agreed to work with filling-station owners Flying J Inc. to offer LNG to trucks along the highway,
from Fort McMurray in Alberta, the heart of Canada’s oil industry, to Vancouver on the Pacific coast,
more than 900 miles (1,600 kilometers) to the southwest. At today’s diesel prices, fuel for each run on
the route by a typical 33,000-pound, 60-foot truck costs about $550.
The roadway, which comes within about 235 miles of Mt. Robson, the range’s highest peak at 12,972
feet, passes through part of Canada’s oil and gas producing region, as well as the mining and forestry
operations of companies including Teck Resources Ltd.
‘See Opportunities’
“We see opportunities for a concept like this one in other areas of the world as well,” said Jose-Alberto
Lima, Shell’s vice president for LNG and gas sales in Americas. He said Shell, based in The Hague in the
Netherlands, doesn’t expect a rebound in gas prices anytime soon.
In addition to being cheaper, natural gas burned in trucks emits as much as 25 percent less carbon
dioxide, as well as almost eliminating particulate matter and sulfur dioxide produced by diesel-powered
vehicles, according to the Calgary- based Van Horne Institute. Using natural gas, a fuel where North
America is self-sufficient, would also cut demand for imported crude oil.
Shell eventually plans to deploy LNG technology to power trains, ships and mining industry engines. Gas
overtook crude oil to account for more than 50 percent of the company’s production for the first time this
year. It expects to expand the use of LNG as a transport fuel beyond North America to Europe, China,
Latin America and Australia.
Green Corridor
The Anglo-Dutch company’s Green Corridor project in Canada will make 300,000 tons of LNG a year. It
plans to start production at its first small-scale gas liquefaction plant at Jumping Pound near the route’s
halfway point next year.
“These trucks are more expensive than the traditional diesel trucks today,” Shell’s Lima said. “You need
to have economies of scale to bring these costs down.”
Shell is cooperating with Vancouver-based Westport Innovations Inc., the maker of cryogenic fuel tanks
and the only currently available 15-liter gas-powered engine suitable for heavy-duty trucks running on
LNG.
Compressed Gas
The second Canadian maker of gas powered engines is Cummins Westport Inc., which makes smaller
8.9 liter heavy-duty unit. The Vancouver-based joint venture of U.S.’s Cummins Inc. and Westport has
designed a motor able to run on either compressed natural gas, CNG, or LNG.
CNG is used for light- and medium-duty vehicles, such as buses and garbage trucks. LNG, which is
using a cryogenic technology to chill gas and reduce it to one-six-hundredth of its original volume at
low temperature, is offered mostly as a fuel for heavy-duty vehicles.
CNG, which is stored at ambient temperature, requires tanks with thicker walls to hold the pressure and
provides less energy per volume. Therefore, long-haul trucks can take more LNG on board in lighter
chilled tanks with less time required for refueling per energy unit.
“Drivers have been very receptive to LNG trucks, especially since they drive like diesel trucks,”†said Cara
West, a spokeswoman at Paccar Inc., which designs and manufactures trucks under Kenworth, Peterbilt
and DAF nameplates and where Ferus bought its vehicles. “Dealers are receiving multiple inquiries from
customers anxious to learn more about LNG trucks.”
Market Share
Paccar currently equips some of its Kenworth and Peterbilt models with LNG engines. The Washington
state-based maker expects the gas-powered-truck market share in North America to expand to about
20 percent in the next several years, up from about 6 percent now.
With natural gas fuel taxed about 20 Canadian cents less a liter than diesel on equivalent basis, it takes
less than five years for a driver to return extra investment benefiting from cheaper fuel, according to the
Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance. Canada has more than 100 LNG powered trucks almost equally
split between western and eastern parts of the country operated by Vedder Transport, a milk hauler in
British Columbia, and Robert Transport, which operates in Quebec and is expanding the fleet.
Tax Breaks
In January, President Barack Obama said tax breaks for natural-gas powered trucks will help cut
dependence on imported oil in the world’s largest crude-consuming country. “We, it turns out, are the
Saudi Arabia of natural gas,” Obama said. The U.S Senate and House have been reviewing the bill to
boost greater use of the gas.
“The potential is there, and when you have this huge resource in the U.S., and you’ve got almost 10
million barrels per day imported being used for transportation fuels,” said Theepan Jothilingam, an
analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc. At some stage, the U.S. government “will need to give a tax break and
encourage both the technology and the execution of this technology.”
Billionaire investor Pickens has been lobbying for incentives to stimulate greater use of natural gas as a
vehicle fuel to replace imported oil. Pickens is the largest shareholder of Clean Energy Fuels, a natural-
gas supplier for bus and truck fleets, which is building America’s Natural Gas Highway across the U.S. to
fuel long-haul trucks with LNG starting from the end of this year.
About 30 percent of U.S. “classic trucks” can be converted to run on LNG, which needs highly utilized
vehicles running lots of miles to pay back for the additional engine costs by fueling it with cheaper LNG,
said James Burns, Shell’s general manager for LNG in Transport, Americas. “Emissions is a key issue
here as well both on local air emissions and green- house gas emissions.”

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Sage

Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Posts: 4782
Location: GB

PostPosted: Thu 31 May 2012, 13:49    Post subject:  

The use of salt melts as solar collectors and storers is not new. Although they've been in discussion for at least 40yrs, only two very large installations (Barstow & S. Spain) have been constructed based on tracked mirror arrays. They both use(d?) nitrate(s) at ~900K - either KNO3 or an admix with the sodium salt. Salt melts have also been proposed as heat transfer media in closed cycle nuclear plant, as designed at ANL. The technologies are so old now that they are described in hard-back text books.
The big problem with lower temperature phase-change mixtures is maintaining the uniformity and composition as anyone who has used one as a hand-warmer knows - after a few freeze-thaw cycles they fail due to irreversible segregation, decomposition (organic/aqueous mixes) and a plethora of other undesirable processes. Furthermore, high temperature heat storage advantage falls out of Second Law considerations and all that jazz; hardly a welcome prospect for a domestic roof installation!
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Caneri

Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 1580
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jun 2012, 14:59    Post subject:  

Ok Ladies and Gentlemen....and all the ships at sea,

I'm on the grid as of 4.40pm June 19 2012....Hooray!!

I'm encouraged to be green....or copper colured...hey

My first impression is, I'm producing much more than I use even with AC working...we will see as the year unfolds.

Eric

PS.. @Sage,
No wonder you are called Sage....very interesting post...ty

@RetroTechGuy ....yup thought about that. I need a storage solution that is effective first.....and the hunt continues....ty All.

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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2668
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jun 2012, 23:09    Post subject:  

Caneri wrote:
@RetroTechGuy ....yup thought about that. I need a storage solution that is effective first.....and the hunt continues....ty All.


One or more old water heaters (broken, and probably free) -- perhaps will extra insulation around the tank?

Or a solar pond?... (may not work up north).

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