No, Larry, during an outage I have only the 30A or so max from the
genny to start the motor and that isn't enough to start it under load.
When the power is on this house can pull 200A from the grid all day,
the neighborhood was originally wired for electric heat.
The washing machine also won't start on 30A unless I push the
spring-tensioned motor inward to let the belt slip.
The way you said it was...curious. "long outage"
Mine was wired that way, too, and I absolutely hated the baseboard
crap. The first thing I did was spend $9,000 to toss the 240v radiant
heat, put in a 96% efficient gas heater with A/C, pull out the single
glazed aluminum windows and put in dual-glazed PVC windows, and get
all-new, -efficient- kitchen and washroom appliances. That gave me 2
new dual circuits for 3 new 240v outlets in the shop (seldom used
concurrently), one dual circuit for the new A/C condenser, a circuit
for the furnace, and 3 spare slots.
Cheater! Get a new washer. I hear they're only 1/4hp now, and won't
blow a 15a breaker.
The storm hit on Sunday night and the crews are only now completing
the final restorations.
I ran the fridge on the UPS overnight, then since we hadn't lost power
I checked the run time on the 6 year old batteries, which was still
adequate. The solar panels I have now aren't enough to keep up with
daily demand so I took advantage of Home Depot's sale on "100W" panels
for $99 with free home delivery.
They are Grape Solar polycrystallines which get good enough reviews
that lack technical details. I have the equipment to measure and
record their output and will give them a good checkout, and perhaps
buy an MPPT controller if it makes economic sense. Right now MPPTs
cost about as much as another 100W panel without adding as much output
from a small system. My DPS5015 switching regulator can be used to
find and charge at the maximum power point but it won't track changes
I left the electric heat intact as an automatic backup for the wood
heat, with new thermostats that can be set below 50F. Heat in the
bathroom is very nice when I've let the house cool below 55F.
My old Dependable Care Maytags are easily modified to wash with water
heated on the wood stove and poured in. I bypassed the water level
control which allows these top loaders to wash with as little water as
a front loader. Water isn't short here but heating it is expensive.
The one I'm using now simply has an added Wash/Spin switch that
reverses the start winding. All I had to do to change the wiring was
rearrange the Fastons.
It's that Globular Swarming, uh, I meant Crimate Change, uh, I mean
Tipping Point again. Leftist scientists say it'll be happening every
5 years from now on.
Not a bad price.
A PWM controller was included with the $1119 kit I got. 1080w of poly
solar (6x 180w panels @ $170 ea.) I found a backup "MPPT" controller
for $26, ($99 now
) so I'll be testing the
two against each other to see if the pseudo-MPPT gives any better
output. These Taiwanese jobs were the next step up at automatically.
Interesting, but sort of a moot point without automation. Or is it?
Finding the MPP of the system might be good for a boost, even without
the tracking, but I haven't seen any studies on that. I'll look for
some more articles on MPP to see.
Grok that. I disabled my shiny chrome heater, but put a $20 milkhouse
heater in there to warm things up before showers. Heavenly.
Yeah, the older Kenmore and Maytags were bulletproof. My Magic Chef
(? yeah, me, too) is a cheaped-out Maytag with plastic bucket. They
had to replace the washer motor within 6 weeks. And the dryer thumped
for the first 5 minutes due to soft rollers. I had them replace 'em
although the tech said it wouldn't matter. Once he showed me the soft
rubber rollers he removed, I understood. The type of rubber makes for
thumps for the first few minutes, but a quieter dryer for the next 45.
I switched to a warm wash/cold rinse, which showed on my electric bill
years ago to be the best way. With solar hot water and LED lighting,
I may have $20/mo electric bills. The furnace has a variable speed DC
fan motor for more savings. Carrier Infinity = no wood smoke = Love
One of my water heater elements will be solar soon, so that should
effectively drop my electric bill by half. We'll see what 900w will
do in a 20gal tank. I'll run solar all day. The other element is
3800w and I installed a timer (limited to 3hr/day) to bump it to 120F
in the evening when necessary. Now to find sensors to collect data on
COOL! I'll let you know when I'm there. I'll need an adapter for the
motor shaft to a timing belt pulley and a 5/8" x 4"shaft. *** Doesn't sound to hard. I'm sure I can destroy those parts easily. Use
the contact form at cncmolds.com to start a private mail conversation when
you are ready.
Nope. Conditions vary so much that a single snapshot of an MPP in
time wouldn't be of much use. It appears that the MPPT controller
changes the resistance of the circuit so it continues to output max
power at all times, from 1 to 1000 times per second. (one of 84
million 400 thousand snapshots a day. ;)
We were wrong to doubt Chicken Little.
There's this, if you want to look cool and easy to operate:
If the sky is clear the panel output doesn't change much in an hour.
We are downwind of Vermont's mountains and if it is at all cloudy the
solar output may vary so much that I'd be better off recharging from a
My well-insulated 40 gallon electric water heater draws ~1 KWH per
day, 28 KWH on the bill for September.
I made that measurement on my HF 45W panels with a large rheostat and
a DC Volt/Amp/Watt meter and found a range of several volts where the
efficiency was at least 95% of the peak.
Batteries charge with Amps, not Watts. Any charging voltage above the
12.6V that the battery gives back is only a lost entry fee. The graph
shows that the current continues to increase as the load (battery)
pulls the panel voltage further below the Maximum Power Point.
The DPS5015 displays output Volts, Amps and Watts and with another
wattmeter like the blue Aode in the input, the output can be adjusted
for the maximum charging current reading, then you can compare Watts
in and out to see efficiency.
Finding the MPP with the DPS5015 shows me how much more current an
MPPT controller would give, compared to a direct connection from the
panel to the battery as with a PWM controller. I've read that an MPPT
controller isn't cost-effective for arrays of 200W or less, or for
trickle charging batteries whose voltage is already close to the MPP.
I would all but guarantee that it's not an actual MPPT controller.
(Oh, it says "Not True MPPT". How about that!) MANY of the cheap
Chiwanese units aren't. I'll find out whether or not my cheapie is
real once it's installed. It's likely also "MPPT compatible".
It all depends on what you're doing with the power. I'll be spending
it as quickly as it's produced until summer comes. Then it goes to
feed the batteries, of which I'll have too few. If you have the
controller for it, you can have excess volts converted to amps for
storage in the batteries at various levels. I'll run a 24vdc bank (of
two), with up to 43v in...if the controller decides to work well.
Why aren't you using it? (Oh, woodstove heating water, right. Isn't
that hot in the summer?)
I ran 558kwh in the hideous August heat, and only 202 last month. The
overly-long/hot July bumped my Comfort Level payments from $38 to
$43/mo. Half is for admin and half is the charge for electrons.
Schools can buy solar simulators now, with which they can do this type
of experimenting. Guessing that FLC won before reading the article,
which looks like one I'll enjoy. Thanks.
Yup, but they can give you a whole lot more usable power on larger
systems. I intend to expand this 1kW system to 6kW at some time in
the future, so I should probably buy that Outback before more panels.
So, with the new 100w panel, are you now only up to 145w
Dayum, must be. That or your monthly shower is short.
The cutoff showerheads sure save water/power. I like lots of water to
do quick rinses, so shutting it off after wetting down, shampooing,
then soap/scrubbing, then turning on for a quick rinse with many hard,
fine streams is great. Instead of lo-flo, I go with hi-flo/short
showers. A wimpy hand sprayer wouldn't suit me at all. I'm in and
out in four minutes, loofah in hand. (Dad was Air Force and related
the GI shower theme to me.)
I have around 200W now and ordered another 200W. The limitation on
solar here is large shade trees that cut my air conditioning bill to
$5 a month. One solar array catches an opening between the trees
before noon, the other after it. I used an extra freestanding HF panel
to find a convenient area for the new panels where I can get power
from 8AM to 2PM though it's not a good spot for a permanent mount.
After the leaves fall there's sun all day, filtered somewhat by bare
branches. I already have enough solar power to keep my vehicle and
backup batteries topped off but this last storm and run time test
showed how dependent I am on a generator if I can't keep food cold
Oops, I meant MidNite Solar Classic 150-SL @ about the same price.
Oh, good. You're inching toward real power, good for something more
than a 5" tv, am/fm radio, or LED lighting.
But if you have solar, you can generate your own free electrons. Are
the trees on your lot/cuttable? IMHO, shade is extremely overrated,
except when you want to sit outside in the spring/fall, in which case
you need precisely one tall shrub or small tree. I took down 4 large
trees and I sure don't miss the trouble they caused. I no longer have
trouble mowing and with only 3 trees left (1 constantly shedding
Redwood and 2 deciduous at the property lines, sharing the bounty with
neighbors' fields) I have a metric shitload less raking.
Just hope you don't have a branch come down and poke through them.
Impermanent placement sucks. Moving things twice daily is a PITA.
What are your future plans re: mounting and expansion?
You'll get enough power on a bright day (in the shade) to top off your
batteries, but even a small amount of real shade kills a full panel's
voltage and current. I haven't yet experienced this, but I've seen it
demonstrated often enough in vids on Djutube. Oddly, I wasn't
inclined to fool around with the little HF system. I just installed
it and tested it. But I put in 4 little concrete reinforcements for
the base and another under the batteries, so I guess I was done for
those days. All that research first must have filled the need to play,
measure, and chart.
That is true of some panels One of the technologies is worse than
the other - ac't remember the terminology - and good panels have
schotky bypass diodes that will allow the panel to produce reduced
voltage instead of going totally off-line when a portion is shaded.
It's still a backup for outages, until I set up outdoor battery
storage and can let them charge more quickly to the equalization and
gassing voltage. Limiting the battery voltage to non-gassing 13.6V as
the APC1400 SmartUPS does extends the recharge time past one day. I
think I can get away with a partial recharge for a week or so by using
a generator and my 24V 20A welding transformer charger to make up
Speaking of falling branches, last Sunday's storm brought down two
full grown oaks and the top of a third among my sheds out back without
doing more than dent the edges of the corrugated roofs as the trees
landed right beside and between them.
Yes, charging outdoors does allow your hydrogen producers to avoid the
lebenty seben different sparky things inside the home. I'll surround
my batteries with batts of fiberglass, vent the box with a screened 2"
hole top and bottom, and allow charging and discharging to keep them
from freezing. It's easier here than there, as we have a nicer
(non-Global Warming, kumbaya) climate. I'll be running in (mostly) DC
mode until I put up a second+ kW, expand my battery bank, and get a
real inverter. The 2kW HF inverter is 120v only and is semi-sine. :-/
I'll call Carrier today and ask if the Infinity will run on it.
Congrats, you got lucky and dodged yet another bullet, and now have
enough additional firewood for 3-6 more years. After you put in the
week to process it and a year to age.
The problem I see with solar power is the lifespan cost of the
batteries. If I pay $100 for a battery that stores 1 KWH, i.e. 83A-h
at 12V, and it lasts 500 cycles at full discharge or 1000 at 50% DOD
the operating cost is $0.20 per KWH of "free" electricity, more than
grid power even here where it's up at $0.19.
OTOH if I buy that battery for emergency backup I want it to last as
long as possible and so won't cycle it very often or very far, except
to confirm that it's still able to run the fridge overnight.
The compromise I want to try is to have enough solar power to fix
lunch, watch the TV news and browse the net at noon without drawing
much from the batteries. I've been experimenting with a 300W rice
cooker as a general-purpose heating appliance. The outside doesn't
warm up and waste heat. It does get hot enough to boil over so I may
loan it a thermocouple and temperature controller.