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Topics - glort

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Everything else / Diesel Heaters
« on: July 07, 2019, 11:38:30 AM »

I have seen these small Chinese Diesel heaters available for Caravans and the like and did a bit of a search on them.

I was wondering about them for running on veg oil and that would be a cheap and safe way to heat the house. With an output of 5 ( or 8 ) Kw, they would put out enough to make a difference.  Looking on the world encyclopedia, Youtoobe, I found a guy that had done some tests on this.  The thing failed to run on 100% New oil but was happy enough on 50%.

I have conversed with him a bit after seeing he had the idea also of heating his home with the thing and asked how it was going longer term and if he was using any veg oil in the thing?  He said he had and it was happy up to 70%. Of course this got the rusty wheels upstairs Grinding.......

Much as I am obsessed with covering the place in solar panels, they have been coming up a LONG way short of late and heating with the Ducted air is costing a fortune in the generation shortfall.  It's pretty clear that no amount of panels is going to be able to keep up with my electrical needs due to heating in winter. Today was pretty clear and even after adding yet more panels to my systems through the week, I made 30 Kwh and used 55 so still a shortfall and I didn't even kick in the hot water in that period.

 Here a Kwh of electricity is .30c.  Diesel Fluctuates but if you call it  $1.40L, that would probably average out.  Diesel has about 10Kw of energy per Litre so that would make 1 Kw about  .14C, Half the cost of electricity.  The heaters have a specified fuel consumption of about 600Ml an hour or I think, about 80% efficiency.... but could be improved.  If we say 8Kwh of DELIVERED heat, that makes it about 17,5 C per KWH.  Still very worth while.

Of course if we can add 50% Free Veg oil, that would make it half so about .9C kwh delivered.  1/3rd the cost of power here which in winter I am paying for.....  Horriffic as that is!
I know prices for fuel and power will vary around the world and we have high power prices so this may not work out economical everywhere.  For us in oz, it looks pretty good though.

These heaters have a room air inlet and outlet and an intake and exhaust for the burner. Obviously the majority of the heat loss is going out the exhaust.  Just like an engine, seems to me that if we can capture this lost heat to whatever degree our efficiency goes up. If a simple Tube in tube heat exchanger was fabricated, the inlet air could be preheated before it went through the heater and a lot of the heat recovered. Should be very easy in a stationary  setup. Another use could be water preheating. Gas heaters just have a flue up the middle so if the heater were suitable located, the exhaust could be directed up the middle of a water heater and the energy recovered that way.  From what I can tell the exhaust is quite hot if not in great volume.
Might be OK to Duct into my greenhouse as well. Co2 and heat. Perfect!  :0)

In any case, with a little DIY ingenuity, Shouldn't be hard to increase efficiency of these things and drop running costs significantly as well.

I have looked at a number of vids on these things and although most tend to be install vids, I haven't found one where anyone is having problems with them as yet which is encouraging.  The longevity does concern me though.
If I am saving 30C ( power) minus 9C (Heater running cost 50% Veg) that's 21C Kwh Saving.  The best price I can find on the units is a tad over $150 which would make the break even ( less stuffing around) cost about 167 KW Hours of run time.  We are heating about 7 hours a day and for the past few days have been running at about 3 Kwh which is a bare minimum in not too cold weather.  Call that 27Kwh day and we get 6  days to break even.

Someone please check my maths. This is sounding one of those too good to be true deals. Must have stuffed up somewhere but I can't find it.

Thinking some more, I can't see there is a lot to go wrong with these things. There is a fan for the room air to be moved through the heater, there may be  a small fan for the burner as well. Neither of these I can see being costly to replace with off the shelf or bodge able components. Fans last forever in computers and cars anyway so probably Low failure risk there.
The only other thing is a solenoid fuel pump which may be a little more tricky as from what I can tell, it is pulsed by the heater controller to meter the fuel. Where a normal solenoid pump oscillates to move the fuel with what is probably an internal make and break, I saw on one vid connecting the power to the pump pulls it in and it stays there until the power is released again.  this may make it a bit specialist ( Re, exy) or it might be possible to hack a regular fuel pump.  On the 3rd hand, even if it is a specific pump, it's Chinese. If it cost $20  delivered, I'd be surprised. 

The rest are electronics which would be subject to infinitely less vibration and physical load than in a Vehicle so again I'd have to put that at low risk.
IF my figures are correct, at $150, one would still be making a good saving even if the thing had to be replaced every winter!

And there is yet another possibility......

Haven't made any in years but when I was, we were knocking out Biodiesel for about .27 C litre.  I have no idea what the cost of meth is these days and I know KOH hasn't gone down but, even if it cost .50C/L now, that would still be cheap AND...... given this is for a burner, no need to do 100% conversion so it would be possible to cut back on the Catalysts and make low conversion Bio and drop the cost yet again.
I was looking at a Bio forum the other day and one of the all time Gurus has shown you don't even need to heat the oil to get a reaction, it just speeds it up.  I could hook a fan motor to a home made stirrer, sit that in the top of the drum with everything it in and let that run a day  in summer where it would be about 50% Plus of temp anyhow, let it settle and then Pull the Bio off the top.  Wouldn't even need to wash it, dry or otherwise.

@ 600Ml Hr@ 5KW output ( can't see the need to turn it down in this place) A drum of a 200L batch would yield  around 170L of low conversion Bio which would equate to 283 Running hours or over a month at 8 hours heating time. At 5kw, might be able to decrease that run time a bit.

This is definitely sounding too good to be true!

Time I got to low conversion bio, would be virtually free to run one of these little diesel heaters.
Any costs and time involved, like before, I'll write off to savings on Gym membership which is a sound investment for me.  ;D

As reluctant as I am to buy anything off the shelf especially when it comes to burners, time I get pumps and hose and other things aside from the freebies I have for the project, buying one of these heaters is not going to cost any more that to build something bigger, uglier and with less safety built in.

Someone shoot some holes in this for me. It's looking far too good to be this easy and worthwhile.  :-\

Generators / What's best to use for mountings?
« on: June 28, 2019, 08:38:48 AM »

I want to make a base to mount my Rt125 Kubota and a 12Kw 3 phase motor to.
The engine is 120 Kg and 12 Hp ( bit smaller than a 1195 from what I can tell) and the motor is a portly 170 Kg.

I'm thinking to do them as a fixed setup because I cant see how I would ever  keep the things from walking them selves through the shed wall and anything else in their way if they were mobile. Might be OK if I got some hubs and put it all on car tyres but tha'ts going to make it big and still dam heavy to move..... If I will ever want to.

I am wondering if I would be better to go to a wooden or steel Mounting?
I have some 3x 3.5" hardwood up the back and I could go to some sleepers if that weren't sufficient. I'm thinking I could secure them with the engines with some L brackets to the garage floor.  The engine and motor would have to be coachbolted to the timber but I'm worried about the longevity of keeping it all tight.  I'm more inclined to go with the the 5x3.5" rectangular Tube I also have. I am concerned about the noise with that but was thinking I could put a strip of rubber between it and the concrete and dynabolt it down easily by bevelling the ends with the plasma Cutter.
the other thing I'm thinking is I could  mount the motor direct to the steel just by bolting it Although the far bolts from the end will be a trick  to get done up and then for the engine I could just weld some Unistrut to the rail and use that to tension the belt.  I have used a car screw Jack before to get the tension then just do the bolts up tight and could also secure  with a bolt through a piece of steel welded to the rail(s).

I had the roid on timber and bolted that to the concrete but I could never keep it tight. The roid is a jackhammer but the Kubota while it will stay put on a rubber mat, it certainly has some good hammering as well. I'm not sure if the considerable inertia of the Motors rotor and when it is at load will smooth things out or make them worse with the power pulses of the single Cyl engine.

Interested in some opinions and experiences and suggestions as what may be the best way to go here with mounting this setup.

After a couple of weeks wheeling and dealing, managed to pick myself up a couple of New ( to me) engines today.

They are genuine Kubotas rather than knockoffs which should be a good thing. One is complete and looks in excellent condition, the other looks like it has been through 3 world wars and is missing the fuel tank but -said- to run.  For $300 for the pair ( That's $1.96 US) I was happy with the price just for the good one.

They are 12 Hp and have electric and Crank start. I have wanted a watercooled engine of this type for a long time so finally got my wish.

I intend to hook this up ti my induction motor Generator. Been playing with that for a while but wasn't really satisfied with the fit of the one I intended to use.
If the older engine does run it will be good for testing cooling setups etc.

Will try to post some pics of the actual units tomorrow.

Also managed to pick up a 5 Kw Solar inverter, 20 250W Solar a panels and 27 180W Panels.
A very Fruitful but Kind of expensive day all up. Did a job on the weekend that went better than expected so made the most of it.

Got to have a good day now and then right? Might give me something to think about to get though July.

General Discussion / Tesla and Towing.
« on: May 24, 2019, 11:13:21 AM »

I found an interesting article on Towing with a Tesla last night.

Basically they took a mid size caravan and a Tesla Model X with the big 100Kwh battery.  The Van weighed 1700 Kg which was well below the Vehicles rated towing capacity of 2250 but still on the light side for many vehicles here which are  pretty standard at 3000Kg.

The upshot was the towed the Van 160Km, ( 100 Miles ) and the thing was well and truly ready for a recharge with only 12% or 55 Km battery remaining.
The vehicle used double the power it normal would on it's own and of course got half the range. 

This brings up a LOT of interesting thoughts for me.
Caravaning is a BIG industry in Oz mainly with the grey nomads ( pensioners/ retirees) and I'd suggest thousands of people are year do the big lap round oz.  About 4000 Km.

The drive on this test was very short by driving standards here.  Although the time seems a bit long to me, the journey took 2:23 to complete and then at a supercharger took another 1:20 to recharge.  3:40 is a LOOONG time  to only do 160 km.

This tesla has far as I am aware, the biggest battery available now and I would also suggest in that respect is a fair way ahead of the competition in this respect. IE, it's going to be a while before we see a serious competitor in the EV market.
The other thing is, if it takes 100kwh to tow this van 160Km which I would say is about half of what people would be happy with, a car with a 200Kwh battery pack is going to be a Long way off as well, probably the better part of 10 years, 5 at least.  No matter what the battery technology, it's going to be a BIG and heavy battery as well. This leads to the rule of diminishing returns where the thing is going to eat more power just dragging it's own fat arse around.

Now inevitably when discussing these things people want to jump in with the " In the future " scenarios but i'd like to limit that to 5 years , maybe 10 at the outset.

My standard road trip is to see my Father, almost 400Km away.  I have done it towing many times, anything from a box trailer to a loaded car trailer which would come in well heavier than the van they towed in the test.  The trip took very little longer that I would normally expect as I was able to maintain highway speed in all but a few Km up some hills and didn't need to refuel even with the extra load.
It's an easy under 4 hour trip.

Now if I were to do that same trip with a van, car trailer or decent boat, things would start getting very Complex.
I know exactly where the 160 Km mark is and Very luckily it's in between the 2 sections of main Highway.  there is only one destination charger there and it's a bit faster than an AC outlet but would still be by my calcs well over 2 hours but I'll call it that to allow for my bad mathematics skills.
I normally get to that point co incedently enough at about the 2:20 mark having to get out of the city which I am on the far side of which is generally over an hour itself.  I would not think it would take much longer towing but I'll add 10 min to make it a nice 2.5 Hours.

To do this 160Km it's going to take me 2.5 hours in travel and another 2 hours ( I really  think 2.5+) before I'm ready to leave.
Already I have more than doubled the trip time. But I'm not half way there yet.
The next 160 Km I would say would be at 100 kmh an hour average as there are some hills you will be slower on and there is a lot of 110 limit as well to compensate and the back 9 leg usually takes me 1;20 . Now I have an idea where that next 160 is, I know there are only small country towns anywhere near there, the main town being where dad is and I also know that I'm not going to quite make it on the range the Tesla has.  No one with a brain would chance it because if you ran out of charge, there are some VERY nasty spots on that highway where you can't pull off the road at all and you could be a long way from a town and having to get a car and a van towed would not be cheap .

Logically I'm going to have to stop for another recharge and it's almost certainly going to be at a 10A outlet.  That would have to take bare Min an hour to give me comfortable range to get there so another 2:20 to the trip for a total now of 7 hours.

I usually have dinner with dad and then drive home when the traffic has gone anyway but that's an under 4 hr trip to a min 7 hour trip.  I don't mind driving but I'm sure as ship not going to do that after dinner.

Now maybe, in the next 5 years there will be more charging stations but even if there is, there is no reason to believe they would be superchargers but maybe the 1/4 - 1/2 Speed ones. Maybe that would knock an hour off the trip but I can't see it being any more. 
That would still add up to a MINIUM of adding 50% to the trip time and we are only talking 400Km.

Many times I have gone to the next capital city which is 900Km away and that's a comfortable day trip that most people would do in a day. Towing with an ev, it's now 2 Days and substantial ones still regardless if you can get a fast charge or not.
My Aunt and Uncle have towed their Van about 80% of that trip probably 20 times and think nothing of it in a day.  When it blows out to 2 days, it puts a whole load of different aspects on things.

Again, looking to the future, I can't see Vehicles practicaly having 200Kwh battery packs. There isn't a technology even in it's infantcy now that would be viable for that in the next 5-10 years.  Regardless of how many fast charge stations you put in you are still going to have to wait.
And before anyone comes out with that other old chestnut of super rapid charging as I have seen a load of claims about, they are mainly spin doctoring PR.

I saw one recently about a Jag I think it was " Recharging in only 15 Min".
Reading the story one sees the thing was charged from flat to give it a 100 Km range using an impractically costly charger for the foreseeable future and even they, a full charge is still back to the best part of an hour as if you belt the charge in initially you have to wait for the heat to dissipate out the batteries for the top off. And because of the charge rate, batteries are used to supply the power and allow the charge starion itself to recharge over time so as not to cause a local brown out.

Both the power consumption of these things and the HUGE cost mean that having this capability in rural oz hasn't got a hope in hell of coming around in the next 10 years.

There is a lot of hype about EV's and the future but there are a Lot more problems to over come first.
I'd say there is no way in hell that EV's will penetrate this market in the next 20 years let alone 10. It would be easy to say well not everyone tows heavy loads and that is true but like the US, there are a lot of people that do.  there are also a LOT of grey Nomads and they wouldn't be spending $100K+ on a tow truck and another ...... $30K on a run around. They like to have one vehicle to do everything.

Of course the implications of this are far reaching into other segments. The transport industry is a big one with everything from light trucks to Semis.
A very long way to go yet and before anyone mentions the Tesla Semi, Don't bother.
There are NO specific details on that thing to this day and all the guestimates suggest it's going to be no match for a traditional semi.  technology won't let any electric truck be for  a long while again because the energy density of liquid fuels is so far ahead of any practical battery tech that is many decades away still.  Not like they haven't been working on improving battteries forever already.

There is so much made of the Switch to EV's but I can't see them being a majority of vehicles on teh road for my or the majority of people here's lifetimes.

The test article:

General Discussion / MIG Welder, what to look for?
« on: May 11, 2019, 08:16:35 AM »

For the first time in 3.5 years, I got enough motivation today to build a new burner.

 I love welding but the old machine has spat the dummy on the wire feed side and the erratic delivery of the wire had everything looking like Bird shit.
I could not get it right and I know the gun and the feed mechanism is buggered so not surprised.
Mrs came home unbeknown and heard and saw my frustration and has insisted i buy a new machine before I really loose the plot.

Just wondering what the knowledgeable here recommend as features to look for?
I don't need a big machine, most of what I do is light  but I want something decent, gasless and with a torch i can easy get parts for like tips.

I also saw on flea bay they have spool guns which look like I could hook them up to my old machine. It has the hard wired rather than the bayonet connections for the torch. Given it just seems all the wire feed side is stuffed but the rest is OK on my old one, I was wondering if I could just get one of those and resurrect the old girl?

I still want a better new machine, I bought this one cheap about 25 years ago as a get me by and i couldn't count how much welding I have done with it. I wouldn't think 100 spools  of 1Kg wire was out of place. I usually keep 2 in the cupboard cause when I use it, I use it a lot. 

The other question is would a TIG be worth it?  I know I'd have to buy gas which would be a pain and I have had no trouble with gasless welding but any great advantage I might use with a TIG?  No plans to do ally in the foreseeable future.

Generators / Tough Alternators.
« on: April 24, 2019, 02:36:26 PM »

I have played with and admired the robustness of twin/ concealed fan modern alternators for a while now and the abuse I have given them without having one fail.

Had a ( too ) graphic demonstration of just what these things will do last week.
For a couple of weeks the lights on the dash of my ute have been flickering a bit, going out and then resetting like the ignition was just turned on while the car happily drove up the road.
Last week up at my fathers place I put the old girl up on the house and did a bit of work to it.

I thought I had a bad connection somewhere but eliminated that and looked at the alternator. I pulled out the regulator and saw the internal contacts were really corroded and dodgy looking so cleaned them up and re installed which made the problem seem to go away.
Threw a new serpentine belt on the thing, tightened the steering rack a touch, changed the PS fluid, pulled all the wheels off and balanced them which they had changed a surprising amount in a short time (wobbles wasn't my imagination after all ) and called it all good.  So I thought.

About 30  min into the 4 hr Journey home, the dash lights started flickering again as did the headlights brighten and the thing mucked around for a bit before I got a constant battery light.

Once I got off the freeway though I could smell something definitely Funky but wasn't concerned because I knew if the alternator popped now I could make it home without question on the battery alone.
As I got up the driveway I could see wisps of steam coming out the bonnet and thought Oh ohh, I think I had this all backwards. Should have known but I was tired from the driving and mentally exhausted from dealing with morons every day for 2 weeks looking after the business for Dad.
He can't do this anymore, I'm going to wind it up for him at financial years end so he doesn't have the stress any longer. No one can take that especially an 80 Yo.

If i had been at home I would have worked out the problem but I just wanted to get home and see my wife and daughter whom I had been missing... for inexplicable reasons.

Sure enough, I lift the bonnet and the battery is boiling like a tea kettle. Leave the thing running, grab a multimeter and I have 19 + Volts. I was then surprised the headlights and stereo hadn't blown hours ago. 
The battery was wharped and I was concerned and amazed it hadn't exploded. I turned the engine off and the alternator was intensely hot as well.
Poured water over the battery to cool it and took off the caps to find no water at all.  Refilled it and the water I put in started boiling.

Clearly the regulator had gone and the alt was pushing the full 110A and had been for at least 3.5 hours.  Impressive if not desirable.
Had I the smarts to realise what was happening I could have disconnected either the field wire or the output and driven the thing at least an hour on battery then hooked it up again to charge and repeated.

Next day I come out and battery is toast and bulged like a balloon.  Wash around the thing real good top and bottom to get rid of the acid deposits.
I get the old battery I replaced a few weeks ago and it has enough kick to just fire the thing up.  Put a multi on the battery and the Voltage is shooting north indicating the alt is still pumping out full charge.  Give the batt a top up then switch the car off.

I have played with these internal fan Alts a lot before and never broken one for trying.  I have run them overloaded for period of time and got them hot but never  for as long or as hot as this one had been.  The ones I normally play with a mitsubishis but this one was a Bosch of the same twin, internal fan design. I looked at replacing the Bosch with one of about the 9 Mitsi's I have but way too hard and fraught with danger.

I really admire these things. Far as the windings go they seem virtually indestructible. I put that down to the cooling ability of the twin fans they have inside that cool the windings and the electronics.... for all that did this time.  Probably still kept the alt from burning off the enamel from the wire if nothing else.

I have also run these alts with no battery direct to a load for long periods which is supposed to be a no no and never had a problem and also fed them full battery voltage for hours and they have not flinched at that either.
Running one in an engine bay flat out for hours and boiling a substantial battery dry and surviving is something else.

Us old engine lovers are always looking for the bullet proof and I have had many people express reservations about using car alts before but I think this really shows how tough they are built.  I have no idea how old this thing is, could be the original as fitted as every thing points to that which would make it 17 years old with over 171K Km on the clock.  For those in the US, 171K Km is...... 171K Km!  :0)

New alt from fleabay is going to be $130 delivered which I think is great value.  Local wreckers quoted $95 for a used and wanted the old unit as exchange.  I'll keep that as it's working well and see how it goes with the reg replaced. I have another alt up the back off the same model but the thing seemed to be dragging in the bearings so I'm not enthused to fit that especially as I'll be clocking up some miles up and down the highway in the next couple of months going up to look after Dad.

Battery will probably add insult to injury.  That will set me back $150 at least.
Hopefully the alt will be the last one the ute ever has and will last me out as well but there will be a few more battery's to come yet.

I'd never have any hesitation in relying on these style alts for home backup power. Run in the far more cooler and kinder conditions of a stationary application, with a set of bearings and brushes/ regulator pack they would last a very long time I believe and could be relied on to put out very solid power. I have 2 Mounted on my 'roid which would easy supply a 2 Kw inverter and charge battery's at the same time.

If one assumes an average speed of 40 Kmh which I think is high for a city car, this would give the life of this alt as being about 4275 hours.
With the exception of we willy weirdos 10K hr engines, I don't think there would be many that could do that sort of hours untouched as this alt  seems to have been.

No doubt even at 12V, this thing has generated a LOT of Kwh and isn't done yet!

Everything else / Imperfect Solar
« on: April 12, 2019, 05:01:10 AM »

About 9 months ago I came up and put some panels on my fathers shed roof.

Had a lot of doubts about it, tilt was very wrong ,orienation was west,sort of, and there are loads of 100ft  gum trees shadowing the array most of the day. Of course they drop leaves and rubbish on the panels just to make things worse.

I put 3kw of crappy 175 w I think they were panels up with a 2kw inverter.
Going up in winter, first bill savings were negligble. Spring to summer and summer to autum bills have been less than half despite an extra and a much larger ac being installed and dad told to use them!

Looking at his meters for this quarter, i think he may save even more due to the lack of need for heating or cooling.

On what hes saved and what the used components cost, he is breaking even about now.
I think he had his doubts about tg hem, maybe it was he just doubted me as often is the case, but hes certainly happy now.
I'm thinking about bringing up some more panels and a 2.5 kw inverter.

This would keep the max input back to the circuit in check but overclocking the panels grossly would make up for the shading without overloading things when the summer sun was right for the 2 hours a day to give full generation. Might also be interesting to put an array on the east side of the shed as well as that may generate a more even output than a peaky one. I might have to look when i get up there in the next few days to give them a clean how many trees would shade that side in the mornig as midday will be about even.

I wonder if there are any current limiting devices that could work with a GTI?

I have read so many rules and advice with solar that just does not bear out in practice.
I know this system is horribly inefficient but the thing is it is still able to return its cost in under a year and that is what it is really all about.

The other bonus is this was done with panels that here should have been destroyed due to not conforming to  ever changing standards designed to  keep the solar  industry humming along above all else.
Nothing more eco friendly than using things longer than scrapping them. Recycling till still takes resources, sometimes more than starting from scratch.

General Discussion / Earth Hour
« on: March 30, 2019, 10:15:03 AM »

Half way through earth hour here which means The Kiwis have had it and the rest of the world are still about to.

I did my bit, put on all the lights out the front and the back and I have a LOT of lights out there. Good job it's blowing a gale out there tonight or I could have had the student pilots from the local airport 3 Km away trying to do touch and goes in the back yard and down the drive way.

Never let it be said I don't do my bit for stupid and moronic causes.  :laugh:

Had I remembered this afternoon, I would have done more and put a few extra lights out. I went through town this morning and while waiting at the crossing for some poor old digger I was wondering If I should get out and carry to the other side,  saw a sign saying the fairy lights in the trees down the center of the road would be switched off between 8:30 and 9:30  to support earth hour.
Oh please!  ::)  ::)  ::)

Really shows the mind numbing stupidity of this garbage.
They will have every other municipal building lit up like Christmas, all night Including the show ground as they have for the last week in preparation for the local show they are setting up for and be burning probably hundreds of KW hours per night over all but think they are achieving something turning off the fairy lights for an hour that probably don't even pull a KW all up.

Maybe we should pull the plug on twits who come up and promote this crap?  I wonder how many resources and how much energy WAS used in making a song and dance about it?  I would GAURANTEE there was more energy expended on designing and printing this large and plentiful signs all round town let alone the others in the district than what switching the fairy lights off would ever save not to mention all the other resources that went into them including paying people to drive round and put them up then on Monday go round and take the damn things down again.

I'll guarantee the most prominent supporters of this garbage are the inner city trendy types that don't even have a solar panel on their shoebox apartment roofs but think they are saving the world and achieving something with this rubbish.

This save the environment/ co2 / feelgood crap really has gone too far and is just an insult to peoples intelligence with crap like this

General Discussion / Wisdom and Ideas sought.
« on: March 22, 2019, 08:46:45 AM »

Something on my mid a few days bugging me so I thought I would put it to the brains trust for some ideas and brain storming......

Got a guy over the other week about triming my monster tree. Got talking and he offered me a deal to do my tree if I help him with some aspects of his business.  Went to check out his place about 5 Km from me and can't get it out my mind.

I have never seen so much wood in all my born days. The guys father started the tree felling/ trimming business over 20 years ago and I think 95% of what he cut is on their 30 acres. I would gaurantee there would be a Solid 15 acres stacked 5M high if it were all pushed together. There must be 20 thousand tons of timber there.  The place is surreal.

The guy whom has taken over the business some years ago wants to clean it up, understandably so.  he's been offered $1m per acre for the land and wants to sell when it gets to about 1.5 but dosen't want to loose $5m of it in cleanup fees.
He's has some people there whom he has given free rent and use of machinery to on the proviso they get rid of the timber. He is happy for them to pocket every cent they make as long as the pile goes down.  After a couple of years, there has been very little progress and that's not with him bringing in more, it's in the small corner they set up in. 

One guy has been processing fire wood but is lazy and comes maybe twice a week not for a half day. the other was doing furniture but he is useless  as well and also done nothing.

The guy admits Firewood is a hard sell here. most councils will not allow new wood burners to be installed here and it's not a cheap way to heat. The work involved in processing the wood is substantial. guy describes it as a luxury heating and I think that's accurate.  There is also a LOT of competition in the area and beyond.

The guy doing fire wood was selling to pizza places whom wnat a certain type of wood and the guy was getting about $100 ton more for it than std fire wood although he did have to deliver.

The guy has an air curtain burner and wants to start using that even though it's illegal in this state. he spent a lot og money trying to get approval but the lawyer got to the bottom of it and said you will never get approval ever.  the reason is not emissions or environmental. It's because in this state green waste costs about $340 ton to get rid of. About $200 of that is Gubbernint levy/ Tax. They are protecting their revenue stream.
Guy says he's going to take the machine down in the hollow of a property and take his chances anyway. He has found a good market for the ash so that will be a resource for him.

There is also mountains of wood chip there but that is what they do onsite with smaller branches etc.  They do sell it but they can't sell near enough.  When I was there a mid size covered truck came in. He said that hold 28 Cubic meters when full, we don't fill it so that's about 27 cubes and it's the 3rd time that truck has been back today. He said all of last week I got rid of 2 truck loads and I gave it away to the local commounity garden.
The guy has tried giving the stuff away to wood turners guilds, furniture makers and everyone else he can think of. He said I went round and took pics of what I knew was good woodworking and desirable timber.  He said I sat on the phone for days and rang all these people. He said I made about 150 calls and sent  about 100 people pics and they were all  going to come out and get something. Not one person turned up.

The guy has a full size semi he carts the waste away in from land clearing. i made the comment how many trucks worth of timber were on the site.
He pointed to this tiny little pile ( relatively) and say we brought that in a few days ago. The truck was a bit over loaded but we tied it down and it was just a few KM up the road in the hills.  This semi over load just blew my mind as to how many trucks it would take to get rid of this stuff. Could not begin to count  but could not be less than 500.  Some of these logs would be the legal  and probably more weight limit even if they didn't fill the truck to capacity Volume wise.  $340 Ton, 40 ton load,  $13500 per truck, ....... unimaginable numbers.

There are stumps there that are 3m round, never seen a tree that big. There is huge timber almost as tall lying down as I am standing up. There is mainly   larger stuff from about 10" up and most of it would be 15" plus.

It just seems there is a biblical resource there, just sitting there and the guy was hinting at me strongly, You want any of it, you want to come start a business here using it, it's all yours including the use of excavators with grapples, cranes, loader, the firewood processor and other things on site. Guy has a LOT of machinery and is obviously happy to put it's use to anything that gets his massive piles down. 
Unfortunately he no longer has a mill to cut slabs which I think -could- be a goer but he sold the machine he had because he couldn't shit it.
I looked up bandsaw mills and I could get one for $5k pretty easy.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for this?  I'm going to look at getting some to use for seats round the fire pit the Mrs wants and I'll be able to have those slabs I wanted to mount engines on.  There are Logs there I could mount cars on!
I'm kicking myself for not taking pics now, what is there has to be seen to be believed.

Anyway, anyone have ANY suggestions what could be down with this stuff, preferably for a Profit?
It's all mine effectively for the taking, just don't know if there is anything profitable that could be done with it but i'd sure like some ideas.

Generators / Tensioner or Rail mounting.
« on: February 18, 2019, 08:20:22 AM »

I'm wanting to hook up my 170 Kg Induction motor and my 70 Kg engine  with belt drive and build a mounting frame for them.
Thinking of wood as I think it will clang a lot less and I have some good size material for the job. also have some over size rectangular box.

Mountings on motor and engine are substantially different so one will require cross rails.
I'm thinking instead of mounting one on a rail so it can slide for belt tension ( and work loose as well) I would hard mount both and use a tensioner on the belt to take up the slack.

I was also thinking of a spring tensioner off a car cam belt or an accessories drive  but could also go a fixed tensioner.
The belt is an A series on both pulleys but only a single on the engine drive and 6" on the engine and a 5" on the motor.  Motor is 1440 RPM so thinking of a smaller 4" twin so I can get the engine revs up a bit onto the power curve ( engine is 2600 RPM rated) and twin belts to carry the load.

I think the bolt down both sides and use a tensioner will be a lot easier , stronger and require less maintence.

Surprised the motor only has A's but i'm not going to try and change it that's for sure even though it is a taper lock.

What's the consensus? Rail or tensioner belt adjustment, spring or fixed if tensioner?

General Discussion / Unexpected panel problem.
« on: February 14, 2019, 01:21:18 PM »

Was looking over my shed inverter today and thought the generation was down. it was overcast but the smaller array  less optimally positioned on the house was doing better than the much larger and better orientated arrays on the shed.

Tracked it down to one array was not producing any power.
Tested for volts, amps output to the inverter, changed the breakers and swapped trackers. All to no avail. Finally thought it must be something  on teh roof, maybe a bad connection but couldn't see how.
Got the ladder, got up there and spotted it straight off.  One panel on the top pitch of the American barn type shed had done a front flip and face planeted itself forward ontop on another panel on the lower array.

This panel is on the end where the wind normaly blows.  I had it lift before so I screwd the thing down well.  I saw the solar bracket I secured it at the top, the clamp on the side looked like it had slipped off and the L bracket on the end was now a U  bracket where the panel had done a front 180.
The panel was shattered which was annoying but I was more amazed with teh fact the wind had got under a 20 Kd panel sitting flat on a roof ( I don't use solar rails)  and torn the tek screw right out of the metal Purlin.  I though maybe I missed the purlin and only got the roof iron itself but when I got down to get what I needed for the replacement, I could indeed see it had pulled through the roof truss itself.


I knew the end panels got more wind and I set the thing back from the edge knowing that was where the wind came from and I secured it down in 3 places. I would have bet a lot of money that panels would never have moved.
And I'd have lost. Badly.

 I realised as well I missed some panels along that run and they are just laying there completely unsecured, or at least they were till today, but none of them had moves probably because of being flat, in a line and maybe the prevailing wind hits the end of the shed and rotates pressing them down.
Perhaps the end is worse than normal because there is a big water tank underneath and although there is a lot of hedging 25M away on the boundary fence, maybe the air  hits the tank and  creates a more powerful updraft?

In any case, I was pretty amazed to see that there was enough force to tear the thing out of the metal.

I decided to eliminate the problem and removed the old smashed panel from the end and put the replacement in the last spot I had which is tilted between the 2 roof sections.  I think I'll get back up and re arrange a few panels and there is one I noticed I'll also have to replace.

There is a junction on the panel that is quite clearly burnt and creating a hot spot.  From what I read fire potential. Longshot  I think but it will be screwing with the output of the rest of the array so I'll change it out as well.
Getting more broken panels that what I'd like but they are ok for running shed and ceiling fans and other low volt solar experiments.

I'm doing another array on the house and I think I'll take another look at the solar clamps and go back to my own DIY soloution that did hold and use the little L brackets from the hardware and screw them direct into the panels and remove and replace the roof screw with the bracket underneath. I think I had that on the flipped panel it would not have. At some time I think the clamp shifted and put the force on the top bracket which was 2 much. If 2 brackets were sharing the load and couldn't move, I don't thik they could have both pulled out.

Anyway, problem fixed.  Just one I thought I had addressed with over kill but there you go.
I know the winds are strong here and get pretty scary but the force to left a 20 KG panel and pull out a tek screw, that I didn't give credit for.


For those in the northerly, sunny part of oz, I hate you.  Oh, and there is a supposely running ST2 being auctioned which is at $1 atm.

Could be a real bargain. Usualy these things go for stupid money here. nice to see somone that will let the market decide what it's worth... which will be interesting to see.

Generators / Another IMAG attempt.
« on: February 03, 2019, 10:25:20 AM »

Went and picked up another induction motor this afternoon.

When I saw them the other week I was certain I saw they were 30 Kw. Unfortunately I must have been getting overcome with wishful thinking.  Reality today says they were only 12's so I just brought one home. Can't even see a figure of 30 on them now so not sure where I got that from.

Funny thing is, I have been looking for something this size for a while and was thinking a 30 was too big then decided they only do what you drive them to after all .  Now I feel a wee bit dissapointed they aren't 30 kilo monsters but anyway.

Speaking or monsters, the one I got weighs in at a substantial 170 Kg. A 30 Kw Might weigh half a ton.  Might be enough to keep the roid from walking round the the yard!  But I doubt it.

This Motor has a 100 mm Pulley. The rated speed is 1455 RPM which means I'll have to drive it at or above 1600 RPM.
The pulley on my 5.5 Horizontal Diesel is 65mm. The engine is rated to 3000 Rpm which seems a bit quick for one of these and also I couldn't get my last IMAG to come on song because it wasn't turning fast enough so I'm a bit dubious about that speed. Generally these engines are about 24 or 2600Rpm.

To get 1650 RPM on the motor the engine should only need to do a bit over 2500 RPM so I SHOULD be ok and have a bit of margin in any event. That's the first Hurdle out the way.

2nd hurdle is that I have forgotten more about this now than I remember, again and the 3rd thing is this is a 6 pole motor where as the others I have played with have been 3 Poles. I was thinking I just time them together in a delta Config and treat them as a 3 pole from there.

Over the next few days hopefully weather, work and motivation permitting, I might be able to screw it all down on a suitable heavy duty base and fire it all up.

I'd like to try a stand alone generator and also a grid tied. That might be very useful over the winter solar fall off time.

General Discussion / Not your average Lister!
« on: February 01, 2019, 03:19:03 AM »

Something that goes against the heavy, slow, quiet tradition of listers.

General Discussion / More profit over peoples health.
« on: January 24, 2019, 01:29:38 PM »
Something I came across I thought may be of interest.

It's a short Doco on the effects of Wind Turbines and the ultra low frequency sound they generate.
Scientifically proven, legally rubbished. Of course.  The effects are very detrimental. Just because we can't hear something does not mean we are not affected by it.

Just another thing they know they are doing to us but won't admit. Cigarette Science I think Bruce calls it.

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