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Topics - glort

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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.

Everything else / Ice air Con/ energy storage.
« on: January 17, 2019, 03:15:28 AM »

This was brought up by Bruce a while back but the recent heat wave here has spiked my interest in the idea again.
I see there are a few different commercial systems being offered for this now, mostly industrial scale.

My original concept was to freeze a chest type unit full of water. The reason I rejected it initially was that I could not find a freezer with sufficent power to freeze it's capacity in 12-24 hours.
I have had a rethink on this as I can see that while it may not be possible to cycle a unit in perpetuity, It may provide some days off offset cooling.

Here even in summer the AC is not required every day and this would give a chance for a unit to take the time to freeze to solid and the invested energy to be used when needed. Even if it did not see through an entire hot weather event or only supplied cooling some days it would be advantageous.

So Bruce et al, I'd like to get some ideas and feed back.

First thing I am unable to find ( despite a variety of search terms in google) is how much energy in kwh is in a Litre of water when frozen or ice, whichever the correct paramater would be?  I saw something that suggested that the energy storage was less than I thought, about 46.5 KW in 500L of Ice.  that would be 1-2 Days cooling here.
If I can figure the accurate amount,  I'll have a much better idea of cooling capacity.

Looking at some freezers, I see the small ones seem to have the same motor power as the larger ones... at least on some brands.  Wondering about the tradeoff here. Would it be better to try and freeze a smaller amount of water faster or have a larger reserve that takes longer to recover? Spose that would depend on what the cycle rate may be. Ideally having multiple smaller units would effectively invest more power into a given amount of water than one larger unit.

 My other concern is that ice expends when it freezes. If I fill a freezer up or to say 80%, will the expansion go up to the vacant area or will it push out the sides and push the freezer unit apart?  I'm thinking up from freezing ice cubes etc but not sure that freezing and amount of water from the bottom up to a couple of feet will be the same.

Finally, How would the brains trust suggest setting up such a unit?

My thoughts are to have some coiled pipe ( NOT copper because I simply have an aversion to every Fker on YT using a copper coil as a HE!   >:(  ) but something like that plastic water pipe for home use  PTFE? or having a look at cutting an expansion coil out of a large  AC unit my mate has a stack of with say 1/2" to 3/4 in/outlets or a car heater core or 3 which are also 3/4".

Through this I would run an antifreeze/ Brine soloution so the exchange medium did not freeze and stop the show in it's tracks.  From there I'd have a circulation pump and send the chilled water through a radiator/ heater core and back to the Freezer HE.

I'm wondering if anything special would have to be done to ensure good convection and cold transfer to the HE in the freezer unit. Minds vision is the internal HE would be frozen in the ice and as the coolant is circulated the internal HE is warmed melting the surrounding ice and the water then surrounding it is chilled by the ice.  Question is of this would take place quick enough with something like heater cores or a long length of Tube would be needed to give a larger melting area.

I can see the HE at some point being surrounded by  many Cm of water before there is any actual ice and wondering about the transfer of water through said water.

Anything to be aware of or alternative setup suggestions?

Next idea would be how to set one of these up?

Everything else / Simple Power limiting/ Stepping.
« on: January 11, 2019, 09:12:52 AM »

As I have mentioned before, my house is on 3 phase power. I have 2 Spinny meters which spin very nicely in a backwards direction when fed with solar power and one electronic meter which registers any current flow as a charge.

The only 3 Phase thing I have is the ducted AC so I am able to run it for free on 2 phases and pay for the 3rd.
Sounds OK but the recent hot weather and the need to have the thing on constantly has meant that one leg of power has been costing upwards of $6 a day just for the AC.  May not sound much but we are fast heading to $400 just for the AC this quarter.

I have been trying to appreciate the low cost power I have with teh other 2 phases but having an excess of power on both of them and having to cut down on the AC just because of one phase has got the better of me.
Spoke to my mate in the AC game yesterday and he " approved" my idea for feeding the 3rd phase with solar and said it should not cause any problems with the phase rotation or voltage sensing.  I pulled the cover off the thing today and started digging round the boards etc and should be no problem getting to what I want.

The grand plan is to stick another array of about 4KW on the roof with a 2 Kw inverter and feed that to the L1 Phase which is the electronically metered one. I can tap into the compressor Contactor and turn on a relay with that which I can then switch the inverter in and out with. This won't be perfect, will only work during the day which will be better for cooling than heating but anything will be a help. There will also be a delay between the compressor cutting in and the inverter booting up but again, better than nothing and on really hot or cold days the thing will be barely switching out anyway.

I ran the AC today and took some measurements with my clamp meter.  19XX Watt on that phase which is the most loaded one with the compressor running, about 800 with the fan only running on the evaporator which runs all the time on cooling even when the compressor shuts off. The fan of course runs on the L1 phase which is exactly the one I don't want it to run on and can't be changed.
I am OK with having an array strictly for the AC only but I also intend to run a DPDT relay with the inverter output so when the AC is not running, the relay will be feeding power to one of the other phases. This will be a help in winter especially when power generation is short.

The thing I'd like to do to make the most of this is be able to limit the output power for the Evap fan as well.  Don't care about " wasted" output, I would like to be able to reduce the power when the fan was running then have another relay bypass what ever limiting device I put in place to give full power when the compressor kicks in. This would have the double advantage of keeping the inverter on song as well which would mean a big power saving in both powering the blower and the inverter being already booted up to supply the main power for the compressor. 

Question is, what is the best practical way to limit the current when only the blower is running?
Thoughts run to using a 500W halogen flood light tube ( or 2 as I'm not sure they will pass 500W when used like this?) or maybe a PWM controller which is then bypassed for full power with another relay.
That's probably my preferred option and would allow a lot of fine tuning on the PWM but wondering if the educated people here have a better idea?

It would be nice to be able to limit the solar feed in, I could then direct the unused array to another inverter BUT, solar generation is highly variable and what is producing 1kw in summer sure as heck won't be in winter nor on a cloudy day. Regulating DC is a pain as I have not seen any PWM's capeable of handling the voltage and current anyway.
As such the control of the AC side seems much simpler and easier.

My mate was concerned about Voltage drop on the solar phase until I explained that the mains would be Connected at all times and the feed in would be to supplement that just like it is now on the other phases.  I am also hoping that the PWM won't cause any problems as I know it makes some of my inverters hum a bit when on the line but I am more concerned about the board on the AC.  Not sure if a cap in circuit would help with that?

Anyway, that's the Bright idea, any Ideas, suggestions or heads up on anything I may have over looked or forgotten?

Everything else / Panel Cooling.
« on: December 29, 2018, 02:43:30 AM »

Way too hot here to go work in the shed on any engines but I have  been playing with the solar stuff again and thought I'd start another topic on that to bore you all.

I have set up 5 x 250w panels on a garden bed I just stripped, ploughed and leveled. They are in series so I could test an inverter I ( successfuly ) repaired.
Being 40+ here today, I noticed my inverter was only outputting about 840W.  seemed a bit low for 1.25 Kw of panels in the middle of summer at close to midday.

With the garden hose nearby I decided to put something to the test and gave them a good spray.  Going straight back to the meter I noticed I was now getting about 1030W although it was falling pretty fast.  Go back out 20 Min later and I'm back down to 840w again.  There sure is a fall off when these panels get warm.

I have read people saying that this is due to the magnifying effect of the water droplets but I don't think there is much to that.  I spose I could set up a test and spray the back of a panel and see the difference in output but I think I'd still see a significant jump.  I did not think I'd see a near 200W jump though.

This solar generation has so many inefficiency it's a wonder it works at all. If they can in years to come  overcome a lot of these things there will be great gains to be made.

General Discussion / New Years Goals and achievements.
« on: December 25, 2018, 12:32:06 PM »

Not going to call them resolutions because that dooms most things to failure by mid Jan IMHO but interested to know if people have any ideas for what they would like to do or achieve in the new year?

My primary one is small but I see as a possible stepping stone.  I want to push myself to get back to doing my YT vids.
Haven't done one in 2 years. Tried a couple after a break mid way through 2015 due to a problem but just couldn't bring myself to putting on a happy face and trying to be funny... Not that I ever thought I really was but others seem to either laugh at me or with me so whatever.

I think doing some vids as silly and useless as it may be might be a good thing for me. apparently my physical health is OK according to the doc but my head is still messed up.  Perhaps doing some vids may be a first step in getting going to bigger and better things.
A saw that once you get 100K subscribers they send you out a " Play button" which is large medal like thing to mark the achievement.  I'd like to try and get one of those.

My son always said my YT vids were a waste of time and no one would watch them. He didn't believe me at the time when I said I had 20K Subscribers.  Then he was amazed when he saw I was right and it was picking up. Getting 100K award would be something for him to show him I could do something in the modern internet age.  I have 33K subs atm so I'm 1/3rd of the way there and even after 2 years I'm amazed at the amount of people that still send me messages asking if I am OK and when I am going to get back to vids.  been going to for a long time but I haven't had it in me. I think pushing myself with that might help achieve more.

The other thing I want to do is get my business going again proper.
Been procrastinating on that for about 3 years after I dropped it 3.5 years ago but hopefully if I can do the vids It will give me the focus I need to get back to the other as well.

I got my Pulleys and shaft adapters back from my brother in law today and also got a half decent car battery off dad so I'm going to set up my Off grid play solar setup again and probably wire that up to the diesel driven alternator(s).  Might be something I can broaden my YT content with as well but It will be difficult to try and be entertaining with that.

Anyone else had thoughts or made up their minds to do something they have been thinking of or wanting to do for a while?

General Discussion / Before it's all over.....
« on: December 22, 2018, 12:55:46 PM »

Merry Christmas to every and all.  I hope you have  wonderful Christmas with loved ones and a great new year that brings all you want and more.

As pathetic as it may sound, this place and all of you bring me a lot of comfort and contentment. It's like a sanctuary of right thinking amount a world gone well past mad.
I love to log on here and see a long list of unread topics I can digest, learn from and then bore you all with my rants and carry on.
 I look at other forums and just shake my head in disbelief maybe most of all at the mindset so many have today. While we don't all agree here all the time, I never get that feeling to want to bang my head against a wall at someones way of thinking that shows they have no clue about life, the world and are obviously caught up in PC and modern thinking crap.

I'm sure I cause a few heads to be banged on walls but thanks for putting up with it or even just skipping on by. So many of you I'd like to meet and see you in your natural habitat and some I will make a point to annoy on their doorstep one day.

Thanks Ade for keeping the place going and providing an outlet and an internet family for many of us here.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you all!

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