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Author Topic: Before it's all over.....  (Read 2443 times)

mikenash

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2018, 07:14:47 PM »
Yeah, well, living on some small islands in the middle of a big ocean is always thought-provoking . . .

All the best for 2019, guys  :)

BruceM

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2018, 07:26:12 PM »
The weather extremes affect on farming and food prices is the big "oh shit", I suspect.  Food is right after air and water for essentials.

I'm interested in a year round passive solar greenhouse, but the summer months here require evaporative cooling, which isn't easy if you're EMF sensitive and need 26 feet from a 1/2 hp motor and small lift pump. Off grid adds to the cost and complexity as well.  A friend with a good passive solar design now growing in dirt (aquaponics for many years ) is only "storing" vegetables now- we've had too many dark cold days and the plants go dormant with soil temps go to low.  The combination of windy 100F+ single digit humidity spring and summer, and colder, darker winters we are now having is a real challenge for low energy greenhouse design.

Passive solar alone falls flat if your number of consecutive dark days gets bigger than your thermal mass and losses.  Well above freezing, growth stops and plants become susceptible to diseases. 

Most of what I've been able to find on greenhouse design is some pretty pathetic, non-engineered work with little or no real performance data.  Not much funding for real innovation, so far.



basewindow

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2018, 10:39:16 PM »
I've still got hope for the future, and I think we'll get there, we're a very adaptable species. It's more like we're in a transition phase at the moment, change comes slow, but inevitably comes. Just look at the price of a Solar panel now, 8 years ago I paid $400 for my first 120w panel, now the same thing, in fact I think its 140w, i can get for $70 delivered. Battery tech is coming along in leaps and bounds,  electric cars and becoming affordable and practical. Would be helpful if some bright spark could perfect cheap room temp fusion tho.
The youngr generation is pretty in touch with this stuff,  its what they worry about and I think they'll drive the change. We worried about nuclear war, and i think and hope we've overcome and put that behind us,  but Im still a little concerned about the Zombie Apocalypse lol.
Happy New year to all.
Maybe we should change the title of this thread, are we all miss interpreting it as the end of the world!
1953 CS Lister 3.5hp, 1938? Bamford SD1 3.5hp, 1962 Fordson Super Dexta, 1969 International 434.

glort

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2019, 03:59:03 AM »
are we all miss interpreting it as the end of the world!

Yeah, I was going to post that  a couple of pages back.... I meant before Christmas was all over, not the end of man kind and the known universe!

A very strange and mysterious thing happened this morning, might have something to do with climate change.
The Mrs got up and started taking down and packing up all the Chrissy Decorations!!! Stunned I was, completely stunned.  Would have sat the woman down and taken her temperature had she not clearly been on such a mission and standing on chair at the time in order to be able to barley reach the top of the door frame where I hung the lights... standing flat footed on the floor from 2 ft back....

Normally the decos  are hanging round till about mid feb but today.....  Strange, Very strange. Meanwhile I have to go out as I planned and take Down all the lights I put in the big tree out the front and my IBC tanks I put colored lights in to look like Chrissy presents.
last night I took all the coloured gels off the lights and just lit it up so bright the reflected light was illuminating the neighbors yard even across the street Diagonally.

There were a lot of cars driving round here looking at the Christmas lights last week and despite the amazing  display the Griswalds put on just up the street, I did see a lot of people stopping out the front here having a look and Kids craning their hears out the window looking up to see where the heck that big tree ended!

Was nice to see my minimal effort was enjoyed by some .
I'll now relocate and set the tanks up for water storage for the garden. 
This weather and non drought like rainfall pattern can't and won't last forever round here.

glort

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #49 on: January 01, 2019, 06:52:00 AM »

I think few people don't realize that sustainable power generation is the future.  Why does anyone continue to support unsustainable anything?  What part of unsustainable don't they get? 

The problem for .... what is it?.... ah, the deniers like me is not that I/we don't get it, but we are not ALLOWED to do anything worth while about it if we wanted to.

Here in oz there are very specific and almost total blanket restrictions on the amount of power you can feed back to the grid from your rooftop PV system.  That's 5 KW.  You MAY be able to jump through a lot of hoops, spend money on special appeals and possibly, and only possibly at best, get permission to install more than 6.6 Kw of panels ( 5Kw + the 133% overclocking/ efficiency makeup) on your roof PROVIDING, you have an inverter that will limit export back to the grid of no more than 5 KW.

Even that is getting extremely difficult to get through now and you have to apply to have ANY feedback and that's getting denied more than it's approved from what I read. there could be MW more power generated right in the cities where it is uesd within a KM or 5 at worst and it would take no land, require no towers or extra sub staitons etc. and would greatly reduce teh fossil fuel powered loads through the day.

The complete and utter BS excuse for this from the power cos is the grid can't handle the back feed.  I personally think that's a crock but the insistence is it's an engineering fact.... which I don't believe but anyway......  There ARE transformers/ controllers available and have been for years that can handle the feedback and keep the varying grid voltages in spec but the simple thing is the power cos won't spend the money to install them.

Now even in my skeptical mind, local generation using rooftops make a truckload more sense than building a solar farm 500Km away and while I do not believe all the clap trap about coal, it's only logical that the less of any consumable resources you can avoid, the better. In this case the question begs why not set up to run off PV during the day when private generation can support so much of the demand and cut back on teh FF generation and then ramp it up as required and is already forecast from previous demand to take over as the PV falls off and be happy with the substantial savings in cost of and savings in emissions?

Money, that's why.  More money in making power hundereds of KM away, limiting what the small scale generation can offset and paying a lot of lip service  to the environmental aspect that actually doing anything meaningful about it.

It's not always a matter of what people Support or understand Casey, it can be a matter of what Gubbermints allow them to  do.


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ust how crazy is it?  glort just left a positive hopeful post.  Yikes!  Yup, continental flooding is just around the corner.

Now don't you go getting used to or spoiled by than now. You and I both know it can't last!  :0)

BruceM

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2019, 07:21:47 AM »
I'll bet there's plenty of rural land in Australia with no limits whatsoever on how much PV you can put on your property. Light up the outback, Glort.  Pulling the plug on the power co. where you are might also be an option.  Or getting involved in putting citizens on the power regulatory boards who aren't in the pocket of the power co.

In AZ, the biggest power co., APS, have insured themselves a good deal by openly buying campaigns for two APS puppet corporation commissioners.  They now credit at 12 cents a KWH (for the next 10 years), but bill you about double that for 3PM to 8PM.  A lot of ice storage cooling systems will be added in the next few years, to allow late day A/C running without the stiff price.  There's no limit on the grid tie wattage, yet. 


 







old seagull man

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2019, 07:53:33 AM »
I too am a victim of the 5k rule, and i get a miserly 11 cents for what i give back. If it is not a air-con day, i use about 17kwh a day. 35kwh if its hot, and every air-con is on but on a good summer day i can make 20kwh by midday and 12 in the afternoon, I live in a suburb with street trees, so one side of the house is shaded in the afternoon. But i could send 15kwh back on a good day, and its no like i dont get a bill, shore the kwh charges are tiny, but the supply charge and the metering charge and all the other crap charges, are way more than the power ever is.

So my inverter went bang. and a new one was provided but it more modern and more powerful than the old unit. (Read the model i have is no longer compliant with the current standard so even though i can buy one for $199, i cant, use it, but its exactly the same as the dead one. IT HAS TO BE COMPLIANT AT TIME OF INSTALLATION).

So have given up on the guys from Origin, my most useful and helpful energy supplier, the company that  In fact when the inverter was first setup there  installer screwed up and i was exporting all my excess power.
Not my fault, but i did get a bill for the excess, and a charge for exceeding the aloud grid export amount.

So if your like me consume it all your self, we had the booster for  hot water heater, connected to the inverter, they charge me 13 cent for the off peak electricity that i use , but give me 11 cents.

So the local sparkie dropped in today to leave his fathers seagull outboard for me to fix. and i was having a winge about it all. And told me he had done a job earlier this year and he guy had a bunch of panels he had bought of gumbay or Etree and and a second hand 5kw inverter, just plugged into a power point in the garage. DIY solar, Some homes in QLD have smart meters installed, but there not configured, for implementation later. mine wnt in 10 years ago.  So i wonder how many of these setups there are around the country, and how much power they are producing and sending to the grid? And what chaos and mayhem they are creating.



ajaffa1

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #52 on: January 01, 2019, 09:22:24 AM »
Hi Guys, I think I have a cunning plan. I intend to export all of my solar power to the grid, I will set up a second solar array with an off grid inverter. this will run my home with the Lister CS as backup. I will be independent but still grid connected if I ever need to sell my house, hopefully I can work out how to export excess power generated at night by the CS burning WVO. There is just a chance that the electric company will end up having to pay me rather than the other way around.

Bob

glort

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2019, 09:32:23 AM »
And there is yet another and typical example of what makes my blood boil. All this crap about co2 emissions and save the planet yet this is the sort of thing people have forced upon them that makes it all a complete and utter joke.

My entire setup is like your OSM.  Second hand equipment that I have set up and hardwired or plugged in.  I am still fortunate enough to have 2 old spinny meters and unfortunately an early electronic meter on the 3rd phase so I shifted all the circuits bar the AC to the 2 I backfeed.  In winter the cost of just running the one leg of the AC for heating was over $300 on it's own. The way we have been running the air the last week or so, I think it could be more this next quarter.

I -think- I have found a soloution to this. I can't  back feed the electronic meter, it will measure power either way as a charge so what my hopeful work around will be is to pony up for a new inverter that has export limiting on it. This way I should be able to feed the AC what it wants but not  feed any extra that will register as a charge.  If I didn't get any credit for what I sent back i'd be happy and they would make a bonus but now everyone loses.
I'll probably put a light or something on the circuit to keep the inverter on song so it is ready when the AC cuts in.

The whole thing of this compliance is another great crock.  They call it safety standards but what the hell is unsafe about a solar panel?  Whats more, they are on roofs by the hundreds of thousands and that's OK but the minute you want to upgrade, replace an inverter or whatever, they suddenly become dangerous  and you can't refit them and have to replace the whole system.  That's how I have got my whole setup.

If I were in your position, I'd be replacing the inverter and saying nothing and if they asked I'd say a breaker tripped and I didn't realise.  Fk 'em.
The only thing this is a bout is making the gubbermint and the industry money. Forget the environmental impact of throwing away  panels that were supposed to have a 20 year life away after 5-7 years like all mine are, it's all about the money not the lip service.

I did not realise they could charge you for excess grid feedback.  My idea was when my old meters are finally removed as there is a mandate to do, I would look at getting a commercial system and then run it with everything else I have and make some money back with the excess rate, pitiful as it is.
Should have known they would be awake up to any loophole like that! Maybe I can somehow get approval for say a 15 Kw system and only istall 3 and then use what I have to pump back?  I'm guessing that's a long shot as well.

With my hot water, Burce here put me on to Voltage monitoring relays and I have fitted one to my HWS.   It's a voltage activated switch basicaly. It is connected to the normal power circuit rather than the off peak which I changed the circuit from to the normal rate feed and I have it set so when the voltage in the circuit rises a set amount which happens when the inverter starts feeding back, it turns on the water heater.  If a cloud comes over and the output drops, it switches off again. If I have some other heavy load going and there is no excess, it kicks out again till that load drops.
 I have had it on  pretty much the last 12 months and I only had to over ride it 3 days that I can remember when we had a trot of cloudy weather over winter. That's just press a button and it powers the heater up again.

My heater is big enough to give us 3 days reserve supply and even if it does not get up to full temp, I have found that it often gets enough to compensate what we have used so get another day out of it.  really has worked well for me.

You can get new inverters now that will automatically Divert your excess power to the heater first then export if the heater is up to temp or it can go to a pool pump or whatever.
Are you looking to replace the old system or just carry on with the bootleg plug in setup?




glort

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #54 on: January 01, 2019, 10:01:56 AM »
I will set up a second solar array with an off grid inverter.

Is this in a true off grid inverter where that runs the house and the inverter you have now is totally isolated so it only feeds back?
I believe a totaly off grid /isolated inverter will require some batteries just as ballast if you like even if not providing any significant reserve capacity.

I would suggest just leave things as they are and add another system, preferably wired/ plugged into an existing circuit.
You could have the second inverter set up to non export  so it would supply all the household needs and also run the main inverter at full tilt for the maximum time possible without going over your export limit.  IE, you might do the full 5 Kw from 9am to 7:30 PM instead of maybe 6 hours now.

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I will be independent but still grid connected if I ever need to sell my house,
If you are connected, setting up the second inverter would save you the cost of batteries if you are thinking to run the house completely independent.  Also eliminate maintence issues.

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hopefully I can work out how to export excess power generated at night by the CS burning WVO.

Rectify the AC to DC from a generator and feed it back to inverter No.1.   Alternatively get a 6-10 Hp 3 phase motor, set it up in a C2C configuration, Rectify and back feed or  you could get a 10Hp induction motor, connect to mains circuit, over drive that, use one leg to go back to the inverter and the other to supply power to the house. 3rd leg really doesn't matter and neither will imbalance.  Going to need at least an 8 Hp engine for that.

 
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There is just a chance that the electric company will end up having to pay me rather than the other way around.

Bob

Seems to be a few people doing that but being legit setups, I have to wonder what they invested in the first place and what the payback time is.
Running a generator though, I have to wonder if it would be worth the hassle and setup expense even on free fuel. Not sure what your export rate is but if you have the best going I know of which is .20C Kwh, if you are putting out 3 Kw, you are making a grand total of .60C hr.  Not sure even a tight arse like me would bother with that.
Time you or you and the Mrs, collect the oil, give it even a rough filter.....  does not seem worth it to me.


Just looking at something, to get round the feedback quota if I get a smartmeter inflicted on me, I could get a 3 kw panel set, Put on a 10 KW inverter, get approval for 10 Kw feedback  and then backfeed from the rest of my setup and still be within their export limits.
I'd cover the roof and exterior walls in panels then to make sure I ran the thing flat out from sun up to sun down and turned that into an earner.  :0)

BruceM

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #55 on: January 01, 2019, 04:48:18 PM »
I notice the GTI's are often reported to have a limited service life- especially the newer non-transformer types. 

IceEnergy.com and others with that stored energy A/C approach will be selling a lot of systems.  That will allow you to put your cooling power on PV.  Expensive now but will be less so as volume increases.

I notice that the biggest AZ power co., APS now has a super off peak rate of 3 cents a KWH.
This applies from Nov. to April, 10AM to 3 PM.  This rate is so low that all the higher elevation locations in the state with the need for heating might consider some sort of melted phase change material heat storage system.    This is likely an attempt to increase the winter baseline load for APS's  Palo Verde nuclear plant. 

All this also points out that super insulation is the way to go for the future, as it cuts the heating/cooling need by roughly 75%.

With APS rates varying from 3 cents to 24 cents/kwh already, the market for home battery storage and energy management systems will grow. 






LowGear

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #56 on: January 01, 2019, 08:56:07 PM »
My keyboard just ate the best posting I would have ever made.

Happy New Year to you all.
NPR Tipper/Dump Truck
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SunnyBoy 6000 + SolarWorld 245

glort

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #57 on: January 01, 2019, 09:27:48 PM »
I notice the GTI's are often reported to have a limited service life- especially the newer non-transformer types. 

That has certainly been my experience. I have collected and blown a heap of the thing no more than 5 years old.
I notice the current generation are gauranteed for 10 years. I think they are going to need a good stock of replacements.  From what I have seen the design is no different and they are all fanless as well now.  Rather than the heat sinks be designed as I have known them with a rated heat dissapation of so many oC/W, the things have 4 Big chuky grooves that look like they could dissapate about 10W an hr and they are working on just a great thermal mass that sinks the heat but would take all night to cool down.  The temps these things run at supports that theroy.

I have put a tube fan on my main inverter with a 40oC thermal switch to turn the thing on. Been running all day every day latley and the heat that comes off the inverter constantly makes me wonder how the things survive 1 day without help. I accidently unplugged the fan the other day and when I went out about midday, I could feel the heat radiating off the thing.  It was so hot I could not keep my hand on it for more than about 10 sec.
Put the fan on and let it run about 15 min and came back to the thing and it was still plenty warm but had clearly shed a good 20C at least.
I have another broken panel I found and got a single car radiator fan so I'll fashion up a bracket/ ducting ( maybe something using a cardboard box) and mount it over the inverter and have the thing run whenever there is sunshine.

In any other application of electronics I have come across in my minimal experience, the goal and priority is to keep the components cool. With inverters, they are basically put in a self powered oven to cook themselves. I don't know how they last at all.

I'll have a look for a more current generation unit with the programmable output function and see how that works and hold my breath.

I do have an old transformer type inverter. They are in big demand by the DIYer electronics crowd here because they can be set up to backfeed for battery charging in off grid situations. Everyone agrees while not quite as efficient as the new type they are simple and robust and when something does go wrong rare as it is, the things are a cinch to diagnose and fix.

BruceM

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #58 on: January 02, 2019, 12:40:07 AM »
Not being able to touch it is't bad- your temperature must be just below 160F if you can touch it for 10 seconds.  If you touch it with a wet finger and it sizzles, that's getting hot.

We can imagine how much pressure the designers are to make these things small and cheap. Buyers only look at cost, rated watts capacity and ''efficiency''- as if the latter was somehow important.  Toroidal transformers for 5000w capacity would be quite heavy and large, and not cheap. 

I had a hell of a day.  My new linear pv charge controller has been working flawlessly, but it's a new rework of an old design so I didn't build a backup yet. Today at 11 the sun was out and my battery bank voltage was still 126v so I trudged out with a broom to sweep the snow off the panels.  We got 6-8 inches last night.  When I came back in, battery voltage was now 161!. When I opened the door to the battery bank I could smell fried electronics.  The PV controller was fried- current sense resistors cooked and exploded, oddly, transistors not, stuck ON so full charge current being applied.  I disconnected the large array, and covered part of the small array to get a small rate of charge the battery regulators alone could handle.  Then when getting ready to order parts, I found my computer was out,  which ended up being a cheap POS 12v, 1.5A wall wort (after a fair amount of pulling things apart and trouble shooting).  I had another I could pirate, so got it going, only to find that my custom rear projection focus wasn't working.  That ended up being the tiny gear motor that had failed.  So, after a long day, now I can work on my parts order.

I do have the old PV regulator, which I can modify to be compatible, but I'll have to stick to just my 875 watt array until I can rebuild the new board.  I had spare boards and some parts, but not enough.  An important lesson.

I'll think about adding some max current limiting on the new design.  It seems I've found the worst case-  full sun and fresh snow on upright panels, and 20F temperature, high noon.  The first time for my new additional 1500 watt array in addition too my old 875W.  Too much voltage drop. 
I may have to disconnect one of the panels in the 1500W string for cold weather.


BruceM

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Re: Before it's all over.....
« Reply #59 on: January 02, 2019, 01:34:10 PM »
I found the problem with my linear PV regulator.  The NPN darlington transistors I originally used had been discontinued so I found a similar part but didn't check the linear safe operating area chart close enough. They just can't take much current at high voltage drop that I'm getting in cold weather (<20F) with a snow sun reflector.

It's alarming that there are almost no large NPN power darlingtons being made any more.  MOSFETs are now being rated for linear operation, and could go into my design, but I liked the robustness of the NPN transitors.  The only application is automotive ignition switching- where that robustness is desired, and they are thus tweaking them for better switching performance and not for linear.