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Messages - BruceM

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No, Glort. Using snide names for California and calling it a laughingstock of the world as a non-American isn't an "opinion" of any value to anyone. An opinion would be expressing how you think various policies have adversely affected power management.  You're just rationalizing your spleen venting, and trying to feel better about yourself by tearing down others.  That's your specialty, and it's why you are on this unmoderated forum. 

I think 38AC was right about the need for moderation.  It's not the same for me here without him. The education in following his projects was priceless.

What I object to is the rabid attack on California as "communist" and a laughingstock of the world.  I suspect about half the world would be glad to be living in CA, which is part of why their population growth is so high, and thus the severe problem of cost of housing. Many people also move there for better tolerance, of race, religion and sexual orientation, which I find admirable and sure hasn't hurt their economy, strongest in the US, 5th in the whole world.  Racist's and homophobic folks hate this and the legal protections offered by CA.  This is often the hidden reason why CA is attacked.
It has nothing to do with the topic of PG&E mismanagement and power outage.  It's just hatred.


"If the crazy ideals of Commifornians weren't a laughing stock the world over, they would be a lot better off.
Mate of mine that lives there can't stand the place and won't be able to get out fast enough. Right now he has a sick mother to take care of but when that's no longer an issue, he's very keen to start the rest of his life in a place he deems sane."

Seems like incredibly rude, rabid right wing whinging to me, if not just plain nuts.

I lived in S. Cal a year in the mountains, and spent time in the SF area many times on vacations. An ex is from near the Oregon border.  My best friend lives there (SF area) , making a bundle at Oracle after his startup got bought.  I can't afford to live there due to disability but it's a gorgeous state, semi-rational government most of the time, which is about all you can hope for with humans.  California alone is the 5th largest economy in the world, now ahead of the entire UK and much of it is gorgeous with an enviable climate.   The state is solvent and stable.  It's done amazing things in improving the air and water quality. It's population is hugely diverse, ethnically, to me a big plus.  I only wish I could afford to live there.  I certainly like California's ideals better than yours, Glort.

I think it's hilarious we've got a Canadian and an Australian whining about California. I suspect neither has ever lived there. I lived there for a year.  CA has only one problem, and that's that too many people want to live there, so the cost of living is insane.  It sorta proves that the whiners are out to lunch.

As soon as I recovered enough after a medical program there to be able to drive again safely, I came back to AZ.  I couldn't afford just the property taxes on a home there, and I certainly couldn't afford "elbow room" real estate.  There was a rush on land here some years ago, nearly doubling our land prices as middle class Californian's cashed out of their inflated homes there and retired here. 

I'd prefer if we just called a big Whoa! on the breeding and growth, growth, growth.  7 billion is way more than enough.

Waste Vegetable Oil / Re: WVO / Methanol
« on: October 15, 2019, 09:17:13 PM »
I've been runing methanol in my WI system, but only in winter as an antifreeze. Runs great, that might be a good way to use your methanol.

My Franklin 1/2 HP deep well pump (3 wire, 230V)  runs as rated at 1385VA.  I expect a shallow well version might be different.  I can only dream of water at 35 feet, my standing water level is down at 200ft. The water is quite good for Arizona, which still means very hard.  Its is just good enough to avoid using water softener, etc., which is a big plus for power conservation.

On the issue of inverter surge capability; this varies greatly by design type, and by how much marketing optimism has been applied in the rating process. The old low frequency transformer sine designs such as the long venerated Trace SW series were noted for great motor starting capacity in an era where inverter life was notoriously short.  I use that same basic SW design approach for my 5 step sine inverter using two H-bridges and two 1000W transformers with secondaries in series to shape the sine.  The SW used 3 transformers and high speed switching to make up to 32 steps. I kept just enough steps to get THD down below generators (12%), which lets me use soft (slow) switching to reduce conducted EMI greatly while still having 92% efficiency.  It's designed for 1500W max continuous load.  Because I'm using high permeability core toroidal transformers, and under-rated my soft switching H-bridges,  it starts any motor with 1500W or less for running.  Start surge just doesn't matter.

The high frequency designs vary, but few can touch the surge capability of the old "heavy iron" low frequency Trace SW series. 

My deep well submersible 1/2 hp pump draws 1400 watts running, and 4KW generator will start it readily, as does my 6/1 Listeroid w/ ST-3 head.  Start peak is about 3x running.  This is a 230V pump with both start and run wires.

I think there are gird tie PV controllers that do support isolated operation sans batteries.  That could keep your freezer and refrigerator from a total melt down, and give you some power for cooking. 

I wonder if the power co.s will abandon rural residential and small farm service altogether in time, just as phone land lines are being abandoned now.

General Discussion / Re: Welding on clean DC
« on: October 14, 2019, 03:38:14 PM »
Thanks for the good ideas and help, Ed, Mike, Glort.

Yep, mobility does lean one towards a less hefty and cheaper design.  I've got some 4 inch all-locking castors which should do the mobility bit. I just have to come up with something to allow the occasional pounding on the vice anvil...perhaps just a wood or steel lift under the vice end to protect the castors.  I saw some scrap 1 inch threaded rod at the junkyard which gave me ideas but I expect the price of those nuts would make me wince.

I've done my best looking for some sort of scrap piece for a top and have come up dry. No engineering in these parts, and the fence/fab shop doesn't carry much in heavy sheet.

A slat type welding table top I can make from a single 20 foot 3/8 x 4 inch flat stock for $75, so I'll do that and beef it up with supports as needed as MikeN suggests. Some guy's seem to like slat tops- not my first choice but  I can put a piece of Hardyboard over it for non-welding table use.  A table with vise to use outside on the 20'x20' shop apron will be very useful for me.

Thanks for the good thoughts, guys!

The author is very likely a Koch brothers & Co. propagandist. Whenever I see someone working for a bogus (Texas) foundation (so called right wing "think tanks") and text blaming environmental restrictions I smell Texas oil money in the air.

It is a popular ploy by such writers to blame politicians and environmental restrictions for actions that are clearly as simple as greed and profit motivations.  They didn't trim trees along their easements, and they didn't have a reasonable schedule to update line equipment until it explodes in a shower of sparks.  It's that simple.  We have the same problem in rural AZ. 

PG&E was so busy handing out large dividends to shareholders ($4.5B) and huge paychecks to executives, it didn't have the money to trim trees and maintain the power lines.  They've got a million miles of lines which need complete replacement, lines, poles, transformers.  Now they have filed for bankruptcy.  American's are suckers for the "glories of the free market" swan song, and then act outraged when corporations act to maximize this years profits for shareholders.

Anyone with disposable income in California should be planning on pulling the plug on the power co.s, because the rates are about to go up, up up.  AZ power rates are rising fast as CA is buying power from AZ companies.  AZ couldn't stop them because of federal interstate commerce laws.

I sure like being off the grid with Listeroid backup/boost power.

General Discussion / Re: Welding on clean DC
« on: October 12, 2019, 12:20:47 AM »
Mikenash or other welders- I need to draw on your experience as I'm still novice level.  I'm planning a mobile welding table with roughly 2'x4' top.

I've struck out at the 2 area scrapyards looking for suitable material for a welding table top.  The two area suppliers won't sell anything less than 4x8 foot sheet stock.  What I can get is 20 foot lengths of either 4 inch wide 3/8 flat, or 6 inch wide 1/2" flat.  Is 3/8 inch thick enough for a slat type welding table top, or should suck it up and go 1/2 (twice the price)?

Everything else / Re: Lithium batteries, the care and feeding of
« on: October 10, 2019, 09:39:06 PM »
There's no battery that does well at sub zero F temps.  Here it's not so tough- moderate insulation will suffice to keep them above 32F, 0C, even with a little bit of ventilation in the battery box.   The large thermal mass of the batteries helps.  Much easier to insulate the batteries with lithium, they are smaller, lighter, no venting, no regular access needed for watering. 

My neighbor is on his 5th year with his $1000 bank of 10 Walmart marine batteries.  He say's they are still looking good on the hygrometer, very little variation in cells between monthly equalization.  He waters twice a year (I only do once/yr.) . I designed his wall of batteries to make it very easy to service. The batteries are all raised to accessible height, longwise to the wall, so easy to see into each cell without pulling them out a bit as I must do.  A large access panel seals it off, his 10 battery regulators with LED indicators are just above it, as is the charge controller board and PV regulator.   He blew his battery funds on fencing for his milk goats, so I hope he gets to six years.  My current set, on the same hardware, is only 3 years old. 


Everything else / Re: Lithium batteries, the care and feeding of
« on: October 10, 2019, 03:48:22 PM »
The lithium capability of operating happily without a full state of charge would be a marvelous thing.  I can hardly imagine it as my own PV/battery system was designed for lead acid's need for being fully charged, and when I think about batteries, I immediately think of how to keep them topped off to extend life!

For wet lead-acid, the true deep cycle batteries are a horror show of inefficiency. For good life they must be fully charged, but charge efficiency for the last 10% is near or below 50%, and they eat power like crazy even when full. The self discharge rate is terrible. The floor polisher battery (6V) I got recently for my welder sucks 2 amps continuously when topped off, and this is within the manufacturer's specs.  I was shocked.

A much better lead acid technology is the AGM batteries, which don't continue to eat power when full, and have high charge efficiency. They are what I designed for.  The cheap semi-deep cycle, lead-calcium batteries I'm using don't have performance as good as AGM, but vastly better than wet deep cycle lead acid in that the charging cycle current does  taper to nearly nothing (50ma).  Lightly loaded and charged at moderate currents, the Lead-calcium batteries are a decent value.  By using 120V instead of 12V, keeping actual battery loads to a few amps, and DOD down to 15% on average it's a different situation.  My batteries are fully charged every day long before noon, but I don't have to wait for that, I have enough excess PV power during the morning for big loads.  In fall, my batteries are nearly full but not in float by 10AM.  Direct DC use and propane refrigerator/freezer is a big plus, there is zero load at night when I turn off my lights and computer.  The inverter is only on when needed, though it only draws 15W when idling.  A house heating cycle draws 20 Watts for about 4 hours from my 12V AGM battery for the circ pump, daily in near zero F weather, every other day for most of the winter due to thermal mass and super insulation.  Yes, I am a fiend about low power design.

If/when lithium ever gets down in price to compete with my lead-calcium batteries for ongoing replacement cost, I'll have quite a project to design a new BMS for a 120V series string of cells.  It's good to learn that I can do cell balancing slowly at night, as I'd need nearly 40 cell regulators instead of your 4.

Thanks for sharing your pioneering project on lithium batteries! 

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