Author Topic: small heater  (Read 527 times)

mikenash

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small heater
« on: November 08, 2022, 06:17:51 PM »
Hi guys

Building myself a shed with a sloping front for a bunch of solar panels (4 X 375W) plus room inside for batteries, a couple of gensets . . .

Shed has a two-layer floor with insulation; and I'll do the same for roof and walls - mostly for sound-deadening

But, also, with a big LiFePo4 battery, and occasional sub-zero temperatures - I'm looking for an easy way just to trickle a few watts of warmth into it overnight.  I was wondering if something like one of those small panel-heaters that are used to keep the chill off small bedrooms etc might generate a few watts if run on 12, 24, or 48VDC

Shed is 3.6M X 3.6M X about 2m - very small area, and, once well-insulated, will take very few watts to keep above freezing I would think

I'd appreciate any thoughts from someone who may have done similar

Cheers

ajaffa1

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Re: small heater
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2022, 08:11:51 PM »
Hi Mike, glad to see you making progress with your off grid system. I assume you will be fitting some sort of invertor, check the specs on whatever you are going to be using, most of them have a large heatsink and often a cooling fan, might just be enough to keep out a light frost but will only work while you are drawing electricity.
Failing that have a look for a small infrared heat lamp, the sort of thing they use for keeping newly hatched chicks warm. Coupled with a frost stat it would turn on only when needed.
Let us know what you come up with.

Bob

mikenash

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Re: small heater
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2022, 04:04:10 AM »
Hi Mike, glad to see you making progress with your off grid system. I assume you will be fitting some sort of invertor, check the specs on whatever you are going to be using, most of them have a large heatsink and often a cooling fan, might just be enough to keep out a light frost but will only work while you are drawing electricity.
Failing that have a look for a small infrared heat lamp, the sort of thing they use for keeping newly hatched chicks warm. Coupled with a frost stat it would turn on only when needed.
Let us know what you come up with.

Bob

hey Bob - yes, a heat lamp - good idea.  I'll have a look.  Cheers

mikenash

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Re: small heater
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2022, 04:05:40 AM »
Hi Mike, glad to see you making progress with your off grid system. I assume you will be fitting some sort of invertor, check the specs on whatever you are going to be using, most of them have a large heatsink and often a cooling fan, might just be enough to keep out a light frost but will only work while you are drawing electricity.
Failing that have a look for a small infrared heat lamp, the sort of thing they use for keeping newly hatched chicks warm. Coupled with a frost stat it would turn on only when needed.
Let us know what you come up with.

Bob

hey Bob - yes, a heat lamp - good idea.  I'll have a look.  Cheers

Should have said, also, I like the look of the Victorn Easy Solar inverter/charger - especially as they aren't fussy about sine wive, hertz, volts etc of a generator input.  Cheers

Oiler

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Re: small heater
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2022, 10:03:16 AM »
A 60 watt ligt bulb might do the trick. You only need to turn it on if frost is in the forecast.
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Re: small heater
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2022, 02:19:26 PM »
I have a similar system in my barn and use a greenhouse mat heaters under the batteries to keep them mildly warm. I believe they also make a mat just for batteries assuming you want to just keep those warm. If the inverter is a concern we use a heater strip at work in small control panels that only run 25-50 watts we install in small outdoor control panels for frost issues. Mount one below the inverter but I would concerned with making condensation there as well. The same can be done with a reptile heater ( I call them lizard heaters) found on flea bay and Amazon for cheap. They alast way longer than a light bulb and less likely to break since they're ceramic.
Are you installing a lister in the shed? Curious what base you would use for that beast.
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mikenash

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Re: small heater
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2022, 06:04:10 AM »
I have a similar system in my barn and use a greenhouse mat heaters under the batteries to keep them mildly warm. I believe they also make a mat just for batteries assuming you want to just keep those warm. If the inverter is a concern we use a heater strip at work in small control panels that only run 25-50 watts we install in small outdoor control panels for frost issues. Mount one below the inverter but I would concerned with making condensation there as well. The same can be done with a reptile heater ( I call them lizard heaters) found on flea bay and Amazon for cheap. They alast way longer than a light bulb and less likely to break since they're ceramic.
Are you installing a lister in the shed? Curious what base you would use for that beast.

Hi there.  Good thoughts - the lizard heater

No.  No lister.  The shed is on piles concreted into the dirt.  Floor is a double sandwich with insulation - and I'll do the same with the walls & roof

I have just bought three X 470W panels to make about 105VDC in series; and have ordered a 110 A/h 48V LiFePo4 battery which should be here any day.  On the advice of our old friend Starfire, I have bought some cheap Chinese charge controllers which like about 100V for a 48V system.  I'm still shopping for an inverter/charger but am leaning towards a $1700 unit with a 6000W inverter.

I sold the Listers.  The tech is too clumsy as I get old.  I have recently bought new, two Chinese Honda-clone gensets - one around 7kVA, one around 3.6kVA and several others. What I'd REALLY like to find is a 1500RPM diesel genset in the 6-10 kVA range.  I'll keep looking.  But I suspect I'll end up with some sort of 3000 RPM unit and a separate sound-deadening box inside the main box

I guess we'll see

My thanks to all you knowledgeable guys for your advice and encouragement which i continue to appreciate & enjoy

ajaffa1

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Re: small heater
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2022, 06:57:37 AM »

mikenash

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Re: small heater
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2022, 05:29:14 PM »
Hi Mike diesel generators are available, not sure what rpm but something like this might suit you. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/444494227661631/?hoisted=false&ref=browse_tab&referral_code=marketplace_top_picks&referral_story_type=top_picks

Hi Bob.

Yes, thanks

Those little fellows are sort of the noisy diesel cousin of the ubiquitous Chinese Honda-clone

The little DEK or similar engine in them is, I believe, a Chinese-built Yanmar copy.  We have had one here at work in a welder/generator until it blew up.  Reviews might be best-described as "mixed", although importers say that with each generation the build quality and reliability is improving

Lots of genset manufcaturers offer a "consumer" diesel genset with this unit in it - Lister, Hyundai, Trade-Tested . . .

At any one time there will be five or ten or fifteen on our TradeMe

See this one?

https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/marketplace/business-farming-industry/industrial/generators/diesel/listing/3889841379?bof=R2RiJljA

I suspect I'll end up with one of these if I can't find a good, small, liquid-cooled, 1500RPM unit.  They're a Genmac machine with a Yanmar engine.  Equally noisy but with a reputation for being tough & reliable.  The company selling them have been in the game for a long time & are pretty straight-up

I suspect I'll end up with a sound-insulated box inside a sound-insulated shed and a couple of electric fans . . .

Cheers


ajaffa1

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Re: small heater
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2022, 08:25:04 PM »
Hi Mike, after the bushfires in 2019 we had a lot of Chinese Yanmar clone diesel generators donated to our community. They do run fast and are noisy but the worst thing is the poor quality of the rubber fuel lines that need to be replaced after a couple of months. If you do go for one of these, save yourself a lot of hassle by replacing the fuel lines when you first get it.

Bob

mikenash

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Re: small heater
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2022, 08:54:00 PM »
Good call, thanks Bob

I'll keep looking for a medium-sized, water-cooled, 1500 RPM unit - but they tend to be bigger & expensive.

Might get lucky.  Cheers