Workshop In An Alternate Homepower Environment

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wmbjk wrote:

You would need the right location and the right shop use to make it practical. Good wind and a custom cabinet shop perhaps.

That's pretty good battery life, you must keep on top of the maintenance.

PH is indeed not feasible for 99.9% of potential homepower locations, CAS is far more feasible.

I don't have any cites for it, but it seems quite reasonable to me to think that there could be windy times when the gen is capable of supplying more power than the charger is drawing, much like the gas generator running with the potential to supply say 4kw and a load on it of only 2kw.

Tower loading is always an important thing to keep track of.

Well, they have systems for recapturing waste heat from showers available commercially. They also have the energy recovery ventilators to recover some of the heat from the stale air they are exhausting. Someone's done the math on those items and determined that it's worthwhile.
Unless you're in a cold climate where you can always directly utilize the waste heat for space heating I'd think there would be some merit to using it for preheat of water to the DHW system. Probably also slightly increase the life and efficiency of the inverter.

What's the transformer for? Most applications for VFDs that I've seen don't use them. Many of the small to mid sized VFDs are specifically rated to take single phase input and they're also a lot more reasonably priced these days. At some point I'll replace the rotary phase converter (home built, $20 in materials) on my Bridgeport with a VFD.

That can work fine as long as the goal is to gradually add other sources. If the plan is to stick with the generator as you comment I was replying to implied, then the 24x7 operation is what should allow you to operate at peak efficiency.

I looked into satellite not long ago when I was moving to TX. Looks like it's fine for general use, but it doesn't handle VPN for telecommuting well at all.
Where I ended up I have cable modem which I got with the package deal that comes with the expanded digital cable, and two phone lines from the telco in a rotary hunt group with flat rate long distance. Work pays for the cable modem and the second phone line, so I get quite a bit of communications capability and halfway decent TV pretty cheap.

Well, up first on my list is a solar water heater to take over for the electric one the place came with. Should be a really easy project that will have a short payback time. Solar A/C will be a bit more complicated.
Pete C.
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wrote:

Perhaps one foreman cracking the whip on a dozen guys toiling with air-powered sanders, drills, nailers and sprayers? It should be relatively easy to calculate the daily compressed-air demands of that, and multiply it by the desired number of days autonomy. I'm guessing that a surplus 747 pumped up to 1000 psi might cover it. Add one man to the crew to take care of all the windmills. :-)

My wife reminds me when 4 months is up, but I've usually already checked the water at about 3 months. It's a big help that we have wind power and tracking for the PV. So we have a much lower proportion of our energy making a trip through the batteries than we would with fixed PV alone. Less charging and discharging equals less maintenance and longer battery life.

Our wind generator (a typical type) for example makes 3 phase AC, and has a rectifier/controller indoors. There's no "charger", and no waste unless the batteries are full. Even then, discretionary loads can make use of the surplus.

I'll give you this, you sure are determined. ;-)

On home power setups, a transformer is often used to double the voltage of a single 110V inverter to run standard submersible well pumps. One model here http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/114/p/1/pt/5/product.asp
I haven't heard of a VFD being used with an inverter, but it should be feasible barring weird compatibility issues. I once set up a VFD to run a 2hp well pump from a really crummy single phase 4500W engine-driven generator. The idea was to use a 230V three phase motor, in order to reduce wire size, lessen startup load on the generator, and eliminate potential thrashing of the pump against an uncased bore.

I got into this thread to rebut the position that generators on their own are a good way to do off-grid power. But lots of people do use generators alone. Compared to that, a generator/inverter-charger/battery combo is a huge improvement, and if properly sized can be a practical solution used indefinitely, even if no other sources are ever brought online. Some inverters can even add their output to the generator output, which provides a way to power loads too big for either unit on its own. For explanation and theory, start at page 57 of the 2mb manual at this site http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/939/docserve.asp . In case anyone reads ahead and freaks at the blizzard of optional settings on that unit, I'll point out that most users change very few of the defaults. The manual is a good read for anyone who'd like to check out the capabilities of whole-house inverters.

Excellent idea, here's a link you might find useful http://members.cox.net/sunraysolar/pricelist.html
Wayne
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Pete C. wrote:

Pointless exercise with Wayne. He can talk the legs off a donkey but still can't explain his claim of two days autonomy for his system.
And yes he does all his real work during daylight hours.
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Pointless or not, by quoting almost 200 lines of text you've demonstrated very aptly that you don't have any comprehension of how to carry on an online conversation. Try trimming the rhetoric next time.
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wrote:

Good timing George, Pete has mentioned that he's going to build a solar water-heating system in the near future. As you're a *solar* power consultant, I expect you'll want to offer some tips for his project. Oh darn, I just remembered, you've written that propane-fueled water heating is more "appropriate". OK then, just tell him how many pounds of fuel you've hauled during your time off-grid, and how much cheaper and smarter you believe that is over his plan of spending a few bucks and some time fabricating a system.

I assume you'll be explaining how that differs from what most people do, why welding at night is better, and how when you're drawing 400 Amps, it makes a big difference whether or not your 60 Amps of PV is lit....
The thread is titled "workshop in a alternate home power environment", and it has included some discussion about welding in an off-grid workshop. Since you're a self-described expert welder who also claims nearly two decades of success in the professional "designing" of solar power setups, it would seem you're the perfect person to share with everyone exactly how you handle welding at your own place. I'm sure Pete and many others would be interested to hear how a "professional's" system could handle his Miller Syncrowave 250, and exactly how much of your daily energy production is available for power tools in general. Wayne
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wmbjk wrote:

Ah, Wayne speaks again.
Wayne, I would suggest that utill you can actually supply the numbers for the system you tout as a marvel of your design prowess that you forgo giving advice.
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wrote:

What a surprise, not so much of a whiff of information about the topic at hand. I suggest that it's only fair when criticizing others, that you ought to be explaining how *you* handle supplying power to an off-grid workshop. Especially since you're cross-posting to a group that isn't familiar with your claims of being both an expert welder *and* a "solar power consultant". Here, let me help you...
George believes that after professing to have a couple of decades experience as a professional in the solar biz, that it makes infinite sense that he's hauled some 15 *tons* of fuel to his own place (without even counting wood for space heating), and must start a generator for any load over a few hundred Watts. He's also of the opinion that many of society's ills can be traced to a dependence on powered devices (as in: anything *he* doesn't have), and says he wants for nothing on one (1) kWhr per day. That's $3 per month electricity for you grid-connected folks. While most off-grinders who live in an area as sunny as George's quickly learn the benefits of solar water heating, George intends to wait for the concept to be proven before spending a few hundred bucks on it. And most important of all, he absolutely can't stand to hear about people who've done it better, which is just about everyone else. Which explains why he's found bitter fault with most of the regulars in the energy groups. Does that about cover the high points George? You're welcome.
Wayne
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The fact that TMT has had an overload of help with the subject including a warning about your own incompetence I am sure that he has already worked out that he will have to decide what to do to suit his own needs.
Your fictions are only the mutterings of a sad case who still can not post a sensable account of his energy use let alone anyone else's.
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Take the hook out of your mouth George. The troll has struck paydirt with you.

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Sitll laughing
John P Bengi wrote:

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wrote:

Perhaps laughing is easier than admitting that your sole supporter is the infamous Gymmy Bob, a loon who hopes to set a record for most posting IDs. I notice that despite being mocked for it, neither of you has posted any details about your off-grid workshops. Here, allow me - If Gymmy/Bengi/Larry Lix/pizza girl actually owns the few Watts of PV he's claimed, then the combined solar output of the Blunder-Loon power company is less than 2kWhrs per day, or about as much as a cheapie generator from Home Depot produces in 30 minutes. If you could sell the energy at retail, the income would be about $73 per year, which is $74 more than the two of you together are worth as fertilizer.
Wayne
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Yes, I know but this guy only trolls here and adds next to nothing. It's very easy to sit back, say nothing and take potshots at people's spelling and other idiosyncrasies. We all do it to a certain extent but most try to discuss (the reason for being here) and this one doesn't seem to have anything postive to say ever.

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wrote:

Apparently you believe that "accounting" for energy production is somehow better than actually producing energy. Let's see how that works - 1kWhr is about enough to power a contractor grade table for 40 minutes. Or it might power a homeowner-grade MIG welder for 20 minutes. Still, that level of production might be sufficient for a putterer, except that in your case, you'd still need a five times larger inverter, and would then have to run the generator to power the house, having exhausted the day's production in but minutes of shop use.

Doing without, and getting the bulk of your energy from fuel that must be bought and hauled, isn't anything to be proud of for someone who claims to be a professional. I can't count the number of amateurs I know who've done better.

As I've said many times, I will *never* write anything you demand.

I've answered hundreds of emails from folks who are considering making the move to off-grid, and are curious to hear how that's worked out from someone who's already done it. The fact that I won't play along here under the pretense that you're an expert probably won't have much affect on their level of interest one way or another.

My setup provides virtually all the energy to power a "normally" equipped home. *That* is the part I find useful, not diddling with spreadsheets to "prove" something to a quack.

I *have* ten years experience. You've read from a respected regular that nothing is misrepresented. Your habit of denying the undeniable has made you a laughing stock.

Living off a propane and generator based system with a tiny solar supplement for all those years is only proof that you're satisfied to do something poorly for much longer than most. Living in a hot climate while claiming to be a master fabricator, yet failing after 20 years to build a simple solar water heating system is pathetic. Even so, no one would bother to call you on that feebleness except for the fact that you repeatedly indulge in gratuitous insults.

What "stands" is your boneheaded insistence on making a fool of yourself.
Now, do you have *anything* to say about off-grid workshops? No, I didn't think so.
Wayne
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wmbjk wrote:

You can't get anything right can you. First, I am an American. Born and raised in San Diego.
Second, I can and have outlined my energy use for for all resources.
The assumptions you make are the fiction. You do not know what your system does. You copied a design and when it failed to work you doubled the solar and wind input.

what you are doing.
A "putterer" is one who claims he can use a MIG welder in both directions. Please note Wayne that the direction to run a MIG torch is in the direction of the gas flow. A MIG torch is not, as you seem to think, a hot melt glue gun.
A "putterer" does not hold a ticket for "Unlimited Thickness Structuial Steel" So what's your ticket.
My work shop use has no effect on the house system as there is no connection between them.
My fuel use is, Petrol, 20 L per fortnight(14 days) This runs the Gen set of course, also the tractor, motorcycle and chainsaw.
Yes I use wood and propane in the house. So what?
So, yes I can account for my entire energy use.
Is this important? Yes.
Why?
Because if you dont know what is going in or what is going out you don't know what your system is doing. Which is really just not knowing what you are doing.

God help them.

Nothing is represented.

not have yet is the parbolic system.

Off grid workshops, as I have said already, are as indivdual as the people who use them. Asking for advice, which can only be generic at best, is fine but in the end the workshop must meet your needs, not Wayne's needs or George's needs.
My most commonly used tool is a drill. I use battery drills with leads because they are readily avaliable. I have six at the moment. With an eighteen A/hour gell cell and two battery drills I can install a 5kW system on site in two days.
As most of my solar work is on site what good would a huge solar power system at home do me. Can't drag that around with me can I?
As for my welder, why build a system big enough to run it for perhaps five hours a month.
The reason I have the generator is because I bought it to build the house. It is still serviceable and portable.
No Wayne your nonsense is just that. Nonsense.
You and I both run what we need to run.
The difference is that I do it by design and know what goes in and out. I know I have five days autonomy at my daily load
You built a system then doubled the solar and wind to make it work and still don't know why. You think you have two days autonomy at some airy fairy reduced load.
The warning about your advice still stands as valid.
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LOL. well said but trolls never listen. They just become more hostile and more trolly.

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Nor, does George seem to contribute anything other than his definition of 'days of autonomy' and his harping on Wayne about it. George might consider some help since his 'days of autonomy' mantra seems to have taken over his entire existence and pushed out any other helpful contributions.
The subject is 'workshop in an alternate homepower environment', but it has degenerated to YAWVGM (yet-another-wayne-versus-george-match).
The OP might as well just start a new thread to ask any new questions, these two guys will not contribute anything more to the discussion, and most of us recognize the YAWVGM and ignore the thread from here on.
Moving on..... daestrom
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On Sun, 26 Jun 2005 14:10:24 GMT, "daestrom"

You're mostly right, but don't discount the lesson served up by George's setup. It's a perfect example of tunnel-vision design, decreased utility, and how to spend less in the beginning, but more in the long run. For those considering hiring an installer, it also demonstrates the importance of seeking out one with well-rounded experience, as opposed to someone with what I call "contractor's" disease. That's where a tradesman can't see the forest for the trees, and continues to make the same assumptions and mistakes for an entire career.
Wayne
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I am onboard totally with you on this one. Must be the Great Lakes environment...LOL Hot huh?

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"The subject is 'workshop in an alternate homepower environment', but it has degenerated to YAWVGM (yet-another-wayne-versus-george-match). ..."
I am glad that someone remembers....thanks to all those who contributed positively to this thread so far.
If you have more to contribute on subject, please feel free to offer it.
Thanks in advance,
TMT
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On 26 Jun 2005 19:48:32 -0700, "Too_Many_Tools"

Here's a sample day's work (yesterday's) in an off-grid workshop. The project was building the last 2 of 5 scissor trusses for a friend's aircraft hangar. All material was scrap - chords of 2" and 1.5" schedule 40 pipe. Long braces from T posts, shorter ones from 5/8" sucker rod. Most of the material was cut a few days ago. I wore out 3 chop saw blades (medium quality ones) which should give you an idea of run time. The trusses are 40' wide, but built in halves. Each half took about 30 minutes to lay out and prep, including about 15 minutes use of a 4" side grinder. Then 26 welds per side, flip, another 26 welds. Layout, prep, and welding - about one hour total per half, with a long break between each one to cool off. I built 4 halves, about 100 minutes welding for the day. I didn't check the current draw, but the machine was set at 280 inches per second, 18 Volts, with .035" solid wire. Perhaps 5kW input. Charging rate was medium, there was good sun, but almost no wind, which was nice because I could leave the shop doors open. When I quit for the day, my wife commented that battery state of charge had dropped 6 Amp hours, and that she'd used the AC in the office for a couple of hours. On this project, like most others here, there wasn't any penalty for being off-grid, which is way cool IMO.
Wayne
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