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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Anguilla Solar

We just got back from our trip to Anguilla. We helped Francoise set up her new solar power system. Two Kyocera 130 watt PV panels, a Xantrex C35 charge controller, a Trimetric Battery Meter, a Morningstar Microsine 300 sine wave inverter, and a 70 ah AGM battery, power up 3 Compact Fluorescent Lights, A LG WP-680N Washing Machine (260 Watts) and a Shurflo 12v pump. Two weeks of testing, and we were never able to pull the battery below 12.4 volts. The system consistently output 1.5 kWh's daily. More pics at http://www.green-trust.org/Anguilla Solar/.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Solar Install in Anguilla

We are off on our trip to Anguilla to do a solar install. Be back in 2 weeks, and expect to have a tan. Will post pics when we return. The install consists of two 130 watt panels, 35 amp charge controller, 1 AGM 70ah battery, a 300 watt sine wave inverter, and a 12 volt shurflo cistern pump. See pics of last weeks solar install at Woodhenge.org

Monday, March 03, 2008

All About Batteries

Off grid homes, RV's, and boats use a house bank, a bank of batteries used to store the energy from solar, wind, and backup generators for times of no sun or no wind. These are not car batteries, these are specially designed deep cycle batteries that can handle repeated deep discharge and charge cycles. Learn about the following and more from Living With 12vdc and Wiring For 12vdc, on the Ample Power CD at http://www.green-trust.org/products/

  • What happens inside a battery when it discharges and
    charges?
  • How much energy can be stored?
  • How is storage capacity measured?
  • How can capacity remaining be determined?
  • When is the best time to recharge?
  • What charging techniques yield optimum performance?
  • How fast can a battery be charged?
  • How should a battery be discharged?
  • What kind of regular maintenance is required?
  • What pitfalls must be avoided?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Watermotor - Simple Mechanical Drive

Most of the common machines used in workshops, industry, and farms are driven by motors of only .5 - 5 horsepower. The Watermotor will produce this amount of power at an extremely low cost and with a minimum of ecological disruption.

High energy efficiency means that the quantity of water necessary for operation and cost of installation is greatly reduced, while on the other hand the number of actual locations where waterpower on this scale is available increases exponentially. In effect, every small fast-flowing stream becomes an important local energy resource, perhaps in many cases the only practical one available. In the world's hilly and mountainous areas there are often few roads and even fewer electric power-lines. While frequently rich in small scale water-power resources, the people are poor.

The Watermotor is a practical means of utilizing one of the easiest to use and most efficient sources of natural energy.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Solar Homes & Solar Collectors

Solar energy is our birthright like the air we breathe or the water we drink. Solar Home Plans and affordable Solar Hot Water Plans are the gateway into a "Solar Age" of energy independence. Fossil fuels are no longer necessary to keep the wheels of civilization turning. Build your own solar heating system with an MTD Solar Collector Kit. Explore the Strawberry Fields Book Store for more information. Alternative energies like solar energy will increase in value as fossil fuel prices escalate. Solar collectors, solar hot water systems, heat storage vaults, photovoltaic electricity, solar panels, solar greenhouses and solar house plans will become more important in this century. According to Buckminster Fuller "We have wondered too far from the roots." An energy crisis can only be avoided only if we learn to rely on a diffuse, sustainable resource like the sun. .

http://www.jc-solarhomes.com/

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Invention of the Month - The Green Steam Engine



This one has been around a while, and has met the test of time. It's a reliable design, and we think it's awesome. See more at http://www.greensteamengine.com

Monday, February 18, 2008

Installing Solar at Woodhenge.org

Jim Juczak's power system was damaged by their recent house fire. A group of us went to help them rebuild various aspects from sheetrock to applying primer. My son Matt and I tackled upgrading and repairing the power system. Jim had built wooden frames for the 12 new solar panels. These panels are a bit different than the usual ones we run across. Each panel is a 45 watt, 98 volt open circuit amorphous panel. Matt and I built combiner boxes and wiring whips so that each frame will hold 4 panels wired in parallel, and a master combiner box that parallels the 3 frames, feeding the Outback MX-60 in the house. The house contains a 24 volt Trojan L16 battery pack.

Each frame has a small combiner box connecting the 4 panels with 12 gauge cable to a 10 gauge uplink to the master combiner box. The master combiner uplinks to the house with 6 gauge. See pics at http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/12VDC_Power/photos/browse/5156?c=

They bought a 40' shipping container to put belongings in while the house is being finished, so we put a temporary pv system on that as well for internal lighting.

We go back next weekend to fix the wind turbine and install some ground lines for the panels.


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