Living Sustainably

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CVT transmissions, for Generators?

In an ongoing process of improving our DIY Generator / Battery Charger, we are now experimenting with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This will be used to match engine rpm with load, instead of maintaining a high engine rpm regardless of load. Go Carts, Snowmobiles, Cars, and now even bicycles are being produced with this “simple” gadget. To learn more about CVT’s visit wikipedia, and stay up to date on our progress, by picking up our DIY Gen eBook and joining the discussion group.


Solar Design Spreadsheet

For our work in Anguilla, we built a solar design spreadsheet. This worksheet (in xls and ods formats), with inputs for current electric bill figures (kWh, Total $), Maximum current load (measured with a clamp on current meter), and local solar insolation, will calculate the number of panels, batteries, charge controllers, and inverters, as well as estimated costs, to put the system together. It also produces a Return On Investment (ROI) in months (and years), and current $/kWh including taxes and fuel surcharges. We are adding this worksheet to our DIY Solar Guide, and are happy to answer any questions on how to use it. As we make improvements to it, we will provide updates.


Daily Battery AH
Daily WH
Solar Watts
Solar Watt Hours
Number of Panels
Number of strings
Number of Inverters
Number of Batteries
$ for each item, and totals
Sq. Ft. of roof or rack space needed

and more.