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  #21  
Old 19-02-2019, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavytone View Post
Alex you can collect used car/truck batteries from auto electricians for free - they would otherwise have to dispose of them so you're doing them a favour.

There is a simple process to recondition them using epsom salts, and these would work well enough for what you want to do for many years.
Thanks for that advice.
I will start putting out feelers.
Alex
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  #22  
Old 20-02-2019, 02:49 PM
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Alex don't do this mate,

Leon
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  #23  
Old 20-02-2019, 03:35 PM
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Alex you are playing a dangerous game mate.

Leon
Leon the batteries are nothing to the rest of the mess I must negotiate☺.

I So how is it going down your way?



Alex

Last edited by xelasnave; 21-02-2019 at 06:29 AM.
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  #24  
Old 21-02-2019, 07:42 AM
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mynameiscd (Andy)
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Hi Alex,
$4500 for 10 years power is a pretty good deal.
The average city dweller spends this in 2 to 3 years.
Ever thought about 24 or 48volt? Its so more efficient because of voltage drop over distance and esp that panels are all 24volt except fot the expensive 12v RV type which are nearly double for no other reason that they're for the caravan market.
Anyway good luck with the experiment and be safe!!!!
I miss being off grid!!
Never had a black out for nearly 10 years and now on grid we get one every month or so.
Definitely going to turn this house to battery standby.
Cheers
Andy
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  #25  
Old 21-02-2019, 09:09 AM
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Hi Andy
I would love to go for a higher voltage and I have costed it and could see $20,000 going to do it right.
My daughter has a gaming computer that can draw incredible power...I was expecting it to take 100 amps at 12 volts but fortunately it runs considerably lower, however it was thinking about her needs that caused me to look into 48volt.
So I bought a key start sinewave inverter (2 actually☺ the second when the first needed a minor repair) rated at 2kva and ran the computer on it...later I found it runs ok via the inverter from the batteries but limit that actuvity to when the Sun is out...☺.

I have 7 old 85 watt panels and 4 recently installed 300 watt panels and have recently been given another 8 panels which are around 200...not sure on that...but they have to be installed.

I now have 6 generators☺ ... the last from Aldi I could not resist only $200 for 2 kva.

I guess the real reason I am thinking about building a battery is it just would be a neat thing to do. ..I have been watching too many how to youtube videos☺
Alex
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  #26  
Old 21-02-2019, 11:31 AM
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Well keep on to it Alex, you might discover how to make cheep, reliable, power storage out of basic household junk and revolutionise the battery industry and become a multi millionaire.
What's the worst thing that could happen?....
Well other than that it should be an interesting project to work on.
Just a quick note on power storage off grid.
I read an article a while back about using a decent auto start genset in the system and the economics of petrol vs battery bank.
It's cheaper to hammer the batteries and have a smaller, cheaper system and replace more often and burn more petrol rather than an over powered battery system to get the full 10 to 12 years out of the batteries.
Just replace a smaller system every 5 it 6 years and burn fuel.
Cheers
Andy
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  #27  
Old 21-02-2019, 01:17 PM
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I would love an auto start genny one that kicks in when the battery drops to a particular level mmmm maybe the genny count will go up☺.
You end up using a genny a fair bit actually it is amazing just how much cloud there is...you notice that with astronomy and harvesting solar power.

Alex
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  #28  
Old 21-02-2019, 01:26 PM
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What surprises me is how much solar power you can get when there is little Sun..early morning when the Sun peeps over the horizon you can get 30 amps ...must look to see what you get under a full Moon...must be something.
Alex
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  #29  
Old 21-02-2019, 01:26 PM
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Duplicated post deleted.
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  #30  
Old 21-02-2019, 03:19 PM
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Alex - the trouble with being an amateur astronomer with an off-grid solar power system is that your life must be truly miserable whenever it is cloudy!

I suggest that to make your mood swings less erratic, you should have a second hobby which is best done when it is cloudy and rainy - e.g. breeding ducks, or growing hydroponic lettuces (or other "vegetables")!



To get the best out of your solar system - have you looked at mounting it on a steerable mast, so that it will track the sun from dawn until dusk?

I know a boutique winemaker who wanted to go off-grid (for the house and winery complete). When he built his fixed array (about 5 metres x 5 metres, from memory), he was able to supply 100% of his energy needs in summer, but wasn't generating enough to cover winter, or cloudy days. He built himself a 2-axis steerable mast which tracks the sun all year (basically an oversized Alt-Az mount) and mounted the array onto that, and now he is totally off-grid.

(He uses a bank of commercial batteries - he was a Chemical Engineer at an oil refinery by profession before he became a winemaker, and even he wasn't game to make his own lead-acid batteries!)
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  #31  
Old 21-02-2019, 04:10 PM
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Hi Julian
I spend cloudy time fixing preparing adjusting astronomy stuff and re processing☺

Actually I have other hobbies...paintjing, drawing, 6 string guitar and three string slide guitar.
I am not in one place long enoigh to have a vegie garden these days..at Tabby two or three weeks and the Sydney two or three weeks.

I have looked onto a rotating system but oddly enough, although there is 100 acres, there is no room for a mast within reasonable distance from the house and I would not mount it on the house as it does get windy on top of the hill where the house is...
I was even going to set up one panel (an eighty five watt panel I now use to power my mount in Sydney) on an old mount (the one that is becoming THE BOJAN WIDEFIELD MOUNT) to do some tests ... but I am certainly convinced there is a benefit.
The set of panels yet to be installed I will set half up to face West and half East to catch more Sun without tracking. ..although not efficient I think there will be benefits.
As to the winemaker he was probably more interested in making wine☺...I must make a small proto type and see if it works.
The main problem I see at the moment (assuming the idea has merit) is how to suspend the plates from the top of the battery...they will weigh 10 kilos.
I have given that aspect a lot of thought and thete is no easy way to get around such a simple matter..but it is clear that the playes need to be suspended and not just held up on legs or mat.

Anyways ot still seems a neat project.

Alex
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  #32  
Old 21-02-2019, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
I have looked onto a rotating system but oddly enough, although there is 100 acres, there is no room for a mast within reasonable distance from the house and I would not mount it on the house as it does get windy on top of the hill where the house is...
He didn't put it on a mast - he made a frame which is mounted on a slew ring from an old excavator, which is mounted on the ground - minimal footings required, because there is plenty of weight in the excavator slew ring and the frame. I think he just filled some old 200-litre drums with concrete and stuck the posts into them.

A motor slews the whole array every few minutes, and a hydraulic cylinder (from the same old excavator) raises and lowers the altitude of the array, so it follows the sun through the day. He can't raise the panel to vertical (as would required for optimal efficiency at sunrise and sunset) - from memory, it can go from about 25 to 45 degrees altitude - but he can get good power all day because it can point east and west as required, and it can rise to a steeper angle than a static solar panel array.

All built using his basic welding / handyman skills, and calling in a few favours from his mates when he needed a bit of muscle power. (Wine-makers rarely have trouble getting a few friends over for assistance!) His background as an engineer helped with working out the algorithms and automatic control system to get the tracking system working.

Bear in mind that this array powers his house and the whole winery (including a very large insulated cool-room) - your needs would presumably be rather more modest.
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  #33  
Old 21-02-2019, 08:51 PM
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Years ago my mate in Adelaide built a tracker from a couple of car windscreen wiper motors, some light sensitive switch gear and a bits and pieces.
It was pretty primative but it worked most times but occasionally it didnt switch the solonoid that reset it back to East at night.
Due to the cost of pro tracking gear and the price of panels (about 0.50c per watt), its more cost effective to get more panels to make up for losses from early morning and late afternoon.
Plus a lot less to go wrong.
Cheers
Andy
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  #34  
Old 22-02-2019, 09:09 AM
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Yes that is pretty much what I came up with.
The other thing one gets efficiency conscious but I find usually just go bigger and inefficient to a degree.
Even the panels I have in play now do more than enough in one day...on paper they can produce many times the daily requirement...and so again it comes down to storage...the house needs only about 250 amps per day ( without the gaming computer☺) so it would be nice to have storage of say an additional 1000 amps which gives you four days with no charging at all...but to draw that much you really should have, on my conservation approach, a 6000 amp hour battery...without looking it up thats probably $20 k or more...and then you think heck I can buy a lot of petrol for that☺.
My main problem these days is I cant do so many things that when fit you dont even think about...like I need an electrician to change a light bulb simply because I cant climb a ladder..or a plumber to change the tap washer..not cause I cant change it but I cant climb down to the supply tap to cut off the water...similarly I cant get on the roof to instal the new panels...and for a man who did everything himself its a set back...like the clutch on the car that has failed...once I would have done that job.

One just has to adjust and play the game with the new rules.

Alex
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