REGISTER | LOGIN
Breaking News
Max’s Cool Beans

Book Review: The Maker's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse by Simon Monk

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Crusty1
User Rank
Author
Re: Solar Panel and Charge Controller are on the way
Crusty1   4/19/2016 4:20:01 PM
NO RATINGS
@ Stargzer, the lounge is an enclosed fire place stove, with back boiler included. As it heats hot water we get tax relife on the purchase price. 

I have a honking great heat recovery system to install still, which I picked up for a small price when the local motel was knocked down, when I get it running I will be able to run the lounge stove at full tilt, as i will be able to push hot air from the lounge to other parts of the house. All fresh air vents are low power heat recovery units. Ventilation becomes important when the place gets more air tight.

I actually get paid to generate solar electric power, which is where the I-boost comes into it's own, as I am legally allowed to use the generated power I sell, for no cost, so there is very little of the generated electric going into the grid, I suppose it means that they have to generate less, all this helps the Pension go further.

I am pinning my hopes on Mr Dyson improving battery technology to save me even more energy use. 

Stargzer
User Rank
Author
Re: Solar Panel and Charge Controller are on the way
Stargzer   4/19/2016 3:23:38 PM
NO RATINGS
@Crusty:

" ... the third coil for the wood fired lounge boiler when fired."

Is that a wood stove or a fireplace?  I saw an article in an ancient edition of Popular Mechanics (US magazine) where someone used 3/4" or 1" black screw piping (like used for natural gas in the US, also for water, I think) to make a fireplace grate and connected it through a cast-iron radiator at the back of the fireplace.  Water ran through the pipes and radiator, absorbing heat from the fire grate and the radiator, and then connected to the hot-water heating system.  He had a thermometer and a pressure relief valve in the system.  There was mention of another person who got himself on every catalog and junk-mail mailing list so the Post Office would end up delivering fuel to him.  :-) 

When we first moved in years ago we had a fireplace built that had a double-wall steel liner with tubes in the throat of the flue.  There were large (8"x10" or larger) openings on each side to take in cold air and warm it up by passing it through the shell and out the tubes in the throat at the top.  The mason was a better mason than an HVAC specialist.  The instructions called for maintining the large size of the input opening, but he brought it down to a smaller opening below the raised hearth he built.  I asked him why and he said he thought it would give a ram tunnel effect.  :-(  I put in a couple of 6" computer muffin fans with standard US AC (mains) plugs and put in an outlet in each side connected to a wall switch. When the fans are running it sounds like a B-17 raid over the Axis! :-)  The heat will drive you out of there!  We also had him put in an outside air intake from the back of the chimney above ground outside and ending inside the fireplace behind the glass doors.  I should have had two or three put in!  It minimizes the amount of room air that the fireplace draws, but upstairs can still get cool from the air infiltration.


"If I could get the cash together for a bore hole I would be using a fourth coil and be tapping in on the heat in the Paris aquafer that extends under the chalk of my house in the South of England."

Hot springs underground?  Hey, you could uses thermo-electric for generation and dispense with solar!  ;-)  I often wish I had the money to install a ground-coupled heat pump and dispense with my oil furnace.  When I last replaced my heat pump I got a higher efficiency one that acutally heats the house when it's on and it's warm enough outside. The installers of the original system didn't really understand how an oil furnace worked and how the switchover from heat pump to fossil fuel was supposed to take place, so when it got cold enough we just switched to emergency heat for the winter.  Now if it's a warm enough day the heat pump will do the work.

"I use so little gas or electric now that I get yearly inspections from the electric and gas suppliers worried that I am bypassing their meters."

Now THAT's a system!  They'll probably have to raise their rates since they aren't making any money on you!  That seems like a negative feedback system.  The utilities want us to cut back on usage, but then their profits fall due to decling useage so they raise the rates, and we the people haven't saved anything after all!

 

Crusty1
User Rank
Author
Re: Solar Panel and Charge Controller are on the way
Crusty1   4/19/2016 2:39:53 PM
NO RATINGS
@ Stargzer

I have a clever passive blender unit that makes sure the water at the tap is hot enough to use, but not so hot to hurt the flesh. The blender also supplies warmed water in the winter to our modulated gas water heater/ boiler.

The hot tank is a very high spec insulated tripple coil unit that loses most heat via the copper pipes connected to it, though these are insulated as well. 

Triple coil hot water tank is for one coil to take the house boiler when on, the East and West facing solar panels on the second coil and the third coil for the wood fired lounge boiler when fired. Control of these is passive dependent upon the tank temperature. The immersion heater has a thermostat to stop over heating when powered from the solar panels.

If I could get the cash together for a bore hole I would be using a fourth coil and be tapping in on the heat in the Paris aquafer that extends under the chalk of my house in the South of England.

I am used to these deep discharge batteries as I use them when camping, now that LED lighting is becoming more main stream in English home lighting the temptation to use an inveter with mains backup is looking more and more interesting.

I use so little gas or electric now that I get yearly inspections from the electric and gas suppliers worried that I am bypassing their meters.

It looks like my capital investment will have paid off inside 6 years, with an expected full life of 25 years, I am making a return way above the banks return if I had left the money with them. 

Stargzer
User Rank
Author
Re: Solar Panel and Charge Controller are on the way
Stargzer   4/19/2016 2:04:59 PM
NO RATINGS
@Crusty:

"All the spare power goes to the hot water tank, when it gets to 70 C then the excess power is sold to the national grid."

70 C (158 F)?  You must like really hot showers and have massive insulation on your tank!  Either that or a point-of-use blending valve to cool it down!

Storage batteries are a pain as they take up so much space, so I only have one 100Ah 12v battery, this runs my led lighting easily for a night."

I forget the Ah I have on mine, but it's a deep-cycle battery I keep on charge for emergencies until I can get the generator hooked up and running.  Deep-cycle batteries are designed to be run down lower than starting batteries, no matter how many Ah they provide.

I see no reason to run out in the middle of a hurricane to hook things up!  I cut off the main panel breaker and back-feed the panel through a dedicated 20A breaker connected to a twist-lock connector that matches the generator cord.  The generator has enough oomph to power the fridge and a few lights, a small microwave, and the well pump.  Even though we live next to a marina it's nice to have running water to flush the toilets with instead of carrying 5-gallon buckets!

A rare Derecho came through four years ago and wreaked havoc throughout the area.  We lost power for days.

David Ashton
User Rank
Author
Re: Solar Panel and Charge Controller are on the way
David Ashton   12/3/2015 5:21:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Crusty....glad you are on the mend.

"I use an "I boost" unit to divert the output of my PV mains inverter to the Immersion heater on my hot water tank http://www.solariboost.co.uk/"

Had a look - great little gadget.  We don't have many gas/elec water systems here so not sure how it would do here, but a very clever idea.

Crusty1
User Rank
Author
Re: Solar Panel and Charge Controller are on the way
Crusty1   12/3/2015 4:57:33 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Duane,

Think I would have trouble in holding  the weight of water required on my roof, may be someting like KERS from the racing car technology might be of use though.

Crusty1
User Rank
Author
Re: Solar Panel and Charge Controller are on the way
Crusty1   12/3/2015 4:53:28 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi David; feeling a lot better now, will contact you via your email account.

I use an "I boost" unit to divert the output of my PV mains inverter to the Immersion heater on my hot water tank http://www.solariboost.co.uk/

This has a radio sender on the supply tails to the company fuse and it controlls the power to the immersion heater so that only a minute fraction of the generated power is exported.

I further gain from this by using a commercial mechanical blending thermostat to control the water temperature to the gas water heater, so even if I have only raised the temperature of the incoming water in the hot tank by a few degrees, then I use less gas to raise the water to the required operating temperature. I have saved exporting quite a few MW since installing these units. The hot tank also has a solar water heating panel connected to it, so I have cut quite a lot my imported energy bills.

For an English summer I only need to import electricity to run the high power things like electric cooker and washing machine. which is where battery technology might help me in peak lopping.

English Winter I still need to import electricity and gas.

Duane Benson
User Rank
Author
Re: Solar Panel and Charge Controller are on the way
Duane Benson   12/3/2015 4:26:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Maybe use the excess power to pump water to a storage tank on your roof. Then drain it through a generator/alternator when you need surge power.

David Ashton
User Rank
Author
Re: Solar Panel and Charge Controller are on the way
David Ashton   12/3/2015 4:16:19 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Crusty - nice to see you back on these pages (have not for a while - hope all is good with you?).

Your solar setup sounds good.  Do you have a way of making the excess power go to the hot water or is it just on all the time, only sending the power it would use to the grid when it reaches temperature?  Ie do you have a way of controlling whether the Hot Water system take your solar power?

I have a 2.5KW system which is fine - I get hardly anything back from the Elec. Co. which means it is coming off my bill at 30c / KWh :-))  I am tempted to put more on but I think I'd end up selling a lot of it back to the supplier at 6c / KWH :-((

We can get battery / inverter systems but they are hugely expensive ($15000 or so) and take as much space as a wardrobe, so not thinking of getting one of them yet.  But with a suitably sized one (around 5KW for the average household) I think you could go off-grid.

elizabethsimon
User Rank
Author
Re: Solar Panel and Charge Controller are on the way
elizabethsimon   12/3/2015 4:12:41 PM
NO RATINGS
Unfortunately, the Tesla batteries are in the "if you have to ask you can't afford it" category...

As far as I know, no one has yet come up with affordable convinient energy storage for the home or for any other application that requires large amounts of power.  Electric cars will not get any traction amongs consumers untill batteries get more affordable and more energy dense.

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Most Recent Comments
rick merritt
 
Tim R Johnson
 
ewertz
 
antedeluvian
 
ewertz
 
perl_geek
 
R_Colin_Johnson
 
perl_geek
 
R_Colin_Johnson
Most Recent Messages
11/19/2017
3:31:42 PM
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed