Motorized Sources for Equalizing Charges

The motorized source is the best type to use for the equalizing charges. Its voltage output is capable of being adjusted to over 16 volts in order to accomplish the equalizing charge. The motorized source is capable of delivering a C 20 rate of charge for the least 7 continuous hours necessary for battery equalization. Remember the batteries must already be full before the equalizing charge is started. Users of solar and wind systems should consider constructing a lawnmower powerplant just to...

Power Sources

The Pryors use two energy sources- photovoltaics and a homemade 12 VDC gasoline engine generator. The computer specified eight PV panels, each 48 Watts, for this system. However, finances forced John and Anita to make do with only four 48 Watt Kyocera photovoltaic modules. These 4 modules produce about 950 Watt-hours of energy on an average sunny day at John & Anita's location. This makes their system about 47 solar powered. One of the nice things about PVs is their expandability. John and...

System Operation

The batteries will store enough energy for 3.3 days of operation. On an average basis, the four PV panels extend this storage period to about 5 days between generator rechargings. This amounts to generator operation about every 4 days during the Winter months and about once a week during the Summer. John and Anita are putting some 1,100 hours yearly on their mechanical generator. This costs them about 30. per month in fuel and maintenance. John and Anita are their own power company. They both...

AC Appliances

The Pryor's use about 390 W.-hrs. per day in lighting. They are currently using 120 VAC fluorescent types for about half their lighting, with incandescent 120 VAC lightbulbs picking up the remainder. All lighting is powered via the inverter. John is going to installing 12 VDC fluorescent lighting in the future. All other usage of 120 VAC really doesn't amount to much in terms of energy consumption. This is one nice feature of inverter type systems. Standard household appliances such as color...

Battery Pack 4 Trojan L16 W Lead Acid Batteries 700 Amperehours at 12 VDC

Hardware store materials and adapts easily to wall, roof, or ground mounting. The rack also allows seasonal elevation adjustment of the 4 panels it holds. Construction of this rack is covered in this month's Solar article. The cost of the mounting rack was 75. The remainder on the power is produced by a homemade engine generator set. This unit uses a single cylinder, horizontal shaft, gas engine to drive an automotive alternator. This engine generator set is capable of delivering 40 amperes of...

Ir

Wiring makes up many of the elements in a circuit. Larger sizes of wire have more copper in them, and hence lower resistance. Wire size is specified by a gauge number. The lower the gauge number, the larger the diameter of the copper wire, and thereby the lower its resistance. The actual resistance per 1,000 feet of various copper wire gauges is detailed in Table 1, the Copper Wire Table. We encourage you to use only copper wire in your AE system. Aluminum wire has greater resistance (about...

Electrical Power Usage

The Pryor's household represents a fairly standard consumption profile for two people living on alternative energy. Their appliances include a 12 VDC electric refrigerator freezer, a 12 VDC B W TV set, 120 VAC lighting, 22 color 120 VAC TV, 120 VAC Video Cassette Recorder, 120 VAC Sewing Machine, various 120 VAC kitchen and household appliances. A detailed profile of how John & Anita use their homemade electricity is in the column graph shown in Figure 1. The vertical axis of the graph is...

Energy Temperature Changes of State for One Pound of Watei

-4 F 32 F 68 F 104 F 140 F 176 F 212 F 248 F -20 C 0 C 20 C 40 C 60 C 80 C 100 C 120 point of 212 F. At this point, 972 BTUs are required to complete another change of state from water to steam. The temperature, however, remains at 212 F until all the water has become steam. Once again, the temperature will start rising 1 F for each BTU added. There is one added requirement for the temperature of the steam to continue rising. Steam is water in its gaseous state. Were it not contained, this...

Face It SOUTH

The critical consideration in mounting PV modules is the yearly path of the Sun. The PV modules must receive maximum sunlight. Consider shading from trees and buildings. The decision of where to mount should be made only after careful consideration of all your options. The PV modules, in most nontracking situations, should face South. The closer the plane of the rack is to facing true South, the better overall performance the PVs will deliver. Only consider mounting surfaces that are within 15...

Fig 4 Rack Geometry

The Fall increase the PV output by about 5 to 8 . This is really not a very great increase in performance, but the success or failure of an AE system depends on attention to detail. We personally consider that a 5 increase in our PVs performance is well worth the twice yearly expenditure of 15 minutes of our time to adjust the rack. On roofs that are not horizontal (and most aren't), the legs get shorter as the roof gets steeper. A good overall, nonadjustable, mounting angle is your latitude....

Fig 6 PV System Schematic Many

Systems do not require a regulator for the PVs. A good rule of thumb is IF your PVs don't charge the batteries at more than a C 20 rate, AND if the system is ALWAYS being used, then you do not need regulation. In other cases, wire the regulator into the system following the manufacturer's instructions. This article gives you the basic information so you can figure out what to do for your own particular system. If after reading this, you don't feel comfortable the concepts involved, please seek...

Flowlight Lowpower Well Pumps Pump Slowly Throughout The Solar Day For Highest Efficiency And Economy

SLOWPUMP draws from shallow water sources and pushes as high as 450 vertical ft. It also fits into deep well casings where the water level remains stable. Many models available, 35 to 300 Watts. SLOWPUMPS have a 5 year history of proven reliability, worldwide. MICRO-SUBMERSIBLE raises water from deep wells. Max. lift measured from water surface 100 ft. Runs directly from a single 35 Watt solar module or from any battery system. FLOWLIGHT BOOSTER PUMP provides TOWN PRESSURE for home use with...

Get on the

In reality houses and systems contain many circuits. Some of these circuits are straight series types as mentioned above. Others are parallel circuits, where two or more loads are supplied electricity by the same piece of wire. The mathematical analysis of all these circuits can become very complex. A way around this complexity is to use a standard wiring technique that is very effective in low voltage systems--The Bus. A bus is a heavy set of wires used to carry current to other smaller wires...

Getting it all together Assembly

We originally bolted both the alternator and the motor to a wooden slab about 16 by 24 and 4 inches thick. Be very careful on this step. If the motor pulley and the alternator pulley are not properly aligned, then the unit will wear belts out very rapidly. These units work best on heavy metal bases. There is a lot of vibration and the wooden slabs give up after a few years. Either add a sheet of 1 4 to 3 8 steel between the wood and the motor alternator, or make the base completely out of...

Home Power Display Advertising Rates

Full Page- 1,200 Half Page- 672 Third Page- 480 Quarter Page- 377 Sixth Page- 267 Eight Page- 214 We are desktop published (via Macintosh computers) and can setup and layout your advertisement if you so desire. Camera ready display advertising is also accepted. Advertising deadline is the 10th of a month for the issue distributed on the 20th of that month. We can handle all types of photographs, including full color. We can position your display advertisement wherever you wish in the magazine....

Home Power Micro Ads

Rates 50 per character, include spaces. 10 minimum Deadline 10th for that month's issue. Send check with Ad. Refrigeration- Energy efficient DC and AC refrigeration for domestic use and vaccine storage. Available in sizes ranging from1 to 19 cu. ft. Most models can powered by less than 3 PV modules. SunFrost, PO Box 1101, Dept. PH, Areata, CA 95521. Call 707-822-9095 For Sale- JACOBS twin motor electric w Contro Panel, stub tower, 685. John Beck, 701-663-7399. For Sale- 32 V, 1800 W., JACOBS...

Home Power People

For all you Techno freaks out there, the dgtaZed imagesOflheHomePower crewonthspagewere produced using a Macintosh computer, a CBC video camera, and the wonderful MacMagic imaging software The whole mess was powered using Kyocera PVs, Trojan batteries, and a Hefotrope inverter. To All AE Equipment Manufacturers & Future Home Power Advertisers Your Ad could have been here on 10,000 copies of Home Power. This nationally distributed information is read by folks with only one interest in mind...

How Heat Travels

Heat passes from one place or object to another by three methods. CONDUCTION is the movement of heat through a material without carrying that material along with the heat (that is, without changing the conducting materials physical structure). Example Heat a copper rod on one end only. The copper molecules in the heated end will start vibrating due to the increased internal energy. These vibrating molecules will strike unheated copper molecules next to them, transferring heat. This chain...

Lawnmower Engines and Car Alternators

The idea here is to use a lawnmower engine (or other small horizontal shaft motor) to drive an automotive alternator. The alternator puts out between 35 and 200 amperes (depending on its size) of 12 to 18 volt DC energy to charge the batteries. The first engine we used actually came from an old lawnmower we bought for 35. We got a 35 ampere Delco alternator from a dead Chevy in the junkyard for 15. We bolted the entire works to a thick wood slab, and used an old oven heating element as a crude...

Laying Out the Rack

You could design the entire rack on paper after first making all measurements of the critical dimensions on the modules. This takes time, and is subject to measurement inaccuracies. We have a simpler idea, with no measuring required. Let's treat the entire project like an erector set. We assemble the entire rack on the ground first, even if it must be disassembled to be finally installed. This assures no surprises upon final installation. Lay a thick blanket or sleeping bag on a flat, smooth...

Motorized Powerplants

The motorized plant is reliable, high in power, and relatively cheap to purchase. The motorized source has the distinct advantages of delivering large amounts of power when you need it. This is very different from wind and solar systems, where you have to take it when you can get it. Its major disadvantage is that it requires fuel. Motorized sources do not usually suffer from being undersized. If the power source is capable of delivering between C 20 and C 10 rates of charge to the batteries,...

Mounting Racks your PVs hold on the World

The obvious purpose of the rack is to attach the panels to a fixed surface. At first glance this seems simple enough, but consider wind, snow, falling ice and temperature variations, not to mention possible leaks in the roof We are going to talk about a simple to build rack that can hold up to four panels. This rack uses inexpensive hardware store parts. It mounts on roofs, walls, or on the ground with the appropriate foundation. In all mounts, the rack is adjustable for panel elevation, and...

Mounting the Rack on a Roof

A roof is a difficult place to do a good job. The steeper the roof, the more difficult the installation. On steep roofs we prefer to assemble the whole rack, complete with PV modules (already wired together), legs and skids on the ground. Then transfer the whole assembly (about 50 pounds) to the roof for final mounting. We have successfully used the skid mounting technique on metal, composition shingle, composition roll, and shake roofs from 15 to 45 of pitch. Don't mount the PV modules...

Resistance The BIG Problem

Resistance is the impedance to electron flow within any material. All electrical wiring, connections, plugs, and switches have some electrical resistance. This resistance causes losses within the entire low voltage circuit. The idea with low voltage wiring is to minimize this resistance, and thereby the associated losses. The reasons for this are 1) we don't want to waste power, and 2) 12 VDC from the batteries is already low enough in voltage, we can't afford to lose any more than necessary...

Resistive Field Controller

The simplest and cheapest form of alternator control is to use resistance to limit the amount of energy that is fed to the alternator's field. The idea is very simple, insert resistance between the battery's positive pole and the wire feeding the alternator's field. Resistance in the neighborhood of 2 to 25 ohms works well. Adjust the resistance until the charge rate into the battery is between C 20 and C 10. The less the resistance in the field line, the higher the amperage output of the...

Richard Perez

Many readers of Home Power are asking for real examples of working AE systems, complete with specific equipment lists, performance data, and cost analysis. Well, we hear you and here is the first of our system reports. Please remember that this and all working systems represent a compromise between many factors. Location, electrical power needs, finances, and hardware availability all make their impressions on the working system. Alternative energy systems are a process we enter and leave this...

Send One Dollar For Information Prices are US currency include shipping

Stand Alone Indiction Generator Model Now available up to 2,000 Watts output 700. Permanent Magnet Alternator Model for low heads and or low voltages 800. Load Diverters for any voltage and up to 30 amp. capacity AC or DC 80. Pelton Wheels 40. Turgo Wheels 50. ENERGY SYSTEMS AND DESIGN P.O. Box 1557, Sussex, N.B., Canada E0E 1P0

So This Is The Challenge

To spread the word any and every possible way. This is why we are here with Home Power. Hopefully this will set in motion the realization that we (and our planet) will benefit more from small local power systems than the centralized capital-intensive types. But thus far the machinery itself is not the limitation on its use. The consciousness of the market is controlling the growth of alternative energy at this time. This became very clear to me when I first started my business. Most of my sales...

Solder Connections When Possible

In standard 120 VAC house wiring, it is very unusual to solder connections. In low voltage systems, soldered connections should be made wherever possible. All wire to wire connections should definitely be soldered. Mechanical connections using wire nuts are OK for higher voltage systems, but these connections have too much loss for low voltage systems. Soldering assures a permanent, low resistance connection. Mechanical connections gradually oxidize over a period of time. While copper is a very...

System Cost Data

The Pryors have spent about 4,700. on hardware to this point. This is substanially less than the 100,000. or so the power company wanted just to run in the lines (never mind the monthly bill). With a current operating cost of 30. per month, this system supplies their electricity at about 1.10 per kiloWatt-hour. This figure includes all hardware and fuel amortized over a ten year period. Fig. 3 shows how the money is spent in this system. Note that their expenditure for fuel is still...

Telephone 9164753179

Thanks to all of you who responded to the first issue of Home Power. The support, praise, and information has been overwhelming. At times, working on the first issue, we wondered if anyone really cared about home style AE. We no longer doubt. Your response has replaced doubt with certainty. We are everywhere, and we care about energy and the environment. Everytime another batch of subscription returns comes in (about 100 per day), all other work stops. Everyone opens and reads your comments....

Temperature And Heat

All matter consist of molecules in motion. This motion is defined as internal energy or heat. The amount of this internal energy depends upon how rapidly the atoms or molecules are moving. The faster these particles are moving, the hotter the object is and the higher amount of internal energy it contains. TEMPERATURE is an indication of an object's internal energy. A thermometer measures this in degrees Fahrenheit and Centigrade (Celsius) being the two most common scales. The temperature of an...

The Entire Circuit

Every electrical appliance in a system must have a complete circuit to the batteries. Consider the lightbulb on the ceiling. The electrons that power this lightbulb follow a very specific path to accomplish their purpose. Every electron originates at the battery's negative pole. From this pole it makes a journey through the wiring, connections, and switch(es) to the lightbulb. After any given electron passes through the lightbulb it makes its way through the wiring, connections, and switch(es)...

The Rack Materials

The rack is constructed out of slotted, galvanized, steel angle stock. This stock is available at most hardware stores. Our local store sells National Slotted Steel Angle (stock 180-109) for about 7.00 each retail. This stuff is 6 feet long, with two perpendicular sides each 1.5 inches wide. The stock is about 1 8 inch thick, with a heavy galvanized coating. Its entire length is covered with holes and slots that will accept 5 16 inch bolts. We have had no problems with corrosion or electrolysis...

This Magazine is FREE Monthly

If you want to continue to receive Home Power Magazine free, please completely fill out our free subscription form below, fold it up, tape it, put a 220 stamp on it and drop it in the mail The following information regarding your usage of alternative energy will help us produce a magazine that better serves your interests. This information will be held confidential. Completion of the rest of this form is not necessary to receive a free subscription, but we would greatly appreciate this...

Type and Size of Motor

We've since tried many different combinations of motors and alternators. Small gas motors between 3 and 8 horsepower are ideal for this job. We found that the Honda small engines will run about 5,000 hours without major work, Tecumseh engines about 800 hours, and Briggs & Stratton engines about 600 hours. The Honda also has the advantage of a 100 hour oil change interval, compared with 25 hours for both the Tecumseh and the Briggs & Stratton. If you consider the operating life and...

Windy Dankoff

Our concept is site produced and consumed energy. Home Power. Perhaps no source better fits our future energy demands than the photovoltaic (PV) cell. This editorial presents some thoughts on one of our possible energy futures, this one using the PV- RP. Solar cells are made of inert mineral materials, similar to ordinary sand. These cells convert light directly into electricity without moving or wearing parts. Silicon crystal cells have been in use since 1955 and their life expectancy appears...

Fig 2 Resistive Field Controller

To compound the problem, the car regulator's voltage limit is set too low for deep cycle service. This low voltage limit means that the batteries are charged too slowly when they are almost full, resulting in many extra hours of generator operation to totally fill the battery pack. Since the car regulator is set at about 14 volts, we are unable to raise the system voltage up to over 16 volts for the essential equalizing charges.

Power Storage

John and Anita use four Trojan L-16W batteries to store their electricity. This series parallel battery pack stores 700 Ampere-hours of 12 VDC energy. This amounts to about 8,600 Watt-hours of storage. Once the batteries have been derated by 20 (if you don't know why, then see Home Power 1- Battery article), there is 6,900 Watt-hours of usable energy stored in the battery. At the rate that John and Anita consume power, this battery pack stores about 3.3 days worth of energy for them. The cost...

Source Capacity

Every AE system should have at least one power source capable of recharging the batteries at between C 10 to C 20 rates of charge. For example, a battery pack of 700 ampere-hours periodically needs to be recharged at a minimum of 35 amperes (its C 20 rate). To figure the C 20 rate for your pack simply divide its capacity in Ampere-hours by 20. The resulting number is the C 20 rate in Amperes. The C 20 rate is the minimum necessary for equalizing charges. If the batteries cannot be equalized...

Voltage Regulation

Voltage regulation only is OK for batteries that are very shallowly cycled. In shallow cycle service the battery refills almost immediately since it has only had a small amount of its energy removed. In deep cycle service the batteries have had about 80 of their energy removed before recharging. If deep cycle batteries are recharged from a source that is voltage regulated, they will be charged at the total output current of the source as it struggles to bring the batteries immediately to the...

Constant Current

Constant current charging means that the batteries are recharged at a fixed amperage rate until they are full. The voltage of the batteries is left unregulated until the batteries are full. The rate of charge is usually between C 10 and C 20. Constant current charging assures that the batteries are not charged too rapidly. Rates of charge greater than C 10 produce heat which can warp the heavier plates of the deep cycle batteries. Too rapid recharging wastes energy in heat, and gradually ruins...

Wiring the PV Modules Together

PV modules are usually set up for 12 volt operation. The module contains between 32 to 44 PV cells each cell is wired to the next in series. Thus the voltage of all the cells is added to produce a nominal 14 to 20 volt output for recharging batteries in 12 VDC systems. Each PV module is a selfcontained polarized power source. Each module has a Positive terminal and a Negative terminal, just like a battery. The PV modules can be wired in parallel which adds their current, or in series which adds...

Switches Sockets Plugs

The switches, sockets and plugs in a low voltage systems must have low loss (i.e. low resistance) just like every other component in the system. We can assure low loss in these components by two techniques. The first is to purchase specialized low voltage switches, sockets and plugs. These components have more massive contacts, with higher contact pressures, to deliver low resistance. These components are expensive and hard to find. Another technique is to use standard 120 VAC components and to...

So Lets Change

Clearly the world needs a new blueprint for development and change. Alternative energy is definitely part of this new blueprint. At least, there is now some groundwork in this field that proves its viability . This, alone, is an accomplishment. This magazine will help in a technological and philosophical exchange of ideas. Home Power is a forum for small scale alternative energy. Right now there is no other publication that seriously addresses the requirements and interests of people involved...

Things that Work

We tested the 1512 at our site located about 12 miles from any commercial utilities. This place has been totally powered by alternative energy since 1976. Photovoltaics and motorized generators (both 12 VDC and 120 VAC) are the power sources. We hooked the 1512 inverter to 2 Trojan L-16W batteries (350 ampere-hours at 12 volts) for the test period. The 1512 was wired to the batteries with 0 gauge copper cables with a combined length of less than 6 feet. The inverter is used to power a variety...

Power Conversion

The Pryor's are using a Trace 1512 inverter with built-in battery charger. This inverter converts the DC energy produced by the PVs and stored in the batteries into conventional 120 VAC, 60 cycle house power. It has a rating of 1,500 Watts output. John purchased the built-in battery charger even though he now lacks the 120 VAC powerplant necessary to drive it. John is looking forward to the day when he will have a large AC generator to handle periods unusual power consumption. The Trace...

Expanded Scale Analog Battery Voltmeter

This metering circuit was developed by Electron Connection Limited for its customers. While Electron Connection encourages you to build this circuit for your own use, we do reserve all commercial rights to this design. The idea is to use an analog dc ammeter in a circuit that will accurately measure the batteries voltage. This circuit produces an expanded scale voltmeter. Most analog voltmeters start reading a 0 volts. This is really a waste for battery systems as a lead acid battery will have...

Car Voltage Regulators

Car voltage regulators will not work well in deep cycle applications. The regulator makes its decisions based only on the system's voltage. This is fine with the average car battery which is cycled to less than 1 of its capacity before being refilled. The deep cycle battery, however, is almost empty when it is recharged. The car voltage regulator attempts to instantly bring the system's voltage to about 14 volts. A 12 volt deep cycle lead-acid battery will not reach a voltage of 14 volts until...

Type and Size of Alternator

Just about any automotive alternator will work in these systems. What really counts is the size of the alternator. Its current output (amperage rating) should be sized to match the capacity of the battery pack. The more capacity the battery pack has the bigger the alternator which charges it must be. The alternator must be able to deliver at least a C 20 rate of charge to the batteries. We have had good results with 35 ampere Delco alternators for battery packs under 700 ampere-hours. Batteries...

Its Happening

SunAmp Power Company will be holding PV seminars Feb. 19-20, Mar. 20-21, at the SunAmp offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. Cost of the seminar is 145. For Additional info contact SunAmp, POB 6346, Scottsdale, AZ 85261, or call 602-951-0699. We encourage you to write your questions and remarks to Home Power Magazine. We will do our best to see that they are answered and published. So go ahead air your views on AE. We're all listening. Thanks for sending me the first issue of Home Power I would...