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Author Topic: Easterdown Off Grid - Generator Question  (Read 22739 times)
camillitech
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« Reply #135 on: December 03, 2013, 06:49:43 PM »

Quote
I am sure Billi has a generator there somehwere
   Grin    facepalm not at the moment ..... but this one  perhaps soon http://www.ebay.de/itm/Diesel-Generator-24-Volt-Farymann-Motor-1500W-wassergekhlt-Blockheizkraftwerk-/271206527259

Thanks Biff for the "freedom fries" .... and Paul i do not mean it offensive ... my clear target ,  was , when i started  a few years back was simply , that i can produce 100% of my Electricity by non fossil fuels , so approx 30 years ahead of the  society and political debates .....



Without FiT or subsidises

Vicky ...any news on your Dutch steam turbine ?

It's my goal too Billi only I include gas and wood along with oil in my target, yup zero carbon input in my new house, 100% renewable from solar, wind and hydro. Sure I've got Harry the HR2 as backup, but as I've said he's my lifeboat. However this post isn't about you or I it's about someone trying to run an 'off grid' house and business on PV alone.

Perhaps if you'd have spent 1000 on Mr Lister in the first place you wouldn't have flushed 5000 down the toilet.

Keep up the good work and long may your lake flow  Wink


Cheers, Paul
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offthegridandy
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« Reply #136 on: December 03, 2013, 07:13:30 PM »

V as its been established that you MUST have a generator then I'm with Paul all the way; find a decent Lister. Even if you had to completely over haul it with bearings and pistons plus a new alternator you'd still be spending less than 2 Grand. We've been off grid for over 10 years and based on that experience plus years of using gennys for work, you need a genny to be there when you need it. Listers are streets ahead of the rest.

Andy
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camillitech
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« Reply #137 on: December 03, 2013, 09:26:17 PM »


Looks interesting but it won't help you if your inverter fails or a lightning strike blows the ar53 out of one of your Rolls batteries, both of which have happened to mates of mine. DC charging, PMG's driven by electric motors  Huh (Biff have you been drinking  Grin ) are all fine and dandy but neither will run AC loads directly.

Running a water cooled generator to provide heating is also a bit of pointless exercise in my opinion for the true 'off gridder', the aim is to run the generator as little as possible so why complicate matters. The Lister's inherent reliability is in no small way due to the fact that it's air cooled, something like 75% of all breakdowns on diesel engines can be attributed to the cooling system (not my figures but those of  Magirus Deutz). OK the great German manufacturer is no more, but for decades their air cooled diesels were synonymous with the words rugged and dependable.

OK, if you have a ready supply of WVO or the like and are going down the CHP route, that's a different story, but for the odd few days here and there it's plain daft. It's a great idea on paper but just doesn't add up, all you're doing is adding things like belts, pumps, gaskets and heat exchangers into the equation that are all destined to fail. 

Cheers, Paul
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« Reply #138 on: December 03, 2013, 09:51:01 PM »

Quote
I am sure Billi has a generator there somehwere
   Grin    facepalm not at the moment ....
Are you forgetting what your Forum sig says?
"1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generatorgenuflect Grin
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David
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« Reply #139 on: December 03, 2013, 11:02:17 PM »

Quick question about batteries - We've just been told that the batteries that have been ordered for us are 'Traction' Batteries. Is that the right kind of thing?

Vickie

what are they, forklift?

surprised no one answered that, or did I miss it?
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biff
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« Reply #140 on: December 03, 2013, 11:17:36 PM »

There seems to be some kind of anti-PMG charging movement afoot.
                                             Lets say the wind drops,the sun goes into hiding and the water has all but disappeared. You start your generator like you would do, because you have run your batteries rather low,,like you would do.,
        So there you are with the house running off the generator which is a standard 5kw chinky one..just like the Hyundai, stir But you just remembered that you have let the batts get a bit low,,like you would do,,. So you throw a switch which starts a little lecky motor which drives a 2kw PMG through an ordinary wind turbine controller(with its own dump load relay) and now your batts are getting a nice juicy charge that will help them live longer.
             So when you switch off the geni for the night,your batts are nice and full and life is full of satisfaction and contentment.
                        What could possible be wrong with such a simple idea.
                                                                          Biff                                                             
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V
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« Reply #141 on: December 03, 2013, 11:39:11 PM »

In a previous thread some people said something about Opz, but I had been told that we were likely to have a type called 'Epz' seems to be some kind of forklift battery. Preferable to Rolls or Trojan? Difference between O and E when it comes to pz?

increasingly it looks like for the first months/year this Hyundai 5kVa is our best bet for a 'learning curve' generator. It probably would not have been first choice if the right Lister had come along, but it doesn't seem to have. I suppose I may regret this, especially if it fails quickly. But from here it looks not too underpowered, not too ridiculously expensive, local people to help us learn now to maintain and fix it, claims to do  AVR (clean sine wave?). This looks like it could get us up and running, and from then on we will look for our perfect Lister. Please correct me if I am just leaning towards a safe looking option and am missing something central.

I am going to ask more questions about appropriate sized inverters and inverter/chargers tomorrow. Ideally we will start to live in the cabin in January with Batteries, PV, Generator and controllers. But while we are finishing off the cabin (starting next week) I think we must use a generator of our own.

Continuing grateful thanks for all of your ideas and discussion of our conundrums.


Vickie

« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 11:42:32 PM by V » Logged

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AlanM
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« Reply #142 on: December 04, 2013, 12:13:31 AM »

Hi Vickie,
the OPzS batteries are stationary units, used in telecoms or similar applications. Wheras the others are designed to be built into a forklift and are designed to withstand moving about. Cant remember what the "O" stands for, think it was something like stationary in German...
It is the type of battery that is important, not whether it is rolls or Trojan. The traction batteries are designed  to withstand fast charging overnight, followed by discharge the next day, and then recharge again. The plates are heavy duty and some, the best ones have tubular plates rather than flat plates.
I take it your hyundai is a new generator, if so it will have a warranty. Dont worry about it failing. You need to have power and this will give you that without having either the battery, panels inverters etc. yo could get it tomorrow and have power straight away. As for the panels, today i was getting 38W from 4.5kW of panels. In winter you will not survive on panels on their own. In the abscence of wind or hydro, you need something else reliable. And yes, your generator will need some work done after a while, but they can last a long time. My lombardini has been going for 10 years, and it was ex mod when i got it. So it all depends.
The AVR is to do with Automatic Voltage Regulation so it does just that. Sine wave is to do with the shape of the wave form of the alternating current, ie a smooth sine wave rather than modified sine wave which has flat tops or square sine which is a blocky wave form. Cheap inverters will have mod sine wave and can cause some buzzing from appliances and possibly some motors dont like it

Look out for a Lister whilst you have the hyundai and then you will be  able to choose from a position of comfort and not be forced by necessity

Alan
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camillitech
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« Reply #143 on: December 04, 2013, 08:25:46 AM »

There seems to be some kind of anti-PMG charging movement afoot.
                                             Lets say the wind drops,the sun goes into hiding and the water has all but disappeared. You start your generator like you would do, because you have run your batteries rather low,,like you would do.,
        So there you are with the house running off the generator which is a standard 5kw chinky one..just like the Hyundai, stir But you just remembered that you have let the batts get a bit low,,like you would do,,. So you throw a switch which starts a little lecky motor which drives a 2kw PMG through an ordinary wind turbine controller(with its own dump load relay) and now your batts are getting a nice juicy charge that will help them live longer.
             So when you switch off the geni for the night,your batts are nice and full and life is full of satisfaction and contentment.
                        What could possible be wrong with such a simple idea.
                                                                          Biff                                                             

Biff, what is wrong with your idea is that V is getting a proper 'off grid' inverter and not fecking about with second hand UPS systems, a proper 'off grid' inverter can 'throttle' panels if required, will have a decent charger programed with the correct algorithm, could have several inbuilt relays for switching loads on and off and will 'load share'. DC charging and PMG's are like 120v, they are for enthusiasts, with a proper 'off grid' inverter you cannot But you just remembered that you have let the batts get a bit low,,like you would do,, because it would automatically start your generator for you and protect your batteries.
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'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
V
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« Reply #144 on: December 04, 2013, 08:59:01 AM »

There seems to be some kind of anti-PMG charging movement afoot.
                                             Lets say the wind drops,the sun goes into hiding and the water has all but disappeared. You start your generator like you would do, because you have run your batteries rather low,,like you would do.,
        So there you are with the house running off the generator which is a standard 5kw chinky one..just like the Hyundai, stir But you just remembered that you have let the batts get a bit low,,like you would do,,. So you throw a switch which starts a little lecky motor which drives a 2kw PMG through an ordinary wind turbine controller(with its own dump load relay) and now your batts are getting a nice juicy charge that will help them live longer.
             So when you switch off the geni for the night,your batts are nice and full and life is full of satisfaction and contentment.
                        What could possible be wrong with such a simple idea.
                                                                          Biff                                                              

Biff, what is wrong with your idea is that V is getting a proper 'off grid' inverter and not fecking about with second hand UPS systems, a proper 'off grid' inverter can 'throttle' panels if required, will have a decent charger programed with the correct algorithm, could have several inbuilt relays for switching loads on and off and will 'load share'. DC charging and PMG's are like 120v, they are for enthusiasts, with a proper 'off grid' inverter you cannot But you just remembered that you have let the batts get a bit low,,like you would do,, because it would automatically start your generator for you and protect your batteries.

I hope I am just barely competent enough, with all of your help,  to get up and running with a more conventional 'off grid' inverter etc (if that could be called conventional!) let alone committing in the first instance to a PMG type solution. I am imagining that in 6 months to a years time when things are more settled, eg. still need to build the house (!), Mike and I want to look at how a PMG might contribute. But here at Day Zero of Easterdown, we think we must look at how to get to Day One.

So you are both right. PMG's are not for day one, but even in my very busy time it is nice to give a bit of space to some 'dreams'. Incredibly useful to have insights for possible later developments.

Vickie
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 09:10:48 AM by V » Logged

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« Reply #145 on: December 04, 2013, 09:00:09 AM »

Quote
I am sure Billi has a generator there somehwere
   Grin    facepalm not at the moment ..... but this one  perhaps soon http://www.ebay.de/itm/Diesel-Generator-24-Volt-Farymann-Motor-1500W-wassergekhlt-Blockheizkraftwerk-/271206527259

Billi,
I thought you were a fan of the Hatz ex-Nato,
like this from the bottom of your featured auction:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/1-9KW-DIESEL-HATZ-BUNDESWEHR-STROM-GENERATOR-NOTSTROM-STROMAGGREGAT-SILENT-BW/111225395164?_trksid=p2047675.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D333005%26algo%3DRIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D177%26meid%3D3145290334647649596%26pid%3D100009%26prg%3D1073%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D271206527259%26

Or,
are you buying the 'insurance' of new?
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« Reply #146 on: December 04, 2013, 09:07:30 AM »

But here at Day Zero of Easterdown, we think we must look at how to get to Day One.


We had a very similar process while building our off-grid cabin.  During construction only had the generator, so would organise the activities around that: turn on gen, then do a bunch of sawing, turn it off and screw everything together... then start with the next batch of sawing.  When we eventually installed the batteries + inverter (without solar), it was like magic being able to turn on the saw without first starting the gen.  We ran for a good few months only on gen + batteries + inverter before installing the solar. 
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V
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« Reply #147 on: December 04, 2013, 09:17:47 AM »


We had a very similar process while building our off-grid cabin.  During construction only had the generator, so would organise the activities around that: turn on gen, then do a bunch of sawing, turn it off and screw everything together... then start with the next batch of sawing.  When we eventually installed the batteries + inverter (without solar), it was like magic being able to turn on the saw without first starting the gen.  We ran for a good few months only on gen + batteries + inverter before installing the solar.  

Thank you so much for this reassurance.

I notice your batteries are PzS. Did you think about the monobloc trojan types? One of the attractions of the forklifts seem to be that they are easily sourced. Does the charging characteristic mentioned above work well in Off Grid? Are the monobloc better suited?
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« Reply #148 on: December 04, 2013, 09:31:57 AM »

IMO, the order of decreasing battery awesomeness goes something like:

- OPzS, stationary armour plated tubular cells with a low SG so that they age slower.  But they're expensive.
- PzS,   non-stationary armour plated tubular cells with a higher SG, so may age a bit faster.  More economical, but you have to be able to move and install a 1 ton battery block, or dissassemble the whole thing and reassemble.
- High quality flat plate batteries, Surrette series 5000, Trojan IND line.  Flat plate batteries which all the tubular plate manufacturer look down on.  Don't know if this is justified or not.
- Golf cart, semi-traction batteries like the trojan monoblocks, surrette series 4000.

For bang for buck, I think the PzS come out on top because they hit a sweet spot on price vs expected lifetime.  The OPzS should last longer, but they're disproportionally more expensive.  The price difference between the semi-traction and the proper traction PzS is not enough to justify the difference in expected life.

All the above IMHO based on reading spec sheets and comparing prices.  Others on the forum will have better real world experience.

EDIT: try searching the forum for PzS, we've had lots of discussion about this type of batt.  One thing to watch out for when getting quotes is to compare the same "C" capacity rating.  OPzS's are sometimes rated according to their C20 capacity, which will be much more than their equivalent C5 capacity.  Traction batts are usually sold according to the C5 rating.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 10:45:48 AM by stephendv » Logged

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« Reply #149 on: December 04, 2013, 10:43:50 AM »

I get your drift Paul,
                      I run on a proper off grid inverter 95% of the time.We only switch on to the Symmetra during periods of continious high winds.Each controller has its own relay for its own job a bit like "A proper off-grid inverter can "trottle".
      All these great extras leaves you at the mercy of the people who sell your fancy controllers with all the bells and whistles.
   The PMG can be linked to the controllers just like the chargers can.They are much more effecient and have less to go wrong.It simply means that you cannot get the lot in one package for handyness.The PMG can be in any voltage in fact the 48 volt version is much more readily available.
      As for 120 volt,one could argue wrongly,that renewable energy itself is only for enthusiasts but we all got to start learning somewhere.
  I know the time factor plays a large part in V choice.Its necessary to get up and running as soon as possible and as smoothly as possible.
  But,there is a future out there,Hopefully V will not be satisfied with 48volt and will progress on to 120volt,perhaps she will be able to programme the indestructible Symmetra rm to look after the cheese fridges which will be running on 120volt dc,,etc,,etc, "like you would do".
   Its no big deal.I firmly believe that there is far greater potential in the 120volt systems. You can do lot more.
   Its a bit unkind to write it off as only fit for "Enthusiasts" when in fact it is actually the most sensible voltage of the lot.!!
    Dont get upset and shout at the "wee dug" because we off-gridders must stick together and act sensible Roll Eyes
                                                                    Biff     
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