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Author Topic: Off -grid 2017>  (Read 2580 times)
heatherhopper
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« on: January 05, 2020, 06:02:58 PM »

Numbers updated to include 2019.

Another unremarkable year. With a fairly pathetic and wobbly jetstream most depressions have been passing right over us or to the south so rather weak E and N winds have been more in evidence than the normal prevailing S and W for a while. No "storms" worth a mention and a paltry high gust of just 56 mph. November with intermittent wind stands out for our highest generator usage since March 2013 when we were last on PV only. December has seen a return to better conditions.

This year's data is slightly short with January missing a week due to reorganising the monitoring stuff. Annual numbers do not include January as a result although alternative meter data confirms wind and pv outputs were actually quite respectable.
Wind and Temp data is missing a couple of months because I forgot to download the logger and wind from mid-october to mid-December is about 30% low due to anenometer fault.

Added heating data this year and this will be my main interest over the next twelve months. Do need to separate out secondary diversions from total house usage and find a realistic way of estimating wood burner contributions for this to be a complete picture though. Always suspected that several heating demand assessments have been a bit out and early signs are that this may be the case.


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Off grid AC coupled, 6kW Proven, 2.8kW PV, SMA SI/SB/WB Inverters, 4x576ah Rolls batteries @ 24v, 25kW Biomass Boiler, Wood Stoves, Spring/Well water. Sorry planet - I did try.
biff
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2020, 09:17:20 PM »

Hello HH,
           There is a nice shot of wind heading your way shortly, We have it now at the moment and it is heating water as I type.
 It is possible you may miss this one as well but I doubt it. It is barrelling up from the south of England, straight up the middle with gusts of 80mph expected.
            Biff
     Crikeee, they moved the storm finish forward to 9am and it is still going strong. Our forecasters used to be very good but this past 6 months they have been caught napping. Or I have been caught.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 08:53:45 AM by biff » Logged

An unpaid Navitron volunteer,who has been living off-grid,powered by wind and solar,each year better than the last one.
camillitech
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2020, 10:20:43 AM »

Nice work H,

are those generator figures running hours or kWh generated? My Lister ran for 52h this (2019) November due to lack of rain  Shocked Last year (2018) it only ran for 78h all year and much of that was manual starting to run welders or compressors.

Cheers, Paul
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'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 9kW 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,
heatherhopper
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2020, 12:39:42 PM »

Biff
Yes we do indeed have a decent blow today but somewhat short of a storm - forecast is (depending where you look) for 60-70 mph gusts later. This particular depression is up towards Iceland where we like them as we sit under the nice trailing edge isobars which are best for turbine operation - not sure our friends north of the border are as keen. Jetstream forecast looking much more organised so we could be in for a good month.

Paul
Generator numbers are kWh. Total hours run November was 28.7 over 16 different days nearly 4x the average. Annual hours was bumped up to an unusual 61 by that miserable month.
We actually had quite high rainfall through the autumn but our precipitation is often highest with easterlies.
Good to see the blog going again.
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heatherhopper
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2021, 10:52:12 AM »

Numbers updated to include 2020.

A mixed year with a productive first six months going downhill thereafter and spoiled completely by Decembers cold doldrums which are still with us and look set for a further week or two. Again down to a lacklustre jetstream wobbling about with little purpose and driving low energy pressure systems into the wrong places. I have convinced myself this is just cyclic but with CC who knows. Certainly wind has been less consistent on a day to day basis in the autumn/winter for more than just the last two years. As always - the odd storm or blue sky period may make for quotable averages but they do  not make renewables a reliable energy source. These are, of course, just localised observations.

Generator usage is up again (highest in seven years). Most of this is due to unreliable wind. Another significant contribution is my more mature attitude to actually starting the thing and loading it to optimum in recent years. There are some other minor influences such as winter PV shading and battery age degradation - both predictable and neither of immediate concern.

Heating/DHW recording is now all but complete. Only house stoves (wood but also a small amount of  coke in extreme conditions) will remain unknown. They make a relatively small contribution and there is no sensible way to monitor them anyway. There are a couple of portable heaters which are only used in very high and sustained generation periods which will be added to the secondary diversion records this year.
Really need a couple of years full data but the early signs are that heat demand is way below the various calculated numbers I have been given over the years. Pleasantly surprised since we are less than disciplined about respecting the integrity of the thermal envelope. Complicating factor is that we also re-slated the roof at the back end of the summer and made some otherwise inaccessible draught/insulation improvements. Sadly the real benefits are unlikely to be fully evident in data this winter with the aforementioned poor wind performance and cold snap. Boiler has seen increased demand with reduced support from diversions. This is particularly obvious in DHW heating as our incoming water temp has dived much sooner than an average year (now <4c for over a week and lots of snow melt to come!). 

Off to forlornly sweep snow of the PV (again), break the ice around the ballcocks and prod the anenometer into life (it freezing is a very rare event and a sure sign wind is pathetic). The joys of off-grid living. Bring on the return of those nice westerlies.



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Off grid AC coupled, 6kW Proven, 2.8kW PV, SMA SI/SB/WB Inverters, 4x576ah Rolls batteries @ 24v, 25kW Biomass Boiler, Wood Stoves, Spring/Well water. Sorry planet - I did try.
biff
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2021, 11:53:17 AM »

Hi HH
      Maybe another 2kw of PV  might improve things.
  We are having brilliant sunshine today and tomorrow. We have 60 forklift cells in series, and  3 strings of 10 x12 volt Yousa which I installed some months ago.
  The forklift cells are charged by 2kw of PV the Yousa are charged by our wind turbine and a further 1.8 of PV.,
   There is a cute little 85amp blocking diode on the Yousa strings busbar. It allows the power from the forklifts to flood into the Yousa but not visa versa. Both banks have separate dumpload immersions. It means that the Yousa bank only takes power off the forklift cells when it gets below the forklift voltage. There is no fighting  involved.
 It seems to me that this is a great way to double and manage your storage.
  There is the other possibility that maybe you might be interested in building your own DC charger. It is well worth the trouble and a great item to charge your bank economically. Well worth considering.
      Take care and happy new year.
           Biff
  The charger I was referring to could be a 48v version of my own 120v.  I had the shaft of a 2kw x 120v  wind turbine lump, machined to take s 2sheaf 500mm pulley wheel,  its powered by a small Yanmar clone and is an absolute miser on diesel.
  It is permanently connected to the bank. When it is running it still  dumps the excess into the two tanks through the dumpload immersions. It also gives a boost to the old forklift bank. It's a worth while investment.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 04:11:20 PM by biff » Logged

An unpaid Navitron volunteer,who has been living off-grid,powered by wind and solar,each year better than the last one.
heatherhopper
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2021, 12:09:56 AM »

Seasons best to you and yours Biff

I'm afraid I'm still not buying the DC charger idea (good though it may be for some situations) and I'm afraid a second set of batteries would just give me more to whinge about when there is no solar or wind to fill them.

We are still in the grip of freezing doldrums up here with snow at about 6"+ and plenty more on the way so I guess there is a silver lining in that at least we don't have drifting while there is no wind.
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Off grid AC coupled, 6kW Proven, 2.8kW PV, SMA SI/SB/WB Inverters, 4x576ah Rolls batteries @ 24v, 25kW Biomass Boiler, Wood Stoves, Spring/Well water. Sorry planet - I did try.
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2021, 02:23:17 AM »

so , the 2.8 kw PV produces about a  quarter  of  the 6 kw Proven , according to your spreed sheet
Interesting ,   good to know

but true too  a few PV panels   would not cost an arm and a leg
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 02:46:11 AM by billi » Logged

1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
heatherhopper
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2021, 12:22:34 PM »

The data is what it is billi. You are very welcome to take from it what you will.

Off-Grid installation data is interesting but sadly thin on the ground. In reality annual and even monthly totals do not tell you much about the effective contribution of a mix of different renewables. Averages are misleading at best. You really need to dig a bit deeper for a clear picture - at least down to just a few days or discrete generation/consumption periods.
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Off grid AC coupled, 6kW Proven, 2.8kW PV, SMA SI/SB/WB Inverters, 4x576ah Rolls batteries @ 24v, 25kW Biomass Boiler, Wood Stoves, Spring/Well water. Sorry planet - I did try.
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