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Oldbrock
06-15-2009, 05:03 PM
I think Evan can either endorse or refute this http://www.power4home.com/index2.php?hop=ttinc1 . I can't be that simple. The ad screams BUY NOW. And that gets my skeptical side on full alert. Peter

PTSideshow
06-15-2009, 05:14 PM
Its not free it says that you slash your bills by 80% Its like all the others of the same type yes you can reduce you costs by building your own equipment. But Gee the company that sold him the parts aren't business or some other general excuse. There never has been or will will be a free lunch or power.
I still waiting on running my car on a handful of flashlight batteries or better yet a chain saw engine!;)

Jim Shaper
06-15-2009, 05:22 PM
I still waiting on running my car on a handful of flashlight batteries or better yet a chain saw engine!;)

You can do that right now.

Just don't expect to go very fast. :D

lazlo
06-15-2009, 05:31 PM
http://www.power4home.com/index2.php?hop=ttinc1 . I can't be that simple.

He's selling plans for solar and wind-power units:

"Why Pay $1000's For Wind And Solar Power Systems When You Can Build Your Own Professional System For Less Than $200! "

You can build a solar or wind-powered unit for less than $200, but I really doubt that you can build enough infrastructure to reduce your power bill by 80% :)

SteveG_CT
06-15-2009, 05:41 PM
You can build a solar or wind-powered unit for less than $200, but I really doubt that you can build enough infrastructure to reduce your power bill by 80% :)

If you read through his whole page you will also notice that he is expecting you to be able to get a significant number of components for free, which is wholly unrealistic.

Evan
06-15-2009, 06:40 PM
I built my solar collector for about $50. The rest was free parts donated by friends over the years. All my neighbours know that if it is made of metal I will probably take it off their hands so they bring me all sorts of useful items. That solar collector will reduce my electric bill by about 25 to 30 percent during the spring, summer and fall by preheating my well water.

JoeFin
06-15-2009, 06:57 PM
You can reduce your electric bill by 80% but there ain't nothin FREE about it

Solar panels (photovoltaic) take at least 10 years (depending on location) to pay theirselves off. With the current tax incentives, some are advertising 6 years. And those are best estimates.

With a 10 to 15 year rate of return why not just put your money into CDs

On the other hand -

I've installed resonate heating in the slab for my shop extension. I live in California, we have many sunny days all winter long and it is better then paying for heat to stay above the dew point

Seastar
06-15-2009, 07:00 PM
I have a completely off grid home in the Superior National Forrest in the Arrowhead of Minnesota.
I use solar, among other things, to charge a massive battery bank. I have two 2500 watt inverters connected to the batteries providing power to my house.
The solar provides about 20% of my daily use. I am thinking about adding panels to up my solar capacity this summer.
A 45 watt panel sells for over $300 if you buy modest quality.
My original system cost over $18,000 12 years ago and I was careful in my shoping and was able to buy many of the components wholesale through my company.
I installed the entire system so the labor was "free".
I do have a 30 kW propane fired generator that I start when I need to weld or run my lathe or mill or fill my water tank or fast charge the batteries.
As a side note I have kept my batteries alive for 12 years (Trojan L-16's) by careful control and maintainence.
They are at their end of life and I need to replace them at a cost of about $225/250 per battery.
I have 20 batteries.

I don't think $200 is at all reasonable for a system.
Bill

Jim Shaper
06-15-2009, 07:27 PM
Bill, I just ran the numbers and we came out about $700 under your investment in power for the last 12 years and we run the AC pretty much non-stop all summer (the mrs is allergic to nearly everything that grows). We also don't need to cough up 5 grand for batteries this year.

What's the reasoning for being off the grid?

Deja Vu
06-15-2009, 07:48 PM
The only knowledge of free power that I have is...getting invited to dinner at a friends home(free power for me), or picking up the tab for lunch with a friend that just packed it away(free power for someone else). :D

aboard_epsilon
06-15-2009, 08:15 PM
I've got a few items that maybe could be powered by those blinking panels ..

and maybe they will pay for themselves .

I'm not on about going totally solar but sort of semi ..

with all the little items that add -up

emergency lights charger ..i have four
phone chargers .
alarm system
door bell transformer

"if" these items add up to 50 a year in energy use ..then a 100 panel plus batt, maybe will pay for them selves in three years ..

i think my comp is the biggest energy user in my house ..i think it makes 50 percent of my electric bill ..most of the time its on 24/7 ..has a 550 watt power supply that most of the time with the monitor uses some 240 watts....would need a bigger and more expensive one to keep that happy !!!

these panels maybe can make a difference if running low watt items 24/7

especially the low cost high output ones that you are starting to see on ebay ..

if you could workout how much you can load them to get max out of them...with the battery as back up.

EVAN ...........we need instructions on how to build a cheap and simple sun tracker for solar panels..no complicated beast like your telescope one ...one that follow the sun in one plane ..the other adjustments can be made on a day to day week for week schedule manually.

all the best.markj

airsmith282
06-16-2009, 12:27 AM
reasoning for being off the grid is a simple answer i think, not having a monethly mill to worry about expecailly if you end up unemployed you wont get the juice cut off thats for sure,other resons the price changes alot up an down ,like the price of gas..it is feasable to get off hte grid and over time you will save alot of money by not being on the grid and the power is likely to be alot cleaner off the grid,,

you can also have the comfort to know that if lighting hits then its only a panel that can get trashed not your breaker box in the house so you avoied a house fire from that..

here in good old canada there are all tryng to get us into battery powered everything no more gas is what there after they want to reduce poloutiton, should have thought about that 100 years ago, you know i really do belive that the world will end before it gets fixed, kinda like eating junk food all your life then you go on a heath kick to get healthy again just in time to die of cancer or a heart attact.. if i had it my way id be off the grid so what if it takes me 15 years to break even before seeing the savings after the system pays it self off then its all gravey..

Jim Shaper
06-16-2009, 12:59 AM
Ok, so not having a monthly bill from the powco, but rather having a freaking note from the bank to finance your electrical system is better?

J Tiers
06-16-2009, 01:08 AM
if he can build a solar photovoltaic system with ONLY parts available at the hardware store, well, I don't think he will get any electricity.

He can build the FRAME, but where do the cells come from? Not any ordinary hardware store I have seen.......

Plus, that stuff about getting teh meter to spin backwards?........ well, maybe, but not at low cost, at least not if done LEGITIMATELY.

First of all, you must be in a net metering state to derive any benefit past an "offset".

Second, to do that without violating the law, you need to have a number of expensive parts....... A grid-tie inverter, for one thing.

One of the lowest-cost solutions, the Power-One Aurora, is a couple thou by itself, for about 6 kW... I say kW, because it WILL NOT drive reactive power, which already puts even it in violation of California's "Rule 21" which has been adopted in a number of other states.

The Aurora "almost " meets the requirements of the current NEC in teh US, but it is not a "UL listed" unit under UL1741, which is required.

The Aurora does meet the requirements of IEEE1547. That covers a host of requirements that affect how the inverter is allowed to interface with the "area EPS" or, basically, the power company. Major requirement is that it must shut down as soon as the power grid fails, within a time measured in power line cycles. Shutdown factors are voltage and frequency, among others. And there is a required reconnection delay.

Most other solutions will need rather expensive added equipment to satisfy IEEE1547, which the power company requires as a pre-requisite to connecting it up to their network.

if you FAIL to do that, and kill a power company worker, it will probably be a murder charge for you. And a wrongful death suit, which will clean you out totally.

So, far from being a $200 solution, you would be better advised to multiply that by 100 and do it right.

Save your money and get a reputable, truthful source of information. That BOZO is blowing smoke...... even if he knows his business, his advert is a huge red flag.

Paul Alciatore
06-16-2009, 04:17 AM
After scrolling all the way down the page, I suspect that his $200 system is the solar panel on the workbench. It looked like about 16" x 24 or 30" and can probably only generate about 2 - 5 percent of a household's power requirement. You will need 20 to 50 of them and that looks like the installation he was standing under in the back yard. 20 X $200 = $4000. Pay back is going to be years on just that. You still need the other components: inverters, batteries, etc. More thousands there.

A lot of very smart scientists and engineers are working on cheap solar panels and other components for home power generation and if there was a true $200 unit that could run a house, they would know and would be selling it. It will come. In some years, but it will come.

airsmith282
06-16-2009, 08:54 AM
After scrolling all the way down the page, I suspect that his $200 system is the solar panel on the workbench. It looked like about 16" x 24 or 30" and can probably only generate about 2 - 5 percent of a household's power requirement. You will need 20 to 50 of them and that looks like the installation he was standing under in the back yard. 20 X $200 = $4000. Pay back is going to be years on just that. You still need the other components: inverters, batteries, etc. More thousands there.

A lot of very smart scientists and engineers are working on cheap solar panels and other components for home power generation and if there was a true $200 unit that could run a house, they would know and would be selling it. It will come. In some years, but it will come.

iam sure there is a 200 dollar unit already that can do just that but like anything else there not going let us have it,until they got sometihng even better then make us waite another 10 or 20 years again then give it to us and so on and so on ,

4000.oo is nothing to get back from an investment take you 2 years if your hydro bill is already 200 a month ,,and you wil have an extra 400 at the end to go by more tools for the shop..

ever heard of on demand oil fired heating set up for hot water, no more big tank in the house and the system offered to us is one unit that will feed both my hose and the landlord next door and it uses the same furnace oil out furnace does ,,that alone if he gets it put in combined will save both of us a good chunk of money alone on our hydro ,,and you never run out of hot water and you dont have to have to keep it upto heat al the time like you do with hot water tanks, one unit which is under 3 feet tall replaces both tanks in the house and gives us back a pile of room at the same time. yes we use a bit more oil but very litlle cause its on demand set up so the water is heated when called on .. pretty slick i think ,,

so thats not a big deal there many ways to save money ,, alot of people will return to burnning wood instead of gas or hydro,,

in floor heating is very costly ,, but the rads that look like electric rads but are water heated do 2 things they put out a nicer heat and you are never goingto run out of hot water ,,the con to it is your hydro bill increaes by 50 bucks a month if you use and electric water tank.. good in bad in evertyhing i suppose.

about a month ago our furnace went down the blasted thing, anyhow to take off the morring and night chill in the house we ran my shop heater in the house its 1500 watt ceramic jobbie for 2 hours it took it was nice in the house again for the day and in late evening same deal and good for the night , i tired it also in our bed room for the hole night it was like being in florida at 150 degrees man it was hot in a 10x12 room ...never did that again..

solor power is getting cheaper to get all the time, yes there is an over al big out lay but it does work and does payfor it self ,, to owe the bank is likley a cheaper payment hten paiying the hydro company all the time, beseid the rate go up and down all the time even if you do the same thing every day your bills always go higher and then lower and then higher all the time, then you got all the taxes and other charges onthe bill all the time other then just waht you used for hydro.. so if you can set up the home to run and get off the grid you are far better off then staying on ,,

my next invest in my shop is all LED lighting its a bit fo cash to put out but it will pay me back in full in 6 months, then after that its only penneys a month for my lights in the shop, in the house we are planning on the same sorta deal as well,,leds can run 24/7 if you wanted to and cost penneys a month to run them, .. all our out door lighting is solor powered , it charges a aa battery all day and they run all night and it makes the yard look nice at the same time.

some people dont like change and most dont under stand technology, so they sit around and complain this cant or that cant be done and that cost to much,, and really over all it doesnt in most cases..

Dawai
06-16-2009, 09:19 AM
I propose a educated item, a dual powered lighting system, a small inverter to power a radio or tele with antennae.

A couple of batteries.. a windmill or Vawt turbine.

I have worked all my career as a electrician, I have saw our power plants get patches when they needed replacements. over and over..

Now they scab automation on to replace operators, someone who "knows" how the plant "feels" from a chair and knows when something goes wrong. A catastrophic failure is imminent somewhere in the USA using this technique.

Did you know a hydro-turbine inertia can suck the walls in and collapse a concrete dam if things with the breaker valve do not work. I never realized how important the "wicket gates" are to throttle the water.. they have "shear pin" air monitors and a air switch.. a runaway turbine has not occurred to my knowledge since the ocoee horizontal turbine ran off the bearing blocks, through a wall, across a creek and up the side of the mountain across the road.. THE whole room was destroyed.

I'll look to see if I can locate the pictures.. anyways.. our generating grid in the USA is cobbled and patched all over.. the peaker plants put in using gas or other fuels to power sound like a wore out dump truck rear axle. THE huge ring gear the spins the generators normally have soft spots.. probably made in Tawain?? THEY are a band-aid, not a fix for more power requirements.

Dawai
06-16-2009, 09:41 AM
AND:??

Remember the "blackout on the eastern seaboard?"

Nobody to my knowledge has put a "synchronizing" signal out there, they use the High LINEs as a way to sychronize one plant to the next.. with all the switches closed?? well anybody foolish enough to Slam a switch to Provide power to the grid can be browned out and smoked. HOW to get a plant up? battery banks were common in the TVA' hydros for years.. now being phased out, each room had battery powered lights to assist, and a battery assisted "line open" start up system.. no more..

So, unless you like sitting in the kitchen hovering around a sink with a small fire built in it, I suggest you plan ahead. Progress and population has exceeded the maintenance and upgrade of most all the power plants output.

A single circuit, a row of "cost effective lighting" would be much appreciated in a few days of a black out. A secondary heating system such as LP gas?

Ya'll do what you want to, I been gathering parts for my home-grown system. I posted the initial ideas I have been working on here. A FWD car hub turned vertical with a six foot diameter vertical turbine. ON a post, since I am sure I can not stand the vibration it will surely create in my structure. A brake also, and the "drive shaft" bringing the power down to a easy to work on level where this old fat man don't have to "hook" a leg on the ladder so he can work with both hands free.. I am getting too old and brittle to do stunt acrobatics.

J Tiers
06-16-2009, 09:56 AM
iam sure there is a 200 dollar unit already that can do just that but like anything else there not going let us have it,until they got sometihng even better then make us waite another 10 or 20 years again then give it to us and so on and so on ,

Wishful thinking............ like the 200 MPG carburetors that "Detroit" bought up and buried in the vaults......, and everything "Tesla", or "Edison" , which stuff is always better than anything that government lets us have, etc, etc, etc.



4000.oo is nothing to get back from an investment take you 2 years if your hydro bill is already 200 a month ,,and you wil have an extra 400 at the end to go by more tools for the shop..

There's a little more to it, but certainly if that were true, it would make sense....

Unfortunately for you, the equipment to replace that $200 of power is "somewhat more" expensive than $4000.00. So again, it may not make sense.

Now I DO know people who were going to be charged $10,000 to put in the line to get them power, and who spent $5000 for equipment to get adequate solar power instead. But their needs and wants are very simple. No shop, to start with. It would have doubled their investment in equipment to get minimal power equal to grid. And labor, if they had had to pay for it, would have made the whole thing uneconomical.



some people dont like change and most dont under stand technology, so they sit around and complain this cant or that cant be done and that cost to much,, and really over all it doesnt in most cases..

Anything can be made to seem too expensive, every movie ever made has been a money-loser, according to the studio accountants.... But some things really ARE too expensive, like your backyard generator.

All these things have "drivers", reasons why they make sense in any particular case, or don't.

If you are $10,000 away from grid power, it makes sense to spend that much to generate locally, especially if that means no direct fuel costs.

If the wires are right outside your house, it makes very little sense. The only decent justification is if you need power even during outages, or if outages are likely, and likely to be extended.

My solar system and inverter powered our essential equipment, and our neighbors' , during the last outage here (mostly the 'fridge).

A.K. Boomer
06-16-2009, 10:27 AM
You can reduce your electric bill by 80% but there ain't nothin FREE about it

Solar panels (photovoltaic) take at least 10 years (depending on location) to pay theirselves off. With the current tax incentives, some are advertising 6 years. And those are best estimates.




Awhile back I posted the unit my bro and I installed, "depending on location" is a huge factor as not only where you live for the amount of sun but what incentives your localized power company has for you, then the remainder of what they don't cover you will still get 30% off of that with the gubbermint rebate, The fact of the matter is-is when My bro said "couldn't afford not too"
its exactly what he meant, The system is working beautifully - its putting out more than is expected, the latest number crunching estimates that it will all be paid for in under 3 years... The remainder of its life cycle will be spent not in just 100% savings but a small surplus that lines the pocket instead of emptying it.

Seastar
06-16-2009, 08:30 PM
Someone asked why I was off the grid.
It's because I enjoy the forrest and the closest power line is 22miles from my cabin.
I am totally surrounded by the Superior National Forrest - no neighbors for 13 miles.
Bill

Jim Shaper
06-16-2009, 10:05 PM
That makes sense then Bill.


Anyone ever thought about doing solar pre/supplemental heating for their hot water?

Back in Jr High we made parabolic hotdog cookers much like the solar collectors used to heat water. It was impressive how well they worked, and how quickly you could burn your dog on a sunny day. So knowing just how bloody hot our shingles get in the regular daylight combined with that practical knowledge of the parabola heating mechanism, I've often wondered how much savings could be seen from doing an install where you cut your water heater into that loop with some type of circulating pump.

You wouldn't need to go to the complexity of the mirrors/aiming them to see some decent thermal gains - our roof is weatheredwood (a lighter grey) and often reaches temps hotter than you want to touch. So with that, you could simply run black pipe (I'd opt for copper painted black in this application) and at a bare minimum probably cut out your day time maintenance heating of the water tank, but if you wired it right and your lifestyle permitted it, you could program the system to not recover from a morning shower routine until the roof system was generating hot water.

Anyone else have similar ideas? Anyone done it?