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OT. free power?

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  • OT. free power?

    I think Evan can either endorse or refute this . I can't be that simple. The ad screams BUY NOW. And that gets my skeptical side on full alert. Peter
    The difficult done right away. the impossible takes a little time.

  • #2
    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!
    Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
    I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
    All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only


    • #3
      Originally posted by PTSideshow
      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.


      • #4
        Originally posted by brockley1
        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%
        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


        • #5
          Originally posted by lazlo
          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.


          • #6
            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.
            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


            • #7
              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
              Last edited by JoeFin; 06-15-2009, 07:00 PM.


              • #8

                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.
                I cut it off twice and it's still too short!


                • #9
                  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?


                  • #10
                    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).
                    John M...your (un)usual basement dweller


                    • #11
                      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 complicated beast like your telescope 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
                      Last edited by aboard_epsilon; 06-15-2009, 08:23 PM.


                      • #12
                        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 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..


                        • #13
                          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?


                          • #14
                            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.

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan


                            • #15
                              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.
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

                              Make it fit.
                              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!