RE without batteries or the grid?

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  • Wed, May 20, 2009 - 03:07am

    #63
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    Re: RE without batteries or the grid?

One thing we need to remember regardless of the generation mechanism is that electrical power is not free.

No matter how many contraptions we consider for storage of electrical power, and the mechanisms used to generate this power (including ourselves) we need to be mindful of this.

For instance if a human is generating 100W of power, they’re going to need more food to support that power generation, which might have significant impact on food production requirements, not to mention mechanical damage maintainng that output for any significant time.

The same goes for any other system, some have upfront costs (Solar) then its "free" power generation.

Just wanted to put that in because while there are some interesting storage mechanisms in this thread, (I’m a big fan of clockwork in some form), but how we get that power has a cost associated that we need to account for in our overall budgeting, either in food or fuel.

Thx

  • Wed, May 20, 2009 - 03:22am

    #61
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    Re: RE without batteries or the grid?

[quote=Damnthematrix]

Deep cycle batteries don’t have such plates because that sort of load is not normally required in a RE system.  What you will find though, is that Deep Cycle batteries have very large surface area plates, usually by being textured like a waffle, and because the batteries normally have large cross sectional areas.  It’s not unusual for a DCycle battery to be two feet tall.

I was always taught that the best batteries for deep discharge WERE DCycle batteries, and that the best batteries for vehicles WERE traction batteries.  It’s horses for courses.  I’ve seen well designed stand alone system, by which I mean the load, solar array, wiring, inverter size, wiring protection, AND battery bank sizing has ALL been done correctly, have their batteries last twenty years…… and I’m talkinf about systems WITHOUT backup generators!!

[/quote]

Mike –

One of the challenges of a large capacity deep cycle battery set up is the day to day operations to maintain a long service life.  We had huge lead acid battery cells on the submarines I served on – each one was nearly 6 feet tall, and there were almost 120 cells.  As you know there are a fixed number of discharge cycles in a lead acid PbSO4 battery.  The recharging evolution is not a trivial event – very tight tolerances on individual cell temperature, specific gravity and H2 production, but are critical in ensuring the battery life is maintained and maximized.

Keeping a deep cycle batt on a voltage/current float will ensure power available when needed, but greatly reduces the life of the battery.  Maintaining a battery on a float runs the risk of lead oxide forming and treeing across cell plates – and from personal experience, a cell reversal makes for an exciting time underwater.

You have to cycle the battery deeply to maximize it’s useful life.  We would run the battery down by maintaining a trickle discharge and charge it back up at periodic "amp-hours out" intervals.

Of course, we had 3600 KW steam driven electrical turbine generators feeding motor generator sets on each side of the battery as primary power sources that likely won’t be available to the average joe post SHTF.

  • Wed, May 20, 2009 - 03:43am

    #64
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    Re: RE without batteries or the grid?

This debate seems all too familiar since it had come up previously regarding myself trying to build a pedal powered water pump.

https://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/wind-belt-generators/15380

DTM: I fully understand that a lot of energy/effort will be needed to pump the water and that you think my time would be better used in the garden. Take a look at the video I posted and let me know what you think. If you still feel the same way I will still ask how else would I get my water from point a to point b without electricity or a windmill (read: a very low-tech and low-cost solution)? I certainly don’t feel like carting buckets up by hand after pumping the water from the well by hand… or I could put the buckets on a trailer and cycle them up 😉

  • Wed, May 20, 2009 - 04:30am

    #65
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    Re: RE without batteries or the grid?

I understand energy in and out. I also agree a flywheel is basically a battery, energy storage, although more efficient depending on design.  Thats not what I’m contemplating. I understand you pedaling puts energy into the flywheel, and that its stored energy to the amount of whatever you are capable of putting in the flywheel. I understand all that, I was never arguing those points, nor do I really care to be right or wrong with what a human is capable of. I was talking about my idea with a flywheel, nothing more.

I’m tired of explaining my design, also in case I want to use it, I don’t want to give it away.

I’m not trying to show anyone wrong, I was attacked first. I didn’t even care about what was being stated, till I was attacked personally, although I’m sure it has been revised now. But, at least you know what I said first without revision.

I’m a manufacturing engineer, degree in ME, but I studied plenty of EE along the way. Now I am responsible for control engineering for industrial automation. Automate internal aerospace processes specifically. Layered composites that require exact temps and vacuum to set properly, with thermocouples in a square foot grid over the entire composite section. That was the most recent one anyways. I love Pelican cases. They wanted it mobile, it had a Fluke controller with 10 thermos and a printer to print out temp reading at set intervals for records, and error out the process if any were too far out of range. Pretty nice when finished.

I think the flywheel design has already been coneptualized by other people. Here is a few links.

http://130.15.85.212/proceedings/WorldCongress07/articles/sessions/papers/A983.pdf – 30 years of study contained in this article.

"Human legs and pedals create an extremely "peaky" torque curve, resulting in jerky motion and lots of stress on parts. The flywheel smoothes this all out by absorbing part of the energy on the power stroke, lowering peak torque, and releasing it on the "dead" part of the stroke, creating torque where Human legs/pedals cannot generate any. Another thing to remember is that Human legs do not like extreme stress. The flywheel allows the Human to avoid having to generate extreme pressure during the power stroke just to make it past the "dead" spots. Many "bicycle converters" lack the flywheel characteristic because tires/rims are designed to be so light." – http://www.los-gatos.ca.us/davidbu/pedgen.html – Used to generate power, 150 w average.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Wed, May 20, 2009 - 04:37am

    #66
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    Re: RE without batteries or the grid?

NO.  In fact, what comes out is ALWAYS less than what goes in.

Mike

  • Wed, May 20, 2009 - 04:41am

    #67
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    Re: RE without batteries or the grid?

See…..  you’re doing it again.  FACT: Oxygen is "sixteen times ‘bigger’ than Hydrogen".  And you can’t stick membranes between atoms.  Do you have any idea how small atoms are?

Mike

  • Wed, May 20, 2009 - 04:47am

    #68
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    Re: RE without batteries or the grid?

I only ever move large anounts of water downhill…..  it’s SOOOO much easier!  Whenever I have to move it uphill, I do indeed use buckets and watering cans.  Usually with duckshit in it, great fertiliser.  It’s very low tech, and it keeps me fit!

Mike

  • Wed, May 20, 2009 - 06:06am

    #69
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    Re: RE without batteries or the grid?

[quote=Damnthematrix]

See…..  you’re doing it again.  FACT: Oxygen is "sixteen times ‘bigger’ than Hydrogen".  And you can’t stick membranes between atoms.  Do you have any idea how small atoms are?

Mike

[/quote]

Haha, you provide good comedy my friend. You got me on the size of the atoms in water. I was guessing, I had a 50:50 shot. If you want to be more professional, you might want to post a link to where you got the sizes while you were in your search to prove me wrong.  Even further, I listed hydrogen atom as singular and oxygen as plural, implying one hydrogen and two oxygen, when its actually the opposite. Shows how much I know about the water molecule.

 I dont know how big atoms are for different elements off the top of my head, I would have to look it up. I’m sure some other people here might.

I wasn’t talking about sticking the membrane between the atoms, more forcing them through it. In refrence to the membranes, I was referring to an article posted in this thread, you might want to check it out.

"it separates H20 into hydrogen and oxygen","Joseph Hartvigsen, Ceramatec, Inc.: “And the oxygen moves through the membrane and it is discharged on the other side of the membrane.” – http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=81148

Can you please stop though. I don’t do these kinds of things to you.

  • Wed, May 20, 2009 - 06:23am

    #70
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    Re: RE without batteries or the grid?

[quote=Damnthematrix]

NO.  In fact, what comes out is ALWAYS less than what goes in.

Mike

[/quote]

Steel mechanical are the least efficient. I think Hamish talked about the ones contained in a vacuum, carbon construction, with magnetic bearings. If they further fund technology like that, who knows.

I posted this at the beginning of the thread, but I’ll post it down here too. It talks about the newer technology. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage

http://www.beaconpower.com/products/EnergyStorageSystems/docs/BeaconPower_solutions_grid.pdf – I guess they are working on flywheel generators already. I’m pretty far behind the curve. I looked for efficiency numbers in the article but couldn’t find any to report.

  • Wed, May 20, 2009 - 12:23pm

    #71
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    Re: RE without batteries or the grid?

Ruhh,

I remember that thread and exchange with Mike. I think the bike makes sense because it is a physical process of carrying buckets or riding a bike, and I would assume the bike would be FAR more efficient, since you won’t be spilling, wasting 1/2 your time returning down the hill with empty buckets, etc. Also, while sloshing buckets up the hill you would be propelling yourself with the water, whereas with the bike only the water is moving up the hill. It makes sense to me, even if Mike would disagree.

Is there any way to collect rain water at the top of your hill so you have less or none to transport? I forget what you are doing with the water, but I assume some sort of irrigation.

There is also a type of water break system (man I wish I could remember where I saw it so I could provide a link) where trenches are dug at the top of the garden on a slope which collect water and slowly release it into the soil below the collection point, providing roots below with a steady supply of water. My garden is on a slight incline, and when it rains really hard I loose top soil, so this is something I have been considering. It also has the effect of minimizing the need for irrigation, however I am a little concerned about breeding mosquitoes.

I personally find that water is one area that I feel needs to have a human powered backup, like your hand pumped well. If the worst happens and your PV array gets hit by lightning or your inverters start on fire, you cannot live long without water or your electric well pump. Efficently moving it via arm and leg power is an excellent backup plan, IMO.

Rog

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