Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread fmiser via Mercedes
> Andrew wrote:
> 
> There is no heat requirement.  I use low wattage (?)
> seedling heat pads...

A heating pad is a heater.

> ... that draw almost no current.

"almost no current" when there is 115 VAC in the wall outlet
is not the same as battery power! 

> Typically these:
> http://www.amazon.com/Hydrofarm-MT10006--19-1-2-Inch-Seedling/dp/B0001WV010/

That page reports "The Seedling Heat Mat uses 17 watts".

With a 100% efficient inverter and 12 VDC battery, that will
draw about 1.5 amps.  

Figuring on inverter losses, etc., lets round that off to 2 A.

To run one for 24 hours would require (2 x 24) 48 Amp-Hours (Ah).

Since this would be about the time of the spring equinox,
there should be about 12 hours of sunlight.  That is NOT 12
hours of max output from a photo-voltaic panel, but I'll
ignore that for now.  I expect you will want the pv panel to
run the heater _and_ charge the battery, so it will need at
least 4 A output - or about 50 W.

Since it is never good to let a wet cell run all the way
down, and to allow for decreased capacity over time, that
would suggest a 50 Ah battery to effectively power one
heater overnight.  (24 Ah draw from a 2 A load for 12 hours -
rounded up.)

That amounts to a 20 W inverter, a 50 W pv panel, and a 50 Ah
battery - for each heating pad.  A quick look at Amazon for
prices results in almost $500 to run two heat pads.

How many do you use?  How much to run an AC power cord?

 #  DISCLAIMER  #
This is just a mental exercise on my part
In NO way do I recommend, endorse, or 
make any claim as whether these products
are appropriate to work together or will
achieve any implied performance target.

Prices:
$220 for a 100 W pv panel and charge controller
http://www.amazon.com/RENOGY%C2%AE-Solar-Panel-Starter-Monocrystalline/dp/B00VSHFP6I/

$245 for a 100 Ah battery
http://www.amazon.com/Vmaxtanks-VMAXSLR100-Sealed-battery-Solar/dp/B00B79CNKS/

$20 for a 50 W inverter
http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PINV11-Power-Inverter-Modified/dp/B00HWSXWGW/

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Mitch Haley via Mercedes

Rick Knoble via Mercedes wrote:

‎Philip writes:


A quick look at Amazon for
prices results in almost $500 to >run two heat pads.


Which is why, without subsidies, solar makes NO economic sense. 


Medium-large name brand home panels can be had for under $1 per rated watt.
So figure $0.20-0.25 per daily watt-hour, plus mounts, wiring, inverter, etc.
My after tax rate for electricity is 0.14+, so it can pay off in the lifetime
of the equipment now, the bare PV panel cost can be recovered in 4-5 years.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Mitch Haley via Mercedes

All you really need are a couple of group 49 or 93 batteries, a battery charger
and a cheap inverter. 

Every morning and evening, put a freshly charged battery in the shed and take
the other one to
the house and put it on the charger. Consider it free exercise carrying 50lb
batteries around. 

Mitch. 

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Rick Knoble via Mercedes
‎Philip writes:

>A quick look at Amazon for
>prices results in almost $500 to >run two heat pads.

Which is why, without subsidies, solar makes NO economic sense. 
‎
Rick 
Sent from my BlackBerry Z10
  

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
"Tulip poplar" as you know is a misnomer for Liriodendron, a member of the
magnolia family.  Fast growing but basically useless tree except for shade;
has a love affair with lightning due to high H20 content.

On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 2:18 PM, Randy Bennell via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> On 08/09/2015 8:22 AM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:
>
>> Thanks for the insights.  Looks like I may simply run an extension cord
>> across the back 40 to the shed for the 2 week incubation period..
>>
>>
>> BINGO! WE HAVE A WINNER!
>
> RB
>
>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread OK Don via Mercedes
Yup, what is it? Occam's razor or something similar - use the simplest
solution?

On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:18 PM, Randy Bennell via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> On 08/09/2015 8:22 AM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:
>
>> Thanks for the insights.  Looks like I may simply run an extension cord
>> across the back 40 to the shed for the 2 week incubation period..
>>
>>
>> BINGO! WE HAVE A WINNER!
>
> RB
>



-- 
OK Don

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*“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of
our people need it sorely on these accounts.”* – Mark Twain

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learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence
for themselves."

WILL ROGERS, *The Manly Wisdom of Will Rogers*
2013 F150, 18 mpg
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
Thanks for the insights.  Looks like I may simply run an extension cord
across the back 40 to the shed for the 2 week incubation period..

On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 8:01 AM, Mitch Haley via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> Rick Knoble via Mercedes wrote:
>
>> ‎Philip writes:
>>
>> A quick look at Amazon for
>>> prices results in almost $500 to >run two heat pads.
>>>
>>
>> Which is why, without subsidies, solar makes NO economic sense.
>>
>
> Medium-large name brand home panels can be had for under $1 per rated watt.
> So figure $0.20-0.25 per daily watt-hour, plus mounts, wiring, inverter,
> etc.
> My after tax rate for electricity is 0.14+, so it can pay off in the
> lifetime
> of the equipment now, the bare PV panel cost can be recovered in 4-5 years.
>
>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Curt Raymond via Mercedes
Ash is premiere stuff. Its hard, it burns good and dries faster than 
oak.Nothing at all like poplar, perhaps you're thinking of Balm of Giliad which 
we have in abundance on my farm and is a total trash tree. Poplar is at least 
valuable for OSB production...
-Curt

  From: Andrew Strasfogel <astrasfo...@gmail.com>
 To: Curt Raymond <curtlud...@yahoo.com>; Mercedes Discussion List 
<mercedes@okiebenz.com> 
 Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 1:21 PM
 Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
   
Is ash categorized as a hard or soft wood for wood heat purposes?  IIRC it has 
a sooty burn with low BTUs, much like poplar.  Or not...



On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:01 PM, Curt Raymond via Mercedes 
<mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

We paid almost $0.20 all last winter due to limited pipeline capacity for 
natural gas.They've been pushing everybody to switch to natural gas for home 
heating. Last winter my oil bill went down considerably over the previous year, 
people with Nat gas got slammed. This year heating oil is below $2/gal.
I've been stocking up on firewood, a friend has a processor and is giving me 
$180/cord for ash if I pick it up myself. I've got around 3 cords now and plan 
to get one more before the month is out. I've got another cord and a half to 
two cords of good dry stuff so that the stuff I'm buying now will probably not 
be used this year. I *think* we could heat the whole house on 5 cords a year 
but we just use it as supplemental. The furnace keeps us at 62F, the woodstove 
is anything we want over that. When we do solar hot water in the daytime we'll 
use any excess from that to warm the house, should drive down our oil and wood 
bill seriously.
-Curt
      From: Jim Cathey via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
 To: Mercedes Discussion List <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
Cc: Jim Cathey <jim.cathey...@gmail.com>
 Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 12:19 PM
 Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

> Medium-large name brand home panels can be had for under $1 per rated
> watt.
> So figure $0.20-0.25 per daily watt-hour, plus mounts, wiring,
> inverter, etc.
> My after tax rate for electricity is 0.14+, so it can pay off in the
> lifetime
> of the equipment now, the bare PV panel cost can be recovered in 4-5
> years.

Electricity here is, IIRC, $0.055/kWH, so it would take nearly 3x
as long.  Hydro rules!  :-)

-- Jim




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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
OSB??

Does ash split easily?  IIRC black locust is numero uno in heat value but
extremely tough to split...

My favorite splitting wood is black walnut.  Grain is unbelievably straight
and true.

On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:40 PM, Curt Raymond via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> Ash is premiere stuff. Its hard, it burns good and dries faster than
> oak.Nothing at all like poplar, perhaps you're thinking of Balm of Giliad
> which we have in abundance on my farm and is a total trash tree. Poplar is
> at least valuable for OSB production...
> -Curt
>
>   From: Andrew Strasfogel <astrasfo...@gmail.com>
>  To: Curt Raymond <curtlud...@yahoo.com>; Mercedes Discussion List <
> mercedes@okiebenz.com>
>  Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 1:21 PM
>  Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
>
> Is ash categorized as a hard or soft wood for wood heat purposes?  IIRC it
> has a sooty burn with low BTUs, much like poplar.  Or not...
>
>
>
> On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:01 PM, Curt Raymond via Mercedes <
> mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
>
> We paid almost $0.20 all last winter due to limited pipeline capacity for
> natural gas.They've been pushing everybody to switch to natural gas for
> home heating. Last winter my oil bill went down considerably over the
> previous year, people with Nat gas got slammed. This year heating oil is
> below $2/gal.
> I've been stocking up on firewood, a friend has a processor and is giving
> me $180/cord for ash if I pick it up myself. I've got around 3 cords now
> and plan to get one more before the month is out. I've got another cord and
> a half to two cords of good dry stuff so that the stuff I'm buying now will
> probably not be used this year. I *think* we could heat the whole house on
> 5 cords a year but we just use it as supplemental. The furnace keeps us at
> 62F, the woodstove is anything we want over that. When we do solar hot
> water in the daytime we'll use any excess from that to warm the house,
> should drive down our oil and wood bill seriously.
> -Curt
>   From: Jim Cathey via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
>  To: Mercedes Discussion List <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
> Cc: Jim Cathey <jim.cathey...@gmail.com>
>  Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 12:19 PM
>  Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
>
> > Medium-large name brand home panels can be had for under $1 per rated
> > watt.
> > So figure $0.20-0.25 per daily watt-hour, plus mounts, wiring,
> > inverter, etc.
> > My after tax rate for electricity is 0.14+, so it can pay off in the
> > lifetime
> > of the equipment now, the bare PV panel cost can be recovered in 4-5
> > years.
>
> Electricity here is, IIRC, $0.055/kWH, so it would take nearly 3x
> as long.  Hydro rules!  :-)
>
> -- Jim
>
>
>
>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Curt Raymond via Mercedes
We paid almost $0.20 all last winter due to limited pipeline capacity for 
natural gas.They've been pushing everybody to switch to natural gas for home 
heating. Last winter my oil bill went down considerably over the previous year, 
people with Nat gas got slammed. This year heating oil is below $2/gal.
I've been stocking up on firewood, a friend has a processor and is giving me 
$180/cord for ash if I pick it up myself. I've got around 3 cords now and plan 
to get one more before the month is out. I've got another cord and a half to 
two cords of good dry stuff so that the stuff I'm buying now will probably not 
be used this year. I *think* we could heat the whole house on 5 cords a year 
but we just use it as supplemental. The furnace keeps us at 62F, the woodstove 
is anything we want over that. When we do solar hot water in the daytime we'll 
use any excess from that to warm the house, should drive down our oil and wood 
bill seriously.
-Curt
  From: Jim Cathey via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
 To: Mercedes Discussion List <mercedes@okiebenz.com> 
Cc: Jim Cathey <jim.cathey...@gmail.com> 
 Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 12:19 PM
 Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
   
> Medium-large name brand home panels can be had for under $1 per rated 
> watt.
> So figure $0.20-0.25 per daily watt-hour, plus mounts, wiring, 
> inverter, etc.
> My after tax rate for electricity is 0.14+, so it can pay off in the 
> lifetime
> of the equipment now, the bare PV panel cost can be recovered in 4-5 
> years.

Electricity here is, IIRC, $0.055/kWH, so it would take nearly 3x
as long.  Hydro rules!  :-)

-- Jim




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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
Is ash categorized as a hard or soft wood for wood heat purposes?  IIRC it
has a sooty burn with low BTUs, much like poplar.  Or not...

On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:01 PM, Curt Raymond via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> We paid almost $0.20 all last winter due to limited pipeline capacity for
> natural gas.They've been pushing everybody to switch to natural gas for
> home heating. Last winter my oil bill went down considerably over the
> previous year, people with Nat gas got slammed. This year heating oil is
> below $2/gal.
> I've been stocking up on firewood, a friend has a processor and is giving
> me $180/cord for ash if I pick it up myself. I've got around 3 cords now
> and plan to get one more before the month is out. I've got another cord and
> a half to two cords of good dry stuff so that the stuff I'm buying now will
> probably not be used this year. I *think* we could heat the whole house on
> 5 cords a year but we just use it as supplemental. The furnace keeps us at
> 62F, the woodstove is anything we want over that. When we do solar hot
> water in the daytime we'll use any excess from that to warm the house,
> should drive down our oil and wood bill seriously.
> -Curt
>   From: Jim Cathey via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
>  To: Mercedes Discussion List <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
> Cc: Jim Cathey <jim.cathey...@gmail.com>
>  Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 12:19 PM
>  Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
>
> > Medium-large name brand home panels can be had for under $1 per rated
> > watt.
> > So figure $0.20-0.25 per daily watt-hour, plus mounts, wiring,
> > inverter, etc.
> > My after tax rate for electricity is 0.14+, so it can pay off in the
> > lifetime
> > of the equipment now, the bare PV panel cost can be recovered in 4-5
> > years.
>
> Electricity here is, IIRC, $0.055/kWH, so it would take nearly 3x
> as long.  Hydro rules!  :-)
>
> -- Jim
>
>
>
>
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> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
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>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Curt Raymond via Mercedes
Ash is what they make baseball bats out of, its extremely straight grained but 
a bit flexible which is what makes it good for bats. The same straight nature 
makes it easy to split, not so easy as oak as its kind of fibrous, meaning the 
fibers kind of cling together while you try to get the pieces apart. I haven't 
had a lot of experience with it, we don't have any on the farm although it is 
native to our area.
OSB is Oriented Strand Board, aka wafer board, the plywood like stuff they make 
houses out of. It uses cheap woods like poplar. Last spring our neighbor was 
getting (IIRC) $40/cord for poplar. That was what he was actually getting paid 
by the harvester, that guy was getting probably $80 at the mill.
Remember also when I say poplar I mean quaking aspen not the tulip polar 
furniture makers use.
-Curt
  From: Andrew Strasfogel <astrasfo...@gmail.com>
 To: Curt Raymond <curtlud...@yahoo.com>; Mercedes Discussion List 
<mercedes@okiebenz.com> 
 Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 1:45 PM
 Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
   
OSB??

Does ash split easily?  IIRC black locust is numero uno in heat value but 
extremely tough to split...

My favorite splitting wood is black walnut.  Grain is unbelievably straight and 
true.



On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:40 PM, Curt Raymond via Mercedes 
<mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

Ash is premiere stuff. Its hard, it burns good and dries faster than 
oak.Nothing at all like poplar, perhaps you're thinking of Balm of Giliad which 
we have in abundance on my farm and is a total trash tree. Poplar is at least 
valuable for OSB production...
-Curt

      From: Andrew Strasfogel <astrasfo...@gmail.com>
 To: Curt Raymond <curtlud...@yahoo.com>; Mercedes Discussion List 
<mercedes@okiebenz.com>
 Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 1:21 PM
 Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

Is ash categorized as a hard or soft wood for wood heat purposes?  IIRC it has 
a sooty burn with low BTUs, much like poplar.  Or not...



On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:01 PM, Curt Raymond via Mercedes 
<mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

We paid almost $0.20 all last winter due to limited pipeline capacity for 
natural gas.They've been pushing everybody to switch to natural gas for home 
heating. Last winter my oil bill went down considerably over the previous year, 
people with Nat gas got slammed. This year heating oil is below $2/gal.
I've been stocking up on firewood, a friend has a processor and is giving me 
$180/cord for ash if I pick it up myself. I've got around 3 cords now and plan 
to get one more before the month is out. I've got another cord and a half to 
two cords of good dry stuff so that the stuff I'm buying now will probably not 
be used this year. I *think* we could heat the whole house on 5 cords a year 
but we just use it as supplemental. The furnace keeps us at 62F, the woodstove 
is anything we want over that. When we do solar hot water in the daytime we'll 
use any excess from that to warm the house, should drive down our oil and wood 
bill seriously.
-Curt
      From: Jim Cathey via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
 To: Mercedes Discussion List <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
Cc: Jim Cathey <jim.cathey...@gmail.com>
 Sent: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 12:19 PM
 Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

> Medium-large name brand home panels can be had for under $1 per rated
> watt.
> So figure $0.20-0.25 per daily watt-hour, plus mounts, wiring,
> inverter, etc.
> My after tax rate for electricity is 0.14+, so it can pay off in the
> lifetime
> of the equipment now, the bare PV panel cost can be recovered in 4-5
> years.

Electricity here is, IIRC, $0.055/kWH, so it would take nearly 3x
as long.  Hydro rules!  :-)

-- Jim




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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-08 Thread Randy Bennell via Mercedes

On 08/09/2015 8:22 AM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:

Thanks for the insights.  Looks like I may simply run an extension cord
across the back 40 to the shed for the 2 week incubation period..



BINGO! WE HAVE A WINNER!

RB

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-07 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
I guess I would be. All it does is raise the temperature at the base of the
seedling flats to about 80 degrees.
On Sep 8, 2015 12:12 AM, "OK Don via Mercedes" 
wrote:

> Plug one into a Kill-a-watt and measure the current it uses. I think you'll
> be surprised.
>
> On Mon, Sep 7, 2015 at 10:10 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes <
> mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
>
> > There is no heat requirement.  I use low wattage (?) seedling heat pads
> > that draw almost no current.  Typically these:
> >
> >
> http://www.amazon.com/Hydrofarm-MT10006--19-1-2-Inch-Seedling/dp/B0001WV010/ref=sr_1_1/187-6656968-8374561?ie=UTF8=1441681761=8-1=seed+heat+pad
> >
> > On Sun, Sep 6, 2015 at 10:18 PM, Greg Fiorentino via Mercedes <
> > mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
> >
> > > If you want to go solar...I just did a solar install on the motor
> home. I
> > > put 2 100W panels on the roof, an MPPT controller (so I could wire the
> > > panels in series and have the wiring handle the higher voltage more
> > > efficiently) and 2 Group 27 deep cycle batteries wired in parallel.
> The
> > > system works great.  The MH already had a 1600W inverter which I use
> very
> > > little.
> > >
> > > Total cost for all components was about $750. I spent more on the
> panels
> > to
> > > get flexible ones that I could tape with 3M VHB tape to the curved
> > > fiberglass roof. Rigid panels would cost about $50-100 less IIRC.
> > >
> > > The way to go is to figure out what your daily amperage usage would be.
> > > Battery capacity should be at least twice that amount, and solar input
> > > should obviously be enough to exceed usage.
> > >
> > > I agree with others that the heat requirement likely would overwhelm
> the
> > > capabilities of a solar system.
> > >
> > > Greg
> > >
> > > -Original Message-
> > > From: Mercedes [mailto:mercedes-boun...@okiebenz.com] On Behalf Of
> > Andrew
> > > Strasfogel via Mercedes
> > > Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 10:11 AM
> > > To: Mercedes Discussion List
> > > Cc: Andrew Strasfogel
> > > Subject: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
> > >
> > > I would like to electrify my shed in the back 40 in order to provide 1)
> > > simple overhead lighting and 2) a 110V outlet for grow mats under my
> > > seedlings next spring.
> > >
> > > I might also want to recharge batteries for a B trimmer, although
> this
> > is
> > > a lesser priority.
> > >
> > > There is a sunny spot where I could erect a solar panel, about 15' from
> > the
> > > edge of the building.
> > >
> > > Anybody out there work with practical solar applications?
> > >
> > > Andrew
> > > Gentleman farmer and rabbit torturer
> > > ___
> > > http://www.okiebenz.com
> > >
> > > To search list archives http://www.okiebenz.com/archive/
> > >
> > > To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> > > http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com
> > >
> > >
> > > ___
> > > http://www.okiebenz.com
> > >
> > > To search list archives http://www.okiebenz.com/archive/
> > >
> > > To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> > > http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com
> > >
> > >
> > ___
> > http://www.okiebenz.com
> >
> > To search list archives http://www.okiebenz.com/archive/
> >
> > To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> > http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com
> >
> >
>
>
> --
> OK Don
>
> NSA: The only branch of government that actually listens to US citizens!
>
> *“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of
> our people need it sorely on these accounts.”* – Mark Twain
>
> "There are three kinds of men: The ones that learns by reading. The few who
> learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence
> for themselves."
>
> WILL ROGERS, *The Manly Wisdom of Will Rogers*
> 2013 F150, 18 mpg
> 2012 Passat TDI DSG, 44 mpg
> 1957 C182A, 12 mpg - but at 150 mph!
> ___
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>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-07 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
There is no heat requirement.  I use low wattage (?) seedling heat pads
that draw almost no current.  Typically these:
http://www.amazon.com/Hydrofarm-MT10006--19-1-2-Inch-Seedling/dp/B0001WV010/ref=sr_1_1/187-6656968-8374561?ie=UTF8=1441681761=8-1=seed+heat+pad

On Sun, Sep 6, 2015 at 10:18 PM, Greg Fiorentino via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> If you want to go solar...I just did a solar install on the motor home. I
> put 2 100W panels on the roof, an MPPT controller (so I could wire the
> panels in series and have the wiring handle the higher voltage more
> efficiently) and 2 Group 27 deep cycle batteries wired in parallel.  The
> system works great.  The MH already had a 1600W inverter which I use very
> little.
>
> Total cost for all components was about $750. I spent more on the panels to
> get flexible ones that I could tape with 3M VHB tape to the curved
> fiberglass roof. Rigid panels would cost about $50-100 less IIRC.
>
> The way to go is to figure out what your daily amperage usage would be.
> Battery capacity should be at least twice that amount, and solar input
> should obviously be enough to exceed usage.
>
> I agree with others that the heat requirement likely would overwhelm the
> capabilities of a solar system.
>
> Greg
>
> -Original Message-
> From: Mercedes [mailto:mercedes-boun...@okiebenz.com] On Behalf Of Andrew
> Strasfogel via Mercedes
> Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 10:11 AM
> To: Mercedes Discussion List
> Cc: Andrew Strasfogel
> Subject: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
>
> I would like to electrify my shed in the back 40 in order to provide 1)
> simple overhead lighting and 2) a 110V outlet for grow mats under my
> seedlings next spring.
>
> I might also want to recharge batteries for a B trimmer, although this is
> a lesser priority.
>
> There is a sunny spot where I could erect a solar panel, about 15' from the
> edge of the building.
>
> Anybody out there work with practical solar applications?
>
> Andrew
> Gentleman farmer and rabbit torturer
> ___
> http://www.okiebenz.com
>
> To search list archives http://www.okiebenz.com/archive/
>
> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com
>
>
> ___
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>
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>
> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com
>
>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-07 Thread OK Don via Mercedes
Plug one into a Kill-a-watt and measure the current it uses. I think you'll
be surprised.

On Mon, Sep 7, 2015 at 10:10 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> There is no heat requirement.  I use low wattage (?) seedling heat pads
> that draw almost no current.  Typically these:
>
> http://www.amazon.com/Hydrofarm-MT10006--19-1-2-Inch-Seedling/dp/B0001WV010/ref=sr_1_1/187-6656968-8374561?ie=UTF8=1441681761=8-1=seed+heat+pad
>
> On Sun, Sep 6, 2015 at 10:18 PM, Greg Fiorentino via Mercedes <
> mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
>
> > If you want to go solar...I just did a solar install on the motor home. I
> > put 2 100W panels on the roof, an MPPT controller (so I could wire the
> > panels in series and have the wiring handle the higher voltage more
> > efficiently) and 2 Group 27 deep cycle batteries wired in parallel.  The
> > system works great.  The MH already had a 1600W inverter which I use very
> > little.
> >
> > Total cost for all components was about $750. I spent more on the panels
> to
> > get flexible ones that I could tape with 3M VHB tape to the curved
> > fiberglass roof. Rigid panels would cost about $50-100 less IIRC.
> >
> > The way to go is to figure out what your daily amperage usage would be.
> > Battery capacity should be at least twice that amount, and solar input
> > should obviously be enough to exceed usage.
> >
> > I agree with others that the heat requirement likely would overwhelm the
> > capabilities of a solar system.
> >
> > Greg
> >
> > -Original Message-
> > From: Mercedes [mailto:mercedes-boun...@okiebenz.com] On Behalf Of
> Andrew
> > Strasfogel via Mercedes
> > Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 10:11 AM
> > To: Mercedes Discussion List
> > Cc: Andrew Strasfogel
> > Subject: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
> >
> > I would like to electrify my shed in the back 40 in order to provide 1)
> > simple overhead lighting and 2) a 110V outlet for grow mats under my
> > seedlings next spring.
> >
> > I might also want to recharge batteries for a B trimmer, although this
> is
> > a lesser priority.
> >
> > There is a sunny spot where I could erect a solar panel, about 15' from
> the
> > edge of the building.
> >
> > Anybody out there work with practical solar applications?
> >
> > Andrew
> > Gentleman farmer and rabbit torturer
> > ___
> > http://www.okiebenz.com
> >
> > To search list archives http://www.okiebenz.com/archive/
> >
> > To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> > http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com
> >
> >
> > ___
> > http://www.okiebenz.com
> >
> > To search list archives http://www.okiebenz.com/archive/
> >
> > To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> > http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com
> >
> >
> ___
> http://www.okiebenz.com
>
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>
> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com
>
>


-- 
OK Don

NSA: The only branch of government that actually listens to US citizens!

*“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of
our people need it sorely on these accounts.”* – Mark Twain

"There are three kinds of men: The ones that learns by reading. The few who
learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence
for themselves."

WILL ROGERS, *The Manly Wisdom of Will Rogers*
2013 F150, 18 mpg
2012 Passat TDI DSG, 44 mpg
1957 C182A, 12 mpg - but at 150 mph!
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-06 Thread Greg Fiorentino via Mercedes
If you want to go solar...I just did a solar install on the motor home. I
put 2 100W panels on the roof, an MPPT controller (so I could wire the
panels in series and have the wiring handle the higher voltage more
efficiently) and 2 Group 27 deep cycle batteries wired in parallel.  The
system works great.  The MH already had a 1600W inverter which I use very
little.

Total cost for all components was about $750. I spent more on the panels to
get flexible ones that I could tape with 3M VHB tape to the curved
fiberglass roof. Rigid panels would cost about $50-100 less IIRC.

The way to go is to figure out what your daily amperage usage would be.
Battery capacity should be at least twice that amount, and solar input
should obviously be enough to exceed usage.

I agree with others that the heat requirement likely would overwhelm the
capabilities of a solar system.

Greg

-Original Message-
From: Mercedes [mailto:mercedes-boun...@okiebenz.com] On Behalf Of Andrew
Strasfogel via Mercedes
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 10:11 AM
To: Mercedes Discussion List
Cc: Andrew Strasfogel
Subject: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

I would like to electrify my shed in the back 40 in order to provide 1)
simple overhead lighting and 2) a 110V outlet for grow mats under my
seedlings next spring.

I might also want to recharge batteries for a B trimmer, although this is
a lesser priority.

There is a sunny spot where I could erect a solar panel, about 15' from the
edge of the building.

Anybody out there work with practical solar applications?

Andrew
Gentleman farmer and rabbit torturer
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-05 Thread Curly McLain via Mercedes
My bad. I'm guessing that is because of heating issues which would 
be minimal outside, but I get it. I might even have known that at 
some point. The single wire stuff is tmmw or something like that, it 
has a higher temp rated insulation.


--R (sent from my miniPad)

 On Sep 3, 2015, at 6:25 PM, G Mann via Mercedes 
 wrote:


 Electrical code book does NOT permit running Romex wire inside conduit.

 > Thus, you should not.


THHN  or THNN for inside.  I am not sure if a different type wire is 
used for buried, in conduit.


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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-04 Thread Mitch Haley via Mercedes


> On September 4, 2015 at 12:27 AM Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
>  wrote:
> 
> 
> We don't have glacial till (tilth is a term referring to the tillable
> quality of the soil) around here but rocks and roots are plentiful.

Using the vibrating blade on a Ditch Witch, roots get sawed through slowly, and
rocks smaller
than softballs get shoved out of the way. 5+ feet per minute speeds are
achievable while
planting wire and/or poly irrigation pipe about 18" deep.

I bet a sprinkler installation crew would gladly pull your cable for a dollar or
two a foot. 
Then, if you want to be legal, have an electrician hook up both ends. 

Mitch.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-04 Thread Rich Thomas via Mercedes
I had a final plumbing and gas line inspection yesterday, the inspector 
is a cool guy I like, he sorta looked at it for about 10 seconds and 
signed off, we chatted for another half hour and he recommended I do the 
rest of the work in the house without telling anyone about it.  Turns 
out he also signed off on the final electrical inspection at the last 
visit, I don't recall that and was a little hesitant about it.  He also 
suggested that this permit resets the clock another 6 months, so I 
should wait until next year for the final finals so the tax man doesn't 
screw me this year.


All that and no consultation from Mr. Johnny Walker... it's amazing how 
helpful all the inspectors have been and how demonstrating a bit of 
competence and cooperation works.


--R



On 9/4/15 1:03 AM, Scott Ritchey via Mercedes wrote:

The whole thing probably cost $300 but folks in
rural NC aren't anal about licensed electricians for small jobs.



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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-04 Thread Jim Cathey via Mercedes
Thanks - that helps.  I wonder why there is no simple kit that goes 
from PV
to 110 V without all the interconnecting parapernalia, battery, 
inverters,

etc.


Because unlike a politician's promise, the 'kit' purchaser would
expect results and would be mightily pissed when the simple kit didn't
actually deliver.  The process is _inherently_ not simple, and no
amount of wishing will make it so.

Solar for intermittent lighting and battery charging would be OK.
For any kind of heating, IMHO it's a non-starter.  The size of
the necessary system would be extremely cost-prohibitive.  And
there's ongoing maintenance requirements, and batteries have
a finite life, etc.

Your most satisfactory solution, and the cheapest one that will
meet your stated needs, will be a DIY install of a 12-gauge circuit
drop underground.  I'd recommend a 220V circuit, you'll get both
voltages that way and have a lot more potential power you could
exploit in the future.  (Welder, hot tub, etc.)

-- Jim


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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-04 Thread fmiser via Mercedes
> > On Thu, 3 Sep 2015 15:46:18 -0400 Andrew Strasfogel via
> > Mercedes  wrote:
> 
> > Thanks - that helps.  I wonder why there is no simple kit
> > that goes from PV to 110 V without all the
> > interconnecting parapernalia, battery, inverters, etc.

> Craig wrote:
> 
> Because it cannot be done without all the interconnecting
> paraphernalia (correct spelling).

> PV cells put out low voltage direct current.

> Household power is a moderate voltage alternating current.

> ...you need to store the energy somehow. The easiest
> is in a chemical reaction in a rechargeble battery.

All correct - but I understood the question to be about a kit.

The need for al the "interconnecting paraphernalia" doesn't
mean a "simple kit" can't be packaged and sold.  A box with a
NEMA 5-15 socket on the side and a solar controller, battery,
and inverter inside.  Connect photo-voltaic panel and plug in
your load.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-04 Thread Scott Ritchey via Mercedes
There are plenty of solar power kits, for example:  
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-Solar-400-Watt-Off-Grid-Solar-Panel-Kit-GS-
400-KIT/203505963
Just Google: "110v solar power kit for shed"

But they aren't cheap if you get a useful capacity and they won't last near
as long as a buried cable.

> 
> > > On Thu, 3 Sep 2015 15:46:18 -0400 Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
> > >  wrote:
> >
> > > Thanks - that helps.  I wonder why there is no simple kit that goes
> > > from PV to 110 V without all the interconnecting parapernalia,
> > > battery, inverters, etc.
> 



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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Rich Thomas via Mercedes
I have been thinking about something similar for a shed I want to 
build.  Harbor Freight has some fairly cheap solar panels of not 
particularly high wattage, that would be cheap enough to do a test set 
up.  Buy one, hook it to a battery/inverter  (I think they might come 
with a 12V battery charger circuit but not sure) and see how much charge 
you can get out of the thing to keep a battery charged with some use.  
You might also want to look at the heat mats, a lot of those things are 
not direct 110V but use a transformer power supply to get, maybe, 12V or 
something similar, so you could possibly run them directly off a 
battery.  Or go to the junkyard and get some heating elements out of 
some car seats?  You can probably buy the heating wire too, I put it in 
my bathroom tile floor, it runs off 110V through some sort of box that 
might step it down, I don't know.  There is probably 12V heating element 
stuff out there somewhere, eBay is your friend.


HF also have some LED lights with a little solar panel to charge 
batteries for like $40, not sure the light output but again, cheap 
enough to test out.  Costco have been selling some LED shop lights, 
110V, that you could probably run off an inverter, not sure what they 
draw but you could check.  Or buy some 12V LED lights from China (I 
bought a load of 110V UG10 spots that are incredible and have been 
working fine for 6 months now, 12V is a standard too for those fancy 
track lights) and hook them up.  If you are interested I can send some 
links to the sockets and lights.  They don't use much amps for a lot of 
light.


You could probably get a reasonable set up for a coupla $100.  Or just 
run some conduit and a circuit out to the shed from the house...


--R

On 9/3/15 1:11 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:

I would like to electrify my shed in the back 40 in order to provide 1)
simple overhead lighting and 2) a 110V outlet for grow mats under my
seedlings next spring.

I might also want to recharge batteries for a B trimmer, although this is
a lesser priority.

There is a sunny spot where I could erect a solar panel, about 15' from the
edge of the building.

Anybody out there work with practical solar applications?

Andrew
Gentleman farmer and rabbit torturer
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
60' uphill.  :(

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 2:45 PM, Dan Penoff via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> What happened to renting a DitchWitch and buying a spool of direct burial
> cable?  How many feet is the run between the house and shed?
>
>
>
> > On Sep 3, 2015, at 2:40 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes <
> mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
> >
> > Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V line
> > (got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which was for
> > digging a deep trench).
> >
> > I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup.
> Send
> > me some links plesae.
> >
>
>
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>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Dan Penoff via Mercedes
So you start at the top?

Dan


> On Sep 3, 2015, at 2:54 PM, Andrew Strasfogel  wrote:
> 
> 60' uphill.  :(
> 
> On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 2:45 PM, Dan Penoff via Mercedes 
> > wrote:
> What happened to renting a DitchWitch and buying a spool of direct burial 
> cable?  How many feet is the run between the house and shed?
> 
> 
> 
> > On Sep 3, 2015, at 2:40 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes 
> > > wrote:
> >
> > Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V line
> > (got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which was for
> > digging a deep trench).
> >
> > I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup.  Send
> > me some links plesae.
> >
> 
> 
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> 
> 
> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
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> 
> 
> 

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Dan Penoff via Mercedes
Just use direct burial stuff.  Then you don’t have to mess around with conduit.

Dan


> On Sep 3, 2015, at 3:03 PM, clay via Mercedes  wrote:
> 
> Dig the thing downhill.  Lay some flex conduit and stuff a pair of romex 
> inside.
> 
> 
> 
> On Sep 3, 2015, at 11:54 AM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:
> 
>> 60' uphill.  :(
>> 


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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Randy Bennell via Mercedes

On 03/09/2015 12:11 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:

I would like to electrify my shed in the back 40 in order to provide 1)
simple overhead lighting and 2) a 110V outlet for grow mats under my
seedlings next spring.

I might also want to recharge batteries for a B trimmer, although this is
a lesser priority.

There is a sunny spot where I could erect a solar panel, about 15' from the
edge of the building.

Anybody out there work with practical solar applications?

Andrew
Gentleman farmer and rabbit torturer
___



Basic lighting is easy. They sell small solar powered LED lamps all over 
for next to nothing. I have one on my garage that lights the path beside 
it whenever I walk through.


However, unless the shed is a half mile away, let me suggest an 
extension cord to the house is much simpler and less expensive than a 
setup sufficient to provide 120V to electric heating mats.


RB

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
Extension cord from the house to the shed would be vetoed immediately by
SWMBO.

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM, Andrew Strasfogel 
wrote:

> Thanks - that helps.  I wonder why there is no simple kit that goes from
> PV to 110 V without all the interconnecting parapernalia, battery,
> inverters, etc.
>
> On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM, fmiser via Mercedes  > wrote:
>
>> > Andrew wrote:
>> >
>> > I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a
>> > solar setup.
>>
>> A solar panel will generate direct current (DC).  A power
>> cell - and therefore a battery - can only store DC.  If you
>> need alternating current (AC), then a converter is needed.
>> It is called an "inverter".   Small ones (low power) are
>> pretty cheap.  Big ones are not.  Ideal is to get an inverter
>> with a power rating close to your power needs.  If you have
>> 80 Watts of seedling heaters, get a 100-120 W inverter, not a
>> 750 W.
>>
>> The process of creating AC from DC is not perfect.  Thus to
>> get 80 W of AC will typically require 90-110 W of DC.
>>
>> The capacity of the photo-voltaic panel, capacity of the
>> battery, and the power rating of the inverter all depend on
>> the size of the load.
>>
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>>
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>>
>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Dan Penoff via Mercedes
What happened to renting a DitchWitch and buying a spool of direct burial 
cable?  How many feet is the run between the house and shed?



> On Sep 3, 2015, at 2:40 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes 
>  wrote:
> 
> Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V line
> (got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which was for
> digging a deep trench).
> 
> I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup.  Send
> me some links plesae.
> 


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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread clay via Mercedes
Dig the thing downhill.  Lay some flex conduit and stuff a pair of romex inside.



On Sep 3, 2015, at 11:54 AM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:

> 60' uphill.  :(
> 
> On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 2:45 PM, Dan Penoff via Mercedes <
> mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
> 
>> What happened to renting a DitchWitch and buying a spool of direct burial
>> cable?  How many feet is the run between the house and shed?
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> On Sep 3, 2015, at 2:40 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes <
>> mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V line
>>> (got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which was for
>>> digging a deep trench).
>>> 
>>> I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup.
>> Send
>>> me some links plesae.
>>> 
>> 
>> 
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>> 
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Dan Penoff via Mercedes
True.

It’s against code to run phone with power, or any other signal wiring, I 
believe.  Not to mention you risk inducing a voltage into it, which can wreak 
all kinds of havoc.

Dan


> On Sep 3, 2015, at 3:29 PM, Rich Thomas via Mercedes  
> wrote:
> 
> Then it is easier to put a shovel through too!  1" PVC conduit is cheap and 
> no harder to bury than romex, plus you can run a phone line or something else 
> in it too if you want.
> 
> --R
> 
> 
> 
> On 9/3/15 3:08 PM, Dan Penoff via Mercedes wrote:
>> Just use direct burial stuff.  Then you don’t have to mess around with 
>> conduit.
>> 
>> Dan
>> 
>> 
>>> On Sep 3, 2015, at 3:03 PM, clay via Mercedes  wrote:
>>> 
>>> Dig the thing downhill.  Lay some flex conduit and stuff a pair of romex 
>>> inside.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Sep 3, 2015, at 11:54 AM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:
>>> 
 60' uphill.  :(
 
>> 
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> 
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V line
(got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which was for
digging a deep trench).

I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup.  Send
me some links plesae.

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 1:57 PM, Rich Thomas via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> I have been thinking about something similar for a shed I want to build.
> Harbor Freight has some fairly cheap solar panels of not particularly high
> wattage, that would be cheap enough to do a test set up.  Buy one, hook it
> to a battery/inverter  (I think they might come with a 12V battery charger
> circuit but not sure) and see how much charge you can get out of the thing
> to keep a battery charged with some use.  You might also want to look at
> the heat mats, a lot of those things are not direct 110V but use a
> transformer power supply to get, maybe, 12V or something similar, so you
> could possibly run them directly off a battery.  Or go to the junkyard and
> get some heating elements out of some car seats?  You can probably buy the
> heating wire too, I put it in my bathroom tile floor, it runs off 110V
> through some sort of box that might step it down, I don't know.  There is
> probably 12V heating element stuff out there somewhere, eBay is your friend.
>
> HF also have some LED lights with a little solar panel to charge batteries
> for like $40, not sure the light output but again, cheap enough to test
> out.  Costco have been selling some LED shop lights, 110V, that you could
> probably run off an inverter, not sure what they draw but you could check.
> Or buy some 12V LED lights from China (I bought a load of 110V UG10 spots
> that are incredible and have been working fine for 6 months now, 12V is a
> standard too for those fancy track lights) and hook them up.  If you are
> interested I can send some links to the sockets and lights.  They don't use
> much amps for a lot of light.
>
> You could probably get a reasonable set up for a coupla $100.  Or just run
> some conduit and a circuit out to the shed from the house...
>
> --R
>
>
> On 9/3/15 1:11 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:
>
>> I would like to electrify my shed in the back 40 in order to provide 1)
>> simple overhead lighting and 2) a 110V outlet for grow mats under my
>> seedlings next spring.
>>
>> I might also want to recharge batteries for a B trimmer, although this
>> is
>> a lesser priority.
>>
>> There is a sunny spot where I could erect a solar panel, about 15' from
>> the
>> edge of the building.
>>
>> Anybody out there work with practical solar applications?
>>
>> Andrew
>> Gentleman farmer and rabbit torturer
>> ___
>> http://www.okiebenz.com
>>
>> To search list archives http://www.okiebenz.com/archive/
>>
>> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
>> http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com
>>
>>
>>
>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Rich Thomas via Mercedes
Then it is easier to put a shovel through too!  1" PVC conduit is cheap 
and no harder to bury than romex, plus you can run a phone line or 
something else in it too if you want.


--R



On 9/3/15 3:08 PM, Dan Penoff via Mercedes wrote:

Just use direct burial stuff.  Then you don’t have to mess around with conduit.

Dan



On Sep 3, 2015, at 3:03 PM, clay via Mercedes  wrote:

Dig the thing downhill.  Lay some flex conduit and stuff a pair of romex inside.



On Sep 3, 2015, at 11:54 AM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:


60' uphill.  :(



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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread fmiser via Mercedes
> Andrew wrote:
> 
> I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a
> solar setup.

A solar panel will generate direct current (DC).  A power
cell - and therefore a battery - can only store DC.  If you
need alternating current (AC), then a converter is needed.
It is called an "inverter".   Small ones (low power) are
pretty cheap.  Big ones are not.  Ideal is to get an inverter
with a power rating close to your power needs.  If you have
80 Watts of seedling heaters, get a 100-120 W inverter, not a
750 W.

The process of creating AC from DC is not perfect.  Thus to
get 80 W of AC will typically require 90-110 W of DC.  

The capacity of the photo-voltaic panel, capacity of the
battery, and the power rating of the inverter all depend on
the size of the load.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
Thanks - that helps.  I wonder why there is no simple kit that goes from PV
to 110 V without all the interconnecting parapernalia, battery, inverters,
etc.

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM, fmiser via Mercedes 
wrote:

> > Andrew wrote:
> >
> > I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a
> > solar setup.
>
> A solar panel will generate direct current (DC).  A power
> cell - and therefore a battery - can only store DC.  If you
> need alternating current (AC), then a converter is needed.
> It is called an "inverter".   Small ones (low power) are
> pretty cheap.  Big ones are not.  Ideal is to get an inverter
> with a power rating close to your power needs.  If you have
> 80 Watts of seedling heaters, get a 100-120 W inverter, not a
> 750 W.
>
> The process of creating AC from DC is not perfect.  Thus to
> get 80 W of AC will typically require 90-110 W of DC.
>
> The capacity of the photo-voltaic panel, capacity of the
> battery, and the power rating of the inverter all depend on
> the size of the load.
>
> ___
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>
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>
> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
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>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Curt Raymond via Mercedes
HF's panels are a scam, 45 watts for $180, Amazon has 100w for around $140 with 
the charge controller.
-Curt
  From: Rich Thomas via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
 To: mercedes@okiebenz.com 
Cc: Rich Thomas <richthomas79td...@constructivity.net> 
 Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2015 1:57 PM
 Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
   
I have been thinking about something similar for a shed I want to 
build.  Harbor Freight has some fairly cheap solar panels of not 
particularly high wattage, that would be cheap enough to do a test set 
up.  Buy one, hook it to a battery/inverter  (I think they might come 
with a 12V battery charger circuit but not sure) and see how much charge 
you can get out of the thing to keep a battery charged with some use.  
You might also want to look at the heat mats, a lot of those things are 
not direct 110V but use a transformer power supply to get, maybe, 12V or 
something similar, so you could possibly run them directly off a 
battery.  Or go to the junkyard and get some heating elements out of 
some car seats?  You can probably buy the heating wire too, I put it in 
my bathroom tile floor, it runs off 110V through some sort of box that 
might step it down, I don't know.  There is probably 12V heating element 
stuff out there somewhere, eBay is your friend.

HF also have some LED lights with a little solar panel to charge 
batteries for like $40, not sure the light output but again, cheap 
enough to test out.  Costco have been selling some LED shop lights, 
110V, that you could probably run off an inverter, not sure what they 
draw but you could check.  Or buy some 12V LED lights from China (I 
bought a load of 110V UG10 spots that are incredible and have been 
working fine for 6 months now, 12V is a standard too for those fancy 
track lights) and hook them up.  If you are interested I can send some 
links to the sockets and lights.  They don't use much amps for a lot of 
light.

You could probably get a reasonable set up for a coupla $100.  Or just 
run some conduit and a circuit out to the shed from the house...

--R

On 9/3/15 1:11 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:
> I would like to electrify my shed in the back 40 in order to provide 1)
> simple overhead lighting and 2) a 110V outlet for grow mats under my
> seedlings next spring.
>
> I might also want to recharge batteries for a B trimmer, although this is
> a lesser priority.
>
> There is a sunny spot where I could erect a solar panel, about 15' from the
> edge of the building.
>
> Anybody out there work with practical solar applications?
>
> Andrew
> Gentleman farmer and rabbit torturer
> ___
> http://www.okiebenz.com
>
> To search list archives http://www.okiebenz.com/archive/
>
> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com


>
>


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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Curly McLain via Mercedes

60' uphill.  :(


Easy!  all you need is a trenching spade, an afternoon, and a 100' 
roll of  #12 UF wire.  (12-2 with ground)


(oh, and a spare breaker  space in the panel)

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Curt Raymond via Mercedes
So what you really need is a 100' extension cord for those times when you 
actually need power...
-Curt

  From: Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
 To: Mercedes Discussion List <mercedes@okiebenz.com> 
Cc: Andrew Strasfogel <astrasfo...@gmail.com> 
 Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2015 2:54 PM
 Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
   
60' uphill.  :(

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 2:45 PM, Dan Penoff via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> What happened to renting a DitchWitch and buying a spool of direct burial
> cable?  How many feet is the run between the house and shed?
>
>
>
> > On Sep 3, 2015, at 2:40 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes <
> mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
> >
> > Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V line
> > (got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which was for
> > digging a deep trench).
> >
> > I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup.
> Send
> > me some links plesae.
> >
>
>
> ___
> http://www.okiebenz.com
>
> To search list archives http://www.okiebenz.com/archive/
>
> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
> http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com


>
>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Randy Bennell via Mercedes
Go and buy a 100 foot power cord. Minimum 12/3. I saw one in a flyer 
this morning for $50 here and you can likely get it there for less.
That should be sufficient for your heating mats unless you are using a 
lot of them.
Don't expect any code issues if you just plug it in at the house and at 
the shed.


Get the LED lamp with the little solar panel to light the shed.

RB

On 03/09/2015 1:54 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:

60' uphill.  :(

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 2:45 PM, Dan Penoff via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:


What happened to renting a DitchWitch and buying a spool of direct burial
cable?  How many feet is the run between the house and shed?




On Sep 3, 2015, at 2:40 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes <

mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V line
(got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which was for
digging a deep trench).

I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup.

Send

me some links plesae.



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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread fmiser via Mercedes
> Rich wrote:
> 
> 1" PVC conduit is cheap and no harder to bury than romex,
> plus you can run a phone line or something else in it too
> if you want.

PLEASE not in the same conduit!

NEC (National Electric Code) won't allow it - because it's
not very safe.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Dan Penoff via Mercedes
There probably is if you look around.  It won’t be cheap, however.

Doing it yourself is really pretty easy.  As previously described, you only 
need three things:

PV panel

12V battery

Inverter (DC to AC)

Work backwards by calculating your load.  If you’ve got 100W of 110VAC load, 
you’ll need an inverter that can produce slightly more than that (120-150 
watts).  If you don’t want to discharge your battery a lot, make sure your PV 
output matches or exceeds the input to the inverter (all of this in wattage.)

It’s a good idea if you’re using a conventional battery to go with a deep cycle 
one, like the kind used for trolling motors.  They’re easy to locate any place 
that sells automotive batteries.

Some of your loads might be 12VDC, which can be fed directly off the battery/PV 
setup without even considering the inverter.  Their load will decrease the 
amount of power going to the inverter, but again, if the load on the inverter 
isn’t that high, it won’t matter.

Dan



> On Sep 3, 2015, at 3:46 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes 
>  wrote:
> 
> Thanks - that helps.  I wonder why there is no simple kit that goes from PV
> to 110 V without all the interconnecting parapernalia, battery, inverters,
> etc.
> 


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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Fred Moir via Mercedes
Inrush current.

Fred Moir.Lynn MA.Diesel preferred.

> Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2015 15:46:18 -0400
> To: mercedes@okiebenz.com
> Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
> From: mercedes@okiebenz.com
> CC: astrasfo...@gmail.com; fmi...@gmail.com
> 
> Thanks - that helps.  I wonder why there is no simple kit that goes from PV
> to 110 V without all the interconnecting parapernalia, battery, inverters,
> etc.
> 
  
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Randy Bennell via Mercedes

How long is it going to be in use?
I assumed that your seedling warming is only for a short time.
Why would she object to the use of a cord for such a short term purpose?

RB

On 03/09/2015 2:47 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:

Extension cord from the house to the shed would be vetoed immediately by
SWMBO.

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM, Andrew Strasfogel 
wrote:


Thanks - that helps.  I wonder why there is no simple kit that goes from
PV to 110 V without all the interconnecting parapernalia, battery,
inverters, etc.

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM, fmiser via Mercedes 

Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread fmiser via Mercedes
> WILTON wrote:
> 
> Buried mine for about 120' to outbuilding (a little more
> than a shed - a shed doesn't usually have a slate roof) 27
> years ago all by myself using a flat shovel to make a slit
> about 10" deep.

10 inches [25 cm] is not really deep enough to be safe.  A
child and a shovel, or one swing with a pick can hit that.

I'm remembering 24 in is what NEC specs for protected cable.  I
don't remember what NEC says about direct burial cable.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread fmiser via Mercedes
> > Andrew wrote:
> > 
> > 60' uphill.  :(

> Curly wrote:
> 
> Easy!  all you need is a trenching spade, an afternoon, and
> a 100' roll of  #12 UF wire.  (12-2 with ground)

60ft?  One afternoon?  That sounds like Iowa. *smiles*
Around here, there is so much rock and clay that it took me
and a friend about 3 days to dig an 80 ft [25 m] trench about
18 inches [0.5 m] deep.

Maybe in DC the ground is more like IA...

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread WILTON via Mercedes
Buried mine for about 120' to outbuilding (a little more than a shed - a 
shed doesn't usually have a slate roof) 27 years ago all by myself using a 
flat shovel to make a slit about 10" deep.  After cable was pressed into 
bottom of slit, I closed the slit by packing it with my feet.  'Course, the 
soil here is loamy and rock-free; the route also tree root-free.


Wilton

- Original Message - 
From: "Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>

To: "Mercedes Discussion List" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
Cc: "Andrew Strasfogel" <astrasfo...@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 2:54 PM
Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application



60' uphill.  :(

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 2:45 PM, Dan Penoff via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:


What happened to renting a DitchWitch and buying a spool of direct burial
cable?  How many feet is the run between the house and shed?



> On Sep 3, 2015, at 2:40 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
>
> Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V line
> (got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which was 
> for

> digging a deep trench).
>
> I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup.
Send
> me some links plesae.
>


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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread WILTON via Mercedes

If ya can't stand the answer, don't ask the question.

Wilton

- Original Message - 
From: "Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>

To: "Mercedes Discussion List" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
Cc: "Andrew Strasfogel" <astrasfo...@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 3:47 PM
Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application



Extension cord from the house to the shed would be vetoed immediately by
SWMBO.

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM, Andrew Strasfogel <astrasfo...@gmail.com>
wrote:


Thanks - that helps.  I wonder why there is no simple kit that goes from
PV to 110 V without all the interconnecting parapernalia, battery,
inverters, etc.

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM, fmiser via Mercedes 
<mercedes@okiebenz.com

> wrote:


> Andrew wrote:
>
> I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a
> solar setup.

A solar panel will generate direct current (DC).  A power
cell - and therefore a battery - can only store DC.  If you
need alternating current (AC), then a converter is needed.
It is called an "inverter".   Small ones (low power) are
pretty cheap.  Big ones are not.  Ideal is to get an inverter
with a power rating close to your power needs.  If you have
80 Watts of seedling heaters, get a 100-120 W inverter, not a
750 W.

The process of creating AC from DC is not perfect.  Thus to
get 80 W of AC will typically require 90-110 W of DC.

The capacity of the photo-voltaic panel, capacity of the
battery, and the power rating of the inverter all depend on
the size of the load.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Curly McLain via Mercedes
Agreed.  +1  but, I'd suggest a trenching spade in place of a shovel. 
Makes quicker work of it.  Also,  I've been told that you cant run 
type NM ("romex") in a conduit as it is against code.  Makes no sense 
to me, but you have to use the "pulling type"  (I forget the type) 
single wires in conduit.  Apparently the extra sheathing/insulation 
is a no-no.   Simpler to bury type UF 12-2 WG.


Andrew, google the word "shovel"  I have relocated my water line, 
dug up my buried power line, relocated my buried phone line (OK my 
wife did that because she wanted to do something useful outside) 
using a shovel.  It is ancient technology.  you only have to go down 
a little ways and bury some 1" PVC conduit which is very cheap.  Get 
some 12-2  Romex and pull it through (do it while you are burying 
the sections of conduit, it is easier then, lay down your wire then 
slide the conduit over it, be careful not to get glue inside the 
conduit) leaving enough at each end to reach whatever you are 
connecting each end to.  Then if you must call the electrician, have 
him put an outlet or 4 in your shed, maybe a switched outlet for 
your lights, and connect the other end to your panel with a GFCI 
breaker, or to another outlet somewhere and put in a new GFCI outlet 
to protect it.  I would just do it and be done with it, forget the 
electrician.  An afternoon of work, a coupla hundred dollars of 
stuff, and you have good solid power for whatever you need.


But that's just me.

As far as plugging 110V stuff into your solar set-up, assuming you 
are using a panel to charge a deep cycle 12V battery, you buy a 12V 
-> 11oV inverter from HF, wire that to your battery terminals 
(either cut off the ciggy llghter plug and put it to the battery 
directly, or buy a ciggy lighter plug with bare ends to connect to 
the battery).  The inverter will have a regular plug on it to plug 
your stuff into, but you need to be mindful of the wattage of the 
inverter and the load of your heaters and lights or whatever.


BTW camping/RV stores will sell all kinds of 12V stuff you can use 
right off the battery.  I favor the blender for making 'ritas in the 
truck, though mama's new ML has a 110V plug in it too.


--R


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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread G Mann via Mercedes
Electrical code book does NOT permit running Romex wire inside conduit.
Thus, you should not.

I suggest you rent a walk behind engine driven trencher. With reasonable
soil, you can trench 100 ft in 1 hr of run time to a depth of 18 inches.
Then lay "Direct burial Romex wire" into the trench. Lowes and Home Depot
will guide you to the right wire [usually].

A rake drags the loose soil back into the trench and you are covered.. The
tool makes a nice 4" trench, just wide enough to run  a water line, or
wire, I've used one many times and always well worth the rental fee.

Caution: As always, call your local blue stake safety people to ensure you
are not trenching through a gas line or electrical cable... Safety first..

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 2:23 PM, Curly McLain via Mercedes <
mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:

> 60' uphill.  :(
>>
>
> Easy!  all you need is a trenching spade, an afternoon, and a 100' roll
> of  #12 UF wire.  (12-2 with ground)
>
> (oh, and a spare breaker  space in the panel)
>
>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Curly McLain via Mercedes
for solar:  Much simpler to use a PV panel to generate, one or more 
12V batteries to store, and 12vDC lighting and heater units.   No 
inverter needed unless you want to run a corded drill.


a century ago, the Delco light plant worked in a similar manner.  A 
generator, generating DC, batteries, perhaps a wincharger for "free" 
electricity,   Low voltage DC incandescent bulbs for light.  Perhaps 
a DC motor on the Maytag washing machine.  It worked in homes and 
farms for decades before "lectricty" came on poles.


As practicality, bury a 12-2 WG type UF wire with a trenching spade 
and quit whining.




 > Andrew wrote:


 I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a
 solar setup.


A solar panel will generate direct current (DC).  A power
cell - and therefore a battery - can only store DC.  If you
need alternating current (AC), then a converter is needed.
It is called an "inverter".   Small ones (low power) are
pretty cheap.  Big ones are not.  Ideal is to get an inverter
with a power rating close to your power needs.  If you have
80 Watts of seedling heaters, get a 100-120 W inverter, not a
750 W.

The process of creating AC from DC is not perfect.  Thus to
get 80 W of AC will typically require 90-110 W of DC. 


The capacity of the photo-voltaic panel, capacity of the
battery, and the power rating of the inverter all depend on
the size of the load.


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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread fmiser via Mercedes
> > > Rich wrote:
> > >
> > > 1" PVC conduit is cheap and no harder to bury than romex,
> > > plus you can run a phone line or something else in it
> > > too if you want.

> > PLEASE not in the same conduit!
> >
> > NEC (National Electric Code) won't allow it - because it's
> > not very safe.

> Randy wrote:
> 
> But ok in the same trench?

Yes.  Same trench is fine.  I would try to keep at least an
couple inches space to minimize the power garbage intruding
on the data cables.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread WILTON via Mercedes


- Original Message - 
From: "Rich Thomas via Mercedes" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>

To: <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
Cc: "Rich Thomas" <richthomas79td...@constructivity.net>
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 5:25 PM
Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application


Andrew, google the word "shovel"  I have relocated my water line, dug up 
my buried power line, relocated my buried phone line (OK my wife did that 
because she wanted to do something useful outside) using a shovel.  It is 
ancient technology.  you only have to go down a little ways and bury some 
1" PVC conduit which is very cheap.  Get some 12-2  Romex and pull it 
through (do it while you are burying the sections of conduit, it is easier 
then, lay down your wire then slide the conduit over it, be careful not to 
get glue inside the conduit) leaving enough at each end to reach whatever 
you are connecting each end to.  Then if you must call the electrician, 
have him put an outlet or 4 in your shed, maybe a switched outlet for your 
lights, and connect the other end to your panel with a GFCI breaker, or to 
another outlet somewhere and put in a new GFCI outlet to protect it.  I 
would just do it and be done with it, forget the electrician.  An 
afternoon of work, a coupla hundred dollars of stuff, and you have good 
solid power for whatever you need.


But that's just me.

As far as plugging 110V stuff into your solar set-up, assuming you are 
using a panel to charge a deep cycle 12V battery, you buy a 12V -> 11oV 
inverter from HF, wire that to your battery terminals (either cut off the 
ciggy llghter plug and put it to the battery directly, or buy a ciggy 
lighter plug with bare ends to connect to the battery).  The inverter will 
have a regular plug on it to plug your stuff into, but you need to be 
mindful of the wattage of the inverter and the load of your heaters and 
lights or whatever.


BTW camping/RV stores will sell all kinds of 12V stuff you can use right 
off the battery.  I favor the blender for making 'ritas in the truck, 
though mama's new ML has a 110V plug in it too.


--R



On 9/3/15 2:40 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:

Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V line
(got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which was for
digging a deep trench).

I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup. 
Send

me some links plesae.



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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
We don't have glacial till (tilth is a term referring to the tillable
quality of the soil) around here but rocks and roots are plentiful.

On Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 11:07 PM, WILTON via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
wrote:

> Yep.
>
> Wilton
>
> - Original Message - From: "fmiser via Mercedes" <
> mercedes@okiebenz.com>
> To: <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
> Cc: "fmiser" <fmi...@gmail.com>
> Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 9:02 PM
> Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
>
>
> WILTON wrote:
>>>
>>> Buried mine for about 120' to outbuilding (a little more
>>> than a shed - a shed doesn't usually have a slate roof) 27
>>> years ago all by myself using a flat shovel to make a slit
>>> about 10" deep.
>>>
>>
>> 10 inches [25 cm] is not really deep enough to be safe.  A
>> child and a shovel, or one swing with a pick can hit that.
>>
>> I'm remembering 24 in is what NEC specs for protected cable.  I
>> don't remember what NEC says about direct burial cable.
>>
>> ___
>> http://www.okiebenz.com
>>
>> To search list archives http://www.okiebenz.com/archive/
>>
>> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
>> http://mail.okiebenz.com/mailman/listinfo/mercedes_okiebenz.com
>>
>>
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>
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Scott Ritchey via Mercedes
Or you can weld a conduit elbow to a subsoiler and bury (24 inches) the
cable using a tractor.  I ran mine about 200 ft.  This was before I had a
tractor so I hired a local guy with a ditcher to dig (and backfill) the
ditch for $1 a foot.  For wire I  used 10-2 UF (with ground) from Lowes,
plastic conduit where it enters and leaves the ground, and direct bury
between.  There is a 20 amp GFCI breaker feeding the circuit and a GFCI
outlet at the other end.  The whole thing probably cost $300 but folks in
rural NC aren't anal about licensed electricians for small jobs.  

I would be interested to learn how Andrew's environmentally-friendly
approach works out.

> -Original Message-
> From: Mercedes [mailto:mercedes-boun...@okiebenz.com] On Behalf Of Dan
> Penoff via Mercedes
> Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 2:46 PM
> To: Okie Benz <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
> Cc: Dan Penoff <d...@penoff.com>
> Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
> 
> What happened to renting a DitchWitch and buying a spool of direct burial
> cable?  How many feet is the run between the house and shed?
> 
> 
> 
> > On Sep 3, 2015, at 2:40 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
> <mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
> >
> > Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V
> > line (got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which
> > was for digging a deep trench).
> >
> > I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup.
> > Send me some links plesae.
> >
> 
> 
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> 
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> 
> To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Curt Raymond via Mercedes
Dad just installed a 100w solar system at camp. Bought a kit from Amazon plus a 
couple electric wheelchair batteries. I think the single panel is too small but 
he didn't want to spend too much money.
How much power do the grow mats pull? Can't be too much, I still think a 100w 
panel would be undersized, especially in the spring, 200w will probably be too 
much in summer but thats an okay problem to have. Building the system is easy, 
you'll need an inverter for the 110v but a 400w version will be cheap. Use an 
only MB starting battery for cheap storage or buy something better for big 
money. 
I suspect as dad ages we'll want more storage capacity and I'll pony up for 
iron nickel batteries which will last most of the rest of my life but will cost 
more than the rest of the system put together...
-Curt
  From: Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes 
 To: Mercedes Discussion List  
Cc: Andrew Strasfogel  
 Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2015 1:11 PM
 Subject: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
   
I would like to electrify my shed in the back 40 in order to provide 1)
simple overhead lighting and 2) a 110V outlet for grow mats under my
seedlings next spring.

I might also want to recharge batteries for a B trimmer, although this is
a lesser priority.

There is a sunny spot where I could erect a solar panel, about 15' from the
edge of the building.

Anybody out there work with practical solar applications?

Andrew
Gentleman farmer and rabbit torturer
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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Rich Thomas via Mercedes
Andrew, google the word "shovel"  I have relocated my water line, dug up 
my buried power line, relocated my buried phone line (OK my wife did 
that because she wanted to do something useful outside) using a shovel.  
It is ancient technology.  you only have to go down a little ways and 
bury some 1" PVC conduit which is very cheap.  Get some 12-2  Romex and 
pull it through (do it while you are burying the sections of conduit, it 
is easier then, lay down your wire then slide the conduit over it, be 
careful not to get glue inside the conduit) leaving enough at each end 
to reach whatever you are connecting each end to.  Then if you must call 
the electrician, have him put an outlet or 4 in your shed, maybe a 
switched outlet for your lights, and connect the other end to your panel 
with a GFCI breaker, or to another outlet somewhere and put in a new 
GFCI outlet to protect it.  I would just do it and be done with it, 
forget the electrician.  An afternoon of work, a coupla hundred dollars 
of stuff, and you have good solid power for whatever you need.


But that's just me.

As far as plugging 110V stuff into your solar set-up, assuming you are 
using a panel to charge a deep cycle 12V battery, you buy a 12V -> 11oV 
inverter from HF, wire that to your battery terminals (either cut off 
the ciggy llghter plug and put it to the battery directly, or buy a 
ciggy lighter plug with bare ends to connect to the battery).  The 
inverter will have a regular plug on it to plug your stuff into, but you 
need to be mindful of the wattage of the inverter and the load of your 
heaters and lights or whatever.


BTW camping/RV stores will sell all kinds of 12V stuff you can use right 
off the battery.  I favor the blender for making 'ritas in the truck, 
though mama's new ML has a 110V plug in it too.


--R



On 9/3/15 2:40 PM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:

Thanks, Rich.  The house and shed are too far apart to run a 110 V line
(got a quote for $2000 from a licensed electrician, half of which was for
digging a deep trench).

I am still puzzled at how to plug in my heat mats into a solar setup.  Send
me some links plesae.



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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Curly McLain via Mercedes

120 V in a residential application is 12"

http://www.irrigation.org/uploadedFiles/Certification/National%20Electric%20Code.pdf
Scroll down to the first table.

18" for commercial in plastic conduit.  24" commercial without conduit.

6" residential for low voltage





 > WILTON wrote:


 Buried mine for about 120' to outbuilding (a little more
 than a shed - a shed doesn't usually have a slate roof) 27
 years ago all by myself using a flat shovel to make a slit
 about 10" deep.


10 inches [25 cm] is not really deep enough to be safe.  A
child and a shovel, or one swing with a pick can hit that.

I'm remembering 24 in is what NEC specs for protected cable.  I
don't remember what NEC says about direct burial cable.


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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Craig via Mercedes
On Thu, 3 Sep 2015 22:45:42 -0400 Rich Thomas via Mercedes
 wrote:

> The single wire stuff is tmmw or something like that, it has a higher
> temp rated insulation. 

THHN


Craig

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread WILTON via Mercedes

Yep.

Wilton

- Original Message - 
From: "fmiser via Mercedes" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>

To: <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
Cc: "fmiser" <fmi...@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 9:02 PM
Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application



WILTON wrote:

Buried mine for about 120' to outbuilding (a little more
than a shed - a shed doesn't usually have a slate roof) 27
years ago all by myself using a flat shovel to make a slit
about 10" deep.


10 inches [25 cm] is not really deep enough to be safe.  A
child and a shovel, or one swing with a pick can hit that.

I'm remembering 24 in is what NEC specs for protected cable.  I
don't remember what NEC says about direct burial cable.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Curt Raymond via Mercedes
You could do it here, we've got mostly sandy loam. The camp in Maine however 
its a fight going anywhere, glacial tilth full of rocks.
-Curt

  From: fmiser via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
 To: mercedes@okiebenz.com 
Cc: fmiser <fmi...@gmail.com> 
 Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2015 7:28 PM
 Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
   
> > Andrew wrote:
> > 
> > 60' uphill.  :(

> Curly wrote:
> 
> Easy!  all you need is a trenching spade, an afternoon, and
> a 100' roll of  #12 UF wire.  (12-2 with ground)

60ft?  One afternoon?  That sounds like Iowa. *smiles*
Around here, there is so much rock and clay that it took me
and a friend about 3 days to dig an 80 ft [25 m] trench about
18 inches [0.5 m] deep.

Maybe in DC the ground is more like IA...



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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Curt Raymond via Mercedes
Which reminds me the line to the light in my front yard is barely scratched 
into the ground. I found it while edging a flower bed. Fortunately I didn't cut 
it... Need to locate it again and sink it deeper...
-Curt

  From: Curly McLain via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
 To: Mercedes Discussion List <mercedes@okiebenz.com> 
Cc: Curly McLain <126die...@gmail.com> 
 Sent: Thursday, September 3, 2015 9:12 PM
 Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application
   
120 V in a residential application is 12"

http://www.irrigation.org/uploadedFiles/Certification/National%20Electric%20Code.pdf
Scroll down to the first table.

18" for commercial in plastic conduit.  24" commercial without conduit.

6" residential for low voltage






>  > WILTON wrote:
>>
>>  Buried mine for about 120' to outbuilding (a little more
>>  than a shed - a shed doesn't usually have a slate roof) 27
>>  years ago all by myself using a flat shovel to make a slit
>>  about 10" deep.
>
>10 inches [25 cm] is not really deep enough to be safe.  A
>child and a shovel, or one swing with a pick can hit that.
>
>I'm remembering 24 in is what NEC specs for protected cable.  I
>don't remember what NEC says about direct burial cable.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Rich Thomas via Mercedes
My bad. I'm guessing that is because of heating issues which would be minimal 
outside, but I get it. I might even have known that at some point. The single 
wire stuff is tmmw or something like that, it has a higher temp rated 
insulation. 

--R (sent from my miniPad)

> On Sep 3, 2015, at 6:25 PM, G Mann via Mercedes  wrote:
> 
> Electrical code book does NOT permit running Romex wire inside conduit.
> Thus, you should not.

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Craig via Mercedes
On Thu, 3 Sep 2015 20:12:34 -0500 Curly McLain via Mercedes
 wrote:

> 120 V in a residential application is 12"
> 
> http://www.irrigation.org/uploadedFiles/Certification/National%20Electric%20Code.pdf
> Scroll down to the first table.

Yes, that is correct! But you do need GFCI (in a 20 A or less breaker, I
presume, rather than a 20 A breaker at the source end and a GFCI
receptacle at the load end).

I still, however, would not feel safe putting a 120 VAC line 12" down.


Craig

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Re: [MBZ] OT: Practical solar application

2015-09-03 Thread Craig via Mercedes
On Thu, 3 Sep 2015 15:46:18 -0400 Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes
 wrote:

> Thanks - that helps.  I wonder why there is no simple kit that goes
> from PV to 110 V without all the interconnecting parapernalia, battery,
> inverters, etc.

Because it cannot be done without all the interconnecting paraphernalia
(correct spelling).

PV cells put out low voltage direct (not changing polarity) current. You
can string them in series to get a higher voltage direct current output,
but it is still direct current.

Household power is a moderate voltage alternating (changing polarity)
current. You have to have an electronic device (an inverter) to change
the direct current output of PV cells to alternating current.

If you want the power available when the sun is not shining, you need to
store the energy somehow. The easiest is in a chemical reaction in a
rechargeble battery.


Craig

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