Solar and Wind advances

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can't sit still
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Solar and Wind advances

Post by can't sit still » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:06 pm

Well, if we can have a bakery thread and 2 bar threads,we can have a solar/wind thread. The free energy thread had thousands of views. I'll try to put good content in this thread.
Just as I was looking at bringing something useful to burners on the FE thread, I'll try to lay out solar or wind applications that would be CHEAP and applicable to the playa.
I'm going to concentrate on solar. I don't want to tempt the wind gods to put on a show of might at BM 2007. Those twisters last year were very unfunny.
I'm hoping for lots of participation. BM already has an alternative energy camp. Maybe someone from there can add to the thread.
Between Mike VDS, Toolmaker, Unjohn Harley and myself, we should be able to come up with quite a few things that infringe nicely on many patents.
Dan
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BAS
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Post by BAS » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:12 pm

I look forward to reading this thread!

Although you said this thread would primarily be about solar energy (if I read it correctly), I am interested in trying to build the wind generator which was in an issue of Make earlier in the year. Anyone try building one? Any feedback on it?

Thanks!

B.
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Do things that have never been done."
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Post by can't sit still » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:19 pm

The main problem with wind/solar is trying to get the cost down to compete with fossil fuels.
The main wind generator company is Vesta http://www.vestas.com/uk/Products/produ ... iew_UK.asp
They build horizontal axis machines up to 4.5 megawatt.
This is believed to be close to the maximum size that has a possibility of being competitive financially.
As horizontal axis machines are scaled up, the propellors become very expensive and heavy. Someone is building a 7 Mw plant but the tower and blades are so expensive that it doesn't look too good costwise.
The noise and the bird kills are another negative.

The shift is going towards vertical axis machines for big instalations.
They also lend themselves quite well for DIY. The simplest ones use cut-up 55 gal. drums and a car alternator.
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Post by can't sit still » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:55 pm

Bas, Jackrabbit speaks said that BM was going to utilise a couple of wind generator designs for next year. One was African Wind Power. It's a prop system. The other was a horizontal system similar to this. http://www.mag-wind.com/mw1100.php

This looks eminently practical to home fabrication.
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Post by MikeVDS » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:14 am

I liked this guys drag based turbine design. It's not very effecient but it supposidly does better than conventional designs in strong winds and helps with the bird problem you mentioned already. It also looks like something you can build without jneeding to be an extremely skilled woodsmith. If I were to use this type of design it'd probably be sheet metal anyway.

http://opensourceenergy.org/txtlstvw.as ... 44417a564b

Another site I realized I had linked is one on geothermal. It won't help you generate energy unless you want to contact some engineers from the plant, but I thought it was interesting. Some of you might too.

http://www.calenergy.com/html/aboutus4.asp

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Post by MikeVDS » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:16 am

I think I'm going to have to go horizontal unless I want to break down and buy a prop.

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Post by can't sit still » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:58 am

Mike, look at the bottom of this page. http://www.windstuffnow.com/main/vawt.htm
If you can't copy this setup, you better go solar. There are more advanced blade designs for this type, but it's not mandatory.
COST is at the botom of everything. I've seen so many products that are priced unrealisticly.
Here's an interesting site. It's ACRO not ARCO
http://www.acrosolarlasers.com/about.html
Their controller is $551. I found another for $35 They're too high priced for me.
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Post by unjonharley » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:22 am

Not a thread drift but more of a curve. "Comvection" I will install a convection stack in my little travel trailer. This will remove the heat pack nearest the ceiling.


A simple device.. A stack/tube runing from just inside the ceiling through the roof and up about two feet.. The tude is black to absorb the suns heat.. Surround the tube with a clear plastic.. So the suns heat will become traped between the clear tube and black.. The hotter it gets the more heat the black tube will absorb through it's walls.. Again this tube is open from the inside of the compartment to the outside air.. As the heated air in the black tube rieuses this air will be replace with the warm air near the ceiling of the travel trailer.. A passive solor fan.

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Post by MikeVDS » Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:00 am

Thankd for the turbing design link. Looks like some pretty simple designs there too. As for a controller, that's the beauty of building my own swamp cooler. It will be purly mechanical and powered by the wind. Wind turns a shaft that drives a fan and pump if needed. Simplicity can be beautiful. Just like that passive fan. It's a great idea. Have any intention on measuring the flow speed? I know, I'm a nerd. :)

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Post by unjonharley » Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:01 am

MikeVDS wrote:Thankd for the turbing design link. Looks like some pretty simple designs there too. As for a controller, that's the beauty of building my own swamp cooler. It will be purly mechanical and powered by the wind. Wind turns a shaft that drives a fan and pump if needed. Simplicity can be beautiful. Just like that passive fan. It's a great idea. Have any intention on measuring the flow speed? I know, I'm a nerd. :)


/
Not going to measure the flow. Just enjoying what the sun has to offer.


Swamp cooler, Suggest using burlap instead of excelsior or other compressed mass. Burlap could be changed each day. The used burlap can be dryed, shook out and reused.


Fan/pump drive. On the kenetic art this year I will need a fan. I have a 12volt car fan that is burned out. Was thinking: remove the armature, feild and use the the motor frame for bearings. Then extending the shaft to the outside/wind. Next, one of those revolving vent duct caps to drive it. My plan is for the fan only. Some thing you may play with.

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Post by can't sit still » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:00 pm

Harley, here's your inexpensive blades; http://www.hydrogenappliances.com/bladekits.html
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Post by can't sit still » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:11 pm

Apparently the Chinese make a refridgeration type A.C. unit http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/06 ... ered_a.php

Here's the evap solar cooler http://www.partsonsale.com/solacool.html
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Post by MikeVDS » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:38 pm

Those looks like normal equipment but just replaces typical AC motors for DC and use solar voltaic cells. Solar cells = $$$ :-p If I get solar cells I'm going to run electronics, not convert it into mechanical energy. They are pretty neat though. I'm glad to see people are actually marketing these things. That turbine site looks nice though.

Has anyone used any turbines in high winds? I saw a couple people struggling with one this year during the wind storm. I asked if they needed help and they didn't, then I asked a few questions about their system and they were nice and answered but I felt I was just getting in their way.

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Post by can't sit still » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:47 pm

The cheapest and most practical idea is to convert a sat dish to solar. There are many people doing it. It wouldn't be hard to haul a solar dish to BRC.

There are some good links on these pages.

http://www.harbornet.com/sunflower/

http://pyronet.50megs.com/RePower/solar%20tracker.htm

I'll put up more info as I organise it.
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Post by MikeVDS » Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:25 pm

The trackers look interesting. The first one only generates heat for a fluid (water in this case), which I don't think is too hand on the playa.

I ran into a design problem tonight. I want to pump water up 8 feet for 20 minutes at a time for at most 1 hour a day. What's the best way to do it? I'm thinking I can use a little boat sump pump, run it off of a car battery and have a solar trickle charger recharge the battery.

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Post by can't sit still » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:41 am

This setup is popular in India, It could be used in BRC. It would also lend itself to disaster response, cooking, sterilising, etc http://www.geocities.com/davidmdelaney/ ... recis.html
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Post by MikeVDS » Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:24 pm

I love the idea of that for cooking. I hope someone builds something like that this year. Here is a parabolic solar hot dog cooker. I actually built one of these and might still have it lurking in my parents garage.

http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/projects/solardogs.html

Not as cool as the dish, but a much smaller project.

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Post by diane o'thirst » Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:15 pm

H'mm...wonder if that project can be increased in size to cook a roast or a bird?
[url=http://tinyurl.com/245sagf][img]http://tinyurl.com/2bbr28j/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/23753ws][img]http://tinyurl.com/2auqebj/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/m4y82q][img]http://tinyurl.com/l56rdn/.gif[/img][/url]

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Post by can't sit still » Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:35 pm

Diane, It should be VERY easy to scale up the wienie roatser. There was a thread about roasting an OX. You bring the ox and I'll bring the reflector.
One of the big problems with power generation is,,,power storage. There might be something on the horizon.
http://www.thelightisgreen.com/2006/09/ ... ttery.html
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Post by can't sit still » Mon Oct 16, 2006 7:36 pm

I posted 2 sites for converting TV dish antennas to solar concentrators.
Here's 2 sites where you can find mylar film to cover your dish.

I had considered using glass mirrors for about 10 minutes. Too heavy and too expensive. I did find one writeup about a guy who built his own 12 ft. dish and glued on 10,200 little square mirrors. It weighs a ton.

The PDF site has an exhaustive comparison of materials. The other site sells materials.
http://www.nielsensenterprises.com/snomo/mylar.htm

http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/Solar/PROJECTS/ ... report.pdf
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Post by diane o'thirst » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:10 pm

can't sit still wrote:Diane, It should be VERY easy to scale up the wienie roatser. There was a thread about roasting an OX. You bring the ox and I'll bring the reflector.
Can't get an ox, would you settle for a turkucken? Image
[url=http://tinyurl.com/245sagf][img]http://tinyurl.com/2bbr28j/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/23753ws][img]http://tinyurl.com/2auqebj/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/m4y82q][img]http://tinyurl.com/l56rdn/.gif[/img][/url]

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Post by spectabillis » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:52 pm

for a few years the Alternative Energy Zone has been doing excellent work with the community. not only do they have a crew of people who are more than happy to involve others in what they do, but they are also receptive to requests for help.

what makes them such a great resource is its all oriented around the event, if you want to apply this to burningman i dont think there is a better place to start. they have good reference designs and listings of resources from beginning into advanced. they dont have a board set up, but the do have an email list and i think a group setup on tribe.

http://www.ae-zone.org/

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Post by spectabillis » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:03 pm

li think this was from a recent tribe topic, but dont know the one.

http://www.templetons.com/brad/burn/burn-power.html
- guy has a pretty good overview and helpful tips of alternative power use at burningman, but also very cost minded with links to sources. here is an example...
Basic Kits

12v kit:
Costco 85 amp-hour battery ($44)
Battery box or other box (auto parts store, $10)
12v "cigarette lighter" socket with clamps (~$6.49 at Radio Shack)
Cigarette lighter socket 3-way plug (~$10 at Radio Shack)
12v gear. (Fluorescent lanterns, battery chargers, computer power, blender, etc.)
Elwire driver and elwire
Borrow a charger to charge, or get a charger, even a cheap slow one, and bring it.
Optional: Computer adapter, DC-DC converter to power small devices.

If you know somebody nearby will be running a generator, haul your battery and charger to them when you see them do it.

110v kit
The gear above.
400 watt inverter ($25 at Costco, and many other stores)
Fluorescent lights (Home Depot)
Your 110v gear, and extension cords and 3-way plugs

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Post by MikeVDS » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:09 pm

That reminded me of a simple search for "solar death ray". You'll find interesting things like:

http://www.solardeathray.com/

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Post by can't sit still » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:52 pm

Can't get an ox, would you settle for a turkucken? [img]http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y240/W ... s/chef.gif[/img][/quote]

If you bring one, I'll skin it or pluck it or whatever one does with a turkuken :?:
Here's the cooker http://solarcooking.org/
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Post by diane o'thirst » Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:52 pm

can't sit still wrote:If you bring one, I'll skin it or pluck it or whatever one does with a turkuken :?:
http://www.chefpaul.com/turducken.html

I personally call them "turkuckens" because TURDs are not good to eat Image
[url=http://tinyurl.com/245sagf][img]http://tinyurl.com/2bbr28j/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/23753ws][img]http://tinyurl.com/2auqebj/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/m4y82q][img]http://tinyurl.com/l56rdn/.gif[/img][/url]

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Post by can't sit still » Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:53 pm

This is a system that's pretty much unknown in this country.
http://www.solar-trackers.com/concentrator2.htm
It makes a lot of sense.

Mike, the bilge pump is hard to beat for moving water cheaply.

Spectabilis, I'm familiar with Alternative Energy camp. I'm not trying to chip away at their niche. I just wanted to put up some of the latest advances.
"In two words", "In three words", etc just doesn't hold any interest for me.
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Post by spectabillis » Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:28 am

can't sit still wrote: I'm not trying to chip away at their niche. I just wanted to put up some of the latest advances.
nah, didnt think you were. but latest advances - got it.

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Post by MikeVDS » Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:58 pm

That's a great way to set that up. I talked about doing something similar for a solar boat competition we had, except have mirrored trackers on the shore reflecting more light energy to our panels (sort of cheating but not against any rules). I've never seen any data on how effeciency goes up beyond normal sun exploser. It's close to linear below normal levels for many panels, I'd assume to see a similar trend for a little bit, then to see it plateu, but that's a complete guess.

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Post by MikeVDS » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:07 pm

[quote]
sun exploser.[/quote]

I guess I'm thinking about a decompression get together we're about to go on. :)

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