Tech Question...

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Tech Question...

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:29 pm

I want to take a regular household electrical system and switch it to 12 volt, can I just switch too 12 volt at the mains, being fed from a stack of batteries. Will all of the sockets, if tested, read 12v at the outlets, right? Will the wires designed for 110v handle the change over? What other hurdles will I face in such a change over? What are the disadvantage, and advantages of the change over?


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Post by ygmir » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:02 pm

I'd say, the short answer, is yes, to all.

as long as you understand the difference between A/C and D/C (witholding reference to some esteemed eplayans......hahaha), and how it'll work with things like appliances and such.

Usually, if you're going to run 12V, you wire it all separately, but, your situation should work.
The existing wiring should handle the current just fine.
It takes a pretty darn big load to overheat 14, or 12 ga. wiring (assuming that's what's in your walls).

House color coding is the opposite of auto, also.
So:
in house, black is "hot", white is "common/ground", green is "ground only".
in Auto, black is usually ground.

Use this to make sure your plugs are polarized correctly.
Not sure how GFI's will work in this, though.

and, be careful, that there is no way, to switch back to A/C once all your lights and appliances are 12V........you don't want to accidentally switch between 12V dc and 110V a/c. it'd be pretty, but, might hurt, or be expensive.

I'm sure, someone here, is more versed in this, but, this is my understanding.

I'm no proffesional, but, have done lots of wiring and such.

good luck.
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Post by kman » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:11 pm

Depending on the size of the house, there may be some voltage drop along the longer runs. You may want to consider converting your mains power to 14v or so, to compensate for this. Most 12v appliances are perfectly happy running anywhere from 16v to 12v, sometimes even higher. Your average car battery puts out over 14v when fully charged, after all.

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Post by The CO » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:22 pm

GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interupt), the little built in breakers on single gang plugs, could have have some real issues. Other than that, voltage drop on long runs as mentioned before could be a problem. Distances in a small to medium house, 2500Sq feet, shouldn't be an issue, but it is something to look into.

Plugging 120v AC appliances(general term) by mistake won't mess with your system, but could potentially harm some solid state electronics.

What's motivating the switch?
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No, It's Not Like That At All...

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:01 pm

An Invention I've been kicking around in my head.

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Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:04 pm

The CO wrote: What's motivating the switch?

We're running out of oil...


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Post by Sham » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:21 pm

There are dozens of reasons not to go ahead with this project. Where do I begin?
The electrical outlets are standardized for 110VAC of power. You will have to change all the plugs on your 12 volt appliances to fit the 110V outlets. If one of these 12VDC devices should be plugged in to a regular 110VAC outlet in a different location by mistake, you will make a big boom.
Circuit breakers are all 110 volt and set for different amp values. They will all need to be changed out for 12 volt, or they will be useless.
If a non-modified 110 volt device is plugged into a 12 volt outlest, you will blow out you 12 volt power source.
In short, you are making a nighmare that will never go away unless you change back the system.
You can make a new wiring system for the house, that can handle the 12VDC set-up, and not interfere with what is there now. The plugs and sockets can be the correct ones for this voltage. This will save you a world of headache.

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Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:49 pm

Ta Daa, and there you have the meat and potatoes of my invention, minus the 12 secret spices. It's called the "Go System". it will contain everything you need to change you house over to 12v.


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Post by Sham » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:52 pm

Rabbi Dali Rick wrote:Ta Daa, and there you have the meat and potatoes of my invention, minus the 12 secret spices. It's called the "Go System". it will contain everything you need to change you house over to 12v.
OK Rebster, tell me more......

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Book Him Danno...

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:07 pm

nda..

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Post by Trishntek » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:37 pm

Proprietary information, eh?

Ever since my camp mate had his solar unit at BM2010, I've been looking into the possibilities of something portable, puts out around 250W of solar panel, and has three 100Ah+ deep cycle batteries for home use and camp use. Considering the genset and FOUR 5-gallon jugs of gas, solar looks much more appealing. And it is something I can use at home, unlike most of my other BM stuff.
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Post by ibdave » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:40 pm

have you been talking to the German's?? Kvon?? :shock: :shock: 8)
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Post by can't sit still » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:49 pm

Rabbi, most Rvs,, as you know, have both systems. The circuit breakers are incompatible. The solid wire [120 VAC] has more line-loss than the stranded wire used for the lower voltage. Another thing that you need to keep in mind is mutual induction. If you're using 120 VAC and the wires are too close to the 12 VDC wires, they will power-up a bit. That's why they're separated in a RV.

You might think about going to 24 VDC. It has half the line-loss.That's what I decided on. I found great invertors at Hydrogen Appliances. I also found a great 24 VDC freezer. There are plenty of solar and hydro system s that are 24 VDC. It might be cheaper to incorporate an invertor instead of 2 complete systems. IF it is much cheaper to use an invertor, it will be difficult to market a more-expensive system that doesn't have advantages.
Good luck.
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Post by The CO » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:55 pm

Shambala wrote:..If a non-modified 110 volt device is plugged into a 12 volt outlest, you will blow out you 12 volt power source.
???

How so? Connecting a 120v AC device to lower voltage DC can fry a motor, but how's it going to burn batteries?
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Post by ygmir » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:11 pm

can't sit still wrote:Rabbi, most Rvs,, as you know, have both systems. The circuit breakers are incompatible. The solid wire [120 VAC] has more line-loss than the stranded wire used for the lower voltage. Another thing that you need to keep in mind is mutual induction. If you're using 120 VAC and the wires are too close to the 12 VDC wires, they will power-up a bit. That's why they're separated in a RV.

You might think about going to 24 VDC. It has half the line-loss.That's what I decided on. I found great invertors at Hydrogen Appliances. I also found a great 24 VDC freezer. There are plenty of solar and hydro system s that are 24 VDC. It might be cheaper to incorporate an invertor instead of 2 complete systems. IF it is much cheaper to use an invertor, it will be difficult to market a more-expensive system that doesn't have advantages.
Good luck.
and, most military stuff is 24V......so, lots of things ready made, including generators, rectifiers, etc........lights, radios...........
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Post by Sham » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:33 pm

The CO wrote:
Shambala wrote:..If a non-modified 110 volt device is plugged into a 12 volt outlest, you will blow out you 12 volt power source.
How so? Connecting a 120v AC device to lower voltage DC can fry a motor, but how's it going to burn batteries?
This would be like putting a short across the low voltage line. The 110 volt device would almost be like putting a screw driver across the terminals.

I have a friend who purchased a house that was built many years ago with all the latest futuristic gadgets in it. One of the features of the house, is low voltage lighting and switches. The entire house has these funky relay/switch things for the lights. They are not available anymore and they are starting to fail. The whole house has low voltage wiring for these switches and replacing the system with a traditional one would mean opening up every wall of the house.

If the rebbi does go ahead with this, he needs to think about the appliances that would be sold that could work in this house. Nearly 100% of every electrical appliance sold in the U.S. works on 110VAC. The trend now is to make 110 volt devices very energy efficient.

A good use for the 12VDC system would be a back up during power failures.

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Post by mdmf007 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:38 pm

You will run into a few problems most stated above. Also note that a long DC current run will create a lot of heat. Smaller wire + more resistance and more heat. Longer run = more resistance as well. Combine the two with a long run of 3 strand romex and a fire or short may start.

It would be simple to test though. Hook up a battery to a box of romex, and apply a load to the other end. Monitor the voltage and drop, and how many amps you can get through it before it burns in half.

I can weld with 2 truck batteries - lots of AMPS sitting there waiting.

sounds cool though.

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dc arcing

Post by Tiahaar » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:04 pm

Another thing to look at is how your wall switches will be used in the new 12VDC setup. DC tends to arc across switch contacts and if the switch is not designed for that it will eventually fail prematurely. Have a look at this guy's solution http://www.redrok.com/misc1.htm#dcswitch.

Inverters are getting pretty efficient, but ya the good ones are still real expensive. Even in my bus I prefer to run the 12vdc stuff rather than turn on the inverter. Saves battery.
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Post by The CO » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:53 pm

Shambala wrote:This would be like putting a short across the low voltage line. The 110 volt device would almost be like putting a screw driver across the terminals.
I have not has such an issue, but now that I think about it, I'm also damn careful about what plugs into what. Paranoia bred from other people electrocuting me, I guess.

In my experience, AC appliances into DC systems always just wind up drawing enough weird current to burn the AC gear. Yay for not having fucked stuff up by paying attention!
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Post by Sham » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:02 am

The CO wrote:Yay for not having fucked stuff up by paying attention!
Screwing up can happen easily, especially if someone else will be using your gadgets and devices. Having to educate someone just to plug a device into an electrical outlet seems problematic.

I wired a 5500 watt generator directly into the hot electrical panel to provide power to the entire house during a power failure. In effect, I wired two electrical sources into each other. (there are codes and laws against this shit) If I am the only one touching this and I can keep my senses, things should be fine and I will not cause any explosions or electrocute the repair crews. (hense the regulations)

For safety, there are breakers on the generator, I installed additional 15 amp breakers before the feed and then put a 220 jumper cable that needs to be plugged in before the house can be powered by the generator. The main house breaker still needs to be turned off when this is all running.

My point is, if I am the person using this set up, things should be fine. But if I sell the house, I hope it's a smart person or they will cause big problems to this system. By the way, with the new energy efficient lights and appliances, I can use nealy everything in the house off the generator, except the AC.

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Post by much2naughty2 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:37 am

Hey Rabbi, do yourself a favor. Stay with 110 volt outlets and appliances. Don't screw with the house wiring. Instead go ahead and install the solar power charging system for your bank of batteries using 12, 24, or 48 volts DC depending on the depth of your pockets, then connect that battery bank to a large inverter that converts the DC into AC.

You might even be able to sell the house at some point in the future if you use professional design and installation services.

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Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:48 am

What I am planning for is the eventual failure of the grid. There will be no house sales, no stores open, no gas stations, nada. Right now may be the only time we have to figure this out. If everything failed today, I personally would not even know. Most everything I have is 12v based, or has a cigarette lighter adapter. There are no energy hog systems here, they have all been phased out or down to very very conservative energy replacements, all my lighting here is 12v. The reason I am even thinking of this is because of this is because of friends, they have been unindated with end times disaster shows, and are just now begining to see what they can do to get near where I am, just in case. Most people are just starting to wipe the sand out of their eyes, because before this, they were convinced nothing of this magnatude would happen in their lifetime, and up till now, they had unwavering faith that the system would take it all in stride, like it always has and save their sorry asses. Well now they are figuring out, that this just may not be the case, so here they come, asking me what they should do.

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Post by Sham » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:06 am

Hey rebbi, just stock up on a shit-pot of batteries and flashlight and call it a day!

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Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:50 am

Yea, Sham that's cool for the short term, but now is the time to be working on long term, sustainable ideas. They say two years after the collapse, most of the planet will be dark, power will only be able available to those who can generate it themselves. I have noticed one underlying thing about all these shows, movies, and documenteries, the rich people are always able to buy their way out to a bigger brighter future, far away from all those stupid poor people, all with deluxe accomodations, cold drinks and a 5 star buffet.

Except for that one poor rich bastard who is always used as the fatal example that "Yes Virginia, there is a big bad wolf" who ends up not making it because the wads of cash in his hands, means nothing because he didn't prepay, if anything, these are lessons to rich, tightwad cheapskates, don't let that dollar you save, be the last dollar you ever make. Don't get caught with last years currency, as we see the hundreds of other wealthy individuals in the background carry on as usual.




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Post by gyre » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:09 pm

can't sit still wrote:Rabbi, most Rvs,, as you know, have both systems. The circuit breakers are incompatible. The solid wire [120 VAC] has more line-loss than the stranded wire used for the lower voltage.
At these very low frequencies, there is no measurable difference in resistance.
May be this myth comes from bullshit speaker wire promotions?
I have been advised not to use my micro-stranded wire for speakers, due to crosstalk distortion.
The wire is good for 100 Khz, maybe more.


I have seen very interesting damage done to equipment from high voltage DC still in use in some areas of the northeast.
Not good for audio.

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Post by Lassen Forge » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:45 pm

gyre wrote:
I have seen very interesting damage done to equipment from high voltage DC still in use in some areas of the northeast.
Not good for audio.

All hail Tesla!
So YOU got that 5th floor walkup flat in Lower Manhattan, eh? >>giggles<<

Yeah, plug your 110 AC stuff into that, and it either sits there like a lump or goes spitzenfarlkepop. Then you realize your flat is DC. Yuck. Lightbulbs (the old incandescent ones) don't care if it's AC or DC, but motors and electronics seem to...

The one basic thing I can think of is ohms law. Ya know, E=IR and all that. Because when you have, say, a 100 watt light bulb on 110, you're pulling less than an amp... but run the same on 12V and you're pulling what, 7 or 8 amps? When you start talking a string of bulbs, like a household lighting circuit, you could go over 30 amps pretty easy - which would heat and possibly melt 14 ga wiring (or at least the insulation).

In Europe (where they have a 220 standard) the wiring is decidedly smaller, because the higher voltage means you draw less amps for the same work (eg wattage). So regardless of line loss or not, you still need to take into acount the amperage you're pulling through the wires - the wiring for the most part could care less abot the voltage, but the amperage will kill the wire... and maybe the walls the wire's buried in.

Get a copy opf Ugly's Electrical Handbook (you can buy it online, or usually at an electrical supply house) and it will give you the basics to figure out what the wiring you're playing with will deal with.

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Post by Sham » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:39 pm

Wow BBS, Wow! That is great stuff and all very accurate.

Rebbi, I did similar planning for the Y2K ordeal. This when I installed that generator in the house. I played every senario out in my head and brought things back to basics. For the most part, I tried to figure out how people lived before electricity. What would I need to survive? Heat, food/water, shelter. I stocked up on a reasonable amount of canned foods and lots of bottled water. I bought a small camping stove and several canisters of propane. Y2K happened in January (of course) and I live in the northeast, so heating the house was a major concern. I had lots of split wood that I could burn in the fireplace. I also had lots of extra blankets just in case.

Power is very important for this preparation, but the focus could also be on surviving in the year 1850 type conditions, before modern transportation, refridgeration and electicity.

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Post by gyre » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:42 pm

So what happened with Y2K?

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Post by Sham » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:09 pm

gyre wrote:So what happened with Y2K?
Google it and find out how that all ended.

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Post by gyre » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:53 pm

Other than a few malaysian ferries going astray, I can find no evidence of any event occurring at all.

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