Saturday, September 9, 2017

Electricity off-grid

Originally posted 9.5.17, updated on,

9.9,17, 14:00 :

Just a note to myself to check into remote control for generators.  I would like to turn off the juice when I don't need it.

9.9.17, midnite:

That BTU calc was wrong.  Based upon an experiment I did, it will take far less energy to keep the ice frozen.  About 333 k watt hours per day.  The solar panel I got can do this much.  Well, hooray for that.



A quick run on the BTU calculator shows that this freezer will pull 3.5 kwh a day just to maintain the temperature.  Opening the door and removing ice and replacing it with melt water just adds to the number.  I will guess that this thing is using 5 kwh a day, if I use any ice.

Not good enough.  I will have to improve a lot on this performance or the concept will have a major flaw.

One thing to try is to calculate how long it takes to freeze up a certain amount of ice, and run this thing only for that long.  The idle time is what is taking up so much juice.


Checked out a surplus site.  I'd have to sign up and all that crap.  I'm getting a bit weary of having to sign up for stuff which is offered on a web page.

In fact, I am tempted to chuck the internet altogether.  Except I depend upon it, drat it.

Maybe I will think up something. 


I am thinking just 3 kwh per day, and that will be my energy budget.  It will not be possible to use the a/c very much with that, so a coffin concept will be absolutely necessary.

Even 3 kwh of batteries is over 1k bucks.  Then the hardware to set them all up.

I may need a breaker box and fuses.  Ten 100 watt solar panels and 15 35 amp hr deep cycle batteries.

The panels will be wired into the box, and the current will be consolidated so that it can go into the inverter.  The inverter converts to a/c current that runs the freezer and a/c.

Need to check on the breaker box.  The solar panels are 1k bucks.  So, for a solar system, it will be north of 2k bucks and south of 2.5k bucks.

A propane generator as backup will be desirable.  Probably another 1k bucks.

the original post follows:

This post will not go in the off-the-grid series.

After perusing some info about propane generators, I am a little concerned about their energy usage.  If you are not careful, you can run up a large bill with one of these.

Drat it.  I figured I could get by on a lot less.  It seems that to have power with one of these things, you have to keep it running.  I don't like that idea.

Now I can see why it is generally used for backup power.

This problem is now officially the hardest problem yet to be solved.

Climate control is my chief concern.  To run that window unit could take 1500 watts.  If I were to run it half a day, then maybe one can see the problem.

Cutting the volume of interior down to a small coffin size will make a significant difference.

Still, just running that a/c will use up a lot of battery power.  How to manage it then?

Of course, there is the refrigeration to think of.  The refrigerator is okay, since it can switch to propane.  But the freezer?  I cannot run a generator all day just for the freezer.  The freezer has to run on battery power.

An idea for an experiment just popped into my head.  My inverter may be able to run the freezer, but I have never tried it.

If the freezer can be made to work with batteries, I may be able to use the frozen ice to climate control the "coffin".  Maybe no need for a lot of stuff after all.


It might work, but it could be risky.  I don't want to damage the inverter, nor the freezer.  Forget this idea.


Here a link to a prior post that links to a site I want to revisit later .  It has a YouTube video that goes over things you need to know for an electrical system.

I'll probably update this post from time-to-time.

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