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Thread: How to power this APPLIANCE - do you know how ?

  1. #11
    Senior Member John_Koorn's Avatar
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    meanstack, I don't want to sound mean but you should've done your research before laying out that amount of money. The fact that you can't work out how Michael explained how he got 4800W tells me you don't have a lot of understanding on renewable energy solutions.

    As has already been well stated, running your 1500W ceramic heater from batteries charged by solar panels is never going to be effective. You'd be better off scrounging wood for a fireplace to heat your home.

    Aaron has already told you that a much more efficient way to produce heat from solar is evacuated tubes. I ran a solar evacuated tube hydronic heating system that heated a 500 square meter home. It also produced all of our hot water needs from just 30 tubes. The system was backed up by a natural gas furnace, but over the course of 2 years it had paid for itself and I hardly spent any money on gas - only when it rained for a few days in a row.

    Save your solar panels and batteries for low wattage lighting and small appliances. I don't know anyone in the world that would be using your style of setup for heating, it's just not practical.

    John K.

  2. #12
    I was just trying to keep things simple by converting everything to watts so we were only dealing with one unit of measure. I didn't mean to confuse you, but everything does come back to the amount of power stored, delivered, and the rate which the power is used at. This is why your heater is rated in watts, just like light bulbs are rated in watts.

    First thing:
    You need to understand that watts is power, amps is current, and voltage is potential. One of the ways of figuring power (or watts) is amps times volts, therefore 12 v X 100a = 1200w for one of your batteries. 4 batteries times 1200w = 4800w.

    Second thing is:
    Batteries connected in parallel the voltage is the same and the current is additive so 2 of your batteries in parallel will be 12v and 200a which is 12v X 200a = 2400w
    Batteries in series the current remains the same and the voltage is additive so 2 of your batteries in series would be 24v X 100a = 2400w
    If 1 set of your batteries in parallel is 12v and 200a then 2 sets in series the current would stay the same and the voltage additive so you would have 24v X 200a = 4800w

    You can optimize for voltage by putting 4 batteries in series to have 48v and 100a. 48 X 100 = 4800w
    You can optimize for current by putting 4 batteries in parallel giving 12v and 400a. 12 X 400 = 4800w
    No matter what you do you will always end up with the same amount of power from your 4 batteries.

    Third thing is:
    I have to agree with John Koorn that this will just end up costing you a lot more money to get working and even then not give you satisfactory results. You would have to add more solar panels, more batteries, another charge controller, and still be out of luck on cloudy days. I wouldn't give up on your solar system, but instead rethink it. John made a good suggestion with the evacuated tube system. You could then use your solar system to run a pump for the fluid, have some lights (LED preferably) and maybe power a small radio for some tunes. Then get a back-up propane heater or a wood/pellet stove for some cloudy days.

    Again even though I'm not telling you what you want; I am trying to help. Honestly.

    Michael

  3. #13
    If it is any consolation this heating thing is an issue I'm fighting too. I live in a home that has no insulation and cant be insulated reasonably due to the construction and the solar option is not good either in my situation. So I'm constantly looking for alternatives to help in my situation.

  4. #14
    Networking Architect Aaron Murakami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Luton View Post
    If it is any consolation this heating thing is an issue I'm fighting too. I live in a home that has no insulation and cant be insulated reasonably due to the construction and the solar option is not good either in my situation. So I'm constantly looking for alternatives to help in my situation.
    Fall of last year, I had expanding foam put into all my walls from the outside. Was one of the biggest differences I've made to my home. It can be done to almost any home that is not easy to get into the walls. They remove some siding and drilled holes into the boards behind then injected the mixture. They put everything back like it was - I just need to get the touch up nail holes painted. Early 60's home and was lucky if there was some 1" thick insulation in the wall, which was sagging so lots of space for air to move so essentially, the home had zero insulation.

    Here is the product I had installed: http://www.retrofoam.com/foam-insulation-installation/

    They can get it into areas where you might think they can't. One part of a brick facade, they drilled small holes in the grout between the bricks so almost no place is off limits.

    That gets to one of the main points in what we've always believed is if you hold on to the heat you make and keep out the heat you don't want, you can drastically cut the number of solar panels needed. Average US home loses half of the energy is uses and heating/cooling is about 50% of the average consumption. It is less expensive to put money into reducing loses than it is to purchase a solar system where 1/2 of what is produced is wasted anyway. My 2 cents.
    Aaron Murakami





    You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. ― Richard Buckminster Fuller

  5. #15
    Thanks for trying Aaron. My problem is my house is a 1915 cement block house with a super hard concrete stucco that is almost impossible to penetrate even with a masonry drill bit or I could add external insulation. Internally there are 3/4 inch thick nailers nailed into the mortar joints and then covered with plaster and lath. Basically it would turn out to be so expensive to insulated that I would be looking at a 40 year payback and in my area would not add to the resale value of the house as I'm already topped out for my part of town.

    I have an idea that I'm considering that I will not repeat here as while I am comfortable with it, it will not pass any building codes and I have to figure how to do it without getting caught by the city inspector.

  6. #16
    Networking Architect Aaron Murakami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Luton View Post
    Thanks for trying Aaron. My problem is my house is a 1915 cement block house with a super hard concrete stucco that is almost impossible to penetrate even with a masonry drill bit or I could add external insulation. Internally there are 3/4 inch thick nailers nailed into the mortar joints and then covered with plaster and lath. Basically it would turn out to be so expensive to insulated that I would be looking at a 40 year payback and in my area would not add to the resale value of the house as I'm already topped out for my part of town.

    I have an idea that I'm considering that I will not repeat here as while I am comfortable with it, it will not pass any building codes and I have to figure how to do it without getting caught by the city inspector.
    Check out NANSULATE coatings. It's both radiant reflective but also has insulation value.

    I've used nanosphere ceramic coatings before, they're only radiant reflective since heat doesn't go through a vacuum in the nanospheres.

    The Nansulate is a good product and they have applications for inside walls, outside walls, roofs, boiler pipes, etc. you name it.

    It's paint on so can be added to anything. You'd have to do the numbers to see if it is worth it to you.

    For me, the retrofoam was a bit spendy, we only pay about 8 cents per kw/h here so payback is a long time. It won't have as much r value as the foam, etc. but is worth looking into. For me, I'm more interested in freedom than roi, which I think should not always the primary objective - just how I see it.
    Aaron Murakami





    You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. ― Richard Buckminster Fuller

  7. #17
    I'll check out the nansolate. Over the cement block a reflective coating might actually be more meaningful than insulation. Here at 15 cents a kw/h I have a little more incentive than you electrically, but I do heat with natural gas for economic reasons. Understand the freedom thing, however unfortunately in my income bracket lower cost does equate to a freedom factor.

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