12vDC applications – online forum?

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 13379
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

I seek referrals to an online forum that supports newbies (me!) in the development of domestic household 12vDC storage and use.

My high-school physics is now sixty years old.

My goal is to build a domestic system to demonstrate what can be done with small (eighteen-inch) vertical-shaft wind-turbines, a bank of car batteries, and (to date) 29 applications of 12vDC power supply.

This is not an off-the-grid project, but part of it (bedside reading light, electric water jug) is related to short-term power outages.



I take my first, small step this week by splurging(grin) on a $40 multi-meter on the grounds that Management Measures.

Thanks for any pointers.

Chris Greaves
Four out of three people have trouble with Fractions

User avatar
John Gray
PlatinumLounger
Posts: 5161
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 08:33
Location: A cathedral city in England

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by John Gray »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that small wind-turbines were insufficiently efficient / cost-effective? :electric:
Probably you need to complete a Wind Turbine Feasibility Study.
I reckon you should go for an output of a small number of MW...
John Gray

Don't learn about safety by accident.

User avatar
Graeme
Cosmic Lounger
Posts: 589
Joined: 11 Feb 2010, 12:23
Location: Medway, Kent, UK

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by Graeme »

I don't know of any ELV Forums but I do know that the 12Vdc bench supply for my telescope can supply 40A which equates to 440W. A domestic supply in a UK home is 230V, fused at 100A giving 23kW. The Transformer Rectifier sets I put in on the railway (SE UK third rail 750DC) are 2MW, 3MW and 4MW. They can push great big trains along railway tracks!

I would agree with John, small wind turbines are not as efficient. Have you considered PV panels?

Regards

Graeme

GeoffW
PlatinumLounger
Posts: 3694
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 07:23

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by GeoffW »

Solar? In Bonavista? In winter, when you need it most?

8.5 hours daylight, average 70% cloudy this time of year.

I'd suggest there's an awful lot more wind than sun at the moment.

GeoffW
PlatinumLounger
Posts: 3694
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 07:23

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by GeoffW »

If you have Netflix, check out The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - or check out talks by William Kamkwamba. His earliest TED talk doesn't do him justice, but some of his later talks are very good.

User avatar
Graeme
Cosmic Lounger
Posts: 589
Joined: 11 Feb 2010, 12:23
Location: Medway, Kent, UK

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by Graeme »

GeoffW wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 12:17
Solar? In Bonavista? In winter, when you need it most?

8.5 hours daylight, average 70% cloudy this time of year.

I'd suggest there's an awful lot more wind than sun at the moment.

Ah, yeah, you might say I didn't think that one through! Wind power it is then!

Regards

Graeme

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 13379
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

John Gray wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 10:38
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that small wind-turbines were insufficiently efficient / cost-effective?
Hi John.
I have given your post some thought and am still struggling to find a way to correct you ... :evilgrin:

In the meantime: small turbines ARE cost-effective depending on your definition of "effective". My first turbine will be a science-experiment kit at about $10, typically Power: 0.55 W Output Voltage: 5.5 V. This is too ineffective for boiling water, but it will power an LED light, and more importantly for me, it will get me started. A small LED on my bridge rail will tell people driving by that I am generating electricity right now. The LED light will probably function as a bed-side reading light during an unscheduled power-outage due to storms.
A hobbyist turbine will too be unlikely to charge a 12vDC car battery, but again, it will force me to start laying cable.

Remember that "I seek referrals to an online forum ", and I reason that I'd rather not go empty-handed to such a forum. I can go there having taken The First Step and ask for advice based on that situation.

Bonavista studied a mini-wind farm some five or six years ago and turned away from it. Wood fuel here is so cheap that locals would rather pay someone to chop down and deliver a 53' flatbed of logs (and then saw and split them themselves) than contribute to renewable energy. ("Well the trees will regrow, won't they?!!???")
The Bonavista Hostel had a 30' turbine on an 8'x8' concrete pad until the turbine was sent back to Clarenville for repairs, after which the 30' tower was sent back too.

I am looking at an ambitious Grass Roots scheme, modular, and applicable to domestic applications across Bonavista, or Newfoundland, or even (gasp!) Canada.

Cheers
Chris
Four out of three people have trouble with Fractions

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 13379
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Graeme wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 11:12
I don't know of any ELV Forums but I do know that the 12Vdc bench supply for my telescope can supply 40A which equates to 440W. A domestic supply in a UK home is 230V, fused at 100A giving 23kW. The Transformer Rectifier sets I put in on the railway (SE UK third rail 750DC) are 2MW, 3MW and 4MW. They can push great big trains along railway tracks!
Hi Graeme,
As far as domestic supply goes, were I going off-the-grid, my consumption since March 11, 2019 to today (658 days) has been 12,696 Kwh, which works out to $cdn859 per year. (Since July 2019 I have been all-electric, having removed the wood-fuel stove and the oil stove and oil furnace)
If I were trying to go off-the-grid I would need 7,041 Kwh per year to be generated. Doable, perhaps, with a series of vertical spindle turbines mounted on my shed ridge, and a bank of car batteries inside the shed. One of my 29 projects is a model train set, probably T- or Z-scale.
I would agree with John, small wind turbines are not as efficient. Have you considered PV panels?
I built solar water heaters in Gawler (Adelaide) South Australia in the mid seventies. Started off with sealed, insulated copper-plate, copper-pipe, matt-black plate etc and graduated to snaking 3/4" galvanized iron pipe across the galvanized iron roof. Why spend your coppers on copper, right?
Solar power for water heating would work well here in Bonavista, even just to pre-heat water going into the hot water tank, but I would rather have brilliant sunlight for photo-voltaic cells, and that "we don't got" here.

There are many mysteries in Bonavista, but the two greatest are these:-
(1) Everyone brags about "how much rain we got", but (a) noone knows what the annual precipitation is and (b) noone harvests rain water for drinking, washing etc. (The town has a permanent boil-water advisory)
(2) Everyone brags about "how much wind we got", but (a) noone knows what the average energy capacity is and (b) noone harvests wind power for domestic use.

I have beaten the first mystery with an eight-foot rain trough, and plan to beat the "power outage" problem within a couple of months and then go on from there.

But given that "I seek referrals to an online forum" I am surprised that someone as amenable, supportive, erudite, urbane, and expert as you has not volunteered to pass my credentials along to one of the many electrical engineering forums to which you surely contribute on a regular basis. :evilgrin:

Cheers
Chris
Four out of three people have trouble with Fractions

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 13379
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

GeoffW wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 12:17
Solar? In Bonavista? In winter, when you need it most?
8.5 hours daylight, average 70% cloudy this time of year.
I'd suggest there's an awful lot more wind than sun at the moment.
A commendable effort, Geoff.
I query your figure of 70% cloudy, but I might be biased because I don't look out the window during the 16-hour nights (right now).
There was no need for you to suggest there's an awful lot more wind than sun at the moment. That is a no-brainer!!!

I have a 42"x30" south-facing window in my bedroom which (at noon today) has lifted the temperature to 17c. It will rise to about 21c if I keep the door closed, so I usually open the door at lunch time and let the heat escape into the living-room, probably reduces my hydro bill by $0.0045 per day !!!

My longer term plans are to enlarge every one of the six windows in this house and to install six new windows. Solar energy works as an energy source even on cloudy days; our green grass is proof of that.
Here is my dream for the south-facing wall in my kitchen, basically come in one foot from each edge of the wall:-
20200813_111456 [640x480].jpg
My shorter-term dream is to have someone come up with referrals to an online forum that supports newbies (me!) in the development of domestic household 12vDC storage and use.

Cheers
Chris
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Four out of three people have trouble with Fractions

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 13379
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

GeoffW wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 12:20
If you have Netflix, check out The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - or check out talks by William Kamkwamba. His earliest TED talk doesn't do him justice, but some of his later talks are very good.
Hello again Geoff. Still no news on suitable forums? Oh well ...

I remember reading this story in the news a year or two ago. "William builds a small proof of concept prototype which works successfully," is right on my track.
I want to build twenty-nine (at last count) proof-of-concept applications using a domestic power-supply powered by low-cost vertical-spindle turbines.

The theory is that by demonstrating all 29 applications I will be able to satisfy most consumer queries. In particular by tracking costs (time and money) I will be able to defend or support a variety of ROI questions.
Not everyone wants to run a toy-train, or melt snow in the driveway, but people might be interested in boiling beverages without investing in a $250-$500 generator.

I don't have Netflix - not enough electricity (grin), but I would have enough juice to read an online forum that supports newbies (me!) in the development of domestic household 12vDC storage and use.

Cheers
Chris
Four out of three people have trouble with Fractions

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 13379
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Graeme wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 13:42
Ah, yeah, you might say I didn't think that one through! Wind power it is then!
Don't get carried away, Graeme; we are not thinking of Solar Wind here .... :evilgrin: :flee:
Cheers
Chris
Four out of three people have trouble with Fractions

GeoffW
PlatinumLounger
Posts: 3694
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 07:23

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by GeoffW »

Sorry Chris, I still don't know of a suitable forum.

Sorry, the cloud cover this time of year is 65% overcast or mostly cloudy - according to https://weatherspark.com/y/29602/Averag ... Year-Round

This is why your project reminded me of William Kamkwamba (from Wikipedia):
He gained fame in his country in 2001 when he built a wind turbine to power multiple electrical appliances in his family's house in Wimbe, 32 km (20 mi) east of Kasungu, using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected in a local scrapyard.
There is a book available.

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 13379
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

GeoffW wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 16:15
Sorry Chris, I still don't know of a suitable forum.
Not to worry Graeme. I won't mention it again until the end of this reply :evilgrin:
Sorry, the cloud cover this time of year is 65% overcast or mostly cloudy - according to https://weatherspark.com/y/29602/Averag ... Year-Round
Tom and I agree on one thing: The weather here in Bonavista is milder than it is/was in Toronto. We put it down to the moderating influence of the Atlantic Ocean.
We agree too on a second point, that although the winters here are milder than Toronto, they last about twice as long, so six months in place of three months.
Tom's weakness is that he never lived in the downtown core, with its 60-storey condo canyons and the attendant wind-chill on the sidewalks at ground level.
Cheers
Chris
P.S. I have saved the point about forums for a later reply, so on paper this doesn't really count as a hint, right? :grin:
C
Four out of three people have trouble with Fractions

User avatar
John Gray
PlatinumLounger
Posts: 5161
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 08:33
Location: A cathedral city in England

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by John Gray »

There is the occasional programme shown on [British] TV about Living Off-Grid in Alaska, where people need to make their way through snow several feet deep, often by motorised sledge, to the railway track to flag down and catch the once-weekly train to the local 'large' (= small) railway town to Buy Things, or to pick up Stuff from the goods wagon that those shops have put there for delivery / collection.

I'm beginning to think that living in Bonavista has remarkable similarities, apart from the absence of a railway, and the presence of a bloke with a car who can be sent on a long journey towards civilisation from which he may, or may not, return days later, clasping the prized multimeter! [Other luxury consumer durables are available for purchase...]
John Gray

Don't learn about safety by accident.

User avatar
Leif
Administrator
Posts: 7317
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 08:21
Location: UK/France

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by Leif »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 14:54
My first turbine will be a science-experiment kit at about $10, typically Power: 0.55 W Output Voltage: 5.5 V. This is too ineffective for...
...just about anything! Can you not get something with a higher output voltage? 15V would at least give you a sporting chance of charging your battery bank.
Leif.

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 13379
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

John Gray wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 17:01
There is the occasional programme shown on [British] TV about Living Off-Grid in Alaska,
Hello again John; I have seen similar off-the-grid cabins on YouTube, and there seems to be a definite bent towards abandoning civilization in some way. I think that that is admirable, and I knew a guy lived about 90 minutes NE of Toronto, had a solar power slab, charged a car battery, ran a turntable with LP records, radio, laptop etc; harvested water from shed roofs, grew his own veggies and was busy hiding from the rural township council in case they learned about him and charged him habitation tax or such like. I admire him, and I admire them.

I am too fond of piping-hot showers whenever I feel like it, rooms at at least 17c, 20c is better, and the ability to make toast of home-baked bread and home-boiled jam at any time of the day or night.
In short, I am spoiled, as well as short.

I am hooked on making-use-of-what-we-have, as in Second Use For Everything, and the frequent wind and rain are gifts from heaven, as far as I can tell.

Hence my drive to see just what I can drive from heaven-sent gifts.

I must return to those off-the-grid videos to steal some more tips; thank you for reminding me.
I'm beginning to think that living in Bonavista has remarkable similarities, apart from the absence of a railway, ...
Don't knock the lack of railway! The old right-of-way is what locals use when they head off to the berry-picking grounds! Saves me picking my own berries!
As for the rest, if I want high-powered intelligent and challenging debate, I need look no further than Eileen's Lounge!

Cheers
Chris
Four out of three people have trouble with Fractions

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 13379
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Leif wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 18:17
Can you not get something with a higher output voltage? 15V would at least give you a sporting chance of charging your battery bank.
Thank you Leif :clapping: :thankyou: :thumbup: :cheers:

Also :BRILLIANT: to coin a term.
I shall re-search and look for 15v output. It can still be a basic kit, but being able to charge a car battery suddenly makes sense.
Thanks again
Chris
Last edited by ChrisGreaves on 28 Dec 2020, 20:24, edited 1 time in total.
Four out of three people have trouble with Fractions

GeoffW
PlatinumLounger
Posts: 3694
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 07:23

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by GeoffW »

I still cannot tell you about an online forum.

However, I do have something about a portable wind turbine

Or another idea. Generating electricity using an exercise bike. This one specifically references the Hans free electric bike so it has the additional effect of keeping the forum clever clogs away ;-)

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 13379
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

GeoffW wrote:
28 Dec 2020, 19:59
Generating electricity using an exercise bike[/url].
This is a good idea and I had already added it to my list some weeks ago:-
Untitled.png
I reasoned that in wintertime (August 15th through August 11th next year) I do not ride my bike, and mounting the rear axle on a small stand, I could pedal away with a bicycle light dynamo running on the rear wheel.

I had not worked out voltages etc, but I reasoned that the dynamo load would provide me with exercise and I could "top up" some sort of battery, even if it were only AA/AAA rechargeables for an LED flashlight. This, and another scheme - a single solar panel to recharge the car batteries - were brought in to capitalize on my knowledge and provide auxiliary power sources for people who felt like it.

This entire project was dreamed up to persuade folks in Bonavista, by working demonstrations, that 12vDC was cheap and doable (people here trot out that ROI as if it were rain water), but of course if someone in, say, Yuma AZ wants top benefit from my figures, well, "Why not?" I say.

I am anxious to keep these sub-projects at low cost to encourage people to give them a try.

I ordered alligator clips and a soldering iron today, as well as accumulating a multi-meter and a number of LED lights. I am on my way.

Cheers
Chris
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Four out of three people have trouble with Fractions

User avatar
BobH
UraniumLounger
Posts: 8623
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 01:27
Location: Temple - Deep in the Heart of Texas

Re: 12vDC applications – online forum?

Post by BobH »

Chris, a 12VDC hobbyist forum is a very highly specific ask; however, you might try this one.
Bob's yer Uncle!
(1/2)(1+√5)
Intel Core i5, 3570K, 3.40 GHz, 16 GB RAM, ECS Z77 H2-A3 Mobo, Windows 10 >HPE 64-bit, MS Office 2016