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how to build your home power system?

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Steve Spence, Mar 4, 2004.

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  1. Steve Spence

    Steve Spence Guest

    Impossible to tell what your needs are without knowing what your current or
    planned consumption is.

    Steve Spence
    Renewable energy and sustainable living
    Donate $30 or more to Green Trust, and receive
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  2. LowImpact

    LowImpact Guest

    I have a small cabin in Maine which I would love to power with a
    windgenerator system. I think I would need 18-24 1100 amp hour batts and a
    3-4000 watt wind turbine. It must run in 10mph wind and be very flexible as
    far as mounting rigs. Also I would like everything to have at least a 5 year
  3. LowImpact

    LowImpact Guest

    20 mins north west of Brunswick. I have a pro to wire it up just need to
    hunt componits.
  4. Bob Adkins

    Bob Adkins Guest

    You'll need a generator or solar panels or both to keep you going in the

    If your power requirements are meager, you should consider solar. It's a lot
    less hassle and maintenance than wind. But Maine, sheesh. Not much sun there
    in winter!


    Remove "kins" from address to reply.
  5. Bughunter

    Bughunter Guest


    I have four Exide 220 amp-hour golf cart batteries in northern NH not far
    from the Canadian border. We saw more than a few days last year at -50F.
    This year, the lowest was about 39F below zero.

    I get maybe one trip between October and April when I can give the bank a
    good charge in mid-winter. I just did that last week. Otherwise, the
    batteries sit out there in a uninsulated wooden box, usually nearly covered
    in snow, and getting no other charge all winter.

    They are in their fourth year, and no problems. They are still going strong.
    As long as a lead acid has a good charge on it, it will not freeze. I have
    to say that I have never tried to USE them at those extreme cold
    temperatures. I suspect they might be a tad sluggish.
  6. Being that the shed is covered in snow it probably maintained a temp
    near freezing as snow is a good insulator. I'm in N. Idaho, and
    granted it doesn't get that cold here, the ground will not freeze if
    we get a layer of snow down before the cold temps set in.


    "Moe, Larry, the cheese!", Curly
  7. Bughunter

    Bughunter Guest


    Right, the snow covers the sides and provides some measure of insulation on
    the sides.
    The top is dark brown and the sun will warm that some during the day.

    But the top normally is free of snow because there is a little roof about 3
    feet over the
    top of the battery box (kind of looks like a wishing well). The roof keeps
    the rain of my
    portable generator which sits on top of the battery box (open sides) in the
    warmer months.

    It still gets damn cold in the battery box. I keep a gallon of distilled
    water in with the batteries and it is always frozen like a rock.

    The first couple years, I expected the batteries to be junk by spring. But,
    they have survived some pretty severe winters. Golf cart batteries are
    rugged little beasts.

    All it takes is a bit of a breeze to make -50F feel pretty chilly.
  8. LowImpact

    LowImpact Guest

    I will be living full time there starting this coming winter. I would like
    to have alot of over kill as I stated earlier. I would also like to have the
    piece of mind knowing everything is under warranty for the first 5+ years.
  9. Ecnerwal

    Ecnerwal Guest

    If you have any excess capacity, electric heaters (turned on only when
    the capacity is excess) make plenty of sense - if the box is well
    insulated, the batteries should hold heat for a long time. But what
    probably makes more sense, if you are not stuck on bedrock, is to dig
    down into the dirt 5-8 feet, follow plans for building a freestanding
    cold cellar (most of which already have vents, etc) and keep the
    batteries warm in winter and cool in summer without having to expend any
    additional energy doing so. IMHO.
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