[Chugalug] OT: Solar Panels

Joe Freeman joe at netbyjoe.com
Fri Mar 14 15:58:08 UTC 2014

a little more than 10 years ago, we looked hard at putting three flywheel
generators in at the CenturyTel data center. The ones we looked at would
have been buried in the ground, but they were huge and took like a week to
spin up, but would have given us enough backup power to run the dc for
several days without running the NG or diesel gensets. I don't remember why
we didn't do it for sure, but it was probably cost.

It was right after a crispy fried squirrel took out both "redundant" power
feeds coming into the building. We found out that while we had 'redundant
entrance facilities' the power company was feeding both sides to us from
the same transformer a couple of streets over. Squirrel vs transformer = no
power to the dc. Fortunately we had three gensets on the building (two
diesel + 1 NG).

You have to understand, of course, that that DC was in a small town in
extreme northern Louisiana. Think minutes from Arkansas. Not much larger
than Apison. Not a lot of choice when it comes to power providers.

On Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 11:10 AM, Unkmar <unkmar at gmail.com> wrote:

> Humor: Pictures, or it didn't happen.
> Nuclear:
>     Nuclear power is here to stay. The percentage of our current power
> production that is nuclear is too large to go away.  I prefer safer and
> cleaner nuclear power over same old weapon makers. I believe that most of
> the old reactors were built with two purposes.  Firstly, creating weapons
> grade material. Secondly, power generation. We now have several tested and
> untested designs to burn the weapons material. Why not build reactors that
> will burn what was considered waste. Sure, you will likely still have waste
> when done.
> 1. It will be less waste.
> 2. You generated additional power.
> 3. Other designs may actually burn that waste product as well.
> Solar:
>     Solar power comes in several forms, what is your need? Hot water for
> showers or radiator heat for winter days? Pool warmer? Reflect and/or
> diffused light for indoor lighting. Partially or completely close a light
> vent to reduce or shut off the light. The light valve can be a
> photoelectric panel that collects the light for power that is not currently
> used for lighting.
> The efficiency and price of photoelectric panels is getting better
> everyday. It is already a viable option. The main hurdle to using solar is
> planning.
> Power storage:
>     Chemical batteries are not the only storage method. Two options are
> gravity and inertia. One example, TVA pumps water up to mountain top lakes
> as energy storage during non-peak. Then, later allows the water to flow
> down and power generators during peak. Some one recently invented the
> gravity light. Lift some weight such as a bucket of sand, dirt, or water
> and place it on a hook that pulls a pulley attached to a gearing system
> that turns a dynamo generating a small current powering a light for a few
> hours.  I can imagine something similar with a much larger weight. Say,
> lifting a boulder a few inches by a via gearing driven by a motor/winch
> that doubles as the dynamo for power generation. Some places have
> envisioned slowly spinning up a large flywheel during excess power and
> draining from the continued rotation power drops.
> On Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 7:22 AM, Mike Harrison <cluon at geeklabs.com> wrote:
>> Just adding a final note to the thread. almost 2 weeks ago I put a
>> Unisolar ePVL-68, a flexible 68 watt solar panel on the roof of our RV with
>> a MorningStar 10amp PWM (not MPTT) controller. It was an awesome easy
>> install and you can barely tell it's on the RV compared to the biger
>> panels. I've seen it peak at 4amps at 12 volts... working well so far.
>> total cost of less than 300 for 60-ish watts is a little pricey but I'm
>> impressed by the way it fit on ther roof flush and the general quality of
>> materials. And the adhesive: I don't think I could get it off if I tried.
>> Worth considering if you need such stuff.
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