Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a few ideas on homemade wind and water turbines I am planning on putting to use once weather breaks here in New York. But first I would like to know if those big 12 volt camper batteries would work well for a battery storage pack. And if so I am not real book smart here, but is there a way to figure how many batteries I would need to cover the use of our electricity here?

Thanks
Bill & Gayla
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
It gets a little bit complicated but I hope this helps. First, you need to figure out if the turbines are going to produce 12v power, if not the electrical current must be converted. Think of it like a battery charger, you plug the charger into a wall and the charger converts the power to volts which you attach to the battery posts. Assuming you are setting up a 12 volt power system, in my experience the best batteries to use for long term power storage is a deep cycle marine style battery. They are designed to hold a charge longer. The easiest way to calculate the amount of batteries you will need depends on how much power you will draw vs how much power is being supplied by the turbines. If you are setting up an Alternating Current system you will need a power inverter to convert the 12V power to AC. power. Most inverters I have seen use a tremendous amount power so you may have to get quite a few batteries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes these are deep cycle battieries. The motors for the turbine I will have to purchase, probably try my luck at getting them on Ebay. I have a small stream flowing by the house which I have dammed up and have two four inch out flow pipes which I will reduce down forcing the water down on to the pelton wheels. Plus we have a gravity feed spring coming down into a 1000 gallon storage tank, which the over flow on that can turn a pelton wheel. The extra water from this in winter flows into the stream and warm weather in convert down to the garden.
My idea for pelton wheels would be purchase round chop saw blades, dividing them up like a pie, notching 45 degree pvc elbows to slide into the blade and bolt on for water catch cups. We used these same blades to cut large pieces of flagstone and slate. They hold up well to water and are very sturdy. Anybody try anything like this yet?

Thanks

Bill & Gayla
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,478 Posts
I would like to put my .2 cents in. I don't know much about water or wind power but I do know a little bit about solar and I bet it works about the same way.
The electric comes from a power source, wind,water, solar or what ever. The electric is routed to a controller and converted to the voltage you want.
12 24 and 36 are the most poplar volts. Depending on how the batteries are wired together will determine what voltage you need.
The electric is routed to the batteries to keep them charged. From the batteries you can run lots of 12 stuff lights,chargers, ETC
OR,,,,,,,,,You can run the electric to an invertor that will change the current to 120 volts or 240 and you can run regular household items.
As for batteries,, Batteries made just for solar are very expensive,-out of my range. It didn't take long to figure out that most people getting
started out all were using the same battery from Walmart the 96 series that have 114 a-at 1 Hour.
How many you will want will depend on how much power you get from your charging source and how much you use.
As a red neck rule of thumb for every 100 watts of charging power you have you need one battery.

The idea of one Walmart battery per 100 watts is not a science formula it comes from trial and airier --take it for what it is
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
I’m not an electrician, so I’m not a professional expert, but I am an electronics tech and I’ve played with battery backup systems for a couple decades.

When you’re talking electrical power, you’re talking watts. Watts are the voltage of your system multiplied by the amount current (amps) being used by whatever device(s) you’re powering. If a 12 volt DC device (a motor maybe) draws 10 amps, it uses 12vdc X 10A or 120 watts.

Batteries are measured in the number of amps they can supply over a specific amount of time. The battery amp-hour capacity is typically specified on the battery label. If a small 110 vac freezer requires 660 watts to operate (check freezer label), divide the wattage (660) by the voltage it operates at (110) and that tells you how many amps it uses (6 amps). If you ran the freezer for 12 hours, it would consume 6A X 12hr or 72 amp-hours.

As CAMOTANK stated, you need to connect your battery(s) to an inverter to convert the 12 volts D/C to 110 volts A/C. The inverter will consume some of the batteries power making the conversion, but not too much. So, if your battery could provide 80 amp-hours, you could theoretically run your freezer for 80 (the battery’s capacity in amp-hours) divided by the 6 amps the freezer needs or 13.3 hours, but because you’ll lose some power to the inverter and you don’t want to run your battery down too far, 10 hours would probably be a safe expectation for the battery.

There are resources on the internet that can help you figure things out… how to set up multiple batteries and wire a system properly to protect the batteries and other equipment in the system.

The best way is to start with a small inexpensive (but probably inefficient) inverter, one deep cycle battery and one simple low amperage 110 A/C device like a radio. Be careful of electronic devices, though. Some inverters are not good for them… don’t run your laptop on one without a good filter. Keep a check on your battery voltage to see how long it can handle it. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
Here are a few ideas, I have a 3750w solar panel 48v system running about 1/2 of my household even in December so I have a bit of knowledge on this.

1. you can do 12v, 24v, 48v systems, there is no such thing as a 36v system, FYI

2. "Marine" batteries are not a good choice for a solar system, they last about 2-3 years and have 1/3 of the AH (amp/hours) of a decent solar battery. They are a lot cheaper but not as much as you may think if you shop around.
For instance here is a typical "marine battery" from Wallyworld:
EverStart 27DC-6 Marine Battery - Walmart.com

They don't even publish the stats of the battery online but from what my aging eyes can see you get 115 amp/hours from the single battery.

Here is what you should be considering:

Backwoods Solar - DEKA Flooded L16 - 6V 370aH Battery - 8L16LTP-DEKA * Backwoods Solar

I do NOT suggest you buy them from backwoods solar, it is cheaper to find them locally as the freight costs to your town on a battery that is about 100lbs is very high. I was able to buy that battery locally for $215 each including the core charge.

Ok, that is a 6v battery so if you are doing a 12v system you would need 2, wired in series, where I do suggest "backwoodssolar.com" is they have a LOT of information about how to do this, FYI I purchased most of my solar components from them and they are very reasonable, just not on the batteries.

So... using my suggestions instead of your "Wallyworld" battery bank with 115 amp hours, you will have 2x the 6 volt batteries with 370 amp hours of storage for about 3x the price. Also the batteries I linked have a 10-12 year life cycle so they are about 75% less than the wallmart batteries in the long run.

Batteries are a large part of the cost in a solar system, this is my fast and nasty breakdown of what is best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
Ok, for brevities sake the thing to remember about batteries is you do NOT want them to drop below 50% charge, you can do it, but each time it happens it shortens the life of the battery.

So when you run your battery system you need to maintain at least a 50% charge on the batteries. If you hydro/solar/wind system is not keeping up, you will need to either drop the load by taking loads off the system or you will need to supplement with an alternative system (i.e. generator)

Some of the people mentioned above a "charge controller" which IS necessary (check out backwoodssurvial.com) for more information, but the basics are...

Your generator (be it solar/hydro/wind) SHOULD produce more VOLTAGE than you need. For instance if you have a 12 volt system you will ALWAYS want the input to be GREATER than 12 volts, and you should shoot for the input to be about DOUBLE at peak performance for your system. In other words if you are running a 12v system you want to work as hard as you can to have 24 volts flowing into your system at peak times.

A good charge controller will take the power you are putting into the batteries and balance the input from your generators (solar/hydro/wind) and balance it out so that the total input is the most efficient to charging your batteries. That is A REALLY simple definition of a charge controller. If I was to try and explain it further your eyes would probably roll back into the back of your head, the bottom line is don't overthink a charge controller, it knows more than you do.

Last but not least, there is a lot of information on the internet about converting TREADMILLS into hydro and wind and pedal power generators, The 12vdc motor on a treadmill will conversely put out 12vdc power when you turn it the opposite direction. Sometimes you can get a Craigslist treadmill for free "not working" or for as little as $50 all day long. You can strip down those and get some really nice DV generators for wind or hydro use for almost nothing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,692 Posts
Montana, I am in awe, could you elaborate, but break it down, I would love to run my house off solar, but have zero experience. I have pulled 350 and 500 MCM for commercial buildings, but was always a grunt/helper, I know zero about electricity.
Could you give us a breakdown, maybe even a tutorial on the very beginning steps, I know your busy, but this is something you have always shined at, and I would deffinately think about long term use in my new house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,365 Posts
ok, judging by your original question
1. your trying to generate power

2. you want to know if you can generate enough

the home made hydro will be interesting, you may want to set a gear ratio between the water and the generator (I don't know the ratio but you're using a slow moving source on high rpm generators)

wind generators are different again, they are deigned for low rpm and producing a current, haven't pulled one apart, would love to tho


to how much power you need to generate.... ohms law is good (plenty of calculators on the net) but what ever = amps, increase by at least 20-30%

you can work it out with p=e/i (power = amps devided by current) but the question is what do you plan on powering.... fridges/freezers and air con units are a nightmare to get suitable alternative power for (the start up load for the compresser is f%#ked

lights, maybe hot water, tv, kitchen??? that's what you have to work out

so the simple version

ask yourself realistically what are you powering??

then work on power generation

then look up power islanding... (it's very very important!!)

then back to generation
 

·
Senior Member R.I.P.
Joined
·
2,886 Posts
You cannot run 12VDC power long distances without large diameter wire & even then there is a serious amperage loss. So unless the controller & battery bank are going to be close to the water source you are going to have a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
I'm not an electrician, so I'm not a professional expert, but I am an electronics tech and I've played with battery backup systems for a couple decades.

When you're talking electrical power, you're talking watts. Watts are the voltage of your system multiplied by the amount current (amps) being used by whatever device(s) you're powering. If a 12 volt DC device (a motor maybe) draws 10 amps, it uses 12vdc X 10A or 120 watts.

Batteries are measured in the number of amps they can supply over a specific amount of time. The battery amp-hour capacity is typically specified on the battery label. If a small 110 vac freezer requires 660 watts to operate (check freezer label), divide the wattage (660) by the voltage it operates at (110) and that tells you how many amps it uses (6 amps). If you ran the freezer for 12 hours, it would consume 6A X 12hr or 72 amp-hours.

As CAMOTANK stated, you need to connect your battery(s) to an inverter to convert the 12 volts D/C to 110 volts A/C. The inverter will consume some of the batteries power making the conversion, but not too much. So, if your battery could provide 80 amp-hours, you could theoretically run your freezer for 80 (the battery's capacity in amp-hours) divided by the 6 amps the freezer needs or 13.3 hours, but because you'll lose some power to the inverter and you don't want to run your battery down too far, 10 hours would probably be a safe expectation for the battery.

There are resources on the internet that can help you figure things out… how to set up multiple batteries and wire a system properly to protect the batteries and other equipment in the system.

The best way is to start with a small inexpensive (but probably inefficient) inverter, one deep cycle battery and one simple low amperage 110 A/C device like a radio. Be careful of electronic devices, though. Some inverters are not good for them… don't run your laptop on one without a good filter. Keep a check on your battery voltage to see how long it can handle it. Good luck.
If a device needs 600 watts it needs either 120 volts x 5 amps or 12 volts x 50 amps a 12 volt battery rated at 50 amp hours would run the device for 1 hour if rated at 80 amp hours would run it for 1 and 3/5 hours.
And that would be without any losses. A battery's amp hour rating means that it can put out it's rated amps for one hour at the battery's rated voltage. So a 100 amp hour 12 volt battery is equivalent to two 6 volt 100 amp hour batteries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,365 Posts
You cannot run 12VDC power long distances without large diameter wire & even then there is a serious amperage loss. So unless the controller & battery bank are going to be close to the water source you are going to have a problem.
correct me if I'm wrong, but the raw power created by this setup is ac?? (thanks for reminding me)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,595 Posts
You cannot run 12VDC power long distances without large diameter wire & even then there is a serious amperage loss. So unless the controller & battery bank are going to be close to the water source you are going to have a problem.
Yes to run a 1200 watt heater at 120 volts you could use a common extension cord at 12 volts you would need cable that can handle 100 amps (now we are getting into welding cable size cables).

So if you are generating power at 12 volts it best to have the batteries and inverter as close to the power source as possible then take it up to 120 volt or more for transmission to the home.

Running a 1200 watt device even if you only have a .01 ohm of resistance in your transmission lines at 120 volts you only have a .1 volt drop or 1/1200 loss .But at 12 volts you have a 1 volt drop that is 1/12 of your power being wasted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I have a few ideas on homemade wind and water turbines I am planning on putting to use once weather breaks here in New York. But first I would like to know if those big 12 volt camper batteries would work well for a battery storage pack. And if so I am not real book smart here, but is there a way to figure how many batteries I would need to cover the use of our electricity here?

Thanks
Bill & Gayla
I use 4 deep cycle marine batteries in my RV. the largers use six. A deep cycle battery differs from a regular car battery in that 1- they have bigger plates and more acid so they last longer. 2- A deep cycle can be discharged nearly dead 200 times and an auto 100. But, in an RV one is more likely to discharge farther. No acid battery should be discharged more then 10.5 volts before a recharge should be made. The main damage to a battery is when it's discharged to low to many times..recharge at least at 10,5 volts and it should go 6 years. A power inverter is rigged to shut down at 10.5 volts as not to allow the Batts to get to low. A 72 amp hr battery (the older power rating) means that the battery with 1 amp draw will be good for 72 hrs. 2 amp draw for 36 hrs and so on. Over charge---never overcharge a wet cell battery. As a battery discharges the acid changes to water. while charging the the water H2SO4 becomes stronger and changes back to acid. Over charging means the acid is once again changing back to water--to long and the battery won't charge because there's only water left. A battery not under use has no electricity within. Overcharging makes the acid weaker just as discharge does. The electric current is only made when there's a draw on the battery. The battery does not store electricity,it merely makes a current when there's a complete circuit because of the acid reacting with the plates. The max charged voltage of a wet cell is 12.9 volts to be fully charged, some a bit less. A power inverter uses at least (or more for some)10% of the battery charge to operate itself. I recommend not using 110 house current lighting off batteries--it uses to much power. My lighting is strictly 12 volt DC. Save the AC for the fridge and such. By the way--a battery that's been overcharged will have less current time and won't fully recharge. If the plates aren't damaged replace the acid. On a serviceable battery check acid level every 2 weeks under normal use. Use distilled water or rain water--samo. Mineral in the water added will slowly destroy the acid. Some types of mineral (limestone) will tend to neutralize the acid. Limestone is an acid killer. Get a dashboard type voltmeter to keep a continuous reading on the battery charge level. Never charge over 15 volts for to long.The acid will tend to bubble over and spill over the battery. I charge 14 volts or below-over 14 volts ( others may be higher)trips off the power inverter. Keep the top of the batteries dry of acid.The acid allows a small (3 volts or more) to flow from one post to the other and discharge the batteries over time when not in use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great we are getting a good bit of input here on the subject. The stream is not more then 30 ft from the house, along with the water tank being about 20 ft away. So I do not think distantes be a problem. These RV/camper batteries may not be the best, but it is a starting point. The money not paid out for an eletric bill can be put into making the system better here. Making the pelton wheels as I said earlier is fairly cheap. And when winter ends here the snow shovel I need for wind turbines should be mark way down at stores. We are on limited money to play with here. We have no heat bill, water bill or sewer bill that helps a lot. Getting rid of the eletric bill and being able to keep items cool or frozen is a big plus not to mention being in the dark. Every little bit you can cut back/save can go to making better situation or more supplies. Again many thanks ... And if you want to hear about the snow shovels becoming a wind turbine let me know.

Bill & Gayla
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,086 Posts
Just to make sure that the math is correct:
Watts (W) = power; Amps (I) = current; Volts (E) = pressure (energy)

W = I x E; I = W/E; E = W/I
With longer transmission lines you need bigger wires because you get a voltage drop from the resistance in the wires to the amps flowing through them. You get less voltage drop with AC than you get with DC and the higher the voltage the smaller the wire can be. (Won't make a lot of difference with DC but it does with AC)

That is all I have time for at the moment but if you need more just ask.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,365 Posts
your using it so save $$ on power, be very very careful....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Here are a few ideas, I have a 3750w solar panel 48v system running about 1/2 of my household even in December so I have a bit of knowledge on this.

1. you can do 12v, 24v, 48v systems, there is no such thing as a 36v system, FYI

2. "Marine" batteries are not a good choice for a solar system, they last about 2-3 years and have 1/3 of the AH (amp/hours) of a decent solar battery. They are a lot cheaper but not as much as you may think if you shop around.
For instance here is a typical "marine battery" from Wallyworld:
EverStart 27DC-6 Marine Battery - Walmart.com

They don't even publish the stats of the battery online but from what my aging eyes can see you get 115 amp/hours from the single battery.

Here is what you should be considering:

Backwoods Solar - DEKA Flooded L16 - 6V 370aH Battery - 8L16LTP-DEKA * Backwoods Solar

I do NOT suggest you buy them from backwoods solar, it is cheaper to find them locally as the freight costs to your town on a battery that is about 100lbs is very high. I was able to buy that battery locally for $215 each including the core charge.

Ok, that is a 6v battery so if you are doing a 12v system you would need 2, wired in series, where I do suggest "backwoodssolar.com" is they have a LOT of information about how to do this, FYI I purchased most of my solar components from them and they are very reasonable, just not on the batteries.

So... using my suggestions instead of your "Wallyworld" battery bank with 115 amp hours, you will have 2x the 6 volt batteries with 370 amp hours of storage for about 3x the price. Also the batteries I linked have a 10-12 year life cycle so they are about 75% less than the wallmart batteries in the long run.

Batteries are a large part of the cost in a solar system, this is my fast and nasty breakdown of what is best.
Agree- Deep cycle marine batteries won't work best for solar systems. Use batteries that are designed for the system in use. definitely. :)
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top