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Been working on AC & DC Systems on our new place...,

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by BTPost, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    We have been working on the AC & DC Power Systems on our new place, the last few days.. The previous Owner, was not an electrician, by any stretch of imagination, but his stuff worked for him... Today, AlaskaChick & I spent a good share of the day, stringing some 10-2 Romex from the Powerhouse, to the Washhouse, so that we only need generators in the Powerhouse, and not one for every building... We have a temporary Extension Cord, that runs from the Washhouse to the Brown Toolshed, to the Brown Cabin, to supply AC Power to those buildings... We will replace that, with a 10-2 Romex run, in the near future... On Thursday, we picked up our “New to us” Liquid Cooled Lister 10Kw Diesel Genset, 3 Cyl, 1800 Rpm, Stanford 10Kw Genhead, and wired for 240Vac... We hauled it up the mountain to our place, with the Rhino and a Flatbed trailer. It needs a ton of TLC, but is basically a sound and operational unit.. I built a bench for it to sit on, about 2ft off the floor, so as to make LubeOil changes and other routine maintenance much easier, on my Old Body.. I also fire up my Single Cyl. 1200Rpm Fairbanks-Morse diesel for the first time in 5 Year, and it only took about 30 seconds to settle down and run smooth as silk... The previous Owner, broke the PTO Clutch when he reassembled it, and I need to get my ”Brother the Engineer” to build me a new Flywheel Plate, shaft, Pulley, and end-bearing setup to turn the 3Kw Genend at 3600Rpm... Nice to hear the old Gal purring along, though... Right now we are using a pair of 3600Rpm Gas Gensets to provide AC Power when we need it... and we do have a 3600Rpm 5.5Kw Diesel Genset, but it has no AVR and is only putting out 105Vac.. I suspect that the Field Bridge Rectifier has an open Diode, but haven’t had the time. to get into it, just yet...

    Both the Blue & Brown Cabins have 12Vdc Systems for backup Lighting and Power... The Brown Cabin has a pair of L-16s, in series, charged by 240 Watts of Solar Panels, which keeps them charged up on most days.. I plan on installing a 12Amp Regulated Power Supply, as a backup Charging system for this setup, next week. The Blue Cabin has a pair of T105s, in series, with two 120Watt.Solar Panels, but they only get good sun until about 2Pm, and that is where all the Internet, and Vhf and Hf Radio Systems are installed, so even with a Mppt Charge Controller, even on sunny days, I need to run the AC up there to keep them charged... I have a 35Amp Regulated Power Supply that only charges when the AC IS ON, set up at 14.4Vdc, that bulk Charges the T-105s up to 13.6Vdc in about two hours...

    As we have time, we will fix most of the other wiring issues... that get identified as we inspect and learn the place...
    Tully Mars, BenP, arleigh and 14 others like this.
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Ready for winter? The raised genset platform is brilliant!
  3. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter+++

    Not having to get down on the floorof the shed is real nice!!
  4. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I really like doing that kind of stuff.
    Always tinkering and improving on my homebrew solar setup at the BOL. Latest is replacing some of the higher current fuses with circuit breakers of the same current rating.
    I'll be adding two more 150 W solar panels to the existing bank of six in the future.
    Arizona gets enough sun so that generator use is not often needed.
  5. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    There's been times I would have killed to have the genny at a working height vs on the ice cold, (literally), wet, ice covered floor.
  6. Alf60

    Alf60 Monkey++

    Yeah that bending over is for the youngsters. If I drop a pencil I have to make a plan on how to pick it up... Kick it over next to something I can push up from.
    Meat, Gator 45/70 and Altoidfishfins like this.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    That is something I learned at a very young age, from my GodFather... He also taught me to hunt, fish, drive, and have respect for others, on weekends, out at his Quarter Section, near Yelm, Washington... My own father was a “City Boy” but realized that his sons were “Rough & Rugged” types, so he farmed us out to Uncle Henry.... however he reinforce, to both of us boys, the values we were being taught...
    Tully Mars, Dunerunner, Meat and 2 others like this.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Update: I installed the 12Vdc Regulated 12Amp Power Supply in the Brown Cabin this afternoon... It charges a pair of L16HDs that run the 12Vdc buss, in that cabin... I set the voltage regulator at 13.6Vdc, so it would boil the batteries when we run the Genset, two hours before bed time each night... This is for lights, Vhf/Uhf Radio, music, and the Cellphone Booster Amp, as well as AlaskaChick’s, and my CPAP machines... We replaced all the incandescent lights with LED lighting, which dropped the current used by 75%, and increased the effective lighting by 50%... The Vhf/Uhf Radio is a Kenwood TM-D710A, but it is only the T/R Box, right now...as The Control Head is up at the Blue Cabin, on the other TM-D710A that is installed up there... I am looking for another TM-D710A Control Head, or a Control Head for a TM-V71A, for this radio, so I do not have to keep moving this one back & forth. Music is done with a Bose/bluetooth/Speaker driven by her iPad or iPhone.. I found another Wilson 4G 12Vdc Booster on eBay for $35US, and it is on it’s way... Don’t need an LTE version, as it will be years before LTE gets to bush Alaska, and 4G boosters are dirt cheap, these days....
    Tully Mars, Meat and Gator 45/70 like this.
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    DX Engineering has the heads. Just take money, uv cuss. Flea bay is pretty quiet.
    Gator 45/70 and Meat like this.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    You have a link for those @ghrit? I looked around their site, and they show the whole radios, but nothing about just the Control Heads....
    Gator 45/70 and Meat like this.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Gator 45/70 and Meat like this.
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I am hoping to find a ham that upgraded his TM-V71A to the TM-D710A by swapping out his Control Head for the better one, and has the old one gathering dust, on a shelf...

    The previous owner had an old Marine Vhf installed where we put the dualband Kenwood TM-D710A, so the antenna is an old Marine Fiberglass Whip up at about 50ft...I just ordered a duplicate of the Dualband Tram Antenna that I installed down at the Cannery Cabin, for the Brown Cabin... It will be here in a week, and I will get it installed.. Shouldn't take but a couple of hours, to do the job, and the Momma and I can use a nice obscure Uhf frequency to chat...
    Gator 45/70 and Meat like this.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Thought that finding a spare lying around would be the preference, but ---.
    Gator 45/70 and Meat like this.
  14. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Because hi voltage travels better than low voltage I use an inverter for 110 from the battery bank in the shop trailer where the solar panels are, to a battery charger at the house 100' away to charge those batteries running the house. There is a loss, but wind and solar are free so I don't sweat it .
    I have the extra solar panels to add to the house if I want, but I don't want to.
    If I need just to charge batteries during the winter I have a little 5 hp gas engine that drives an alternator ,very efficiently.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Update: “Near future” happened this morning... We strung the 10-2 Romex from the Washhouse to the Brown Toolshed, put a loop inside, for future outlet and lighting, and then on to the Brown Cabin. The extension cords are now back in the Powerhouse, hanging on a Big Nail on the wall... Tested the new wiring and it all works as it should... Then we fixed an old Dresser, that had some broken slides, with some 1X4 cut down to fit... The Dresser was a cheap Particle Board one, but still useful, so worth fixing for the Blue Cabin... (Guest Cabin). We took on the vacuum cleaner next... She thought the hose was plugged, because it just didn't suck like it should. Turned out the Catch Bag was full, and the internal filter was pulgged to the Giles with more dust.. input side was Black, and output side was white... All this before lunch, while it is still cool outside... supposed to get to 72F today.. Way to hot for us Alaskans...
    Gator 45/70 and Tully Mars like this.
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Put a request for control heads out on the S&S after the club net. They are to call me and I'll give them your trading post email for direct dealing.
    Gator 45/70 and oldman11 like this.
  17. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Question here for you electrical / DC voltage peoples .
    Can I just go inside my breaker panel , and disconnect a few of my 14 , or 12/2 romex wires from a few of my lighting circuits , and connect them to a small battery system to run some LED lights . While having a small trickle charger continuously charging the battery system . Or , I have thought about , but haven't researched it enough , trying to hook up a power converter from an old camper to run the lights and charge these batteries . These camper converters normally run on about a 30 amp system , and brand new can run under 300 dollars . I could even get these converters used from old abandoned or junk campers for next to nothing . Thanks all .
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  18. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Having AC and DC inside the same Breaker Panel would violate the NEC... (National Electrical Code). You could however mount a small Breaker Panel next to your AC Panel, and use that one for DC.
    BenP and Gator 45/70 like this.
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yes, you can use existing wiring for your DC system, but as BT says, you MUST pull the wires you are reusing out of the AC panel. I'd think very carefully about using existing wires and fixtures for DC. Now, if you are installing a DC backup system, then a new, parallel installation makes sense.
  20. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Yes , that was my intent , to pull the lighting circuit wires out of the breaker box into another box. Wasn't sure if romex was to heavy a wire for this application. Not sure if I need a converter for just lighting or not. Still trying to think thru the whole idea , and just getting some opinions from some experienced folks. I'm still needing to trace these circuits and make sure there's not any needed outlets on these circuits. I just know some basics on electrical stuff , and have made some mistakes in this area before , and don't need to make them at this level . Thank you for your help.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
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