Generating energy

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Janon, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    One of those portable 12vdc power packs (will jump start you car and has a built in 120vac charger) may be ideal for 12vdc LED lighting. It is amazing how little power an LED requires.

    cheers,
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Are you installing lights for your personal benefit or to enhance the production of the chickens? If it is the latter, the first thing you need to do is to determine the lumens required to accomplish the task. The amount of light is critical and the length of the light waves also enter into the choice of lamps.
     

  3. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

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    The big challenge with bicycle power generators is to avoid mechanical losses. For example a small car alternator geared up to an effective running speed would exhaust the average fit person in just a few minutes just overcoming the mechanical losses and the aerodynamic drag of the alternator fan and rotating the machine.

    You could remove the fan from the alternator and you can be confident that you will not overheat the alternator with muscle power! I guess you could also mount the alternator in a vacuum or a chamber filled with helium, both would reduce the aerodynamic drag!

    For a muscle powered alternator/generator you need something that is very efficient at low speeds. A big DC motor from an old (i.e. 70's era) mainframe computer tape drive may do the trick, these are rated at about 48v but generate useful output at hand turning speed. Another tack is to use a big diameter generator and somewhere on the web we can find pictures of a guy making alternators based on car disk brakes and plywood! Quite effective I imagine.

    But the most exciting prospect, in my opinion, for a muscle powered battery charger charger is the motor from a Fisher and Paykel washing machine. This is a NZ company who also manufacture in Australia and I believe have entered the US market. No doubt US makers have the same sort of motor in some of their machines too. These are effectively large diameter permanent magnet stepper motors and will generate useful power and low RPM, they really are good, or so I have been told, so far ours is still washing clothes.

    I notice at the gymnasium that I cannot sustain 100 watts on the rowing machine for more than a few minutes, that would be 8 amps at 12 volts but no way could I keep that up long enough to usefully charge a battery.

    How about a wind charger?
     
  4. No Regrets Farm

    No Regrets Farm Well-Known Member

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    Wow, thats alot of information to consider : ) The reason for the lighting is for production. From what I learned about lighting/production, I would need to run a 40-60 watt bulb for an extra 2-3 hours a day.

    I have considered a wind charger, it's not out of the question.
     
  5. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

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    Cheap inverter at truck stop -- cobra 400 watt, 35 after rebate right now, use a flourescent light 13 watts vs 60, so need 40 watts a day -- just use 1 12 volt deep cycle charge once a week! Then adda cheep solar panel down the road? Inverter comes with battery clips too -- using one right now topower my laptop!
     
  6. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    car battery, wire, brake light, switch..... turn switch on at dusk, when you check for day layn eggs, next morning turn it off, or remove battery and put in vehichle every couple days for recharging.... swwaping out a different battery may be needed to fully charge a battery while driving in winter months... depending on often and far/how long vehicle is running.

    had a cousin who used a 12 volt trouble light for night reading, and swapped batteries every 3 days without a hitch.... but he did not leave it on all night long.

    William
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have very little practical knowledge, but I would think you want 12v lights, and forget the converter. Run everything 12v, no losses on the conversion.

    You need to figure out the power you need, and see how you get there.

    Sounds like you need 60 watts for 2 hours.

    I would think a small solar panel to a deep cycle battery with 12v lights on a 12 volt timer would do the trick for you with the best bang for the buck. Without the converter & all, you don't need much power if you can use 8-14 hours of sunlight to store yout 2 hours of use. So you only need to store away 12 - 15 watts per hour in the battery right? That size solar isn't going to cost any more than a modified bike.....

    --->Paul
     
  8. jgbndaudio

    jgbndaudio Well-Known Member

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    First thing, do not under any circumstance use normal incandescent light bulbs. You’ll end up using 90% of your power to generate heat and not light. I recommend that if you're going to use 115 volt AC that you use compact fluorescents, as they’ll need ¼ the power. If you’re going to stay w/ 12volts use LED’s. Also car batteries are not a good choice as they will not last long since they’re not designed to be drained and recharged very many times. Do yourself a favor and buy a good deep cycle battery and you’ll have it for a long time.
    Scotty
     
  9. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Why not build your own wind machine ? They are pretty basic to build from what I have seen. Also There was a fellow up in Ohio that built a 12 volt generator for about $50.00 A used lawn mower engine and a altinator from a car that was wired into batteries and then into the lighting system .He ran the unit for about 3 hrs a day to power his house light. .You might just need 30 minutes thought for poultry lights..
     
  10. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    You really do not need 60 watt light bulb for the chickens. It just needs to be enough for them to see so they start feeding and moving around. I used a 9 watt flourescent bulb, but even that was more than I needed. It was on a timer that came on early in the morning, and shut off by the time there was daylight. I will try an LED setup this winter. A good LED lantern ($20 - 30) with rechargable batteries should do the trick.
     
  11. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well you can do this or that or, or, or------But, there are alot of ways you can get the chickens some light. No one knows you or your set-up like you do, If it was I------I might park my electric golf cart close to the pen to run the salvaged camper lights off of, or I might park my truck close to the chicken pen to run the lights with the extra battery I installed or I could use a salvaged battery that still has some life that I have in my kids old wagon and pull it to the house to be recharged once a week. There is so many options-------You can use old camper 12 volt lights or old brake light bulbs with some recycled bulb sockets of get a inverter and run the compact flouresent bulbs. You can use a timer to cut the lights on and off with------you can build a timer cheap by using a old discarded battery operated clock--the type that takes a AA battery--------------There are so many options there is no way to cover them all---------Decide what way you want to go------we will try to help if you need any to get it hooked up. Randy
     
  12. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    In re-reading your original post you didnt really specify when you need the lighting. At night, early morning, during the day???

    If it is during the day then the simplest answer would be put in a cheap skylight, or some of the newer fibre optics light that draws from the outside light. As a bowhunter i have fibre optics sights on my bow, it is amazing the light gathering ability even in extremely low level light, and can be transfered about anywhere you want..
     
  13. No Regrets Farm

    No Regrets Farm Well-Known Member

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    I am still looking at all my options. Yesterday, at TSC, I saw a new product they have. It's a solar automatic wildlife feeder. You can get the solar panel for $21 to charge a 12v battery. Is it possible to use that solar panel to charge a deep cell battery? Could compact fluorescents bulbs run from a 12v battery or would you have to use a deep cell to keep the lights on for 2 hours a day?

    Thanks again for you help!
    cindy
     
  14. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Welll.........

    How bright a light do you need? Are you looking for a certain number of lumens, or what is the deal? How many bulbs/ watts are you trying to run?

    For how many hours?

    How many amps (hee hee - milliamps of course) does that $21 solar charger put out?

    I'm confused by the 12 volt battery vs the deep cell battery. The deep cell will also be 12 volt, so.... What batteries are we talking about exactly? They will have ratings for amps. deep cycle batteries are built a bit differently inside, and can withstand being drained almost totally & then recharged totally again, over & over. A regular car vattery cannot take that kind of abuse for very long, they are designed to be discharged to only 75% or so regularly, then recharged. So if you want this deal to last for a long time, you either need to plan a way to recharge a 'regular' battery before it gets discharged, or spend more money for a deep cycle battery built to take total discharge. You can find both types of batteries in 'regular' or 'deep cycle' styles in many many sizes. you should match your battery size to the amount of electricity you will need, and you really haven't defined what kind of wattage draw you will have on the system. My solar electric fencer came with a tiny little 12v battery - I assume it is deep cycle, but would not run a light very long. The Diehard in the car will run a light a long time, but it won't like being totally discharged very often. Need to figure out what is being done to know what is best for your setup.

    Not trying to sound short or anything. :) Just, you ask qestions, but we can't help unless we know what exactly you are doing here. Just exactly how many bulbs at how many watts for how long every day? And so on. Will they be on longer during the short winter days, and less during the long summer days? Will this mean you will not have enough sunlight to charge in the dead of winter, but you will have so much sun in summer you cook your battery over? All things to think about in designing a 'good' solar system - not that cooking your battery i much of a concern with a trickle solar charger, but just pointing out the details we have to watch for, when not sure of what you are trying to put together here.

    Then we can help.

    --->Paul
     
  15. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Paul is right about the batteries.I would discharge 10% max for a car batt,and 30-40% max for a deep cycle for even longer life.Car battery of course is a poor choice over a golf cart pair of 6 volt deep cycles at 40-50 each at costco(T-105 style).

    As Paul states more info please.

    BooBoo
     
  16. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    12 volt Cf bulbs from

    www.cetsolar.com

    Im thinking a couple of these in MH to replace a couple burned out flourescent 2 tube fixtures would be a cheap and frugal energy use way to go.



    BPESL13T/MAR-12
    13 watt (Equals Reg.60w bulb)
    600 Lumens 4.8" Tall
    8,000 Average Life Hours
    Model Description Price Buy On Line
    BPESL13T/MAR-12 13 Watt Fluorescent Light $13.92 Add to Cart!
    View Cart



    20 watt 12 VDC (Equals Reg. 75 watt bulb)
    6,000 Average Life Hours
    Model Description Price Buy On Line
    66.2158 20 Watt Fluorescent Light $16.99