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Self sustained power?

post #1 of 20
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Just had a thought and maybe it has come up here before but it seems for the majority of folders the biggest down side other than initial cost of equipment is the reoccurring cost of utilities.

Has anyone thought of doing some type to self sustaining power system for folding rigs? I know a lot of people have them just sitting in the garage so the heat isn't bothering anyone but what would it take to mount a battery and solar panel that would be reliable to run most if not all of the power consumption .. 1000w should be plenty and may even pay for itself over a years time.

Just an idea to throw out there, I don't have any experience in solar systems and they may very well not be efficient enough for this small of an application but its worth thinking about.
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post #2 of 20
It's possible. But the cost is what holds back most people. Doing it with solar alone would be hard. It'd cost a grand or two unless you found some really good deals on everything. For about double that cost you could halfway power your house.

But I do think with people already paying a premium for their folding rigs, it doesn't seem unreasonable for them to get the equipment needed to have grid free rigs.
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post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenolak View Post
It's possible. But the cost is what holds back most people. Doing it with solar alone would be hard. It'd cost a grand or two unless you found some really good deals on everything. For about double that cost you could halfway power your house.

But I do think with people already paying a premium for their folding rigs, it doesn't seem unreasonable for them to get the equipment needed to have grid free rigs.
I wish it would only cost a couple of grand. It would be more like $10,000 - $20,000 if you wanted to run a small folding farm 24/7 off the grid.

Lets pretend that we want to run 2 computers folding 24/7. Together they draw 1000 watts.

So: 1000 x 24hrs = 24000 / 1000 = 24KW/H a day

so 24 * 30 = 720 KW/H a month

Using a solar panel calculator: http://www.bdbatteries.com/panelcalculator.php

It came up with me needing: 5.08 kilowatts of solar panels.

Looking around on the internet, it looks like it would be ~$12 - $15k just for the panels. Then add in a battery array that will store all of this power, and a high quality full sine wave inverter. The costs are quite large. Keep in mind that this is just for 1000 watts 24/7. Just imagine if you had a folding farm drawing 3-4000 watts.
Edited by AtomicFrost - 6/10/11 at 6:40am
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post #4 of 20
A high wattage solar array easily costs $30,000. (even with incentives/rebates...expensive)

You're better off with a diesel generator converted to run off of biofuel...and even then, the initial cost is a massive hit.
post #5 of 20
Yup, the panels and installation are incredibly expensive.

If they panels were free/cheap, everyone would want a set for their home, but sadly they are very expensive.

Cheapest thing I can think of was a small (3 foot diameter I think) assemble-your-self wind turbine. I saw it online some where years ago, but you could do something like that if you really want to try something renewable. It is very situational dependent, but it could be a neat project.
    
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post #6 of 20
I know you can run your lights off solar panels, I don't think you're going to be able to get 240/120V for a PC though, highly doubt it.

But yeah, in general solar panels can be a good investment over time.
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post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post
Yup, the panels and installation are incredibly expensive.

If they panels were free/cheap, everyone would want a set for their home, but sadly they are very expensive.

Cheapest thing I can think of was a small (3 foot diameter I think) assemble-your-self wind turbine. I saw it online some where years ago, but you could do something like that if you really want to try something renewable. It is very situational dependent, but it could be a neat project.
This would be closer to reasonable than anything photovoltaic. Although, if you want 15,000.00 dollars worth of solar panels and batteries to power a CPU only folding rig I know a guy.

edit-They sell those at every farm store.
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post #8 of 20
It's possible to do a single 1000w solar/wind setup with a few batteries transformer and UPS. Granted it would most likely have some down time, but it'd work and be free and easy to add to after it's setup. You can make solar panels for under a dollar a watt(right at a dollar if you don't have scrap things to use while making them and have to get extra supplies other than the cell's alone) and get small wind generators for a couple of hundred. a grand on a couple of generators and the rest on DIY solar cells and you'd be able to charge up batteries. A dozen batteries, a transformer able to do pure sine wave 24/7 and a good UPS would be about a grand. A simple charge controller if you are too worried about the batteries getting over loaded and your good to go. It's possible with a little time and effort... If you live in a sunny/windy area and have the space.
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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reflux View Post
I know you can run your lights off solar panels, I don't think you're going to be able to get 240/120V for a PC though, highly doubt it.

But yeah, in general solar panels can be a good investment over time.
That is true. Most people who are buying solar panels don't try to go fully off the grid. Usually you pick a percentage to offset with solar. Like I want to get 25% of my power from soler, etc. Over time it will pay for itself as long as you live in a place that gets decent sunlight.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kenolak View Post
It's possible to do a single 1000w solar/wind setup with a few batteries transformer and UPS. Granted it would most likely have some down time, but it'd work and be free and easy to add to after it's setup. You can make solar panels for under a dollar a watt(right at a dollar if you don't have scrap things to use while making them and have to get extra supplies other than the cell's alone) and get small wind generators for a couple of hundred. a grand on a couple of generators and the rest on DIY solar cells and you'd be able to charge up batteries. A dozen batteries, a transformer able to do pure sine wave 24/7 and a good UPS would be about a grand. A simple charge controller if you are too worried about the batteries getting over loaded and your good to go. It's possible with a little time and effort... If you live in a sunny/windy area and have the space.
The issue you will run into is down time. If you have a 1000w load 24/7 you have to have a large amount of energy in reserver during the night / when the wind isn't blowing. Home built solar panels have issues with lifespan, and you would still be looking at ~$5k on them. The issue with generators is that you have to buy the fuel. It's not free like sunlight / wind.

You are better off offsetting some of your computers energy usage using renewable power resources.
Edited by AtomicFrost - 6/10/11 at 6:49am
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post #10 of 20
Look around new construction sites that have solar panels powering signs...they usually have advertising on them stating the supplier.

You could try giving them a buzz. Sometimes they have panels slightly damaged (by people driving into them) that they may give out for free (they may only output 75% of their rating) if you state something like you're using them for science experiments.

Would you get enough to power a folding rig? Unlikely...but it's worth a shot.
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