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 Hello from Orange Australian Bush

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foxint

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Location : ORANGE - NSW - AUSTRALIA

PostSubject: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:04 am

Hi Guys,

Nice site and great ideas.

Not a technical guy, but old bloke who now lives in the bush and getting poorer each year as the electricity and gas prices keep going up and up.

Want to put up solar and batteries. Been discussing with SMA. Seems easy.... Tripower inverter (we in the bush have 3-phase) and 3 Sunny Islands and batteries.... my one problem - affording it and putting food on the table and shoes for the children. Really expensive here and in Orange I know more than the professional installers - scary..... I know nothing....

Hope to share some experiences...

Dan
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SilentDeath001

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:13 am

Hey, welcome and hope you get your system set up and working great. Me and alan know a few guys in your neck of the woods. let us know if there is any way we can help with information or suggestions and we will jump right on it. have fun SD.
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foxint

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:47 am

Mate

Thank you….

As I may have alluded to, pricing in the bush is high and I think high across the country. The government is not very solar friendly….

I would love to run my Hi Fi on batteries and I love Alan’s Peltier A/c… I think I would like to see the A/c as one of the early projects…. I am getting a little hot in the office.

But I am no technical guy…. I studied humanities at university. No physics or chemistry. But have an enquiring mind.

I will look forward to the stories as they unfold

Dan
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:40 pm

Welcome Aboard !!!

If I may put your mind at ease... Your now in the bush, and you can now also stop thinking "City Power" !!!! You can live with more luxuries then you ever had in the city with DC power !

First focus is... Putting together a 400Ah or larger 24v DC battery Bank. Go talk to a golf course and tell them you will buy their old 6v Deep Cycle Batteries... SD is the Master to show you how to bring them back to life, and save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars !!!

Next we'll see what options we have to get you the solar panels...

If you can operate a screw driver, a cigarette lighter, and hold a pencil, knife and fork. You have the basic skills to build anything, and have the motor skills to learn how to solder a wire !

You are not alone my friend ! Positive thinking now !!!

You have made the first step, and begun a wonderful journey amongst friends in the off grid world !!!!

NOTE: I updated your Avatar, Hope it fits !

Alan
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foxint

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:17 pm

Mate

I am excited. My wife thinks I am a nerd.... but heck, some one out west has to make some effort to saving our brown land.

The government is totally against us. They drove the only viable fuel cell maker (Ceramic Fuel Cells) from Melbourne to Germany due to legislation. Plus our electricity in the bush is 38 cents/Kw hour while the coastal cities (like Sydney) pay 24 cents....

Dead 6v batteries...we are only a small town, not sure how many batteries...I am listening

(I was wondering about the Avatar - nice thanks)

Dan
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SilentDeath001

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:49 am

hey fox,,, here is what you want to find with golf cart batteries. which ever ones you find, try to keep them all the same, that way you will have equal amp hour rating per battery, it makes it easier to equalize a battery bank. you can check all over your country, which ever is a drive you want to make and find batteries like Trojan T-105 those are 225 amp hour 6 volt. T-125 are 240amp and T-145 are 260 amp hour batteries. I get them from 15 to 30 dollars per battery. now if you can locate some like in a scrap yard or gold course, you put two 6 volt batteries together to make a 12 volt set, and 4 together to make a 24 volt set up. for a good 24 volt set up you will need 8 batteries, 16 would be even better.
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foxint

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:25 am

SilentDeath

Thank you for the comments. All the same is good as I also understand – thank you for confirming this.

I am having a small issue with finding second hand batteries. Plus I will need lots of them…. In my analysis (and I am still coming to terms with the maths), I use 35-42 kW/ a day. So that means I need a big Solar (say 10 kW) and lots of batteries.

Not sure what they actually means…. But

golfcartssydney.com.au - they are selling the batteries for AUD1,300 plus 99.00 if you do not trade in the batteries….

So I am not sure if I can get that many batteries all the same. I am basically 365km from the nearest centre of batteries. So any battery will cost much more….

Happy to play around with a small system: I have ordered 2 x 12V SLA batteries…..

I am still learning…

Thanks
Dan
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:22 am

Hello Foxint,

Building an off grid system has a few options to make life a bit more simple...

Firstly, plan on changing all your lighting to LED's and they will run directly off the DC side.

Second, think single phase (240vAC 50Hz) for your Pure SignWave inverter to power your fridge, TV, clothes washer, and small appliances.

Third, cooking should use LPG to lighten your electrical load. You are in a climate with great sun. I would recommend solar thermal water heating.

It is best to use 24v DC as a bank size because there are so many DC appliances you can start to swap out the AC units.

Planning is so important, and when done correctly is very rewarding both finically and as a personal achievement !

We are all here to help !

Call up Sydney Golf Courses and ask to speak to someone about buying their old golf cart batteries. As SD said, $15 to $30 dollars a piece. You just need to make the drive to load up your LandRover to save big money !

Alan
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foxint

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:03 am

Hi Alan

Great comments and ideas. I do have some problems inherent in my situation:
• Already replaced every light with 240v led
• House completed re-wired for 3-phase. 3-phase is standard configuration in the bush. The city folks have single-phase we have 3-phase
• We have new electric 3-phase stove with conventional ovens and induction cooktop.
• We are on town gas, but that is destined to quadruple in prices due to the government pricing policies.
• We have 1 year old instantaneous gas hot water and gas hydronic heating.

My basic plan “was”:
• 5 kW PV on the East side and 5 kW on the West side (we have no North to speak of)
• 2 x SMA Tripower inverters; one for each string. Yes I know they are capable of dual stringing
• 3 x SMA Sunny Island battery management system – one for each phase
• 48V battery bank (as advised by SMA)

Longer term (5years) will have to replace the gas appliances as these will be too expensive.  Not that I want to but will have to think about increasing the PV and replace the hydronic heating with some appliance like a heat-pump (if they get cheaper and can work at sub 6C).

We are in the middle of the town and I am not sure how many batteries can fit into the Toyota Camry…. Wish I had a Land Rover. Not sure where to put the mountain of batteries…no we are the only house in town with no garage….bummer.

Currently begging the bank for money….ha-ha

Dan
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SilentDeath001

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:26 pm

Hey Alan, we could introduce him to TinMan, for some good contacts on getting some batteries and other equipment.
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:24 pm

Hello,

If your talking to the bank, I will assume you have looked into "grid tied" inverters that feed back to the grid (no batteries required). What is your kWh cost from your electrical supplier, and then what is the price they pay YOU for feeding kWh back to the grid. Many governments have tax breaks for grid tied systems.

TinMan is over in Perth on the west side of Australia, Dan is located on the eastern side.

Alan
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foxint

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:33 pm

Guys

Thank you…

Electricity costs me 38cents a kW/hour. I get no feed-in (or 8cents). So I want to use and save all my own electricity and not give the bastards anything….In the big cities it is about 24cents. So we are really disadvantaged being in the bush (plus the gas is more and the petrol is more expensive, the health care is sub-standard…. But you can get a park, there is minimal traffic and the air is clean).

I am here all day and will use the electricity.

I live in town the council is very prescriptive. I will even have to submit to local council a DA (Development Application) for the installation. Since I speak my mind, and once told the Mayor that I did not trust him or his assistant to run the school tuck shop, my name is mud….

(The Mayor is a local car dealer and the Assistant Mayor is a real estate agent – not the most revered professions. A tuck shop is a school canteen).

I have spoken to all the local solar “experts” in my town and I know much more than they do – and I know nothing. So it really worries me about the level of installation in my town.

My 2 x 12V 7.2AH batteries arrived this morning… not cheap…about $20.00 each…

Dan
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:20 am

Hello,

Good Experimenting my friend !

Alan
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foxint

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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:33 am

Alan

Thank you....

I am looking forward to your next installation in the Peltier A/c.

I had a think about the evaporative A/c, while attractive for dry environments (35-40RH%). I am not keen about the water tank. Your Peltier is small and effective – well looks great.

Dan
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PostSubject: Re: Hello from Orange Australian Bush   Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:02 am

Hello,

I'll be installing them on the "Historical Teak" boat in a few months.. once I have all the solar and wind turbines installed.

Alan
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