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 Free Energy

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Assassin
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PostSubject: Free Energy   Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:27 pm

Many people like the concept of free energy, but how do you obtain free energy.

Traditionally for the 4X4 it has always been the unsuccessful solar panel with its measly output just about sufficient to run a small LED light, works efficiently for about 1.5 hours per day in the summer and much less efficiently unless it is constantly adjusted, and is very expensive for the cost to output ratio, and is useless on a dull day and at night.

One other form of free energy is available and this is the wind turbine or to be more specific the micro wind turbine or the portable micro wind turbine which as its name suggests is a portable micro wind turbine and can be folded away for transport and erected in under 2 minutes with modifications. For the off roader they make sense by virtue of the fact they aren't light/sun dependant, they aren't fixed to a vehicle in one (usually worst) position, and wet wig all over a solar panel in performance terms and durability.

Cost wise they cost around 20% more than a solar panel and in barely noticeable breeze they spin at quite some speed and produce the sorts of power a solar panel could only dream of, they have several fixing options, and can be self contained units or modular and can be incorporated into split charging systems if required. They can be attached to the vehicle or used as a free standing unit making them ideal for off roaders who prefer to take a tent along and camp instead of living in their vehicle and packing up every time they move their vehicle as the unit can be left with a tent and battery pack charging it while you are away. If you prefer to camp in your vehicle you simply make quick release brackets and fix them to your vehicle and install permanent wiring and a socket.

Our testing was done on a 300 watt solar panel and this was from the worlds best manufacturer of world beating solar panels, Toshiba, and this isn't even on the market yet as its a development model being evaluated; this was compared to a mid range standard wind turbine, the sort you see on narrow boats and on off grid housing. Testing was done over a full 24 hour cycle and on 3 separate days to fully evaluate both systems and the solar panel was installed on steel beams at 4X4 roof height, the wind turbine was free standing with its guy rope kit. They were stood 5 metres apart in the middle of a field so there were no obstructions such as trees to impede the solar panel or the wind turbine. All three days were bright and sunny and not overcast.

Results were staggering, the average output from all three separate days of testing of the solar panel was an average 1.21 amp/hour over the three 24 hour test cycles with an average of 11.74 amp/hour from the wind turbine in exactly the same conditions, so the question is would you spend a couple of minutes putting up a wind turbine for this sort of power output. Lets be realistic here, with these types of power output you can run a power hungry expedition fridge, lighting, and still return more power to the battery using a wind turbine rather than a fixed solar panel.

300 watts at 12 volts is 25 amps and at no time did the solar panel get anywhere there this output, it only peaked once at 9.2 amps for less than 5 minutes; meanwhile the wind turbine regularly ran over 15 amps output for sustained periods exceeding 15 minutes meaning a sustained and prolonged useful power output, in addition it peaked at over 20 amps many times when the wind gusted.

Solar only works well for about 2 hours per day for a fixed solar panel and this performance would have increased if the panel was regularly moved to track the sun, but the average of the wind turbine being higher than the solar panels peak output speaks volumes, so if you are considering a solar panel then I would say forget it and go for a typical wind turbine.




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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Free Energy   Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:16 am

Interesting, particularly like this part -

"Lets be realistic here, with these types of power output you can run a power hungry expedition fridge, lighting, and still return more power to the battery using a wind turbine rather than a fixed solar panel".

When I get my camper sorted as I'd like it, a fridge will obviously be a priority, so I will be looking into solar panels ... and now wind turbines as well as it's got me thinking.

Nice one mate!

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PostSubject: Re: Free Energy   Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:02 pm

Lets be realistic Tom, many expedition vehicles builders have been banging on about solar and many people (some on this site) have wasted good money buying and installing them only to find they are having to run their engines to top up their batteries, consider this was a 300 W wind turbine and banging out over 11 A/h as an average compared to typical fridge consumptions of around 5-6 A/h you ain't running your engine.

You have options, how about putting in twin leisure battery packs and two turbines, albeit smaller ones such as 100-125 watt units and they knock out an average 4-5 A/h and one is virtually running your fridge while the other is charging and the pack running the fridge is only dropping about 1 A/h or 24 amps over 24 hours so you run off one battery pack and charge the other, simply switch over every 24 hours. You always have one running battery pack and one used which will be charged in around 5 hours with a smaller 125W turbine or a couple of hours with a larger 300 W unit.

Some friends have exploited this, I converted an Iveco 4X4 for them as a couple but they have a large family, while their Iveco 4X4 is only really geared up for the two of them to save having an ex MOD 4X4 truck for the basis of a larger conversion with its associated conversion and running costs, their family visits and they keep tents and equipment in chassis lockers for when they arrive. I made a couple of quick fix brackets for their Iveco and fitted a sealed socket and all they do is get it out, fix the turbine head to the split pole, click into the quick fix clamps, remove the cover from the body socket and plug the turbine in to power the vehicle with over 15 A/h 24 hours a day which is an excessive amount of power for them.

When family visit they have a detachable battery pack (225 amp in a case) and a smaller turbine which is free standing, they kick the base into the soil and open the telescopic pole, fix the guy lines, drop the turbine pole into the base and anchor the guy lines and run power lines from the sockets on the battery case to each tent for lighting. They have a number of LED lights (I made them) on small telescopic poles which they stick into the ground to light their camp up as they spend so much time outside, they claim its like Blackpool illuminations, and as they understand power management they say all their battery packs are fully or nearly fully charged. They are currently touring Europe while their grand children are on holiday and run these two turbines and also carry a spare smaller item just in case.

Their vehicle has the service battery and three leisure battery packs, two are permanently attached to the vehicle and with the third is the detachable item in its housing so it can stand out in all weathers, a socket was permanently installed for ease of use, with the aid of electronic trickery on the back of the socket it charges the pack permanently installed on the vehicle which has the lowest charge. This then switches over to charge the second pack when the first is full and in the event of the main large turbine failing in the field they have the camp/tent turbine and their spare turbine, the battery packs are isolated and each has a turbine plugged into it.

When they get home and stand their camper they are going to install one of the smaller turbines to their vehicle and connect it into the service battery as this is connected into the digital split charging circuit, this will keep their service battery fully charged and bleed any surplus power through the digital split charging system to keep their leisure batteries charged so no connecting to the mains to trickle charge it.
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PostSubject: Re: Free Energy   Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:40 pm

Another great read, I did get a solar panel to put on sasha are 130 camper but never had time to fix it on,
now still in box in bedroom, was going to fix on our Izuzu motor home, but will now look into a wind turbine.
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Free Energy   Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:32 am

Yep, informative as ever. Really going to have to think about this before following the others down a blind alley. Nice one Ass!

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PostSubject: Re: Free Energy   Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:52 pm

I did think about a solar panel for the 110 but decided against it after a 13 week trip earlier this year consisting of 5 weeks in Spain 3 weeks in Morocco and 5 weeks touring through France without the need for extra power.
I have a 100 amp hour alternator powering a 65 amp hour starter battery and a 30 amp hour deep cycle (golf buggy) auxiliary battery which supplies power for internal led lights external led flood lights it also supplies power to charge up a lap top, iPad, iPod, CD player, sat navs, ereader and phone, leaving the 65 amp only for starting and powering a small inverter when driving only.

The solar panel/wind turbine would be a good idea to supplement the batteries if I were to stay in one place for more than a week but to be honest I never stayed for more than 4 days in any one spot so the batteries were getting a good charge for probably anywhere between 3 to 6 hours most days.

I don't have a fridge as I haven't really felt the need for one the 110 has built in storage boxes and I keep perishable items, milk, fruit, veg and meat in a black plastic stackable box inside the fixed storage, I find this keeps milk and meat (not chicken) fresh for 3 to 4 days and fruit and veg for a lot longer.
What about a cold beer at the end of a long day I hear you say, well I drink bitter and red wine when I'm away so it all tastes the same at an ambient temperature.
Even when travelling across wide open deserted spaces in Morocco we would come across a town or village at least every 4 to 5 days so stocking up with diesel, petrol (for cooking) water fresh vegetables and bread was never an issue.

I think it was Tom Shepherd that said milk comes in powder and meat comes in tins so I always carry enough back up tin stuff, corned beef, tuna, sweetcorn, edam cheese, uht milk, baked beans, tinned fruit and evaporated milk (well sometimes you have to treat yourself) curries etc for 7 days just incase of emergencies.

I do like the idea of a small stowable wind turbine or solar panel to keep the aux battery topped up when the truck isn't in daily use but to be honest at home its my daily drive so its never really stationary for more than 4 or 5 days.


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Assassin
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PostSubject: Re: Free Energy   Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:50 pm

As an aside to this we have some interesting Government figures for home solar installation.

It costs an average £8000 for an average 2.5Kwp home system.
It saves an average £261 per annum.

When you do the maths it takes over 30 years to recoup your initial investment and on a system with a 10 year warranty its a gamble to see if the system would last for 30 years.
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PostSubject: Re: Free Energy   Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:10 am

Wideformat:

They come in particularly handy when storing your vehicle, fitted a few now and most benefit from them when they stand their vehicle between trips, go to your vehicle and its ready to go, engine battery charged despite items such as clocks or older power hungry alarms sucking power over prolonged periods which does take them down in conjunction with natural discharging.

Roamingman:

With the new digital voltage regulators you can have more than one incoming source of power, recent improvements mean it can be from more than one type of generation so with the correct regulator you can have both a solar panel and wind turbine connected but you need the sort designed with a port for a turbine and another port for solar, so your panel may not be wasted after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Free Energy   Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:53 pm

Thanks for that info, Assassin, will look into that in the new year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year.
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PostSubject: Re: Free Energy   Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:38 am

Merry Christmas.
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