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View Diary: A Failed Experiment (136 comments)

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  •  I understand what they've done (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, Just Bob, kurt, FarWestGirl

    I'm just wondering if they offer an option to retrofit the existing system.

    It would require either swapping out the inverter for one that has a failover capability or, depending on the brand, adding an extension to it, then adding a battery charger and batteries. It would cost about the same as adding an auto-failover propane generator, but without the future CO2 output and fuel costs.

    And it would be far, far less potentially dangerous than back-feeding from a portable gas generator. Skipping the part where you can fry line workers - a gas generator's power output can also fry your sensitive equipment due to the unclean power signal. Forget square wave or sine wave, it basically alternates brownouts with surges, and if something big kicks in, like the refrigerator's compressor, the generator's voltage seeking behavior amplifies the effect. In addition, portable gas generators aren't designed to run for hours on end, which tends to cause them to fail quickly, and sometimes catastrophically (our last failed generator threw shrapnel for several feet).

    They're such a pollution and safety hazard, I try to discourage people from using them, if they have the option to avoid it.

    •  I agree, particularly on (4+ / 0-)

      flathead, single cylinder, air-cooled motors (plus I hate the noise!).
      I'd love to get entirely off grid, low voltage lights, the whole bit. The retrofit I'd need would be pretty spendy.
      I'm way off the beaten path (for the CT shoreline) and services out here are flaky at best.
      As for batteries, I'm figuring that within a few years, Lion automotive batteries (480V) will become more readily available and running that as basically a huge UPS through an inverter/controller system that allowed inputs from solar, wind, low-head hydro, grid and generator. Then, no matter what source, at what time of day, you can store it and use it clean, when you need.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 11:35:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One little issue about Lion Batteries (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob, kurt, FarWestGirl

        They have a very short service life because they be recharged only a few thousand times at most before they start to loose capacity.  They are also known for catching fire if mishandled or overcharged (its rare today).  

        Most computer UPS systems rely on SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) Batteries and many people who are going off grid are at least looking at Nickel Iron Batteries because they are known for long (20+ year) service lives with proper maintenance.  

        Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

        by DavidMS on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 08:36:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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