Solar Power on the Playa

Postby oscillator » Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:45 pm

@ stargeezer
Sorry, I fail to grasp your point here. A *24 thousand watt* array is a huge gift to BRC, and SKS's approach to its funding is entirely appropriate.

@ wkorthof
I'd like to inquire about a pre-arranged & paid-for array for my self-funded, registered installation this year.

Nothing would please me more than not having to run a generator this time (well, other than delighting participants with my project). PM sent.

cheers!

\\osc
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Postby stargeezer » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:15 pm

oscillator wrote:@ stargeezer
Sorry, I fail to grasp your point here. A *24 thousand watt* array is a huge gift to BRC, and SKS's approach to its funding is entirely appropriate.

\\osc


My point is this is not a gift, he is going out as a business and selling services to nearby camps.

There was an individual that wanted to rent or buy an art car for BM, and they got slammed as a commercial entity.

There have been several that have offered transport of equipment or supplies to the playa for a fee, mainly to reduce their costs, and they were told they could not place ads here on eplaya.

Here is an individual who openly states that he is going there as a business selling power to others, and I am the only one that questions their motives. Burning Man is supposed to be a gifting society, and until he mentioned that his endeavor was indeed a commercial one, I thought he was doing a great service but as a gift.

There is even a thread under Share Resources discussing what can be sold or rented on eplaya, and the answer is nothing.

How is this solar power company any different??

Where do you draw the line??
If you want to reach for the stars, you better have long arms!
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Postby SilverOrange » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:51 pm

stargeezer wrote:
oscillator wrote:@ stargeezer
Sorry, I fail to grasp your point here. A *24 thousand watt* array is a huge gift to BRC, and SKS's approach to its funding is entirely appropriate.

\\osc


My point is this is not a gift, he is going out as a business and selling services to nearby camps.

Here is an individual who openly states that he is going there as a business selling power to others, and I am the only one that questions their motives. Burning Man is supposed to be a gifting society, and until he mentioned that his endeavor was indeed a commercial one, I thought he was doing a great service but as a gift.


First off, thanks to you, wkorthof, for what you are doing. I think it's great that you are taking the initiative to do this. I, for one, wouldn't expect you to eat that 12 grand. In my opinion it's along the lines of members of theme camps paying dues to fund their existence. While mentioning the exchange of cash for your services here on eplaya might have been a mistake, I totally understand where you are coming from. I would much rather my money went to fund solar power than into the pockets of the oil companies, which is where it would be going if using generators was the other option.

Stargeezer, while I appreciate your opinion. I think it's a jump to call this a business venture, and especially to consider this as a for profit endeavor. Commerce makes Burning Man possible, like it or not. Would it be less commerce for him to throw parties to offset his costs as many of the theme camps and art installations do? Dues paid by members of theme camps? As long as he doesn't use the eplaya as a recruiting tool, which I do think he came closer than he should have, or conduct business on the playa, no foul. It's unfortunate that he mentioned the "for cash" part of his post, but nowhere have I gotten the impression that he was trying to hawk this as a business, or that he was trying to drum up business, and I haven't seen any links to "his business" posted anywhere.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:53 am

How can he even promise to be where he is and know that receptive camps will be near him? We serve at the mercy of the placement godlings. I admit I didn't read this closely, but even though I know money changes hands all over the playa for various reasons, I don't think this is okay--certainly not on this board.
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Postby wkorthof » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:44 am

As for project financing----if you and other participants in your camp (or village) agree to buy a dome (or any other shared addition to a camp)... and split the cost of the item and transport costs--- you're doing the same thing we're doing.

As for proximity, we organized our camp with other camps into a village.
A village is a collection of theme camps in one location with shared theme and services. We also worked with two other theme camps (not in village) to include specific reciprocal placement+proximity requests with each of their applications. The placement folks have a tough job, and there's no guarantee, but they do a great job and odds are they'll be able to make it work.

/wk
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Postby Token » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:59 am

Image

Image

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Postby mikep_95133 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:00 am

[quote="wkorthof"]Good point. Maybe people should stick with generators. [/quote]

I hear you wkorthof! I was planning on bringing a generator, but decided one of my gifting avenues is to not bring a generator, but to find power another way.

Right now I have a self balancing scooter that needs 120vac at around 7 amps for just 45 minutes. The scooter is all about giving rides on high technology, but not looking high tech.

Can you point me in the right direction for 120vac?

The battery packs are 36v lithium. Maybe direct to solar charging? That would take a regulator that I don't have.

Thanks,

Mike
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Postby wkorthof » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:04 am

Sounds like a nice scooter.

I'd actually stick with 120 volts---developing another 36 volt lithium battery management system would be a project. You can drop by Snow Koan Solar any time (daylight hours) and plug into one of our 120 volt outlets.

/wk
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Postby Brandon314159 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:25 pm

Hey Mike,

Do be careful with Lithium Ion batteries and charging as overcharging them can result in explosive fire! They take a pretty special charging system that your scooter probably already is doing from 120VAC. Search youtube for lithium ion rechargable battery fires. :)

We're still working on the art vehicle. Leaning towards 48V pack but we'll see. I'll make sure I am not an aggressive power hog if I stop by. :-) Even if not robbing your watts, would love to check the system out. I do a lot of remote base station hilltop stuff where service mains are often not available.

Talk later!

-Brandon
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Camp Mechanic & Stuff
http://mutantbus.wordpress.com
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Postby mikep_95133 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:27 am

Thanks Brandon. I'm well versed in Lithium. These are not the volatile cells.

I hope to even have watts for you to hog! I suspect we are going to be utilizing other group's power. That was not my goal, but it may be all I'm left with for the first year at BM. See you there!

Mike
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Postby mikep_95133 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:33 am

Thanks wk. Having power helps immensely. Are you located anywhere near the AEZ?

Mike
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Postby wkorthof » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:35 am

We aren't part of AEZ, but we are going to be located in the same type of block (double-depth block of real estate) that AEZ uses, which means roughly between D and F near either the ~8:00 or ~6:00 radials.

let's hear it for lithium!
MikeP as for charging---you are welcome to go directly from DC; buy you'll need a DC-DC charge controller with a ~48-56vdc input. We'll have Anderson gray SB120 connectors available to connect directly from our battery banks.


/wk
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Postby mikep_95133 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:39 am

I have some smaller 75 amps Anderson's. But will get a set of the SB120's.

At 48-56 volts, depending on the solar batteries impedance I could charge at a higher rate, probably 20-30 amps from the 48-56v source. I'd just have to sit there are watch my packs and shut them off at 36 volts. Even a sizeable dropping resistor would work. That would make for only a 15 minute charge!

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Postby wkorthof » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:33 pm

It's Burning man, not burning Lithium... so I'm going to suggest against connecting 36 volt lithium batteries directly to our 48 volt battery packs.
Either use a 120 volt charger, or some kind of reasonable DC-DC charger;
Outback's MX60 units, for example, can take in ~50-54 volts and convert it to a reliable output voltage (say, ~40 vdc) that you set for charging your Li batteries. I don't trust the resistor method.

/wk.
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Postby gyre » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:13 am

The nicad pack originally on the scooter my motor came from, exploded in dramatic fashion while charging.
Destroyed the shop.

Good chargers seem worth the money.
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Postby The Chinese » Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:28 pm

dude, stargeezer... C'mon. They're gifting a cleaner environment to the Playa. and Gifting education to people who are interested. That's more than most. so they charge money to Camps for power, I know that I'd rather give it to them than buying Gas for a Generator.

Any chance Transmorphagon can get in on this power? hehehe


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The Biggest Distraction... Funk On the Playa, Live uncut Funk, TheBomb, Comin at you from the Transmorphogon, 500 Kilowatts of Pure Funk Power. You Will be groovin'. So when yer sick of the Boomp Boomp of the Burn, come down to the T-Dome and Learn....
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Two guys.... 1 small motorhome... need a place to camp.

Postby VERG » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:16 pm

I posted this in another thread but thought I'd post it here too. Please don't hate. ;)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey there fellow burners. My friend and I will be driving up to this years burn in a small motor home and need a place to camp that HOPEFULLY will let us connect to their power grid / generator. We can pay you something or trade something for your trouble. We are self sufficent, bringing up all our water / food/ ect. All we need is a place to park and camp.

If you can help, please let me know. We're two cool mellow guys.

Any help would be great.

Thanks.

--VERG

vergman@gmail.com
Do you have a pair of RED and BLUE 3d glasses? Then check out my 3D photos!

http://s572.photobucket.com/albums/ss168/VERGMAN/
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smlall unit

Postby jhnt » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:54 pm

WK I am traveling to Burning Man in a 29 foot fifth Wheel camper. I want tp put a solar panel on top to keep my batterries (two 12 volt)charged. What technology is the most efficient. It seems like there are three different types (technology)of panels. I plan to add panels and storage capacity in the future with an inverter. Just can't buy it all this year. Who would be a good source. Thanks, John
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Postby gyre » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:30 pm

I'm not up to date on panels now, but the first thing to look for on an RV is durability.
Then price, weight and efficiency.
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Got photos of solar arrays and solar art projects @ BM?

Postby 1luv » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:38 pm

Please send them woth a short description (who, what, where, why, how) to 1luv@burncleanproject.org so I can post them on the site!

Thanks so much!

:idea:
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Postby bdeywoo » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:22 am

Thread Hijack, but it seems just as apropriate as a new thread.

The Problem:

My electric MV is run off 2 wheelchair motors. Rated at drawing 3.2 amps each. My batteries have no rating on them they were given to me. The only telling script on them is 180 minutes @25amps. I take this to mean it can produce 75 amps over 3 hours???? I dont know how to figure the amp/hour rating (i'm probably missing some stupidly easy way to do this it cant possibly be 25amp/hours right?) The batteries themselves are 70lbs each which leads me to believe they are pretty beefy. The are the same one's Burner Boy gave out a year or two ago, Gell Cell batteries.

I ran the MV for around 4 hours and took the batteries from 13.02 v to 12.78. I then was able to recharge the battery with only a 1.5 amp trickle charger in about 12-18 hours. Now i need to get the proper components to charge on playa, as i realize the trickle charger is not ment to fully charge.

I would like to go the Solar route in some way I have an EU2000 as backup but would like to be petrol free. I have 6 or 7 batteries to use and i am anticipating only having to switch out a battery every other day (2 batteries to produce 24v). I figure to be safe I will assume 1 battery bank (2 batteries) replacement per 24 hour period. I then would need to charge 1 battery ban every 2 days or faster to keep the cycle going. So since there are two battries, one per day or actually 8-10 hours of solar charging would need to recharge 1 battery.

I am considering the Sunforce 60 Watt Solar Charging Kit — Model# 50044 for $349.99. I think it will supply all I need. They say it will charge at 4 amps but i take that to mean realistically out there 2-2.5 amps. I can use the left over batteries for a source power and the solar charger would keep them full. @2 amps I dont think its realistic to charge the batteries on the MV so I would likely get another charger.

Could I then get a 10/6/2 charger and run it off the bank of 4 batteries to charge the two on the MV? Say @ 10amps charge?

As you can see i'm dealing with a remedial amount of knowledge here but any aid you could give me would be greatly appriciated.

Are there other questions I should be thinking about here?
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Postby Token » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:11 pm

If memory serves those were 105Ah gel cells. 25A/h is their maximum recommended discharge rate.

It is unclear how your batteries and motors are connected. Looks like two batteries in series for 24V and each motor runs 24V at 3.2A.

Since you only have 6.4A of load you should get a reasonable 10 hours or more from a charge if the cells are in great shape and were maintained and trickle charged over the two years they sat in your garage. :shock:

Now for charging, you must connect the two batteries in parallel if the charger is 12V. You will have to replace ~ 120A-hours of energy. At 4A of charging output, that will take 30 hours of SUNSHINE ~ 4 DAYS.

If you are good with 5 hours of driving per day AND we don't have any day long whiteouts (yeah, right), three banks of batteries may work out for 8 days.

You should also get a 40/20/10 charger just in case. It takes only 3-4 hours to charge your MV from the Honda EU2K.
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Postby bdeywoo » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:41 pm

Yup you are correct on the hook up 24v series at 3.2A.

OK those are numbers and figures i can wrap my head around, thanks Token!

Another dumb question Token....

How does your EU2000 opperate that charger when the spec's say 13.2 amps it's max output? Have I made a poor assumption that a 10 amp charger draws 10 amps? I just got the Genny and have no charger to test these things, and obviously little knowledge to start from.

HMMM I see I am not nearly as close to being done as i thought!

Below is the charger i originally landed on, but since thought it was too much for my EU2000. Maybe it would work?
Schumacher Speedcharge Battery Charger, Model# SC-12000A
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/ ... _200326704
I liked it because of the ability to show percent charged.
[/url]
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Any suggestions

Postby Patamon » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:17 pm

Do you have any good suggestions onn any good sites to buy Solar equipment?

I'm looking for a small panel, that can charge a battery that can then be used for LED's at night on my electric scooter, something small and mobile. (and preferably cheap).

PS: I heard about the reduced sunspot activity this year causing the earth to cool a wee bit, about 1 degree, I wonder if this has an effect on solar panels? hmmm.
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Postby Boijoy » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:18 pm

don't forget to floss
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Postby Boijoy » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:19 pm

oh.. & have you considered solar string lights?? you can get them for about $25 on e-bay. takes a while to ship from china though.
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Postby The Drifter » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:02 pm

The Sinister Minister camp will be using solar lawn lights for the perimeter and walkway:

http://shoestringvagabond.activeboard.com/index.spark?aBID=128826&p=3&topicID=29080922

And we're looking into solar powered LEDs as well.
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Postby Token » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:16 pm

bdeywoo wrote:How does your EU2000 opperate that charger when the spec's say 13.2 amps it's max output? Have I made a poor assumption that a 10 amp charger draws 10 amps? I just got the Genny and have no charger to test these things, and obviously little knowledge to start from.


The generator produces 110V AC at 13.6A.

Your battery charger converts that to 13.8V DC and whatever capacity current it supports. My particular charger does 40/20/10A selectable via switch.

Any modern charger should be microcontroller based and will automatically charge at the maximum safe current.
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Postby AntiM » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:59 am

(Mod mode on)
The "line of commerce" is a snaky zig-zag.

I just read the thread, he didn't mention transactions until directly asked. Lots of people have businesses, and what they do off playa and off the eplaya is their business, literally. The camp provides a LOT of free energy to people. If he makes arrangements ahead of time elsewhere, I don't much care. That happens on many levels... I'll bring xyz to you on the playa, you can pay me there. As for transactions which happen before the event, away from the playa? None of our business. He never advertised directly here, that's what gets posts pulled. he simply answered a question directly and openly.

The village concept does not sound like "hired theme camp" to me. Collaborative, am I right?

I understand the concern that this has commercial overtones. It does. but if you've read the JRS this year, the policy seems to be decommodification, not anti-commerce. Were he charging for power on the playa (sorry about the pun), that would be commerce. To fund the camp and infrastructure beforehand, out of sight of the purists, that works.

Also, it would be polite to ask questions than to make harsh accusations about his business character. Just sayin'.

(mod mode off)

((mods get to have opinions too))
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Postby TheFunkHole » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:55 pm

@ wkorthof

Where might Solar Snow Koan be located for 2009? I just got a brushless 36 volt motor hub on a quadracycle surrey bike, it helps power it a bit with some pedaling to assist. I am going to try to have extra battery packs for charging. Are you guys up for charging? Is there a good time to stop by? (daytime I assume)
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