Author Topic: Let me bounce an idea off you guys and see what you think...  (Read 411 times)

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TheEquineFencer

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Let me bounce an idea off you guys and see what you think...
« on: September 24, 2017, 01:36:00 PM »
Let's say you have 2000 watts of panels tied to a 24V bank of say 400Ah 6V batteries for 1200Ah to maybe 1600Ah total. You'd Use AGM batteries and have the system set to cut off the batteries out put at 20% discharge. At a 20% discharge that should give plenty of cycles from 100% to 80% charge....years probably.

Now, let's say you wanted to do a couple of things with this battery/solar set up. Let's say you and 9 others have the exact same system. (20KW total) One would be to power your own house for basics. Second, you'd like to have your little "community solar system" tied back to the grid and sell the power back to utility. This would be installed in let's say a west African country that has exorbitant electrical cost.

Along my lines of thinking, as the neighbors bought a system, they could be self sustaining and sell the "extra."

I'm also guessing you could tie all the battery banks into a large system to let's say power a water pumping station as needed. 

Then have each system mobile....hurricane coming....fold it down and haul butt to higher safer ground!


george65

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Re: Let me bounce an idea off you guys and see what you think...
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 07:32:54 PM »

I think your first and foremost problem in Africa is not having everything stolen.

Mate of mine is in Africa and put up a security fence and lighting around his property at great cost. In a months time they had stolen it all. First went the wiring, then the lights then the fence and towers went.   He now pays well armed guards with instructions to fire a warning shot and if it happens to hit the trespassers,  don't worry.

I see running connecting power lines or rather keeping them in place a big problem.
Next is going to get money out of a power company. Don't know of anywhere in the west you get any sort of decent return ( other than for a limited time sign up gimmick)  so getting a decent if any return could be "challenging".

How much are batteries, wire, inverter going to cost there or to get them there? What's the cost of the system and what's the ROI?

There was a short thread here a couple or 3 months back about similar systems. One was in NY I think and is selling power back to other households and my Nephew has been working in Cambodia doing the same thing. A household can offset the cost of a panel and batteries by selling the excess power to a neighbour.  For them this is just to replace kero burning lamps or taking a car battery into town to be boil charged. That's how they do it, put it on a big charger and when it's boiling, it's charged.... as well as more stuffed.

The idea is one thing with such proposals. The details, cost and practicality especially with local conditions can be quite something else.
Crunch the numbers and the local social economic/ lawful climate and see what you come up with.
 

SparWeb

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Re: Let me bounce an idea off you guys and see what you think...
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 08:14:03 PM »
I think I see where you're going with this.

It's a big download, but here's the experience of several people who have built "Mini-Grids" in 3rd world countries. 
The projects were funded by the World Bank and the resulting report is very thorough and practical (not at all bureaucrat-speak as you might expect):
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/730361468739284428/Mini-grid-design-manual

The NREL has something to say about "micro-grids" but they don't always mean the same thing:
https://www.nrel.gov/tech_deployment/microgrids.html

Many search results will veer toward the "drop a diesel generator in the bush and run some cables" direction. 
This isn't what you want but this noise may be unavoidable as you look for more about the subject.

I thought I had read (a long time ago) a page about Hugh Piggott's island and the mini-grid set up there.... can't find it now, but may be something you'll want to try searching for, too.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

SparWeb

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Re: Let me bounce an idea off you guys and see what you think...
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 08:17:47 PM »
George,
Theft can be a problem in some places, but I think the aid that EquineF is thinking about is in more stable locations where communities are close knit.  There would be an interest to keep the system running and protect it by all members of the community, as long as the aid program included teaching the maintenance and building skill necessary.  Your typical small-town rotary club doesn't know how to do that stuff but NGO's that do development aid around the world do and already do this regularly in fact.  Look up Engineers Without Borders for a start.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

JW

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Re: Let me bounce an idea off you guys and see what you think...
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 08:47:51 PM »
Quote from: SparWeb
I thought I had read (a long time ago) a page about Hugh Piggott's island and the mini-grid set up there.... can't find it now, but may be something you'll want to try searching for, too.

here's his blog.   http://scoraigwind.co.uk/about/

TheEquineFencer

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Re: Let me bounce an idea off you guys and see what you think...
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2017, 09:47:36 PM »
George65, that was one of my first reservations...until I was speaking with the guy that owns two farms down there. His close relative, BIL, is from the Congo and "knows the ropes", lives and work in the area, "kwons" how to get things done from what I'm told.

Yes, cost is the point of all this. Cost to "drop a generator in the bush" is actually reasonable, the fuel for it is not.

Sparweb, I will look into that group. I didn't know of them. I'll also ,look at the other info.

Thanks guys, you've given me some insights and something to do a little more research into for now.