OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness I & II

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KK6DYO
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness

#11

Post by KK6DYO » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:26 pm

Current Setup (January 2018)

My Setup: Charger
CarController.jpg
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  • 12V 125 Ah (1500 Wh) AGM battery in car
  • Board on left steps up car power socket voltage to 14.5V to charge AGM battery
  • PWRgate on right limits current to 4A (58 Watts) ... reserve 6A+ to run device chargers from car voltage
  • Keeps battery fully charged in car with typical commuting
Alternative for Shorter Trips
  • Refrigerator requires an average of 16 Watts or 384 Watt-hours per day
  • Battery could provide 4 days of refrigerator power
  • 384 Watts-hours / 48 Watts = 7 hours of driving per day to keep refrigerator running and battery fully charged
  • Depending on trip length, could "borrow" from battery to shorten driving, then charge battery when I return home
My Setup: Fridge, Battery, and Solar Controller
CarBackOfSeat.jpg
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Battery in back of rear seat; solar controller under seat
CarBackOfSeatDetail.jpg
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  • Plug battery into controller instead of charger when stationary
  • Position panels on ground or car and plug into controller

Your Solar Power System

Sufficient Solar System ~$380
  • Solar Panel (50-Watt) $65
  • AGM Battery (100Ah) $275
  • PWM Charge Controller (20A) $20
  • Wiring $20
Great Solar System ~$1350 when my batteries wear out
  • "Suitcase" Solar Panel (100-Watt) $200
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Battery (100Ah) $900
  • MPPT Charge Controller (40A) $200
  • Wiring $20
Links

Solar Panels, Controllers, Batteries
https://www.renogy.com/

"Solar" (Deep Cycle) Batteries
https://www.vmaxtanks.com/

Wiring, Connectors, Crimpers
https://powerwerx.com/

MPPT Solar Controllers
https://www.victronenergy.com/solar-charge-controllers

”Canned” Solar Systems
http://www.goalzero.com/solar-kits
http://www.goalzero.com/p/463/goal-zero ... -panel-kit

Just About Anything
https://www.ebay.com/
https://www.amazon.com/

What I'm Using
https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Watts-Vol ... 009Z6CW7O/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07235YXT2/]
https://www.vmaxtanks.com/SLR125-12Volt ... _p_38.html

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KK6DYO
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness

#12

Post by KK6DYO » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:31 pm

Thanks to Eric KM6MMO for pointing out potential power losses with connecting panels of different voltage or ampere ratings.

Panels of different voltage ratings connected in parallel are limited to the lowest voltage
Parallel.jpeg
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Panels of different ampere ratings connected in series are limited to the lowest current
Series.jpeg
Series.jpeg (162.55 KiB) Viewed 223 times

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KK6DYO
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness

#13

Post by KK6DYO » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:06 pm

Current Setup September 2020

Folding is another option, but I believe the flexible panel might be more durable.
Using two of these Renogy 50-Watt panels in series. Seem durable and easy to store.
50W-FlexiblePanel.png
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Limitation of this WMR Epic Pwrgate is that you need to boost power for best charging, especially with LiFePo battery. Also doesn't have readily accessible status display; need to use a text terminal such as available in Android. Otherwise, great MPPT controller for charging battery and running refrigerator while vehicle in use, then easily plugging in solar panel.
epic-h-pwrgate.jpg
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Circuit board that boost voltage to the optimum level to charge LiFePo battery. Also limits current to 7A which allows remaining vehicle power outlets to charge phones, etc.
BoostConverter800.png
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LiFePo advantages previously discussed.
100Ah LiFePo battery.
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Backup controller when not using vehicle power.
Nice having built-in Bluetooth to display system status on your phone or tablet.
VictronSmartsolarMPPT.png
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10 gauge, discussed earlier.
10Gauge.png
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Ensure that your Powerpole connectors don't separate.
RetentionClips.png
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From right to left, voltage booster, Epic PwrGate MPPT controller, power distribution block.
On a short deck in back of my SUV.
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Don't worry about blown fuses.
Breakers.png
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Powerpole to cigarette lighter power

MC4 to Powerpole adapter

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DaveK
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness

#14

Post by DaveK » Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:33 pm

HARNESSING THE WIND

One of the unavoidable disadvantages of solar panels is that they don't produce any energy once the sun goes down. At this point, especially for the HF operators out there, alternate power becomes very important. Evening time for many bands is when things get into high gear and this is when it is especially nice to have an alternate source of power. When you key down at 100 watts, it can draw in excess of 20 amps, and at that rate, it doesn't take long to take the battery below safe levels.

An interesting option is a compact wind turbine. The advantages of a WT are significant, and for the wilderness traveler, it should at least be a consideration. In its "dis-assembled" state, it can be very compact and light weight. While cost may be a slight factor in making this choice for alternate power, it certainly will not be the most expensive piece of equipment you carry,. (or even close.) It will add a dimension to your power capabilities by making it possible to generate power at night. And, a WT can produce a significant amount of power. But for all it's advantages, I have not seen a great deal of attention to harnessing the wind in the wilderness.

There are a few on the market, and like much of the "alternate power"" industry, things are in a constant state of flux. So, you will need to do your research. With the right equipment, this can be a great way to get yourself some free power. Like solar, wind turbines have their limitations - no wind, no power, but when the wind kicks up, it can work very well. The compact WT that I use is capable of generating 200 watts of power, with a blade start-up speed of 4.5 MPH. A nice supplement indeed to my 100 watt solar panel. Here is the spec sheet:

Copy of Wind Turbine 1.jpg
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Like a solar panel, the WT requires a controller. Concealed beneath the shock tower cover lies my controller, as well as a connection for an additional solar panel:

Siolar Controller-1.jpg
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Siolar Controller-2.jpg
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A couple of years back, we were in a very remote section of Utah, and as most of these trips go, we used the quiet hours of the evening to play radio. For three days in Beef Basin, we had constant wind, and I took full advantage of this free power. For these three days, especially at night, I was able to operate the radios, at full power, while still keeping the batteries within safe levels. In the morning the batteries were at full charge, despite the refrigerator cycling on and off all night long (yes, the nights were warm).

Wind turbine in action.JPG
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Another example of my use of the wind turbine was on a recent trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. On the hottest night (by far) on the entire trip, the conditions were perfect for harvesting free power from the wind, which lasted all night. The WT was sufficient to not only power the Ham radio, but the refrigerator, and all the other stuff as well. In the morning, the battery was fully charged.

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Wind turbine in action-3.JPG
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Having learned the hard way, I found that there are a couple of helpful suggestions I can offer, if you plan on using a wind turbine. My WT was very compact, and could be stored into this small bag, blades and all. This clearly met my "compact" requirement.

Wind Turbine Stowed.JPG
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Compact it was, but it failed miserably in the quick deploy/quick take down department. it was a major PITA to assemble and disassemble the WT at every new campsite. That's when I fabricated a mount on the roof rack that allowed the fully assembled WT to be installed, ready to go to work. With this set-up, it takes just a couple of minutes to get it ready to go.

I've had this WT for close to 10 years. Today Tycon still makes a compact WT, but not quite as compact as mine.
DaveK
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Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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Re: OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness

#15

Post by DaveK » Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:02 pm

DUAL BATTERIES

When you are 100 miles from the nearest town, that's the wrong time to have your battery fail. Having dual batteries is a great way to make sure that you get back. Generally, our travels take us well beyond the range of the Auto Club, who, BTW, does not make rescues off road. As is generally true, this is one area where you will need to do your research to determine which dual battery set up will work best for you. I will mention two that deserve your consideration if you plan on making this vehicle mod. We will discuss this in more detail on the net.

There are two different configurations that are available for a dual battery set=up:
  • 1. The second battery is isolated from the main battery and is unavailable for use when the ignition is off. This means that should you drain the main battery, or if it fails completely, you will have the secondary battery to perform all the necessary functions of the main battery. Some systems allow a manual connection, even when the ignition is off, in the event that additional power is needed. When the ignition is on and the motor is running, both batteries are charged.

    2. When the ignition is off, the main battery is isolated from the secondary battery and is unavailable for any use. In this case, the main battery cannot be used for any purpose and thus not be drained. All battery needs are met by the secondary battery. As with the first configuration, both batteries are charged when the motor is running.
Regardless of the set-up you prefer, there is security in having this alternate source of power.

HELL ROARING http://www.hellroaring.com/

Their manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters are located near Polson, Montana, overlooking Flathead Lake. Hellroaring Creek and Hellroaring Pass are nearby, thus inspiring their name.

HellRoaring Battery Isolator.jpg
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This is what they have to say about their BIC-75150A system"
This device allows you to isolate your starting battery from all your deep cycle or accessory loads and provide the most efficient charging to both battery systems. Probably the best connection method is to connect your starting battery only to your starter circuit. Then isolate this circuit from all other loads and your deep cycle battery using the BIC-75150A. And, since all your accessory loads and deep cycle batteries are connected directly to your alternator, you can use any size alternator! A 300+ Amp alternator will not affect the BIC-75150A battery isolator / combiner when connected in this way!

NATIONAL LUNA

National Luna is a South African company that has gained a solid reputation for its off-road line of products. Their dual battery system is available from Equipt Outfitters , https://www.equipt1.com/collections/bat ... attery-kit From the Equipt website:

National Luna Dual Battery System.JPG
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Hers is what they say about their dual battery system:
The National Luna 12V Split Charger System allows you to maintain two or more batteries in your vehicle. The Intelligent Solenoid manages the charging of both batteries when the vehicle is running, and isolates them when the vehicle is off. This is all automatic. With the Dual Battery Controller, you are also able to monitor the status of the batteries and manually override the connection.
DaveK
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness

#16

Post by DaveK » Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:05 pm

POWER SUPPLIES / JUMP STARTERS

Microstart Personal Power Supply http://themicrostart.com/xp-1/

The Micro-Start is about the size of a cell phone, albeit a little thicker. It truly is a multi-function power supply, with a vehicle jump starter, power supply and flashlight. Charging your electronic devices while you drive or while you are at camp can really save a lot of time. You can also charge the Micro-start from a standard USB jack. From the Micro-Start website:
JUMP STARTER
Safely and easily Jump-Start your car, truck or powersports vehicles. XP-1 has 200 Amps starting current with 400 Amps Peak. It can start a V8 up to 30X on a single charge! Jump-start vehicles with gas engine size up to 6 liter V8. The included Smart Clamps have a sturdy design with strong pivot points. They also feature multiple built-in protections

POWER SUPPLY
Conveniently Charge & Power your devices. The XP-1 has very high capacity for back-up power: 12000 mAh! It has four ports to charge your electronics: a 19V for Laptops (not compatible with Apple 16V laptops), a 12V standard output (for GPS, mobile DVD players, small fans, LED lights, etc), and TWO 5V USB ports (for Smartphones, Tablets, Cameras, PSPs, MP3 Players, Bluetooth devices and more).

FLASHLIGHT
To assist in lighting your way in dark places or at night, the XP-1 also features an ultra bright LED Flashlight. It has 3 modes: steady beam, strobe pattern, and SOS flash pattern – cycle through with the press of one button. This built-in high-power 110-Lumen LED flashlight can last up to 3 days on a single charge!
Micro Start XP-1.jpg
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DaveK
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Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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Re: OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness

#17

Post by Jeff-OAUSA » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:48 pm

It looks like a great program tonight!

Please check me in.

WD6USA

Jeff
WD6USA

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it."

- Lyndon B. Johnson
President of the United States

k9atk
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness

#18

Post by k9atk » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:13 pm

Please check inn
K9ATK BRIAN
K9FOG TRISH
KD0EXI CHEYENNE
KD0RHA TYLER
KDPGPE AUSTIN
THANKS

H380
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Re: OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness

#19

Post by H380 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:38 pm

Please check me in K6BWT Bob. Thank you.

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Re: OAUSA Net - September 10, 2020 - Alternate Power in the Wilderness

#20

Post by DaveK » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:40 pm

INVERTERS

Inverters change DC current to AC. There are a number of reasons why this is an important source of alternate power, including:
  • 1. powering various tools
    2. powering lights
    3. powering computers
    4. emergency uses
There are, for the most part, only two types of inverters on the market today, modified sine wave and true sine wave. For most uses, the less expensive modified sine wave inverter will do just fine. There are several electronics and tools however, that will suffer damage from a modified sine wave, and this is where the true sine waver inverter will become necessary. For example, some brands of power tools, with variable speed controls, may be damaged with a modified sine wave. Some sensitive electronics will need the stable power of a true sine wave in order to function properly and not suffer damage. Contact the manufacturer of your device to see what it requires.

On just about every trip we take, I have certain power tools for emergency and repair uses. Included are a power drill, a power cutting wheel, soldering iron, and a sawzall. On a trip a few years ago, one of our group suffered a broken muffler pipe which ended up wrapped around the axle. While we had a hack saw, none of us had the patience or time to manually make the cuts necessary to free the pipe. So, out came the power cutter, plugged into the inverter, and in minutes, the pipe was free and we were back on the trail.

There are a lot of different inverters on the market, and you will need to do your research. This is another area where it does not pay to go cheap. Buy quality and check it out before every trip.

Xantrex makes a full line of quality inverters (http://www.xantrex.com/industry-solutio ... icles.aspx).

1. The PROsine True Sine Wave Inverter (http://www.xantrex.com/power-products/p ... osine.aspx)

prosine1800.jpg
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2. The XPower Inverter - High Power Modified Sine Wave Inverter (http://www.xantrex.com/power-products/p ... rters.aspx)

xp-inverter3000.jpg
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3. The Windy Nation 1500 Watt true sine wave inverter, )https://www.windynation.com/Inverters/W ... lay/-/1440.)

VertaMax 1500 Watt True Sine Wave Inverter.jpg
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Here is the muffler pipe fix in action. If you look closely, you can see the sparks from the cutting wheel.

Fixin' the Muffler - Inverter to the rescue.JPG
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Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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