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BADfish10
06-24-2008, 06:12 PM
Hi guys
I have been thinking!
“I know this is dangerous but needs must!”
I have been thinking about using a mixed power supply for my upcoming projects chargeable via normal sources but also capable of running on solar power. I know that there is normally a weight penalty / design impact for this form of solution, but it seems now very possible to use flexible Panels and customise them to project requirements with out a large weight penalty that there has been in the past. I have had a look around a bit and I can’t see why a fair few project could not be self sustaining or at least primarily powered “in the right climate”.
So basically my question is has anyone else played with this idea/Implemented this sort of thing? any web links or pic's any one may have would be great.

Just an idea rely but something that Struck me as a possibilaty

J

Adrenalynn
06-24-2008, 09:39 PM
I've done patio lighting and such.

Basically, you're going to be using the solar panels to charge your battery, that will regulate your current and voltage delivery. Your charger runs in parallel.

But certainly doable!

BADfish10
07-27-2008, 07:00 AM
Well I have looked a bit more into this and have fond some great little products that are getting there.
flexible small panels that I could chain together to charge the batteries as you said,
the problem with the flexible stuff is as not really a surprise they just don’t make the same power however have a weight advantage that may bring them back in the running with their next generation “hopefully in time for my gen 2-3 model”.
The main problem I see is charging a battery cleanly enough for it not to explode in a relatively small package while still under load; this is an area I am hopelessly lost in and will probably ask a Stupid Question about it later.
J

Electricity
07-27-2008, 11:50 AM
This link is pretty interesting (http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-make-cordless-drill-to-crank-charger)
it shows you how to use a drill as a hand crank battery charger, and a bug zapper as a smart charger.
I'm sure with a bit of ingenuity something much smaller could be made and attached to a bot of some kind. I was considering attempting it myself.

Adrenalynn
07-27-2008, 02:36 PM
TANSTAAFL

More power goes into the system than comes out of it...

BADfish10
07-27-2008, 03:55 PM
lol who was that directed at?

oh now i get you i was not planing running it contine's in out but i whant the brain to still tick and be able to action requests / programed lines if enviroment changes.

J

Electricity
07-28-2008, 09:36 AM
TANSTAAFL

More power goes into the system than comes out of it...
At that level yes, but on a smaller level it might be more practical. I.e. a wheel bot with the small generators geared to the wheels, or powertrain some how. The goal wouldn't be to create a perpetual motion machine, but instead augment the onboard power. Even if it only gave you 1/3 again as much run time, its still more run time, yes?

ScuD
07-28-2008, 10:25 AM
That's the thing, the motors would have more effort in moving because of the added "drag" that's caused by the gearbox/generator setup.
One way of approaching it would be to use the actual motor's back-EMF, thus ruling out the need for more gears/generator/losses.

If only there were room temperature superconductors..

Adrenalynn
07-28-2008, 12:28 PM
Exactly. That's why fossil fuels still rule the earth. It's all about the efficiency of your source. If you have an electric motor and battery system at 78% efficiency that weighs 5lbs and a solor/battery/electric system that is 12% efficient and weighs 10lbs, guess which will actually hold up longer?

If only there were free lunches, right ScuD? :D

ScuD
07-28-2008, 01:58 PM
If only there were free lunches, right ScuD? :D

There are, but they usually come with a free, no charge at all! range of varied diseases not even House, M.D. could fix in a 12h marathon episode..

Personally, I love the idea of solar/renewable power, but in it's current state, it's a toy, a gimmick, and not the cheapest one, at that...

The moments I start thinking about these things though, part of me really wonders what Tesla was all up to back in his day, and if we'll ever get to see it...

Adrenalynn
07-28-2008, 02:24 PM
I think "a gimmick" is really accurate, and I'd even go so far as to say "a con".

The energy required, and pollution expended, in the production of solar panel technology is something that most people just can't (or refuse) to see.

In the larger scale (houses, for example), everyone touts the "cost savings" - but that's 100% artificial. Solar panels are good for probably 25 years. To switch to solar here (one of the best places there is with ~300 days of sun/yr), it would take me just under 22 years to break even, and that's discounting opportunity costs. However: I'm considering it because the government props it up. They'll give me nearly an 80% factor, which we, the tax payers, will never recover.

It's all a feel-good scam destined to crash and burn... If we were really serious about the environment and oil dependancy, we'd be building nuke plants left and right...

ScuD
07-28-2008, 03:39 PM
Finally someone who agrees with me on that point!!

I find it amazing how people have been brainwashed with green power and refuse to accept the fact that nuclear power plants are, at this point in our technology, the cleanest solution.

Offcourse, there are drawbacks. But you can't make an omelet without breaking an egg.

One edit; back here the government supports solar panels too.
You get 15% back with a maximum of 625€, but you're forced to have them installed by a company and it'll cost you prolly more than 5000€ for a single panel installation..

metaform3d
07-28-2008, 07:30 PM
This is all a bit off-topic, but the economics of residential PV (https://www.policyarchive.org/bitstream/handle/10207/5152/CA-The%20Economics%20of%20Solar%20Homes%20in%20CA%20t ext.pdf?sequence=1) have been pretty well studied. The subsidies are modest (much, much less than the subsidies that are required to make commercial nuclear power viable), and are designed to increase demand to lower the price of PV installations for later adopters. The power is produced at peak times so it's more valuable, and most models assume that energy prices will continue to rise which dramatically shortens the payback period.

If the argument is that a solar panel generates more CO2 during its construction than it offsets from the 25 years of electricity that it generates -- I can't see any way to make that math come out right.

Adrenalynn
07-28-2008, 07:58 PM
CO2? Or Sulpher Dioxide? Beryllium dust? Mercury? Lead? Arsenic?

There are worse things than CO2.

Minor incentives? 30% Fed, 100% ten year loan from the state, $1500 from the state for a water heater alone, tax deduction on any other loans taken for "energy efficiency" (100% of interest), $3 to 4.00 per AC/Watt up to an additional 50% of system cost. $3.3B + $400M in our state alone, excluding the Fed program which I couldn't find the total budget numbers on.

But I am dragging this out into the muck, and I'll let you have the last word in response to this and then I'll let it go unless we start a new thread. I just felt compelled to respond with it seemingly calling my veracity on the topic into question... As I mentioned, I'm actually considering it for no other reason than the insane tax credits...

Sourcing:
dsireusa.org
gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov
SMUD.org
New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP)
Energy Call Center - energy.state.ca.us
SB1

Some municipalities have additional incentives and rebates.

metaform3d
07-29-2008, 01:26 AM
Sorry, I wasn't calling you a liar; I'm just looking at the numbers. A lot of very smart people whose opinions I value -- including you -- have made similar claims. But all the research I've done suggests it just doesn't add up.

Let's look at CO2. It's the big problem with fossil fuels, and it's one of the major reasons that people are looking into alternative power sources. The best way to compare technologies is Life Cycle Assessment. This considers everything involved in bring the technology online, maintaining it for it's productive lifetime, and cleaning it up when its done. Add up all the emissions and divide by the lifetime output. For CO2 (grams per kilowatt hour) they stack up like this:

Fossil fuels: 500 - 2000
PVC: 80
Wind: 15
Nuclear: 10

These are order-of-magnitude numbers I've averaged from a number of sources, but even if they are off by a factor of two, photovoltaic cells are still twice as green as even the cleanest-burning natural gas, and probably much more. The CO2 output here is entirely from the manufacture and disposal of the cells, and virtually all of that is the power required.

SO2 and heavy metals are mostly a problem with coal. PVCs contribution to that is minimal, except in the amount of coal burned to run the machines used to make them. I've seen concerns raised about cadmium, but numbers are controversial and in any case also much less than coal.

Based on these same numbers one can certainly make an argument for nuclear. There are significant cost, safety and waste-disposal issues that would have to be solved through research, most likely taxpayer-funded. PVCs also have issues of cost and efficiency which can also probably be solved though a combination of government research and price supports to encourage free-market innovation. Which direction one prefers is a political choice, but the numbers on total pollutants doesn't make it a slam dunk either way.

ooops
07-30-2008, 05:17 PM
The main problem I see is charging a battery cleanly enough for it not to explode in a relatively small package while still under load; this is an area I am hopelessly lost in and will probably ask a Stupid Question about it later.



Not sure how large/small the project is but could you use dual batteries and switch between them - one charging and one running?

As for the whole Nuke vs wind vs PVC ... I am all about the nukes ... just don't put a plant in my back yard. I am all about the wind ... just don't put a wind mill in my back yard ... I would love to be solar powered but not going to put the PVCs in my back yard (or on my roof). So, just like the rest of the world, I will be using the dead dino power for the foreseeable future!

BADfish10
07-31-2008, 07:09 AM
Not sure how large/small the project is but could you use dual batteries and switch between them - one charging and one running?

As for the whole Nuke vs wind vs PVC ... I am all about the nukes ... just don't put a plant in my back yard. I am all about the wind ... just don't put a wind mill in my back yard ... I would love to be solar powered but not going to put the PVCs in my back yard (or on my roof). So, just like the rest of the world, I will be using the dead dino power for the foreseeable future!

Small'ish
Think 1/6th of a tennis ball and that is where we are going :)
i had scratched nuclear power out of my projects equation before it started for some reason!


Fish

Electricity
07-31-2008, 12:00 PM
The advantage to solar power is that when the Zombies come, you'll still have power when the plants go out..

1/16th of a tennis ball..? Whatcho be building? I'm curious now.

ooops
07-31-2008, 12:07 PM
This may be a solution - http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=1632

BADfish10
08-01-2008, 04:39 AM
1/16th of a tennis ball..? Whatcho be building? I'm curious now.

once i have all the parts i require mabe 2 weeks or so i will put together a mock up and post pics.
my drawing's do not do a lot for my idea

V0.1 will not be very spectacula non sealed unit but a good platform to work with Size weight Capacity Basicly Remotecontrolled.

in a month or so from completion:

V0.2 Modifyed chassie, new shell, small onboard controller, electrical package, sensor arrays, logging,

Intresting times

Cheers OOOPS
i have looked at the thread but feel for what i want to achive in the long run i would be limiting my rainge and location.

Good thought though

J

Adrenalynn
08-01-2008, 05:05 AM
2.5" / 16 = 0.15" in diameter, a little less than 4mm. A pea is about 4.5mm in diameter.

Got a good line on those motors the size of a white blood cell from IBM? :)

I'd be hyper-interested to know what processor and sensors you're going to squeeze into a BB. Thanks for any pointers!

BADfish10
08-01-2008, 06:04 AM
2.5" / 16 = 0.15" in diameter, a little less than 4mm. A pea is about 4.5mm in diameter.

Got a good line on those motors the size of a white blood cell from IBM? :)

I'd be hyper-interested to know what processor and sensors you're going to squeeze into a BB. Thanks for any pointers!

The tennis ball was a give away
i make it 1.49 Cubic inches i have to play with for the battery alone (Was hopeing to cram the charger stuff in as well but looks like no chance)
this is presented in a slice.
2.58" (training ball)long 1.29" deep with a segment end with of 1.35"
i was going with other bits ontop of this looked at a stamp sx nano, 1 micro servo, a micro aircraft speed controller, a micro gear'ed motor and a reciver of some form probably micro.

The dimensions i have posted are for the outside of the housing and so will need about 5-10 mm droped but i have not got that far as of yet.

J

ooops
08-01-2008, 09:11 AM
I trust you will keep us posted. Inquiring minds want to know:)

Adrenalynn
08-01-2008, 11:26 AM
I'm not sure how you arrived at "1/16 the size of a tennis ball" with those numbers (I get the outside volume of a tennis ball at something like 8.18cu-in. (4/3*pi*(1.25)^3) / 16 !~= 1.49. ;)

But regardless, I look forward to seeing it!

Electricity
08-01-2008, 11:34 AM
I'm not sure how you arrived at "1/16 the size of a tennis ball" with those numbers (I get the outside volume of a tennis ball at something like 8.18cu-in. (4/3*pi*(1.25)^3) / 16 !~= 1.49. ;)

But regardless, I look forward to seeing it!
Wishful thinking I'm sure :p
I to look forward to seeing what you come up with!

BADfish10
08-01-2008, 11:42 AM
Mabe im not getting it
i said 1/6th not 1/16th as i would aggree that would be mind bending numbers and i dont think i have a pair of twesers that small.
i get it
it was a miss quote
Fair play

J

Adrenalynn
08-01-2008, 11:43 AM
I'm sorry, too small a type - 1/6 it is, my bad.

Electricity
08-01-2008, 12:04 PM
Yeah that was my fault, I didn't read correctly apparently..