Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

12Vdc Inverter for grain mill - Page 2

register ::  Login Password  :: Lost Password?
Posted by vaughn on January 13, 2010, 7:12 pm

If I were starting from scratch, I might do something like that, but this is a
60's house & I am stuck with the circuits as they are.  Every circuit right now
has a mixture of what I would consider both "vital" and "non-vital" loads.  I
would love to have overhead lighting and a single outlet in each room  in each
room as a "Vital bus, but there is no good way for me to put extra circuits,
(even though I happen to be a licensed electrician).

   We are lucky enough to have natural gas, so fuel is not a problem.  Of
course, living on a mountain would be nice.

We live in hurricane country.  So we plan on longer outages, but fortunately
less often.

Nice to hear from you John.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on January 13, 2010, 10:45 pm


I found I could get by with a small lamp on a computer UPS in most
rooms, just enough to rummage through a drawer or not trip on a chair.
They are my normal 120VAC 10W - 20W CFL reading lamps and I move the

I bought two second-hand UPSs cheap, replaced one's battery and
successfully reconditioned the other with a discharge/recharge cycle.

The comments here reminded me to check the wattage of my dorm-sized
backup refrigerator. The KAW shows 105W running.


Posted by vaughn on January 14, 2010, 12:30 am

Yep, that was my first try.  A little APC UPS with a fresh battery ran our CFL
lamp for less than 2 hours.  I think most of the juce just went to heat up the
innards of the UPS.  What I quickly realized was that 2 HOURS is not much help
when you are looking at a 2 WEEK power failure.  With my little PV system, I can
have lights and other limited 12 volt loads through an indefinite power failure
without any battery charging or other attention...it just works!

That sounds a bit higher than what I would have expected.  It has been a long
time since I checked, but I seem to remember that my double-door kitchen monster
takes only about 180 watts steady-state.  However, that is only part of the
story.  The starting surge is a monster, and the defrost cycle takes nearly a
full KW for several minutes.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on January 14, 2010, 2:21 am


Whenever I rebuild my decrepit tool shed I'll add a vented space for
batteries. I've seen even "sealed" lead-acids ignite and shatter in
the lab in tests. The State restricts their use indoors anyway.

I only used the CFLs when I needed both hands to carry something and
couldn't use a hand-held lantern. I doubt they were on 10 minutes a

The load table for one UPS implies that it runs out in about three
hours with no external load at all,

We get hurricanes, but we normally lose power for long periods only in
the winter, after ice storms. Last time it was calm and overcast for
the next week, and the sun is low and weak in December when it does
shine. I ran a generator a few hours a day to watch the news and
recharge the batteries. This year I have this laptop for Internet


Posted by Jim on January 20, 2010, 7:57 am

On Wed, 13 Jan 2010 08:08:28 -0500, "vaughn"



I'm in a hurricane alley too..

This Thread
Bookmark this thread:
  • Subject
  • Author
  • Date
please rate this thread