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Need help with PV to power an air compressor - Page 4

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Posted by New Guy on May 17, 2015, 4:55 pm
On Sat, 16 May 2015 13:32:01 -0700, mike wrote:

  Yes.. I failed to express a lot. My location is Raleigh NC area ( or
 close enough ). And I don't use the compressor much at all. Mainly
 inflating tires, blowing off grass and debris from lawn mower. I will
 on occaision use it for drilling, circular and reciprocating sawing  
 but nothing extensive. And of course I run the two dc lights that came
 with it.

  When I do run the compressor now I have two extension chords running
 150' to the barn. I admit that I somehow was under the impression that
 mystical PV was magic as well. You certainly have opened my eyes to
 quite a bit of reality. And to think I also have been tinkering with
 the idea of building a windmill to help suppliment when sun has nothing
 to offer.  

  Thank you for your valuable input ( ... output ? ). And thanks to the
 other responses as well.

Posted by mike on May 17, 2015, 7:33 pm
On 5/17/2015 9:55 AM, New Guy wrote:

That's another bucket of worms.
I've helped people build radio repeaters on mountain tops.
Solar is pretty straightforward.  Just program up a Maximum Power Point
Charge controller and you're done.
Built a solar tracker system, using the same software techniques, but
the mechanics were deemed too unreliable for use on a mountain top that's
inaccessible most of the year.

Wind has a lot more issues.  They replace a wind generator about every
other year.  Doesn't take much ice to unbalance it to the point that it
shakes itself to death.  There's some evidence that it's an attractive
device for target practice.

With solar, when the batteries are fully charged, you just disconnect
the solar cells.  Can't do that with wind.  It will spin up until it
flies apart.  The generator has a speed limiter, but it's not very
accurate and fights with the charge controller.  Ended up disabling it
and using a 300W resistor to dump the excess wind power.

Wind generators like constant wind from a constant direction.
If you have buildings or trees nearby, you can get swirling air
currents that are very hard on the bearings.

While the concept is simple, there are lots of little things that
can ruin your day.

Alternative energy is a great hobby.  Just do the math before
you spend the money.  You want to identify the roadblocks
before you spend 200% of the budget.

Might also be interesting to do the cost analysis on running an
air hose 300'.  If you have an accumulator tank at the destination
to handle the peak flow, you may not need a very large diameter hose.
Or maybe run a larger pipe for air with the electrical wire for
lighting run inside the hose.

Posted by Jim Wilkins on May 17, 2015, 10:06 pm
Unless you inflate large tires frequently you might get along with a  
small 12V compressor and perhaps an air tank. I have two decent ones,  
an older model Harbor Freight 5-in-1 power pack and a $5 compressor  
from Pep Boys.

Posted by clare on May 17, 2015, 10:39 pm
 On Sun, 17 May 2015 18:06:46 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

And if you need to run the compressor a bit more, a gasoline engine
driven compressor might be in order.

Posted by bob haller on May 17, 2015, 6:19 pm
 On Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 12:21:03 PM UTC-4, New Guy wrote:

are the cables from the battery to the inverter copper, so arent because copper is expensive

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