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#104491 - 09/04/07 12:42 AM Re: Propane Storage....let's hear everyones ideas. [Re: DeathtoToasters]
DeathtoToasters Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 147
Loc: Southern California
_________________________
"Death to Toasters"-John Connor

"All Hail the Power of Bauer"

"Only the Paranoid Survive" - Andy Grove

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#104499 - 09/04/07 12:59 AM Re: Propane Storage....let's hear everyones ideas. [Re: ]
DeathtoToasters Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 147
Loc: Southern California
Why again did you return it? Is it anything I should be worried about?
_________________________
"Death to Toasters"-John Connor

"All Hail the Power of Bauer"

"Only the Paranoid Survive" - Andy Grove

"Why is it called the American Dream? Because you have to be ASLEEP to believe it!" - George Carlin

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#104500 - 09/04/07 01:00 AM Re: Propane Storage....let's hear everyones ideas. [Re: ]
REDDOG79 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 115
Loc: ENGLEWOOD ,TN
If I may ask a dumb question

Why are you not looking at diesel generators? You can buy off road diesel cheaper, Diesel engines have long lives, Diesel is combustible not flammable (I have heard the difference but can't seem to remember what it exactly is). same storage options as gasoline add stabilizer. I work construction and have used many different types of diesel welding machines as well as propane. Diesel jsut seems to bea a more logical choice. well maybe not if you don't have something diesel to use the fuel in when you rotate it. You can also use bid diesel with just a few modifications or make your own bid diesel if you really wanted to
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#104519 - 09/04/07 02:16 AM Re: Propane Storage....let's hear everyones ideas. [Re: REDDOG79]
DeathtoToasters Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 147
Loc: Southern California
I have not found diesel in the wattage size that I needed.

That is the first thing. I have never worked with diesel.

Otherwise I don't know what to say you.
_________________________
"Death to Toasters"-John Connor

"All Hail the Power of Bauer"

"Only the Paranoid Survive" - Andy Grove

"Why is it called the American Dream? Because you have to be ASLEEP to believe it!" - George Carlin

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#104647 - 09/04/07 11:57 PM Re: Propane Storage....let's hear everyones ideas. [Re: ]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Please excuse my limited knowledge, but since you're in one of the most sun intense, cloudless areas in the US, why not consider solar with a battery bank and a smaller generator?

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#104649 - 09/05/07 12:02 AM Re: Propane Storage....let's hear everyones ideas. [Re: LED]
DeathtoToasters Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 147
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: LED
Please excuse my limited knowledge, but since you're in one of the most sun intense, cloudless areas in the US, why not consider solar with a battery bank and a smaller generator?

GREAT QUESTION!!

From my research solar battery bank would not run half the electricity in the house first off.

Second there is no way to run a a/c strictly from battery. I have look at solar systems from the home and whenever I have looked at it, the results have been the same.

It would not pay for over half my bill (therefore not making it worth the startup money)

Second being that none would install the battery backup as it would be a waste of money.



Edited by DeathtoToasters (09/05/07 12:02 AM)
_________________________
"Death to Toasters"-John Connor

"All Hail the Power of Bauer"

"Only the Paranoid Survive" - Andy Grove

"Why is it called the American Dream? Because you have to be ASLEEP to believe it!" - George Carlin

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#104681 - 09/05/07 02:52 AM Re: Propane Storage....let's hear everyones ideas. [Re: ]
rabagley Offline
Student of Life
Stranger

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 9
Actually, Cummins/Onan makes a line of quiet, smaller generators in diesel, propane, natural gas, etc. that I've personally seen working very well in diesel RV's. The RV generators are from 3200W to 10kW and can be plugged into a house system quite easily. There are also permanently mounted residential generators from 11kW to 45kW but the prices get prohibitive quickly.

As for solar, a decent solar installation absolutely can supply residential needs *if* your home is designed for it. Almost all modern homes in the US can't function without central air, use lots of power to overcome awful thermal design, and are not candidates for solar or most sorts of off-grid power. Normally, the solar *is* the hot water heater as solar does a fantastic job of that. Once you've got decent shades minimizing incident sunlight on your high-R windows and better insulation installed in your walls and attic/ground interfaces, a high-efficiency heat pump can supply your home's moderate cooling needs.

If you're using solar without a battery, you're on the grid and running the meter backwards during the day. It's an extraordinarily bad plan to use plain solar to directly drive your 110V circuits. The moment the transient load exceeds the transient supply, your breakers would all go. If you expect to run detached from the grid, an appropriately sized battery bank is not optional.

Strange thing about the US. Home construction here is absolutely terrible. If you don't spend a lot of money, you get a small, cheaply made, stick-built home. If you do spend a lot of money, you get a large, cheaply made, stick-built home. You need to provide a rather extraordinarily large degree of effort to get anything better. Or buy something made more than forty years ago.

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#104707 - 09/05/07 05:46 AM Re: Propane Storage....let's hear everyones ideas. [Re: ]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99

Solar power in all of these "Greenies" houses only work because they're in houses with no air conditioners or hot water heaters. Fluctuating voltage from a solar panel hooked to even something as small as a window AC Unit will ruin it quickly.



I'm not so sure. I found this article about a dircect current AC system made for use with solar power. I think the price is around $3000 with installation. Pricey, but it looks pretty innovative.

http://news.com.com/Using+solar+energy+to+keep+homes+cool/2100-11392_3-6168616.html?tag=st.num

Quote:

The air conditioning unit--sized to cool the space of a large room--can be run on solar panels, from a wall socket or, in a pinch, batteries.

.................

The system includes batteries that can run the unit for either 12 or 24 hours depending on the battery size.

.................

Needing 500 watts, SolCool's unit could run on five or six midsize panels, which would cost a fraction of a solar system sized for a full building.

SolCool has optimized the air conditioner to run on the direct current generated by the solar panels or batteries, rather than the alternating current that comes from electrical plugs. Building the product for direct current has allowed the company to build a very energy-efficient product which can run off-grid as well, Pruitt said. (In standard solar installations, the panels produce direct current, but then a device called an inverter switches it to AC before you use it in your home.)


http://www.solcool.net/


Pretty cool stuff. I wonder how well it works?




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#104765 - 09/05/07 09:26 PM Re: Propane Storage....let's hear everyones ideas. [Re: ]
rabagley Offline
Student of Life
Stranger

Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 9
I understand your concerns, and didn't mean that "solar is teh win!" It is only a good idea for very few modern homes in the US, simply because of how we build houses in the US. I'll use solar if and when I build my own place, but not until then. I only objected to the characterization that solar is for hippies (cause I'd love to have solar, but I'm not a hippy by any stretch of the imagination smile

As you've already figured out, a big propane or diesel (fuel oil) tank and a decently sized genset make much more sense for most people. The one thing I would really caution you about is to not go cheap on your genset. Those cute little 5kW Honda generators for $600 won't deliver power for long. Most won't last four weeks under continuous use (about 600 hours).

In addition to the Cummins/Onan gensets I mentioned, you might save some coin by considering a no-name Chinese diesel generator, like those offered by this company: http://www.hardydiesel.com/ (stay away from any diesel that's not 1800 rpm). These Chinese diesels and generators are low-rpm copies of very old German (not British) engine designs. They're dirt simple to maintain, can be completely torn down and rebuilt in a weekend (with shadetree mechanic tools), and have a well-established habit of lasting for decades. They're heavier and bulkier than the Onan RV gensets, are a little less efficient, but the fact that you can fix most issues yourself is a big bonus in my book.

If you are going for an on-site propane system, I would try to refit your water heater, kitchen stove, and furnace away from electric to propane (the fridge can also run from propane http://www.warehouseappliance.com/propane_gas_refrigerators.htm ). This will let you continuously consume and replace fuel (fresher fuel), will help you make certain your fuel delivery components in good order, and will also allow you to size a much smaller generator for your household electrical loads.


Edited by rabagley (09/06/07 04:52 PM)
Edit Reason: corrected propane refrigerator link and info on Chinese gensets

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#104766 - 09/05/07 09:32 PM Re: Propane Storage....let's hear everyones ideas. [Re: rabagley]
DeathtoToasters Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 147
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: rabagley
These Chinese diesels and generators are low-rpm copies of very old British engine designs. They're dirt simple to maintain, can be completely torn down and rebuilt in a weekend (with shadetree mechanic tools), and have a well-established habit of lasting for decades. They're heavier and bulkier than the Onan RV gensets, are a little less efficient, but the fact that you can fix most issues yourself is a big bonus in my book.

If you are going for an on-site propane system, I would try to refit your water heater, kitchen stove, and furnace away from electric to propane (the fridge can also run from propane http://www.warehouseappliance.com/propane_gas_refrigerators.htm). This will let you continuously consume and replace fuel (fresher fuel), will help you make certain your fuel delivery components in good order, and will also allow you to size a much smaller generator for your household electrical loads.


Hey now!! The Chinese make great LEAD BASED TOYS...let's not insult them !!!

BTW My burners, fireplace, water heater, all use natural gas now already. So it may not be propane...but it is not electric smile
_________________________
"Death to Toasters"-John Connor

"All Hail the Power of Bauer"

"Only the Paranoid Survive" - Andy Grove

"Why is it called the American Dream? Because you have to be ASLEEP to believe it!" - George Carlin

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