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Need GT Braintrust to tell me I am either right or wrong...

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Glock20 10mm, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    This is a serious question that I need to find an answer to. As most of you know I live off grid, no PG&E available (and at $40,000.00 just to connect... will never be available on our property) and I have a nice solar array and battery set up that is working great. BUT we are now moving into the winter months which as we all know means shorter days (less time to recharge via sun) and cloudy days (really screwed on production!).

    So I have been looking at various ideas for power generation using what I have readily available or at least affordable to procure and install. Wind is a great alternative where I live... but that's an additional $2,000.00 - 2,500.00 I don't have and that's a conservative estimate. Anyhow we just installed a wood stove in our cabin (removing the propane heater we had... hallelujah for that!!!) and as I was finishing the brick work for thermal retention and radiation... I thought, there has to be a way to produce power when I am burning wood.

    And lo and behold this thread appeared today --> http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1448153

    So that started me on a path of looking about and this is what I found:

    http://www.shop.customthermoelectri...-Power-Generation-Module-1261G-7L31-24CX1.htm

    So my question is this, according to my math (which sucks most times) if I get 8 of these and wire them in series I should be able to produce a theoretical 31.2V @ 4.9A @ 152.8W of power, which I could then run through a charge controller to keep my batteries charged during the cold nights and short days. So with the stove running at peak heating capacity say for 5 hours of the day, I would be able to produce 764wH at 24.5AH of DC power that could be put back into my battery array.

    Is my math right based on the specs in the link? And do you think I can do this, in other words do you think it will work? I really hope so, because it would mean I could build a thermal power plant for less than half of a wind turbine and that I could control operations at my will instead of relying on mother nature.

    I have at my disposal 77 acres of land with plenty of wood for fuel (hell the wind knocks enough crap down from the trees that I don't even need to run a chain saw! And I could very easily build a barrel stove outside to do the same thing...

    Well?
     
  2. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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  3. CincyRed

    CincyRed

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    Don't know about your calculations, but with a little search found this company.

    http://tegpower.com/
     
  4. GlockinNJ

    GlockinNJ

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    I have no idea but sure hope you keep that cute baby warm and toasty this winter.

    Hell, maybe global warming will solve your heating problems!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  5. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    Heating is not the problem... power generation is. AS for stinky... she's like her ol' man, likes it cold.
     
  6. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver the wrong hands

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    That's seriously cool if it can work and I see no reason why it wouldn't unless the generator chips have a short enough life that the replacement rate makes it cost prohibitive. I don't know about your numbers but you might want to take your questions over to Candlepower forums. There are some guys over there that will point out things you never thought of.

    I wonder what the power output is if they were painted black and in full sun compared to a solar panel of the same surface area. If you could devise some way to expose the same cells you have on your furnace to something black and in the sunlight you should be able to pull power from them in the summer with no fires going and get double use from them.
     
  7. DaneA

    DaneA

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    If I'm understanding that thing right the only problem I could see is burning them up. I have had my wood stove go 800 degrees. The 572 degrees that these things max out at could be a problem depending on where you place them.
     
  8. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Interesting ideas.
    Above my skill level.

    Doesn't most our electricity come from burning stuff?
     
  9. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    Th=300celcius?

    I assume that means they put out that power at 300 Celsius. What's that? 550 degrees? Can you get them that hot?



    And with this thread title, I thought this was going to be a "My wife says that" You're wrong! Lol
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  10. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    I thought of that and realized I could use the chimney stack just outside the roof penetration. The temp there is around 475F. So I would have at least a 430F difference in temp which should cause the TEGS to generate enough voltage to power my charge controller. I have a 24VDC system so in order to effectively power the charge controllers to charge the batteries I have to hit a minimum of 28VDC, 32 is optimal and my panels are rated at 31.8VDC.
     
  11. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    Yeah, but the process used in main power plants it to burn a fuel source, flash water to steam then turn a turbine which then drives the generators, or drive an engine to turn a generator.

    This idea is to take the waste heat and put it to use which by doing so increases your efficiency and Watts per Therm output.
     
  12. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    LOL!! The TEGS I have found use ceramic shielding so the 300C is their peak temp. They start producing power as soon as there is a significant temperature difference.

    I found a youtube video where a guy made his own TEG out of common metals around the house. As soon as I find that vid I will post it, until then check this one out!

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNND2pxvxgU"]Copper Oxide Thermoelectric Generator Can Light LED - YouTube[/ame]
     
  13. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    There was a kid in HS that made one of those for his science fair project. The teach said that if you had the $ for the metal, you could drill down to warmer rock in the earth's crust and run electricity on that. . . but the cost of metal was cost prohibitive.
     
  14. M&P15T

    M&P15T Beard One

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    I don't get it.

    You had propane, there has to be an easier and cheaper way to get power using propane.


    Ask Hank Hill.
     
  15. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfQdd70B8IU"]25 Watt Thermoelectric Generator in Action! - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKaO3l7iwEA&feature=related"]Thermoelectric Power Generation On Wood Stove - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhynSkFlJOs&feature=related"]Thermoelectric power generation - thermoelectric power generator - YouTube[/ame]
     
  16. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    That's a resource that costs money each time I have to fill the tanks. The goal is to get all power derived from fuel sources on the land and solar. Where I live earthquakes are a reality, and if we get a big one we may be stuck on the mountain for a bit... the ability to keep my batteries charged (making an assumption that the panels are damaged) is paramount as my fridge and deep freeze run off them.

    I want to get away from being dependent on any infrastructure I do not have direct control over.
     
  17. M&P15T

    M&P15T Beard One

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    Good luck with that.

    Just consider what you're spending and giving up to have the illusion of control. I would look at having back ups, in case of emergency, instead of trying to "live off the grid".

    But it's your call.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  18. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    Here is the video I found... I think I might be able to build this on a larger scale... put the center in a 55gal drum for heat with the ends protruding outside. That would give me an excellent thermal difference...

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzEK5eODr6I&feature=related"]thermal electric generator home made - YouTube[/ame]
     
  19. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

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    In the long run I am spending less. The solar panels will have paid for themselves in 4.5 years. The batteries in about the same time. The idea of being independent is in my core. So far living off grid there have been a few bumps but nothing I couldn't get past. A simple life makes for... less stress and just a more simple way of life.

    Meant to add, that we sell water off our property to a local delivery service. It costs us money to pump that water out of the ground, that's less profit for us in the long run. If I can get one of these systems up and running and producing enough power I won't need the generator to pump which means more money in our pockets.

    There are many incentives for me to make this happen... and I am stubborn enough to do it just to prove it can be done.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  20. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

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    First off I commend you for that , second do you have running water on your property that could power a turbine?