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off grid power, modern times, for LLP
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Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8910

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 17 7:30 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Thanks for the discussion. Very interesting.

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6473
Location: Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 17 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The book thing came from me having a hard time after mum died (last Feb). I was told it would take a year and more to get over it, which it has. Ive only recently been able to go through her jewellery and her photographs.
This together with buying the house in France, the falling through and remarketing and selling of our house here, and stopping the business here - I was finding it very difficult to be idle.

So, some conversations on FB turned into an introduction, and that turned into a sample chapter and that turned into a publishing deal.

Ive written articles before for Smallholder and Country Smallholding, so the idea of a massive article was nice! Ive thoroughly enjoyed it.
My mentor, a fellow writer & journalist is the go-between, and so I have been asked to include a chapter on living off-grid as so many people feel its the only possibility for them to live in the country (basically because housing is so expensive). So, Ive tried to look at this in its broadest terms.
I do frequent many FB off grid sites. Lots of info on there, but depressingly large amounts of people looking 'how to live in a field anywhere between Heathrow and Devon'.

Ive written a lot on living with and lifting an ag tie, as this consumed my life for 10 years. Glad to have that out of the way.
And lots on just living lighter on the land, and making it pay - tons of good ideas- nearly all from fellow DSers or from smallholders Ive met through work at the Rural Business School.

I have 15 days till I move out of here and then no computer for a month, so trying to get as much down as possible. Im at 50,000 of a 80,000 word book.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4734
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 17 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Take out any contractions, and perhaps you will squeeze out an extra 1,000 words

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6473
Location: Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 17 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have a headache and a muscle ache in my right shoulder, so Im stopping for the day....
45,800 words.

Enough.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4734
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 17 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Last night I was dealing with the opposite problem as I attempted to get a 2,200 word "research note" closer to the 1,500 word limit.....

I got to 1,900 and am hoping they'll be okay with that amount fudging since that includes silly things like an abstract, references and acknowledgements!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8910

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 17 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Getting an article or book to the required number of words is difficult isn't it. I have a couple of potential books on the go, and neither is going anywhere near the right number of words. On the other hand, trying to fit a series of articles into a 6 page newsletter for our coppice group is sometimes tricky to fit it all in to look sensible if one article just overflows onto another page.

Your book sounds interesting Lorraine. Will be interested to know when it is published.

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6473
Location: Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 17 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Im actually finding the writing an excellent thing! Ive done stuff before for my thesis and for articles and reports, but the size is massive. Im shitting myself in case the computer crashes (a regular occurrence in our house), but am saving the book on two different mediums.

Im at 50,000 words now with 11 days to go till I pack the computer away.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8910

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 17 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Always best to save to at least one other place. We have a server in our house, so even the 'private' stuff I have, like partly written books gets saved there too. Otherwise, as you are doing, saving to 2 other mediums means you will only lose a small part if anything goes wrong.

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6473
Location: Cornwall
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 17 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

so BG has decided to bump leccy prices up by 12.5%. Thats gonna make people start thinking about renewables surely?

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4734
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 17 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's quite an increase. Definitely making the ROI on solar, etc. more favorable!

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 17 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

it does swing things a bit.

the improvements in cost to output and especially in cost of storage combined with a high grid price reducing the time scale of ROI should make micro pv etc more attractive to more people

in global terms much like "wireless" phone and internet has bypassed a landline system for comms. in many places a "gridless" system for leccy might well do the same once the initial costs are affordable to local or global investors or better still to the folk who need leccy.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8910

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 17 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think a grid system that small producers can put into is a better bet. My father remembered the days before the National Grid, and he said it was a really good thing. Remember before that, each town had its own power station, and those in the countryside often had nothing.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 17 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

not only did each town /city area have it's own supply there were many variations in voltage and Hz which meant that if you moved from say leeds to wigan you would probably need a new toaster and radio etc etc and even if ac/dc, V and Hz were the same in two places the plugs would be a different shape.

national grid = standardised equipment and with the EU wide standards the area and number of folk who all need the same equipment specifications gives considerable economy of scale

even using micro grid systems a standard for ac or dc, V , phase choice and Hz makes sense to avoid the need for both small and big(on the micro scale) transformers and inverters to standardise the outputs from rooftop PV, wind turbines up the hill, the high and low pressure water power units and the central base load/storage options to give a standardised point of use output .
unless every individual and/or community is to grow it's own tellies and lightbulbs to match their very rare type of leccy it is best they are using the same specs as all the other local grids

a variation on this theme is that different production methods work best when producing a certain type of leccy eg PV panels make lowish voltage DC and a turbine fed by a high dam might be most efficient making high voltage 3 phase AC. neither will make a telly etc etc work if you feed them in raw therefore it is important to plan for the losses of conversion .

a very rough guide to the ratio of supply (assorted specs) to load (universal spec note issues of 240v ac as a standard supply with transformers etc dedicated to specific electrical goods mentioned above) is that overall supply and storage/baseline/peak etc all need to be considerably greater than overall demand.
the details will depend on the kit and population density, distances, doing the all the maths in all the correct equations etc, etc .

one piece at a time and try to make it all work as a system is the road to madness for small community to city scale stuff ( tis pretty crazy for a stand alone system ) so "off the shelf" plug and play style packages such as those of buffet and musk that hit the market big and first are likely to become standard ( see windows/apple/pooter makers or the seven sisters/car makers etc etc ).

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8910

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 17 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That is mainly true Dpack, but sometimes the largest players will get their system in regardless. VHS versus Betamax springs to mind, although Betamax was better.

Remembering computers from about 1970, the first one I saw was a terminal which must have been in excess of 10' long by 4' square, tended by a lady in a white coat, which took punch cards. When the smaller ones started to come along, it was very difficult to find a printer and a computer that would talk to each other unless made by the same manufacturer. This is the sort of thing that needs to be avoided with small scale, and which hopefully we worked through in the first part of the 20th century.

As an aside, husband rewired a house a few years ago that still had the old DC wiring in it as the local power station started by providing DC to a small area. Next came the early AC wiring which was losing most of its rubber coating, and then some patches of modern wiring.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 17 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

it is true that the "best" system is not always the system which performs best in the market and therefore becomes the standard system, however be it "best" or not a standard system is a primary requirement for things such as leccy, ( vehicle fuels, ammunition sizes etc etc give further and slightly different examples of the principle ).
this gives scope for assorted makers to develop their products to use the "standard" consumable.

in the reality of a leccy production/distribution service there is a compromise in that a "standard" needs only to be applied to a few aspects of the overall system.
eg 220/240V rms, single phase, AC at 50 Hz at the consumer's 3 pin europlug socket that then can be attached to a wide variety of equipment with a standard 3 pin plug.
the various equipment then either uses power at that spec or converts it with it's own power supply unit/s to a form suitable ac/dc/V/hz/P leccy to power each component group.

iirc folk such as musk and buffet have taken this into account and their systems have been designed to give a "standard" leccy at consumer level to allow for the consumer to power the range of equipment available locally, this avoids the need for a vhs vs betamax style trade war and persuading folk to replace all their kit for new that matches a new standard ( whatever the standard there would still be the issue of the different types of leccy for different units/components of units )

returning to my supply to load ratio conversion costs, distribution costs and further conversion costs energy and any planned power system needs to account for needing considerably more energy input than the expected output.
ie for every watt of power used it takes more watts of renewable energy available for "harvest" to provide it

W out = W in minus losses therefore both minimising losses and ensuring the initial energy harvest is sufficient is important for any practical system.
there is little point in trying to convince folk they have to choose between lights, washing machine and freezers etc and charging the car.

minimising losses is a one piece at a time process but ensuring that W in is big enough to cover losses before it gets to W out is fairly easy as one makes/gets a bigger "harvester".

in practical terms the combined/simplified equations and numbers are available so as one can, for instance, decide how many PV panels and what size of battery you need in your location, for say, a 5 person off grid leccy supply for domestic and small holding use and to power 2 cars (500 miles per week ) and 3 bikes (100 miles per week ) etc etc .
the input will need to be surprisingly greater than the nominal combined outputs of the end user kit.

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