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Old 10-20-2014, 09:55 AM   #1
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How much power needed for supplemental heat?

We are F/T in our Carriage Cameo 5er, set up on our newly purchased 5 acres in Ohio, and are fully connected (water, electric, sewage). In an effort to save propane, I am building a vertical wind turbine to recharge a bank of batteries. We'll be using the battery power to run two 1500W electric heaters as supplemental heat this winter. My question is, how much "power" will I need (number of batteries) to run these heaters? This is obviously contigent upon how much we use the heaters, how long they run, efficiency, etc. I am just trying to get a ballpark idea so I can begin our setup. I'll run a bank (or two) of batteries run in series and then parallel if needed but I'm not sure how many I'll need. Let's say that I start with four 12V deep cell batteries, how many amps should they be and should they be run in series or parallel or both? Will I need a larger battery bank? I just need a starting point and looking for advice. Thanks.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:37 AM   #2
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You have commercial power already hooked up?


I can tell you your plan will spend more money than you will ever save. A wind turbine
That can supply that much power is $$$$$$. Not to mention the batteries required
Are also $$$$$$$$. You won't ever even break even on your investment.

If you want cheap heat, suggest you look into a wood fired boiler, or something
Similar.
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:17 PM   #3
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How much power needed for supplemental heat?

Here is a more detailed layout of your plan....


1500 watts / 12 volts = 125 amps

Trojan 8D 12 volt AGM batteries have 230 amp hours capacity ( batteries shouldn't
Be discharged to more than 50% of their capacity - that's why you what seems like
double the quantity)


To run two heaters for 6 hours
will take a battery bank of minimum
12 of the above batteries

$762 (not including shipping) x 12 = $9144

Electricity from the grid (average)
18 KWh x 0.15 = $2.70 (3000 watts for 6 hours)

Break even (just the batteries alone)
9144 / 2.70 = 3,386 days.
18 years of winter weather (6 months est.)

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Old 10-20-2014, 02:27 PM   #4
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Oh, wow! I had no idea batteries would cost that much each. That's crazy expensive. The wind turbine is a DIY and won't cost anything as I already have all the supplies. My family is in construction and we've collected enough "junk" to make a nice turbine. Thanks for that info pasdad.
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:27 PM   #5
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How much power needed for supplemental heat?

It's not that batteries are so expensive.......it's the fact that you want to pull
250 amps constantly for 6 hours (or more)


With your little DIY project you can make enough power to watch TV, blends some
Margaritas, power some lights, etc.......

Creating HEAT directly from batteries is not cost effective....... a wind turbine
big enough to recharge the batteries in one day would be $30,000 or more
and that still would only work if you had constant wind blowing at more than
15 mph or more.

.....because you have to put the same amount of amps back into the battery
that you took out!


I quoted batteries that would be the "best"..... You could get by with 24 golf
Cart batteries for about $2,400 But even with these "cheaper" batteries
it it just cheaper to pay utility rates for the electricity.....or try propane or wood.
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:47 PM   #6
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High draw appliances such as electric resistive heaters and air conditioning require a huge amount of power. Typically not practical for off grid battery systems. If you have AC mains power you might want to look into a grid tied system. This way solar panels or wind generators can be effective.
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:46 PM   #7
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IF you want to save a bit of money.. Two GC-2 Six volt Golf Car batteries in series (Well Deka G-20's) will cost far less than that 8-D and will give you the very same 230 amp hours at 12 volts .. They also weigh as much as those 8D's and are way easier to find.

Some folks wonder why six volt pairs are so popular for use as 12 volt batteries.

First: the opening cost statement (Less than half the 8D)
Second, when you go to wrangle them in and out of the RV you are only doing six volts at a time (half the weight) they do not magically (no magic about it at all) Become a 12 volt battery till you hook up the jumper between them. and you do not do that till they are locked down on the battery tray.

The 230 amp hour G-20 from Deka is more than I can lift onto the tray (I have to lie under and lift them up and move them over) though I can carry them I just can not lift them off the ground when I'm on my back. The 220 amp hour U-2200 Interstates they replaced I could lift up to the tray.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:13 AM   #8
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I see what y'all are saying. Sounds like a grid tie in system would be more practical. I would simply use my VWT to reduce my monthly electric bill. Glad I got this advice before diving into my project! You folks are top notch.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by usafmsgt7594 View Post
I see what y'all are saying. Sounds like a grid tie in system would be more practical. I would simply use my VWT to reduce my monthly electric bill. Glad I got this advice before diving into my project! You folks are top notch.

Just so you know...... I heavily researched the grid-tie option for myself using solar
and found that it still is not practical. The break even point is still 5-10 years....and that
is assuming that the cheap Chinese made grid-tie inverters make it that long.

If you are okay with knowing that it will take 5 years or more for the technology to break even - then it's a fun hobby. Also know that you won't get rich.....after the payback period you still will only save $5-$20 per month (unless you have a REALLY BIG solar array or wind turbine)
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Old 10-22-2014, 01:14 PM   #10
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Get a 100 gal propane tank installed outside the unit and have the energy company refill on a regular basis. It should be a lot cheaper and more convenient than refilling 20/30 gal. tanks at your hardware store.
You might also want to look at the Olympian Wave 8 Catalytic heater as it is very propane efficient and requires no extra power. Also a good back up if your furnace fails.
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:58 AM   #11
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Pasdad...why are the alternative energy methods gaining such popularity if they're so expensive?

Ski...definitely going to look into the 100# tank. It sucks loading, hauling, filling, and reinstalling the 30's so frequently!
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by usafmsgt7594 View Post
Pasdad...why are the alternative energy methods gaining such popularity if they're so expensive?

The only programs I know of that are gaining popularity, are the ones that have rebates, tax credits, or other artificial financial incentives.
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:14 PM   #13
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I don't think you have thought anything about this prior asking us to validate your idea,,.. short answer is buy propane, balance out your power load and you can have two small heaters on medium to low on different circuits if you want to use the microwave turn one off.. construction junk doesn't create turbines or inverters.. and how you distribute this power into your system would have to change..... step away from this idea before you burn your trailer down. or maybe your trying to do this somewhere on the equator and it isn't going to be cold...
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:24 AM   #14
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Neighbor about 1/2 mile away installed a good-sized turbine and about 12 solar panels on the promise he would be able to get paid for generating more power than he used. 3 years later, not only does he not get anything from the co-op, his elec bill has not changed. It takes a knowledgeable electrical person to know how to set these items up to make them work. At this time, most of these installs would not be feasible if not for incentives
If you are needing an economical source of heating and AC, then you should investigate installing a Ground Source Heat Pump--www.igshpa.okstate.edu--it requires electricity but generates heating/cooling much more economically than resistance heat. I put one in my house (5-ton AC) and for the last 4 years, my electric bill has been 35-40% less than before install. And OH ought to have some incentives available for such an install, and there is a federal tax credit of 30% thru 2016. There is an excellent source for info on these systems in Mansfield, OH. Jackson Mechanical/Jackson Drilling. Talk to Greg Wells.
The sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow, but the earth is a constant, it never changes below ground. With 5 acres, there would be numerous methods to install such a system with varying costs.
Joe
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