Your Questions About Solar Powered Generator

John asks…

Were can I buy a Transfer switch for a generator?

I have just bought a 850watt generator and i wanted to connect it up to my off grid solar powered shed.

I wanted to use the generator to charge my battery bank for the solar panels and i wanted to run the power around my shed.I already have a distribution box to power points and lights so could i hook my generator and my battery bank inverter to one power cable.i think i would need a Transfer switch to switch from solar panels to generator or could i run both at the same time to increase the power

ssadmin answers:

Both at the same time would be difficult, you would have to synchronize the two AC sources for frequency, phase and voltage. Could be done, but you need special equipment.

Transfer switches you can buy online or at electrical supply houses.


Betty asks…

Where can I buy a generator powered by a steam engine that uses coal / wood for fuel to power the boiler?

I want to find an alternative energy generator that does not use liquid propane or gas or solar. I want to buy a generator that will run off steam that is generated by a boiler with a firebox that burns wood, coal, etc.

I've done searches for “steam powered generator” and found one, but it's $13,000 and charges batteries, not run the house, etc.

I'd really like to find some off-the-shelf alternatives… not interested in building my own.

ssadmin answers:

You need to determine the required parameters first. How many KW of power do you need to generate? For this you will need to determine your maximum load. You can get this number by adding up all the power requirements of the equipment you expect to operate at one time.

Then you will have to multiply that by around 195% as steam generators are only about 5% efficient. This means that 95% of the fuel you put into the steam engine will be turned into wasted heat. If this seems like a lot of coal/wood you will know why the world moved away from steam engine generated electricity to steam turbines which are more efficient.

I expect you will have to purchase the generator and the steam engine separately and connect the two with some kind of drive belt. Alternatively you might use some kind of transmission as they do in Windmills or water driven generators that are also producing mechanical power to a generator.

Linda asks…

Why not build a long pipe in antarctica and pump ozone into the ozone hole?

Why not build a long vertical pipe in antarctica and pump ozone up into the ozone hole? By building a very long pipe we can avoid ozone rising through the lower atmosphere and thereby harming living organisms lower down. At the bottom of our pipe we can put a solar powered ozone generator -> 0 energy wasted in ozone production, 0 cost after initial setup. Lottery money or something similar can be used as startup capital. Even if it didnt fix the ozone hole it would still help it seal up faster. Is this idea feasible?

ssadmin answers:

Cost prohibitive,

But why not extract from high ozone cities, and load them on long distance jets and dump them at 37,000 and higher altitude? Again I believe it is cost prohibitive.

This is my help and ideas from Washington, D.C. USA.

Sandra asks…

How to build a free source of energy?

Ive decided i want to use my free time to build something useful like a solar powered energy generator, or wind powered turbine to produce free energy, does anybody out there know of any FREE sites that teach you step by step how to build any one of these? Also what are your thoughts on these machines?

ssadmin answers:

Build either of these
1. Solar powered generator
2. Wind turbine
3. Tidal flow turbine
4. Magnetic generator
5.geothermal energy source

Donald asks…

How long does a 4000 watt generator last?

I want to buy a solar powered one. Online I saw one that had
a peak of 4000 watts. I have no idea how this stuff works. My
House has no power because of electrical problems and I got tired of lighting candles everyday. I want to buy this generator but I have a few questions. How does it work?
I charge it up with light/sun??
I only need it to have my laptop on to do homework and keep a few lamps on. How long will I be able to have them on??

ssadmin answers:

If you're on a budget, then I suggest you save your money towards getting the house electricity fixed. That's what you really need. In the meantime, ask your neighbor whether you can do your homework at their house.

With a little more money, you could get a gasoline-powered generator. That will be much cheaper than any solar solution, even with the gas included. And that can sit in your garage for other emergencies.

Of the complete solar systems that I've seen advertised as a single unit, all of them have had wildly unrealistic specifications. When an inverter has a peak rating like that, it's usually over maybe 10 seconds or so, enough to start a motor. Depending on the battery bank and size of cables used, the inverter may not even be able to deliver that. For the kind of system typically sold for $1000 – $2000, you can expect to get maybe 1-2 hours of laptop and a compact fluorescent bulb. A standalone solar system can be built for less that provides more, but it's not a simple thing to do. And the battery must be maintained, you can't just use the system and not think about it.

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