Author Topic: My friend in NC - Maybe a prepper ?  (Read 530 times)

RWS

My friend in NC - Maybe a prepper ?
« on: August 14, 2019, 12:45:08 PM »
I have a friend in NC that lives on a mountain.  He heats his house with a hot water boiler.  His central heating system has a heat exchanger and fan.  The boiler has a circulation pump that supplies hot water.  Last Fall I helped him install a solar drain back tank with internal heat exchanger coil on his hot water heater.  It was easy because it was already set up for a side mounted heat exchanger.   He liked how it worked so well that he added a pair of flat plate heat exchangers to collect Summer heat from the sun.
Oh, did I mention he is a ham radio operator.  Notice the tower in the picture has a 75M dipole and 2M vertical.

and yes I do know the top right corner is shaded.  It will still work fine.  All I had to do was get the temperature controller up and running.  It is not a standard setup as it uses one heat source in the summer and another in the winter.  We just added another temperature probe and a single throw double pole switch to switch from summer to winter.  He did all the mechanical.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 02:47:19 PM by RWS »

RWS

Re: My friend in NC - Maybe a prepper ?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 01:00:13 PM »
Now that  the domestic hot water, central heat and kitchen stove have been moved off grid, he wants to install a solar electric system and take the rest of the house off grid. (Must be a prepper)  SO, while I was there we picked out a location for the first solar panels.  We found a nice South facing hill just below his house for a 10 panel string of solar panels right up against the fence line.
He wants to install the inverter in the basement where the batteries will be kept warm during the winter and cool during the summer.  There is a ground level basement door to facilitate getting batteries in and out.

His job now is to get his power meter changed out so we can make a clean grid tie and clean the area wall where we plan to mount the inverter.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 02:39:26 PM by RWS »

RWS

Re: My friend in NC - Maybe a prepper ?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 01:17:47 PM »
So when I go to NC to help him, where do I stay??  I take my camper and stay up the mountain a few hundred yards at his camp site.  It is a pole barn with level concrete floor, potable water, 30 or 50 Amp electric and a shower house beside it. The view is great.  There is a pasture on one side where he currently had his sheep.  I asked who shears them.  The answer surprised me. "No one" they are never sheared.  They are Katahdin sheep.  I told him there was a Mt. Katahdin in Main which is the northern terminus of the AT.  He said they were named after that mountain.  He has 12 ewe, 11 lambs and one ram.  He does not consider himself a prepper.  It's just a way of life.  The pole in the first picture is the sme pole in the second picture that has the pole barn at the far right.
He also has 6 heffers, 5 calves and 1 bull.  He made the mistake of telling my wife to pick whatever she wanted from the garden and orchard.  We left with 3 watermelon, a cantelope and a bag of red delicious apples.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 02:35:37 PM by RWS »

RWS

Re: My friend in NC - Maybe a prepper ?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2019, 03:36:02 PM »
I went to NC this past week.  I arrived Monday at noon and found the 2" Pipe rack in place ready for rails and solar panels.  We put the rails on Monday and mounted the disconnect switch and combiner box on Tuesday morning.

RWS

Re: My friend in NC - Maybe a prepper ?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2019, 03:43:52 PM »
Tuesday afternoon we installed a string of 10 Canadian Solar HiDM325MS solar panels.
https://www.canadiansolar.com/upload/e1083c5e879966bf/67aecdf943cef41b.pdf
We also installed a remote receiver/switch for the remote shut down function.  The receiver/switch is powered by 1 panel and in series with all 10 panels.  A remote transmitter induces a 484.84khz tone in the pv wire.  As long as the tone is present, the switch stays turned on sending voltage to the house.  The transmitter is 12VDC powered, so I intend to power from 1 battery.  Control wiring will be 12VDC.

RWS

Re: My friend in NC - Maybe a prepper ?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2019, 07:47:11 AM »
I went to NC this week.  On my earlier trip We (my friend & I) located a wall in the basement where we decided to install the inverter & charge controllers.  The first picture is the wall before.  The second picture is the same location with the addition of a 2x6 stud wall with a sheet of 3/4" plywood installed.  Before I even got back up there he had mounted the inverter and Power Distribution box.  So, we mounted charge controllers and started hooking up wires.

RWS

Re: My friend in NC - Maybe a prepper ?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2019, 07:54:47 AM »
We finished Thursday morning with a powered up lighting panel and one circuit which was a convenience outlet.  Plugged into that was a portable light as the corner we were working in was dimly lit.  We used 8ea 8A8D-T975 Deka batteries in 2 strings of 4.  That gave us 440AH of battery at 48VDC.

The new NEC requires "Rapid shut down" of the system in case the fire dep has to fight a fire in the building.  I installed an E-Stop button out beside the power meter with a NC (normally closed) and a NO (normally open) contact.  I used the NO contact to wire to the inverter Aux contacts 2 & 3 and turned on the RPO (remote power off) parameter in the inverter.  I used the NC contacts to interrupt the 12DC to the remote shut down transmitter mounted beside the charge controller inside.  The transmitter induces a 484.84khz signal in the positive PV (solar panel) wire with an encoded keep alive digital signal.  The receiver mounted at the solar panels must hear the keep alive signal to keep the solar panel voltage turned on.  No extra wiring between inside and outside.  We tested it and it worked slick as a whistle.  Receiver pictured earlier in this thread.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 08:13:25 AM by RWS »