How would you set up your off grid shop? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gringo-Gaucho View Post
    This would outpace my needs most of the year but if I want to use this shop in the fall, I should just move to Colorado!
    Uhmmm.. beside our own residences with ownership of the mineral rights meaning we not only got all the natural gas we needed for GAS lights, gas heat, gas hw, gas dryers, gas fridge/freezers. eventually gas air-con?

    Whole INDUSTRIES such as glass factories, carbon black factories, brick kilns, lumber-drying kilns, and a little old outfit called "Union Carbide & Carbon" - the controlling interest once held by a single bank, tiny Weston, WV, in its early days....all built their factories practically on top of privately-owned gas wells.

    When the wells went beyond fracking renewal, unless pipelines had caught-up, that factory was closed, a new one built over newer gas wells.

    Not that there was any shortage of coal, but the local version of "landed gentry", ie: anyone who earned a whole US dollar a DAY (mind.. it was still a "gold & silver backed" if not also physical gold or silver dollar), had gas - no ashes to haul, etc.

    West (By GOD!) Virginia once claimed it had stone and brick enough to build the world, hardwoods enough to furnish it, coal enough to fuel it, oil enough to lubricate it, gas enough to light it...

    ... and brains enough to run it.



    Then again, as far as I know, "back in THAT day", the only "drug" besides "West Virginia Moon" at over 100 proof and aged at least 30 whole seconds, that anyone had ever even HEARD of was Laudenum.. so..

    Drug Use by State: 2019’s Problem Areas

    ....and Colorado has "gone to pot", too?

    Well, New Zealand is a tad grumpy about being trashed, Lake Erhai has too DAMNED much trash and plastic bags, Dali, Old City, China.. so does Lago Di Lugano, though not nearly as bad, what with the tidier Swiss on a goodly portion of its shores.

    So ...shit... surely does "happen". Everywhere dirty humans roam.

    Hope your patch of Alaska gets a breather.


  2. #22
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    Well, a little further thinking with 24vdc vs 240v ac reveals that unless I get some huge copper, the % drop will equate to the loss of a VFD running on 240v. Factor inverter losses on top of that though, and the DC wins out, by 3% or so, not including any differences in motor efficiencies themselves.
    I know more power would be great, but with 10K invested just to flip the first switch, I need to get machines running and start bringing capital in again. More power added on later. For now, it's all about setting things up as efficiently as I can from the get go. $2K left in the budget , three motors to go.
    Thanks

  3. #23
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    Out of that 2K bucks, save enough for SOME kind of generator.

    There will be times when you need to recharge. Assuming you are running lead-acid batteries now, as most do, you will NOT want them to stand uncharged for any significant time, if there happen to be clouds etc. And, of course, you may need to do work when the batteries are low.

  4. #24
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    Buy a welder- you are gonna need a welder anyway- that is a diesel machine that makes 3 phase. Of course, its also a backup generator too.
    I have been in a few shops that actually had electricity on the pole that did this, rather than go thru the whole transformer/VFD/Phase converter route, and it works great. A big Miller or Lincoln will generate all the 3 phase you need, and also, WELD. I met a guy once who worked using a big power hammer somewhere in the rural UK, where there was no mains power at all- up a hill in a sheep pasture. Fire up the welder, run the hammer.
    I dont know any Alaska boat guys who dont constantly need welding done- my friends with tenders usually have aluminum wire feeders on the boat at all times...

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  6. #25
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    While I like solar, a generator is really the only logical answer for your high current needs

    Assume the solar handles all your normal needs, the amount of fuel you will use is negligible. how may hours of actual spindle time? A 5 gallon can of fuel will last how long?

    And, the generator can charge your batteries if you need it to.

    An expensive DC motor only does one thing, spin one spindle, a generator is multipurpose.

  7. #26
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    Default follow up with results- 3 phase is the way to go!

    For those following or reading this thread, I thought I'd post a follow up with the results of what i did to change the setup.
    Synopsis:
    If you are setting up an off-grid shop- Most importantly, be efficient from the start- use three phase machines for anything over 1 hp, and run three (outback or similiar) inverters synced to produce three phase power. This would yield better power than most grid users have, up to about 3 or 4 hp.

    details:
    My table saw, a 12" model was previously running on an atlas single phase 240v 2 hp motor. This motor wanted about 9000 watts inrush current, and needed about 2500 watts while free spinning. Push a piece of wood into it, it was pretty easy to overload.
    Swapped this to a 3 phase 2 hp baldor motor powered by a 7 amp vfd. The change is amazing. No inrush surge currents to cover, and the motor is running on 250 watts free spinning. Amazing. This is one quarter the power a shop vac wants! It is also much harder to bog down. When batteries are low and sun scarce, I have the option to turn the VFD rpms down and make a cut with very little power.

    With an old heavy duty planer I previously powered with a 3 hp baldor motor, I changed to a 240v 1.5 hp baldor of greater efficiency and lower KVA code of G. This machine is now running on about 500 watts free spinning- it has a lot more mass to rotate. The decrease in power hasn't been an issue yet, though next time I try to take a full 1/8" pass on a 12" board I might find the limits.
    One route I'd love to play with is a permanent magnet24v DC motor. Cost was marginally higher, but I suspect the efficiency would have been better than the 240v option. For my run from batteries to planer I needed 4 gauge copper, not terrible.
    Gringo-gaucho

  8. #27
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    It looks like I'm late to this party, but I did run across an interesting product the other day that falls in this area.

    Generac makes a product called PWRCell that is available in an 11000 watt 120/208 3phase configuration. They're a little vague about islanding, and I'm sure the cost is... Well, a lot more than Gringo-Gaucho spent, but I thought it was interesting. Not associated with the product in any way.

    https://www.generac.com/generaccorpo...3.pdf?ext=.pdf


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