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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In this day and time the power companies want you to conserve. But come on!! What is the use in having all the technology if you have to use them at a minimum?

Heres my answer...

Make your own power!! It really is not that hard. Once you understand a few simple things (the topic of this diatribe) you too will enjoy lower power bills and eventually you , yes you, may have the awkward talk about selling power to your local power company and them paying you a check every month!! Haaaaa!

Lets get started shall we?...

ok, first off time to dispell a few myths. 1) When electricity is made it is not AC (alternating current/house current) but DC! 2) AC is used because it will travel farther than DC without as much voltage drop. 3) Having a bunch of batteries in one spot is NOT better than a few here and there. Eggs in a basket thing. 4) If you can multiply and divide as well as add and subtract you can do everything you need to get what you need. 5) No diesel is involved with any of my OTG (off the grid) plans.

See that wasnt so hard was it? You ready? Here we go...

First you want to start off with your lights. So you should know that flourescent lights do use less power and thus you should have them in your home all ready!! Lets take my dining area light in my trailer as a good test run.

The bulbs are rated at 100 watts and use only about 40 watts of 110 house current. Huh? Oh I left that part out Im sorry. Watts = Force of electrons(electricity). Volts = the Power of electrons. Amperage = The speed of movement of electrons. The equation to find each of these is this.

V=W*A
W=V/A
A=V/W

You will need to know all three of these to set up your alternate power supply. Oh yes...TURN THE MAIN BREAKER IN YOUR HOUSE OFF BEFORE MESSING WITH ANY WIRES IN YOUR HOME!!!!!!

Back to the lights...

40 / 110 = 2.75 amps

So lets say that you want to run this light for 72 hours before having to recharge your battery. 72 * 2.75 = 198 amps. So you skip to the store and pick out a 200 amp deep cycle battery and lug it home. Yeeesss? They don't have anything but a 500 amp? oh that will do as well. It just means you can run 2 lights with it for 72 hours.

Ok so now we have a DC battery and AC house. Remember the Watt number of that bulb? 40 right? now we go down to our local truck stop and purchase a 100 Watt inverter. I paid $30 for mine I think... Skip back to the house.

Ok so now you have a battery, two lights that need power, and wires. HUH? Well go buy wires then. Since two lights is all you will be powering use an old extension cord and crimp copper eyelets on one end, and a 12v lighter (female) plug to the other. Be sure that the negative (-) wire is on the outside connection for the plug and the positive (+) is on the center connection for the plug.

Pick a nice spot near the switch for your light and install your 12 volt plug next to it leading the wires through a hole in the floor or wall to the outside of your home. Put hole about 4 inches above the floor line and once wires are installed seal with silicone caulking of your color preference.

Now the hard part...you knew it was coming...AFTER MAKING SURE THE MAIN BREAKER TO THE WHOLE HOUSE IS OFF!!! remove the switch and locate the feed wires for it. there should be a white wire and a black wire. You will then need to get a 2 prong replacement plug ( I recomend the solid plastic variety) and put the white wire on the silver screw, and the black wire on the brass colored screw. Seal the house power wire with wire nuts and electrical tape and put back in wall. Dont cram just push them back in there.

NOW MAKE SURE THE MAIN BREAKER TO THE HOUSE IS STILL OFF!!! plug the cord into the inverter and then plug the inverter into the 12 volt plug next to the switch. Pull light cord or flip switch and lights should come on.

If no light, charge battery. make sure switch is off. I'm sorry what? Oh I see. No charger huh? Take battery connections off battery and take battery over to automobile of your choosing. Start auto and connect battery to car with jumper cables. be sure to hook + to + and - to - ... disconnect in half hour. Replace battery connections and walla power.

Oh yeah now you can turn main power breaker back on...

Yes thats it! No there is nothing complicated about it. Lemme think about it. No I don't know why more people don't do it.

If you hook one set of lights up this way every six weeks you will not starve your wallet, and eventually after two or three of these you will notice your wallet beginning to gain some weight. I am serious thats it.

Yes you can do your computer the same way. You will need a larger inverter but you can do it. A 1500 Watt inverter should be plenty. That way you can power all your components as well. Just do the math and add everything up. Then go get your parts and take it from there.

30 minutes of run time with gas at $4 a gallon is about $1 on most V8s. Thats another topic. We just wanted to get you to have some extra money in your pocket quickly. Actually generating power at home is simple and healthy for you. Anyway you have work to do. If pick everything up at once you should be out only $100 - $150 per 12v power supply. I hooked mine up to motion sensors so I dont have to worry with switch. Yes I am lazy, But my power bill is less than $70 a month.
 

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Are you being serious? I sure hope not. ..
yeas Axiality. I want to know what's so wrong with this post. This man obviously spent some time sharing some info with people who may not realize how simple it could be to use an alternative form of power.

Please explain your response Axiality.
 

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I wouldn't call it a jab although I am known for my keen sense of humor. :rolleyes:

It just isn't economical to charge a battery using an auto and it isn't good for the life of the battery. In addition, your auto won't properly charge your battery at idle, you have to drive around to give it a good charge. Most deep cycle batteries shouldn't be discharged more then 50%

100amp batteries start at 200 bucks, that's gonna cost some serious money if you want 200-500 amps. I also wouldn't hook up a cheapo inefficient automotive inverter, they draw and waste too much power.

Will your idea work? Sure it will, but it won't be a cost effective way to meet your energy needs and that's why I'd be careful before advising anyone eles to try it.
 

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I'm currently working on a project on a friend's boat,where we are trying to generate enough DC power to run the boats housepower,and run a sonar on 115VAC,and a computer,to store sonar data. First problem was the inverter was giving us very dirty power,which gave the sonar all sorts of annomolus reading,and the inverter was a high dollar unit,not some cheapo Harbor Freight unit..So a friend brought up a UPS,and installed it.This cleaned up the power considerably,but is another draw on supply.Its a compounding of problems.Were it my boat,I'd buy a brand new Honda or Onan genny,and run everything from it,solely.No invertion.
 

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Sorry in advance for this rant.... Ok, Im very electrically inclined, and have done alot of playing around with alternative energy... I made a 12v backup generator with an inverter out of a lawnmower engine, Im in the process of building a windmill, I have 60 watts of solar on my shop as a backup, and lots of other ideas in my head. I would never suggest to ANYONE to wire up a fema le 12v socket to a lightswitch in there home...For one, when the main breaker is on that 12v socket will have 110v of power in it, now its 4inches off the floor waiting for a kid to stick his fingers in. Next running your truck to charge up a battery is a huge waste of fuel to charge up a battery to run lights for a few hours....The thing I dont understand is this. If you REALLY want to charge up a battery with your car, then pack it into the house, and use an inverter to convert that 12v to 110v and waste probably half your power into heat, and THEN rewire a switch very dangerously and turn off the main breaker, why wouldnt you just plug a lamp DIRECTLY into the inverter and NOT rewire your switch....NO DANGER, just wasteful of gas... The only thing is this.... In a SHTF time, I wouldnt have a problem with the battery/inverter/LAMP for a little light in the evenings... But I would buy a few 15w solar panels from Northern tools to set in the backyard during the day to charge the batteries...No wasted fuel, and nobody drives off with your truck thats sitting in the driveway idleing... Again, sorry for the rant...But I had to read this twice to even understand what you were talkign about...




In this day and time the power companies want you to conserve. But come on!! What is the use in having all the technology if you have to use them at a minimum?

Heres my answer...

Make your own power!! It really is not that hard. Once you understand a few simple things (the topic of this diatribe) you too will enjoy lower power bills and eventually you , yes you, may have the awkward talk about selling power to your local power company and them paying you a check every month!! Haaaaa!

Lets get started shall we?...

ok, first off time to dispell a few myths. 1) When electricity is made it is not AC (alternating current/house current) but DC! 2) AC is used because it will travel farther than DC without as much voltage drop. 3) Having a bunch of batteries in one spot is NOT better than a few here and there. Eggs in a basket thing. 4) If you can multiply and divide as well as add and subtract you can do everything you need to get what you need. 5) No diesel is involved with any of my OTG (off the grid) plans.

See that wasnt so hard was it? You ready? Here we go...

First you want to start off with your lights. So you should know that flourescent lights do use less power and thus you should have them in your home all ready!! Lets take my dining area light in my trailer as a good test run.

The bulbs are rated at 100 watts and use only about 40 watts of 110 house current. Huh? Oh I left that part out Im sorry. Watts = Force of electrons(electricity). Volts = the Power of electrons. Amperage = The speed of movement of electrons. The equation to find each of these is this.

V=W*A
W=V/A
A=V/W

You will need to know all three of these to set up your alternate power supply. Oh yes...TURN THE MAIN BREAKER IN YOUR HOUSE OFF BEFORE MESSING WITH ANY WIRES IN YOUR HOME!!!!!!

Back to the lights...

40 / 110 = 2.75 amps

So lets say that you want to run this light for 72 hours before having to recharge your battery. 72 * 2.75 = 198 amps. So you skip to the store and pick out a 200 amp deep cycle battery and lug it home. Yeeesss? They don't have anything but a 500 amp? oh that will do as well. It just means you can run 2 lights with it for 72 hours.

Ok so now we have a DC battery and AC house. Remember the Watt number of that bulb? 40 right? now we go down to our local truck stop and purchase a 100 Watt inverter. I paid $30 for mine I think... Skip back to the house.

Ok so now you have a battery, two lights that need power, and wires. HUH? Well go buy wires then. Since two lights is all you will be powering use an old extension cord and crimp copper eyelets on one end, and a 12v lighter (female) plug to the other. Be sure that the negative (-) wire is on the outside connection for the plug and the positive (+) is on the center connection for the plug.

Pick a nice spot near the switch for your light and install your 12 volt plug next to it leading the wires through a hole in the floor or wall to the outside of your home. Put hole about 4 inches above the floor line and once wires are installed seal with silicone caulking of your color preference.

Now the hard part...you knew it was coming...AFTER MAKING SURE THE MAIN BREAKER TO THE WHOLE HOUSE IS OFF!!! remove the switch and locate the feed wires for it. there should be a white wire and a black wire. You will then need to get a 2 prong replacement plug ( I recomend the solid plastic variety) and put the white wire on the silver screw, and the black wire on the brass colored screw. Seal the house power wire with wire nuts and electrical tape and put back in wall. Dont cram just push them back in there.

NOW MAKE SURE THE MAIN BREAKER TO THE HOUSE IS STILL OFF!!! plug the cord into the inverter and then plug the inverter into the 12 volt plug next to the switch. Pull light cord or flip switch and lights should come on.

If no light, charge battery. make sure switch is off. I'm sorry what? Oh I see. No charger huh? Take battery connections off battery and take battery over to automobile of your choosing. Start auto and connect battery to car with jumper cables. be sure to hook + to + and - to - ... disconnect in half hour. Replace battery connections and walla power.

Oh yeah now you can turn main power breaker back on...

Yes thats it! No there is nothing complicated about it. Lemme think about it. No I don't know why more people don't do it.

If you hook one set of lights up this way every six weeks you will not starve your wallet, and eventually after two or three of these you will notice your wallet beginning to gain some weight. I am serious thats it.

Yes you can do your computer the same way. You will need a larger inverter but you can do it. A 1500 Watt inverter should be plenty. That way you can power all your components as well. Just do the math and add everything up. Then go get your parts and take it from there.

30 minutes of run time with gas at $4 a gallon is about $1 on most V8s. Thats another topic. We just wanted to get you to have some extra money in your pocket quickly. Actually generating power at home is simple and healthy for you. Anyway you have work to do. If pick everything up at once you should be out only $100 - $150 per 12v power supply. I hooked mine up to motion sensors so I dont have to worry with switch. Yes I am lazy, But my power bill is less than $70 a month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
See, that wasn't so hard now was it.

No questions or issues with the math... Ok thats good.

Only the issue about how this 1 light is wired. Ok

Oh the issue about recharging using a auto...thats it?

You folks that have the inclination and experience and homes with alternative power hooked to them need to remember you did not do all this overnight. Most of the reasons that others dont do this is because they are brought up to believe the electricity comes from the electric company. Everything I do and post about with VERY few exceptions can be done with less than $200. It is very difficult for anyone to come up with the $400 for a inverter to run the larger appliances or several smaller ones.

So it is necessary to take this endeavor one step at a time. One light at a time. Then when the money stops going to the power company and into your wallet you can begin doing the larger projects.

ideally we would build otg houses in the beginning. But very few of us can and/or have done it.

I will post pictures of this when I figure out how to do it. Most electrical outlets are 6 inches off the floor where younguns can get to them. Children know what they are don't bring them into the conversation. If you want to put it in the ceiling thats fine. The idea is to tell folks what needs to be done.

Seeing as this is the roughdraft of my ideas and taken from something I have done, my young son hasn't gotten shocked and the house hasn't burned down, the electrical outlet has yet to show signs of arcing.

as far as charging the battery with the auto see my other post on generating power. You have to start somewhere, and most autos already have alternators and the batteries are able to charge directly from that. So you save your money up and you can build your generator so you can use it instead of the auto. The auto is a temporary thing. Eventually after you save enough money you very well may want to tear out the wiring in your home and rewire everything. Until then this is what you do.

I will get the pictures up aqaic.

The other thing is since you have all this knowledge and experience why is my posting the only one to describe the process of easing folks to be less dependent on power.

See thats my job. The group I am a part of tears away all the hype, all the fluff, and quite simply looks at the core set of components that make all this work. Then we come up with a process that can be followed using minimum tools and cash. We edit it as often as we think we need to. Usually editing occurs after other folks have expressed concerns over the order of the process or its too wordy or its not wordy enough.

When you type something out its there in the open for people to read. I have not typed anything that would be considered dangerous IF the process is followed. Some of what is written above is and has been said about firearms. I do my best not to laugh at folks that use those arguments because they either truly are that scared of electricity, what is said they don't understand, and the one I really don't like and have yet to find a way to overcome, They do not want others to understand it and act on it.

All I ask if you have concerns over my postings is to tell me what the concern is and how you think it can be solved. I very well may have overlooked something. I appreciate everyone that brings my attention to ANY problem with what I post. Those that actually take the time to offer a corrective measure are respected.

I may have monkeyed with the process. I will reread and if necessary clarify some things. Maybe I laid it out incorrectly I will look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Parts you need....Part I

http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll14/2243OCL/0515080853.jpg
This is the simple way to do it. buy a female 12v plug with two clamps on it later you can cut clamps off and put eyelets on.

http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll14/2243OCL/0515080849.jpg
This is the way to put eyelets on. this set of crimpers will serve you well for the majority of what I post.

http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll14/2243OCL/0515080847.jpg
This is the cost of this inverter I am talking about. It has ONE plug in it.
http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll14/2243OCL/0515080843.jpg
this is a better view of it.

Start small and as you get things set up you can get bigger equipment.
 

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Like I said before....It is very ineffiecient to charge a battery off a truck ideling in the driveway....Still cheaper to get your power from the power company....Better to use solar to charge that battery....BUT in SHTF times and you were driving your truck somewhere you could wire up a "battery isolator" and charge a few extra batteries...Just like if you had a camper, then use the extra battery power....But not for everyday home use do I see this as an option...
 

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40 / 110 = 2.75 amps
This is NOT correct .
Power(watts) = I(current)*E(voltage) or
I = Power/E

|| I = 40 / 110 = ~.36

using these more complicated formulas
Voltage (E) = Current (I) * Resistance (R)
Power (watts) = Current Squared (I^2) * Resistance (R)
Power = I*E = E^2 / R

...therefore a 40 watt bulb at 100v only draws approx. .36 amps, not 2.75

So lets say that you want to run this light for 72 hours before having to recharge your battery. 72 * 2.75 = 198 amps. So you skip to the store and pick out a 200 amp deep cycle battery and lug it home. Yeeesss? They don't have anything but a 500 amp? oh that will do as well. It just means you can run 2 lights with it for 72 hours.
Anytime you completely discharge a battery, you damage it's ability to store energy. In general, you should never discharge a storage battery more than 20% to maintain it's service life. When looking for a battery, ignore the "cranking amps" as with a car battery, but look for an Amp-hour rating. A good 200 Ah 12v battery runs about $350. With that, you could run 555 40 watt bulbs for an hour, or 2 bulbs for 277 hours.

Good post though! Definitely thought provoking!
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is NOT correct .
Power(watts) = I(current)*E(voltage) or
I = Power/E

|| I = 40 / 110 = ~.36

using these more complicated formulas
Voltage (E) = Current (I) * Resistance (R)
Power (watts) = Current Squared (I^2) * Resistance (R)
Power = I*E = E^2 / R

...therefore a 40 watt bulb at 100v only draws approx. .36 amps, not 2.75




Anytime you completely discharge a battery, you damage it's ability to store energy. In general, you should never discharge a storage battery more than 20% to maintain it's service life. When looking for a battery, ignore the "cranking amps" as with a car battery, but look for an Amp-hour rating. A good 200 Ah 12v battery runs about $350. With that, you could run 555 40 watt bulbs for an hour, or 2 bulbs for 277 hours.

Good post though! Definitely thought provoking!
Ok, admittedly I knew about amp hours. I however was attempting to use the least expensive material to get folks on their way and so far my deep cycle marine batteries have done very well. I replace one every 15-17 months. I am planning on taking pictures of this process next month just to have it for future use. I have fencing to do this week end otherwise it would get done then.

Remember folks, this process is meant to be doable by anyone. Follow these directions and walla its done. My skin is thick and calling me out for a math issue is no big deal I can correct that. At least the math came out ahead instead of behind. Nothing like doing all that to find out it won't work :(

My sincere thanks to you 421slicer for bringing that to my attention.
 

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Confusing, as I am not a electrical engineer. =)

I bought one of these a while back (along with a hefty supply of fuel), and have it ready to go. Until such time as its needed, I'll keep sending TXU their money for my power.

 

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I wired a 12v led system in my house. I have lights in every room, and they all run from one deep cycle battery that I keep constantly maintained with a motorcycle battery tender. The cost is minimal to keep the battery in peak condition, and it'll provide a lot of light for a lot of time. Fact is, I have no idea how many nights of led lighting I can squeeze out of it. I tried once to see how many nights I could get and lost interest after 15 consecutive evenings. This lighting serves us quite well during times of storms and whatnot where we are without power. With the woodstove for heat, and the leds for ambient light, we arent stubbing our toes just getting around.

We have tried generators, but they are only useful for a short period of time unless you have a huge fuel reserve. They are good for firing up the well pump, and cooling off the freezer, and kicking in the furnace for a whole-house heat-up, but its really just fluff.

I'm not some old-fogey - old-fashioned throwback longing for the days before power, only realizing that living without it, artfully and effectively, may be the best answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
admittedly I have thought of making the switch from flourescent to led. I just don't like the thought of replacing all those lights :(

Maybe as they poop out I will. Not a bad Idea. Keep it up.
 

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LOL! I didnt mean to call you out. I think what you're doing is great! I did intend to point out that the benefit/positives of doing what you are doing were even greater than imagined.

Sorry for my anal retentiveness, i work with wiring/electronics all day. But I did have a typo... 40 watt bulb at 110 (not 100) volts = .36 amps. LOL!
 
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