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Old 02-23-2021, 10:40 PM   #21
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No sun, no wind. Note the sun in upper right hand corner heating the atmosphere.
hahahahaha, well of course the sun comes up. It just doesn't shine through the cloud cover.

Where I live, we have many, many gray days November-March. But boy does the wind blow! Solar would be nearly worthless for me during the winter months. But if I had a wind turbine, I could power my entire home.

It's currently dark (sunset at 5:49pm PT). The wind is steadily blowing 18mph out of the west.
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:53 PM   #22
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It's currently dark (sunset at 5:49pm PT). The wind is steadily blowing 18mph out of the west.

But it wouldn't be blowing if the sun never shone was the point. And, even a grey day delivers some solar power.
I suspect Ford has a turbine they've mounted on a truck bed to deliver power to a battery bank.
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:25 PM   #23
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Hi all, I am new to the forums, and am awaiting a September delivery. I live in the southwest, so naturally I have planned the maximum solar options along LiFePO batteries. But I have been noticing a trend in wind power supplementation filtering down to the boondockers. I wonder if anyone here has attempted supplementing with wind or hydro power, and would be interested in pursuing a discord on same.
on my RV i have 800 watts solar panels on the roof. (truck camper)

I have 200 amp hours of Battleborn LiFePO4 batteries to store the energy. (plus when i drive the truck charges the truck camper batteries too)

If i am ever at a shady campsite and boondocking... as a backup I have a Honda 2200 generator - modified to also run on propane, for convenience to not have to carry gas, or worry about gas going stale.
Never had to use it, so far.

If you need to supplement your solar when boondocking - just use a small generator to quickly (60-90 mins) top up your batteries.
less hassle than wind generation.
smaller than wind generation.
always available (wind isn't)

and hydro power generation.... carried around by an RV .... huh?

just my 2c.
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Old 02-24-2021, 06:21 AM   #24
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I'm surprised southeast New Mexico doesn't have wind turbines everywhere. Maybe it does by now. When I've been there in the springtime the wind was impressive.

I've read that Texas has so much wind energy because it is the only place in the country with large areas of steady high wind that are relatively close to urban centers.
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Old 02-24-2021, 06:39 AM   #25
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Seems to me that a wind mill and hydro generator is an awful lot of baggage to transport and deploy, probably very expensive to purchase for limited use (not full sunlight). I might consider either of I owned a piece of property on which I boondocked for months, if it were in a windy location or had a reliably flowing stream. However, to me the simplest solution to provide power (keeping the batteries charged) on successive days without sunshine in remote locations is called a Honda EU2200i or equivalent. Relatively quiet, weighs about 55 lbs, doesn’t take up as much space as a wind or water turbine, doesn’t require wind or flowing water, and is a heck of a lot easier and quicker to set up.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:25 PM   #26
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I'm surprised southeast New Mexico doesn't have wind turbines everywhere. Maybe it does by now. When I've been there in the springtime the wind was impressive.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, New Mexico's wind potential is very good in the eastern half of the state but nothing special in the western half, and wind power production is in about the middle of the range on their scale, ahead of most states, at 5.0 to 10.0 billion kilowatt-hours (per year). The state which is really missing out on its potential appears to be South Dakota... where, of course, there isn't much population to use it.

For comparison, Alberta and Ontario produce about 4.9 and 11 billion kWh of wind power per year, respectively.

But in any location, wind power seems very awkward for an RV. Unlike sunshine, wind is highly dependent on distance above the ground, and tall structural poles seem to me like a lousy combination with mobile recreational homes.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:10 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by BuggsMcBuggs View Post
Hi all, I am new to the forums, and am awaiting a September delivery. I live in the southwest, so naturally I have planned the maximum solar options along LiFePO batteries. But I have been noticing a trend in wind power supplementation filtering down to the boondockers. I wonder if anyone here has attempted supplementing with wind or hydro power, and would be interested in pursuing a discord on same.
I have seen a number of cruising sailboats with old defunct wind turbines attached...much fewer with working turbines. The biggest complaint I have heard is noise and vibration. People complain about the noise the furnace and air con make...try the vibration from a turbine!
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:44 PM   #28
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Small wind turbines could work but it would be hard to get it high enough to get it out of the ground effect turbulence. They really don't work that well unless you can get them well above the trees and other obstacles. Setting up a tower with guy wires at a camp site? They do work closer to the ground but it's hard on them and they are noisier. As for hydro you need more than swift moving water to to turn a turbine with any force. You need a water source with an elevation drop to generate water pressure (head) even a steep creek you would need to carry hundreds of feet of large hose to get enough water pressure to generate any real output.
I would recommend sticking with solar and maybe more battery capacity, solar is cheap, clean quiet electricity.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:54 AM   #29
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Small wind turbines could work but it would be hard to get it high enough to get it out of the ground effect turbulence. They really don't work that well unless you can get them well above the trees and other obstacles. Setting up a tower with guy wires at a camp site? They do work closer to the ground but it's hard on them and they are noisier. As for hydro you need more than swift moving water to to turn a turbine with any force. You need a water source with an elevation drop to generate water pressure (head) even a steep creek you would need to carry hundreds of feet of large hose to get enough water pressure to generate any real output.
I would recommend sticking with solar and maybe more battery capacity, solar is cheap, clean quiet electricity.
On one of my many drives along rivers in the West, I saw an interesting hydro generator. It was a 6' diameter paddlewheel mounted on a pair of pontoons tied between the banks, sitting in the rapids of the river. A step up pair of pulleys connected to an automotive alternator. I didn't get to talk to the owners to find out how much power it generated, but it was an impressive system.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:16 PM   #30
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As for hydro you need more than swift moving water to to turn a turbine with any force. You need a water source with an elevation drop to generate water pressure (head) even a steep creek you would need to carry hundreds of feet of large hose to get enough water pressure to generate any real output.
For hydroelectrical generation emulating how power utilities do it, yes. But that's not the only option, and not what was suggested.

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On one of my many drives along rivers in the West, I saw an interesting hydro generator. It was a 6' diameter paddlewheel mounted on a pair of pontoons tied between the banks, sitting in the rapids of the river. A step up pair of pulleys connected to an automotive alternator. I didn't get to talk to the owners to find out how much power it generated, but it was an impressive system.
And impressively large for the output. There's a TV show about a family of nuts building junk for people on "homesteads" and they built an unsuccessful one of these for one episode... but it can be done properly.

Yes, this sort of thing seems to have had a recent resurgence. On a smaller scale, a turbine in a short tube can be placed in the water.

While the smallest of these devices are sold as a method for campers to get power, anything put into a stream risks environmental consequences (turbines and fish are a bad combination; water wheels need substantial anchors) and would likely require approval that a temporary installation won't get. It's an interesting idea, but generally not viable.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:57 PM   #31
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On one of my many drives along rivers in the West, I saw an interesting hydro generator. It was a 6' diameter paddlewheel mounted on a pair of pontoons tied between the banks, sitting in the rapids of the river. A step up pair of pulleys connected to an automotive alternator. I didn't get to talk to the owners to find out how much power it generated, but it was an impressive system.
Interesting, I used to live on the San Miguel river below Telluride in an old school bus and I used to dream about something like that. It would have been difficult to say the least with the high spring runoff, low flow in summer and ice dams and floods in winter the other thing I didn't even look into was permitting. Then my dad who was an auction hound bought about two hundred 20W Solarex solar panels for something like $500, this was in the mid eighties. I had a rack of sixteen 4x4 to get 320 watts. Then I added another rack of ten to get to a total of 520 watts.
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:09 PM   #32
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For hydroelectrical generation emulating how power utilities do it, yes. But that's not the only option, and not what was suggested.
I was talking about micro hydro actually, but yes pretty much the same. The one I am familiar with is called a Lil Otto.

I always wondered if anybody built a small in stream system but I haven't ever seen one.

And yes I expect permitting would be difficult to impossible depending on where you are and not possible for someone on the move.
Edit. I should add especially for a home made system
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:25 PM   #33
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Poke around here

https://www.homepower.com/


A good resource for alternative energy information. Hard copy issues have ads for micro hydro as well as wind & solar systems. They've been in the field for a long time and appear to know and live their stuff. They have an archive section on the online site, so you may find more info there. They have been around for decades, seen it, done it, etc.
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:36 PM   #34
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I was talking about micro hydro actually, but yes pretty much the same. The one I am familiar with is called a Lil Otto.
Yes, I was referring to very small scale systems in my comment about "emulating how power utilities do it" - using the same technology, but much smaller. Utility-scale hydroelectricity depends on high-momentum flow in a pipe resulting from a high hydraulic head. Any portable scheme would in contrast be a zero-head system (such as the paddlewheel or immersed turbine).

Lil Otto is apparently an impulse wheel system with a minimum head of 25 feet - small by commercial standards but out of the question for portable systems and most private properties.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:44 PM   #35
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Years ago some friends in western North Dakota put a simple turbine on the roof of a building. Slow turning but powerful, with a vertical shaft. The shaft came into the building and down into a metal keg like container of 90wt oil. The end of the shaft had blades that churned the oil and heated the container producing radiant heat into the room. Simple.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:27 PM   #36
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Yes, I was referring to very small scale systems in my comment about "emulating how power utilities do it" - using the same technology, but much smaller. Utility-scale hydroelectricity depends on high-momentum flow in a pipe resulting from a high hydraulic head. Any portable scheme would in contrast be a zero-head system (such as the paddlewheel or immersed turbine).

Lil Otto is apparently an impulse wheel system with a minimum head of 25 feet - small by commercial standards but out of the question for portable systems and most private properties.
Right that was my point. Even though very small, not portable because of the hose that would be needed.

Does anybody know of a small in stream hydro system for sale? It would be cool but I have never seen one myself and I have looked around some.
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:14 AM   #37
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I think the biggest point we are missing in this discussion is efficiency. Need to keep your batteries up? .... then go through every power appliance and research how you can reduce its power consumption. Heater ... turn your thermostat temperature down ... refer using too much .... turn its temperature up or buy foods that don't need as cold an environment to be safe or better yet buy a smaller refer [ I have been a residential remodeler for the past 35 years and I still don't understand why my customers need to keep kitchen sponges and gym shoes in the refrigerator] ... buy smaller containers to keep unrefrigerated foods safe longer. Take a good look at your lighting. Make sure all your bulbs are LED and really look at how long per 24 hours you need them on. Doesn't matter what flavor of lights you have .... lights are energy hogs. I wont even address TV's other than to say ... I have never had one and cant help ask "What for?". I can say that cause I have a good internet connection and a tablet. No internet? .... I resort to reading a low energy paper book. I have lived off grid for over 15 years.

All that said ... I too would like additional power generation options. Currently, plan only in my mind now, would like taller brackets similar to what holds up my original roof 160 watt panel. Tall enough to have two levels underneath my main panel .... each on a triple extension drawer slide (or similar). Each slide would be able to extend beyond my upper main panel and be able to tilt up or down depending on sun angle / direction. One out each side and the rear - of course to be used only while parked. A 17 with AC just doesn't have much real estate on the roof to capture sunlight. Being on the roof, less likely to sprout legs and walk off in camp. Might be able to make a model this winter and check out costs and feasibility.... but then I have said that before.

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Old 02-27-2021, 01:41 AM   #38
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Hi Rob
A little over 50 years ago I was taking an ornithology course at Iowa State. One morning a uniformed conservation officer came into our classroom. The professor recognized him immediately as a former student. He had a canvas bag with him and after a brief conversation he opened the bag. It contained a freshly deceased peregrine falcon. None of us had ever seen one of these great birds. Their numbers had declined to almost nothing in Iowa. The warden related that it had been found under some electrical transmission lines and had hit a wire while in flight. This was the first time I came to understand that birds often hit obstacles like wires, windmills, TV and Radio tower guy wires and the like. The professor was recognized as a competent “scientific mount” preparer and was given the bird for display in the University collection. Over the years I’ve found birds under wires quite a few times especially in migratory times after bad weather. Regardless of the structure, changes to the landscape above and below the ground certainly affect wildlife of all types.
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In Alberta, if 1 or 2 birds gets stuck or killed in a tailings pond at the Oil Sands in Alberta, everybody gets all excited. In Hawaii, the wind turbines on the big island kill 850,000 birds a year and no one bats an eye because it's green power.

Here in Ontario, there has been discussion on the wind turbines going into the land fill, how do you get rid of a 300' fiberglass blade. We have had many lightning strikes bringing down the big windmills.

Personally, I would love a couple 400 watt windmills to tinker with. My house sits up on a ridge and my ornamental windmill doesn't stop from October to April.
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Old 02-28-2021, 09:28 PM   #39
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I found this https://shop.waterlilyturbine.com made in Canada. It can also be converted to a little wind turbine.
It's pretty tinny, the max output is 15W, and takes pretty swift water to produce that. This article https://ecavo.com/best-hydroelectric-generators/ says it is better than or equivalent to a 100W solar panel which seems like a bit of a reach, but it would produce power 24/7.
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Old 03-11-2021, 09:00 AM   #40
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Conservation is the key. Do a load sheet and see what you can reduce. EX: get a solar cooker that collapses, use a solar shower bag on the roof and run the hose through the bathroom fan vent. Be creative.

Remember you are camping, so conserving is fine. It can be fun, too.
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