Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Emergency Solar Generator

How I Built a Small Solar Generator for about $1000

Last year I purchased a small 1600 watt power generator to run the fridge, freezer and furnace motor in case the power went off for more than a day. Storing quantities of fuel was going to be a problem though.
Some months ago I began checking into a solar backup generator for emergencies. I wanted to spend no more that $1000, and I wanted it to be more of less portable. Maybe it could be used when camping or take the solar panels only to charge the batteries in a travel trailer or camp trailer when dry camping.
I was very excited to find out that prices for solar panels had come down recently so I wouldn't have to build my own panels. Internet searches and youtube videos were very helpful in trying to figure things out. Basically you have to decide what you want to power up during an emergency. I decided that I needed to power a freezer or fridge, a few lights and my internet modem and router along with my computer for about 6 hours a day.
The freezer uses about 135 watts when running and the computer and modem about 175 watts. Through in a few LED or CFG lights for another 50 watts and I figured I needed to produce around 360 to 400 watts for about 6 hours a day. This comes out to be about 2 to 2.5 kilowatts.
So I purchased a 600 watt pure sine wave inverter for $160.00. The batteries are the next thing I purchased. Determining how big a battery bank I needed was the hardest to calculate so I basically decided to see how much I could buy for the money I had available and it turned out to be six 35 amp hour batteries for just under $70 each. Rather that use regular marine deep cycle batteries I chose to use a sealed AGM or Absorption Glass Mat battery that doesn't spill or leak. They are commonly used in motorized wheel chairs. I wanted small batteries that were easier to lift rather that a couple of large heavy batteries. In the picture to the left you can see the three in front. There are three more behind them. They will give me (6 x 35ah x 12V) = 2520 watts over a period of 24 hours. However you can't discharge them all the way before charging them up again or you drastically reduce the number of times they can be recharged. So using the 50% rule, I can get about 1200 watts a day or 1.2 kw, or dischare about 100 Amps from them and I can always add more batteries later. I purchased them from Chrome Battery here. Next I needed to choose the solar panels themselves. I chose the 2 panel Renogy kit with charge controller. They are 100 watts each at 12 volts. You get everything you need except the wire and connectors. I chose to use the MC4 connectors that are the new standard for solar panels. This allows me to easily connect and disconnect the wires going to the panels. On a sunny day the panels will charge the batteries at 12 to 16 amps. So in 5 hours which is the average sunlight for our area, I would get 60 to 80 amp hours. Because batteries are not 100% efficient, we need to put more amps into the batteries than we can take out. If I had 3 solar panels I could get about 125 amps a day out of the 3, which would be just right.
I chose to put the components minus the batteries and solar panels in a plastic tote box from Wal-mart. I cut a piece of plywood for the front and mounted the charge controller, fuses and meters. I had to make a cut out for the inverter to stick out of the panel about 1/2 an inch. The diagram at the left shows how I connected everything together. I used #6 awg for the battery to the inverter and to make jumpers for the batteries, and #12 awg wire for the rest of connections except to the meters. I used underground #12 gauge landscape wire to make the connections to the solar panels. It is very flexible and has good insulation however it does not have the UV protections required for rooftop installations.
I now had to make a portable mount for the solar panels which I chose to make from PVC.  I used 3/4 in., but afterward I thought it not quite sturdy enough.  It does the job, but I would use 1" next time.  Some of the joints are not glued so that it comes apart for storage and travel.  The support legs in the rear also are not glued so that they may be set to different angles depending on where the sun is the brightest.
In summary I am very happy with the system.  I have tested it at 500 watts for about 2 hours and all seemed fine.
Here is the cost breakdown.
600 watt inverter    $160
6 batteries              $396
2 solar panels         $362
charge cont. inc.     $0
Misc. wire etc        $91
PVC + fittings        $15
Total                   $1024

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Reflection from In front of the temple
 Dear Family and Friends:

Here in the hot Brazilian climate it seems to us more like the 4th of July.  There are fireworks going off all the time also.  There aren't many decorations that we see around or Christmas music to listen to.  At least here at the temple there is a wonderful life size nativity  display. The sunsets are gorgeous and the temple is always lit up so beautifully each evening.

We are thinking of you at this special time of the year when we celebrate the Savior's birth.  We really feel it is special to serve Him every day.  It is so peaceful and beautiful here that it seems like we are set apart from the world.

Here are some excerpts from a recent letter from  President George Oakes of the Campinas Temple to a personal friend of his:  “Dear Roger, Yesterday, as I walked to the temple through the gardens, I noted all of the people sitting on the grassy hillside, sitting around the fountain and standing around talking to one another. They were dressed in their Sunday best which includes for the men a white shirt and tie. The children were running and playing and no one paid much attention to them. Why? Because here on the temple grounds they are safe and surrounded by loving caring people. One man sat on the concrete walk against a palm tree with his two little boys seated, like him, cross legged listening to him read the scriptures and talk about the temple. As I looked around and as I thought of the surroundings from which most of them had come and the difference in the environment here on the temple grounds, the spirit spoke to me that Heavenly Father is pleased with the Brazilian people and that what I observed is a lot like it will be in the millennium.

Last Saturday (17th) Choirs from most of the stakes in the region performed beautiful Christmas music in front of the temple.  There was also a choir of about 40 missionaries, and there were over one thousand people here to enjoy the true spirit of Christmas.  This event was open to the public and there were a lot of non members in attendance.  After the concert we went to our ward Christmas dinner.  In this ward the chapel serves as the multipurpose room also, so the benches were removed and the tables and chairs were set up and decorated.  The Christmas music was sung in English, which was so touching that it brought tears to Verae's eyes.  Afterwards we took the tables and chairs down and the sisters mopped the tile floor.  Then the men put the benches back in place for our Sunday meetings the next morning.

The picture above was taken a few days ago in front of the temple and the glass doors are reflecting the palm trees in front.  It appears like the picture was taken from inside the temple looking out.

Dec 24th.  
Instead of trudging in the snow, it was really hot and muggy when we caught the bus with our friends, the new temple missionaries from Payson, Utah.  We had a wild ride as we were standing up in the bus while the bus driving flew around each corner.  We all started to laugh as we were holding on for dear life.  Finally we reached our destination to eat out with our friends to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary which was a few days ago.  The restaurant was quite quaint and open to the outside.

Then as we were walking in all the heat to the grocery store, Sister Christensen and I decided that when we got home we were going to have to take another shower.  Well, with heavy groceries in hand we all walked up an incline to get to the bus stop to rest and talk about the new adventures that the Christensen's were having, which is nothing like they expected. 

The bus finally came and you can imagine how that ride was.  On the bus ride home, we were almost rolling in the isle trying to stand up while we were holding on to all our heavy groceries. We felt like it was very close to a wild Lagoon ride.  Then after the Christensen's jumped off the driver started the bus going so we yelled WAIT!!(in English).  He did stop but we had to laugh again, because he probably didn't know what wait meant, but he could tell we didn't want to ride with him any further.  Well, if nothing else we are making more unusual memories.

Today (Christmas Day) we went to church with some other missionaries, who didn't go home to be with their families, and then to Bishop Xavier's new home for a bar-b-que dinner with all the trimmings.  They played American Christmas music which made it feel a little more like Christmas. Bar-b-ques are a little different here than at home.  They cook 4 or 5 types of meat in a fireplace type bbq with real wood fuel and cut all the pieces up and you pick a little of each along with the salads and drinks.  It was served on the deck overlooking their beautiful yard and swimming pool. One grandpa got in the pool with his grand kids while we visited with the other missionaries and the Bishop.  It was so nice of the Bishop and his dear wife to invite us to have Christmas dinner with them.

We wish you all a merry Christmas and hope to see you soon.  Many the Lord continue to bless you and your families through the holidays and through out the coming year.

With Love,
Elder and Sister Hansen

PS.   We will be coming home on February 2nd and will spend a day or 2 in Salt Lake before heading for Richfield.  Can't wait to see all of you again. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Lord's Prayer Andrea Bocelli & the Tabernacle Choir

Verae and I so enjoyed conference.  We were able to watch each session in English on the Internet in wonderful HD.

This is such a wonder piece of music, I just had to share it with all of you we love.
Please enjoy.

Also some other links to Tabernacle Choir Music from October Conference

The Lilies of the Field  this is really the English version.

I am a Child of God

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Campinas Temple Screen Saver

I have been experimenting with making slide shows.  I have so many pictures of the temple and the beautiful grounds that surround it that I wanted to share them in a screen saver.
Click on temple screen saver Here to download it.  It is about 144 meg so it will take a while.
I have also updated the web album.  We added some new pictures of the sunsets here behind the temple that Verae took recently. 
After downloading the file, copy it to the "Windows" directory and select it as your default screensaver or just double click on it to view it.
Click on the temple below to go to the Photo Album.
Campinas Temple

Enjoy the rest of Fall

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Temples The Gates to Heaven

1st of all I apologize for not posting in over a month.

  No major incidents to report or having been to exotic places.  We were invited to 2 special Sunday dinners.  One for Fathers Day here in August in which the fathers were given a calculator and a pen, and the other for singing in the choir for ward conference.  We really did have a nice choir.  We did enjoy the practices and the performance as well.

What I want to write about is some thoughts about the sacredness of the temple as related to us by our temple president.  When you are in tune with the spirit, like the president is, you can hear things contained in the scriptures that you hadn't heard before.  Below is text from the book of Genesis describing a dream that Jacob had while on the way to Haran when his brother Esau wanted to kill him.  Verse 12 and 16,17 are of particular note for my purpose.  He is given to know that the place where he was, was sacred "Surely the lord is in this place" and a ladder connected heaven and this place with angels "ascending and descending on it."

Genesis 28:10-17
 10 ¶And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran.
 11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
 12 And he adreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the bangels of God ascending and descending on it.
 13 And, behold, the aLord stood babove it, and said, I am the cLord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the dland whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the anorth, and to the south: and in thee and in thy bseed shall all the cfamilies of the earth be dblessed.
 15 And, behold, aI am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bbring thee again into this cland; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
 16 ¶And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.
 17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of aheaven.

Our temples Holy are places where angles come and go, some on this side of the veil and some on the other side.  These thoughts have caused me to search lds.org for other talks.  I found this talk.

In  April of 1971 Elder Marion G. Romney   Of the Council of the Twelve gave a conference talk entitled,

Temples—The Gates to Heaven

in the closing part of the talk he had this to say about these verses of Genesis.

"Because he had met the Lord and entered into covenants with him there, Jacob considered the site so sacred that he named the place Bethel, a contraction of Beth-Elohim, which means literally “the House of the Lord.” He said of it: “… this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Gen. 28:17.)
Jacob not only passed through the gate of heaven, but by living up to every covenant he also went all the way in. Of him and his forebears Abraham and Isaac, the Lord has said: “… because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.” (D&C 132:37.)
Temples are to us all what Bethel was to Jacob. Even more, they are also the gates to heaven for all of our unendowed kindred dead. We should all do our duty in bringing our loved ones through them."
 Click HERE for the full talk.

An excerpt from President Monson's talk April 2011

"My beloved brothers and sisters, may we make whatever sacrifices are necessary to attend the temple and to have the spirit of the temple in our hearts and in our homes. May we follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us, that we might have eternal life and exaltation in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom. This is my sincere prayer, and I offer it in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord, amen."

One other thought to ponder.
Are there Temples in Heaven?