Renewable Energy Equipment Improvements

Bergey XL-1 Wind Turbine:

Added a 24″ lightning rod at the nacelle – tail pivot point to eliminate damaging lightning strikes.

Added a 10Mh choke, 10A in series with Output, a 15000 uf lo-ESR cap across nacelle and diode, cathode to Pos, anode to Neg to move boost converter from nacelle-stator (acting as loudspeaker annoying neighbors with 1.5kHz switching frequency) to inside choke.  Noe happy neighbors.

Metal pad *should* be placed on concrete since sags 1/2″ each year and requires annual guy wire tightening.   Tighten with a “Loos” gauge and “Chicago Grip” similar to sail boat mast settings for a 1′ deflection or 50lbs tensile strength.

Solar Panels-Enphase Inverters High Line Alert:

Enphase inverters (and other microinverters) are sensitive to >264V caused from operating on a main panel voltage of >252V.  The solution to stopping them from dropping out mid day (or not starting if panel in morning is 254V) is to buy two Triad Toroid VPT12-20800 6V, 40A transformers wired with 240vac primary in parallel with line and outputs on each split phase 120V leg in series to buck down the voltage by 6V on each leg resulting in 252Vac in : 240Vac out.  Be sure to put in steel enclosure and lap-twist solder & heatshrink or large wire nut joints.  Put a led with 330 ohm resistor and 1N4004 diode across each 6V secondary to verify operation.  The schematic is below (click on link).

For annually cleaning solar panels on east coast (west-desert needs monthly), use “Windex Outdoor” hose attachment and squirt in “clean” mode on panels, then scrub with RV soft bristle brush, then turn valve to “rinse” mode and can squeegee if hard water (215 mg/liter calcium, 185 mg/liter magnesium typical) for spotting.  Also homemade detergent can be used, slightly less effective, but scrubbing is the main affect, 3 tbsp Dawn, 1tbsp jet dry (option for spotting), 1 cup of vinegar or ammonia in hose connected bottle.

Enphase-Transformer-Buck  Schematic to Fix HV Line on Enphase

Electric Car Warfield-Netgain 9″ Motor brush rigging fix:

Brushes have uneven wear & wear out every 1K miles.  To increase to 100K miles like Advance DC motors, make sure buss armature connection hits center of dual brush distribution bar to insure same length to dual brushes.  Currently I (Mark Hanson) have 32K wear after this mod with no noticeable brush wear.  Prior to motor re-installation I took the transmission to AAMCO transmissions for eval on the 40 year old Karmann Ghia (VW Beetle tranny) and they destroyed it, returned it in pieces in a cardboard box (said they couldn’t figure out how to put it back together) so went to a junkyard and bought a used tranny to install for Saturday’s REEVA meeting (no refund from AAMCO for a destroyed tranny).

ZomeWorks Suntracker refrigerant Freon R-134k replacement:

The Freon leaked out in 5 years on one of three trackers, no help from manufacturer (like above issues) so since it has 17 lbs of Freon initially I pulled down to a vacuum 30″ mercury with a rented vacuum pump after installing fittings on lower 1/4″ cross transfer tube and Schrader valve.  Freon was then weighed in (from autostore (Advance Auto) with gauges) on a bathroom scale to drop 17 lbs in weight as a propane torch was wanded over the Freon tank and a cold water spray hose was applied to the SunTracker 2″ square side columns.  Use only the lower (blue) gauge for pressure verification.

Seasonal Crank adjustments were added to all 3 UTRF-120 trackers using Harbor Fright trailer jack $25 1ton and two hinges, photos posted in Nov-Dec 2017 photo gallery.  You still have to put the bolt back in the 5-hole seasonal adjustment arm – but allows you to quickly make 4 seasonal adjustments by yourself.   For our 37 degree Virginia latitude, set to 45 degree hole on Nov 1st for Nov-Jan, then to 35 degree hole for Feb 1st-April, then to 25 degree for May 1st – July and then back to 35 degree for Aug1 – Oct.

Enphase solar PV inverters add off grid enhancements:

I added 3 relays to 3ea 250W panels to switch over to the Bergey solar input 24V 500ah batteries to keep the off grid backup topped off during power failure for the fridge, lights, wood stove blower and custom well inverter.