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  • unavoidable laundry

    OK people... I screwed up last time and didn't ask before I purchased, so this time I am doing the right thing by asking first....

    I currently do not have laundry facilities in my off grid house. A trip to town to the local laundry mat is about a one hour trip and fuel prices are making laundry quite expensive. I'm looking to install a washer and am looking for input on what model to select that will be the most battery friendly.

    Is larger capacity and less loads more efficient than smaller capacity and more loads?
    Will my outback inverter (2024) pull the startup of the spin cycle?

    I have a neighbor that recently purchased a pretty high tech unit that has a built in soft start on the motor. The soft start has eliminated the dimming lights in his hallway when the spin cycle starts up, but is it really saving power or just reducing the surge at startup?

    I have downloaded the spreadsheet from energy trust, but thought I would ask you all before I commit to anything.

    Thanks
    Dave
    720 watt solar array, 12 Kaneka GSA 60 modules. Outback FX2024 inverter, FM60 charge controller. Two 6-125-13 batteries. Onan 4.0CCK generator

  • #2

    Re: unavoidable laundry

    Re: unavoidable laundry

    I have a pair of 7 year old Fisher Paykel washer driers on Grid Power. They have Permanent Magnet Motors and draw very little peak power (around 300-500 watts maximum each?) and take only ~0.250 kWH per cycle (washer and natural gas drier). I would guess you should use them only with a True Sine Wave inverter (not MSW-Modified Square/Sine Wave) inverter. So far so good.

    Here are a few older threads (using Google and "washer water extractor site:wind-sun.com" as search string--many times easier for find things here in the forum):

    Clothes dryer: propane vs. electric
    Washing machine suggestions for off-grid living?
    Staber washer problems
    solar clothes dryer

    -Bill
    20x BP 4175B panels (replacement) + Xantrex GT 3.3 inverter for 3kW Grid Tied system + Honda eu2000i Inverter/Generator for emergency backup.

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    • #3

      Re: unavoidable laundry

      Re: unavoidable laundry

      Consider getting an old style wringer washing machine:

      http://non-electric.lehmans.com/sear...%20Washer&rk=1

      Buy it without a motor, and install a honda or B&S gas engine on it. Lehmans (above link) often sells reconditioned old style Maytag wringers that are indestructible! We have been using such a machine for 50+ years. In the net, they use much less water, as you can do multiple loads with one tub of wash water. Start with linens and whites, wring, add dark towels etc, wring, and then do the work clothes. Same on the rinse cycle. 2 tubs of water will do three loads. The wringer also gets more water out than a spin machine.

      Ours, with a honda motor, uses ~1 litre of gas a month. Pretty cheap, very reliable.

      Tony

      PS Somewhere on this forum there is a picture of my "new machine" salvaged from an abandoned shed,, I can't find the link right now.

      PPS. Here is the link: http://forum.solar-electric.com/show...ashing+machine
      Last edited by icarus; April 1st, 2012, 21:07.
      Please note, being a moderator does not add any weight to my opinions 300 watts Siemens/BP panels,plus a Sun 90,, making ~400. ~30 amps into Rogue MPT-3024, 450 ah of Trojan T-105, Morningstar ts300 inverter, a Tri-Metric meter.a collection of antique generators, plus 2 Honda eu-1000i's (also a BS2512 IX controller) and assorted other stuff!

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      • #4

        Re: unavoidable laundry

        Re: unavoidable laundry

        Larger capacity and fewer loads is almost always more efficient.

        We had a Kenmore HE3 (Whirlpool Duet clone) for the last few years and it was a fine washer, However I just got a 2009 LG for a great price. I do not think you have to worry about start up loads on these new front loaders. The motor is controlled by an inverter board and the spin speed ramps up slowly. I think a FX2024 would run it, but you probably would not want to have the toaster on at the same time. :)

        Watching this LG work is an interesting exercise. The water is pulsed in at regular intervals, and it takes a LONG time to get the clothes fully wet. There is basically no water in the tub when the clothes are washing either. The HE3 definitely used more water. I kinda think that the way they get these great energy star numbers is by reducing the amount of hot/warm water in the load to the absolute minimum. Somehow, they still seem to get clothes clean.
        24V system. 8x BPSX170 and 4x Suntech 170 on Redrok trackers through Midnite Classic200. 250W of fixed homebrew panels though C40. DanB 10' Piggot axial style wind turbine through Classic 150 and Ryan-copied clipper. HuP Solar One, 845Ahr@24V Outback VFX3524. Generac 7550EXL.

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        • #5

          Re: unavoidable laundry

          Re: unavoidable laundry

          we have a front loading Bosch about 10 yrs old now. has a small basket but it washes best when jammed full. NEVER gets the clothes soaked, and the start stop action lets the clothes beat themselves up so as to dislodge any dirt. Unable to do a K-o-WAtt on it as it is fed from a 220 dryer plug and the washer comes off one leg of that with a euro plug... gets the clothes clean though.
          Last edited by westbranch; April 1st, 2012, 21:10. Reason: add info re type
          100% Off Grid @ 51* 46' N lat 124* 44' W long

          New House system: coming - 2 arrays @ 2240W
          CL150&Epanel 2 @140 W 12v PVs , 24V C&D AT-15P AGM @ 950Ah
          + CL150 2@120W 12 V panels, 24V C&D AT-15P AGM @ 950Ah Linksys wet54g - WiFi bridge
          Cotek ST1500W inverter, TBS 30a-24v Omni-charger, Honda Eu3000is,

          Guest cabin system: 3 - 70W panels to BS 2000e CC, with 2 - 100 ah 12v SAFT wet NiCd's , 600W TSW Inverter

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          • #6

            Re: unavoidable laundry

            Re: unavoidable laundry

            I agree with Volvo Farmer. The LG will save you electric 2 ways andyou should be able to power it. Motor is direct drive. Saves you money by not using a lot of heated water, spins the cloths dryer so you don,t need to run dryer as long and uses less laundry detergent. Also it is quiet. Most noise comes from the water inlet valves. I really like mine. solarvic
            16 KC 158G & 3 KD185GX-LPU panels on Fronius IG PLUS 3.0-1 inverter and 14 SHARP NDU3A & 1 KD185GXU panel on FRONIUS IG-3000 inverter. All mounted on pole top racks. Retired and enjoying it!!

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            • #7

              Re: unavoidable laundry

              Re: unavoidable laundry

              might i ask you guys for model numbers of these lg machines as there are many models? are they top load or front load? capacity?

              not asking for me, but for general knowledge.
              NIEL

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              • #8

                Re: unavoidable laundry

                Re: unavoidable laundry

                Originally posted by Volvo Farmer View Post
                I do not think you have to worry about start up loads on these new front loaders. The motor is controlled by an inverter board and the spin speed ramps up slowly. .
                I have a smaller Sears front load and it easily handles twice the load of the older Sears top loaders. Washes cleaner, spins far drier, and far easier on the clothes. As to start surge - - there isn't any! It very gently eases into motion via inverter motor, drawing 150 to 200 watts depending on load. It's greatest consumption comes after it gradually ramps up to high speed spin, 400 to 450 watts. Kill-A-Watt tested. Bigger machines would surely draw somewhat more, but still nothing at all like the older top loaders with their 1/2 HP split phase induction motors, and the total lack of start surge is amazing!
                1900 watts PV, (1000 watts PV feeding MidNite Classic 150; 900 watts PV + 160 watts micro hydro both feeding into a single shared Morningstar TS-MPPT-60) ; Xantrex Pure Sine 1800/12 for heavy loads; Xantrex Pure Sine 1000/12 on 24/7 for everything else; six Rolls Surrette 2 volt L16 @ 12 volts.
                Domestic hot water totally provided by the sun 8 months out of every year via thermal panel.

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                • #9

                  Re: unavoidable laundry

                  Re: unavoidable laundry

                  I see in your signature a 2.5kw Onan genset. Like many, you could run the genset during laundry morning and get some battery charging done at the same time. (I don't, consumption of the washer is not great and it's load is not either)

                  I have a Sears front loader with "click and clunk" controls, no led's or touch control buttons, just on/off switches and relays. It's tough to find simple electrical controls anymore. I like that feature as well as the slow spooling up for spin. Clothes are almost dry when they come out at the end of a cycle. Dried by wood heat or outside line reduces electrical consumption too. I've always been too cheap to electrically dry wet laundry.
                  http://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/p...stems/hY7W5536
                  see the project buildhttp://www.greenpowertalk.org/showthread.php?t=11702

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                  • #10

                    Re: unavoidable laundry

                    Re: unavoidable laundry

                    The former standby washer for off grid was a Staber. For many years it was the only brand that could relaibly used on modified sine wave inverters without voiding the warrantee. I have one and it works well and is about 15 years old. They use a veriable speed drive and a belt in place of a transmission plus they have a mechanical timer. Its a top load vertical axis machine whihc takes a bit for most folks to fugure out, but the added complexity cuts down on the number of seals.

                    Some folks have had some issues with them and have posted their issues but I expect you only hear the bad stories and not from the satisfied users.

                    They are not inexpensive. You buy direct from the factory in the US.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: unavoidable laundry

                      Re: unavoidable laundry

                      Originally posted by niel View Post
                      might i ask you guys for model numbers of these lg machines as there are many models? are they top load or front load? capacity?

                      not asking for me, but for general knowledge.
                      Mine's a front loader. I wouldn't recommend the top loaders, as they really had to pull some engineering tricks out of the hat to make a low water consumption vertical axis washer. In other words, they break a lot :)

                      I'm almost certain that all LG front loaders are the same capacity. The only differences I have seen are that some have recirculation pumps (mine doesn't), some have a "steam" option, and some have an internal water heater for sanitizing clothes. Other than that it just comes down to bells and whistles and programming. Mine has the internal heater but it's easy to select a cycle that does not use it.

                      Originally posted by Ralph Day
                      I see in your signature a 2.5kw Onan genset. Like many, you could run the genset during laundry morning and get some battery charging done at the same time. (I don't, consumption of the washer is not great and it's load is not either)
                      I would not do this. The electronics in these new washers are pretty delicate. I blew up the machine control board on mine trying to wash clothes using the generator because the voltage regulator circuit was out of whack. Also I have observed the voltage waveform when charging batteries with an FX and it looks more like a mountain range than a sinewave.
                      24V system. 8x BPSX170 and 4x Suntech 170 on Redrok trackers through Midnite Classic200. 250W of fixed homebrew panels though C40. DanB 10' Piggot axial style wind turbine through Classic 150 and Ryan-copied clipper. HuP Solar One, 845Ahr@24V Outback VFX3524. Generac 7550EXL.

                      Comment


                      • #12

                        Re: unavoidable laundry

                        Re: unavoidable laundry

                        Originally posted by Volvo Farmer View Post
                        Also I have observed the voltage waveform when charging batteries with an FX and it looks more like a mountain range than a sinewave.
                        I'm confused (again). What waveform are you referring to? Doesn't the fx put out DC when charging batteries? --vtMaps
                        4 x 235w Samsung, Outback fm60 & vfx3524 & mate, Midnite E-panel, four Interstate L16, Trimetric monitor, Honda eu2000

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: unavoidable laundry

                          Re: unavoidable laundry

                          I believe the issue is that many (FX included?) battery chargers (or inverter/charger in this case) are not "Power Factor Corrected" (PFC).

                          The usually non-PFC computer power supply/typical battery charger uses a Diode Bridge to charge a capacitor or the battery bank (through a transformer). This is like a "check valve" that only lets current through to the battery near the peak of the voltage sine wave (input utility or generator power).

                          These current peaks draw high current pulses, can, on non-utility sources (gensets, inverters, etc.) can actually collapse the Sine Wave Voltage peak of the power source (draw way more peak current than the generator/inverter is capable of outputting). This can cause the voltage sine wave source to look like a series of "broken" or "clipped" voltage peaks vs a pure sine wave output.

                          -Bill
                          20x BP 4175B panels (replacement) + Xantrex GT 3.3 inverter for 3kW Grid Tied system + Honda eu2000i Inverter/Generator for emergency backup.

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: unavoidable laundry

                            Re: unavoidable laundry

                            I have a front load whirlpool that is part of a stackable pair, I have the drier as well but haven't used it much as I'll take my new place off grid in the fall. Someone else pointed out that all LG front loaders, appeared to have the same capacity. It is likely at least somewhat true of Whirlpool, mine has at least tha capacity of the coin top loaders at work/campground. The stackable drier would have issues if you put the whole washer load in at once!

                            My word of caution with the my front loader, is that the ultra high spin will put wrinkles in polyester/cotton uniform(Dickies) shirts and pants that don't readily come out. I always lower the spin speed when doing the plastic clothes. Other wise the highest spin speed is awsome, I did a pair of heavy double front denim pants the other day, and between the high spin speed and a dry windy day, they dried in a couple hours, they can take that long in a basement dryer!
                            Home system- 20 - 200W Evergreen blems, 2 Classic Lites, E-Panel, 2 Prosine 1800 watt inverters, 800AH 24V forklift Batt, up and running 1 Classic Lite and 14 Suntech 185W in spare room.
                            Experience with Pulse/Trace PC250 Power Center, Original Rouge CC, 80-4/5watt 6v panels, Odds and extras,

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                            • #15

                              Re: unavoidable laundry

                              Re: unavoidable laundry

                              Originally posted by Volvo Farmer View Post
                              I would not do this. The electronics in these new washers are pretty delicate. I blew up the machine control board on mine trying to wash clothes using the generator because the voltage regulator circuit was out of whack. Also I have observed the voltage waveform when charging batteries with an FX and it looks more like a mountain range than a sinewave.
                              Originally posted by BB.
                              I believe the issue is that many (FX included?) battery chargers (or inverter/charger in this case) are not "Power Factor Corrected" (PFC).
                              <snip>
                              This can cause the voltage sine wave source to look like a series of "broken" or "clipped" voltage peaks vs a pure sine wave output.
                              Bill, I think you are quite right. Over on the Outback forum Crewzer tested the Outback chargers with a kill-a-watt meter and found that the power factor was above 90% when the charger was near capacity, but much lower PF at lower charge rates.
                              reference: http://www.outbackpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2134
                              --vtMaps
                              4 x 235w Samsung, Outback fm60 & vfx3524 & mate, Midnite E-panel, four Interstate L16, Trimetric monitor, Honda eu2000

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