Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?

Ricardo MontalbanRicardo Montalban Posts: 5Registered Users
Hi Folks,

Newb here and asking you experts for a reply, and a tiny bit of help.

Since I want to keep this short and sweet, I made a basic caveman-simple diagram of what I want to do that I hope cuts down on some reading.

29or7a0.jpg

That's it really. Just looking for some advice on the best way to get up and running.

Pics nicked off the net, but I have that exact battery charger and inverter, and on my way up to my island I will buy the battery at Costco, same one.

Quick facts:
-Cottage on island actually wired for electricity with alligator clips outside, but old wiring not sure I trust, and the inverter would do for my needs I think.
-My friend has a cottage nearby that has electricity, I could charge battery there, but how long does it take to charge a deep cycle battery (and not kill it)?
-I have a 3000 watt generator I am bringing to the island (but want to use it sparingly .. noisy and hauling gas over is a pain).
-Only using it for 3-7 days at a time every few weeks in the summer only.
-Just want to run things like small speakers, laptops, iEverythings, a small LED backlit LCD TV I tested and it only drew 15 watts, and some low wattage light bulbs and maybe a few fans if its hot.

I have read up on it all but its a bit daunting for me. Its not that remote an island, so solar and wind and not options really as I can have access to electricity every few days.

Generator will run power tools and high draw things, but only when needed and for an hour or two a day max.

I am just looking for some advice on maintaining the battery, how fast to charge, how long it may last, safety tips or if my equipment will do the job etc.. or any better advice you may have.

I have read that golf cart batteries are better, but where I am they are almost $200 and that Costco one is about $80-$90. More importantly, I need it by the weekend and I'll be passing a Costco.

Thanks fellas.

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Posts: 5,096Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?

    shortest answer is get a Honda/Yamaha inverter type genset of ~1000w and use battery powered hand tools. you need a lot of battery to power 'just a few things', for which you need to tally up the watts consumed in order to see just how big a battery set your really need... max discharge advised is 50%.
    hth
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Posts: 17,615Banned ✭✭
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?

    Welcome to the forum.

    I think I speak for all of us when I say we are now insanely jealous! :p

    Do your self a favour: don't buy anything more until you get a Kill-A-Watt or similar meter and measure the loads that you actually want to use.

    That RV/Marine battery is probably about 90 Amp hours, which is why it is less money than the GC batteries @ 220 Amp hours: more capacity means more money.

    The 500 Watt inverter is probably MSW type. The CFL's may have a problem with that, as may some A/V stuff and battery chargers or anything with a motor (like a fan). The laptop is likely to run fine. Set up your system and test things before you haul it all to the island.

    Do you need that big a generator? Well, you've got it so you might as well use it. I have to mention that one of the small inverter-generators would probably do the job fine while being lighter, quieter, and more fuel-efficient overall.

    Now about that battery charger. Oh dear. I've torn apart some of CT's best and they're not-so-great inside. Yes it will recharge the battery. But it's one of those $ invested over time things. The battery isn't a true deep cycle and the charger isn't a 3-stage so they'll actually work together. For the brevity of time you intend to spend there, don't worry about it. Okay the battery may be toast in three years. By then you'll have a better idea of exactly what you want for power. In the meantime you'll be having fun in the sun!

    The biggest problem you'll have is avoiding discharging the battery too much. See if you can't get an inexpensive DC meter and at least watch the Voltage on the battery if not a hydrometer to check the SG. I expect you'll have only about 460 Watt hours AC to work with. That can go surprisingly fast. But with the generator on hand you can always recharge and run loads at the same time.
  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?

    Man, I hope there are few astronomical high tides,, nor hurricanes in your future,, as it looks like you are in salt water!

    Good luck, and welcome to the forum. Remember, people over estimate thier solr potential, while at the same time under estimate thier loads. Remember also, that all loads grow with time. Before you buy anything, do a good load estimate, as all hardware choices stem from understnding the loads, (both peak loads and total KWH/day loads.

    Keep in touch,

    Tony

    Ps, ,my island Desnt look quite so warm, especially in January!

    T
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?

    although others stated a generator i have to ask you what you intended to power the battery charger with? you could do better going with solar into a charge controller with more efficiency and without the need to have fuel bought, shipped, and stored onto the island. what you need in terms of pv and battery capacity will depend largely on what those items draw and for how long you intend to run them for. it also begets the question of how you intend the internet connection as there's only one option their from what i can tell and that would be satellite.

    btw, i am in no way jealous as i don't like the idea of being that stranded if something goes wrong. i also wouldn't take a free sea cruise if offered, but i have no fear of flying even though the hassles of the security precautions and long waits may soon make walking to your destination a better option, let alone biking and commuting by car. yes, i exaggerated, but in some cases this may not be that farfetched as for instance cleveland is about 2hrs away from me by car and it will certainly take longer to go through the hoops by plane than by car. gas would also most likely be cheaper than the round trip plane tickets too. at least when i'd get there by car i wouldn't have the high cost needed in getting a rental car to get around there once there.
  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?

    Needing it by the week end because I am passing Costco reeks of Ready, Fire, Aim,

    Tony
  • Ricardo MontalbanRicardo Montalban Posts: 5Registered Users
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?
    westbranch wrote: »
    shortest answer is get a Honda/Yamaha inverter type genset of ~1000w and use battery powered hand tools. you need a lot of battery to power 'just a few things', for which you need to tally up the watts consumed in order to see just how big a battery set your really need... max discharge advised is 50%.
    hth

    Already have the generator, would love a Honda but already bought a brand new 4000W peak 3000W running model. Did buy some battery powered hand tools, but the genny should be OK to power the rest. No plans to build the Taj Mahal, just light maintenance. Thank you for your response! Appreciate all the input.
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Posts: 492Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?

    So where is this Island ?? At one time in my life we had some in BC . Inside passage area. One thing many might not know is the RULES !!!
    There are many in Canada , The land of 3 governmental sectors and all of there "So Called Rules"
    An inside lake is not even close to external waters (that outsiders ""could"" land) .. and then there's navigation & bright lights.

    This forum Here is a great area to read and ask the pros about what is watt. My post is KNOW the hoopla of the rules or whatever . This type of info should help you spend building / dreaming once and fun.

    VT
  • Ricardo MontalbanRicardo Montalban Posts: 5Registered Users
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?
    Welcome to the forum.

    I think I speak for all of us when I say we are now insanely jealous! :p

    Do your self a favour: don't buy anything more until you get a Kill-A-Watt or similar meter and measure the loads that you actually want to use.

    That RV/Marine battery is probably about 90 Amp hours, which is why it is less money than the GC batteries @ 220 Amp hours: more capacity means more money.

    The 500 Watt inverter is probably MSW type. The CFL's may have a problem with that, as may some A/V stuff and battery chargers or anything with a motor (like a fan). The laptop is likely to run fine. Set up your system and test things before you haul it all to the island.

    Do you need that big a generator? Well, you've got it so you might as well use it. I have to mention that one of the small inverter-generators would probably do the job fine while being lighter, quieter, and more fuel-efficient overall.

    Now about that battery charger. Oh dear. I've torn apart some of CT's best and they're not-so-great inside. Yes it will recharge the battery. But it's one of those $ invested over time things. The battery isn't a true deep cycle and the charger isn't a 3-stage so they'll actually work together. For the brevity of time you intend to spend there, don't worry about it. Okay the battery may be toast in three years. By then you'll have a better idea of exactly what you want for power. In the meantime you'll be having fun in the sun!

    The biggest problem you'll have is avoiding discharging the battery too much. See if you can't get an inexpensive DC meter and at least watch the Voltage on the battery if not a hydrometer to check the SG. I expect you'll have only about 460 Watt hours AC to work with. That can go surprisingly fast. But with the generator on hand you can always recharge and run loads at the same time.

    Thanks for the input. Much appreciated and great info. I have the Kill-a-Watt (thats how I knew the TV only drew 15 watts) and figure that nothing I will need (this summer anyways) will need any more than 15 watts I'd say. I'm green as h*ll to all of this. I had maybe mistakenly understood that a golf cart battery, although higher amp hours, did not produce double the output because it was only 6V as opposed to 12. That may sound downright ignorant to you, but I have no experience with this so I apologize. Reading some of this stuff on the internet makes my head spin at times. I am no slobbering moron (well, that's all relative I suppose), but I have never had need to venture into this world of off the grid living until an amazing opportunity for a really cool little parcel of land arose, and I took the bait. The place has a propane stove and fridge. Solar or wind power just seems overkill in my mind. The cost and maintenance seems like it is more than I need. I am a few minutes boat ride from shore and I would only be up a few days at a time.

    Will the CT charger show what state of discharge the battery is at? Never used the charger before, it was given to me. I do agree with the battery being toast in a few years. I am looking at short term solutions right now. Thanks again for the input.
  • Ricardo MontalbanRicardo Montalban Posts: 5Registered Users
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?
    icarus wrote: »
    Man, I hope there are few astronomical high tides,, nor hurricanes in your future,, as it looks like you are in salt water!

    Good luck, and welcome to the forum. Remember, people over estimate thier solr potential, while at the same time under estimate thier loads. Remember also, that all loads grow with time. Before you buy anything, do a good load estimate, as all hardware choices stem from understnding the loads, (both peak loads and total KWH/day loads.

    Keep in touch,

    Tony

    Ps, ,my island Desnt look quite so warm, especially in January!

    T

    Nope just grabbed an internet pic, mine is less tropical. But no less awesome. Well, pretty awesome to me anyways as its my first island. Its not too far from you. Much further south. Tony Clement country. A good drive down 17 and 69. Enough time to listen to every Stompin' Tom song ever recorded at least once or twice. Thanks for the input.
  • Ricardo MontalbanRicardo Montalban Posts: 5Registered Users
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?
    niel wrote: »
    although others stated a generator i have to ask you what you intended to power the battery charger with? you could do better going with solar into a charge controller with more efficiency and without the need to have fuel bought, shipped, and stored onto the island. what you need in terms of pv and battery capacity will depend largely on what those items draw and for how long you intend to run them for. it also begets the question of how you intend the internet connection as there's only one option their from what i can tell and that would be satellite.

    btw, i am in no way jealous as i don't like the idea of being that stranded if something goes wrong. i also wouldn't take a free sea cruise if offered, but i have no fear of flying even though the hassles of the security precautions and long waits may soon make walking to your destination a better option, let alone biking and commuting by car. yes, i exaggerated, but in some cases this may not be that farfetched as for instance cleveland is about 2hrs away from me by car and it will certainly take longer to go through the hoops by plane than by car. gas would also most likely be cheaper than the round trip plane tickets too. at least when i'd get there by car i wouldn't have the high cost needed in getting a rental car to get around there once there.

    Its an inland lake. I would just bring the battery with me, or charge it up at my friends place nearby. I am in Canadian cottage country, but this day and age, getting away from it all is less and less possible. I can see a cell tower from my dock. Full bars. No problem connecting to the internet via a hotspot on the iPhone ... wirelessly supplies Internet to up to six devices. And I have taken into account the what if something goes wrong possibility. I have an Automated external defibrillator if the need arises, and a fire contingency plan with high volume water pumps positioned on the island connected to 100 foot 3 inch fire hoses capable of moving ~150 gallons of water a minute if God forbid the need arises. Ain't no fire trucks going to drive out to save my buildings in an emergency. But, I may beg to argue, what if something goes wrong in society? Would an island not afford the perfect refuge? I've got one h*ll of a moat man. Appreciate the input. Awesome forum you fellas have here.
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?

    boy did i get this one wrong as i was thinking ocean coastal area.:confused:

    dragging a battery around isn't really going to cut it. if you and tony are that close maybe he could stop by and see first hand what's up and give you some advice, but it isn't easy giving a crash course on some off grid living over a computer and tony is off grid and living near a lake as well. i should say you should ask him if he could and if he has time to do this for i can't speak for him.

    you will need to watch the battery use and a battery monitor may help you. many don't realize that a battery is very limited and they shouldn't be drawn down all of the way. in fact, we advise to go no farther than half way to help preserve battery life and that type you have may go a few years if not abused. others will still add to the advice and you can read in the mean time as i believe you've started.

    btw, you will need to familiarize yourself with some of the terminology and we have a glossary with some things in it,
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?6136-Glossary

    you might also find some of these in this link educational,
    http://www.windsun.com/
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Posts: 3,009Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?

    Neighbors soon get tired of supplying power to charge other peoples batteries. The generator suggested by wastbranch is an excellent one.
    Here is link to the Honda E1000 inverter generator. It slows way down and is extremely quiet at low load levels, you's hardly know it's running and speeds up only as mush as needed for larger loads. EXTREMELY easy on fuel with low loads, totally unlike the 3000 and 4000 watt rigs. Also very easy to start.
    http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/models/eu1000i
  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?

    I don't think an island in cottqge country provides much salvation in the way of end of the world scenarios. Without veering too far into the darkness (off topic) but end of the world plans ultimately revolve around food, not Internet access. Enjoy your island, work for a better world so that you can enjoy your island, but I wouldn't try to use it as a end of the world "lifeboat"

    Tony

    PS. I figured you were in Canada when you posted a "moto master" battery charger!
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Posts: 492Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Just bought an island - picture in post says it all - what do you think?
    icarus wrote: »


    PS. I figured you were in Canada when you posted a "moto master" battery charger!


    Myself also Tony, and been there & learn't 10 fold, Millions + $ is the only way any Bureaucracy works..
    RULES = Assimilate
    YMMV

    VT
Sign In or Register to comment.