Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
PSA
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 11/20/2008 12:58:34 PM EDT
I was contacted by Terrell county TX sheriffs department about a job with them the other day and it sounds like I MIGHT get the job and I read that around that area they are having problems that there are no homes for sale or even places to rent so what I was looking at was buying some land 100+ acres and doing one of two things first buying a used mobile home or buying a 5th wheel trailer. For the first 6 months to a year its only going to be me in down there after that my family is going to come down. I know a lot of the land out there does not have power to them and I might have to drill for water. I'm looking for a little advice or information on alternative power like wind turbines solar power and propane generators.


What I'm looking to find out is how long would a propane generator run off 500 gal? I know a lot has to do with how much power I'm using and when it's me down there the power will only be on for very basic items like three lights one for bedroom one for bathroom and another for living room gas hot water my computer and a TV/DVD player. Some items like the computer I was thinking of buying a solar charger for it. Things that would run all day only thing I can think of would be the refrigerator right now. I'm looking to start with a 20 kW Guardian Generator then add a battery bank for the solar or wind turbine.


Any advice would help be it web sites books or your experience would help with this as I really know nothing about this and would like to get more knowledge of it because this seems the only way that I'm going to get a place for me and my family to live down there also its a jump on my survival retirement home I've wanted to start working on.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:18:51 PM EDT
we use to hunt in Sanderson.

I would have to say.  If you dont have great security then dont leave anything at home in a trailer of any kind.  At some point you WILL be broke into.  Best to leave a cooler with some food (canned) and water in it outside.  There is issue with getting power.  Wind might be a way to go.  Solar is costly.  Not much else out there.  


If you have any more specific questions let me know.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:29:17 PM EDT
I have 2 gas generators, from what I can tell both keep the engines running at the same speed no matter how much power I draw. Not sure on the other types, maybe the expensive types are different but the engine must rotate a certain amount to produce the power listed on the unit so I would assume if your using alot of power or a little it will use the same or close to the same amount of fuel. Maybe use dc power wired in series. Buy 10 heavy duty batteries, wire up to make 120v and I think that will power the appliances, then use wind or gen to charge batteries. Ive seen a house out in the sticks wired for 12v dc where it had 12v lights in each room just enough to see at night, and 120v for the appliances and regular lights. Ive wired up a battery backup for a office building where it had around 20 or so  batteries, to make 220v but they onl;y used it to power the lights if the building power went out. They had a huge charger connected that would charge the batteries and condition them.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:52:36 PM EDT
tayous, the 20kw genset you are talking about would be overkill, unless you're buying big for your future home.  wind and solar are both expensive.  before you went w/ wind, i'd do a site survey and make sure you've got sufficient wind year round.  most wind generators need 12 mph to start producing minimal power.  

specs on that guardian state that at half load it burns 1.89 gallons of propane/hour, 2.9 at full load.  

if you plan to have power brought out w/i 6 months, then that genny shouldn't be a problem, however, if you plan to rely on the genny for a long time, then i'd suggest going w/ a diesel.  the operating rpm for that guardian is 3600 rpm.  a diesel genset will be about 1800 rpm, thus having a longer life.  if you really want to get a tried and true, last you forever, diesel genny look at a listeroid diesel.  they won't run a 20kw power set up, more like 6kw-8kw, but the engines literally, in some 3rd world countries, have been running 20 or 30 years straight.  an added benefit of the diesel is that you can brew your own biodiesel or add in waste vegetable oil.

an alternative to a used mobile home, or 5th wheel would be to build a pole style metal building w/ cement floor and finish off part of the interior.  i've seen some finished out and other than the exterior, you'd never know it was a house.  this would also give you extra storage.  
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 2:13:26 PM EDT
Look into wind generators. If you are in an are that has a constant wind at around 50'  you can generate electricity for most of your needs.  This magazine is the best source for alternative power I have found.
Home Power
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 6:29:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cacinok:
tayous, the 20kw genset you are talking about would be overkill, unless you're buying big for your future home.  wind and solar are both expensive.  before you went w/ wind, i'd do a site survey and make sure you've got sufficient wind year round.  most wind generators need 12 mph to start producing minimal power.  

specs on that guardian state that at half load it burns 1.89 gallons of propane/hour, 2.9 at full load.  

if you plan to have power brought out w/i 6 months, then that genny shouldn't be a problem, however, if you plan to rely on the genny for a long time, then i'd suggest going w/ a diesel.  the operating rpm for that guardian is 3600 rpm.  a diesel genset will be about 1800 rpm, thus having a longer life.  if you really want to get a tried and true, last you forever, diesel genny look at a listeroid diesel.  they won't run a 20kw power set up, more like 6kw-8kw, but the engines literally, in some 3rd world countries, have been running 20 or 30 years straight.  an added benefit of the diesel is that you can brew your own biodiesel or add in waste vegetable oil.

an alternative to a used mobile home, or 5th wheel would be to build a pole style metal building w/ cement floor and finish off part of the interior.  i've seen some finished out and other than the exterior, you'd never know it was a house.  this would also give you extra storage.  


I was told that to get power out to the places the power company charged a arm and leg! I'm thinking of using the genny and saving up for some other type of solar or wind. I checked with a realtor out there and he told me the wind turbines have been working good around there.I'd like to get more then just the word of the realtor but don't know where to look or ask.

I thought of the pole barn idea also the only thing is one finding someone out there to do it . Two is how long it will take to get done. Three the wife gave me a hell no look when I said something about it. I even told her after we got the house she could use it as a home office.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:38:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 9:41:59 PM EDT by RedWoods]
At the price of propane where I live you would be burning very near $6 an hour at half load and near $9 at full load for power. I would plan on using a lot smaller generator. I use a small Honda 2000i tri-fuel generator to run a fridge,lights,sat internet & tv and my kerosene vented heater.

Have you checked out how high the property taxes are in TX ??

Red
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 2:17:09 AM EDT
Even if you don't go with solar or a wind turbine immediately I would go ahead and do a battery bank and then you just run the generator at full load for a while to keep the batteries charged.

This should generally use less fuel with the generator since it is not running low loads using its fuel.  It is either running and charging your batteries or you have it shut off and are just running off the batteries.

Ever since I got a laptop computer this is the way I think since the laptop can run a few hours on its battery and lights can run for a long time on even a small battery bank setup.

Most generator websites have a consumption level listed so you can just go off that for the most part.
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 2:55:08 AM EDT
Before you do anything, before you spend a single buck, if you truly want to have a house that effectively uses it’s own power, you need a well designed home.
This means one that has passive solar heat and illumination taken into consideration, the kind of lighting that will be used ( more than likely LED) the insulation/illumination factor.
Get professional help and get a home that is designed to your needs, rather than building a regular home and then simply adding stuff. You’ll end up saving money by reducing the amount of heat and power your house needs to function.

FerFAL
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 3:54:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tayous1:
Originally Posted By Cacinok:snip


I was told that to get power out to the places the power company charged a arm and leg! I'm thinking of using the genny and saving up for some other type of solar or wind. I checked with a realtor out there and he told me the wind turbines have been working good around there.I'd like to get more then just the word of the realtor but don't know where to look or ask.

I thought of the pole barn idea also the only thing is one finding someone out there to do it . Two is how long it will take to get done. Three the wife gave me a hell no look when I said something about it. I even told her after we got the house she could use it as a home office.


my neighbor built a 40'x60' pole barn by himself, except for the concrete floor, in about two weekends.  if you had it professionally done, it'd take less than a week.  

bergey wind power

texas wind energy info link has wind maps

you may want to google other wind maps to verify - maps do vary somewhat, in my experience.

Link Posted: 11/21/2008 6:46:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 6:56:50 AM EDT
Also, lots of East Tx guys in the TX htf, don't be afraid to go in there and get some local answers.

TXL
Link Posted: 11/21/2008 7:00:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2008 8:17:37 AM EDT by tayous1]
Originally Posted By Feral:
Originally Posted By tayous1:
I was contacted by Terrell county TX sheriffs department about a job with them the other day .......<snip>


Congrats on the job possibility, bud. I hope it pans out for you if you want it.

With that said, I think you're looking at this move in the wrong manner......putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.

The travel tailer is a great idea. Buying land right away is not a great idea. The job may not pan out for a variety of reasons........the department sucks, you don't like the work, you don't like Terrell county, the wife decides it's too far from family, etc., etc. etc..

In addition, you're going to work as a LEO in a rural county and buying land before you start working? Don't do it, bro. Work for at least six months before even thinking about buying land. Meet people, accumulate some favors, bide your time. You'll find a nicer piece of land for less money I think.

In the meantime, go ahead and get a small travel trailer once you've got the job. Put the word out through your agency that you need a place to park it. Some farmer/rancher will be pleased to give you a place to park your rig.......you'll likely get a free water hook-up and maybe even an extension cord run from an outbuilding. Live like a monk until you're ready to bring the family out. Then buy your land.

Good luck with things.


That's a good idea!! I would much rather have some time to look at the land. I was going to get something fast so I would not spend months living in a hotel room. I also see they have a RV park near the town with monthly rates and 24 hook ups I guess it would be better then to just jump in to some land.


Originally Posted By biere:
Even if you don't go with solar or a wind turbine immediately I would go ahead and do a battery bank and then you just run the generator at full load for a while to keep the batteries charged.

This should generally use less fuel with the generator since it is not running low loads using its fuel.  It is either running and charging your batteries or you have it shut off and are just running off the batteries.

Ever since I got a laptop computer this is the way I think since the laptop can run a few hours on its battery and lights can run for a long time on even a small battery bank setup.

Most generator websites have a consumption level listed so you can just go off that for the most part.


How many batteries do you need on avg? I know how much power I'm going to use will determine. Also where is a good place to buy these batteries and solar and wind gear? I've only seen items at Nothern tools and I know there has to be better places with better prices out there.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 8:09:17 AM EDT
You can run some searches to see what others have used.

For a short term setup that won't take up a lot of space I would go with 2 or 4 of the marine type batteries walmart sells for 75 bucks or so.

My needs for electricity are mostly lighting at night and early morning, charging the cell phone and laptop, and some other low draw stuff I am forgetting.

My alarm clock uses batteries and most of my stuff is done without electricity already.

If you had something like an electric water heater in the camper then you could use the generator to run it and top off the batteries at that point as well.

I have a friend who gets by with one little car battery and some led christmas lights for night time light in his hunting cabin.  We can get several nights use out of that one battery since we only use the lights for a few hours a night.  

So overall it depends on your needs.  If I let the cell phone charge in the car while I drove to work and perhaps did the same with the laptop then my needs go down.

If I want to run a microwave on the batteries then my needs go up.

I just want to keep from running the generator a whole lot.  I don't mind running it for big loads but running it for little loads is a waste of fuel and makes a lot of noise since my generator is pretty cheap.
Top Top