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momentary switch operating the relay. A momentary switch is needed to bypass the diode for an instant, to energize the alternator field, and thus initiate charging (after the engine is running).

Also, for high output alternators, check into emergency vehicles. Fire, police, ambulance units are often 100 amps plus. Military vehicles of the "M" series (Fifties thru Seventies Jeeps and trucks) used high quality 24 volt alternators of 25 to 100 amps, and are easily available from surplus dealers.

Yours for No Nukes,

Peter Ladd, RFD #2, Newmarket Road, Warner, New Hampshire 03278

Cheap Water Tricks & Three Dot Journalism

Dear Friends at Home Power

We have a combination of PG&E and solar panels. Bit by bit ... we are increasing our solar capacity. I have four panels ... two 47-watt panels on the pump ... & 37-watt and 23-watt panels for lights ... My friend has ten 23-watt panels ... & both of us have batteries ...

We are at the bottom of a bowl. We live in Rackerby Valley ... between Bangor & Rackerby, California, & are surrounded on all sides by mountains. (We live in the foothills of the Sierras...) & windpower is not sufficient for a wind generator. ... & the water in Honcut Creek is not sufficient for hydroelectric power ... so solar is our only alternative at present.

I have not put PG & E power in at my place ... so in the future ... solar & kerosene will be my lights ... & I have a propane stove for cooking & a wood stove for heat. I have a 47-foot mobile home. . & I have invented a way to keep food cold using the inside basket of a washing machine. ... will not keep cooked foods for long but works well, even in the heat of the summer, for raw fruits & vegetables ... & will keep water comfortably cool ... even in 110° weather.

What I wanted to tell you about is our 'sprinkler system' . I have a Flowlight pump in a well pumping with 24 volts from 70 feet. It gives us a bit under a gallon a minute of water. But it takes 3 gallons a minute to run a 'rainbird'. So this is well below the amount we need for watering the garden with a 'rainbird' sprinkler.

At the hardware store we found a small plastic whirl-i-ma-gig whizzer which is called a 'full circle spinner'. It does not take much water pressure & will water an 8 foot circle ... & more if there is more pressure ... (I have a solar 24-volt pump with a half-inch hose on it so there isn't much water.) I can run 3 of these at a time. They have a 3/8 inch base ... so we had to get an adapter to fit into the 1/2 inch pipe. I put 2 on one sprinkler & one on the other. I made them out of 1/2 inch PVC pipe. I put the adapter into a threaded tee and ran the pipe about four or five feet away & putting the second one in. this will water two ten foot rows at a time. . & if it is put up on a small stand . where it is above the foliage spinner the spray will overlap in here.

the spray will overlap in here.

spinner adapter n<—

A common auto relay (such as used for auxiliary lights), is held closed by the alternator output. The diode prevents current from the batteries of the plants it will reach farther.

It is necessary to put legs on the pipe or it will turn over. ... Then on the hose end . I put a hose coupling so I could attach it to a hose. . & I put a metal Y on the hose with turn offs on it so I could turn the water from one spot to another without having to move the whole thing.

I just use one leg in the front to balance this ... if you don't use these legs the sprinkler will have a tendency to turn sideways & it doesn't work nice. .with the legs . it stays upright & does it's work . Using just one leg in the front makes it easier to adjust it to the plants. With a small output from the pump . it is not wise to use a larger pipe on this.

I have another solar adaptation. ... Every summer ... there is not enough water for everyone here & the gardens. . There are five of us on two wells & a spring. We are on the top of the hill so when the water table drops . & water pressure does too . we run out of water in the pipes . & in our area . in the summer . it gets hot .

We have another solar adaptation . Every summer . there is not spinner hose side view battery the spray will overlap in here.

the spray will overlap in here.

spinner adapter a<—

cold for me and water) I have a heat gauge on my water (top tank) and the coldest my water has been in the solar tanks is 68° and it usually starts out in the morning between 70° and 90° and gets to 120° to 130° most days. Winter and summer. So you can't go wrong when you can use all used stuff.

tee, legs, & caps tee, leg, & cap enough water for everyone here & the gardens ... There are five of us groun on two wells & a spring. We are on the top of the hill so when the water table drops . & water pressure does too . we run out of water in the spinner the spray will overlap in here.

the spray will overlap in here.

spinner adapter

tee, legs, & caps tee, leg, & cap pipes . & in our area . in the summer . it gets hot .

We have a swamp-type air-conditioning unit. But although the PG&E current will run the motor & the pump for the cooler . we don't have a constant water supply for the cooler basin will run the motor & the pump for the cooler . we don't have a constant water supply for the cooler basin. . so the cooler can't cool the air.

In order to meet this problem . I have a poney pump . 12 volts . hitched up to my panels with batteries . which keeps the batteries charged up even when we are using them.

For water for the poney pump . I have a 50 gallon barrel at the corner of the house . & I fill it every morning early . before the rest get up & the water gets low. . I have a short hose in the barrel for the pump to suck up its water supply & I run a garden hose up to the cooler ... & I have a turn-off switch on the poney pump ... which keeps itself primed . & when I feel warm air coming from the cooler . I go out & run the poney pump for as long as I need to . (until I see water run off the roof) ... & then shut it off. Thus we are not without our cooler even though we are out of water . the 50 gallons lasts a couple of days so when I fill it I am assured of at least two dayAAs of water for the cooler.

Before I got my panels . I used my battery chargers on a car battery to run the pump . They kept the battery charged nicely . & the car would start alright if I wanted to move it ... I don't run the pump constantly ... Just when the cooler runs out of water.

Before we got our water supply properly set up . I used the poney pump to get water from a spring that was below the house. I put a garden hose in the spring & filled 5 gallon jugs in the car ... I couldn't get my car close enough to the spring to use a shorter hose to the pump . so I used two 25-foot hoses. ... one into the pump ... & the other out. ... later as I advanced inknowledge & equipment . I ran the pump on a 23-volt panel . which I put out in the sun. .

My present project is a 1/4 horsepower motor & a bilge pump on the cooler so we can run the cooler on 24 volts for the motor & 12 volts for the pump . for our air-conditioning next summer.

I am also planning on converting a washing machine for home use. . that will take more time .


Catherine G. Curtis D.C., P.O. Box 138, Bangor, California 95914

Another Simple Solar Water Heater

Dear Home Power

I am glad that a friend of mine gave me a subscription form to send to you folks, I only expected to get one issue and it is still coming. Thanks a bunch.

I am building a house now. I plan to go for PV electricity. I have power only 150 feet from the house but am going for no light bill.

Enclosed find a drawing of a solar water heater that I made three years ago that sure works. We don't get down too cold here but (it is too

water from bottom tank to top

Even if it won't give 100% if it gives 50% you are ahead 50%. In this area I feel I get between 70 and 80%.

I would like to see lots of these installed. I have doors on mine and close them at night and on cloudy days. Thanks

Loyd Berlier, Star Route 2, Box 17, Deming, New Mexico 88030AA

Of Pools and Ponds & Cheap Refrigerator Tricks

Home Power

I'm glad to see that interest is growing in areas such as swimming pool filters. Pool filtration is a perfect example of how a change in lifestyle can lower energy requirements to a level easily handled by solar power.

While it is important to remember that such terrors as the polio epidemic of the 1950's were associated with public swimming pools, the sanitation requirements of public swimming pools should not be rigidly applied to the average home pond.

For example: the algae that grows on the walls of a home pond is a resource which can be directly deposited on the home orchard during a combination pool cleaning/irrigation. Brush the pond in the evening. Let it settle overnight, and vacuum it in the morning. A standard 1.25" inch pool vacuum hose needs only two feet of sipon fall, bleow the pool surface, in order to operator very well. More fall simple gives more vacuum power. You will find that you would like your pond to produce spinner adapter hose side view spinner hose side view more algae thatn it does. The energy and chemicals employed to stop algae production in home ponds are anti-environment.

The idea is to work with the environment rather than fight it. Notice that natural streams have clear water and mossy rocks and logs. And that such water is good to drink. Utilize this knowledge for greater enjoyment of the home pond.

A very small flow of new water will go a long way toward keeping the water clear. Cloudy water is referred to as turbid. An important fact is that the zone of maximum turbidity is 18" to 24" below the surface. Seasons are also important to pond maiuntenance. Filtration in summer, when the water is warm, is far more important than winter. If your water turns bright green in summer, and you have nothing to irrigate with it, you will need a fine particle filter such as diatomaceous earth.

A very small flow of new water into the pond will skim surface debris from the pond before it settles and creates a mess. One to two quarts per minute is enough. Let this water run over a collection spot and use it in the garden. If your land is flat, and you cannot direct this continuous overflow without piping, then let the overflow store in a small tank for later use. The overflow spot should be perfectly level and about one foot wide.

P.P.S. -- It's time to turn off refrigerators and move them to a cool place. (A few extra steps won't hurt).

If it's too much trouble to move the fridge, and you see the logic of turning it off for the winter,

Do this:

1) The sides are pretty much plastic and insulation.

2) Buy a 3.5" hole saw. Cut through the outer fridge plastic (maybe sheet metal).

3) Gouge out the insulation by hand, make sure no tubes or wires are in the way.

4) Finish the hole through the inner plastic liner.

5) Do the same thing through the wall of your house.

6) Stick a pipe down from fridge to the cold air outside. Screen the piep.

7) Insulate the pipe.

8) Turn fridge off till it's too hot for natural cold.

9) Store the 3" black ABS or white PVC 'til the next winter. (3" pipe needs 3.5" hole).

10) Patch the holes for summer.

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Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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