You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2010.

I have been thinking about the solar option some more. For one thing pump is very inexpensive. I figure after shipping it may cost $50. Then I would need a well pressure tank. Funny thing is, I could buy the same AC pump I have now on eBay and just use the tank. I did not buy the first one that way because the eBay pumps are all returns. (replace return with, does not work.) Cost, less than $30. The total would be about the same.

About that wasted solar energy issue. A thought had occurred to me, I waste summer solar production right now with my solar lights! The pump draws almost 10 amps @ 50 psi. That is about 120 Watts. Better to think in amp hours any way. My battery is a 75 amp hour battery. But, I am sure the capacity is less with a higher current draw. My lights use about 2 amp hours per night, if I remember correctly. On a sunny day in the summer I replace 6 amp hours or more. That leaves me with an extra 4 amp hours.

Gallon calculations: This is a possible deal breaker. Lets say the little DC pump uses 8 amps @ 20 psi and produces 3 GPM. If I want to water 10,000 Sq. Ft. @ 1″, I need almost 6000 Gallons. I question this amount of water since when I do water my bill never shows that high. Let’s use a third of that. Beside if I need to water more than that means the sun is out more. 🙂 2000 Gallons @ 3 GPM = 10 hours! See the problem. 10  hours x 8 amps = 80 amp hours. i.e. Not going to happen.

Now what if I only watered the front yard. It may only be 3000 Sq. Ft. That would work out to be 3 hours using the same fudge factor. That would drain the battery by 3 hours x 8 amps = 24 Amp hours. Not unreasonable. But I could only water once a week.

All in all, I will stay with the AC pump. Sure it uses 700 Watts when running. But it pumps four times as much water.


My windmill arrived just the other day. I was able to wire and install in only a few hours. Do I think I will make a whole ton for power? No. Do I care? Not really. Does it look good? For me yes, hopefully for everyone else too.

The two turbines are wired in series for low wind. The manufacturer, USA Wind Generators, states charging begins at 9 mph. In high winds this 20 Watt turbine can generate 60 Watts. As I said before, I only really need this wind turbine for the middle of winter.

This windmill is small enough to be wire directly to the battery. It has a diode wired in series to prevent the generators from becoming motors.

I heard of this a while back but never really gave it much thought until today. I gave my AC a lot of thoughts today because at 2:30am I woke up and the AC was not working. Me being me, I figure out what was wrong. At exact 12:35am, the run/start capacitor decided to stop working. (Thank you TED 5000.) I searched the Internet for a replacement. I can buy them, but not on Saturday. Plan B was to call the guy down the street in the morning that runs his own HVAC business. $100 later my AC works like it should.

That brings me to watering my AC. I noticed it was a little dirty. So I got the hose. But before I got the hose I looked at my TED 1000 attached to just the AC circuit. Before I brushed out the fins, 2770 Watts. After brushing, 2730 Watts. A small difference of 40 watts. Then I hosed it off really well. After hosing, 2330 Watts! That is 400 Watts! Almost 20%! WOW!

There are products on the market that do just this. Cool-n-save. The problem after looking into it is, mineral build-up. But that all depends on your water quality. At a cost of $100 I think I could make something better. Maybe I will do just that? I could possibly use the 24VAC from the thermostat, already at the AC unit. Just maybe?

I have purchased and tested my new well pump. I had seriously considered running the entire setup on solar power. has a great deal on a 12VDC pump. After thinking about it I decided to just go with an AC pump. The reason was simple. I don’t plan on using it everyday. I won’t even be using it during the winter. So a solar system would have gone unused for most of the time. Wasteful to say the least.

Instead I just went to the local Harbor Freight store and picked up a shallow well pump on the cheap. Total cost after coupon and tax was $88. I don’t think it will last more than three years put I am also not 100% sure I will hit water either. (Maybe 95%)

To test I just purchased some PVC fittings and pipe for less than $10 and connected placed the pipe in my 100 Gallon rain water collection tub. It pump 50 gallons out in less than 10 minutes. The pump is rated for 900 gallons an hour @ 0 head and 1″ outlet. I was pushing the water though a 5/8′ 80 foot hose. Not too bad.

Next up, purchase the Brady Products -BTA-200 Well Point Install Kit, the PVC fitting and PVC pipe. I am working on location and installation process. I hate to start something without a plan.

I just found out a few days ago that my local water utility wants to double my water rate. Now I don’t use a lot of water. But I also don’t let the grass die in my yard either. That said, some months I have to water the lawn. Normally, I would get a $50 bill and just pay it know I am saving my lawn during a drought. Now it is going to be $100. I don;t know if I can live with that. (My neighbors already spend $300 a month on water for their yard!)

Solution, install a well. I have talked about it before but now I am motivated to act. The state of Indiana has a great tool. It is called Indiana Map. Ha ha! But it lets me look up other wells in the area. Most have water at only 15 feet or less. I have found a great how to website. Videos and Question section are wonderful.

From another blog, I already know what I need. I just have to put an order together and start jetting.

Here is a link to a new release. Too bad they have not posted it yet on their site.

2013 is a long way off. Many things can change in three years. Just like what happened to Getrag. Not that I don’t think it is great to have them. I would love to drive up and have a plant tour and just throw some panels in the back of my car.

I have some questions.

First, where are they going to get the talent to run this plant? I think they could steal some from the automotive industries in the area. But automotive engineers have a bug that is hard to break. They like working with all things cars. (I used to work in the automotive field.) I still love cars.

Second, there are no interstates that run by the plant. Sure US31 is close but it is not an interstate.

Third, are these panels going to be sold to the public? And at what cost.

I hope everything works out. They are too far for me to work at the plant.