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Off Gas Stoppers & Bicycle Generators [Apr. 5th, 2009|04:02 pm]
Wizard of Changes -- ©cdozo 2004 to 2015
Has anyone of coatings designed to prevent out-gassing of toxic fumes? Do you think they work or are they an eco-hippie scam?

See http://www.ecowise.com/index.php?cPath=21_132.

How about bicycle-powered generators? See http://tinyurl.com/2j27tb and http://www.windstreampower.com/Bike_Power_Generator.php. Both of these make it seem like a few hours of me and G power could run the trailer.

These are things I might buy for the trailer. I need them ASAP, so educated opinions are welcome.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: brashley46
2009-04-05 09:33 pm (UTC)
I have no knowledge of the first sort of thing; as for the second, I seen to recall pedal-generator shortwave sets in spy stories about wwII. ::grin:: Not sure how much usable power even a strong cyclist like me could produce in how short a time.
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[User Picture]From: webfarmer
2009-04-06 03:10 am (UTC)
Low VOC paint is not a scam. I can't recommend any particular product that being said.

I'm not too keen on the bicycle-powered generators but it depends on your needs and motivations. In general, they don't provide a lot of juice and I wouldn't tend to recommend them as an investment.

Depending on the site, there's photovoltaic or small wind as an option. My suggestion would be to support on the PV more so that the small wind as there are minimal moving parts and no tower requirement which might be a problem at your site. Wind turbines need smooth and high winds and the roof mounted turbines some are pushing generally are a bad idea.

PVs can also be added incrementally. As you can afford it, you can expand the system.

Another option that some folks have suggested is, if you do much driving every day, is to put a deep cycle battery into the vehicle and let the alternator charge it as you drive around. Then when you get home, run a plug to it from the trailer for an evening of lighting, radio, etc..

Proper sizing of the battery to the load for optimal lifespan is important. Also is getting a proper battery for that application. No car starter batteries for home lighting for example.
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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2009-04-06 04:07 am (UTC)
The battery is a deep-cycle battery that came in a trailer I just bought. It's in a holder that's about shoulder height and I can't lift it out. I'm frustrated because it's pretty much discharged. I'm guessing it will be a total loss. :-(

I like solar and have looked into it a bit. My land is pretty isolated and there are thieves out there. It's likely solar panels wouldn't last a month. Since I have a kid with lots of energy, I thought maybe he would ride the bike so he could watch TV.
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[User Picture]From: webfarmer
2009-04-06 04:59 am (UTC)
Depending on how long it has been discharged you might have problems.

You might want to consider a small gasoline powered generator that you could use to charge it. That would probably be the lowest initial cost but higher operating costs option.

Camping World might have some items that might be of some help.

http://www.campingworld.com

Sorry to hear about the local thieves. I hope you can avoid any dealings with them. Unfortunately, if they are interested in a 130 buck solar panel, it's hard to think of what else they might not try to take with them.

If the solar panels are be mounted flat on the middle of the roof of the trailer, the bad folks might not notice them. They might be disguised as something other than a solar panel too. (Like an air conditioner, etc..)

Also if they are firmly attached, that might keep the knuckleheads from messing with them too. Too much work for too little return.

It's not optimum to have them flat but it does work.
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[User Picture]From: viverra2
2009-04-06 01:33 pm (UTC)

all power to -- and from -- the people!

The coatings are real and are in fact required by code for certain types of mitigation. (Better to seal than break into little airborne particles trying to remove them). But there are lots of different types and the question is what are you trying to seal?

That bicycle URL looks like a pretty snazzy one. Here is David Butcher's site; he's the granddaddy of those attempts:
http://www.los-gatos.ca.us/davidbu/pedgen.html
What's nice here is that while he sells plans, he's mostly just pushing the idea and putting the science out. His stats page gives a pretty fair idea of how much you can realistically power with a bicycle device.

What's also sort of amusing is how he factors in the biological component of the system:
"Burst output: 25 amps at 17 volts (425 Watts) at 25 years old, and 265 Watts at 52 years old. 30 minute average output (back when I was in shape) 150 Watts"

I've been planning to get the plans and make one, more to offset the couch-potato aspect of sitting in front of the computer than to try to be off the grid.

Hope this helps with the research, anyway.
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[User Picture]From: viverra2
2009-04-06 01:56 pm (UTC)
For tiny-scale wind power, just for chargine the 12v batttery, you might want to consider the Air X turbine.
http://store.sundancesolar.com/airxwitu.html
They also have solar panels, including this little one if you just want to keep your cell phones (and iPod) charged;
http://store.sundancesolar.com/sosochforipc1.html
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[User Picture]From: viverra2
2009-04-06 02:02 pm (UTC)
And here is Sundance's RV solar kit page - they've done the sizing and all for you.

http://store.sundancesolar.com/sorvboandcak.html

Curtis Energy Systems strikes again! (That was Dad's company, back when he did solar heating systems. He's given me a lot of his resources.)
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