Dump Loads

Using a Hot Water Tank as a Dump Load

September 18, 2015
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Can a standard off-the-shelf tank style electric hot water heater can make a dump load? Electric tank water heaters are an excellent choice to make a dump load for your solar, wind or micro hydro power system as they are easy to get, cheap, already insulated and have holes to mount low voltage water heating […]

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How To Make Your Batteries Last as Long as Possible

September 12, 2015
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Your battery bank will likely be one if the most expensive components of your “off the grid” energy system. They are also the only piece of the system that will need replacing on a regular basis. Every extra day you can squeeze out of your battery bank will reduce the overall cost of your renewable […]

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Making a Solar Electric Water Heater | Can it Be Done?

April 1, 2015
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As the price of photovoltaic modules (solar modules, solar panels) continues to drop there are many discussions about using solar electric modules to heat water. No more leaks, messy and complicated plumbing, heat exchangers, controllers to fail, pumps to maintain and fluids to freeze. Solar hot water has been plagued with leaks, freezing (or poisonous […]

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Using Your Generator to Charge Your Batteries

September 28, 2013
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There are going to be many times when the sun isn’t shining, the wind isn’t blowing and your batteries are low. The only choice you might have is to charge your batteries using your fossil fueled generator. As you may already know, there is not a more expensive method of battery charging than using a […]

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Dump Loads for Solar, Wind and Microhydro

May 2, 2013
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Dump loads a.k.a. diversion loads are are an important part of the off grid electric system. Almost all wind and water turbine installations will require them and most solar installations can benefit from a dump load. As we discussed in the dump load intro, a dump load is simply an electrical device (load) to send […]

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Skystream Battery Charging How To

April 18, 2013
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The Skystream made by Southwest Windpower is a grid tie wind turbine that is designed to produce 240 volts AC at 60HZ (or 50HZ)  no matter what speed the wind is blowing. It does this by taking the wild AC from the alternator, rectifying it to DC and inverting back to AC. It is quite […]

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Dump Load / Diversion Load Intro

April 16, 2013
Solar doesn't NEED a load but it can be handy if your battery bank is full and you want to make some free hot water.

Since there is a lot of confusion about diversion loads, we will discuss what they are and why they are used. A dump load is nothing more than a resistor (heating element) that is used for dumping electricity when it is not needed or to prevent your battery bank from being overcharged. It could be […]

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Using an Electric Heater as a Dump Load

April 12, 2013
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A common question I get asked is “Can I use a standard 120/240 AC heating element or hot water heater element as a DC dump load for my wind turbine/water turbine/solar system?” (Wondering what a dump load is? Click here) (More advanced diversion load info for solar, wind and water power) The answer is yes […]

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How To Eliminate Phantom Loads

March 19, 2013
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Phantom loads are plaguing the world and are a huge problem for those of us living off the power grid. What is a phantom load? Everything possible must be done to eliminate phantom loads or at least reduce them. But how do we do that? The simplest way to eliminate a phantom load is to […]

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Using Your Wood Stove to Heat Water

March 1, 2013
using a wood stove to heat your solar home

One of the most overlooked functions of a wood stove is heating water. A few decades ago many wood stoves (especially cook stoves) used what was a called a hot water front in conjunction with a tank (range boiler) beside/behind the wood stove to produce endless hot water. The hot water front (which is nothing […]

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Choosing a Pump for Your Aquaponics System

February 5, 2013
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Choosing the correct pump for your aquaponics systems is as important or more important than choosing the right fish, bed material, tank size and grow bed size. Without the right pump your fish will die, your plants will die and your fun will come to an end very quickly. Some folks simply head to the […]

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