Sunday, November 1, 2015

The new plan

Today I went onto the bus and fixed some warped hardboard which had warped due to the water ingress from the leaking roof last month. The door between the cockpit and the galley needed adjustment too. That had been badly warped but now it works correctly.

Thinking about the battery carrier problem, I realised I might have been overreacting. Thus, today I went ahead and got some more tools from Harbor Freight. I'd been in need of a better rivet gun and of some deep sockets so I picked those up. A welder was not on my list this time.

The rivets should have a sheer strength of 900lbs which means plain rivets should work. I'll have to see if the bolt holes are too big. If they are then I'll use 1/4x20 bolts instead. Otherwise, I'll try rivets.

Meanwhile, I'm looking into two other things. The first is super capacitors and the second is thermo electric generators. In order to power a microwave for 20 minutes, I'd need 1200w at 110v. Given the losses from an inverter of around 15%, the power supply at 12v would have to provide 12,650W. Given that my favourite battery would provide 500CCA, I'd need a bank of at least 14 in order not to overload any of the batteries. That would cost at least $1,000, weigh at least 700lbs and take way more space than there is space available.

Super capacitors can provide a lot of power quickly. They're not as energy dense as batteries but the idea is that if they could provide a 20 minute burst of power, they could be backed by just one lead acid battery. The task now is to find a super capacitor setup that can provide sufficient power.

As far as thermoelectric power generation is concerned, I have a feeling that like most non gasoline powered generators, its going to be expensive or worthless in terms of power generated. The two methods under current investigation are Stirling generators and Peltier generators. Stirling generators use magnets and coils together with a closed air system. Peltier generators use heat difference to generate power.

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