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Old 07-09-2011, 03:12 AM   #11
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Solar panels, batteries, inverters all have too much inefficiency. Why not build a solar collector withttubing inside a box painted black? Using a heat exchanger, you may not get full boiling temps but I bet it was big enough and you had a hot day you would get pretty close. Many not need much extra heat to get where you need. I have thought about this for a while...

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Old 07-09-2011, 03:52 AM   #12
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  • Buy a used golf cart. 48V from 6 or 8 series-connected batteries, more current than you can use (i.e., typical golf cart motors are about 3.5 HP or 2500W)
  • Build a keggle with 3 1200W elements wired in parallel.
  • Connect the motor connections to the parallel elements.
  • Use the golf cart's throttle mechanism to control the power to the elements. The motor controllers on those things are PWM to gate drivers for large MOSFETS.
  • Mobile brewery.
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryclo View Post
Solar panels, batteries, inverters all have too much inefficiency. Why not build a solar collector withttubing inside a box painted black? Using a heat exchanger, you may not get full boiling temps but I bet it was big enough and you had a hot day you would get pretty close. Many not need much extra heat to get where you need. I have thought about this for a while...
I have an old sliding glass door in my back yard.
I have thought about doing something like this:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Batc...-Water-Heater/

On a hot day it supposedly can get to near mash temp (150F).
If not, it can be used for hot cleaning water.
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:31 AM   #14
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Check out Princeton Homebrew's site. He's not using Electric, but it is alternative energy. Fresnel Lenses...Large Fresnel lenses.

www.solarhomebrew.com

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Old 07-10-2011, 02:32 AM   #15
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Yeah, I guess using batteries and inverters would probably be pretty expensive...looking at some of the deep cycle batteries and one of them would about blow a $500 budget. The solar oven/giant magnifying glasses are great, but I don't think our sun angle and or lack of sunlight in the winter would make it a year round type solution...hence the trickle charger. One can always dream though...maybe in 20 years.

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Old 07-10-2011, 01:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XXguy View Post
Check out Princeton Homebrew's site. He's not using Electric, but it is alternative energy. Fresnel Lenses...Large Fresnel lenses.

www.solarhomebrew.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIkTNsw2fU4
That is really interesting, although I wonder how hard it would have been to plumb steam from the corny and used it as a steam generator for heating a mash/wort? Get two of those suckers focused on it and see what happens!
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by SankePankey View Post
I'm under the impression that it's way better to just run solar panels into the grid rather than trying to fool with batteries. That is, if you are just trying to brew with BYO power and don't need portability. Batteries are expensive, use a lot of heavy metals, and don't last forever. You'd just have to calculate the net power gain/loss for both.
This makes sense to me. Now that there are a lot more electric homebrewers has anyone else looked into this?

If you take pricing out of the equation (to a reasonable extent) would it be possible to run a 220v 30amp brew rig on solar power?
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:29 PM   #18
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If it weren't so messy I would be using wood to heat with. cheapest it will get if you don't count your labor for cutting and stacking.
I had enough cutting wood growin up, I swore I'd heat with anything BUT wood if I could help it. I remember every summer gettin the saw goin, and getting the wood splitter going, oh and the wood splitter was ME!
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:50 PM   #19
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This is just a very rough guesstimate, but suppose you run your 5500w heating element for a total of 2 hours on brew day. 11kwh of power consumption. It would take the average 3kw home solar system a bit under 4 hours to generate that power. A 3kw system will run you about $14k without installation.

If you are powering your home with the same solar system you just ate about half of your production for the day.

So it's doable if you are grid connected, but you are still going to be running a deficit and buy power on brew days.

If you start thinking off an off grid system it will get completely crazy with battery requirements to support brewing and a household.

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Old 10-25-2013, 08:00 PM   #20
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Wow, I was imagining if it was $4k it wouldn't be as bad but $14k is definitely getting up there. I guess I'd only be brewing a couple times a month and the system could power the rest of the home the rest of the time but it'd take quite a few years of power bills to make up the difference.

Still would be a really cool project.

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