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Old 06-27-2012, 10:00 PM   #1
Adeering
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Default Clean Electric System

So I just had a crazy thought and wanted to discuss the possibility of it. Not necessarily considering doing it, but would be a cool idea.

Make a portable/clean electric brew setup. The idea would be to install solar panels on the back side of the stand on a hinge so that when you brew you could angle it up to capture the suns energy.

It would charge a 240V battery that would power the inverter to power the control box. Not sure just how much energy would be required to brew a 10 gal batch using 2 elements (about an hour each) and 2 pumps (about an hour each as well).

Let the discussion begin

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Old 06-27-2012, 10:11 PM   #2
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Interesting idea, you might like this article about Arbor Brewing Co in Michigan

http://beerpulse.com/2012/06/arbor-b...solar-brewery/

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Old 06-27-2012, 10:18 PM   #3
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240v element @ 30A = (240v * 30A)/sec * 60sec/min * 60min/hr = 25,920,000 watts/hour

The average solar cell can produce about 70mW per square inch = 0.07W * 60sec/min * 60min/hr = 252 watts/hour

25,920,000 / 252 = 102,857 sq. in. = 714.28 square feet of solar cells, for just ONE element.

Cool idea, but not very portable

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Old 06-27-2012, 10:41 PM   #4
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I think your math is a little off, you arent comparing like units there ( watts/hour and watts) also elements dont run at 30A we just use 30A circuits to handle the Amps. They run closer to 23 Amps for a 5500W element (5500W/240v = 22.9A).

So taking your number for the production (a little low for the max output for a 200W panel but well assume you arent going to get max output, cause you probably wont) then we get:

5500Watts/ .08Watts/ sq in = 68750 sq.in. of panel or 477 sq ft of panel which is still not exactly portable at a 22 ft x 22 ft square of solar panel.

So then the solution becomes a set of batteries that would be charged before the brewing and then the panel would just slow the discharge of the batteries

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:12 AM   #5
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Forget the solar panel... the size/weight of the battery to power this thing is going to make it non-portable.

I don't know if I have ever seen an actual "240v" battery, but you could stack up 20 standard 12v car batteries in series to get 240v. That would probably last you a few hours, but.... portable?

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Old 06-28-2012, 01:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
Forget the solar panel... the size/weight of the battery to power this thing is going to make it non-portable.

I don't know if I have ever seen an actual "240v" battery, but you could stack up 20 standard 12v car batteries in series to get 240v. That would probably last you a few hours, but.... portable?
^^^
Right there says it all.

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Old 06-28-2012, 01:15 AM   #7
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Build it on a trailer and pull it with a prius!!

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Old 06-28-2012, 01:42 AM   #8
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You would probably be better off using a fresnel lens to focus the sun into your kettle to boil the water that way, and use solar electric to power pumps

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Old 06-28-2012, 02:23 AM   #9
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Ok so yeah solar power doesnt seem to be a viable solution on its own.

Another idea ive been thinking about is Hydrogen fuel cells (and this is all purely academic and not considering using because of the cost and feasibility of it). Ive been following Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies (great company) for years, because I believe that hydrogen fuel cell cars is the best alternative to gas (Different discussion so wont go into the reasons why). But they make a lot of smaller scale products that are decent size.

As of now they dont have products big enough, but they have some cool products that demonstrate the possibility of hydrogen power:
Minipak - a portable battery using their hydrostix as an energy source
Hydrostik - way to store hydrogen in solid non pressurized form
Desktop HydroFill - uses a solar panel (or wall plug) to generate hydrogen from water
GreenHub - portable backup power, this is what I see as having potential if it was more power

I think it would be a cool project, if just for the wow factor to make a system that could run without needing a wall plug. If they made their Hydrostiks in bigger sizes and the GreenHub at a higher power could feasible use something like solar panels or wind to fill the hydrostiks throughout the week before a brew day and then use them for brewing.

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Old 06-28-2012, 02:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adeering View Post
Ok so yeah solar power doesnt seem to be a viable solution on its own.
Sure it does. photoelectric is not the way to go, but the fresnel lenses would do it. Like a man-sized version of frying ants with a magnifying glass.

It's been done before, so I would supposed it could be done again.
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