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Old 07-08-2011, 05:57 AM   #1
HatcherBrewer
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Feb 2011
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This is purely a hypothetical question, but something that I have thought about and researched a little bit...

Would it be possible to build a 240v electric setup that is run off of a battery bank that is recharged using a solar panel trickle charger relatively cheaply (around $500 not including element controls)? Assuming that you'd need an inverter, voltage regulator, batteries, panels...and some other stuff (not sure what). It would probably take quite a few brew sessions to pay for itself...but think of how cool it would be to tell your friends that your beer was made using solar power!

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Old 07-08-2011, 06:22 AM   #2
arturo7
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I think would cost close to 10 times that.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:03 AM   #3
brewingmeister
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500 will get you about 3 batteries.

Interesting idea though.

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Old 07-08-2011, 10:04 AM   #4
SankePankey
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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.

 
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:30 PM   #5
wyzazz
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Aug 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HatcherBrewer View Post
This is purely a hypothetical question, but something that I have thought about and researched a little bit...

Would it be possible to build a 240v electric setup that is run off of a battery bank that is recharged using a solar panel trickle charger relatively cheaply (around $500 not including element controls)? Assuming that you'd need an inverter, voltage regulator, batteries, panels...and some other stuff (not sure what). It would probably take quite a few brew sessions to pay for itself...but think of how cool it would be to tell your friends that your beer was made using solar power!
If it was that cheap to do, I think that a lot of larger breweries would be doing this already. I looked in to supplemental solar power for my home a few years ago, it would take around 20 years to pay for itself in my neck of the woods.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:39 PM   #6
SankePankey
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It would be possible on a small (very small) scale, I think. A scale in which electric elements power your brewery. But there is a point at which a steam jacketed kettle is necessary. When you start having to use other fuels besides electric power for brewing, what's the point. Having said that, there are several wineries throughout the world that are partially or even sometimes fully powered by solar panels (well, they draw during harvest and feed back during down times, so a net gain.). The only difference is that they don't have to brew anything. It's not unusual for those systems to be in the million dollar+ range.

 
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
mredge73
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Try wind power.
For the generator itself, the cheap ones are about $1 per watt.
Opposed to solar, the cheap ones are about $4.50 per watt.

It will still run you close to $5K though if you are off the grid...
Batteries are very expensive, copper is too.
To run a 4K-5K W element for 90+ minutes, you will need large battery bank wired at high voltage (48V+).

 
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:57 PM   #8
AdamCanFly
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Jun 2009
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Use a wood fire. Trees use sunlight to grow.

 
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:05 PM   #9
rollinred
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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.

 
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:06 PM   #10
Bobby_M
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You're looking at 2 grand just for an inverter to run 240 at 4000 watts.
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