Sunday, October 21, 2007

Power Air Conditioning Now Online In Firehold Bravo!! (Vulcan Fortress)

Finally got the battery bank hooked up and power management in place!

Been running both the air conditioner unit AND the ozone generator inside the shelter all day long, may leave it on until tomorrow.

Within minutes of turning it on, the AC began to dehumidify and cool the air in the shelter. Within a half hour it has finally gone back to being reasonable down there. I've got 3+ years worth of mold and fungus to kill so hopefully flooding both tanks with ozone will whack the mega-spores that have been growing down there all this time.

This leads like a cascade to several dozen other improvements to the blast shelter to finally move it to stage 3 - long term habitability. Once it's livable, I can start moving tons and tons of new food down there and rotate the old stocks out. New bunking mattresses, embedded equipment, vinyl flooring ... so much stuff has been hinging on this problem with the shelter being slight damp, muggy and stale. I can safely move a lot of crucial stuff down there for long term storage knowing it won't be ruined in six months by the dampness. A lot of stuff has corroded over with a white film of creeping crud. One thing that really bummed me out was when I checked out Silo Two and discovered my storage tires have deteriorated badly since 2000, with the rubber actually flaking or splitting in places because of this underground moldy atmosphere. Luckily almost all the food in the silos is sealed in watertight steel boxes or drums. Sooner or later I am going to need to pipe air conditioning into the Silos, albeit infrequently every couple of days or so. Right now it is enough to decrapify the blast shelter because it is the main living quarters at present.

I also managed to nearly finish pouring the footing walls for Sparkgap on Saturday, they are curing pretty good in the dry windy heat we're experiencing in Queensland.

Another comment on the forum about solar panels pointed out that they are coming down in price and the newer models will last at 80% output for up to 20 years or more. Combined with wind power, there should never be a reason to run the diesel generator except in the most extreme conditions, which leaves the reserve tank as fuel for my truck when it is needed.

My fear is a long period without the Sun, for any of a variety of reasons. One great thing about no sunlight is it is almost guaranteed to whip up a freezing wind, so if your wind generator can function in cold temperatures it can keep your batteries charged even when there is a nuclear winter outside. In the reading I have been doing on expedient wind generator design, I have determined that a wind generator with a weather cover over it can produce a small amount of heat on it's own from friction, keeping the motor from freezing over most of the time. If the wind generator does freeze up, it might be possible to open the weather cover (PVC pipe in many cases) and drop some hot stones inside, then seal it back up to keep the motor defrosted. If worst came to worst, you could still fall back on the diesel generator or else handcranked ultimate backup power.

I am getting four DC motors in the mail this month, one of them I intend to make into a lever action handcranked generator for this purpose.

I will put up new photos of everything before the end of the week.

P.S. The toughest component to source for the wind generator for long term use seems to me to be the slip ring, the contact that rotates so the rotors can turn any which way with the wind without eventually tangling up the electrical cord running through the support post. Does anybody know an inexpensive source of slip rings for heavy use applications? Might have to build my own but would prefer to buy one if I can get it for less than $100 or so.


Anonymous said...

Gratz Vault! Hope you get it finished in time.


Anonymous said...

Costs for photovoltaic modules are now increasing, not decreasing, largely as a side-effect of the crashing dollar. Most inverters and photovoltaic panels are manufactured in China, Japan, or Europe and are imported into the United States. True, it has only been about 50 cents per watt of higher equipment costs so far, but it is enough to hurt the economics of solar and make places where it was economic (e.g. California) less so because the rebates are declining...

Texas Arcane said...

Guess I better buy some of the new ones for Christmas to stock up.

Anonymous said...

Tex, if you have the wind gen set up so it cant turn 359 degrees but not actually right round it will stop the cable fitting a lug on the top assy and another on the lower section wich cotact each other to stop the head from completing a circle. clear as mud?

Anonymous said...

Don't ozone generators cause health problems when run indoors?

Anonymous said...

If you start your genny and run a few minutes worth of exhaust through the weather cover of the wind generator that should thaw it out whenever necessary. Don't worry about sealing the pipe to the weather cover as you'd then have the same obstruction problem as with the electrical wires. Just have the exhaust blowing up into it across a very narrow gap centred on the pivot point.

Dunno if it's practical or not but maybe worth thinking about. You could store the electricity generated by the diesel while the waste heat frees up the windy one.


Anonymous said...

I like your beacon, scanning with bino's and your beacon will be seen and investigated

Anonymous said...

... or just don't hold any USD. Simple solution really.

Texas Arcane said...

I gather a lot of wind generators make do without a slip ring by limiting the range of motion as you have described. Nice to have but not mandatory as you have pointed out.

Ozone generators should only be run when the shelter is not inhabited. As soon as the shelter is occupied it should be ventilated to flush the ozone. Nothing is superior to ozone for killing mold and fungi in an underground space when it is not occupied.

Brilliant idea for piping waste heat from exhaust into a wind tower that is frozen up. That's the sort of tip that could save a person's life. sells a wind gen power charger manager kit I bought but have not assembled yet. I am using a cheap boxed unit I got off of AllElectronics for 27.00 at present, I don't think it's very good at avoiding EMF backloads on the gen when is running, this Oatley board is supposed to do both.

Anonymous said...

Binos, I recommend against investigating anything that sees you in offensive against a fortified defended territory. Otherwise your rambling rambo travels will be over probably the first day it starts.