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the solar leviathan  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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This started as a drawing from Steve Heckeroth:





This will have 3000 watts of solar panels, plus battery packs that could be swappable to a variety of different kinds of equipment.

Here are some pictures of the leviathan under construction:





And I am attaching pics of the battery packs:



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paul wheaton
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The battery packs can be connected to the front of the electric tractor, or to the three point hitch on the electric tractor. It can also be put on the back of one of our electric vehicles to extend the range of the EV or provide power for utilities at some location.

The leviathan can also power the sawmill, charge the on-board battery for the tractor and charge all the EVs.
 
Jerry Ward
Posts: 191
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How much does that battery pack weigh?
 
John Saltveit
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This is what we need to be doing as a society. Creative, skilled, blue collar, hands on people trying to figure out how to do things a new and better way. And then more people to add their ideas to it and apply it to something else. Good work.
John S
PDX OR
 
paul wheaton
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The leviathan painted and ready for a floor, electronics and walls:

 
Len Ovens
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Jerry Ward wrote:How much does that battery pack weigh?


A similar sized stacker battery would be around 1000 pounds. The ones I worked with were the same shape but sort of on the side... so same length, but taller and narrower. The bigger ones (forklift) were about 2000 pounds but at least twice as high as those. I am sure the standard weight for golf cart batteries can be found on line times 8 plus the case (maybe add two more batteries?). I would rather move a piano
 
Nicholas Mason
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This is awesome, I am excited to see the rest of this project. Well done.
 
Mark Krohn
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I see linear actuators in the drawing

Are the panels going to feature tracking the sun or are they for angle only ?

with modern technology (arduino micros and/or calendar day cycle timers like the intermatic 'astronomic') they could feature full automatic tracking which will gather much more energy in the morning and evening
here's the intermatic



Description here

http://www.intermatic.com/en/Products/TimeSwitches/ElectronicSwitches/365DayAdvancedTimeSwitches/ET70000_Series.aspx

since the apparent speed of the sun across the sky does not change only the length of the day a single speed tracking drive would work well and manual adjustments for the relative angle changes from summer to winter

a more elegant approach would be to use an arduino micro processor with GPS that would control the start and stop and tracking adjustments for the date and latitude/longitutude (GPS data feed includes date and time as well as latitude and longitude)

the arduino approach would potentially use less energy by using stepper motors for the drives

here's a wiki article

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arduino

http://www.arduino.cc/



just some thoughts.....

maybe for Solar Leviathan 2.0
 
Topher Belknap
Posts: 205
Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
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Mark Krohn wrote:a more elegant approach would be to use an arduino micro processor with GPS that would control the start and stop and tracking adjustments for the date and latitude/longitutude (GPS data feed includes date and time as well as latitude and longitude)


A compass would also be needed, and it would only enable tilt on two of the three sets of panels. East-West tracking could be done by moving the leviathan, but that is likely to be a pain.

Speaking of which, how much to you expect to be moving this thing, Paul?

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
 
paul wheaton
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bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I think the leviathan would be moved two or three times per year. The voltswagon would probably be moved twenty times per year.
 
Topher Belknap
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paul wheaton wrote:I think the leviathan would be moved two or three times per year.


So, presumably ignored for days on end, but plenty of opportunity to site it perfectly in the first place. This lets you face it dead South, (include a place to install a compass far from metal if you can, pre-adjusted for local deviation), and set the angle of the panels for maximum output. Tracking would seem to involve too much work (either manual over the day, or in additional infrastructure to get the panels up away from the trailer so they can swivel).

Do you think something should be used to cover the panels while in transport to avoid branch impacts? That would be a concern for me on my land.


Thank You Kindly,
Topher
 
Len Ovens
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Topher Belknap wrote:

So, presumably ignored for days on end, but plenty of opportunity to site it perfectly in the first place. This lets you face it dead South, (include a place to install a compass far from metal if you can, pre-adjusted for local deviation), and set the angle of the panels for maximum output. Tracking would seem to involve too much work (either manual over the day, or in additional infrastructure to get the panels up away from the trailer so they can swivel).


Rather than a compass, mount a sundial on it and move the trailer till the sundial and your watch agrees. Remember to account for daylight savings time or mount both a summer and winter sundial. The sundial will not be affected by metal nor need declination to be factored in. In actual practical terms DST is probably not an issue as having the direction out by 15 deg. in the summer will likely have so little effect as to be not worth worrying about. I also suspect the residents are pretty well acquainted with where south is
 
Sean Henry
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Sun tracking can be done fairly easily using a comparator circuit and two small solar cells from old calculators. The trick is building two small boxes one uncovered on the right the other uncovered on the left. If one is shaded it trips a relay telling it to turn to the shaded one till the voltage is equal again.
 
Topher Belknap
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Sean Henry wrote:Sun tracking can be done fairly easily using a comparator circuit and two small solar cells from old calculators. The trick is building two small boxes one uncovered on the right the other uncovered on the left. If one is shaded it trips a relay telling it to turn to the shaded one till the voltage is equal again.


Control is easy. Moving large banks of panels, while still keeping them steady in the wind, is the hard part.

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
 
allen lumley
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Sean Henry : Great post, Brilliantly simple, simply brilliant, no pun intended ! Big AL
 
Topher Belknap
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Here's how my friend accomplished that. Sun Tracker complete with Schematic. If people are curious, I can ask him what improvement in performance he sees (I suspect, not worth the energy he put into it, but hey it keeps him off the street. ). For those interested in solar, the rest of his website is interesting as well.

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
 
Sam Barber
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Here are some Sketches done by Steve Heckeroth himself for the top wings of the Solar Leviathan.
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Sam Barber
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Here are some more.
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allen lumley
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- 2nd, 3rd and 4th panels were a pig Phuckin' mystery to me! Big AL !
 
Len Ovens
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allen lumley wrote:- 2nd, 3rd and 4th panels were a pig Phuckin' mystery to me! Big AL !


The trick is knowing what you are looking at, and why.... The why the drawing is needed explains more to me almost than the what

Keep looking, compare to the pictures.
 
allen lumley
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-must have been my earlier connection, they are sharper now ! A.L.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
Topher Belknap
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Picture 3 seems to disagree with the initial drawings concerning the North side connections, but seems to make more sense to me now. I couldn't figure out how you were going to raise that North panel (keys words, by hand to here). Still confused about where the roof panels sits (flat or slight angled)?

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
 
paul wheaton
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Steve's original drawing shows linear actuators.

Tim came up with a network of frames that would protrude above the solar panels, powered by a winch - he welded it up and it would raise the outer flap to horizontal, but would then crush the frames (rather than raising them up to the 45 degree angle). Another problem with having anything above the panels is that any shadow on the solar panels would have serious problems.

I came up with a design where there would be Tim's winch, but clioser to Steve's design.

Then Steve arrived and he decided that he like the winch, and changed my design from a square to a triangle with a single lift point. Steve also introduced manually pulling out the panels a bit first to get a 45 degree angle, locking the pins in and then activating the winch.
 
Rick Edwards
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2nd, 3rd and 4th panels were a pig Phuckin' mystery to me! Big AL !


This should help.

Going off of the last drawings that Steve did while I was here, Tim and I decided to modify slightly. Our concerns were that once fully extended, all that weight and wind catching sail action would be an awful lot of strain on one welded component only an 1 1/2" in size. The triangular hoist is simpler and would be easier to implement, but all the weight and safety comes down to the weakest link. In this case the round metal tube sliding up and down in the center channel. Also winds could allow it to oscillate pretty wildly straining and bending things possibly.

With this investment and people liability we decided to go with an "H" bar hoist on two rails to give the stability and plenty of strength. For those that were confused by the drawings (I had the advantage of being here and talking through it while they were created), this design geometry works exactly the same for folding and unfolding, the only difference is that it has two vertical rails instead of a triangle coming to one point.
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Filename: Leviathan-Wings.skp
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Rick Edwards
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Some details
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Rick Edwards
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More Detail
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Rick Edwards
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Pictures of where we are at.
Some of these don't match the drawings because we changed plans and now have to change and modify to match the SketchUp plans
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Rick Edwards
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Pics cont.
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Rick Edwards
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pics cont
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Rick Edwards
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Pulleys worked into block and tackle
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Rick Edwards
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Pulleys and pistons
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Erik Pehoviack
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This thing is awesome! We (my high school students and I) are beginning construction on a "Power Pup" utility box trailer / solar island / generator / hot water station this fall and your designs have the "wheels a' turnin'"! Just imagine the potential of this project to those without (or needing) a garage for their EV or electric motorcycles (his and hers of course). Dang... Thank you for the posts and keep at the great work!
 
Gail Nielsen
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After watching the video, I'm wondering if you all took the weight of the panels into consideration. At the end it looks like you press buttons to make the wing close the rest of the way. Those panels are VERY heavy! I know, I've tried lifting mine! They might come crashing down on you, and pen you between the trailer and panels. Might want to do a test with panels tied on with ratchet straps. Just a thought! ☺
 
Chris Knipstein
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The thing crashing down is a good point. Looking over the drawings and the video it appears the wing is always held up in place by the winch. If there isn't plans to do so already, I would look into a way to lock it in place (in the up position) to avoid as many possible points of failure as possible.

I think the easiest might be to take the 2 slides that move vertically up the side of the trailer and drill a hole through them as well as the section they slide up, so that you could slip a pin like a wagon hitch pin through there and lock it in place once the wing is fully up into place.

There are a lot of places the winch could fail. The gear box could break, the cable could break, one of the pulley bolts, a crimp at the end of the cable, etc. Having it pinned in place would take all the strain off the winch system other than when it is going up or coming down. I suspect this would save some wear and tear on the winch should the wind have enough effect to catch the panel and lift some weight off the winch then have it hammer back down. It likely wouldn't be enough to visibly see anything shifting but it could be happening. Locking it in place with a couple pins would just eliminate any possibility of a failure other than when the wing is being raised or lowered and everyone knows to stay out from under it then.



 
R Hasting
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That looks good. My only concern is the wind cross section and it looking like a beach ball across the pasture. I assume you have this covered and will tie it down when deployed in some way.
Richard
 
Rick Edwards
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Finally rolled the Leviathan out of the shop, unfolded and operational. No casualties as of yet.
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Rick Edwards
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Painting bits, bobs and bars.
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Rick Edwards
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PV (photovoltaic) array wiring getting top where it needs to be
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