Doug Kalmer

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since Nov 27, 2013
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Recent posts by Doug Kalmer

The recommended borate insecticides:
Timbor is a powder that mixes with water. One l.5 lbs pouch is mixed with one gallon of water and sprayed to the surface area of infestation. When sprayed it penetrates the entire wood, where it will remain for several years.
An alternative to Timbor is: Boracare. Boracare is a liquid borate that penetrates faster initially than Timbor for the first few hours, but is equal after that. Timbor is considerably cheaper per gallon to use.
Note when using insecticides: Powderpost beetles life cycles vary from 3 months  a year. Emerging larvae could be maturing with adult beetles emerging for up to a year. If the wood is too dry (less than 15%), depth of penetration with the Boracare may only occur to the top 1/4 inch. To solve this, spray the wood first with water to increase moisture.
2 years ago
We have garden beds scattered around, and a greenhouse business for over 25 years. I quit buying cheap hoses. I buy light colored hoses, my latest fav is flexizilla .
3 years ago

Jeremy Baker wrote:Nice setup Doug. Are you sending surplus energy to the grid after charging the Volt car? Wow, living the dream. Good work if you can get it. Is your house all electric? Thanks for the tour

Yes, it's grid tied and I sell energy back to TVA, they charge 10 cents a KWH, and pay me 22, I get a check for about $800 a year. The house is all electric except we have a propane range. I use wood heat to back up solar space heat, it also heats domestic water.
3 years ago
Short video of my solar electric array, solar oven, solar hot tub heater, solar home, three solar water heaters, a solar space heater, and my solar powered car. I said tank at the end, I should of said fill up. Doug

3 years ago

Annie Lochte wrote:.. Where I live the biting insects are a huge consideration for 4-5 months of the year... When I run out of repel and citronella oil it'll be tough. I have read up on natural repellants an tried some but nothing yet that really works like the deet/citronella.  

Try- Permethrin Insect Repellent for Clothing Gear and Tents ...
For use on clothing, tents, sleeping bags, and other outdoor gear, Sawyer Permethrin is more than just an insect repellent — it actually kills ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects.
4 years ago

Sue Shann of visited and interviewed us about solar space heating, solar water heating, solar electricity, solar cooking, greenhouses, and more. I get nervous on camera, and I misspoke at 16:26 and said 4600 KILOwatts when I meant watts, and 375*F is more like the highest heat I have seen in my solar oven, others have reported 425*
4 years ago

Cristo Balete wrote:All I am trying to say is that this original poster is suggesting kluging together two things, two solar electricity things, intentionally to avoid it being to code, to avoid it being a proper and safe system, to avoid taking the bigger picture into consideration.  avoid taking the landlady's dwelling into consideration, or taking the grid into consideration.   When dealing with electricity all of that is really important.

People who don't know about solar may think that this person is telling them, all you need is a panel, take a gizmo like the one in the picture, and you can run your stuff off one one panel, no matter what the stuff is.   People might think they don't have to know about electricity, they don't have to know about DC and AC.  What if somebody thinks everything you need is built into the panel?  I've seen that in forums all over the place.

I didn't mean this to question anyone's system, or any situation's code, or anything like that.  

I think you are missing the idea behind the OP's guerrilla solar- it is essentially a small grid tied system. The grid supplies all the power appliances need, the solar just offsets some of that. No controllers or disconnects needed. I am not vouching for the safety of the installation nor recommending it. Doug
4 years ago

Cristo Balete wrote:Doug,  so you've probably got 23 microinveters, one for each panel?  No batteries involved?

Not sure where you are, but DC disconnects, and AC disconnects are the code where I am.   The fire department and the county require it.   When I've had to work on panels, or work on batteries, like replacing them, the disconnect boxes are really great to have for safety reasons.

I've used my solar setup for 20 years, it's using batteries, not tied to the grid, so the controller keeps track of everything when it comes to the state of the batteries, and lets me know that all of the panels are working.  

As I said above I have 20 230 watt panels, so 20 microinverters.
I'm in TN, all of my installation is to code and passed inspection the first time.  I have AC disconnects, just saying there are systems with PV panel direct to inverter.
This explains my system-
4 years ago
Cristo Balete wrote-
"So there's a lot of equipment between the panels and the inverter, or there should be,  like the DC disconnect, the controller, the batteries or the grid-tie controller, another disconnect, and then the inverter.  If someone who isn't familiar with batteries and electricity, and they hook up the batteries wrong, that can blow the inverter.

But same thing can happen, if the panels are going straight to a microinverter (a 12V or 24V inverter ought to have a controller in the middle and a DC disconnect) and something happens to the panel or panels, then the appliance asking for power will struggle and struggle, and will eventually burn out.

There is nothing between panels and microinverters by code, it's perfectly safe. Microinverters will produce the proper voltage, or shut down., not burn out appliances. I installed my PV system and have been living with it for 8 years.Doug
4 years ago