Jen Fan

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since Nov 05, 2016
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Recent posts by Jen Fan

Wonderful work   I need self-pollinating varieties for my greenhouse.  Your seed info page says they're "promiscuously pollinated", is this self-pollinating?  
1 month ago

Eric Hammond wrote:There is a lot of excessive complication in this thread.

I would just purchase a charger inverter and be done with it.  Hook any old generator up to the inverter and it will charge your batteries, plus you have the bonus of being able to use 120 v AC equipment.  Also, You do not need any step up/step down voltage converter for any of your 12v dc equipment.

For example, you said you have 12 volt dc lighting.  Wire two in series and your done.  Connect the positive of one 12 volt light to your switched fused power and the negative of that light, to the positive of the next 12v d/c light.  The negative of the second 12v dc light then goes to ground.  Voila, you now have a 24 volt light, without buying anything.  The two loads must share the voltage equally in a series circuit, so each load only receives 12 volts.

I wired my shop lights this way.  12 volt LED strips that are 15 ft long are like 8 dollars, 24 volt strips that are 15 ft long were 100.  16 dollars and I can make a 30 ft 24 volt strip..... it really is that easy

It seems these things can be as simple or complex as we want to make it :P

We have AC chargers to charge the bank with, but they won't do 24v and we don't want to buy special 24v battery chargers, hence running it through a 12/24 charge controller than will handle 3 stage charging.

The lighting isn't a problem because the charge controller accessory port is 12v.  So our 12v lighting runs directly off the accessory port and to a lights witch.  Even when we switch to 24v the 12v port will still work.  And we have 2 ports available to us if we need any other 12v accessories.  

We also just settled on 24v alternator.  
1 month ago

William Schlegel wrote:So far the shortest season tomatoes I have tried include:

Sweet Cherriette
42 Days
Forest Fire
Anmore Dewdrop
Tumbler hybrid
Krainy Sever
Sungold hybrid and segregating saved seed.

I find I can direct seed these at my place, but I am usually frost free by May 15th. I can seed at least ten days before my expected last frost. However one of the reasons this works out is I have space for a really big garden. The individual plants end up being pretty small. Direct seeding means I can plant hundreds of them. Some of my neighbors just plant a couple big ones and take really good care of them.

Do you seed in open ground then?  The only parts of Ronan I've seen are down in the valley.  Are you higher up?

We're over 5,000 elevation, snow lingers through mid May though it's usually done freezing hard.  We transplanted our Tomatoes into the greenhouse in mid May last year and they did just fine.  They resisted the onset of winter until it hit below 20º.  And our purple bells didn't die off until it hit 0º!  So they got a good long time to produce, considering.  I would love to have a short season tomato that I could try growing outdoors, probably in a compost heap.  Also for the sake of not having to fill the house with starts!

What were your favorites, or pros/cons of the short season varieties?  I'm pretty sure I messaged you though, so we can take that convo to a message if you like :)
We've had the 24v system thing on hold, waiting on some new batteries to arrive; and for the 24v generator to be built.  In the mean time we've altered our solar setup and are getting excellent power coming in.  The highest we've seen is 600w~ out of a max 800w~, which is great considering where they're at and the time of year!

In the summer we rarely need the generator.  In the winter we need it very frequently.  But part of that is how sickly our battery bank is.  Hence getting new AGMs.  Our flooded batteries have been through both unattended frozen winter storage and extreme summer heat of 100º+.  They don't hold a charge for long anymore so we're having to help them along in the evening with the generator.  We almost leaned towards lithium ions, but I'm not ready to go into debt for superior batteries
1 month ago
Thanks for the replies!  

This last year we did around 18 tomatoes, 12 pepper plants, a zucchini, two cucumbers, a couple tomatillos, a variety of herbs and a hearty crop of leafy greens, as far as "annuals" go.   Our Zucchs and Cukes were a flop because they didn't self pollinate :(  They were very happy and tried hard though!  Neglected to consider that when selecting seeds.
We do have tomatoes self seeding but they get too late of a start to produce.  Hence one of my interests in early varieties.
We'll probably do a similar amount this year.  Can't go bigger until we expand our greenhouse setups.  We also have shrubs and fruiting trees in the greenhouses, so space is limited.  

We're going to deer-proof (hotwire) an area to grow outdoors this season.  I'm interested in root crops, both common and uncommon.  
I need self-pollinating varieties of common garden fruits like tomato, zucchini, cucumber, and others.  We're also interested in sunchokes, early corns, and other grain crops.

What we're interested in specifically are some of these unique cultivars folks are breeding for enduring climates like our NW Montana area.  Yes, I could go to a seed catalogue, but I thought I'd ask here first.  I'd rather support someone directly.

We grow mostly in green houses but would like to try some chokes and early sweet corn for outdoor growing.  Our warm season is mid June through early September, so probably 100-120 days.  Although our warm crops survived in the greenhouse almost through November this year, woohoo!

We're open to any and all suggestions for good growers, heavy producers, and hardy varieties.

In the past I've seen threads here of some of the cool breeding projects folks have got going on.  Feel free to link relevant threads or help me get in touch with peeps!  


Dillon Nichols wrote:What is the max output of the MPPT controller?

If it's at all likely to receive more power than this, what is the expected behavior when it has excess incoming power; burn up, or self-limit?

The below post mentions getting more than rated power from alternators used as described with an mppt controller; by virtue of the lack of a 24v battery connected, the alternator ends up putting out notably higher voltage. This is likely perfectly fine for the mppt controller, as long as the resulting higher amperage and hence higher wattage don't become excessive... or, if the unit is equipped to handle excess power by limiting output.

Our current generator is actively wired through its DC plug port to a 60amp mppt controller.  All of our controllers allege that they disperse excess power through the controller body as heat.  I've never knowingly overloaded one, so how they truly function I do not know.  Our panels flow through 40amp controllers, though they're never handling that much.  They might if our panels produced their full potential, but our current setup does not allow for that.  We get about 50-70% efficiency from them at the moment.

2 months ago

S Bengi wrote:Is your current system 450AHr times 12V = 5400WHr = 5.4kWHr
If so your future system will be 225AHr times 24V = 5400WHr = 5.4kWHr

We currently have x4 12v 225AH batteries, which would be combined into x2 24v 225AH batteries.

S Bengi wrote:
But lets go with your quoted 450AHr times 24v = 10.8kWHr
You are going to need a generator that is outputting  45A * 24V = 1080W (1.5hp)
So the engine should be 1.5hp*2= 3hp
The alternator efficiency is 60% and it would be best if the engine was only at 60% so more like 1.5hp*3=4.5hp

The motors are 6.5hp, the heavy duty alternators we have currently are rated 100amp.
2 months ago
We keep bouncing back the idea of running 2 alternators in series.  It seems like running 2 12v alternators to supply the 24v power would equate to less work per alternator, kind of splitting the load between the two so that it's easier work for them.  Does that sound reasonable?  
2 months ago