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Slinky Pickle
Slinky Pickle's picture
Portable power at sawmill

Although this is not specifically sawmill related, I thought some might enjoy what I'm putting together for off grid power at the sawmill.

I've been pondering lately on how best to build a solar setup for our recreational property and I think I've finally nailed down the plan so here goes.

From the outset, my plan was a typical setup including solar panels, a charge controller, a battery bank and an inverter. Originally, I was going to build it all stationary but then I had a bit of an epiphany. So now, the plan is to have stationary solar panels on the shed roof but everything else will be portable.

Last fall I brought home the portable battery bank. I picked up a used electric golf cart that uses 4 x 12v batteries in series to generate 48vdc. It was a stock unit at that point but I had bigger plans. This is basically what it looked like when I bought it.

 

 

I'll put a DC rated quick connect on it so I can connect it to the solar panels via the charge controller. The panels and charger will stay permanently fixed on/in the shed. Then I'll mount a 3kw inverter on the back of the cart with a couple of 120vac 20a receptacles as well as a 120vac 30a RV receptacle. That way I can unplug from the panels once the batteries are charged and take my power wherever I want.

So, that's the practical side. Then it gets a bit more fun. I've added a 6" lift and equipped it with ATV tires. I found a set of stock ATV take off tires that were pretty cheap. If I still have money left in the budget I might add 4wd to it. There's an outfit back east that has bolt on electric wheel motors that tie into the main motor controller. They take signal from the controller and then drive the front wheels in proportion to the rear wheels. At that point I would have a silent, stalking hunting rig for the property too.

 

 

Things are coming along.... finally.  The cart is ready to go (and obviously has been for a while).

 

As of Sunday, the solar panels are in place.

The charge controller is mounted to the wall.

  I have the 3000 watt inverter and a distribution panel but I need to build an enclosure for them. The enclosure will simply mount on the back of the cart where the club bags would normally go. The cart can easily be converted back if I ever take up golf (HAHAHAHAHAHA... never). For now I can move the cart to the property and be able to charge it. The AC side of things should be finished in a few weeks

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Looks good.  That shed should make a perfect kiln for drying wood, and you can power the fans with the PV.  Looks like around 1kW?  Love the mods on the golf cart.  Interesting motors!

Bill
Bill's picture

Looks good Grant !!!

papow22
papow22's picture

LOL,I TRULELY LOVE THE IDEA OF A 4X4 GOLF CART FOR HUNTING.TRUELY LOVE IT.

Slinky Pickle
Slinky Pickle's picture

Moved the hillbilly power source to the hill tonight. A few little things to finish up and it will be good to go. I took if for a run tonight up and down some pretty steep hills and it did just fine. It'll be great to have power available anywhere I want it.  My first project is to setup my radial arm  firewood slab saw so I can clean up the mess behind my mill.   

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

Are you saying the inverter will power the radial arm? They draw a ton of amps, especially cutting thick stuff.

Slinky Pickle
Slinky Pickle's picture

It will easily handle the saw... for a whlile.  I have a 48vdc system with 155 Ah capacity so I can have light loads on for extened times or heavy loads on for shorter times.  Theoretically, it should handle the microwave in my camper... at least long enough to make pop corn.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

I use a radial arm for the same purpose. Here's a modification I made to the bed.

Roller from a HF roller stand, and the small ball rollers from the same place.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9hiGcsIM8WPajkzeEw5SzRZNkE

The balls are placed so the saw doesn't hit them at 90 and 45 degrees.

Slinky Pickle
Slinky Pickle's picture

That looks pretty slick.  Mine will be exclusively for cutting milled slabs into firewood so I probably don't  need the balls but I'm sure keeping my eye open for some roller tables.

Zero43
Zero43's picture

That's an awesome piece of machine. I bet it's expensive. 

Zero43
Zero43's picture

That's an awesome piece of machine. I bet it's expensive. 

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Actually, the radial arm saw I got on craigslist for less than $50. The roller was about 12, if I recall, The little ball rollers were a couple bucks each.

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