Saturday, January 16, 2010

Belize windmill 12 volt charger system for running computers in the outback.

72 year old Ray Auxillou photo. Patriarch of the Auxillou Investment Group. This photo was taken on a cold winter January day in 2010, when the temperature during a NORTHER from Alaska came through dropping the temperature to 54 degree Farenheight. A T shirt, thick shirt and sweater day in Western Belize.


I would like to thank those of you on the bz-culture listserve that helped me with my battery operated computer system. My new office - (there is a photo on the BLOG of mine ) Western Belize Happenings, has two computers. One operates off the wall plug from BEL. Due to BEL having outages, brownouts, current surges that blew my desktop computer power supply and motherboard. The replacement repairs cost me $250 for used parts. They are not of the capacity the computer had before either, or the speed enjoyed. C├ęst la vie!
So I bought a new computer over in Guatemala from Banco Rural, who drop ship after you pay at the bank in Melchor and they get it in 3 days from Guatemala City. The price was good, about the same as you pay in discount stores in the USA, without the hassle of importation, freight and so forth. This was the first new computer I´ve had for six years. I have bought some second hand ones periodically and fixed them up to use, to lower the investment cost.
What I wanted was continuity of internet service as I trade on the CBOE in Chicago. It was important that I always have available internet service. Outages are not permissable, as such things when a trade is running, can cost thousands of dollars in losses. Through your assistance, I did not find a large enough USB recommended, but did buy a 1000 watt inverter. It turns out my older desktop computer uses about 400 watts of power off the electric mains and my new computer uses about 75 watts is my guess? The desktop case is lighter and easier to carry and the flat screen monitor of course uses much less juice than the older technology in desk top computers.
I am finding that I can easily work on one battery, I have one deep cycle battery from Caribbean Tire, plus a battery charger I use for the pickup truck when needed. Then the inverter. The battery alone gives me a comfortable 3 or 4 hours of computer time and people have told me I could probably go to 12 hours before discharging the battery. What I do is run the computer and when the battery is low, keep the battery charger on as well. Sometimes though, I just disconnect the battery charger when the battery is full and use battery and inverter alone. I run the computer down until, when I do hook up the battery charger it reads around a 6 amp charge rate. Even when I´m not using the computer I can leave the battery charger on and the needle eventually drops to 1 amp. At this point below 2 amps I usually disconnect the battery charger by unclipping the positive lead and unplugging it from the main electricity service. It takes about 12 hours to recharge the battery if I run it down to the point the battery charger comes on reading 6 amps. This for 3 or 4 hours of usage if I elect to go this way. All perfectly adequate and it is a nice working system. I´m very satisfied how this worked out.
I am now looking at being able to charge my battery from a windmill charger system I want to build myself. Thus saving the electricity from the mains, coming through the battery charger I currently am using. In that regard I´ve been scouting around the TWIN TOWNS looking to scrounge materials to build a windmill charger. There are all kinds of windmill types and I´m sorting through the options. Today I went the long distance to Spanish Lookout to see what they had in 12 v. d.c. motors suitable. But they had nothing. They do have cast iron heavy pulleys at CROSSROADS, but I was looking for something lighter in the aluminum types. Needless to say, Spanish Lookout stores and those of our TWIN TOWNS were a complete washout. Any windmill choice is going to have to be a medly of what can be found. I think I can get me a used car alternator. This poses problems as the speed has to be high in rpms. How to do this without pulleys, or belt making material is something else. So the challenges now are different, but go on, making life interesting.
Stay tuned for the next episode for life on the frontier of pioneering in Belize.

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