New consulting relationship with GreenTecAuto begins
What actually goes wrong with the batteries????
A look at todays Hybrid and EV battery packs
Battery packs exposed
Keeping Warm In New England
Plugging into the SUN
50A 600VAC transfer relay
AC source transfer relay is finished
Adding some new batteries
All weather dish movers
Almost ready to wire things up
Assembling the parts for the load manager
Beating on the system/ use it or loose it
Better solar absorber plate
Better Specific gravity instrument
bringing in the batteries
Burgers are better
California or bust! Solar modified mobility scooter
Canning pot
canning season is here again
Concentrate the heat test #4
Connecting battery bank #2
Cooking some hotdogs
Crappy luck with the weather
Designing a simpler and lower cost solar tracking amplifier
Equilizing the batteries
Everything is working again.
Finally installed
Finally nearing completion of the battery enclosure
multytracker 1
First test
Getting a BIG solar plug
Getting some experience with DC
Getting started on the final wiring
Getting too old to be slinging 120 lb batterys into the rack
Giving the batteries a workout
Hot water tank as energy storage component test 1
Hot water test 2
Identifing the wires, and mounting the Inverter panel
Insulated hibachi reaches baking temperatures
keeping the head cool
keeping warm.
Sue Dabrowski (my better half) makes some solar eggs
Lightning the super fast EV minibike
Looking the data
Main structure of battery rack is finished
Making some stewed tomatoes
making the connection to the existing wiring
making the DC pos buss bars
More improvements to the dish
Multy purpose tracker 1
New tracking amplifier
No more throw away batteries please
Not very encouraging test # 3
Old Rear projection TV lens makes solar furnace
power distribution box fabrication
preparing to connect the big loads
Reading Specific Gravity accurately
running off grid all day
Running on batteries
Second test
Snow melt prep for test 2
Snow melt test one A close look at the process
solar cell adhesion test #1
Solar cells on my Insight ????
Solar cooker gets some wheels
Solar cookout in 20 degree weather
Solarfest 2013
Solarfest is next weekend so it is time to tweak the tools
Solar powered wood burner X-Y stage
Solar powered wood burner focus and lens assembly
Solar teaching toys
Solar tracking with no electronics" Solar Puppet"
Starting the rewiring
The 7 foot circle of sunlight moves to rear deck.
the final high current connections
the finished load center and charge controller connections
the heavy lifters arrive
The new batteries are finally installed and working
The snow is returning???
The snow keeps on coming, need to figure out a good way to keep the panels clear
The sun is dropping 1KW/SQ meter
The transfer relay is wired in and working.
Tracking the sun Big Time
Mikey's solar panel snow sweeper
Vertical and horizontal trackers installed, drive wheel controls
Very interesting heating element
Who pulled the plug?
Wood burning art ?
Yuck, more snow
Making a small solar concentrator
Building MIMA and the plug in adapters
Converting a telephone truck to electric
DIY dual pulse Capacitor Discharge Spotwelder
Chevy Bolt EV joins the family
Getting in shape while making electricity
Replacing gasoline with solar electric lawn equipment
What is Genesis One?
How to stop the aging process DIY
MIMA Install Day 2005 a Big Success!
Building a hybrid car grid charger
Tapping into the Wind
Expanding MIMA with the Distribution board ( users projects )

Very interesting heating element

Very interesting heating element
Nice heating pad

When pursuing the thermal snow melt possibilities, I contacted the Calorique company.
They make an interesting series of flat heaters, that are used for radiant heat, snow and ice melting,and some industrial heating.
I got the sample of the material today, and was pleasantly pleased by what I saw. The heater elements are dense carbon strips about 2" wide.
The 24.5" wide material has 3 copper bands, one on each edge, and one down the center.
The heaters can run on 240 VAC,by connecting the power at the two extremes, or 120VAC where the two extreme ends are connected to neutral, and the center to the 120V line.
The materials are sandwiched in a multi layer stack, with tough plastic between the layers. One side has an aluminum layer to act as a heat spreader, but one can see clearly where the heating elements are located when viewing the panel in IR.
I will install the heater on the top solar panel on my test rig, and give it a shot if we get more snow.
It looks like each 2" carbon strip within the heater can be cut off, and it becomes a 20 W 120/240VAC heater, so one could just unroll the length you want, cut it off, and make the AC connections.
The IR image on the left was after 2 minutes of being plugged in, and the one on the right was after ~ 30 minutes showing that the panel was at equilibration with the room ambient temperature and was no longer rising. Of course if adhered to the solar panel, the solar panel mass would determine the final temperature and rate of heating.
Very Cool product, (think lithium pack heater) They make variations for many applications, with more or less watt/ sq foot. Next thing is to find out how much it cost.
It will take 175 Linear feet to cover all the panels, and 12.5KW to power them all.
If my rope sweeper works, that will be the preferred solution