Sunday, October 7, 2012

12v with no Solar ...

...I have been trying to prioritize projects at the house and while I really want to install Solar it is beyond me financially right now. I came up with a great work-around that I am going to share here. My van (the Vandaminium) os equipped with a second battery that is isolated from the starting battery but charges when the car is running. I made a 12v extension cord out of an old drop cord, some clip on battery jaws and a 3 way 12v accessory outlet. The cable hooks up to the second battery and runs into the house giving me 3 12v outlets for my dvd player, phone charger, pump for the shower and my little 12v vacuum It was an easy .project and a real no brainer since I already had the second battery charging all the time. This will work until I save up the funds for a real solar system (or micro-hydro power).

Zodi Shower Update awhile back the little 6v pump on my Zodi shower crapped out and since I wanted a 12v pump I have been neglecting the Zodi and taking bucket baths. well last week when I moved the house I decided to get the shower back on line. 12v pumps are pretty expensive and after looking around it looked like I was going to have to drop some coin on a pump. While cleaning out an old tool box I came across a fuel pump from my old Land Rover. I remembered the pump working and I hooked it up to a 12v battery and it whirred away. This looked promising so I grabbed some tools and went to work..

First I had to strip away all of the extra parts so I was just left with the pump unit. This was very easy and when I was done I was left with just a 5" long cylinder about an inch and a half in diameter. This pump is an in-tank pump (basically a submersible pump) and needs to be mounted in the bottom of the water source, in my case a 5 gallon bucket.

I wired the + and - connections on the pump to a fused cigarette plug in thingy that I had laying around and went to work on mounting the pump in the bucket.

My first attempt was a failure as I tried to cut a hole in the bucket with a box cutter and then glue the pump in with some kind of household sealent. the sealent did not stick, the hole was too big and jagged and the bucket went in the trash. Luckily it was a beater bucket so I did not waste a good one.

My next attempt was a success and very very easy creating a great seal with no glue. I used my drill and a hole saw a little smaller than the outer diameter of the pump. I cut a hole in the bucket, sanded a little extra and then "press-fit" the pump in. It took a little work but it formed a great watertight seal without any adhesives.

My first shower was taken under the stars on a cool night and was luxurious!! The fuel pump has a higher pressure than the original Zodi pump and works much better. I am running everything off the second battery in the Van with a 12v extension cord that I made..

Happy Showers!

....and finally PROGRESS!! the house has been moved!! We did it on a roll back and although it cost a little more money it went pretty smooth. The house sits on a slight incline and I leveled it using a pressure treated 2x8 on the high end and a large railroad tie on the low end. It is sitting flat and I added two small decks to the front and covered them with a large nylon tarp. I have been sleeping there for a couple of weeks and it is wonderful...falling asleep looking at the leaves change through the sliding glass door while listening to the creek down below.

Now it is time to get to work. I will add photo's as I progress with all the projects that are to come..

New roof
Rain water collection
Install ceiling
Outdoor shower/bathroom
Wood fired hot tub
Micro Hydro power plant and solar panels

I have a lot of work to do....