Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mr. and Ms. Wizard

The next step in installing our new wood stove thermoelectric generator by was setting up the water cooling system. Wayne has a background in physics (from college) and I was a school district technology director, but neither of us had the practical skills needed to easily complete the simple electrical "puzzle." Thanks to help and advice from John, and his father Ed, we had the confidence to give it a try. All the trial and error experiments made us feel a bit like Mr. (and Ms.) Wizard from our elementary school days.

First, we stopped at Canadian Tire to purchase some wire, connectors, a soldering gun (we haven't found a use for that yet) and a crimping tool. Wayne (lovingly nicknamed Wire Guy) did most of the thinking and wire work and I served as a sounding board and testing assistant. Because we live on a floating cabin, Ron from TEG suggested we draw our water directly from the cold lake that serves as the "foundation" for our home rather than using his standard recirculating cooling system. The colder the water, the more efficient the power generation.

We want to use all the generator's power to recharge our cabin's battery bank. So, we repurposed the 12-volt battery from my float garden watering system (don't need to water in winter) to run the water pump and plan to keep it charged with our 15-watt Eliminator solar panels. Since we have two, Wayne wired them in parallel for more charging power on the one battery. We don't know for if there'll be enough sunlight this time of year. We're still searching for a low amperage submersible pump that can raise water seven feet from the lake surface to the generator. Once that's solved, we'll be ready for actual operation. -- Margy


  1. Margy, I wish I could say I knew what your are trying to do but I don't so I will wish you luck! The weather has been pretty gruesome here so when you get these little windows of sunshine you take advantage of them.
    I can not tell how horrific that ferry ride must have been. The "Northern Misadventure" is the most unsuitable and uncomfortable ship on these waters. She is broad beamed and has a shallow draft so she bounces around even on calm seas. The route from Prince Rupert to Skidegate is a very narrow challenge because of the shallowness of the Hecate Strait. In big seas the ferry is in very real danger of hitting bottom in the toughs of some of the big waves and then to have to sit out in the Hecate because if you turn the ship around she could be sunk...that is terrifying. This kind of service by BC Ferries in the north is no service at all.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Wow, guys are amazing! It sounds very complicated and kudos to sound as if you actually understand what's going on, lol!

    I wish you all the best in your ongoing adventures with all the wires!

  3. That looks like a lot of wire work
    have fun putting all of that togeather. Tell Bob and Francine that Dot and I say hi if you happen to see them and John too.
    Hope you have a great day.