Transmitting Power Over Distance

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Halfapint
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Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by Halfapint » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:35 am

AC is the best way to transmit power long distance. High volt, low amp, run through thick wires with huge insulators.

I’m not looking to do that. I’m looking at building a small wind farm (subject to feasibility study on my part) but the power would be transmitted aroud 700ft.

My question is, how best to transmit that power. I’ll probably end up building a battery bank to store the electricity near the windmills, then send it up the hill to the “sub stations”, where I can then convert it to AC to run the house.

Anyone have ideas? Thoughts? Expertise? I know we had at least one journeyman electrician and perhaps one or two linemen on here. Dunno if they are still active.

This project is LONG term 5-10 years but is one that would be good to start collecting materials for in advance as it probably won’t be cheap.
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by NT2C » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:50 am

Halfapint wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:35 am
AC is the best way to transmit power long distance. High volt, low amp, run through thick wires with huge insulators.

I’m not looking to do that. I’m looking at building a small wind farm (subject to feasibility study on my part) but the power would be transmitted aroud 700ft.

My question is, how best to transmit that power. I’ll probably end up building a battery bank to store the electricity near the windmills, then send it up the hill to the “sub stations”, where I can then convert it to AC to run the house.

Anyone have ideas? Thoughts? Expertise? I know we had at least one journeyman electrician and perhaps one or two linemen on here. Dunno if they are still active.

This project is LONG term 5-10 years but is one that would be good to start collecting materials for in advance as it probably won’t be cheap.
No, it won't be cheap, that's for sure. Just in cable alone you're looking at a small fortune. What kind of distance are you looking at from the windmill(s) to the substation (which is where it would be most logical to put the batteries) and what distance from there to the house? What voltage and amperage are you expecting from the windmills? Will you be going to a stepdown transformer by the house? The higher the voltage you can pass between the substation and the house (with a transformer at the house stepping that down to 240v for the service entrance), the smaller the cable you can use. Sure, you could convert from DC off the battery bank right to 240vac and feed that to the house, but if it's even close to that 700' distance you're looking at about $2,500 in direct burial aluminum underground feeder cable to get it to your service entrance connection point.

It will be interesting to watch this and see what the guys more qualified than I have to say about it. I'm looking forward to the learning experience. :D
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by CrossCut » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:48 am

That is a long wire run... this calculator might help. https://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html

I have built a couple small alt power systems, actually a couple micro-sized ones and a small (1.5kW solar/wind hybrid) system but nothing close to the distance you're planning. The micro-grid tech has come a long way since I built mine so this may be the outdated old-school method but something like this maybe:

48v wind generator __\
48v wind generator __\\
48v wind generator --> breaker panel/junction box --> MPPT controller --> 24v battery bank --> 24vdc to 120vac inverter -------------------------> breaker panel in home

The problem being the voltage drop on the longest leg, or the wire size/cost to avoid an unacceptable drop. The calculator above includes the option of adding multiple wires in parallel which might be helpful, since something like 4-wire 12 AWG romex with all the wires connected in parallel might be cheaper or easier to come by than a (comparable sized) single #6 / #7 sized wire.
NT2C wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:50 am
It will be interesting to watch this and see what the guys more qualified than I have to say about it. I'm looking forward to the learning experience. :D
Same here.

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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by Stercutus » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:50 am

You definitely want to run the highest voltage that you can. When I wired up my shop and barn I ran 240 off the main and was able to keep the cable down to a reasonable size. Still 150' of 4GA cable is not cheap.

The shop had a cable run to it previously through underground conduit but tweakers had stolen it when it was on the market. Having the underground conduit already installed saved me some dollars and headaches.

You will want to check out this website if you have not already.

https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by Halfapint » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:40 pm

I should say that this is a project that may never happen. The end of the property is a 200-250' drop. It's quite windy at the end so that's where this all came form. If I get these wind stations set up and the wind is just there for a couple hours a day it will not be worth it. My hope is that I can get 4 vertical axis wind turbines cranking out around 48v to charge the battery bank near the wind turbines. Step up the voltage to maybe 1500 or something volts to transmit up the 700' where the sub station will be that will drop it down to 240, and then run the last 30 or so feet to the house.

Voltage and everything is kind of dependent on what set up I'm able to build. Batteries are expensive, cabling is expensive, and the equipment to do all the stuff is expensive. I budgeted roughly 5k for JUST the equipment and a modest battery set up. The wind turbines are another story as I actually have built small ones for friends using electric motors they had laying around. I don't know if I want to DIY this part but I do have access to some very large motors that I could get for a nominal fee. However the bigger the motor, the more wind, and bigger blades I'll need to do it.

The issue I'm most concerned about is transmission up from the end of the property. Because that will really make or break the entire system. That's the area I'm really weak on and really need advice on what is best to do. I think converting it to AC and stepping it up to the 1500v and like 1amp (or whatever i can get out of the batteries) would allow me to use much smaller cabling. As CrossCut said, I might be able to spend 600 on romex cable instead of 2k on whatever else. Buy then I deal with the loss of converting DC to AC, then back to DC to be stored, then to AC to be used in the house.
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by NT2C » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:20 pm

Halfapint wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:40 pm
The issue I'm most concerned about is transmission up from the end of the property. Because that will really make or break the entire system. That's the area I'm really weak on and really need advice on what is best to do. I think converting it to AC and stepping it up to the 1500v and like 1amp (or whatever i can get out of the batteries) would allow me to use much smaller cabling. As CrossCut said, I might be able to spend 600 on romex cable instead of 2k on whatever else. Buy then I deal with the loss of converting DC to AC, then back to DC to be stored, then to AC to be used in the house.
Standard Romex wouldn't be suitable, or legal, for transmission at that voltage, it tops out at around 600v and isn't rated for direct burial. At the very least you'll need cable rated for direct burial and underground feed, but also capable of handling 1.5kv without insulation breaking down. You'll also start getting into RFI issues and induced currents in nearby conductors with that. And 1 amp isn't going to be enough amperage. To provide 200a service at the house (120vac) you'll need 2.5a @ 1.5kv, but that's assuming zero losses, so figure at least 4a, maybe a tad higher.
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by Halfapint » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:08 pm

NT2C wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:20 pm
Standard Romex wouldn't be suitable, or legal, for transmission at that voltage, it tops out at around 600v and isn't rated for direct burial. At the very least you'll need cable rated for direct burial and underground feed, but also capable of handling 1.5kv without insulation breaking down. You'll also start getting into RFI issues and induced currents in nearby conductors with that. And 1 amp isn't going to be enough amperage. To provide 200a service at the house (120vac) you'll need 2.5a @ 1.5kv, but that's assuming zero losses, so figure at least 4a, maybe a tad higher.
You are indeed correct. Basically what I've found out is I'm going to need to figure out what kind of power the windmills can produce. What kind of battery bank I will be able to build to determine volts/amps which will determine what kind of step up I'll be able to do.

As I was writing this. I thought of ways to shorten the distance which would come down to moving the windmills. The only way to move them and be effective would be to get them up above the tree level. Which means I'd need to make a spar tree and put a turbine on top of that. This has it's own issues but I think might be a hell of a lot easier, than trying to transmit power that far on a shoestring budget.
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by boskone » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:02 pm

Halfapint wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:08 pm
NT2C wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:20 pm
Standard Romex wouldn't be suitable, or legal, for transmission at that voltage, it tops out at around 600v and isn't rated for direct burial. At the very least you'll need cable rated for direct burial and underground feed, but also capable of handling 1.5kv without insulation breaking down. You'll also start getting into RFI issues and induced currents in nearby conductors with that. And 1 amp isn't going to be enough amperage. To provide 200a service at the house (120vac) you'll need 2.5a @ 1.5kv, but that's assuming zero losses, so figure at least 4a, maybe a tad higher.
You are indeed correct. Basically what I've found out is I'm going to need to figure out what kind of power the windmills can produce. What kind of battery bank I will be able to build to determine volts/amps which will determine what kind of step up I'll be able to do.

As I was writing this. I thought of ways to shorten the distance which would come down to moving the windmills. The only way to move them and be effective would be to get them up above the tree level. Which means I'd need to make a spar tree and put a turbine on top of that. This has it's own issues but I think might be a hell of a lot easier, than trying to transmit power that far on a shoestring budget.
Maybe think laterally, and accept some inefficiencies?

E.g. a small pumped-storage hydro (what the US DoE calls "microhydropwer systems") would be mechanically fairly simple (windmill running a pump to fill a reservoir, water line or pipe to the house, water turbine/generator/whatever to charge batteries and/or supply power).

Even if it's not practical in your situation, there may be other alternatives to direct power transmission where the loss of efficiency is outweighed by simpler or more robust implementation. If nothing else, what about building a couple or three battery carts and physically moving them? It's stupid, but if it'd work...<shrug>

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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by Halfapint » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:29 pm

boskone wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:02 pm
Maybe think laterally, and accept some inefficiencies?

E.g. a small pumped-storage hydro (what the US DoE calls "microhydropwer systems") would be mechanically fairly simple (windmill running a pump to fill a reservoir, water line or pipe to the house, water turbine/generator/whatever to charge batteries and/or supply power).

Even if it's not practical in your situation, there may be other alternatives to direct power transmission where the loss of efficiency is outweighed by simpler or more robust implementation. If nothing else, what about building a couple or three battery carts and physically moving them? It's stupid, but if it'd work...<shrug>
Not a bad idea. I was thinking of building a large pond, but I’m thinking this might be an idea to use gravity batteries. But those come with their own issues. And are usually used for when things like solar/wind aren’t producing. Use excess power to pump water or lift a heavy stone. When the system begins to drain, it flips a switch and releases the water or allows the rock to drop and starts to create power.
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by boskone » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:06 am

Halfapint wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:29 pm
Not a bad idea. I was thinking of building a large pond, but I’m thinking this might be an idea to use gravity batteries. But those come with their own issues. And are usually used for when things like solar/wind aren’t producing. Use excess power to pump water or lift a heavy stone. When the system begins to drain, it flips a switch and releases the water or allows the rock to drop and starts to create power.
That's basically what they're doing; our west coast facility uses flywheels to store power in basically the same way (storing mechanical energy to convert into electricity).

I guess I was assuming that you had batteries as your "proximate" energy source, and the windmills (or whatever other system comes into use) would be used to charge the batteries.

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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by NT2C » Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:04 am

Halfapint wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:08 pm
NT2C wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:20 pm
Standard Romex wouldn't be suitable, or legal, for transmission at that voltage, it tops out at around 600v and isn't rated for direct burial. At the very least you'll need cable rated for direct burial and underground feed, but also capable of handling 1.5kv without insulation breaking down. You'll also start getting into RFI issues and induced currents in nearby conductors with that. And 1 amp isn't going to be enough amperage. To provide 200a service at the house (120vac) you'll need 2.5a @ 1.5kv, but that's assuming zero losses, so figure at least 4a, maybe a tad higher.
You are indeed correct. Basically what I've found out is I'm going to need to figure out what kind of power the windmills can produce. What kind of battery bank I will be able to build to determine volts/amps which will determine what kind of step up I'll be able to do.

As I was writing this. I thought of ways to shorten the distance which would come down to moving the windmills. The only way to move them and be effective would be to get them up above the tree level. Which means I'd need to make a spar tree and put a turbine on top of that. This has it's own issues but I think might be a hell of a lot easier, than trying to transmit power that far on a shoestring budget.
Okay, how about this compromise? Don't step it up so high and accept the cost of the cable you'll need but use aluminum. Keep the voltage under 600 and you can use URD. URD is rated for direct burial secondary distribution and would get you to the house substation at a reasonable cost.

It's been far, far too many years since I've done anything like this so I'm relying on my google-fu to get me the answers. At least I remember enough to ask intelligent questions. Okay so to determine what gauge you'll need there's this handy dandy calculator that accounts for voltage drop and gives you copper and aluminum data.

Then you can come to this handy site to get an idea of what your cable is going to cost.

Figuring you'll want 200a service for the house 480v@50a should work. For that amperage at 700 feet distance you'll want #2 copper or 1/0 aluminum. BAM! $1.35ft You could even bump it to 2/0 for a little safety buffer and not break the bank at $1.55ft
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by Halfapint » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:31 am

NT2C wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:04 am
Okay, how about this compromise? Don't step it up so high and accept the cost of the cable you'll need but use aluminum. Keep the voltage under 600 and you can use URD. URD is rated for direct burial secondary distribution and would get you to the house substation at a reasonable cost.

It's been far, far too many years since I've done anything like this so I'm relying on my google-fu to get me the answers. At least I remember enough to ask intelligent questions. Okay so to determine what gauge you'll need there's this handy dandy calculator that accounts for voltage drop and gives you copper and aluminum data.

Then you can come to this handy site to get an idea of what your cable is going to cost.

Figuring you'll want 200a service for the house 480v@50a should work. For that amperage at 700 feet distance you'll want #2 copper or 1/0 aluminum. BAM! $1.35ft You could even bump it to 2/0 for a little safety buffer and not break the bank at $1.55ft
And this is the reason I continually come here. I posted this on FB and a couple other places and was told I’m crazy, that it’s a fucking stupid idea.... blah blah blah. Yet, you just came up with probably the best solution I can find and neither of us are truly experts.

I mean it would cost more money, but I wouldn’t even mine burying some conduit. If I were to do this I would clear a path, dig a trench, and bury it. The nominal cost of conduit would make things better long run as long as nothing started growing on it.

Though, to be honest I’m looking st some sort of elevated turbine set up. I could follow something like ham radio operators do for their towers, I would spend a lot less on multiple smaller stations to transmit power from. And focus on one large battery bank. Not to mention not having to clear 700’ or heavily forested land, dig a trench deep enough, and do every thing else poperly.
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by taipan821 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:06 pm

what about portable batteries? work charges the batteries via solar, then move the charged batteries to the machine requiring them.

could mount them in a small trailer with inverter and breakout for portable power around the place.

Just a crazy idea
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by Halfapint » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:12 pm

taipan821 wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:06 pm
what about portable batteries? work charges the batteries via solar, then move the charged batteries to the machine requiring them.

could mount them in a small trailer with inverter and breakout for portable power around the place.

Just a crazy idea
Not really a bad idea. Swapable power packs that can charged, moved, used, and brought down to charge. I like it!
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by ZombieKraft » Mon May 13, 2019 12:06 am

Trump just put out an executive order to investigate ways to protect our grid from the Russian & NORK emp threat. As the entire public power grid needs to be protected, I suspect they will be making their findings public standards and this will all be public information:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential ... ic-pulses/
(ii) Within 180 days of the completion of the activities directed by subsections (b)(iii) and (c)(i) of this section, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination with the heads of other agencies and in consultation with the private sector as appropriate, shall develop and implement a pilot test to evaluate available engineering approaches for mitigating the effects of EMPs on the most vulnerable critical infrastructure systems, networks, and assets, as identified in subsection (a)(ii) of this section.

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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by Halfapint » Mon May 13, 2019 2:36 am

Yeah, non of what you said has eff all to do with that I was talking about. The laws of electricity are pretty well defined. I wouldn’t trust anyone in this admin to investigate anything science related and tell the truth.

Trying not to get political
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Re: Transmitting Power Over Distance

Post by NT2C » Mon May 13, 2019 2:03 pm

ZombieKraft wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 12:06 am
Trump just put out an executive order to investigate ways to protect our grid from the Russian & NORK emp threat. As the entire public power grid needs to be protected, I suspect they will be making their findings public standards and this will all be public information:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential ... ic-pulses/
(ii) Within 180 days of the completion of the activities directed by subsections (b)(iii) and (c)(i) of this section, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination with the heads of other agencies and in consultation with the private sector as appropriate, shall develop and implement a pilot test to evaluate available engineering approaches for mitigating the effects of EMPs on the most vulnerable critical infrastructure systems, networks, and assets, as identified in subsection (a)(ii) of this section.
Halfapint wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 2:36 am
Yeah, non of what you said has eff all to do with that I was talking about. The laws of electricity are pretty well defined. I wouldn’t trust anyone in this admin to investigate anything science related and tell the truth.

Trying not to get political
And let's keep it non-political please. I hate putting on the hobnailed boots (they didn't have any in my size and they're tight) and stomping around locking threads and punishing members. :wink:
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