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more off-grid fun

more off-grid fun

more off-grid fun

(OP)
It was a dark and stormy night. My wife arrives home after a hard day gossiping and drinking tea (grins). She hits the shower, the pressure pump comes on, and the lights go out. Curses of surprising vulgarity escape from the shower room. I don my waterproof, and anti-leech boots (joke, Crocs), and wander up to the generator shed. Choke, ignition, pull, choke in. Genny starts, automatically starts charging the main batteries. Walk over (in the dark) to the load transfer switch which powers the house direct from the genny rather than the inverter and press the button. BZZZZZZZZZZZ (continuous, loud, and unhappy sounding). Most odd. Back to the genny, switch it off. Start all over but decide not to use the LTS, just run the house via the inverter.

So next morning when it stops raining I wander up there again, expecting to find some weird electrical problem that is unsolvable, given that the entire 240V LTS side of the system was cobbled together from acquired parts by a telecom engineer.

Instead I found a fried mouse trapped in the contacts of the big relay. Got rid of that, tried the usual procedure, no probs.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: more off-grid fun

It's always surprising what obscenity is deemed acceptable with a slight upset in the female world.

Always good to hear about an easy fault find and fix. Must admit this year we haven't had any rodents.

And my son got a rescue kitten last year. It's the most amazing fly catcher I have ever seen. And it eats them. We get there and release the beast and within an hour it's completely disposed of them all. Just have to clean the windows where it has licked them off.

RE: more off-grid fun

Hade the same problem at work many years ago, we bought a scrap press and during the installation some one saw a mouse in the electrical cabinet, we all agreed on, that it was a German imported one.
Several weeks after the press was up and running, all of a sudden one day it just went dead.
Nothing in the cabinet had tripped. ponder
But then we saw it, the mouse was on top the incoming 400V main contactor, problem solved.

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.“
Albert Einstein

RE: more off-grid fun

But why did it trip in the first place??

I had the remains of a rat once wrapped around the external belts on my jeep that took some removing. Think it had gone to sit on the warm exhaust manifold but its tail dropped down into the belt area.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: more off-grid fun

Had a dog that drank a cup of gasoline and started running round and round in the garage once.

A black swan to a turkey is a white swan to the butcher ... and to Boeing.

RE: more off-grid fun

1503... had that happen to a cat once... it went running around the room several times and then fell over. Died? no it just ran out of gas. lol

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Do you feel any better?

-Dik

RE: more off-grid fun

One of my sisters dogs eat all of the wheat flour dough ones when my sister was going to make cinnamon buns, he got really drunk. 😵

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.“
Albert Einstein

RE: more off-grid fun

Mine died.

A black swan to a turkey is a white swan to the butcher ... and to Boeing.

RE: more off-grid fun

sad

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.“
Albert Einstein

RE: more off-grid fun

One day back in 2016 a funny smell came out of my inverter... I found this inside:

RE: more off-grid fun

(OP)
Mine is 20+ years old. I've never dared to open it! one of the big problems round here are solitary wasps, which kill or paralyse spiders and then embalm them in mud with an egg. Any hole between 3mm and 12mm is fair game, and the mud is like concrete and the smell is disgusting.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: more off-grid fun

WindWright what is it, a mouse nest?

A coworker has a house that has been used more like a storages place, his father had some 20 kg sacks with sunflower seeds there "bird fodder".
When he was cleaning up there he realized the sacks where empty, no surprise the mice had eaten it all.
But it turned out, that wasn't exactly the case, they had also stored it in every hollow place they could find so he had sunflower seeds all over as soon as he moved or touched something for years after. bigsmile

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.“
Albert Einstein

RE: more off-grid fun

RedSnake,
correct, that is a mouse nest. They borrowed materials from a horse blanket and paper towels to make it. A small amount of grain and birdseed hidden in there, too, but they also tried snacking on the wire insulation! That was hard to fix.
After carefully cleaning it all out, the inverter still runs though I doubt I should trust it.

RE: more off-grid fun

There apparently is a form of insulation which various rodents absolutely adore.

Its a big thing which robot mower owners suffer from with the guide wires and boundary wires.

When I was sourcing 800 m for my wire I found a supplier that actively advertised their wire was none environmentally friendly and rodents hate the stuff.

Touch wood nothing has touched mine so far.

The Germans seem well up to speed on this wire that critters won't go near never mind eat for out door use.

RE: more off-grid fun

A colleague got his instrument panel on the snow mobil destroyed by mice during the summer autumn, they had been gnawing on all the plastic and cables they could find and the upholstery to the sitt cushion a quite expensive fix.

Well the Germans have this little bugger the stone marten (Beech marten) (Martes foina) they are super attracted to car electrics. ponder
I am guessing that is why they put a lot of effort in finding materials that doesn't invite for gnawing, the stone martin stands for most car fires and none working cars in Germany.
The one we have in Sweden the (Martes martes) do not have this disposition.
But now the stone martin has turned up here too, we try our best to get rid of it.

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.“
Albert Einstein

RE: more off-grid fun

The traditional method in Estonia is to use Hemp products.

I believe they also impregnate the wire insulation with the oil in Germany.

Technically the stuff is illegal in the UK.

They cook with hemp seeds in Estonia and I have to watch out for them because I would fail a drugs test if I ate it and they did the hair sample drugs test.

RE: more off-grid fun

At one point the Martins easting insulation were so bad in Germany that you had to buy an extra rider on you auto insurance to cover their damage. As I recall it was one auto brand more than others.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: more off-grid fun

Yep because they had used eco friendly environmentally nice wire insulation which was a huge marketing thing.

Then the cars started to go on fire because it was a magnet for every critter in the area to come and eat it.

So they went back to the petroleum based insulation and it went back to normal. But in the meantime they had lobbied to get the regulation changed so everyone had to use there patented eco-friendly wire.....

So now there is eco friendly wire with hemp oil in the insulation which they don't like the smell of but in some countries is classed as a class c drug product.

RE: more off-grid fun

Don't take what have said as fact but some German engineer in a robot mower group was giving a history of it. And as he was based in Stuttgart, my gut feel was he knew what he was talking about because basically it has a stink about of truth and you couldn't make it up.

RE: more off-grid fun

Ncap safety award's have a similar stink about them.

Next year there will be a frog detector invented and fitted to a make and all its cars will jump to 5 stars and every else's will go down one. And Dacia will be into minus numbers and everyone will be pissed off because it won't make the slightest difference to the sales figures.

RE: more off-grid fun

Durable electrical wire has historically been made with PVC insulation. For some reason outside of low smoke, Europe decided wiring needed to be polyethylene. The USA had been doing this successfully for decades in the marine industry, but they used cross-linked insulation. If you're ever on a commercial vessel look for "xlpolyo" on the cable jacket.

RE: more off-grid fun

PVC is a hard, stiff plastic as used in water pipes. When is is used for wire insulation, plasticizers are added to make it flexible. Phthalates are often used for this, but phthalates are being banned as possible endocrine inhibitors. The eco-friendly alternatives are made from vegetable oils, which have turned-out to be very tasty.

RE: more off-grid fun

Does hemp oil work?

RE: more off-grid fun

(OP)
...and now one of my 3 year old 200 Ah batteries has a shorted cell. I can't really complain, they are the cheapest AGM batteries around. They weigh 60 kg, moving them around is a pain. The other string is some old (very) 6v*200Ah batteries. These are the survivors from the original installation, 15 years ago.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: more off-grid fun

I feel your pain. I just got a BMS onto my one of my 24V 130kg LiFePO4 batteries only to find one cell at 175mV all the rest are within 20mV at 3.32V. Dang!

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: more off-grid fun

Composite, I have found polyethylene plastic to be a favorite of vermin. I believe the cross-linked polyethylene was a favorite of rodents regardless of it's source oil. Then again, the marine industry has been using XLPOLYO cable for nearly half a century in low-smoke applications. It ages very well so maybe the European automotive industry did use a vegetable based source oil that caused the problems.

RE: more off-grid fun

I think its a soy coating they use not just vegie oil.

Pretty much they all use it these days.

Noticed on this new Jogger I am buying the entire engine bay is sealed off and even has hatches on the pan to to get at the oil filter. And the wiring looms are all internal not running along the bottom like they did in my old merc.

RE: more off-grid fun

Armor coat the wires, great when you need to replace them.
That said, many high voltage cables have a lead (Pb) shield to protect from digging animals.
Then again, we use rat packs in the vaults.

This is part of the grid, if it matters.

RE: more off-grid fun

I seem to recall that back in the day we were warned while camping in northern Ontario, Canada's provincial parks to check underneath vehicle for brake fluid leaks before leaving campsite as raccoons / porcupines had a great fondness for brake lines due to their being impregnated with formaldehyde . . .

CR

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." [Proverbs 27:17, NIV]

RE: more off-grid fun

I assume that is the couplings, as I recall the major parts of break lines are some metal. So near the wheels I guess.

RE: more off-grid fun

Sort of, meaning not the metal portions attached to the vehicle body, but rather the flexible portions that interface between the metal lines and the brake cylinders.

CR

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." [Proverbs 27:17, NIV]

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