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  • Pottery Wheel on Solar?

    Hi everyone!

    I am planning on moving into my camper full time and I'm trying to setup a portable pottery wheel that runs on solar, and I am having a hard time figuring out which solar panels and batteries I need. The pottery wheel is 1/3hp and can draw up to 9 amps when running on full speed. It will be used for apx. 3-4 hrs per day on and off. I will also need to charge 2 laptops and one I phone, as well as our water pump. We won't be running lights or a fridge. Which batteries/ panels/ inverters would you recommend for someone on a budget?

    Thanks!
    -Kadin
    Last edited by Kadin; 04-02-2018, 07:53 PM.

  • #2
    Have you looked into a Kick Wheel ?
    9A @ 120V is 1080watts, so a rough guess is you need about 2,000 W of Well Aimed PV to run the wheel in solar daytime. Forget about running it before 9AM or after 3pm, or on a cloudy day. You will also need about a 2500W inverter or more, depending on how greedy the motor is when starting up. When running, and with the poor PF (power factor) motors have, that 1080watts turns into 1800w (it's a electricity thing - Power Factor) and the inverter needs to be able to supply that much power on a continuing basis. With a motor, you also need a Pure sine wave inverter, and that much power, will need a 48V battery bank to be safe

    1080watts @ 12V is 90A
    1080w @ 48V is 22A from the battery
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kadin View Post
      Hi everyone!

      I am planning on moving into my camper full time and I'm trying to setup a portable pottery wheel that runs on solar, and I am having a hard time figuring out which solar panels and batteries I need. The pottery wheel is 1/3hp and can draw up to 9 amps when running on full speed. It will be used for apx. 3-4 hrs per day on and off. I will also need to charge 2 laptops and one I phone, as well as our water pump. We won't be running lights or a fridge. Which batteries/ panels/ inverters would you recommend for someone on a budget?

      Thanks!
      -Kadin
      I was wondering just what kind of motor it has, AC or DC, brushes? How is speed varied? The best
      approach would be a a DC motor which could run directly off your 12V battery, probably some kind
      of DC-DC variable voltage speed control. Is there any feedback to maintain a precise speed? Start
      your engine to keep it up, some panels might reduce the need to do so. Bruce Roe
      Last edited by bcroe; 04-03-2018, 08:01 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks so far! The wheel is a variable speed wheel that has a pedal that changes how fast it goes. It will never be at full speed. I would say half speed is the fastest it ever goes. It runs on AC.

        Does 48V mean that I need 4 12V batteries to do it? Sorry, I am new to this. I have considered a kick wheel but they are incredible heavy and hard to transport.

        So to run the wheel I need 4 12V batteries, at least 2000 Watts, a pure sine inverter and panels? Does that sound right?

        Thanks again for your help!
        Last edited by Kadin; 04-03-2018, 10:22 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          My opinion, you would have a far more efficient setup by converting to an appropriate 12VDC motor,
          just capable of your highest speed. Then use a variable buck converter to supply lower voltage to the
          motor for variable speed. A pedal control for this could be set up.

          Using an inverter big enough for a speed you will never need, to run a less efficient AC motor, with
          a very inefficient resistance pedal control, will cost you perhaps 3 times as much equipment.
          Bruce Roe

          Comment


          • #6
            Off the shelf gear, works. Trying to convert a DC motor, make it splash resistant, and design a varispeed control, is going to be a real bear of a DIY job.
            Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
            || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
            || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

            solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
            gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
              Off the shelf gear, works. Trying to convert a DC motor, make it
              splash resistant, and design a varispeed control, is going to be a real bear of a DIY job.
              A new DIYer might find it a challenge. But DIYers have done more difficult things, lets let him
              decide, or at least be aware of the situation.

              Just as a suggestion, a beefy blower motor from a substantial air conditioned vehicle might be up
              to the job. Grab the blower switch and resistors, and you have a reasonably efficient setup; some
              air is going to need to flow over the resistors and through the motor to keep things cool. With
              success, efficiency and control might be upgraded with a DC to DC converter later.

              Another method I have used, is a pair of smaller motors wired in series for low speed. With a diode
              between them, you can short the other lead of each to a pole of full battery for full speed, without any arcing.

              I see no challenge to my assertion, that this would be far more efficient in energy used
              and weight of equipment. Bruce Roe

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kadin View Post
                The pottery wheel is [B]1/3hp and can draw up to 9 amps[/B] when running on full speed. It will be used for apx. 3-4 hrs per day on and off. I will also need to charge 2 laptops and one I phone, as well as our water pump. We won't be running lights or a fridge.
                Hi Kadin, something is not right. I know you said this is an AC motor right? Not trying to confuse you, but you have us confused.

                9 amps x 120 volts = 1080 watts. 1 HP @ 100 efficiency is roughly 750 watts. Realistically an induction AC motor is 80% efficient. making 1 HP = 750 watts / .8 = 940 watts. Something does not add up correctly because 1080 watts is just over 1 HP, not anywhere close to 1/3 HP. Understand?

                I think this is doable, but I would highly suggest you find a 12 volt DC motor solution. I cannot imagine a pottery wheel needs anywhere near that much power. 100 to 200 watts max. Makes a huge difference. 1000 watts x 3 hours = 3 Kwh. Just to run that requires a 1000 watt panel, a $600 controller, and a $2000 900 pound battery. A 100 wat panel requires 1/10 of that. Understand?

                One is doable, and the other is not. Fridge can and will be a problem. Cell phones and laptop are easy. A 1000 watt motor is out of the question making everything else impossible.
                MSEE, PE

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you again for your help you guys. Incredibly helpful! I will definitely look into what it would take to set up a 12v DC motor but I am new to this so i'm not sure I'll be able to figure it out myself...

                  Sunking, sorry to confuse. I think someone from the company told me it can draw up to 9amps but maybe they were wrong or I misunderstood or something. It is for sure 1/3hp and 120v (link: http://www.clay-king.com/pottery_whe...ery_wheel.html )

                  In that case is it more reasonable to come up with a solar setup that would allow it to run? The 1000 watt panel, $600 controller and giant battery is obviously not something I can do.... if it actually isn't 9 amps but is 1/3hp 120V ac do I have a reasonable solution?

                  We will be running our fridge off of propane... so just cell phones, laptop, water pump and pottery wheel.

                  Thanks!
                  Kadin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                    Off the shelf gear, works. Trying to convert a DC motor, make it splash resistant, and design a varispeed control, is going to be a real bear of a DIY job.
                    Not really. My pottery wheel is a converted kick wheel using a treadmill motor and cheap speed controller and bridge rectifier off Amazon.

                    WWW

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                    • #11
                      E-Bike motor and inexpensive speed controller should work.
                      MSEE, PE

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