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Cazza 

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I have a shed which is too far from the mains to connect it to mains power.
Is there a simple way to power the shed?
I can't afford a generator. I don't need much power - enough to heat water/ run radio/fan.
Any ideas appreciated.
Thanks
Cazza
 

Brosville 

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It sound incredibly easy, but to supply your listed "simple" needs actually takes gobbets of power - to go through all the alternatives could take several pages...........
My suggestions are to frequent boot sales, and buy a bottled gas ring/cooker (as used in caravans) and have a cylinder of propane (but do read up on safety precautions), or you can buy simple all-in-one gas cookers with inbuilt small gas cylinders (again, boot sale,£5)
Battery radio, fan? - open the door! (or employ a punkah wallah!):coolgleamA:
 

Cazza 

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Thanks Brosville. The water problem is easy to solve.
I can't open the door because it lets the bees in. My shed gets vvv hot in summer and is like a sauna. In fact a fridge for cold drinks would be quite cool too......:xmas-smiley-010:
Cazza
 
T

Tom Bick 

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How about

Solar Panel on the roof

Domestic Battery

12v Computer Fans

The 12v battery will even run a small plasma tv as you have now added a fridge and that by the way cool box you will just have to sneak back into the house every now and then to re cool it but life is not perfect.
 

Brosville 

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Fridges are a complete no-no*, unless you go for gas ones (ex-caravan job) - I'd suggest the old low-tech bowl with water in, cans stood in water, old towel chucked over the top - sun evaporates water, taking with it the latent heat of vapourisation, and cools the cans..........
You could use a pv system, but to do it properly, even just for the fan is going to be horrendously expensive - I'd go at it from the other end - insulate the roof (polystyrene sheets and aluminium foil is cheap), then put in an ex-caravan "roof light" with integral fly screen to take the hot air out - louvred vent in door with screen, job done..........
If you want to "go renewable" get a solar tube from Navitron (under £20), fill with water, stand in the sun, under 2 hours, boiling water!
There's a very simple bit of advice when it comes to pv panels/wind turbines/battery systems - only use them to produce power for things that can't be powered any other way, as they are SO expensive to do properly you're usually far better to go for bottled gas, woodstoves, rechargeable batteries in radios, lanterns etc........:coolgleamA:

*I've costed systems, and just to run a simple domestic fridge using renewable energy year-round would cost several thousand quid to do properly - 'fridges and freezers eat power!
 
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Adam 

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insulate the roof (polystyrene sheets and aluminium foil is cheap), then put in an ex-caravan "roof light" with integral fly screen to take the hot air out - louvred vent in door with screen, job done..........
:
Remember polystyrene sheets give off horrendous fumes if they catch fire. You could trawl a few builders skips and get some of the Kingspan type insulation sheets. Made of fire retardant material.

Insulation really works, I have a workshop that is so pleasantly cool in the summer (after insulating) I find it cooler than the house.

Adam
 

oliver90owner 

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A bit of blatant advertising doesn't go amiss, but Martin is right about the renewables options. He should know....after all...

'year-round' is perhaps the bit that qualifies his statement. For the summer, and for a few hours a week, it might be considerably less, dependant on what you actually have and actually really need. A cool box partly filled with frozen plastic bottles of water (direct from the home freezer) are good for keeping small items cold.

A single deep-cycle 12 volt battery and an inverter would run items for short periods (not the water heater!). How much water? One two or a few vacuum tubes as Martin suggests?

BTW, a new generator is probably cheaper than a good deep-cycle battery! Likely chinese origin and life counted in less (rather than more) than 1000 hours, but nevertheless, cheaper to buy (but not necessarily to operate).

Regards, RAB
 

Cazza 

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Some good ideas here but don't forget you are advising thickymcthick of thicky town with all the DIY skills of a slug.
It took me a while to work out PV must be photo-voltaic??? (I'm still not sure.)

I can see Ineed to insulate the shed and cool box will do for drinks.

I'll have to read up about "deep cycle 12v batteries" and "inverters" as I have no idea what these are.
Thanks again
Cazza
 

MuswellMetro 

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Some good ideas here but don't forget you are advising thickymcthick of thicky town with all the DIY skills of a slug.
It took me a while to work out PV must be photo-voltaic??? (I'm still not sure.)

I can see Ineed to insulate the shed and cool box will do for drinks.

I'll have to read up about "deep cycle 12v batteries" and "inverters" as I have no idea what these are.
Thanks again
Cazza
For a fridge at the allotment, i use a camping cool box that run off 12v, i have a solar panel trickle charge off ebay linked up to an old diesel car battery from scrap yard and 12 volt car sockets from scrap yard

cool the beer in my fridge transfer it in cool box then plug in to socket in shed , it even runs a 12v one pint camping kettle

charges up the battery over the week when i am not there, i have aslo got green plastic mesh at windows so i can open them ( stop people lookin in as well)
 
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Brosville 

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I decided that I should start a "National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Batteries" - the quickest way to kill even a good car battery is to attach a hefty inverter to it, OR run it "right down" - in some cases they'll go very flat, and never come back up again - as I said, don't do fridges on battery power - either use a simple evaporation cooler, or a cool box with cold packs in is far easier, I wouldn't run a 12v kettle off any less than something like 300 amp/hrs of batteries (not if you want the batteries to last) - Use gas!
 

MuswellMetro 

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I decided that I should start a "National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Batteries" - the quickest way to kill even a good car battery is to attach a hefty inverter to it, OR run it "right down" - in some cases they'll go very flat, and never come back up again - as I said, don't do fridges on battery power - either use a simple evaporation cooler, or a cool box with cold packs in is far easier, I wouldn't run a 12v kettle off any less than something like 300 amp/hrs of batteries (not if you want the batteries to last) - Use gas!
well as i said its a scrap battery 12v 625's 210amph/1000cca off a london transport bus, i have acess to 100s of them via work as it work for transport for london...i get charged £15 each ...with trickle charge thats less than a recharge of a gas bottle, and it ealsy takes a truck cab 12v kettle...they draw 15amps (180watt) and heat 750cc...two cups
 

Brosville 

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You could probably have a nice little sideline flogging 'em off! I was thinking from the perspective of the average bloke who's probably faffing about with one leisure battery that's cost him dear - unless you're VERY gently with them they die very fast!
 

hedgerow pete 

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i have most of those requested power units at my allotment

here is what i have set up

two caravan led light units one in each shed . each is connected to a large truck battery ( used not new )
I also have a spare led light ubit on the go if i need light elswhere

cant use solar panels as , 1 it will get nicked and 2 it to much to buy, i have never seen one for sale on flee bay that did not go for silly money so new is the only option

as for the fans, try this,
1, buy a solar fan complete unit £80 at a boat shop
2, 12 volt car fan unit and battery
3, use old computer fans or small toilet bathroom fans that are low voltage, they will be 12 volts but just check
you can have a look for 6 volt stuff but its hard to find cheaply

to reduce the heat build up you need to find out which way the wind blows normaly and stick a house hold vent on that side high up and another one low down on the windy side . you can cure most issues with the heat building up with cheap ventalation rather than fans

as for insulation, try a second hand supplier for the poly sheets normaly a few quid rather than 10 pounds
 

MuswellMetro 

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as for insulation, try a second hand supplier for the poly sheets normaly a few quid rather than 10 pounds
i was wondering if a secondary insulated roof and inch or two above the main roof ( like the safari roof on my 88" landrover) would be better than internal insulation . Any veiws, as my shed is in full sun as well
 
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Cazza 

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Thanks Simon,
It looks really good. As yet I have done nothing to my shed and am still in the thinking about it stage. This may last a long time........
Cazza
 
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