Pack Rat Work Shop 
   ‘Micro-Tide’  Hot Water 
Powered alternator system

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Solar Hot water powered battery  charger  “The Micro Tide” Generator

The system pumps water or hydraulic fluid back and forth between two tanks to operate a hydraulic motor or a small water turbine.  This turns the water pump for the solar side of the system and an axial  windturbine style altenator to charge a battery bank  This system uses electric sensors and solenoid valves to shift the water control valves that send the hot or cool water to the heat exchanger coils in the tanks. The temperature change of the propane gas causes the pressure differential in the tanks which causes the water or hydraulic fluid to move through the hydraulic motor.

 The second picture is setup slightly different. Instead of having a gearbox that changes the rotation from the hydraulic motor to a single direction it uses one way valves to do the same thing by redirecting the water or fluid flow instead of output rotation. It would be cheaper to build also since 4 one way valves are cheaper than 5 gears plus clutches.

The third system is setup to use a microcomputer called a “basic stamp” or one of the many equivalents on the market to fully control the entire system making it operate a little more efficiently. It also has an air compressor added to the capabilities. The alternator and the air compressor are turned on and off but the use of an electric clutch on each of the drive sprockets of a simple gearbox driven from the hydraulic motor.  This system can be used to drive almost any device that uses a rotary input motion as long as the torque and rpm speed requirements can be met.

The fourth system is a high power version designed to use propane tanks and 240 psi max versus the 150 psi max using water tanks. 
 This system can also have extra outputs as shown in the picture.
 The setup currently shown is capable of over 1000 watts at 12 vdc at maximum output. It is also capable of shifting from low (3-400 w) medium (6-800 w) or high (9-1200w) by itself depending on battery charge and system load requirements. System cycle time would alter between 8 ,16 and 24 minutes depending on power level.

The fifth system recycles some of the waste heat back into the solar panel water input for more efficiency and has an auxiliary heat pump system added to allow for better operation in cold weather. It shifts heat from the cold side to the outlet of the solar panel adding to the output temperature.   This system also uses only a 110 v electric water pump and so takes the extra load off the first motor. The pump needed by the solar section is very small and would only use a few watts of system power and is more capable as it can be turned on and off as needed. This gives the system the capability of self starting and on lt using the pump when needed when operating at low outside temperatures. This will allow the solar panel to heat the water longer between cycles for a higher input temperature.