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Old 03-08-2013, 08:59 PM   #1
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32V DC on farms.


I seem to recall reading somewhere that before the days of rural electrification 32 volts DC was used on farms from windmills to charge batteries, in turn powering lights and even refrigeration. However, internet searches haven't turned anything up except for antique 32 volt "farm radios."

I would like to be enlightened on the subject. Were these systems every very common? It would certainly be an interesting thing to recreate.

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Old 03-08-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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32V DC on farms.


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Originally Posted by Kyle_in_rure View Post
I seem to recall reading somewhere that before the days of rural electrification 32 volts DC was used on farms from windmills to charge batteries, in turn powering lights and even refrigeration. However, internet searches haven't turned anything up except for antique 32 volt "farm radios."

I would like to be enlightened on the subject. Were these systems every very common? It would certainly be an interesting thing to recreate.
Yes they were indeed quite common,
I remember buying a 1000w 30 to 40v dc genny
from a disposal store.
Would have been around about 1980.

These gennys were military surplus,
after the vietnam war there was a huge number
of surplus millitary gennys on the market.
all perfectily good quality units
mine was a techumseh engine.
You could also buy reels of cable
cheap as.

If you watch old tv shows like MASH
you can see the old dc wiring in the tents
powering the lights.

So many people put these gennys to work on
rural properties.
32v light bulbs were readily available at that time.
I wouldn't be surprised if there were still many out there,
they were good quality units.


Last edited by dmxtothemax; 03-08-2013 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
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32V DC on farms.


http://www.windcharger.org/Wind_Char...l_of_Fame.html
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:21 PM   #4
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32V DC on farms.


Thanks for the information & the link.

Maybe this stuff will be around long enough for me to get some of it...
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:28 PM   #5
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32V DC on farms.


Just use Google or Bing and use key word "32 volt wind generator" doven of site come up selling, there even on Ebay and Amazon.com.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:29 PM   #6
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32V DC on farms.


It seems like voltage drop would have been a problem....or does voltage drop "change" with DC?
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:44 PM   #7
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32V DC on farms.


Yes indeed voltage drop is a problem with dc systems,
So to is arcing a problem,
so you must use switchs designed for dc operation.
If you try to use standard ac switchs,
they will burn out real quick,
Due mainly to the arcing at switch off.

But my genny had a voltage adjust on it
so to some extent you could make up
for the loss by putting more in !
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:53 PM   #8
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32V DC on farms.


interesting stuff.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:01 AM   #9
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32V DC on farms.


Voltage drop is more of a concern with low voltage systems, not necessarily DC systems.

For a given set or system of wires (taking into account copper versus aluminum, wire gauge, etc.) the number of volts dropped is the same for a given number of amperes regardless of the system voltage.

It's a double whammy because for a given number of watts you need more amperes when the system voltage is lower.

The greater number of amperes also shortens the life of switches.

You do not want to raise the voltage at the source (more batteries in series, adjusting the generator, different transformer taps) to overcome voltage drop because loads partway down the line may receive overvoltage and at times of lesser current draw, there will be greater voltage at the far end.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-09-2013 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:23 AM   #10
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32V DC on farms.


http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87227
This is a antique engine forum these guys still have some 1900 generators and run them at shows they know all about them
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:29 PM   #11
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32V DC on farms.


Here is a link to the Wincharger.
http://www.windcharger.org/Wind_Charger/Welcome.html
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:21 PM   #12
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32V DC on farms.


I was once fixing to sell a bunch of 24V heat plates to a farm in the former GDR. They did things on shall we say a grand scale there back in the day.

I was a bit concerned as to their electrical supply and I was surprised that they had 24V available. I think they had started with some system and it had failed. At any rate, they were updating. This was in the early '90's.

So the guy took me to the end of this building and opened up these two massive doors and showed me their transformers. I think they had 1000 farrowing crates in that building.

Then he told me that they had eight buildings like that, all identical.

I think that is when I went back home and told my wife we didn't have to worry about anything for a while.

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