Have been reading your articles for years. Especially liked the one about reducing loads that just eat you to death.
I have been pointing out to people for years that their phone chargers use electricity whether the phone is connected or not. They are incredulous. So for years I have been shopping for a power bar, (multiple outlets), that has a separate switch for each outlet. Seems to me like the perfect set up for families with multiple phones, tooth brushes, etc that all need charging. It doesn’t exist, so I intend to make one, one of these days.
At any rate, I have a couple questions to ask.
1) Could styrofoam packing peanuts be scattered in an attic to make insulation? I hate working with fibreglass. Seems like we get them all the time, and out they go in the trash. And what about the wheat paste version?
2) Awhile back, a fellow came to our house to steam clean a couple carpets. His cleaner machine was 240 VAC powered. Instead of waiting for me to open the garage to plug into the Arc welder outlet, he had a simple solution. He had twin extension cords to plug in around the house until he found two that were on the separate sides of the sine wave, and went to work.
So I was wondering, if I took a couple automobile-type inverters and hooked them up to my truck, could I get 220/240 by hooking both neutrals together in an adaptor? Or do the waves have to be coordinated? I was just hoping I could use my arc welder anywhere I could drive.
1. You are not the first who wanted to insulate with these “peanuts”. The problem is these are not all the same materials and many are polystyrene, which is extremely flammable and will give off very toxic gasses when it burns. Others are made from bio-degradable materials which can break down when damp or with time. Since you are planning to do this over time, this means you will be collecting many different packing materials even if they are all peanuts. Due to the danger of getting the highly flammable materials, I would not recommend this. If you want to check this out, take a few samples outside and light with a match and you will see, but do not breathe the gasses given off so stay upwind!
2. The power from the grid into your house has each “phase” of the 240 VAC power in phase, regardless of which outlets you use, as long as one is wired to each phase. However, when you have 2 different inverters, there is no way for one to know what the other is doing, so taking the output from each separately will have the differences between the phases changing all over the place. Not only will you not hold 240 VAC, but you could actually damage your connected load because the resulting voltage will be changing over 60 times per second. However, many high end inverters now include a communications cable that allows each inverter to time its output with the correct timing and phasing in reference to the other inverter so you can get a true 240 VAC output.
I doubt if your lower cost automobile inverters will have this timing capability.