Energy Options > Solar Power

Solar around the home

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BigDanInTX:
One of the coolest posts I've ever seen (and most likely the setup I'll end up getting) was on ZS...

http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=32103

stevebluff:

--- Quote from: Roknrandy on September 25, 2008, 01:39:41 PM ---My total solar setup  ;D

It's small but works in an emergency





Its a gel deep cycle battery and a 400 watt inverter built into one unit. I use it for my BIPap when ever we get bad weather. Made it several years ago and never had a problem with it.

--- End quote ---

excellent set up!

Roknrandy:

--- Quote from: ColdHaven on September 26, 2008, 10:33:05 AM ---*Drools*. So the panel hooks right into the battery to charge it? Thats pretty cool. I have thought about buying solar panels like that but was not sure how to hook one up to a deep-cycle battery like that, and even if I did, what things could I run off of it? I will have to do some more research into it.

--- End quote ---

I meant to show you something I got a walmart many years ago that I use to run several devices off of 12vdc. When I'm not running several thing off it I plan to use it to hook several panels into it and charge the battery back up



Things you can run off 12v.....just about anything you want (within reason). I have 2 fans and an emergency radio that I run off it at the same time. Shop around you will find a ton of 12v items. Watch anything that has a heating element in it (coffee pot/heater and so on) it will suck a large battery dry in no time.

stevebluff:

--- Quote from: ColdHaven on September 26, 2008, 10:33:05 AM ---*Drools*. So the panel hooks right into the battery to charge it? Thats pretty cool. I have thought about buying solar panels like that but was not sure how to hook one up to a deep-cycle battery like that, and even if I did, what things could I run off of it? I will have to do some more research into it.

--- End quote ---

Hi, if you are using a solar panel you need to get a charge regulator (say $20) rated to match the max output of your panel(s). Go for a larger size as this will allow you to add panels later.  This device smooths the charge to your batteries and stops reverse charging when the panel voltage is lower that the batter (i.e. at night).  More expensive units can also take another feed from say a small wind generator and will give various reading, panel output voltage, charge current, battery voltage.  Cheaper/smaller units will typically have 2 LED's "charging" and "battery full".

There are several sources of lists of what power an item will take. To work out how many watts an item uses you need to apply the following formula I x V = W.

I = current (look at the power supply it should tell you or else you can measure the actual current draw, but you may need an additional multi meter if you do not own one).

V = Voltage, mains (ac) or DC, i.e. UK is 230v (From 1 January 2004 the mains supply should be 230V)


W = Watts, this is the rating you will see on your solar panels and voltage regulator.


You need to work out your power budget in watts. what are you trying to power, and then size your system accordingly. The other way round is bye what you can afford and that will dictate what you can run/charge at any given time.

if any of this is not clear just ask.

br

steve

DeltaEchoVictor:
Solar power is something that fascinates me, but as of yet, I haven't done much research on.  Mostly because it seems complicated to me, with having to figure out what's compatible with what it all tends to run together when I start reading about it.  I'd love to provide a portion of my own power & cut the bill costs. I'd also love to stick it to the power company.

Anybody have any down & dirty basic language sites that might help an electrically challenged fella out?

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