Energy Options > Solar Power

the Pareto principle and solar power

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fratermus:

--- Quote from: David in MN on January 19, 2019, 12:52:01 PM --- The long and short is that people aren't using them where they would be effective but using them in foggy San Fran where they are not. In other words it's a way of signaling how virtuous one is.

--- End quote ---

Germany in perpetual gray conditions (I saw direct sun maybe 3x each year) and makes a big chunk of their power through solar.  I will suggest it has as much to do with wealthy areas (SF, Germany) having capital to expend on the solar infrastructure as anything else. 

To OP's point:


--- Quote ---1K      2      64            4       200 W         easy, cabin-sized system
--- End quote ---

Scrounging and research can help bring these estimates down radically.   The 570w system in my offgrid campervan (my home) cost:


--- Code: ---$360  3x 190w mono panels @ $120 off eBay, picked up locally off the pallet
$200  4215bn 40A mppt controller w/remote display
$220  2x 6V golf cart batt @ $110
< $50 wire, fuses, gland, etc

--- End code ---

The 200w example in OP's chart is $5/watt.  My actual 570w setup is $1.45/watt.  Not theoretical:  I live this way successfully and without any sense of hardship.  I have a 12v compressor fridge, the laptop I am typing on now, a Raspberry Pi, powered roof vent, phone/tablet, /etc.

I share this not to push back on OP's ;  I am suggesting that resourceful TSP folks will likely be able to get (much) more for (much) less if they are informed and patient.   BTW, I agree with OP about the usefulness of small systems.   

I've starting writing rvwiki articles on solar topics for vehicle dwellers.  Not all of it is complete, but might be useful for cabin and other prepper setups.  At least to get the juices flowing.   

Hurricane:
 :popcorn:

Alan Georges:

--- Quote from: fratermus on January 22, 2019, 10:26:46 AM ---The 200w example in OP's chart is $5/watt.  My actual 570w setup is $1.45/watt.  Not theoretical:  I live this way successfully and without any sense of hardship.  I have a 12v compressor fridge, the laptop I am typing on now, a Raspberry Pi, powered roof vent, phone/tablet, /etc.

--- End quote ---
Um, I didn't put in any prices.  Maybe you're mistaking that 1K in the 1st column?  That's  watt-hours per day, not dollars.  5 hours sunlight per day x 200 watts = 1KW per day.

Nice system you have there fratermus, and at a good price too.  How big is your battery bank?  What type batteries did you go with?

One more time, let me say that this thread isn't about pricing out a solar power system (or saving polar bears, or living like a eco-hermit).  It's about how even a very small and affordable system can be much better than no electricity at all in an extended outage.

fratermus:

--- Quote from: Alan Georges on January 22, 2019, 05:56:09 PM ---Um, I didn't put in any prices.  Maybe you're mistaking that 1K in the 1st column?  That's  watt-hours per day, not dollars.  5 hours sunlight per day x 200 watts = 1KW per day.

--- End quote ---

You're right;  I overlooked the column header.  If I can edit that post I'll strike through that portion to avoid confusing others.  [uggh, looks like there is a time limit for editing]


--- Quote from: Alan Georges ---Nice system you have there fratermus, and at a good price too.  How big is your battery bank?  What type batteries did you go with?

--- End quote ---

220Ah.  Duracell 6v (Deka relabels from batteries plus.).


--- Quote from: Alan Georges --- It's about how even a very small and affordable system can be much better than no electricity at all in an extended outage.

--- End quote ---

Totally agreed, brother. 

For the van-curious out there, I'll add that even small solar installs (100-200w) added to alternator charging are great for keeping the "house" (living area) battery bank healthy.

Alan Georges:

--- Quote from: fratermus on January 23, 2019, 12:17:44 PM ---220Ah.  Duracell 6v (Deka relabels from batteries plus.).

--- End quote ---
Veerrry nice, fratermus.  Throw in alternator charging discussed at the links you gave and that's a beautiful system.

It's a funny thing but on the whole I'm skipping generators.  (Well, apart from the option for an occasional boost-up from my truck's alternator.)  After watching the hassle people went through for gas after Katrina, it's use less power and run silent on solar for me. 

Opinions may vary however, and I'll always graciously accept a cold beer from a generator-equipped neighbor's refrigerator.  And then I'll recharge his cell phones the next week after his gas runs out.

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