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How to Make a Solar Power Generator for Less Than $300

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posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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How to Make a Solar Power Generator for Less Than $300


www.rain.org

Using parts easily available from your local stores, you can make a small solar power generator for $250 to $300. Great for power failures and life outside the power grid. Power your computer, modem, vcr, tv, cameras, lights, or DC appliances anywhere you go. Use in cabins, boats, tents, archaeological digs, or while travelling throughout the third world. Have one in the office store room in case of power failures in your highrise. I keep mine in my bedroom where it powers my cd player, turntable, lights, modem, laptop, and (ahem) a back massager. I run a line out the window to an 8" x 24" panel on the roof.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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God I love stumbleupon.

A while back I posted a thread about a Chinese fellow who made a solar hot water heater for the shower out of beer bottles... then there is the electricity free refrigeration system using wet sand.

Not all solutions have to be high tech... and many are better than those that are... if only for their cost. And while solar panels are certainly high tech... making a panel for $300 is a hell of a lot better than the $25,000 start up cost for the average home.

www.rain.org
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 01:41 PM
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reply to post by grover
 
Thanks for posting this stuff; with an obvius depression/recession looming, living off the grid would be great way save wealth. Not to mention people would be willing to pay money to those who can help them live off of the grid. It's nice to know there is something cheaper than the expensive kits. I look forward to trying out some of these ideas.



[edit on 3-11-2008 by eradown]



posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 01:42 PM
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Here is an instructable for a small appliance solar power kit. It cost about $130 for the author.

www.instructables.com...

I imagine you you could also take a few old fans and make a nice wind generator out of them. It would be a minimal cost, as many of us have several old fans gathering dust.

I would rather use vertical tower blades and just make a funnel for the wind to hit them. It would seem more efficient and less damage-prone than traditional propeller blades.

edited for spelling

[edit on 3-11-2008 by Hiatus]



posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 01:43 PM
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Ice walls blow my mind; the "wet sand refrigeration" system you talked about.

I have one of the coolest books ever written. its called Natural Solar Archetecture by David Wright. I bought it at a flea market for 50 cents and it has saved me THOUSANDS over the years.

everyday new technology emerges that can vastly improve older technology.

keep up the good posts!



posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 01:55 PM
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When I first saw this article I first thought Mother Earth News and discount it... I am far more of a Whole Earth Catalog kinda guy but then I read it and it didn't have the same religious fever that Mother Earth News does and I like that.... hey I am connected to the internet via a WIFI antenna I made myself.

My philosophy is stick it to the man before he sticks it to you.



posted on Nov, 3 2008 @ 02:36 PM
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There are a couple of additional steps that could be included in the design to boost the efficiency of the PV cells whilst pre-heating the transfer-medium for a solar-thermal array

Outdoor performance of uncovered PV/thermal panels (pdf file)

As the above research-paper describes, an off-the-shelf roof-mounted PV unit will absorb heat on a sunny day, with the effect of reducing efficency at converting the sun's radiant energy to electricity drops.

With the addition of a heatsink on the rear of the PV panel that dissipates that heat energy into the solar-thermal circuit, effectively acting as a 'pre-heat', will allow the PV cell to perform at greater efficiency levels than stated in the manufacturers specifications





With the addition of either a Fresnel-lens array using cheap plastic lenses, or a parabolic reflector made from mirrored mylar sheeting, the solar-radiation per metre-squared can be concentrated by many times onto each cell, whilst the heat-transfer fluid flowing through the heatsink maintains a reduced overall operating temperature






[edit on 3-11-2008 by citizen smith]



posted on Nov, 5 2008 @ 09:06 AM
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reply to post by grover
 


thank you so much.


[edit on 5-11-2008 by checkmate]



posted on Nov, 5 2008 @ 09:25 AM
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Originally posted by grover



A while back I posted a thread about a Chinese fellow who made a solar hot water heater for the shower out of beer bottles... then there is the electricity free refrigeration system using wet sand.



Do you have the link for these two threads?
I was unable to find them using the search function.

Thanks.



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 03:28 PM
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Here is a link for the Chinese Solar Water Heater
www.weirdasianews.com...

It seems like a very stable idea. I would probably paint the back of the water bottles black, so it would absorb more heat.

It says that the water travels slowly through the bottles. I'm thinking that the water drips slowly from the top bottom down into subsequent bottles through holes in the bottom of each bottle.

I have plans for solar box cookers. This bottle idea would work well with a solar cooker. I will attempt to build one of the next few months.



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 12:44 AM
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reply to post by ThreeDeuce
 


www.ananova.com...

To best maximise solar gain, the top sun-ward half of the bottle should be painted black, whilst the underside half wrapped in reflective mylar sheet. If you look closely at the photo in your link you can just make out the mylar layer that the bottles sit on top of.

I'm wondering if the reflective coat were applied directly to the bottle surface rather than the bottle laid on top of the flat surface of the unit, it would perform better as it would enable the thermal density of the glass to be maximised, though it may only result in a degree or two increase in performance, but every little counts





[edit on 4-12-2008 by citizen smith]



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 12:49 AM
link   

Originally posted by grover

How to Make a Solar Power Generator for Less Than $300


www.rain.org

Using parts easily available from your local stores, you can make a small solar power generator for $250 to $300. Great for power failures and life outside the power grid. Power your computer, modem, vcr, tv, cameras, lights, or DC appliances anywhere you go. Use in cabins, boats, tents, archaeological digs, or while travelling throughout the third world. Have one in the office store room in case of power failures in your highrise. I keep mine in my bedroom where it powers my cd player, turntable, lights, modem, laptop, and (ahem) a back massager. I run a line out the window to an 8" x 24" panel on the roof.
(visit the link for the full news article)



Ok, so, this is really cool and all, but, what do you do when its cloudy? Or when its winter time. Or if you live in an area where theres not much sun throughout the year? Does it still work if its cloudy?



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by citizen smith
 


I agree Citizen, the mylar sheet on the bottle would maximize the heat gained.

Droolsalot... dude... all solar doesn't work as well when the sun isn't out.
But, thankfully.... there's alot of sun on this planet. And, that is why we should utilize it. As the answer to your question, no it will not work well when cloudy, or raining or snowing. Actually, as long as the sun is out, it should work fine. Hence the Solar name, stemming from the sun.



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by DroolsAlot
Ok, so, this is really cool and all, but, what do you do when its cloudy? Or when its winter time. Or if you live in an area where theres not much sun throughout the year? Does it still work if its cloudy?


I have one of these units on my camper.

The battery still charges when it is cloudy out, however, it is charged much less than when it is sunny out.



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 11:19 PM
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Well, there is a solution for when there is no sun.

Wind. Its amazing what a propeller and a 12v bicycle generator can do.

And if there is no wind, water flow. Use the power of flowing water to turn that generator shaft.

If there is no water flow, then there is always pedal power.

Turn that old excersise bike into a human powered generator.

There are always options.

And with a little inginuity, such as a home made step-up transformer, you can turn that 12v bicycle generator into a 120vac or higher generator, and throw in some diodes and you got you a nice high level DC power source as well as an easy 120vac source. Throw in a PWM circuit and you got a regulator system that will regulate that varying 12v or 120vac voltage to a stable working output.

And if you grow some lemons or grapefruit, you got a natural battery by simply using a copper and zinc rod (welder rod works) and tie several of them in series and you can power a fairly large LED light array.

So many ways to get around the grid, or a power outtage.


Cheers!!!!

[edit on 4-12-2008 by RFBurns]



posted on Dec, 5 2008 @ 09:24 AM
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I did some research about solar powere about three years ago and back then, getting the power wasn't bad, but storing it was expensive. Haas the price dropped on the storage of the solar electricity since then?



posted on Dec, 5 2008 @ 10:08 AM
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Originally posted by Jkd Up
Has the price dropped on the storage of the solar electricity since then?


Do some research on ebay or other similar sites for 'deep cycle' batteries...I recently aquired 3 12volt 100amp/hr batteries for £20 apeice, as opposed to over £150 each new.

Granted they were 2nd hand, but the guy who I bought them from knew his stuff and had treated them with care, and work perfectly well.

If you go this route, you need to ask a few questions of the seller:

:What system did they have? solar? wind?

The AGM (Advanced Glass Mat) or Gel electrolyte type can be easily damaged, especially by a wild-running wind genny in gusty weather, if care isnt taken not to overload the batteries with over the rated amperage input current

:What kind of charge controller did they use?

If they look at you non-plussed or don't know, there's a risk that the batteries may have been overloaded past the rated max. current capacity...again, wind-gennies are particularly prone to doing this and need a decent charge-control unit to dump the excess load during gusts

:When were the batteries last charged/totally discharged?

A D.C battery will need to be periodically totally discharged and then recharged to 100% to maintain full use capacity to avoid 'sulphating' the electrode plates

Finally, when you arrange to go view a potential buy, make sure you take a multimeter with you!

All you will need to make use of your power store is an inverter...1000watts should take care of most needs

edit to add:

here's a very useful board-site that deals with all aspects of homebrew renewable power....a veritable goldmine of information and damn nice folk too!

www.fieldlines.com

[edit on 5-12-2008 by citizen smith]



posted on Dec, 5 2008 @ 10:27 AM
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I'd have never thought of depp-cycle batteries... But that's why I love coming here... I learn something almost every post! Thank you! Deep-cycles will hold the charge for quite a bit as well.



posted on Dec, 5 2008 @ 10:36 AM
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Well if you are talking solar, you have to check this out.
FRESNEL LENS on ebay.
They are a little pricey, but watch the video's...
up to 2300 degrees F on the big focused one..
flash cook egg's in seconds..
now you are looking at a hot water heater..
aim the broad one at the bottles and instant hot water.
cgi.ebay.com... 248347&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50
I dont have one yet, but you can bet i will have a couple before to long.
Very Impressive..
check out their main site for other things they are working on.
I stumbled upon it a few months ago and was amazed at how much it
improved the solar productivity.



posted on Dec, 5 2008 @ 11:57 AM
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I have plans for a cooker box (not solar). They used to be knowns as 'haybale' boxes, but can be made out of many materials extremely inexpensive.
Not to mention an excellent way of cooking when SHTF, and can even cook while you're traveling.
If anybody is interested just u2u me and I'd be happy to send you the plans (PDF file)


EDITED for stupidity


[edit on 12/5/08 by SilentOne]



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