Going Solar:A Work in Progress

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posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 08:37 PM
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I have been shopping around,wanting to start small and work my way up.
You might say a learning experience.

I came across this ad in my Sunday's paper.
It was for a 45 watt solar panel kit.

After researching kits comparable,I decided this was worth the money.

It's $140 and would work well with charging a automotive battery.





Solar panel kits are a great way to generate plenty of clean, quiet energy, using solar energy from the sun to run TVs, lights, computers, even recharge 12 volt DC batteries. Setting up Chicago Electric solar panel kits is easy. The solar panel kit comes with three 15 watt solar panels - simply connect the solar panels to your own 12 volt DC storage battery, and then use at least a 300 watt power inverter (sold separately) to power your 120 volt AC appliances anywhere.
Three 15 watt solar panels produce clean, quiet energy Lightweight, weatherproof construction Amorphous silicon solar cells for maximum output in both bright and cloudy conditions Voltage regulator has easy-to-read LED display, 12V cigarette lighter socket, 5V USB, 3-6-9V DC outlets and two 12V sockets for the included Light Kit Includes mounting hardware, 12V Light Kit, battery terminal clamps and universal DC power adapter

www.harborfreight.com...

I will then buy a 2000 watt power inverter and 2 possibly 3 12 volt 90 amp deep cycle batteries.


www.walmart.com...

Now,to figure out what those things that you find most important for your survival,here is a estimate on usage.


Air conditioner Central 5,000
Room 1,000
Clock radio 10
Coffeemaker 1,050
Clothes washer 425
Clothes dryer (electric) 3,400
Dishwasher 1,800
Dehumidifier 785
Electric blanket 80
Fans Ceiling 120
Window 150
Furnace 750
Whole house 500
Freezer (stand-alone) 600
Hair dryer 1,600
Heating 1,125
central, gas furnace 400
central, oil furnace 1500
electric, portable 1125
Clothes iron 1,400
Light bulb Incandescent 100
Compact fluorescent 25
Microwave oven 925
Personal computer CPU & Monitor 125
Laptop 25
Stereo 250
Range (electric) 4,500
Refrigerator 725
Sump pump 600
Television (color) 20-inch (LCD) 65
26-inch (LCD) 110
36- to 42-inch (Plasma) 250
50- to 60-inch (Plasma) 340
Toaster 1,100
Toaster oven 1,225
VCR/DVD 25
Vacuum cleaner 1,225
Water heater (electric, 40-gallon) 5,000
Well pump (deep well) 700

www.consumerreports.org...
edit on 11-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 08:41 PM
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Originally posted by kdog1982


Light bulb Incandescent 100
Laptop 25



Woah woah woah. I might get one of these

Florida is always sunny. These could come in handy



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 08:46 PM
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Now,here is an example of what would drain your battery and how long it would take to charge it back up.


Exam ple of Load Calculations
Suppose you were to run a microwave oven for 10 minutes a day, which draw about 1000 Watts, despite their size. To keep it simple, think of the inverter as electrically transparent. In other words, the 1000 Watts required to run the oven come directly from the batteries as if it were a 12 VDC microwave. Taking 1000 Watts from a 12-Volt battery requires the battery to deliver approximately 84 Amps.
(1000 Watts ÷ 12 Volts = 84 Amps) A full-sized refrigerator draws about 2 Amps at 120 Volts AC. By multiplying 2 Amps x 120 Volts, you find out the refrigerator uses 240 Watts. The batteries will need to deliver 20 Amps to run the refrigerator (240 Watts/12 Volts = 20 Amps).
Typically, refrigerators operate about 1/3 of the time (1/3 "duty cycle"), or 8 hours a day. Therefore, the A.H. drain will be 160 A.H.
(8 hours x 20 Amps = 160 A.H.). After the load and running time is established, the battery bank size can be calculated. The first calculation is to divide the load (in Watts) by 10 for a 12-Volt system or by 20 for a 24-Volt system resulting in the number of Amps required from the battery bank.

www.batteryweb.com...



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 08:47 PM
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I would recommend looking into a company called Goal Zero, they sale a whole line of solar products and storage devices.

Link:www.goalzero.com...



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 08:50 PM
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Originally posted by mr10k

Originally posted by kdog1982


Light bulb Incandescent 100
Laptop 25



Woah woah woah. I might get one of these

Florida is always sunny. These could come in handy


And a electric blanket only using 80.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 08:55 PM
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My total cost would be......

45 watt solar panel....................................$140
2000 watt power inverter..........................$160
12v 90 aph battery......................................$80
Total initial cost..........................................$380

Now just add in extra batteries and possibly extra solar chargers.

Now,I already have a 350 watt inverter,and 3 car batteries,I'm just upgrading with a solar power charger.
edit on 11-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 08:56 PM
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That seems cheap enough, where are they that cheap, I may invest in a setup like that. A couple of deep cycle batteries are a couple hundred bucks and the inverters are about fifty for a reasonable one. one fourty for the unit and it is less than five hundred bucks with all the wires, which is reasonable.

A few 15 watt leds in the house in certain lights to use when the power goes out will save a lot.
edit on 11-11-2012 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 08:56 PM
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Originally posted by TheHistorian
I would recommend looking into a company called Goal Zero, they sale a whole line of solar products and storage devices.

Link:www.goalzero.com...


I have looked into alot of those companies,but the costs are more .



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 09:03 PM
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I have the day off tomorrow due to Veterans Day,"salutes to those that have given their all for us",so I will purchase this kit and give it a go.
edit on 11-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)
edit on 11-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by rickymouse
That seems cheap enough, where are they that cheap, I may invest in a setup like that. A couple of deep cycle batteries are a couple hundred bucks and the inverters are about fifty for a reasonable one. one fourty for the unit and it is less than five hundred bucks with all the wires, which is reasonable.

A few 15 watt leds in the house in certain lights to use when the power goes out will save a lot.
edit on 11-11-2012 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)


I have some friends that live aboard a 22ft sailboat,and they are pretty much independent from the grid.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 09:49 PM
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We have been off grid for about 18 years. Love it. Solar panels are the best, I can't say enough about them. We have a small cheap system for lights, movies and rechargables. I would say that having lights and being able to pump water would be the most important things to make sure you have. How would you shielf you stuff from EMP though?



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 10:26 PM
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Originally posted by bwcawaterbear
We have been off grid for about 18 years. Love it. Solar panels are the best, I can't say enough about them. We have a small cheap system for lights, movies and rechargables. I would say that having lights and being able to pump water would be the most important things to make sure you have. How would you shielf you stuff from EMP though?


Oh,man,I would love to know more details,if you care to share.
I'm just on the beginning stages and others,like myself could learn a few things.



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 10:32 PM
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reply to post by bwcawaterbear
 





How would you shield you stuff from EMP though?


Very good question and the thought has cross my mind.
A simple ,grounded metal cage or box would work.


A Faraday cage or Faraday shield is an enclosure formed by conducting material or by a mesh of such material. Such an enclosure blocks external static and non-static electric fields. Faraday cages are named after the English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836.[1] A Faraday cage's operation depends on the fact that an external static electrical field will cause the electric charges within the cage's conducting material to redistribute themselves so as to cancel the field's effects in the cage's interior. This phenomenon is used, for example, to protect electronic equipment from lightning strikes and electrostatic discharges. Faraday cages cannot block static and slowly varying magnetic fields, such as the Earth's magnetic field (a compass will still work inside). To a large degree, though, they shield the interior from external electromagnetic radiation if the conductor is thick enough and any holes are significantly smaller than the wavelength of the radiation. For example, certain computer forensic test procedures of electronic systems that require an environment free of electromagnetic interference can be carried out within a screen room. These rooms are spaces that are completely enclosed by one or more layers of a fine metal mesh or perforated sheet metal. The metal layers are grounded in order to dissipate any electric currents generated from external or internal electromagnetic fields, and thus they block a large amount of the electromagnetic interference. See also electromagnetic shielding. The reception or transmission of radio waves, a form of electromagnetic radiation, to or from an antenna within a Faraday cage are heavily attenuated or blocked by a Faraday cage.


en.wikipedia.org...

edit on 11-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 10:46 PM
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I like the setup but I think you could find cheaper if you bought seperate on eBay. That is if you shop around.

Personally I would wait on the 2000 Watt inverter and put that money towards another 15 Watt panel.

If you use your 2000 Watt inverter, you might get a little to greedy with power consumption
This in turn will take you a really long time to charge your battery.

I would stick with the 350 Watt inverter and go for more panel output first.

I have a out 40 Watts of power. My last purchase was a 10 Watt panel on eBay for like 20 or 40 dollars. I have a cheap charge controller I paid like 18.00 for. It is good for up to 60 Watts of input. I will have to upgrade but it works for now. I have a 400 Watt black and decker inverter I nought on eBay for 22.00. I have a 92 amp hour battery that I bought for my small Jon boat early in the summer.


My advice, just from my experience, OS to focus on power production before power consumption.

I run a 20 Watt energy efficient light, a small radio, and can charge our phone, CB, and a few other things.

You have to monitor how much power you are using because it is bad news if you tun you battery dead only charging it with 45 Watts. Remember you only get a limited amount of charging time per day. If at all if it is cloudy outside.

I so much want to expand on my setup, but it is going to have to wait a while.

By the way, is that the harbor freight deal? Because it really iS not that bad of a deal. If you spend the time you could probably go cheaper, but go for it.
edit on 11-11-2012 by liejunkie01 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 10:51 PM
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Originally posted by kdog1982
My total cost would be......

45 watt solar panel....................................$140
2000 watt power inverter..........................$160
12v 90 aph battery......................................$80
Total initial cost..........................................$380

Now just add in extra batteries and possibly extra solar chargers.

Now,I already have a 350 watt inverter,and 3 car batteries,I'm just upgrading with a solar power charger.
edit on 11-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)


The formula I learned when starting out as an electrician is Amps x Volts =watts.
I think, but am not entirely sure, a watt is 1 second power usage.

With this added information, do you see this still as a good investment?



posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 11:36 PM
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Originally posted by randomtangentsrme

Originally posted by kdog1982
My total cost would be......

45 watt solar panel....................................$140
2000 watt power inverter..........................$160
12v 90 aph battery......................................$80
Total initial cost..........................................$380

Now just add in extra batteries and possibly extra solar chargers.

Now,I already have a 350 watt inverter,and 3 car batteries,I'm just upgrading with a solar power charger.
edit on 11-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)


The formula I learned when starting out as an electrician is Amps x Volts =watts.
I think, but am not entirely sure, a watt is 1 second power usage.

With this added information, do you see this still as a good investment?



Yes,I do see it as a good investment.
.
If you and others have better solutions,I'm all ears.


How Do I Know I Have Enough Power To Use My 12v Power Inverter? Your 12v power inverter should come with an alarm that will let you know when the battery is getting low. That way, you can be certain you do not drain your battery completely. Nonetheless, it is helpful to have a general idea of how much power you can get from your inverter and how long it will last. All car batteries have what is referred to as a reserve capacity, which is how long the battery can last without the vehicle being turned on. Typically, this reserve capacity last for about 80 minutes. This means it is capable of supplying 25 amps of power at 12 volts for about one and a half hours. Therefore, if you are continuously draining 120 watts with your 12 volt inverter, you are actually using about 10 amps and your car battery will be able to run for about three hours. If you get a deep cycle battery, on the other hand, it can run the same equipment for about six or eight hours before the battery will need to be recharged. Of course, if the vehicle is running a the time, you don't have to worry about the battery going low because it will be continually charging as the power is being used.



www.theinverterstore.com...
edit on 11-11-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 03:16 AM
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reply to post by kdog1982
 


Just remember with frige pump and motor

The start-up current for those can be between 3 to 7 time the running amperage
So you can see that you can push your inverter realy quick and smoke it

Just a head up



posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 03:26 AM
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reply to post by liejunkie01
 


I agree with You ! 45 watts is not a whole lot and the power inverter also consumes energy ! I'm building a small cabin in the spring and I'm going with 2 x 100 watt panels and 4 deep cycle batteries . I'm only running about 6 -8 12 volt lights ( compact fluorescents) and a 12 volt water pump , small tv, radio, cell charger. I'm keeping everything 12 volts to save energy . There is an excellent site for newbies like me at otherpower.com .



posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 03:34 AM
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reply to post by rick004
 


That sounds like a pretty good setup.

A 100 Watt panel puts out about, what 5 or 6 amps. Times two and you gave about ten to twelve amps of 12 volt charging. Times that by ten hours( of daylight) and you have some pretty good daily charging going on.

I like how you kept the heavy appliances off of the list. You do not wan the batteries to go under 50% charge. It kills their life time expectancy.

My setup is super simple and I only use it when a storm knocks out the power. I cannot wait until I can expand on it in the future.



posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 03:36 AM
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another thing to look into with the hf/ thunderbolt magnum kits is getting rid of the light kits that come with them and getting something more efficient. Ebay is loaded with 3watt 12 volt LED spotlights. Assuming various losses etc that would still mean that for every hour of sun you could run 4 lamps for 3 hours, or 2 for 6 etc. That doesnt sound like much but you could also run a lamp, portable scanner, charge a mobile and listen to a small radio for 3 hours off 1 hour of sunlight. There is a decent forum just for the hf panel kits, its a ning site. Will link when not posting from my fone


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



solarpanelkitatharborfreight.ning.com...

www.ebay.com...

edit on 11/12/12 by ElOsoDurmiendo because: (no reason given)





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