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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic; Now tracking the Aussie Flu.

SOLAR ENERGY

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pola33193 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pola33193 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2006 at 4:49pm
Spoon, polas husband joe,  next  to my office there is a county school surplus, about 1 month ago i walked in and saw UPS for large computer servers most said no batteries and no charger, i think i only need the inverter batteries... you can get deep cycle any where and charge with solar panels
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Spoon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2006 at 5:13pm

Hi Joe,

I'm not sure what the benefit would be if there's no battery or charger.  If they have a complete UPS cheap, it might be worth picking up although the batteries are probably at the end of their life.  And I don't believe there's an easy way to charge a UPS from a solar panel. 

It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote duncan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2006 at 5:37pm
Most UPS units cannot be used as cheap alternatives to inverters because they cannot be powered on once thay are depleted without an AC supply.

Once thay go dead - they stay dead regardless of battery charge.

However - some modern UPS units have external DC inputs (usually 24v) and can be switched on so long as the battries are charged.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote elbows Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2006 at 7:04pm
Are solar panels a potential looting target due to their high visibility?

I wouldnt expect to get particularily good results trying to use solar & batteries for applications such as cooking, heating, refrigeration. Will be more useful for lighting (get low energy bulbs, fluorescent or LED lights), radio etc.

Still I am in the UK where we dont get an awful lot of sun, so that probably makes me a bit pescimistic about this stuff. Im looking at a mixed solution such as gas for cooking/heating, wind up torches & radios, and converting a bicycle to provide pedal power for powering laptop etc (though I predict the chances of having a functioning internet connection if the electricity situation gets bad to be a bit on the low side, and most governments have legislation they can use to switch off the net in the event of civil unrest)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2006 at 7:07pm

Thanks Cupcakemom.

I'm happy that I can contribute after all the help this community has given me.

This truly is a special place.

Jay

It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2006 at 7:14pm

Elbows,

I'm lucky that my shed faces south, and my house.  It really can only be seen if someone walks into my side yard.  Another option is to mount it high.

I only plan to power my wood stove fans, satellite radio (if it works), 2-meter transceiver, several rechargable lights, mobile phone and some high-efficient flourescent bulbs... and maybe a small emergency B/W TV from time to time.

It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote C104 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2006 at 8:39pm
Originally posted by Spoon Spoon wrote:

Welcome C104,

Thanks

Originally posted by Spoon Spoon wrote:

I agree.  The shorter the cable, the better.  As you can see, the design easily adapts by plugging the gray cords together up in the shed.

I did see that, great idea with the cords.


Originally posted by Spoon Spoon wrote:

The orange extension cord helps if you want to limit your outside exposure... if things go horribly wrong.



Without trying to hijack and go off in another direction completely...

If you can't go out in your own yard...you've got bigger problems than no power...

I will not obsess
I will not obsess
I will not obsess
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2006 at 6:22am

Originally posted by C104 C104 wrote:


If you can't go out in your own yard...you've got bigger problems than no power...

True... we will all have bigger problems then.



Edited by Spoon
It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote merrittjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2006 at 6:54am
Here's my two cents worth about solar energy.  Forget heating or cooking with it.  So much energy is used you would have to spend a fortune in panels.  An small airtight wood stove and a couple cords of wood will cover both heating and cooking at a fraction of the cost.  Lighting.... more reasonable, but a few kerosene lamps and a couple 5 gallon jugs of kerosene will me much more economical.  On my sailboat I had a solar panel array that provided enough power for a tiny (1 1/2 cubic foot) very well insulated 12v refrigerator, my ham and VHF radio and two 12v florescent lights.  I used four 6v golf cart batteries (2 in series) isolated from each other by a Perko switch.   I plan a different type of solar system.  I'm building a small solar oven using a frenel lens and a simple solar water heater ( an insulated, glass topped box big enough to hold a 5 gallon plastic jerry jug painted black) to heat water for bathing.  These are some simple cheap (except for the fresnel lens.. and there are much cheaper ways of building a solar oven!) weekend projects that anyone can handle.  Emphasis on cheap.  For those of us on a pretty tight budget I feel the money is better spant on food. JMHO, John.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote merrittjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2006 at 7:03am
Hey Spoon,  that was nice of you to post all those pics.  I too want to emphasize to you that your line loss will be MUCH MUCH less if you convert to higher voltage close to the panel (perhaps you could bolt the inverter to the underside of the roof or to a rafter) and then run your power to the house. John.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrylinux Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2006 at 7:24am
Spoon,

You mentioned Costcos as a source for some of the hardware; does anyone know if Sams carries any solar equipment?

LL

ps - this is something we have been talking about doing for a long time; thanks to spoon and all the others for all the great info!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2006 at 8:06am

John,

What's the best way to measure line loss, with and without orange extension cord?  Ohms?



Edited by Spoon
It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2006 at 9:16am

Regarding the instructions, above, for putting together a basic solar power setup.

It' back at Costco.com, 123W Charging Kit with Sharp Panel for $699.  If you're interested, I wouldn't wait long.  These kits seem to disappear quickly.

It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sweets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2006 at 2:10pm

Ok thanks all really great!

Now newbie here what can I power with a 8" by 24" panel?

I am trying to generate enough power for a fan for cooling and charging batteries for laptop gameboy cell phone

Also I will be in HK on 220 

I think I will need to figure this out then ship the items over there

This is my first time go easy lololol

I'm not a ribbering Jidiot!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2006 at 4:30pm

Hi Sweets,

Can you give me the specs on your solar panel (watts, amps)?

It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sweets Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 8:38am

Well I saw you can get one that size 16 volts  115 volt 140 watt inverter

He says"Power your computer, modem, vcr, tv, cameras, lights, or DC appliances anywhere you go. "

I'm not a ribbering Jidiot!
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Spoon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2006 at 7:07pm

Do you have a link I can check out?

I just want to make sure you have enough amps coming off the panel and enough amp hours stored in the battery.

It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2006 at 8:17pm

I was thinking of disguising the solar panels to look like skylights by putting them on my roof and putting in a box structure or hiding them on my shed and covering the roof with a black tarp so it looks like a cheap roof fix.

A bad renovation to me would be believable especially by me

It worries me that yours look too easy to steal.  arer they visible from other peoples yards



Edited by RBARNES55
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Spoon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2006 at 6:58am

Originally posted by RBARNES55 RBARNES55 wrote:

I was thinking of disguising the solar panels to look like skylights by putting them on my roof and putting in a box structure

Great idea!

Luckily my shed faces the house so you cannot see it unless you walk through my side yard, between shed and house. 

Not a safe place to be... uninvited Wink

It's not so much the apocalypse... but the credit card bills ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomMI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 28 2006 at 10:05am

I have a 1 kilowatt solar array on my house which generates around 60 amps of power on a cloudless day. Anyone with specific questions about how to do this and power much of your home, feel free to ask. I'ts not that difficult, once you understand the relationships between panels, batteries and inverters and the laws that govern battery charging and discharging.

 

 

 

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