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prepmeister View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote prepmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 03 2006 at 6:32am
Spoon,
 
Any thoughts if a sharp 80 watt solar panel would work with the xantrex 1500?  It has nominal volatage at 12V and 4.67 peak Amps.  The reason I'm asking is these panels can be found for around $390.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 40acrediesel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 03 2006 at 10:44am
Spoon, the orange extension cord you are using is typically a 14 or 16 gauge model-  For good electrical safety, the splice at the shed should be inside some kind of junction box.  Also, I do not see any overcurrent protection located at the panel end.  Therefore you are running 75 to 100' without any overcurrent protection on the wire.   Your ground wire is 14 gauge, which is very small for running the distance from the shed to the electrode, going inside & then back outside.  One thing to remember, is that you must protect the system from potential lightning strikes since this is a roof mounted device.  Article 690 or the 2005 Electrical Code goes into detail of Photovoltaic Systems wiring
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomMI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2006 at 5:34am
Lightning "loves" aluminum especially if its on you're roof and ungrounded!!  Better put in a ground fault interrupter as well. Also, My advice is to put a class T fuse (sized appropriately) between the battery bank and the inverter. Also, you need at least one breaker on the positive side coming in from the panel to offer overcurrent protection AND as a means to "disconnect" the panels from the regulator.
A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks and suffers the consequences.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote prepmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2006 at 4:28am
Would I be better of with a solar battery recharge system (xantrex 1500 with sharp panel) or should I just buy a generator/xantrex combo (with lots of gas stored)?
 
Anyone with a thought?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomMI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2006 at 6:22am
Generator good but should run at minimimum 80% balanced load meaning equal usage on both legs of 220 circuit. Generators dont like unbalanced loads and are inefficient at less than 80% load. If you do this, also buy spare parts, and have oil for changes. Only one solar panel wont get you very far, believe me, and a 1500 (is that peak or running wattage?) watt inverter will consume 125 amps at 12 volts. If your panel is 80 watt or about 4.7 amps, it will take about 30 or more hours to recharge your battery. (providing consistently sunny days of 5 hours each)
A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks and suffers the consequences.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote prepmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 12 2006 at 10:56am
Does anyone have a recommendation on a solar powered battery charger for batteries such as AA's , AAA's, C's and D's?  Please tell me where you bought it as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2ifbyC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 12 2006 at 3:57pm
Originally posted by prepmeister prepmeister wrote:

Does anyone have a recommendation on a solar powered battery charger for batteries such as AA's , AAA's, C's and D's?  Please tell me where you bought it as well.
 
Survival does have an 'I'!

Dodging 'canes on Florida's central Gulf Coast
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mississipp Mama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 12 2006 at 9:05pm
Hi 2ifbyc,I bought my solar powered battery charger from Nitro-Pak  1-800-866-4876.  I think it was $23.95.  It should be arriving in 3-5 days.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2006 at 5:12am
http://solarcooking.org/

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/radabaugh30.html

http://journeytoforever.org/sc_link.html

These site should get you up to speed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote prepmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2006 at 7:36am
2ifbyC,
 
Does your battery charger work with nickel metal hydride (nimh) batteries?  I read the description and it looks like it was designed for nickel cadmium batteries, which are starting to be hard to find.  My local walmart only has nimh batteries now (they hold a longer charge and do not develop a memory)  Can you tell me if it does work with nimh batteries and how long would it take to charge them?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2ifbyC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 13 2006 at 8:12am
prepmeister,
 
That unit is for NiCads. It is not a rapid charger. So you can charge NiMH batts but they MAY not reach full charge. I have yet to receive the unit  to test the NiMHs for charge/run times.
 
Being in sunny Florida I can live with partially charged NiMH batts since many of my DC devices are very low powered. It would have been nice to standardize with one type of batt, but I had a good supply of both.
 
I also have an AC NiMH charger that will be plugged into one of my inverters if need be. I have three gel type 12 VDC batts that will last me a very long time for recharging NiCAD and NiMH AA/AAAs.


Edited by 2ifbyC - April 15 2006 at 6:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2ifbyC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2006 at 6:55am
Alriiighteee, great news! I just received the above solar charger ( http://www.realgoods.com/shop/shop2.cfm?dv=2&dp=210&ts=4170298&kw=charger)  and it's good for Ni-Cd AND Ni-MH batteries, AAA/AA/C/D. I purchased it for my Ni-Cds but now I'm 'good to go' for my 2300 Ni-MH also!

Edited by 2ifbyC - April 15 2006 at 6:56am
Survival does have an 'I'!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote prepmeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2006 at 12:11pm
Thanks for confiming this that it works for Ni-MH as well.  I'll now order mine! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tazman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2006 at 3:03pm
which type of battery has the memory? is it the Ni-cd or the Ni-MH?
Email me your favorite links:My Email
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2ifbyC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2006 at 5:01pm
Originally posted by tazman tazman wrote:

which type of battery has the memory? is it the Ni-cd or the Ni-MH?
 
Older NiCds were known for memory. Todays NiCds do not suffer the same malady. A deep discharge and a  proper recharge should take care of older batts.
 
NiMHs do not have memory. 
 
ETA The deeper the discharge the better for both types.


Edited by 2ifbyC - April 15 2006 at 5:02pm
Survival does have an 'I'!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Col Sanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2006 at 1:48pm
2ifbyC, have you had a chance to try out your recharger yet? I'm slowly researching rechargers. Don't know much about 'em. But I'm guessing the solar chargers take a long time to juice up a 2300 mAh battery.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2ifbyC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2006 at 2:14pm
Col Sanders,
 
I do not have any 2300s that need a recharge. So I just turned on a double 2300 AA three LED Hi-intensity flashlight to run the batts down. I'll let ya'll know the recharge time when I get 'em hot again. I'm sure it won't be a quickie charge. This will also give me a run time for this particular flashlight configuration.
 
This reminds me that I probably should start a thread on LED flashlights. There are soooo many configurations and modifications available. If ya'll want to get the jump on me, go to http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/index.php? . Watch out though, it can become addictive!
 
Thanks for the charger prompt and flashlight thread reminder! Clap


Edited by 2ifbyC - April 17 2006 at 2:16pm
Survival does have an 'I'!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2ifbyC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2006 at 9:56am
OK, for you flashlight freaks and future freaks here ya go: "These are not your Fatherís flashlights!" http://www.avianflutalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=6560 . Thumbs Up
Survival does have an 'I'!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GreenTeam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 28 2006 at 1:35pm
I am interested in having some kind of solar backup system, like a portable solar generator. I have found numerous web sites selling the equipment, but none of these sites tells me the basics of how these things work!
 
Can someone here tell me, or direct me to info about, how a small backup solar system like a portable generator would work? For example, what do you plug it into? Does it provide electricity to your whole house or do you plug an appliance into it? I just don't know the basics. Thank you!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VtDoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2006 at 11:50am
Here's a link to a publication that just had 2 articles about solar power in the last 2 issues, as well as stuff in older issues.
 
 
Go down to the "Energy" section. 
 
(They also have a lot of other good articles available for free.  You can browse through old issues by this link: http://www.backwoodshome.com/previssue.html.   Speaking as a recent new subscriber, I think this is a great publication.)
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GreenTeam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2006 at 6:28pm
Thank you for the info, VtDoc! I appreciate it.
 
I think our budget right now calls for trying a foldable solar battery charger that will work for laptops, cell phones, and batteries. I think we can survive without the fridge and stove for a while. But I'd hate to be cut off from the rest of the world with no web access, so the laptop is a top priority!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maryanne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2006 at 8:32pm
I bought a solar generator that is dual you can charge it from the wall and run it  continusly  while charging it from solar panels , 
 
I have three panels and one day will take it out of the box and figure it out. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GreenTeam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2006 at 8:34pm
maryanne, how much did it cost, if you don't mind me asking? The one solar generator I was looking at was around $800. How would you use yours? Will you be able to plug your fridge into it? What other appliances?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote candice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 01 2006 at 11:45pm
Does anyone use solar now, even just subliminting their usuage.   I was thinking of buy one to run lapstop and and lights.  
If you cant get in the front door try the side door then the back door.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fab4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2008 at 10:15am

Hi all - due to cost considerations and lack of techie know how I'm kind of piecemealing it... e.g., I have a small portable solar thingy that recharges my small electronics and computer, some solar lamps, a solar oven.  I'll probably make a solar water heater out of some black tubing (that doesn't involve any wiring LOL)

Anyway, I want to be able to have some air flow and vent a sick room.   But I'm limited on what kind of system to get (for cost reasons)  I did see this, what do you guys think?  http://www.greenhome.com/products/appliances/solar_power/fan000001
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,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2008 at 10:54am
Thanks for taking the time to post that, Lone Wolf  Thumbs%20Up 
"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2008 at 12:49pm
Very true.
"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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,
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,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2008 at 8:46am
Originally posted by Lone Wolf Lone Wolf wrote:

Kill A Watt P4400 - P3 International Electricity Usage Monitor (Free Ground Shipping) Kill-A-Watt, the Electricity Detector and Electricity Monitor.  It's on sale for $18.82 with free shipping.
Has the Kill-A-Watt monitor been useful. I did not order. Would like to know first if it is worth the additional cost. Thanks Annie.
I waited too long, the cost today off your link is:
Your Order
  Item Cost
1 Kill A Watt
P4400 - P3
International
Electricity
Usage Monitor
 $15.99
Subtotal: $15.99
Shipping: $10.08
Tax: $0.00
Total: $26.07
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,
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Thanks for the quick answer Lone Wolf, I just completed my order. I appreciated you pointing out the differences in wattage for different appliances and pointing out age makes a difference. I'll let you know what I learn. Thanks for your help. Annie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sean mcnulty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2008 at 4:16pm
Hi there,
I would be very interested in seeing your set up, I have 24 120watt panels and a 3klw inverter, this system came from a stand alone set up with generator back up, I would like to use this system on my house but with out the generator backup, could you tell me how many batteries I might need and whether it should be a 12 or 48 volt system for a typical house hold,( no heating or A/C), also can you tell me more about switching between solar and the grid, I would appreciate any information you can give me, thanks mate,
   Sean Mcnulty
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'

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Thanks for the reply,
              I hope everything went well with the operation and that the bills aren't too big,
I wish you a better year than last,
              Sean Mcnulty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SusanT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2009 at 2:49pm
Just wondering if anyone out there has seen or bought the book from "homemadeenergy.org". It sounds too good to be true: made your own solar panels for under $200? Any thoughts? I thinking about trying it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2009 at 5:43pm
   I did a quick internet search because that sounded like an awesome deal, but a lot of the references don't seem to be very impartial. I found one site where a contributor had bought the book and had this to say about the information given on how to make $200 solar panels;
 "As an example, the way you build a PV system for $200 is to locate damaged panels on e-bay and assemble them on a piece of plywood." Hmmm.
 You can read the whole thing here -
 
"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Solar energy is harvested from the rays of the sun and captured by sun collectors and modules designed to convert solar energy into heat and electricity. Solar thermal technologies offer heating and cooling systems, and photovoltaic technologies convert light to electricity. Both are considered to be of high potential to the renewable energy industry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edprof Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 11 2017 at 12:18pm
Hi from someone who did a whole house solar generator setup plus a portable 750 watt "portable" one plus a small 200 watt one.  Spoon got it right.  Let me just add a few experiences.

We bought a 6000 watt, 24 panel system in summer of 2015.  Half (12) of the panels are on a ground mount facing 160 degrees to catch some morning sunshine, half are on a southwestern facing roof.  Any large-scale solar installation is going to have some compromises and our compromise was to have a useful amount of electricity longer during the day instead of having a really large looking number of watts for only a few minutes during solar noon. 

Our installers had some software that helped them arrive at this southeastern/southwestern compromise.  In terms of kilowatts per day on the average, this arrangement will give us about 2 kw hours more electricity per day than a totally south-facing system.

We wanted long-term, quiet, replenishable electric power over a long haul if we ever had a total regional or national grid failure.  So we included a battery bank of eight 12-volt AGM batteries.  This not only gives storage for night times or shady days, it also means that we don't lose our electric backup when the grid goes down.  No batteries and the panels would have nowhere to send the electricity except back into the grid --- which could kill a lineman.

As an overall average high figure for output, we will see around 4500 watts between 11 am and 3 pm.  About 3000 from 10 to 11 and again from 3 to 4 in the afternoon.  Due to no southern facing panels, plus we are 35 degrees north of the equator, we will never see 6,000.  But you can do a lot with 3,000 watts.  It's surprising how much you can do around home with the 2,000 that we usually get from 9 to 10 in the morning and 4 to 5 in the afternoon. 

We extended our generating capacity some more. We bought a Generac 11,000 watt propane-powered generator and a 500 gallon tank.  This generator is set to come on with the batteries fall to 40 percent and will run automatically until the AGMs are back up to 80 percent.  We can manually run the Generac anytime we want to. 

As if that weren't enough, we bought a Troy-Bilt 7000 watt gasoline generator and had a plug-in installed on an outside wall so that we would have another layer of protection against power loss.  Face it, folks, electricity is the coin of the realm  these days, and it is not a good idea to be caught without it.  No, we do not have anyone living at home who has to have a C-pap machine or other life-sustaining equipment.  We had the money ($31,000) at the point of my retirement and had some interest in this as a hobby.   Some people buy sailboats and some of us buy back up power generators.

We didn't buy the solar part with the idea of making or saving lots of money.  But our electric bills have dropped by about 75%.  The Generac and Troy-Bilt, though, are not viable ways of saving money on the electric bill.  They exist to get us through a bind if solar isn't making the grade.

We sometimes get the "break-even question" from the sharp-pencil guys.,  We should break even on the solar part of the investment around 9 years.  Nine years! they scream! And then I ask when, if they just keep paying their light bills, they will own their own power company.  That's usually when the screaming stops.  You can pay the utility company forever and they well never want you to stop sending money.

What if the grid went away and never came back?  We would not have the amount of air conditioning to which we have become accustomed.  But we would have enough power to live on for the rest of our lives.  In careful degrees, we can share with our neighbors (not extension cords).

The 750 watt solar generator is not connected in any way to the 6000 watt house one.  The main unit is on a cart and there are three 255 watt panels, mounted like easils.  We have a bug out location about 40 miles away and this would give us at least some power to take there if we needed to.  750 still beats nothing by a very long shot.  3 panels, charge controller, 4 AGM batteries, 2000 watt inverter.  100 foot long cords from panels to central unit give us a lot of flexibility for placing the panels.

The third solar generator is nearly a toy by comparison.  Two one hundred watt panels, a charge controller, one AGM battery, a 750 watt inverter.  This is for a storm shelter which has a 2 meter hamd radio, CB radio, and some down-to-the-bitter-end emergency supplies. You notice, though, that all three systems have some common kinds of components.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edprof Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2018 at 8:01am
It's been three years since we bought and installed the setup mentioned above. Here are our reflections about it.

For most intents and purposes, we just don't have power failures at our house. The utiity company may fail, but we don't have power outages. It is rare for me to re-set a coffee maker, microwave, or clock radio.

We are happy with all of our equipment. But in 20-20 hindsight, knowing what we now know, we could have done without the 11 kW whole-home generator. The legitimate usage of it has been so slight that we could have covered it with a large but portable gasoline generator like a TroyBilt 7000 watt or a Generac 8000E. We could have saved $5,000 that way.

The battery backup has been more robust and more dependable than we had thought three years ago. The batteries, with or without support from the solar panels, are taking care of most outages.
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