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Anyone purchased a Solar charging kit recently?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by DoctaGlockta, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Looking for a decent system that can charge a 12v deep cycle battery or two just in case.

    Don't want to power the house on it but just for led lights, radio, tv, computer, charge AAA's AA's, etc.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  2. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Ancient Member Millennium Member

    Nov 7, 1999
    Free Republic of Tejas
    Try a setup designed for RV's... sturdy and reliable.

    You'll need one or more panels, a charge controller, and batteries (12V).

    I had a setup similar to this on my camper. It was rated at 75W and kept two deep-discharge RV batteries topped off nicely.

    No maintenance other than wiping the dirt off the panels periodically.

    For a start, look here....


  3. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    I'm tracking with Docta, I'm thinking I need the same. This is a home-based solution, and the Goal Zero is more for hoofing it, so the RV-solar route seems like a good one.

    Would it make sense to just keep the current DC? I notice most of these "kits" come with an inverter, but for the use that Docta specifies, why would there be a need for inversion? (Which is inefficient, anyway).

    I'm thinking you just get yourself 12v DC powered appliances, such as a battery charger (for flashlights and ham radio, and hopefully with a 5v 500mA output to charge portable devices via USB), light, fan, computer. There must be some sort of 12V DC TV out there, too...?

    That would give you the additional flexibility of being able to use all your appliances mobile from your vehicle.

    Not sure I'd have a whole lot of use for the computer in a power-down situation? It would no longer be a comm device as the cable / internet would not be assessable, so it would become something more like a simple reference source of material already collected, and calculator (as they were in the 1990s). Also, I think at radio could do what the TV does in terms of news bulletins, at a fraction of the weight and power drain.

    (Footnote: I have long toyed with the idea of adding a second battery to my vehicle. Maybe a deep cycle. Would give a lot more power for appliance usage when stationary.)
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  4. Carry16


    Sep 7, 2004
    SW Missouri
    Deep cycle batteries like for your trolling motor, are not deep cycle in the backup power world. IMHO the most cost effective deep cycle battery for this type application would be a couple golf cart batteries from Wal-mart. If this is just for emerg backup you could get by with a 15-30 watt solar panel and a small (quality) charge controller. Add a small 600w sine wave inverter and you're good to go for laptops, tv, shaver, battery chargers etc. No refer, but for small apps you should be able to put something together for $300-$500 including the batteries.