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Comment on this guys solar layout

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by emt1581, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPUPhFVT1Zo"]Harbor Freight Solar Panel System (SHTF) - YouTube[/ame]

    Here is how the guy wired everything. Seems simple enough. I mean I know I could do it but I've done wiring before. Really not that hard.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3x6dxJupSY&feature=watch_response"]How To Wire Your Harbor Freight Solar Panels - YouTube[/ame]

    I was talking with my neighbor tonight who has one of these kits and he loves it. He uses it to light his shed and keep his bike charged throughout the winter.

    Harbor Freight has the kit on sale now for $149. All I'd need is an inverter and maybe a second deep cycle marine battery. Then a bunch of line, some conduit, and whatever switches/outlets I want.

    It wouldn't be hard to run lines and install outlets/switches.

    The main things I'm curious about is what kind of bulbs the guy is using (edit: he later commented...13watt) to be able to power 4-5 lights/outlets off of a 45 watt/2 battery setup, how many hours of power that setup allows for, and how many lights/outlets can be used at the same time??

    Thanks

    -Emt1581
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  2. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Anyone?

    For as much as these kits get bashed around here it's surprising for me to see what this guy has accomplished with one.

    -Emt1581
     

  3. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    EMT, I am as interested in getting my first solar panels as you are, but I haven't the knowledge to be helpful. Even read a book on solar panel installation and STILL feel unenlightened. I'm trying to figure it all out, too.

    I'll probably stay away from the HF unit and pay more elsewhere, due to a deep, deep prejudice against all things HF. That may be stupid, but it's my prejudice and I'm going with it. However if you read the feedback on the HF page, people seem to love the kit.

    If you go for it, please report. I would really like to know how it works out for you.

    My plan is to skip the inverter part of the equation completely. I plan to get some DC appliances (the sort you'd find in a motor home store) and just have a duplicate setup that I could take on the road if needed. I've no interest in running A/C from a solar setup at this point.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  4. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Liberty or Death

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    That would be an interesting way to do it. Would you still plan on running those big batteries so the panel would charge them up during the day then allow you to use the stored electricity at night or what? I remember seeing Les Stroud(the outdoor survival guy) going "off the grid" in a program on NGC where he had wind and solar hooked into a house he was building in Alaska. He ran the panels into batteries then used a converter to change it to A/C IIRC.
    Seems like your idea of panels to batteries to 12volt stuff would help to make the system much simpler since you'd not need the inverter in the loop.
     
  5. selogic

    selogic

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    12v appliances are definitely easier , as long as you recognize the limitations of a 12v system . Small appliances only , lighting , etc . Nothing big .
     
  6. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    Junk panels installed in just about the dumbest way possible for a roof mount. That install will cook the panels and cook the asphalt roof. So really all that person did is waste some money and cause a future leak in his roof. Would have been much further ahead buying a bunch of AAA's.

    And that's just the problems I can see from the still image. No desire to click the video.
     
  7. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Personally I don't mind spending the $150 to learn from it as a starter kit. But I also wouldn't mind doubling the price tag and having something that will actually work well and last me.

    -Emt1581
     
  8. Donn57

    Donn57 Just me

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    The problem with a solar/battery setup is that it takes forever to charge the batteries. You won't recharge the batteries during the day in order to be able to use them at night. And the more batteries you have, the longer it takes to charge them.
     
  9. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

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    Yes, exactly. My interest in a small DC only system means low voltage/low amp draw stuff anyway. Maybe 2 or max 3 deep cycle batteries running lights, battery chargers, and some fans. Maybe someday one of those "refrigerators" that are actually just efficient coolers, I forget what they're called right now.
     
  10. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    A lot of course depends on your location. In the Southwest you may have enough sunlight to actually recharge quite well. Here in Ohio, forget about it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  11. filthy infidel

    filthy infidel 100% Infidel

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    I have a small solar generator, fed by two fifteen watt panels from Northern Industrial, with their charge controller.
    The panels are mounted on aluminum frames on the sunny side of my garage, the charge controller feeds whatever big deep cycle battery Walmart had at the time.
    I bought a heavy Chicago Pneumatic or whatever 3500 watt inverter new in the box for $50 on Craigslist and wired it to the battery with cable from a rather nice set of jumper cables.
    For two years now it has powered my (admittedly small and weak) compressor, small saws, shopvac, 1hp water pump (when especially geeky I irrigate the lawn with the rainwater cistern pump powered by the solar gen), etc.
    It is small scale but does work, and I wrote off almost half the cost on my taxes.
     
  12. RED64CJ5

    RED64CJ5

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    You pretty much nailed it. I watched the video. Guy wasted a lot of money on junk.
     
  13. Donn57

    Donn57 Just me

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    The question is how long does it take to recharge?