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YANCHI
11-06-2011, 3:35 PM
One thing I don't hear mentioned too often on here is about solar power. I did alot of research of this company "Goal Zero" and no I am not affiliated in anyway with the company. I just feel they put out a good solid product! :hammer:

I purchased several of their solar panels, batteries and lights. They all work great and in any type of emergency I will have light, power, and a way to charge my car batteries, AA, AAA, and all my electronics. :grilling: All without making a sound, unlike a noisy generator! :12: I can continue charging these items for a long time, as long as the sun doesn't dissapear somehow :eek:.

Anyhow, if anybody wants to check them out here is the link. Or if you can suggest any other ideas or solar products feel free to comment. :oji:

http://www.goalzero.com/ :seeya:

Turk
11-06-2011, 6:37 PM
Try using the "SEARCH" button . Theres a cr@p load of threads on solar and wind...

Seeker
11-06-2011, 6:48 PM
Thank you for your input. :)

skyscraper
11-06-2011, 8:01 PM
Try using the "SEARCH" button . Theres a cr@p load of threads on solar and wind...

There is a crapload of threads on this particular company? Something about today, a lot of douchey posts.

Thanks for the info OP. Been looking for solar panels for camping lately.

11HE9
11-06-2011, 8:21 PM
I have a couple smaller panels I play with from time to time. If S truly HTF, I have kept mental notes of the locations of a few solar panel farms in my area ;)

QQQ
11-07-2011, 6:50 AM
I have a couple smaller panels I play with from time to time. If S truly HTF, I have kept mental notes of the locations of a few solar panel farms in my area ;)

Not that you would ever think about stealing or anything, right?
Because we all know that becoming a looter kind of defeats the whole purpose of preparedness.

gatesbox
11-07-2011, 6:53 AM
Not that you would ever think about stealing or anything, right?
Because we all know that becoming a looter kind of defeats the whole purpose of preparedness.

I don't know, I thought preparedness just meant moving into a house next to an LDS family...

11HE9
11-07-2011, 7:59 AM
Not that you would ever think about stealing or anything, right?
Because we all know that becoming a looter kind of defeats the whole purpose of preparedness.

In reality, I'll stick to the smaller panels for battery charging and maintanance. The last thing I want to do is draw attention to myself :TFH:

Ripon83
11-07-2011, 8:27 AM
I just started working for a solar retail company. DIY folks will enjoy better pricing, but if you aren't a DIY and want it all done right I feel good about the company I'm working for. They can put in a "peak" usage solar system on PG&E powered homes that qualify for nothing. All they do is replace peak PG&E power with lower priced solar power and the owner pays zip for the system and buys the electricity from the solar system for less. Its not going grid free, but in SHTF you'd have something on your roof to work with, and you wouldn't have put any money into it.

shooter777
11-07-2011, 9:04 AM
However, in typical Grid-Tie systems the inverters require AC power from the main panel or sub panel to even function. This translate simply to No Grid Power= No Inverter function. You would need an "island", a way to disconnect from the grid, a battery bank, charge controller. There are some very specialized inverters that can switch to a battery source when the grid goes down and then feed a battery bank.

Ripon83
11-07-2011, 9:25 AM
Once they have enough "systems" out there I'm thinking some entrepreneurial type will come a long and market the appropriate conversions that someone can place in a Faraday box and have ready to use in that horrible case it should be needed.....



However, in typical Grid-Tie systems the inverters require AC power from the main panel or sub panel to even function. This translate simply to No Grid Power= No Inverter function. You would need an "island", a way to disconnect from the grid, a battery bank, charge controller. There are some very specialized inverters that can switch to a battery source when the grid goes down and then feed a battery bank.

Dutch3
11-07-2011, 3:25 PM
I have a small PV system I have been experimenting with for the past several years. About 110W PV output charging a single marine battery and a 750W inverter.

It has proven itself several times during power outages for providing some light and charging laptops/cellphones. It will keep the DSL connection up as well (until the telco RT batteries die). The panels all came from eBay, but I would like to expand the array as the price has come down on new panels lately.

More batteries and a larger inverter would be nice as well.

http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k37/wilbilt/array1.jpg

http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k37/wilbilt/array2.jpg

http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k37/wilbilt/cc1.jpg

http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k37/wilbilt/cc2.jpg

GrizzlyGuy
11-07-2011, 3:40 PM
Once they have enough "systems" out there I'm thinking some entrepreneurial type will come a long and market the appropriate conversions that someone can place in a Faraday box and have ready to use in that horrible case it should be needed.....

They have them already, they are typically called "grid-interactive" inverters and can operate in a grid-tied configuration like your company is doing and they auto-switch to a battery bank (typically 48V) and keep your loads powered if the grid goes down. The solar cells charge the batteries in that mode. However, they are pricey, much more expensive than grid-tied-only inverters:

Xantrex XW-6048 Inverter, 6000W, Grid Tied, Battery Back-Up (http://www.magnet4sale.com/Xantrex-XW-6048-Inverter-6000W-Grid-Tied-Battery-Back-Up-120V-240V.html)

Outback Radian GS8048 8,000 Watts 48VDC (http://www.solar-electric.com/ourags8wain.html)

The Radians ($4,676 each) provide 8 kW but you can use up to 10 of them in parallel for 80 kW. For smaller systems (like a cabin or a house with only some loads connected) the Outback VFX line (http://www.solar-electric.com/vfx3648.html) can also be used.

Fern
11-07-2011, 3:54 PM
I've been thinking of something along those lines. But untill then I am going to wire up some deep cycle batteries to a battery tender in the garage and a small inverter with an extension cord.

JoeJinKY
11-07-2011, 4:01 PM
Amps x Volts = Watts

I am confused, when they make claims of (nnn) watts of power. Since a solar panel does NOT produce 120vac, exactly how do I calculate the actual real life wattage?

If a solar panel claims to put out 350 watts, that would be just under 30 AMPS at 12vdc, or about 7.5 amps at 48vdc. Then there is a loss when converting to AC.

So I wish the solar people would be more clear on their claims.

For instance, how much of a solar panel array would I need to run a 120vac device that uses 1500 watts of power?

Dutch3
11-07-2011, 5:30 PM
Amps x Volts = Watts


For instance, how much of a solar panel array would I need to run a 120vac device that uses 1500 watts of power?

So that's about 13 amps. How long do you want to run it?

There are losses everywhere. In the cabling between the array and the charge controller, in the controller itself, in the batteries and the inverter as well.

You can analyze the efficiency down to the nth of a watt and publish a paper on it, or you can hook up some components and develop a "real world" set of expectations. You could determine that an array of Xwatts charging a battery of Xah would run your loads for Xdays, but 3 weeks of heavy fog would force some "recalculations". It is what it is and nothing more.

therealsundance
11-07-2011, 5:54 PM
I bought one GoalZero's 7watt folding panels and it has been an excellent purchase. It can charge my cellphone (and the wife's), my iPod, my Kindle, and for the wife: her portable DVD player. You can simply plug in a USB cable that would normally act as a charger and set it out in some sunlight. Just realized that her new Coolpix uses one; add the digicam!

I got it at the Costco for $20 less than their website price last year.

I like that it has the nylon wrap with the loops for tying it to a backpack or something while on the move to keep it in the sun.

GrizzlyGuy
11-07-2011, 6:07 PM
For instance, how much of a solar panel array would I need to run a 120vac device that uses 1500 watts of power?

See here for how you would go about estimating what you would need: Basic Off-Grid Solar Design (http://www.solarpowerforum.net/forumVB/solar-energy/1793-basic-off-grid-solar-design.html).

Californio
11-08-2011, 3:18 PM
We run a 320 watt system at anchor with two 24/7 Norcold 12v mini refrigerators (very small freezer), 3.5 kw inverter, 110v coffee maker, 110v cell phone chargers, 110v TV and DVD player, 12v stereo with xm or iPod players with 6 speakers, 12v LED lights and one 110v CF light. 12v water and shower sump pumps, very little 110v microwave. We need a 2KW Honda Generator for 45minutes a day for 110v hot water.

So all of the above except for hot water works for a week without a problem on 4x80watt panels.