Skip to comments.Solar Panels - where to start?
Posted on 10/09/2008 7:25:38 PM PDT by Libertarian4Bush
hi. I'm looking to start experimenting with solar cells - just enough juice to perhaps power (potentially at a later time) a lamp, a laptop dock, 2xAA battery charger, or, at its most ambitious, a desktop PC.
where do I start?
any advice would be appreciated, including where to reliably get them at a decent price.
I have been reading about it because I am interesed in enough to power my well and a refrigerator and freezer.
Solar to electrical power conversion is the least effective transfer of energy, unless you need rhetoric to win an election ...
that’s great, but does little to quash my scientific interest, let alone my need to fiddle with stuff until I break it.
well - what have you learned? :)
[I have been reading about it because I am interesed in enough to power my well and a refrigerator and freezer.]
First, start with a checkbook filled with a couple thousand dollars.
P=I*E (power=amps*voltage) where P=watts.
And there are several others, especially if you are going to run AC devices via an inverter.
A technician class radio operator licence will give you enough information to be clueful about the math. And you gotta have the math.
Good luck with learning about PV. I am almost off the grid at this point. It's worth learning, and you meet some cool folks. Smart folks. Not liberals.
The efficiencies with solar will (I believe) prove to be heat energy rather than photovoltaic. For example, a mirror dish focusing heat onto a point that powers a Stirling engine or the like.
As it stands today it is impossible to get value for the money on photovoltaic. It will never pay off.
yay - we get it. I’m not asking for a tax break, or a carbon credit, or even a cookie from Al Gore.
I’m not asking for a referendum on solar power vs other forms. I’d simply like to keep something off the grid, and I don’t think PA will give me a permit for a fission reactor.
Have set money aside and have read quite a bit.
Dont want to change my well pump, but do want to be able to run it.
Here is the link to the video. Make sure you click on the "Watch in High Quality option".
Backwoods solar has a good catalog
That now there is a certification in solar intallations
That few electricans know anything about it
That I wish I had a man around the house who like to do this so I dont have to figure it out by my self lol
That it is complicated and expensive. I thougth I would jsut target a couple of items. I need water, and refrigeration. Everything else is optional
thank you! as for being off the grid, I'm not nearly THAT ambitious... but that's exactly what I'm looking for - nerd camraderie. ;) math is a strong suit of mine, and I'm comfortable with electronics, but my bigger questions revolve around STORING the power, using it later, and possibly even using it as a supplement to the electric company.
Why is the well so difficult?
340 feet drilled
pump at a little more than halfway.
Trace makes some of the better equipment. And it's safe, and pretty stupid proof.
If you use the square wave inverters, clean up the AC before it gets to your transmitter, or you will be out of FCC regs.
a)Most well pumps are 240VAC. Inverters for 240 volts are much more expensive.
b)Wells consume a LOT of power, but the duty cycle is variable. That means a lot of batteries and panels.
The first step to to make some measurements. How many minutes a day does your well run, average, peak, mean? How many HP is your well pump? W=770*HP (roughly). What is the power factor of your well pump? Answer those questions, and you can start to engineer your solar power system.
I see you are in the Northeast, I am also. The back of the house faces West and gets full sun. I have talked about solar for year’s but, husband, who studied solar energy back in the 70’s as a mechanical engineer, continues to think that solar is not going to pay for itself.
If you check with your State you may be able to receive tax benefits to out way the cost of adding a solar panel or two, however, it is expensive.
Heck, we have visited California, the Carolina’s, Florida and Las Vegas recently and I have seen very few houses with any solar support.
I am not sure. How do I obtain this information. It must have come with the house.
My interest is in emergency use. Able to get potable water to drink and use in emergencies, not for daily showers.
Mine runs at 10.2 amps and is set 400 feet deep. The 240 part is the issue not the power. My fridge is 120 and is rated at 12 amps.
Better off with a generator for emergencies.
How heavy are the panels?
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