Solar panel sale

Prepper & Survivalism Forum

Help Support Doomsday Prepper Forums:

Brent S

Top Poster
Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
14,157
Reaction score
31,551
Location
South East US
I'm not crazy about harbor freight tools quality, but some things I've gotten have been fine, the prices have always been great though. Anyways, I got an ad from them, and there's a triple panel solar set up with a lot of accessories with it, 45 watt system. It said normally 259.00, with the add is 159.00. I just got a 350.00 power bill this month, I'm thinking it's time to start building on solar. Both my state and federal tax returns have been accepted, in a week or two I think I'm going to go see what these setups look like. I think three will charge a battery system enough to run my fridge, freezer and lights pretty easily. After I do some more research on these ill post the info. I would love to get a system large enough to run the whole place, but just making sure the food storage is good and lights would be a good start. I need to get my son on board as he's an electrician and can probably help,with the setup. All I'm sure of is I feel a lot better about putting money into something like this more than a retirement savings!
 

jimLE

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
7,719
Reaction score
7,659
Location
small town texas
that sounds interesting..we have a harbor fright close to where we live.so i'll be checking into it my self..
 

Myrrph

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2013
Messages
334
Reaction score
149
Location
Singapore
good stuff! Had a friend who calculated it'd take 3 years to break even but if you are able to sell back to the grid, it might even be earlier!
 

jimLE

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
7,719
Reaction score
7,659
Location
small town texas
my main concern right now..is getting just one.that way i can set it up to keep the fridge and freezer going during a outage if i can
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
139
Reaction score
64
Location
Coudersport, Pennsylvania
that sounds interesting..we have a harbor fright close to where we live.so i'll be checking into it my self..
Not to criticize, but you wouldn't go to a shade tree mechanic to have repairs done to a
three million dollar Lamborghini, nor would you buy solar panels from Harbor Freight to provide electricity for your home.. It would be illogical from the standpoint of reliability.
Most commercial solar panels produces about 48 volts when fully illuminated.
It is not possible to just link up a couple of pair of panels and produce enough electricity to run a refrigerator. You have to also have some sort of long term investment into a battery bank that can hold enough power to power the devices you wish to run. You have to have some type of regulation - a power regulator that only produces the amount of power necessary to charge the batteries but not over charge them. You also need an inverter to convert the DC power to a useable level of 60 hz / 120 vac.

Solar panels are at best about 30% efficient since they only produce full power when fully illuminated and they do not produce any power at night.
In the State of Pennsylvania, we only get about 60 clear, cloudless days, this is not enough time to produce enough electricity to offset the cost of the panels.

Since it costs 3 times as much to produce your own power as to buy it from the public utility, and since in a place like Pennsylvania you would also have to consume power to heat the panels to keep ice off of them in the winter at night, you would never realize a savings from this standpoint.

By the time the panels and batteries and electrician costs were equal, the panels would be beyond their life cycle and the batteries would need to be replaced at least every 10 years which would reduce your savings to null.
 

Brent S

Top Poster
Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
14,157
Reaction score
31,551
Location
South East US
Not to criticize, but you wouldn't go to a shade tree mechanic to have repairs done to a
three million dollar Lamborghini, nor would you buy solar panels from Harbor Freight to provide electricity for your home.. It would be illogical from the standpoint of reliability.
Most commercial solar panels produces about 48 volts when fully illuminated.
It is not possible to just link up a couple of pair of panels and produce enough electricity to run a refrigerator. You have to also have some sort of long term investment into a battery bank that can hold enough power to power the devices you wish to run. You have to have some type of regulation - a power regulator that only produces the amount of power necessary to charge the batteries but not over charge them. You also need an inverter to convert the DC power to a useable level of 60 hz / 120 vac.

Solar panels are at best about 30% efficient since they only produce full power when fully illuminated and they do not produce any power at night.
In the State of Pennsylvania, we only get about 60 clear, cloudless days, this is not enough time to produce enough electricity to offset the cost of the panels.

Since it costs 3 times as much to produce your own power as to buy it from the public utility, and since in a place like Pennsylvania you would also have to consume power to heat the panels to keep ice off of them in the winter at night, you would never realize a savings from this standpoint.

By the time the panels and batteries and electrician costs were equal, the panels would be beyond their life cycle and the batteries would need to be replaced at least every 10 years which would reduce your savings to null.
i agree, the cost to benefit ratio sucks. I have a friend that spent 25k on the solar and 8k on the battery storage. By the time he recoups his investment the system will allready be worn out. A fridge is a pretty good thing to have on solar, as you need alot of power to run the compressor, but then it rests between cycles, so a bank of 6 volt deep cell batts. is perfect, (golf cart batteries). the panels are just to recharge the batteries. The little research ive done is an average fridge needs 1000watts for the compressor to start up, but runs on less. the problem with 45watt panels for 159 ea. is a 3500.00 start up cost just on panels. And as you pointed out, they only produce at full power for a time on sunny days. So the batteries are a must. a charging regulator is also a must (125.00) to not over charge the batteries, and as stated then an inverter to switch d/c to a/c, another 150 to 200.00. so your right its expensive, but ive had power outages multiple times, and i think a system large enough to do your food storage and some lights is not out of reach. im at least lucky enough to be in an area that gets good sunshine most of the year. i have no illusions of living off the grid, im really looking for redundancy or a backup for my food storage. I also still have two generators, but one time i couldnt get gas as the stations had no power either for a few days.
 

jimLE

A True Doomsday Prepper
Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
7,719
Reaction score
7,659
Location
small town texas
both of yall have good points.and i just thought..i don't remember if it was here in DDP or some place else..but someone mentioned that their looking into solar powered electric
generators.im thinking that might be a good route to.but im also wondering.which be more reliable and more cost effective..
 

Myrrph

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2013
Messages
334
Reaction score
149
Location
Singapore
Brent, I think you are on the right track. more than one means of electrical generation is the way to go.

I saw some camping stove chargers which could charge a mobile phone using wood fire or something. I'll look for that and copy it here some time. If there is a larger version of that, you could literally have a camp fire and _still_ keep your batteries for your fridge charged.

Just chuck it into a fireplace!
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2014
Messages
200
Reaction score
83
Location
White House, TN
both of yall have good points.and i just thought..i don't remember if it was here in DDP or some place else..but someone mentioned that their looking into solar powered electric
generators.im thinking that might be a good route to.but im also wondering.which be more reliable and more cost effective..
I am right there with you jimLe! I have been looking into many solar power electric generators but there is so many out there. And the prices are all over the place. Not even sure how to figure what size I could get away with.

So, to all - as much information that anyone could give, I would be so grateful!
 

Brent S

Top Poster
Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
14,157
Reaction score
31,551
Location
South East US
I'm really impressed by the bio stove. I saw a show about the poor all over the world dying from cooking with open fires inside, especially women. This thing is great! I'd like to see more about how it actually works. I'm guessing it just draws in air to combust the fuel more efficiently, but I'll look into it more.
 

Brent S

Top Poster
Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
14,157
Reaction score
31,551
Location
South East US
Brent, I think you are on the right track. more than one means of electrical generation is the way to go.

I saw some camping stove chargers which could charge a mobile phone using wood fire or something. I'll look for that and copy it here some time. If there is a larger version of that, you could literally have a camp fire and _still_ keep your batteries for your fridge charged.

Just chuck it into a fireplace!
I'm not sure how the charger part works, but I think it's got great potential.
 

Silent Bob

God Like
Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Messages
1,629
Reaction score
1,268
Location
Texas
I'm not crazy about harbor freight tools quality, but some things I've gotten have been fine, the prices have always been great though. Anyways, I got an ad from them, and there's a triple panel solar set up with a lot of accessories with it, 45 watt system. It said normally 259.00, with the add is 159.00. I just got a 350.00 power bill this month, I'm thinking it's time to start building on solar. Both my state and federal tax returns have been accepted, in a week or two I think I'm going to go see what these setups look like. I think three will charge a battery system enough to run my fridge, freezer and lights pretty easily. After I do some more research on these ill post the info. I would love to get a system large enough to run the whole place, but just making sure the food storage is good and lights would be a good start. I need to get my son on board as he's an electrician and can probably help,with the setup. All I'm sure of is I feel a lot better about putting money into something like this more than a retirement savings!

BrentS,

Take a look at my post. I left pictures, it costs, but I got some back from the government, not much, but if your looking into helping reduce costs...this might be an alternative, but I would go battery first.

Silent Bob
 

Brent S

Top Poster
Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
14,157
Reaction score
31,551
Location
South East US
BrentS,

Take a look at my post. I left pictures, it costs, but I got some back from the government, not much, but if your looking into helping reduce costs...this might be an alternative, but I would go battery first.

Silent Bob
Hey Bob, I'd love to see your setup. I just didn't see any link or Picts.??? I'm siked about getting started with a system but the financial reality will probably be with my next years tax return. This year I had a huge list of preps and have done really well with spending wisely, but I'm not a big fan of debt, so I'll wait until I can afford it. One thing a friend told me about solar as well was he didn't expect how much all the copper cables/wires were to connect the batteries and system up with. As I said earlier, none of this is cheaper than buying juice from your electric company, but it is a great backup system. I have a 10k generator now that runs on gas, and have considered converting it to propane and getting a tank set. That would be cheaper than solar initially, and probably makes more sense. I like the idea of quiet electricity though. Wish I had a rich uncle or something, I'd love to do both!:)
 

Silent Bob

God Like
Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Messages
1,629
Reaction score
1,268
Location
Texas
Hey Brent,

It is in the Off topic section of the forum,

Title is: Renewable Energy: Choosing between solar and wind.

Their are about 5 pictures, just tap each picture and it will open up into your media launcher. Let me know if you have trouble, I can always send them to you via your email too.

First part is how I went about the entire project, it has its pro's and con's. Yes, for short-term turning your 10K gas generator to work on propane would be a great idea. Let me know what you find out. I've got a brand new 6K, new 10 K that are still in the box and a used 10K, wouldn't mind seeing a gas one, but never heard anyone who tired. I've seen the monster generators that work off natural gas, they sell them at the John Deere distributor just up the road in Burkburnett, but have never met anyone who has purchased it.

Your right on the copper, as I said in the post, I've got a couple of cameras on the whole setup and they are tied into both my cellphone, laptop at work and my wife's computer. Not to mention we have a trip plate on the grounds if someone should be stupid to enter without permission. My weed guy made that mistake and it opens the door to my lovely dog Cujo. Cujo likes meat, especially if it runs, lol. All joking aside, the copper does run down along the metal frame, until it reaches the house, from there on in, until the line hits the $15K transformer apparatus that feeds the battery and then back to the Electricity company, everything is in the house via electric conduit. Texas Electric had to install a different meter that registers the amount of solar energy produced. We typically get a quarterly statement of how much they bought back. However, we have a great handle on how much it saves us, from our prior electric bills and I can say that we have saved at least $4K annually because we run a pool all year long. I assume if we didn't run the pool, we are talking that are bill would be about $30-40 a month and that is with the AC running during the summer (we average 100 days of 100 degrees here).

As for wind, well a friend has a wind generator at his home in Lubbock, he actually works at the company that produces them. He told me that he is generating enough electricity that he is getting a good check back from selling it to a local energy provider. Got to remember Lubbock, Texas is the home of Texas Tech, the city is pretty progressive there...the campus is the downtown and the outlying corporations are turning to Wind turbines to reduce their overhead. The only restricted area is over by the airport, they have a maximum ceiling, but just 20 miles east of Lubbock in Crosbyton, they have some large ones...Google Earth the town, you can see the ones the school have by the track and the five or six large generators are just East of town, look for the circles with a line, you can see the shadow and if you get it down low enough can see them. They are monsters turbines and they have a larger set up that is nearby as you come west into Lubbock. The only other place I saw a bigger setup was right outside by Imperial Valley California and this was way back in the 90's. I am sure Cali has some bigger fields since they were one of the first to opt for the renewable energy idea.

Roger on the rich uncle. Like I said in the post we took advantage of Obama's crazy ideas. I figure I was tired of giving without getting. I get tired of watching my kids who I teach disrespect federal money because of the free lunch program, they throw out so much that any starving Somalia would give a years worth of rice to eat. So took advantage and built it, granted we paid a ton of money out of our pocket, but we will get our return...worse case, if the SHTF, we will have all the electricity we need at the BOL, because I am hauling the panels, generator and anything else I can strip before leaving.

Later
 

Latest posts

Top