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Sir Cody

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I have looked up and down the chat threads and seen a decent amount of chatter about different ways of getting power through hand cranks, bicycles generators, fuel generators, etc. the one problem with these is they either all have moving parts which will break sooner or later, are inefficient or use fuel (enough said). I have also seen threads about at home solar kits charging RV batteries, again not efficient unless you want to run a fan only. It has crossed many if not all of your minds to go solar the professional way. Some already have and are very happy with there decision, many others don't want to think about the cost. I don't blame you, but now is the time to take advantage of federal and state incentives which greatly reduce the end cost of the system. The systems can include battery backup systems or can be run completely off battery. With this, whichever system you choose, you could power your entire home or shelter when disaster strikes and you wouldn't have to give up the use of your everyday items. You could still use electric ovens, electric heat, air conditioning, lights, fans. And solar is zero maintenance and can last for over 50 years. Its a no-brainer.
 

old_anorak

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I'll be honest, I don't understand enough about solar. That being said if we lost power tomorrow there are a few things I'd miss, but I'd keep on doing what I'm doing now. That's just how I've set things up for us. I don't use a generator either, I can't stand the noise they make. We are planning to put up a windmill for our well, might see if it could be used to power things as well.
 

Bfree

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Hey old anorak, ive been looking at windmills as well to power my water well. DO you have any recommendations on 1 powerful enuff to work a campsite/water well?
 

Kenny Lee

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In the future I will try to be semi-off the grid with solar running only on the bare necessities. I figure if the world goes to hell my TV and internet will go kaput, but still sure would like to have a hot shower, you know what I mean?
 

old_anorak

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It's going to depend on how deep the well is and how surrounded the area is by trees and other tall things that could impede the airflow. What we did was contact these people: http://www.obrockwindmills.com/www.obrockwindmills.com/Home.html . I'm not good with math and all that when it comes to things like that. What I should have done was to go down to the Amish/Mennonite store and ask if anyone could help me figure it out.
 

jayjay

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You sound like a solar panel salesman!! :)

A good point you do bring up though, is that people need to look into alternative means of power etc. I have researched solar, amongst other means, and each one has its advantages, and also dis advantages. I think each person will have a different thing that will work for them.
Plus, why get a govt rebate, that just tips them off that if the shtf, you have a power source, so you have food, etc, and they will come in and take it. Better to get your power source and keep quiet about it.
Just my humble two bobs worth.
 

bill harrell

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Try cumberland gap
They used to send me catalogues but I haven't gotten one in a while. They may not still be in business.
 

WilliamAshley

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In response to the home solar stuff I have two 125 watt or so solar laminants from unisolar, a I think Michigan based company that I believe went bankrupt and was partially bought out, they also had a plant in Ontario, which I live more or less in the North of that province. None the less, I have to say my 250 watts lets me run pretty much everything I need. I have about 500 amp hours of electricity available ideally, but actually it may be more or less. they roll out in about 20 seconds and you can roll them back up and store them, you probably want to keep this limited. I can build a 30-40 degree platform out of scrap wood and have for the last few years. Overall the cost has been less than a traditional electric hookup. They would probably also be enough to heat a small space, via incandecent bulbs or otherwise. While I do not rely on my solar it makes life more enjoyable such as charging or running my laptop, music or communications equipment, providing light when I need it, as well they can be used to heat water through an element or even welding in an emergency or security systems, running power tools etc...

I'm not sure what you want to run, but I've found these things are very useful if you actually have a full home solar setup, it is an investment of around $1000 these solar cells also sell for a very low price for what they are. I've found them to be quite forgiving to moderate use. (of course it can cost more depending on how many batteries and cells you buy.)

Looks like they might have even gone up in price in three years...

https://www.google.ca/#sclient=psy-ab&q=unisolar laminant sale&oq=unisolar laminant sale&gs_l=serp.3...4503.6187.0.6329.13.13.0.0.0.0.446.2612.0j8j2j1j1.12.0...0.0...1c.1.14.psy-ab.pfQqE3KIt3Q&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=6b1d1a0dcd3e41c9&biw=1366&bih=600

bear in mind I live without any services, (no municipal water, off grid electricity, no gas, etc..) ... and these things do it all for me, I have a back up wind turbine but it sorta freaks me out since we have a few strong wind storms each year, and I usually max out my batteries sometime after 1 or 2pm. anyway.

The batteries are the inputs. If you even only replace your batteries and add one laminant per year it adds up overtime.


If you don't buy this I will in a week if I have the pocket change most likely WOW great price..

http://www.amazon.com/UniSolar-ePVL-144-Laminate-Amorphous-Solar/dp/B00CGAEJCW

any questions just ask I can help you get everything you need but expect to drop about $1500


Just a quick rundown this is what you need more or less if you don't have an RV..

1. solar PV cells (I prefer laminants over glass because I live rough and I don't like the idea of things cracking, although I notice the laminants may be creasing a bit after rolling them up for the last three years and storing them at times.

2. solar combiner / collector, if you have more than one solar panel, you can get about 4 on one low cost $50 box, you will also need breakers which you can get for about $10 one for each one, you can combine your cells before the box but I don't recommend it unless you have more than 4 cells.

3. Charge controller, get one for solar.. this may cost about $150 it takes the cables that go out of the solar combiner and it regulates the flow of amperage for best use, it also protects your batteries from overcharging, and it can be used for other safety reasons.

4. batteries... I have got pretty good use out of marine batteries as I'd like to eventually get a boat and that is why I am trying to use all stuff that can also be used on a boat. you don't need to use marine batteries, I use AGM marine deep cycle which have been good for 3 years or with relatively limited use over the entire year, generally they are used heavily in the summer and not used any other time but that is 3-4 months perhaps per year.

5. inverter, this is what takes your batteires at 12 or 24 v (I use 12v because lots of dc electronics run on 12volts, as well as car battery attachments) although I might consider getting 24 volt in the future because all you need is a step down transformer from 24v to 12v if you need it... none the less you need an inverter to run regular household appliances that run at half cycle on 60hz at about 120v.. this might cost you a $100-200 depending on how much power you want it to handleI suggest atleast 3000 watts if not 6000 watts as it should cover you for most things.. oh and another option is a 120v to 240v step up transformer.. which will allow you to run 240v appliances but generally it shouldn't be needed except for special utilities. (note there are really good inverters that cost about $1000 the outback etc.. if you want to backfeed etc.. invest in a solid inverter... I have a relatively cheap inverter, powersport or something of the like as well as a 120v to 240v stepup stepdown NOTE that outback is awsome because it is Pure sine basically it looks like this nu instead of L-L-L-L that sort of for pulse modulated wave, which is more square, and imitates a sin wave.. AC power is a cycle while dc power is more or less a flat line because ac cycles it tends to be smooth and round from a peak to a valley while DC is steady. I wont go into great detail. Point is if you have the extra money get a pure sine wave inverter like the outback it is going to make your life easier. I use a line of powerbar surge protectors between my inverter and the PMW inverter so that I can smooth it a bit as the powerbars have surge protectors and smoothing resistors and capcitors in them and in some cases more as well as diodes. they actually alter the power cycle. If I were buying right now for PMW I'd get http://www.ebay.ca/itm/POWER-BRIGHT...LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item1c2e6cd527&_uhb=1

and for Puresine wave

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Northern-Ind...LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item27cc69bfee&_uhb=1

or this perhaps
http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-11260-2500-Watt-Inverter/dp/B0010X5KPG

however I might shop around more, both of these look like relatively good buys that will handle you for most things.

Cables and maybe some car audio plugs to attach to your batteries and inverter. you can also add fuses etc.. for extra safety. a hammer, OR a torch OR a crimper. I chose hydraulic crimper because I'm lame.

For any wind power it is more or less the same but you should add a diode to prevent running your windmill as a fan.

you probably want a little more detail before trying this but here it goes.

connect positive to postive and negative to negative, put your positive on one end of your battery cell which you want to hook all the positives in series that is D-D- D-D-D with the D's being batteries, and do the same for all the negatives. You want to connect your charge controller to the first D for your postive and the last D for your negative, for your inverter connect your negative to the first D and your postive to the last D

connect your out line from your solar combiner to your solar charge controller in, postive to postive negative to negative

connect your pv laminant to your breaker in the solar combiner negative to the negative point, I think that ma be the actual breaker.. but don't quote me as it may differ, and postive to your grill, you will know what I'm talking about, if you turn in on its back you can even make burgers... none the less that's all there is to it, find a place for your PV solar cell and put it out either at night or very fast, make sure everything is connected without trying to see what it feels like if you lick it. thats it.

Oh and remember to wear rubber gloves thick ones, even the ones you use to do the dishes could work, or anything thicker. don't touch anything with your skin if it is a metal part or looks like electricity and definately not if you have a cut.

You can do everything with one hand if you can, and put the other in your pocket. Say a prayer before you touch any metal part you are holding to another metal part. Also remove postive first and put on negative first. I could be wrong but I'm typing this now.

I support solar so much I'd help you do it in person but I'm banned from the US for atleast another two years but if you are in Ontario, especially the north Id be more than willing to help in person if you want to pick me up and drop me off or live within 20-40km.

ps your inverter will probably have a capacitor that does not discharge so it will always spark when you are removing the battery hookup or reconnecting it, but then again it might not. you can flip it on and off a few times after you remove your cables to try to drain any charge left in the capacitor. disconnecting the cell by removing a positive cable may help also as batteries tend to be more forgiving than inverters.
 

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