April 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm #6312
How about solar power setup for home?
Anybody here is willing to share his experience with that (costs, problems, advices etc)?April 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm #6324
Yes. I took a weekend course for homeowners about this and read lots of books/articles.There is a lot out there about solar power. And lots of different opinions. Best set up/best this/best that/cheapest/best DIY etc.
1) you have to take the time to sit down and decide WHAT you want solar to provide the power for
2) make 2 lists: one list of what you feel you absolutely MUST/most important to have when SHTF and the other; if you could add just a few things, it would be nice. If you want to power everything you have now? Congrats! You have very deep pockets of money.
3) if there are things you have you want to power that you know own, get a meter to figure out what kind of power they now consume and write it beside each thing on your lists. You have to know how much power you would required before you can compare what is out there whether ‘off shelf’ or a DIY set up. Click – here is a very good free tutorial on how to do that.
4) be honest with yourself. How electrically/mechanically inclined are you? Batteries in battery banks do go bad – how are you going to replace them? Are you willing to learn what will be necessary to keep a ‘system’ up and running?
5) read a basic book about solar power and ask questions until you feel you have a firm understanding of the basics well before you go shopping. Ask questions of people in the business. Most people in that business are very helpful and are more than willing to spend time answering questions – even if you don’t buy anything from them. Watch all the youtube videos (with an open mind, everyone thinks they have the best DIY solution) Or, by a course – such as click this (I am not promoting – just easy example) Once you have done that you are in a good position to form a plan of what you will do and what you can afford. What makes the most sense to achieve your goal.
One of the vendors I have used that I recommend even if not in the US, is Ron Castle and his business in TN http://www.sunshineworks.com. He is very knowledgeable, patient, very thorough in explanations and can design stuff for your situation. He also sells a bunch of stuff for tons of different applications.Even if you are overseas, he has years of experiencing with exporting. But more: HE LIVES IT! Click to visit his farm site and see how he nd his wife have their small cabin setup etc. You’ll learn a lot from that alone.
For me, I need light, fans for the livestock in high heat, and to pump water from a pond and my deep well. Refrigeration/freezing would be a big bonus. As would being able to run or recharge small electric tools/appliances. I also have no interest or time to do DIY. The less inverters and controllers etc I have to store as spares the better to me. The simpler it is to use/maintain the better.
Mentioned in former post home lighting using PICO lights as they are multi-duty and using it now for 5 years. Easy, simple. It is it’s own self-contained deal. I get light, multiple flashlights, and can charge my phone, MP3 and other small electronics from each light. Connect to one small 12 x 12 solar panel to easily recharge.
The barn and outbuildings are all solar powered with exterior motion and individual interior lights and in the barn, Pico lights. The chicken house has solar powered fans, as does the greenhouse. I have fence post mounted pyramid and stake solar lights so I can find my way quickly NOW around the place when I want, although these will be removed when SHTF.
I saved and saved and bought this solar generator. It had the best testimonials and I have seen them in action at events. Everything is contained in the unit and I can move it where needed. I love it. Four years it has been direct wired to operate my well pump. No problems. It has the strength to power the first draw when my particular pump starts. Have had to use it for up to almost a month during power outages after massive storms.
I can plug any tools into it in the meantime I want to charge. Last year purchased a small solar direct powered (no inverters/controllers etc fridge/freezer. Not cheap but going to be handy I think. No problems with it so far.
This place came with a pool. Holds 25,000 gallons of water so – ok. But uncirculated water is not good so I have a solar powered circulator and skimmer that allows me to maintain the pool using no mains power. The field water troughs are powered by solar to keep ice from forming and to fill with water from pond.
Yes. I have saved and saved and spent money on this but as individual independent ‘systems’. About $8,000 over the last 8 years. But, I have backups for all of these things should they not function. I don’t use tons of electrical stuff/appliances compared to most people anyway. I am in my 50’s and aware I am getting older, live on a small farm so I would prefer of course not to have to go ‘pioneer’ completely, IF I have the option. ‘Pioneer’ living as it is takes lots of time and energy. If solar can help these things (particularly with moving water) – my answer, for me was yes – and in this way.
I am no expert, but this I hope will continue to serve my needs, quietly …April 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm #6332
Tweva, I would really like the specifics of your well pump.April 2, 2014 at 5:07 pm #6343
1974t150v – its a Gould 240v single phase, 2 pole 30amp breaker – mfg said start amps 15 but actual tested by electrician is 10 – 12 amps? Running amps as tested by electrician is 8.2 amp per leg – 2 legs. Is that what u wanted to know? Back to the garden now.April 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm #6349
Once I start getting a few other things settled away I’ll look into solar power. Hopefully we can get a “SHTF School Beginners Guide to Solar Power” thread going on.
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.April 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm #6356
Depends on where you live , there is a thing called solar declination when setting up a system . What Declination is , is the number of days a year without sun for that location , in some parts of the country this can be considerable , it needs to be adjusted for with batteries . In the Southwest , there is plenty of sun , and anything solar works very well .April 2, 2014 at 6:47 pm #6365
Thanks for info Tweva, in my case it is about small house, some 50 square meters, and I am looking in really basic needs there.
For this region it is something around 270 days of sun per yer (I hope i translate this term correctly).
Yes, it is topic that need to be worked on in details, I too wanted to go into solar stuff couple of times, but somehow everything else looks like more important.April 2, 2014 at 6:52 pm #6366
I’ve seen some videos on youtube regarding solar power from a prepper standpoint, and from what I’ve gathered, when you finally go for a solar setup, don’t be cheap. Get the best you can get for your money, or work to save up more money for it. That goes for the panels themselves, to the batters, and everything in between (good batteries are expensive, but you do get what you pay for).
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.April 2, 2014 at 6:53 pm #6367
Also , dont get cheap ass panels , make sure they have a diode , that this does , is prevents a large part of your system from being knocked out when shaded by trees as the sun moves , with the diode , only the panel that is shaded gets affected . Just sayin ……..Plug and play only works for small portable systems , like backpack systems that you watch closely , things like that .April 2, 2014 at 7:06 pm #6369
LOL, Well that’s a good part of it because your running a standard size 240v water pump on a
solar generator. But what is the name on the solar generator and what is it rated for?April 2, 2014 at 7:09 pm #6370
Any one got any experience with Goal Zero units. Got a USMC friend who he and others uses their smaller units and are very happy with these.
Any thoughts?April 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm #6376
I dont have one , but like you , I have heard they apparently work pretty good , I was thinking of getting one , but cash flow problem at the moment lol .April 2, 2014 at 7:36 pm #6384
There is an App called ” PV Watts ” to help you figure out things .April 2, 2014 at 9:08 pm #6421
Vettom – I keep a small Goal Zero on the ATV ’cause I need it when I am spraying fence and need old Van Halen to keep me moving. Great, simple easy.April 2, 2014 at 9:20 pm #6426
1974t150v – Sorry! I forgot to add the link to my generators. Because of the layout here, wind patterns and sun I wanted to have the panels on the house not off on a pole/rig setup. Click here for info on the Sundazers. To me, these are plug and play – they have outlet plugs on them and movable. Ha – just can’t carry them obviously with one hand.
Tolik is right, how much sun you get and at what angle is important and might require you have a means to either have a power generated setup to move and change angle of panels to follow the sun. I have lived in New England however and, especially in VT can tell you it is still used there a lot. Personally, I don’t have much concern about it although I don’t live in the SW or deep south.
Selco, somewhere I have info I kept from backwoods home magazine/site about a simple, easy system might work, depending on what you want to do. When I find it,I will post. Friend uses it in their hunting cabin just fine.
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