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Friday, September 17, 2010

So you want to make the move and go Solar...

Inevitably if you want to go solar, your going to need to do some research. While there are companies out there that would love to install a solar system for you, we're trying to save money here and they love to charge you over 400% in labor costs for something you can easily do yourself.
The best way to start is with an all inclusive kit, that way you get all the component you need to start out, and once you understand the basic simplicity of it all, you can expand.


If you shop around you can find some amazing deals, but in my ventures, Harbor Freight has the best one I could find for beginners.  This wonderful kit, prices at $199.00 includes a 45 watt solar panel, a charge control module (so you don't blow up your battery), and 2 12v lights if your using it in a garage or shed, you can even install these in various rooms in your house, but that involves running wires, which we will discuss later.


the only thing it doesn't come with is a battery, but any deep cell battery will do, similar to the one in a heavy duty truck, or a boat, you can find these pretty cheap at auto salvage yards. For example, parts galore sells batteries out of salvaged vehicles for $10.00 a piece, so shop around, get a good deal.  You could use a regular car battery, but they tend to wear out if you let them drop below a 50% charge rate on a regular basis.  You'll also want a 300 watt inverter to switch from 12v to 120v, and you can pick one of these up on ebay for around 20 dollars. So, now how to set it up...
you'll want to put it where the panels receive the maximum amount of light during the day, as exposure to a good 8 hours will completely charge your battery, which in turn can provide enough power for a full 18-24 hours on a general load, such as lights, or a small appliance like a computer, tv, etc. later on, as you add panels and increase your battery bay, and pick up a larger inverter, etc you'll be able to power more things in your home, and eventually your entire home, becoming self sustaining.
The trick is to start small and simple, so you can understand what your needs are and how the system works, you can always expand later.

22 comments:

Viperman said...

I wanna go solar but panels cost so much :(

Swarmster said...

great post, keep up the good work =)

Ukesa said...

This kind of technology costs A LOT in poland..

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Come At Me Bro said...

Love this!

happyreporting said...

I really want to do this to save money on the bills but at the moment it costs too much to actually get panels.

Captain LJ said...

very informative

thisismyblog said...

solar energy is a very viable option nowadays.

J Mo said...

That would be amazing :D Thanks for the post!

Swift Love said...

interesting post here

Jackson said...

It's really expensive equipment though :\

Randomly Reticulated said...

A lot of people don't know this. But if your generator(photo-voltaic or otherwise)is hooked up to the power company's main grid, any excess power is fed back in to them and you can end up getting a check from the power company instead of a bill every month!

amidoinitrite? said...

holy moly!

Come At Me Bro said...

I'll try this!

Crispy said...

I would love to go solar if only I could afford the panels. Showing my support.

lulz88 said...

definitely gonna try

B. Heck said...

I wish i had the money to afford solar power.

Fuuuuuuuu said...

it looks like you're headed in the right direction with this post...

LifeHacker said...

might do it when i can afford

http://terronecentury.blogspot.com

David Davidson said...

This is going to be how I power my future home.

Come At Me Bro said...

Love it!

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http://elpirato666.blogspot.com/ said...

10 per cent of the sahara desert covered up with solar panels *Bang* Energy Problems solved