Solar energy

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14MDX1035F57
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Solar energy

#284747

Post by 14MDX1035F57 »

Hello,

I have just realized a power supply with solar energy for my station.
The page is in French.
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Best regards







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'Doc

#284750

Post by 'Doc »

Solar power will certainly work! But it does have some requirements. First, you'd better have lots of sunshine. You will still need a storage bank of batteries, and some regulation to feed them. And the biggy, those solar cells are just not very economical (as in cheap) unless you find a few surplus.
I have a friend that lived where there was no power lines available. He relied on battery power for all of his electrical needs, which isn't very 'convenient' at times. He did some checking for solar cell charging, and did have a 'surplus' source for those cells. It still wasn't very economical, but better than paying for a new power line run the distance it would have to go.
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#299226

Post by tubehead »

im an avid fan of solar. i ran floridas only 100% solar power repeater until lightning took it out. panels are pricey but can be found used. get glass face, silicone cell panels. they will easily last 15 years or more.






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#299227

Post by hilltop 439 »

I had a thought while reading this topic and it was about wind power . Theres a doctor that live a town below me and he installed a wind mill that generates alot of electricity .In fact it is so much that he powers his home and his neighbor cottage with plenty to spare. He has batteries and such as the last posts discribed accept his system is wired into the power grid of the town . When his system is fully charged he can sell the power generated by the wind mill to the power company in the area . So in time the whole power system will have paid for itself and he will have free electricity minus the maintenance cost.It is certainly something to think about seeings everthing is going up in price these days.






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#299294

Post by sparky17 »

That's a very nice looking install job you did there. Good job!

Really need at least 50 watt or more to really be able to have your radio receive all the time, unless you have a nice low power setup. I think my Galaxy 979 draws about 4-5 watts constant on receive if I recall (~1 watt less if you turn off/down the lighted face). We average 2-6 'sun hours' a day, my radio consumes over 100 watts a day, so not counting inefficiencies in charging (~80% efficiency to charge lead acid batteries) or unusual cloudyness, it would need at least 50 watts for 24 hour duty, or 25 watts for 12 hour duty for the winter months. (50 x 2 sun hours for winter = 100 watt /hours, for summer it would be 300 watt/hours.)

I ran a setup like this for a year or two (only a 5 watt panel).. I just used the supplied clamps from the panel, and had severe corrosion on the positive wire for about 20 feet (copper turned black for 20 feet). Negative wire was completely clean however. The clamp literally melted away in that time as well and eventually no longer conducted at all.

Neat as a novelty, and good to have for the impending zombie apocalypse, but I never wanted to drain down the battery, and opted to use the power supplies instead since I had undersized the panels and wanted to keep them charged...

Harbor freight has 5 watt panels for ~$50. If you look around on fleabay you can find bundle deals of loose cells that you need to solder up, for ~$50 for 65 watts of panels.. You'd need glass, a metal frame and some wire/tabs to solder it all up.







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#299341

Post by PRO151 »

Good article with good directions, even if Google Translate sometimes just can't quite get it right.

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#370126

Post by 443 Arizona »

reviving this 5 year old thread because things are cheaper , better now.
last year i had bought the harbor fright crap,, thats right, it was no where near a quality unit.
so then i bought an alum. framed, 100 watt panel, 25yr warantee, for $130, they have come down even more since last year.
a controller was $14 plus ship.

i use to run a 12 battery for my base radio years ago,(because it was a mobile unit), and i found out that good clean power was crucial for best radio performance.
with the price of solar now, i am trying to transition more and more. :idea:







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#370131

Post by MDYoungblood »

Solar power is an interesting topic and depending on the area you live acceptable but in Maryland cloud cover would require a larger than normal storage array. I receive phone calls about solar systems all the time and tell them when they get into wind power than give me a call, I have never recorded many days (and nights!!!) that the wind in my area is below 5mph.
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#374019

Post by 443 Arizona »

i was experimenting with a homemade windmill, an old alum. A/C cooling blade mounted to an alternator.
thought about a pmdc motor as a generator too.
lots of stuff demonstrated these days on video posts.
i would love to get back into this and experiment/build some self-sustanability.
i even went as far as smeltering aluminum with large fresnel lens.
boiling water with a copper solar panel.
Arizona has the sunlight,,,thats for SURE...
why i even went as far as using it to get a tan,, :lol: :icon_rolleyes: :puke_l: :geek:







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#378145

Post by Drifter5 »

A good and cheap solar experiment project would be to convert a truck bed of a pickup truck to a truck bed camper. There are a lot of videos on people converting them on youtube. Before I got lucky and bought my home for 5 grand, I was going to buy a prefabricated cabin and go off grid. Solar/Wind power, a well and some propane for the small cabin. Many famers would be happy to split an acre of land for someone wanting to have an off-grid cabin.

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#385545

Post by maverick01 »

Been running solar on the cheap. Got a Harbor Freight 45W Solar Kit with coupon for a mere $129 back in 2009. A battery recently at Rual King for $69 group 27 RV/Marine Deep Cycle to replace the old one I had from Advanced Auto.

Both CB and 2M radios run long hours for listening. I can get 3 days for talking using both radios at stock settings. The 2M low power is 10W. SSB peak at 12W too.

If a kicker is used, it better be low power for 25W to 50W.

AND have a good charge controller and good blocking diodes in the circuit. Fuses are a must need too.







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#387079

Post by 443 Arizona »

yes, fused, crucial, as my experimental system had gone aerie and fried the controller , had made the connections permanent with no way to "break" the circuit. dummy me :aaargh: :oops: :pumpkin: :cry:
so now i want to go higher voltage, mppt system.







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#389740

Post by Rabbit Ears »

Been running a 260W system myself up here in Sheridan, WY as backup power. I can get into all of the fine details later, but it does a fine job for running my radios and inverters.

I use a pair of 6V GC-2 *wired in series* to power my Samlex 3000W pure sine wave inverter. (The SA3000K-112). The o-scope shows a very nice sine wave.

My 50A 12V power supply stays very cool when powered by this inverter. My prior modified-sine wave inverter got it pretty hot (no damage done).


The rad shack and house run happily when I have a very sunny day. *Restricted power usage, though*


Running about 150Ah on the deep cycle batteries.... so we have to be mindful of that.


Thanks for reading, and God bless!

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#389744

Post by Blue Ox2 »

That is great Clifford.

I am interested in setting up a Solar run Auxilery generator to run the
radio equipment.

I figure about 1500 W generator with 2 solar panels would be plenty for me.
We have a 3 bd. townhouse here in a small town of Lititz, PA.
Between Harrisburg and Philly.

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#389747

Post by Rabbit Ears »

Quote: *I figure about 1500 W generator with 2 solar panels would be plenty for me.
We have a 3 bd. townhouse here in a small town of Lititz, PA.
Between Harrisburg and Philly.*

I do disagree....we tend to "undercalculate" our setups to save money, and will eventually regret it *big time!!*.
You'll be needing about 2500W to run a townhouse with 3Bd. 500W solar setup and at least 360Ah with a 2500W pure sine wave inverter. Also you'll be needing an *residentially approved* generator (I'd go for a 5KW setup there).

I'm living in a puny single-wide mobile home... and I'm only rigging up for lights and furnace *nothing more during power outage*. When we are running standard power, we run the radio shack off solar.


Thanks for reading!!
Have a great one,

Cliff






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#391975

Post by Scipio Kid »

I have to agree. Unless we're misers and really on top of everything we do, we always use more than we think and we always need more than we planned on.

But Solar has really taken off and there are several ways to go. Pure solar requires no inverters or batteries but is limited to daylight only. . I've got a lot of customers in remote areas with no power so we've worked with solar and wind for some time now. We put in our first solar powered control system 30 years ago and it's still ticking. We've replaced only 5 batteries and 2 inverters in that time. Unbelievably, we're still using the original solar panel with the only maintenance ever done on it being cleaning.

Solar isn't a one-stop shop like most folks think and having panels on your roof usually means you're selling a little bit of power to the power company when the sun is bright, which they, in turn sell back to you for 4 times the price, but it's better than paying full price all the time. Those systems don't realistically pay for themselves in the time-frame the salesmen promise, especially when you may get nothing for months on end in the winter and when something gets broke and there's no warranty on it.

Lately we've been doing a lot of "solar pumps". They run all day and fill holding tanks for gravity feed systems and last for years. Basically our customers have free water, forever. The life cycle of the system is up to 18 years so it's a darn good investment. These are in remote areas and mostly cabins so inverter systems and generators are used for the cabins. But, there is always lots of good, clean, free water available.

I like to bundle full home solar with wind whenever possible with a big battery bank and inverter. The nice thing here is that once the system is working, the home is exactly like any other with a 240 volt AC service and any appliance you would buy at Walmart works. You don't need to get special 12 volt appliances, The house is wired just like any house in America.

We've got a fellow with a nice home, completely off the grid (because he's 30 miles from any grid) now for almost 9 years. He's got a lot of wind, driving (2) windmills and (2) 8 panel solar arrays feeding a bank of 30 batteries under the house. The battery power runs a 4.5 KW inverter and supplies a 240 Volt, single phase 200 amp service to the house. The initial costs were extreme, but would be only about half today what it cost 9 years ago. But even with that, we figure he's paid less overall than he'd have paid the power company, if power had been available. If you paid him a visit you'd never know he was off the grid. He's got big screen TV's, big fridge and freezer, all the typical appliances etc., including a 3 hp water well pump running on 240 Volt A/C. He's got enoght water for his family and a 2 acre farm. He even has a small machine shop with drill press, lathe and a nice arc welder! He's a 'HAM-er' and when I asked how much he figures it costs to run his radio, he replied, doesn't even make a dent, don't even notice it.

The family is more conservative than most, meaning they turn off lights and don't leave things on when they're gone but they're not fanatics, burning candles for light and heat. Their biggest expense is not inverters or batteries (which are changed out on an average 2-3 year cycle), the biggest expense is propane. They have central heat and air (but rarely run the A/C due to their location at 9000' in the mountains) and figure it costs about twice the price of natural gas to have the propane delivered. In the last 2 years, they've gone to all LED lighting and claim it's taken another 10-15% off their overall power usage. All in all, it's a very nice way to do things. With the same setup in a suburban area (using natural gas instead of propane) they'd have saved about 25% over normal utility costs over the last 8 years and that includes all the initial and maintenance expenses on the solar arrays and windmills. Granted, you couldn't put up those big arrays and windmills in most urban or suburban areas but it's a very nice alternative and shows how real off-the-grid solutions are becoming.

I'm surprised we aren't already seeing developments in southern areas like Arizona, New Mexico and the like going completely off the grid with neighborhood power instead of using Warren Buffet's 'megalon' energy company (most of us are on). I think it's coming in the not-to-distant future.






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#395563

Post by 443 Arizona »

well the solar power around here is getting good, today i got the back of my neck warm and red, not even trying, longer lit days are coming!
as for my array, i have been too busy working to finish it.







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#395565

Post by Blue Ox2 »

Cliff, thank you for your response. That is good info to have.
I can certainly plan better that way.

Have a great day.

73,

Mike







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#396161

Post by Rabbit Ears »

You are welcome, God Bless






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#398436

Post by 443 Arizona »

well i got lucky at an auction and bought 1600watts of panel and a top of the line mppt controller.
now to figure it out and build it.
have to build it at night,haha, too blasted hot and bright in the daylight.







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#399821

Post by Rabbit Ears »

Good luck!






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#402861

Post by 443 Arizona »

have 7 panels rated at 270 watt each, thats max output, on a good day, new. ;)
i dont expect more than 250 watt each, i STILL have not hooked them up. durnit. :roll:
these hot days(112* to 118*)sure makes me wish i had them powering my A/C unit. :oops: :oops:







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#402877

Post by Rabbit Ears »

Yeah, Quartzite is hot too..Hot.. HOT!! People stay indoors during the day and come out only at night during the summer months.

Forget hanging out there; I love it up here in Northern Wyoming.... cooler.






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