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Dennis Leahy
26th April 2014, 20:19
For those who are keeping up with solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, have there been any significant changes in what you'd recommend for a very small PV system? Particularly, in the panel(s.)

I have heard that there are now much more efficient panels on the market. Maybe they are not yet in production? Maybe they are ridiculously expensive? I can't afford the really expensive ones.

I'm starting to investigate a very small system that could be used to (at least) charge batteries, maybe charge a car battery, maybe provide enough power to save and use for a few lights and/or fan.

So, is there anything really noteworthy to report, or to recommend...or should I just gloogle "solar panel"?

Thanks!

Dennis

Lifebringer
26th April 2014, 20:27
For those who are keeping up with solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, have there been any significant changes in what you'd recommend for a very small PV system? Particularly, in the panel(s.)

I have heard that there are now much more efficient panels on the market. Maybe they are not yet in production? Maybe they are ridiculously expensive? I can't afford the really expensive ones.

I'm starting to investigate a very small system that could be used to (at least) charge batteries, maybe charge a car battery, maybe provide enough power to save and use for a few lights and/or fan.

So, is there anything really noteworthy to report, or to recommend...or should I just gloogle "solar panel"?

Thanks!

Dennis

I've also seen back pack flexible solar panel kits. The lowest one was around 112.00, key in solar back packs, solar kits, or anything solar products, and have a ball.

The back packs charge cells phones and lap top batteries and play radio, charge batteries for electronics.:eyebrows:
PSS This was 3 years ago, maybe cheaper and much stronger they are using optics.

Chip
26th April 2014, 20:33
Good question Dennis
I'm afraid to find out myself as we just had solar installed recently on our home. I'm sure the panels are already outdated.
But on a high note my last electric bill read -$3.40. So, I know they are working
But am certain that in just a short time the 19 panels that I have will be improved to require half of that.
Oh well

Tesseract
26th April 2014, 22:02
Dennis,

For anyone installing full scale home solar with thousands of dollar to spend, the price of the panels is not too high [http://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb=y&IndexArea=product_en&CatId=&SearchText=200+w+solar+panel]. Something like $0.6 per Watt - that is a bargain really. I am talking about standard silicon panels, poly or mono crystalline, that get about 18 % efficiency.

Now, you seem to be talking about a very small system, 1 or 2 100 W panels [the more the better IMO] and a car battery or two, total value probably a few hundred bucks. In fact, you are likely to pay more for a single car battery, if you buy a good one, than for a single 100 W solar panel. If you have plenty of space, efficiency doesn't matter so much, and I'd just buy polycrystalline silicone panels since they are so damn cheap. Just pay attention to the output voltage of the panels, not all of them are 12 V. I would be setting up my own solar system too if I owned my own land - only I would buy several kW of panels and a big lithium battery.

As far as other technologies go, I know that organic photovoltaics are very efficient in low light conditions [currently not so great in full light] and may be fairly cheap, but they are not commercially available yet as far as I know - I expect that they will be in a few years time.

Anchor
27th April 2014, 07:07
To get started, camping equipment is the way to go - designed for portability and is all wired up ready for you to play with.

Perhaps start with one or two 80W panels and have a play (which is normally two 40W panels hinged and with a stand - bigger ones exist but they start to get heavy and unwieldy).

Car batteries are not a great way to store electricity for overnight use - for that you need a type of battery called "Deep Cycle" which are designed to discharge a fair percentage of their capacity without damage. Car batteries on the other hand are not designed to be discharged by much of their capacity and doing so shortens their life substantially. The deep cycle kind used in caravans might be the way to go.

Lithium Ferrous Phosphate LiFePO4 batteries are by far and away the best option, but they need a little more care as they can be killed stone dead by overcharging or over discharging, so if you are going to make a system from scratch you need to ensure that you design in a battery balancing system can keep the individual cells balanced to within a few millivolts of eachother for efficient usage and long life and that protects the cells from overdischarge and cuts off the charger at the right time (or else the magic smoke is released).

meat suit
27th April 2014, 07:48
I think the development has gone in the direction of getting more watts out of the space, bring down purchase cost and increase the time before efficiency drops.
we get 150watts from our 1 square meter panels. they are frame less glass panels

ulli
27th April 2014, 08:34
I bought this last year, and find it really useful, as we have quite a few power cuts in our area.
So I plug in my modem and maybe a couple of lights, and hardly miss a beat.

cAjb64c5G2Q

I paid just under $900. It has five small solar panels, a battery and inverter inside.

Paul
27th April 2014, 09:07
I bought this last year, and find it really useful, as we have quite a few power cuts in our area.
So I plug in my modem and maybe a couple of lights, and hardly miss a beat.
Lead-acid batteries tend to self-discharge, even when disconnected, and deep discharging them harms them, eventually ruining them.

So, if you put that "on the self" for a couple of years, and then need to use it, there's a good chance the battery will have much reduced capacity, or no useful capacity at all.

Lead-acid batteries have the longest life span if occasionally recharged. I notice that the better run battery shops near me have chargers that they move around from battery to battery, so that every month or two, each battery is topped back up.

On the other hand, if your power is sufficiently unreliable, you might be recharging those batteries as a matter of normal usage, whenever there's a power outage :). That works.

ulli
27th April 2014, 09:35
I bought this last year, and find it really useful, as we have quite a few power cuts in our area.
So I plug in my modem and maybe a couple of lights, and hardly miss a beat.
Lead-acid batteries tend to self-discharge, even when disconnected, and deep discharging them harms them, eventually ruining them.

So, if you put that "on the self" for a couple of years, and then need to use it, there's a good chance the battery will have much reduced capacity, or no useful capacity at all.

Lead-acid batteries have the longest life span if occasionally recharged. I notice that the better run battery shops near me have chargers that they move around from battery to battery, so that every month or two, each battery is topped back up.

On the other hand, if your power is sufficiently unreliable, you might be recharging those batteries as a matter of normal usage, whenever there's a power outage :). That works.

That's exactly what happens. Although I was away from home for the last two months, but will be returning next week.
So the cube will get plugged in for a while, to restore the full charge. Thanks for the reminder.

chrysocolla
27th April 2014, 13:33
Not to be dumb but what are organic photovoltaic panels?

778 neighbour of some guy
27th April 2014, 15:14
http://www.happypreppers.com/solar.html

Some ideas on the bottom of the link page.

GlassSteagallfan
27th April 2014, 16:28
Lead-acid batteries tend to self-discharge, even when disconnected, and deep discharging them harms them, eventually ruining them.

So, if you put that "on the self" for a couple of years, and then need to use it, there's a good chance the battery will have much reduced capacity, or no useful capacity at all.

Lead-acid batteries have the longest life span if occasionally recharged. I notice that the better run battery shops near me have chargers that they move around from battery to battery, so that every month or two, each battery is topped back up.

On the other hand, if your power is sufficiently unreliable, you might be recharging those batteries as a matter of normal usage, whenever there's a power outage :). That works.

If charging batteries is your primary use of solar cells, maybe you should have a look at the Bedini Energizer SG. From what I have read (correct me if i'm wrong), the Bedini Energizer -although it requires a battery to operate- will charge an infinite number of batteries at the same time (using radiant energy), whereas normal battery chargers can only handle one at a time.

Also, the batteries improve over time. Charging and discharging cause the battery to become de-sulphated and able to accept a better charge.

The downside - once the batteries are 'conditioned' in this method, normal battery chargers are useless because the chemical makeup of the battery is changed. You must always use the Bedini Energizer for recharging.

Tesseract
27th April 2014, 17:22
Not to be dumb but what are organic photovoltaic panels?

It's not dumb at all! :) I only know because I have worked with others who are developing this technology.

'Photovoltaic' means that light (photons) are being used to generate a voltage difference.

The particular technology I am most familiar with is the dye sensitised solar cell, which I will describe below [or see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dye-sensitized_solar_cell].

The word 'organic' comes from the fact that an organic (carbon based) molecule is used to absorb the incoming sunlight (the molecule is quite literally a dye), although these organic molecules often have at least one metal atom in them as well. So, once the incoming light has been absorbed by the dye, things get a little complex, but it involves the energised dye transferring an electron to an inorganic electrode surface, that electron then travels around the external circuit (doing electrical work, like powering your light bulb), comes back into the cell at the other electrode. There, it hitches a ride on an Iodine atom in the electrolyte, the Iodine crosses the cell, and gives the electron back to the dye. And the whole thing repeats.

For the device to work well, the dye needs to be a good absorber, the transfer of the electron from the dye to the electrode needs to be efficient, the iodine needs to be highly mobile, and the system needs to be stable [sunlight often finds a way to destroy organic molecules].


As for other organic solar systems, you can find info at wikipedia, although it is not so easy to understand. I won't try and explain it myself since I don't know so much about it.

Dawn
27th April 2014, 17:43
I just wanted to add a little post here about batteries. My partner is a whiz at this and is forwarding more info for you that I will post in a moment. However I would like to tell you about batteries, because they are a part of every solar system. Watch your local Craigslist or possibly eBay for the expensive deep cycle batteries used by cell phone companies in their stations. The ones we bought for a mere $300 each are normally many $1,000s of dollars in cost. The cell phone companies routinely change them out and discard the old ones after 3 years of use, whereas the batteries are rated for 25+ years of continual use.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Now here are some excellent links provided by my partner. His hobby is researching and keeping up with the latest in this area. He lived for many years on a solar system he designed.

He spends hours each week in research on this field (which is his passion). If electricity in our area ever goes out, we have a fully functional solar system which powers everything here in our all electric house. We use the system periodically just to be sure it works and is completely ready for any emergency. The total cost for for this system was $3,400 and it is a dual bank system which can run more than one household. Here are the links he recommends:


Solar panels. can get this brand on ebay for a little less.
http://www.amazon.com/RENOGY-Monocrystalline-Photovoltaic-Battery-Charging/dp/B009Z6CW7O

Solar tracker 5 charge controller. Best possible solar charge controllers. Charge battery even on cloudy days.
http://teslachargers.com/solartrackeriii.html

He says that these are the BEST controllers which will keep the batteries running indefinitely. There are other systems which could save you over $1,000 but you would have to replace batteries every 5-10 years. In the long run the better controller will be cheaper because batteries will (theoretically) last forever.

He also tells me that the most difficult part to learn about in designing a system is .... BATTERIES. Common industry practices are designed to wear out batteries so that you (the consumer) must spend $ replacing them on an ongoing basis. Once you understand batteries and how to care for them you will not need to replace them again (probably never in your lifetime). The book to get in learning about this situation and how to manage it is called: Living on 12v with Ample Power. It does not discuss the very latest in Solar trackers because there has been new technology created since it was written, but it is a great book for understanding batteries. Here's an Amazon link to it: http://www.amazon.com/Living-Twelve-Volts-Ample-Power/dp/0945415028/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398620277&sr=8-1&keywords=living+on+12+volts

There is another recommended book on batteries which contains new information which informed the Solar Tracker 5 controller we have. It is called Battery secrets ... Here's the link: http://teslachargers.com/batterysecrets.html
http://batterysecrets.com/images/batterysecrets.jpg

13th Warrior
27th April 2014, 18:11
The total cost for for this system was $3,400 and it is a dual bank system which can run more than one household.



This is the large part of why I don't get too excited when someone claims they have a free energy device that cost 7+ thousand dollars for 4kw; when you can already do this with solar and wind power.

Dennis Leahy
27th April 2014, 18:18
Thanks for all the replies!

Just like the last time I looked into PV solar, I realize that I really have to make a decision as to what specifically I want to power, and for how long. Everything else stems from that.

Of course, until my FE unit arrives, I want to run my entire home empire and world headquarters :laugh: on free solar energy, and have a solar-powered car, and a solar-powered extremely lightweight unit for camping/backpacking/bug-out - in all cases, paying as close to zero for the systems as possible. What I want to do and what I could afford are worlds apart.

Ulli is showing a practical solution for a real-world homestead scenario: powering a few lights and an electronic device when the grid (temporarily) blinks off. I need to find my "practical" hat, put it on, and really think about what I can afford to do, and why I would do it. For example, if the BIG grid really did go down for a year (the coronal mass ejection scenario, or the false-flag phony-terrorist-but-really-the-US-government scenario), there would be no phone, no internet...and power would make sense for food refrigeration, air circulation fan(s), some lights, maybe some intermittent use of small power tools, possibly powering a pump for a shallow well (water would then be filtered for potability), possibly running a home computer/monitor to consult with data/e-books already downloaded and/or watch whatever videos (documentaries, how-to videos, entertainment, etc.) had already been downloaded. Really, not all that much electrical energy needed, when you break it down to necessities. I don't own a electric bike (http://electric-bikes.com/) but if I did, the recharging of that battery would be an additional power need consideration.

The highest level (that I thought I could not possibly afford, an on-grid 5kW system using Renogy panels), might cost $10,000. But Dawn's partner has lived off a system that costs one-third of that.

Seems like we have to also stop and think about the cost of upgrading some "energy piggy" devices, to bring down the system requirements. I mean, we're not talking about running central air conditioning, dehumidifiers, and several refrigerators/freezers as well as whole-house incandescent lighting on a small system. Not that I want to run all that crap, just saying that you need to know what output you need, and then exceed it by a bit (the PV cells degrade over time, and sometimes there are chemtrail-y, er, I mean cloudy days.)

I have a lot of homework to do. Thanks for the resources!

Dennis

13th Warrior
27th April 2014, 18:48
Take a look at Goal Zero; their target market is mobile/camping type use.

http://www.goalzero.com/mobile/

Dawn
27th April 2014, 19:06
Dennis, just want to mention that we both have electric bikes 'just in case' and we bought them 2nd hand on Craigslist. One cost $275 and the other cost $325 (because it looked brand new). So... don't forget that one man's junk can be your own personal treasure!

And... of course... right now we have our freezer and refrigerator on a permanent system which will flip on if the power grid goes down. No need to use the alternate system right now for power is free to us where we keep them.

Dennis Leahy
27th April 2014, 19:32
Dawn,

I love the concept of Freecycle and Craigslist (and to a lesser extent, having degraded over time), Ebay. I am into used stuff, and fixing stuff when it breaks - whenever possible, (rather than buying new.) That said, I always seem to be about 1 day late for great deals on cool stuff on Craig's list. Sounds like you did great with the bikes! That's less than the cost of an add-on electric kit (Hilltopper) for an existing bike.

Dennis

13th Warrior
27th April 2014, 19:33
http://www.goalzero.com/mobile/p/21

$200 for a 30w panel that's 21"18" and 6lbs. Is pretty fricken good...

13th Warrior
27th April 2014, 19:45
Compare to...

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200512420_200512420

Cheaper and a little less portable.

Dawn
27th April 2014, 20:53
Compare to... http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...2420_200512420 Cheaper and a little less portable.

The polycrystalline panels are great... but in this case they take up more space than the ones we use and are more expensive. For example ours are $124 each and produce 100 watts in 2/3 of the space the ones you are mentioning do

The best way to judge solar panels is by cost/watt.

Here's the link to better, faster, stronger, smaller and cheaper:



http://www.ebay.com/itm/100W-Watts-100-Watt-Solar-Panel-Off-Grid-12-Volt-12V-RV-Boat-USA-Solar-Cells-/281117901727?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4173eec39f#ht_1673wt_1128

And their schematic for building a system
http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/OTc0WDE2MDA=/z/404AAOxyNo9SsI8G/$_57.JPG

If you are budget conscious then the items shown above make a great system. The charge controller in this schematic is very affordable.

I posted a link to a better charge controller a couple of posts back, however it is also a bit more expensive.

Dawn
28th April 2014, 22:40
Dennis, today there are 12 electric scooters, bicycles, and tricycles in our local Craigslist. Are you saying there are no such in your area? Perhaps people in Minnesota do not enjoy electric cycling as much as those on the California coast do.

Dennis Leahy
29th April 2014, 01:53
There are numerous electric bikes and scooters in the "semi-local" Craigslist (Minneapolis) - several of them are over $1000, a few around $500. Locally, there was a home-made electric bike that looked like a "chopper" for $300. I have to admit too, that the notion of an electric bike is actually something I only recently thought about, and I had no idea there were bikes (not scooters or electric motorcycles, but bicycles) that cost between $1000 and $10,000 - there's even one for $50,000.) So, when you posted that you got bikes for around $300, I did a real quick check and saw that those are indeed steals (if they have good batteries and range.) I'm not sure I'd pounce on an electric bike deal right this minute, or not. Money is a consideration, but there are other, unresolved, extenuating circumstances right now that leaves me a bit more indecisive than my usual nature.

Dennis

Dawn
29th April 2014, 02:04
I understand about extenuating circumstanced Dennis.

I'd just like to put a word in about electric bikes in general. The best ones have hub motors. We don't have that kind, however. The range of our bikes is 12 miles, but that is without using the pedals. We never go anywhere without pedaling much of the way, so our range is a lot larger... perhaps 15-20 miles. There are little light weight trailers you can get with these bikes... the most common ones have a light aluminum frame and a fabric payload cage. The trailers are common because many young people like to put their tiny tots in them when going on an outing. The biggest advantage of the electric motors in our area is that hill and mountain climbing is possible for a person in reasonable physical shape, unlike trying to climb a steep grade with a normal bike.

12-20 miles would get most urban residents wherever they need to go daily. These are really easy to charge with a solar system too. As far as a disaster preparation they are a good option.

However, for an older person, or for carrying packages I think tricycles are better because they are more stable. Unlike bicycles that need trailers to carry large items, tricycles usually have a large payload basket between the back wheels. These are usually more expensive and I haven't found a used one I like yet.

Gawd I hope our basic services do not fall apart in this country! In my 20s-50s I would have been much more confident of handling such an event.

Nine
16th May 2014, 02:41
There are numerous electric bikes and scooters in the "semi-local" Craigslist (Minneapolis) - several of them are over $1000, a few around $500. Locally, there was a home-made electric bike that looked like a "chopper" for $300. I have to admit too, that the notion of an electric bike is actually something I only recently thought about, and I had no idea there were bikes (not scooters or electric motorcycles, but bicycles) that cost between $1000 and $10,000 - there's even one for $50,000.) So, when you posted that you got bikes for around $300, I did a real quick check and saw that those are indeed steals (if they have good batteries and range.) I'm not sure I'd pounce on an electric bike deal right this minute, or not. Money is a consideration, but there are other, unresolved, extenuating circumstances right now that leaves me a bit more indecisive than my usual nature.

Dennis

Dennis,

Here is a link to some cool stuff going on in the electric kit market. This bike has the BaFang mid drive motor on the bicycle.

Mid drive meaning that the motor powers the bicycle drive train from the bottom bracket along with your human power. The advantage of this system is the weight of the motor is under the rider as opposed to the hub motor and there is a weight advantage to these "mid drive" systems....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqsMRjOev3k

Check out the fat tire mountain bike going 30 plus....

On another note, don't rule out the ole humble internal combustion motor on to the bicycle.

I own a bike with a kit on it since 2010 and have almost 18000 miles upon it from a company called Golden Eagle Bike Engines out of Lansing MI....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxjFCS1Kptw

My next power assist bicycle will be an electric with a mid drive motor however, that GEBE kit gets well over 200 miles per galleon and since the Robin/Subaru motor is a four stroke it can be filled up with regular gas....always a hoot when a tank full of gas is like sixty cents...he...he...

Anyway Dennis a power assist bike which ever way you go can save you a lot of money ...

Nine

Nine
16th May 2014, 04:01
Here is a link to what one of my pals is up to with his solar system that he refers to as ghetto....

He rides around to work and back on his MaB's(motor assisted bicycle) and tries his best to limit his energy usage to save money...

It is an interesting discussion for sure for folks like me that know nothing about solar power...

http://motor-assisted-bicycling.1062526.n5.nabble.com/Basic-Solar-and-Electrical-Discussion-td5708151.html


Nine

Nine
16th May 2014, 04:30
The BaFang mid drive electric bicycle motor....

http://www.electricbike.com/bafang-bbso2-750w-mid-drive/

This is the future of E-bike drive trains....

Nine

Strat
18th June 2014, 14:54
I have heard that there are now much more efficient panels on the market. Maybe they are not yet in production? Maybe they are ridiculously expensive? I can't afford the really expensive ones.

My opinion on solar power specifically is that it will never be economically advantageous (math don't lie). If you can afford to buy a new (average) car then you can afford SP. I'm not suggesting avoiding SP (I'm actively building my system up), just understand that if you want to get serious about it then this will turn into a life thing to deal with. Not like buying a new computer.

Even like 10 yrs down the line, I don't imagine you'll save money (due to battery replacement) but to be honest that's just my guess.


I'm starting to investigate a very small system that could be used to (at least) charge batteries, maybe charge a car battery, maybe provide enough power to save and use for a few lights and/or fan.

So, is there anything really noteworthy to report, or to recommend...or should I just gloogle "solar panel"?


As suggested before a marine battery is an ideal choice. However most marine batteries sold in stores (around here) are not true deep cycle marine batteries (despite saying 'marine' on it). You can tell by looking at how they're rated. You want to find a battery rated in amp hours (Ah), most batteries sold in stores will have CCA and or RC (and or CA).

However this is where people sometimes screw up and buy a battery which is too large. Stratification and Peukert's law are the bane of batteries.

Choosing proper batteries is more important than which solar panels to use. 6 months down the line the panels will perform the same but the batteries could be on their last leg.

grant
19th January 2015, 10:48
i live in a 36ft bus that ive fitted out with 8x 200w pannels 1700$ momocryistal , 6 ,2volt 600amh batterys makes 12v got for 2000$ through a mate that works at a battery shop probably worth 3000$ , with 2 inverters one small 1500watt high frequency, and one big 6000watt transformer type low frequency for heavy duty stuff , the transformer one takes 11 amps just on idle , small one 1-2 amps, but i can plug a generator into it and it works in reverse to charge batterys ,
i run a split system 2.5 kw aircon takes around 800wats to run, witch when the suns out it runs just by the pannels , can run it for a few hours after the sun goes down , dont like to run it to long on batteries , 12volt 220lt fridge 70watts , led tv 35 watts , led light stripes x2 5m long 2amps each i think , change colors too :-) ill post some pics soon when i work that out .

grant
19th January 2015, 11:30
28675

plus 1000$ charge controler , midnite classic, and still trying to upload pics of my batteries

grant
19th January 2015, 11:41
2867628677

12v is good up to 100 amps draw from the batterys , the aircon takes around 60amps dc on high, 800w a/c i have heard if u want to go above 100amps then u need 24v to half the amps/ current , sorry if thats confusing its late and a bit rushed have to go to bed soon or ill wake up tired again :-/

grant
19th January 2015, 11:50
28678
just a pic of the outside , still have to put brackets on alot of things before its drivable, and get a truck licence, one day soon!

grant
19th January 2015, 11:53
plus , im still going lol, the pannels and on hinges so i can angle them up for winter witch i need! sorry about the spelling... i will learn how to spell that other witch one day :-) good night

panopticon
19th January 2015, 12:59
i live in a 36ft bus that ive fitted out with 8x 200w pannels 1700$ momocryistal , 6 ,2volt 600amh batterys makes 12v got for 2000$ through a mate that works at a battery shop probably worth 3000$ , with 2 inverters one small 1500watt high frequency, and one big 6000watt transformer type low frequency for heavy duty stuff , the transformer one takes 11 amps just on idle , small one 1-2 amps, but i can plug a generator into it and it works in reverse to charge batterys ,
i run a split system 2.5 kw aircon takes around 800wats to run, witch when the suns out it runs just by the pannels , can run it for a few hours after the sun goes down , dont like to run it to long on batteries , 12volt 220lt fridge 70watts , led tv 35 watts , led light stripes x2 5m long 2amps each i think , change colors too :-) ill post some pics soon when i work that out .

Nice lookin' setup there Grant me ol' salt.

So peak amps coming in from the panels would be what, somewhere near 100 amps an hour?

What's your standby power use from those inverters (or is that what you mean by "on idle" cause south of 1 Amp sounds about right but 2 amps seems a lot for a 1500Watt inverter)?

That split system really only uses 800 Watts?

Do the batteries also charge off the buses diesel engine or do you need an external gen set? What about trying the diesel on old fish & chip shop oil? Smell nice where ever you go :rolleyes:

Are the panels permanently attached if so how do they go driving around?

Love the 70's porn feel of the light strips, just need some wha-wha guitar over some funk to make it complete :P

Something a little like this...

a4FuQXFV7zE
Anyway, nice setup there Grant and lovin' the paint job.

Only trouble is it's a bloody Volvo!!!

How does the power steering on the ol' girl compare to the Merc's from the same period?

The Renault's were always pigs.

-- Pan

grant
20th January 2015, 08:17
i live in a 36ft bus that ive fitted out with 8x 200w pannels 1700$ momocryistal , 6 ,2volt 600amh batterys makes 12v got for 2000$ through a mate that works at a battery shop probably worth 3000$ , with 2 inverters one small 1500watt high frequency, and one big 6000watt transformer type low frequency for heavy duty stuff , the transformer one takes 11 amps just on idle , small one 1-2 amps, but i can plug a generator into it and it works in reverse to charge batterys ,
i run a split system 2.5 kw aircon takes around 800wats to run, witch when the suns out it runs just by the pannels , can run it for a few hours after the sun goes down , dont like to run it to long on batteries , 12volt 220lt fridge 70watts , led tv 35 watts , led light stripes x2 5m long 2amps each i think , change colors too :-) ill post some pics soon when i work that out .

Nice lookin' setup there Grant me ol' salt.

So peak amps coming in from the panels would be what, somewhere near 100 amps an hour?

What's your standby power use from those inverters (or is that what you mean by "on idle" cause south of 1 Amp sounds about right but 2 amps seems a lot for a 1500Watt inverter)?

That split system really only uses 800 Watts?

Do the batteries also charge off the buses diesel engine or do you need an external gen set? What about trying the diesel on old fish & chip shop oil? Smell nice where ever you go :rolleyes:

Are the panels permanently attached if so how do they go driving around?

Love the 70's porn feel of the light strips, just need some wha-wha guitar over some funk to make it complete :P

Something a little like this...

a4FuQXFV7zE
Anyway, nice setup there Grant and lovin' the paint job.

Only trouble is it's a bloody Volvo!!!

How does the power steering on the ol' girl compare to the Merc's from the same period?

The Renault's were always pigs.

-- Pan
i run 2 strings of panels 4 panels in seires each then link the 2 strings in parallel = 22 amps @ 88 volts open circuit witch peaks around 90 amps at 14 volts i think ..well ive seen 90amps on the display on the charge controller , ..mite be more efficient if i go 24 volts so the controler doesnt have to reduce the voltage comeing in at 88 volts down to 14.4 and then picks the amps up .. that charge controller is a mppt , max power point tracking witch is more efficient ,
the small inverter takes 1.65 amps to run ,

yeah the new inverter split systems are pretty energy efficient @ 800 watts 60 amps 12.9 volts , but i would want a bigger one in the future like 3.5 kw , the 2.5 works good if u sit infront of it , but the bus can get pretty hot in summer for the 2.5
batteries are septerate from the bus circuit witch is 24 volt , i have a generator 3000 watt small inverter one witch i plan to run streight into my large inverter and it will charge batteries and run the aircon at night if it a hot one , ive tryed it one works good , the little gen reves a bit tho,
as for the veg oil tryed that on my old 86 land cruiser worked pretty good but just got sick of dealing with fatty oil and the rubber oil hose started to crack and perish , it was proper oil hose too ,
ive only driven the bus 3 hours when i picked it up , went good tho 110 easy , turbo diesel :-)

solar pannels a fixed 3 at the back i used the proper solar panel racking and put it on hinges , the others i used aliminuam angel with a hinge set up, its strong enough to drive with ,