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#137551 - 06/25/08 04:15 AM Re: Costco Solar Panels [Re: dougwalkabout]
Hacksaw
Unregistered


I left before things got bad...sorta saw it coming.

Here's a good site for hardware. The link below is to a 6V-24V suply for use in cars:
http://www.mini-box.com/M1-ATX-90w-Intelligent-Automotive-DC-DC-Power-Supply

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#137577 - 06/25/08 01:12 PM Re: Costco Solar Panels [Re: ]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2812
Those minibox supplies are nice, I have the pw60 running my 500mhz box

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#137678 - 06/25/08 11:19 PM Re: Costco Solar Panels [Re: dougwalkabout]
RayW Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 550
Loc: Orlando, FL
There are other things that do not like MSW inverters, did not know that some things didn't like them and cooked an older makita battery charger. The newer makita chargers don't seem to have this problem.

http://www.donrowe.com/inverters/inverter_faq.html#modified

And click on,

Do I need Modified Sine Wave, or Pure Sine Wave?

for a list of devices that don't like MSW inverters.

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#137907 - 06/27/08 01:37 PM Re: Costco Solar Panels [Re: RayW]
thatguyjeff Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/22/08
Posts: 41
When I first saw this posted, I thought this (original Costo set-up)looked like a great inexpensive solor backup system. And it looked to me like it was ready to go pretty much right out of the box, no need to purchase additional parts save maybe a stand for the panels.

So now some of you have me wondering with all the sine wave discussion. That stuff is way over my head. I do understand the basics when it comes to batteries and inverters. I have a little experience using a deep cycle marine battery and inverter. But aside from charging and hooking the thing up to my sonar, lights, trolling motor or other whatnot, I know nothing.

So, my question, if I want an alternative backup power source for the house to use to power a few lights, maybe a TV, and recharge the phones, ipod, and laptops (I have a macbook and a windows laptop both), and the GPS is this a good option? And, is it ready out of the box like I say?

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#137924 - 06/27/08 03:16 PM Re: Costco Solar Panels [Re: thatguyjeff]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2594
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: thatguyjeff


So, my question, if I want an alternative backup power source for the house to use to power a few lights, maybe a TV, and recharge the phones, ipod, and laptops (I have a macbook and a windows laptop both), and the GPS is this a good option? And, is it ready out of the box like I say?


Based on your needs, I think this package is a pretty good deal.

Keep in mind this is a charging system only.

You will need to provide your own storage battery -- the bigger the better. If you want 110V AC power you'll need to provide your own inverter.

Don't worry about the modified sine wave issue too much. The manual that comes with your inverter will list items that are incompatible.


Edited by dougwalkabout (06/27/08 03:16 PM)

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#137940 - 06/27/08 05:42 PM Re: Costco Solar Panels [Re: thatguyjeff]
philip Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
To recharge batteries, sine wave is irrelevant. For lights, I'd suggest getting 12VDC lights if you can, so you don't have to power an inverter to run 120VAC lights; or get rechargeable lights you can plug into the solar unit during the day.

Check this page and see if it answers your questions on sine waves:
http://www.donrowe.com/inverters/inverter_faq.html
(With regard to powering laptops, note that recharging the battery is different from running the laptop off the inverter.)

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#137962 - 06/27/08 11:28 PM Re: Costco Solar Panels [Re: thatguyjeff]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
Originally Posted By: thatguyjeff
When I first saw this posted, I thought this (original Costo set-up)looked like a great inexpensive solor backup system. And it looked to me like it was ready to go pretty much right out of the box, no need to purchase additional parts save maybe a stand for the panels.

So now some of you have me wondering with all the sine wave discussion. That stuff is way over my head. I do understand the basics when it comes to batteries and inverters. I have a little experience using a deep cycle marine battery and inverter. But aside from charging and hooking the thing up to my sonar, lights, trolling motor or other whatnot, I know nothing.

So, my question, if I want an alternative backup power source for the house to use to power a few lights, maybe a TV, and recharge the phones, ipod, and laptops (I have a macbook and a windows laptop both), and the GPS is this a good option? And, is it ready out of the box like I say?




Trying to power all that when there is a power failure is way too much to ask for from a few solar panels and a battery.

You may be better off with a generator to power all that.



The first thing you need to do is to conserve power, replace, dump or donít use all the stuff in a home that eats electricity like crazy. A person would do good to learn what all the every day items in a home consume in watts. The answer would amaze you as to how much power is being used up for the little or no gain to your benefit.


Almost everything can be put on power strips and shut off (from electricity) to save a lot. All the wall chargers continue to use electricity when they are not charging anything. Feel them; if it feels warm, itís getting that heat from electricity. Almost everything electronic continues to use electricity when it is turned off (TVs, microwaves, DVD players, Laptops, the list is endless) When you put things on power strips and turn them off, you stop these phantom loads from eating electricity. This is the first step to do before buying a solar panel and a few batteries. Solar electricity is extremely expensive, and every watt you donít consume is a watt you donít have to buy.


If you are really interested in this, look for an inline watt meter. This thing will tell you what anything that is plugged into its power requirement are. Its well worth the price (they arenít cheep) if a person is serious about making & managing their own power. You canít figure out what things consume by just reading the label on the back. I have a small microwave that says 600 watts on the back; it uses just over 800 watts to run. So the power / watt meter is worth having to get the real answer about what something uses.

Putting things on power strips is a hassle, most people wonít do it. Family members will fight you on this and just leave things powered up. Itís an uphill battle for a person with a family. We are a society that has become very addicted to instant gratification; we push the button on the remote we want the TV on now, not 30-seconds from now. This NOW mentality cost money to have; it uses power at an amazing rate.


Edited by BobS (06/27/08 11:31 PM)
_________________________



You can run, but you'll only die tired.


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