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#298510 - 03/02/21 11:45 PM Solar Power 101
Blast Online   happy
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3684
Loc: TX
Advance Notice: On Thursday, March 4th, 2021, episode #96 of my show Merriwether's World! I'll be going over the basic equipment, their pros & cons, and the necessary math you need to figure out what size solar system you need. This won't be covering "whole house mega-arrays" but sub-1,000 Watt emergency & camping systems. You can join the presentation live at either:
www.youtube.com/user/drmerriwether
www.facebook.com/foragingtexas

Replays will be available afterwards at both locations and I'll add those video perma-links to this thread after the presentation is done.
-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

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#298513 - 03/03/21 02:54 AM Re: Solar Power 101 [Re: Blast]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7507
Loc: southern Cal
Great! I'll tune in with great interest....
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Geezer in Chief

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#298514 - 03/03/21 04:01 AM Re: Solar Power 101 [Re: hikermor]
Blast Online   happy
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3684
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Great! I'll tune in with great interest....


Awesome! Be sure to say "hi' laugh
-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

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#298553 - 03/05/21 03:34 AM Re: Solar Power 101 (Updated with link to video) [Re: Blast]
Blast Online   happy
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3684
Loc: TX
This is an introductory-level presentation covering basic info and calculations needed for solar panels, batteries, charge controllers, power inverters, and so-called "solar generators". Feel free to ask questions in the YT comments or here in this thread. Hope it helps!
Blast's Guide to Solar Power: https://youtu.be/1nwUJXDAv7c?t=6
-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

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#298569 - 03/06/21 05:32 PM Re: Solar Power 101 (Updated with link to video) [Re: Blast]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7507
Loc: southern Cal
I look forward to your opinions on "minimalist solar' rigs - system that would sustain phones, a few lights and possibly a tablet or other small items indefinitely when far away from the grid.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#298578 - 03/07/21 08:37 PM Re: Solar Power 101 (Updated with link to video) [Re: hikermor]
Blast Online   happy
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3684
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I look forward to your opinions on "minimalist solar' rigs - system that would sustain phones, a few lights and possibly a tablet or other small items indefinitely when far away from the grid.


What sort of price range?
-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

Top
#298580 - 03/08/21 12:45 AM Re: Solar Power 101 (Updated with link to video) [Re: Blast]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7507
Loc: southern Cal
You know me, a veritable tightwad. Reasonably cheap, but I realize you will have to spend money to get decent stuff. I am ideally looking at something that will power a cell phone(s), some general lighting and possibly a few other small gadgets. Would be independently sustainable, hence solar. useful in power outages, post earthquake, and also for field projects where we might be camping.

I am pretty sure I already have some useful components, but I could see spending $100-$200 additional, maybe more if there are definite advantages, but I am always partial to the $2.98 special.

One thing that came out in our recent power outage is that Mrs. Hikermor and I have very different opinions about what constitutes adequate lighting.

One thing I have demonstrated over the years -when you swallow hard and spend what is necessary to get capable gear, you will be repaid many times over when the gear performs well. It's an investment, not an expenditure....
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Geezer in Chief

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#298581 - 03/08/21 06:36 PM Re: Solar Power 101 (Updated with link to video) [Re: hikermor]
Blast Online   happy
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3684
Loc: TX
Do you already have any deep cycle batteries and if so, what are their Amp-hour ratings? That'll help decide what size panel(s) you should use.
-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

Top
#298583 - 03/08/21 07:54 PM Re: Solar Power 101 (Updated with link to video) [Re: Blast]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7507
Loc: southern Cal
I have a couple of 5000 mAh power banks and a few lights with 2000mAh capabilities. I also have three Goal Zero mini lanterns, thee old style with replaceable batteries. Their total capacity is around 18000 mAh.

I have a couple of 5000 capacity power banks which have lost their ability to charge, or their ability to register their charge rate.
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Geezer in Chief

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#298588 - 03/10/21 05:04 AM Re: Solar Power 101 (Updated with link to video) [Re: hikermor]
Blast Online   happy
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3684
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I have a couple of 5000 mAh power banks and a few lights with 2000mAh capabilities. I also have three Goal Zero mini lanterns, thee old style with replaceable batteries. Their total capacity is around 18000 mAh.

I have a couple of 5000 capacity power banks which have lost their ability to charge, or their ability to register their charge rate.


Can someone double check the following math?

Okay, so you want to charge about 34000mAh worth of batteries.
34000mAh = 34 Amps
Watts = Amps x Volts
34 Amps x 12 Volts = 408 Watts but you need to add at least 10% extra to make up for inefficiencies so lets say 450 Watts.

A 30 Watt solar panel exposed to 8 hours of sunlight:
30W x 8h = 240Watts
So it'd take almost 16 hours of sunlight for one 30Watt solar panel to charge everything you have all at the same time.

Increase to a 50Watt solar panel:
50W x 8h = 400Watts which is almost enough power in 8 hours to charge everything

If using a 100Watt panel:
100W x 8h = 800Watts so it's charged in around five hours.

My recommendation:
50 Watt solar panel: https://amzn.to/30qaoH4
Blocking diode to prevent electricity flowing back into panel: https://amzn.to/3bx6i6l
PWM charger controller to protect batteries from overcharging: https://amzn.to/3qywuBy
12VDC & USB outlet connected to charge controller: https://amzn.to/2OfJKhq

Personally, I'd add a single, 35Ah deep-cycle battery to the system, connect it to the 12VDC/USB outlets, and then charge the smaller stuff off it.
-Blast
_________________________
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

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