Author Topic: Question on small solar system, need advice.  (Read 1665 times)

Offline yoteslinger

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Question on small solar system, need advice.
« on: November 07, 2012, 08:52:13 PM »
Hello, I'm new to solar and need some advice.  I purchased the shell of a furniture truck (35 ft. deep) and have it out on some land where there's no electricity.  We use it to store things we can lock up like ATVs, tools, feed, etc..  It has some 12v built-in lights in the ceiling with a toggle switch near the roll-up door.  I would like hook a car battery up to the lights and use a solar cell to keep the battery charged.  The lights would only get used no more than an hour or so a day at a maximum.  Probably more like a few minutes every other day.  Does anyone have advice on what I need? Thanks much!
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see. ~Winston Churchill

Online cmxterra

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 09:04:07 PM »
solar panel.. charge controller and you already have a battery. You could add a 12v inverter and get yourself some 110v AC in the mix if you wanted.

This is more than what you are needing but it will give you an idea of how it all works


Charge controller


Batteries


Inverter


Power, baby!
concordia discors

Oderint dum metuat

Offline yoteslinger

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 10:41:38 AM »
Yeah, that would power a lot more than two 12v flood lights.  Thanks!
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see. ~Winston Churchill

Offline Gilgamesh

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 08:23:57 PM »

Offline Cedar

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 09:02:38 PM »
I have been using this setup for 5-6 years now? I use it mostly for a lamp, a radio and my laptop. When I didn't have a good battery in my laptop and it was my only form of communication on the road for 5 months, I set the panel in the back of the truck, ran the cord in the back slider over the dog and into the front seat with the powerbox.

Other than replacing the battery after 5 years ($70-some) I have never had a complaint with it. I originally bought to to learn about solar power. I also like that it tells you how much juice you are using.






Plus a nice light

and I SOOOO needed and it was an added bonus as I didnt know it had it when I bought it.... a air compressor, which I used to recharge my pressure tank for the well when it 'drowned'.. as well as car tires.



I did run a small light on it, but the LED Christmas lights use less and can put out more light if you use more of them for less power.

Cedar

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Offline AlanB

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 01:17:59 PM »
http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-panel-kit-45-watt-68751.html

These are on sale at the moment (even below the normal sale price of $160 if that makes any sense.)

I am normally very shy of HF electric stuff, but I plan on picking one of these up tomorrow.

My thoughts are it will power my portable electric chicken / predator net fence, and supply a limited amount of back up power in conjunction with my inverter if needed.

You could get by with something much smaller (and cheaper) I suspect, you probably just need one of the little solar float type chargers really for the usage you are describing.

I keep one of those on my bobcat as the charging system is not working, and it does fine with it and they are relatively cheap.

Good luck.

Offline ib71

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2012, 08:39:23 PM »
Does anybody have experience with the solar cube generator 1500 they were at Costco for $700

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 08:58:45 PM »
Does anybody have experience with the solar cube generator 1500 they were at Costco for $700

ib71, by all means run, do not walk, to Jack's interview with Steven Harris on Episodes 1039 & 1040.  They discuss this unit's shortcomings in detail, and show how to build a unit with similar capabilities for much less.  Yes, even less than $700.

Interesting that they're getting blown out at half price now.
Build it or buy it, start it up and try it, maybe even fry it.  Otherwise you'll never know if it works.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline Erigorn

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2012, 08:41:45 AM »
I don't know if its enough light for you but at my shed i have some solar powered motion sensing lights. They are pretty small. Charge all day and if i need to get in my shed at night they turn on for a minute (adjustable) at a time. I imagine they make some that can be switched on rather than motion or set the motion to very unsensitive or something like that. They are about 20 bucks but contain all the batteries, solar, and light. It would give you enough time but not tons of power. I have 2 inside my 16x16 shed and its plenty of light for finding what i need without a flashlight. Some of the option above have more than enough capacity but are also more $. Depends what you want.

And sweet setup you have there CMXTERRA

Offline Carl

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 01:22:19 PM »
Hello, I'm new to solar and need some advice.  I purchased the shell of a furniture truck (35 ft. deep) and have it out on some land where there's no electricity.  We use it to store things we can lock up like ATVs, tools, feed, etc..  It has some 12v built-in lights in the ceiling with a toggle switch near the roll-up door.  I would like hook a car battery up to the lights and use a solar cell to keep the battery charged.  The lights would only get used no more than an hour or so a day at a maximum.  Probably more like a few minutes every other day.  Does anyone have advice on what I need? Thanks much!

I am a slow reader....If you drive to the truck body,why not attach an ANDERSON plug on your auto and simply plug in a jumper cord when you are on site?
I am 100% in favor of TRIGGER CONTROL.

Your best piece of survival gear is your brain,
you should carry it with you every day.

Offline moblet

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2014, 09:55:15 PM »
What wattage are the lights? If you're in the southern states then 1W of panel capacity for every 4W of lighting should easily keep pace with your proposed usage. If you are using 10W or less of panel capacity then you may not need a charge controller, since a controller's primary function is to protect batteries from overcharging.

If the long term plan at that location is to be reliant on batteries, consider replacing the lamps with LED versions now, as you'll do it one day anyway.

Do you have a spare car battery lying around, or will you be purchasing a battery for this application? If so, and you don't need to use it for cranking, buy a deep cycle one.

Offline keebler

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Re: Question on small solar system, need advice.
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2014, 01:10:52 PM »
I started Years ago ,with small units to keep vehicle battery's charged, 2008 I bought Harbor freight 45 watt kit, comes with charge controller & some lamps.it's still doing fine.
but I have a total 370 watts other wise to charge a bigger Battery bank for 14 lights in my house.
all 12 volt Led's
s.w.m. senior prepper, solar, vandweller, camper,