Category Archives: solar

Solar Powered Flashlights, How Good are They?

solar powered flashlights

Here is the original model.

I like flashlights; we have a ridiculous number of them.  If there is a good buy on a flashlight I have to have it.  They are kind of an obsession with me.  In my collection, I have several different types of solar powered flashlights and I have spent time testing them all.  Like everything, they have advantages and disadvantages.  But over all I think the advantages of solar powered flashlights outweigh the disadvantages.

The first solar powered flashlights that I encountered were the Hybrid Solar Flashlight that I published a review on in 2011, Hybrid solar flashlight review.

Read More...
Posted in lighting, solar, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My Latest Thoughts on Solar Cookers

solar cookers

The parabolic solar cooker

The sun is shining beautifully and the temperature is in the low to mid 50s.  The weather is perfect for winter solar cooking.  This is a good time of the year to get out and practice.  After having played with solar cookers of many different types over the years I have finally decided which I like the best.  First let me start by saying that most solar cookers work and will produce a decent meal.  However, some are much better than others.

Now it may surprise you to know that I have decided on three different types of solar cookers.  …

Read More...
Posted in solar | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Solar Wise Lantern Project

solar wise lanternYesterday I received this post from a family in Wyoming whose children are working on raising money for a family reunion.  In today’s world it is nice to see children trying to accomplish things and work with their parents.  so I decided to support this effort and put up a post on it today.  I have not seen this exact lantern but have one like it and have found them to be useful. So here is the story of the kids and the Solar Wise Lantern.

Hello!  My name is Lori and I wanted to tell you about a project my kids are doing, and wondered if it might be of interest for you to blog about? …

Read More...
Posted in solar | Tagged | 1 Comment

Gosun Sport Solar Cooker a Review

Gosun

The Gosun Sport in use

Today I am posting a review of the Gosun Sport Solar cooker; this is an cooker that I have been working with for the last couple of weeks.  It is a very different design and is about the fastest cooking solar oven I have encountered.  The cooking is done in a metal tray that slides inside of a borosilicate evacuated glass tube.  This tube is heated by the sun being reflected from two parabolic reflectors.  The whole thing folds up like a clamshell for easy storage.

Now over the years, I have used many different types of solar cookers and they all have their limitations. …

Read More...
Posted in cooking, solar | Tagged | 4 Comments

Some Useful Books for Off Grid Solar Systems

Here are a couple of books that can be very useful if you are designing or installing off grid solar systems. 

Ugly’s Electrical References, 2014 Edition is a book that is used by most electricians  as a off grid solar systemsreference manual.  While it is designed to be used as an on-the-job reference, it is very useful for anyone who is designing a backup generator or off grid solar system.

Ugly’s has all the formulas to help you understand things like Ohm’s Law, how to find amps, horsepower rating watts, kilowatts and many other things.   With it you can determine how many watts a motor will draw.  …

Read More...
Posted in solar | Tagged | Leave a comment

Calculate the Size of Your Solar System from Kill A Watt Data

solar systemYesterday I put up a blog on using a Kill A Watt to determine your power usage. Kill A Watt can determine the Size of a Generator/Solar System  Now I know that many of you want to use this information to figure out how big a solar system or generator you need to run your necessary appliances.

A while back I ran a post on How Many Solar Panels and Batteries, For Your Off Power Grid System.  This morning I received a comment asking how to calculate the size solar system you need from the information gathered by the Kill A Watt.…

Read More...
Posted in solar | Tagged | 5 Comments

Charging and Maintaining Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

sealed lead acid batteries

Battery boxes being charged

In my preps I have some sealed lead acid batteries, both 100 amp gel cells and some 7.5 amp batteries made into 12-volt battery packs.  See my old post A Simple 12 Volt Battery Pack., each pack contains two 7.5 amp 12 volt batteries.  These can be charged from the electric system in your home, vechicle or by solar panels.  See A Simple Way to Charge Your Homemade 12 Volt Battery Packs.

Several times a year I get the batteries out and check everything and make sure they are fully charged.  Sealed lead acid batteries are a good choice for many uses; they are rugged, will not leak, easily rechargeable, and offers a good amount of energy in a convenient form. …

Read More...
Posted in electronics, lighting, solar | Tagged | 3 Comments

Hybrid Solar Headlamp, a Review

Hybrid Solar HeadlampI like flashlights, my wife says, I am obsessed with them I have so many.  There are all kinds of different ones around the house from expensive to cheap.  Even I will admit I have way more than I need.  But the other day I received one that I really like.  I have always been a fan of headlamps since they let you go hands free.  The new one I just received is the Hybrid Solar Headlamp from AZ Hybrid Light. 

I have several of the older handheld solar powered Hybrid Lights around the house.  I have had them for about 5 years or so and I leave them on the windowsills and they stay charged. …

Read More...
Posted in lighting, solar | Tagged | 2 Comments

Solar Stove, the Experiences of a Newbie

solar stoveA while back, I received a Solar Stove 1.0 from Art at Solar Prepper .  It is a nice little folding stove that appears to be well made.  I had a friend of mine Tamara check it out.  Now she had never used a solar stove before, but wanted the opportunity.  So the following is her experience with the Solar Stove 1.0 which sells for $35.00.

Howard

When I first received my Solar Stove, I was shocked by its simplicity.  I had done research and read many different reviews, but I was still a little shocked at what I saw in the box. …

Read More...
Posted in solar | Leave a comment

Solar Powered Lantern from Solarpreppers.com

solar powered lanternRecently I received a solar powered lantern from Solarprepper.com .  It is called the Super Bright LED Lantern LS360 and is obviously made in Asia and probably in China.  The lantern sells on their website for $39.

The lantern has 36 LED bulbs and has several settings allowing you a choice of three levels of illumination.  With all 36 bulbs lit, it is quite bright.  When I first received it I though since it is not US made, it is probably not very good.  So for that reason I have played with it for over a month to try to see if I could break it. …

Read More...
Posted in solar | Tagged | 6 Comments