Category Archives: solar

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.  …

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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.…

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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. …

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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.

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. …

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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. …

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Inexpensive Solar Panels

A member of my family has a large number of solar panels for sale.  I am talking about several; thousand.  You can buy from one to whatever.

They are Siemens SP75-CPL 75 watt solar panels

The solar panels are used approx. 10 years old but have the capability of producing for another 15-30 years. New, these were a very expensive panel. These panels are available for $40.00 each, and discounts are available for larger purchases.

Call Carlos at 916-749-0600 in Loomis, California for pricing and shipping information.  If you are local you can pick them up.solar panels Here is the info from our distributor regarding these Siemens panels

These units could be used in any grid-tie or off-grid system. …

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The T-Lite LED Lighting System Works Great, When the Power is Out

T-Lite LED Lighting SystemI normally don’t repeat a post, but I am about to make an exception in this case.  Most of this information was posted a couple of years ago.  It is about the T-Lite LED lighting system made by Sundaya.  The T-Lite led lighting system was developed for third world countries and is one of the simplest and easiest to use solar systems that I have seen.  I have had one and have used it extensively and have found it to be reliable and work well.

What caused me to write about it today was that my granddaughter was looking at it and thought it was amazing. …

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Luci, a Neat Little Solar Powered Lantern.

Luci

Here you can see Luci lit

The other day I received Luci by MPOWERD in the mail.  This is a small inflatable solar powered lantern that is very lightweight at less than 4 ounces.  It is about 5 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick when deflated.  Inflated it is 5 inches in diameter by about 4 inches thick.   It has a 3.7 VDC lithium polymer battery.

After getting it, I immediately had to inflate it and play with it.  It wasn’t hard to blow up once you found the trick.  You need to bite on the valve as you blow.  …

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The Sunjack Solar Charger and Camp Light.

 

Sunjack

The Sunjack in the unfolded position

I recently received a Sunjack 14 watt solar charger, battery and Camp Light for me to review.  Now the Sunjack is made up of four solar panels that are in a black foldable case. When folded the entire unit measures  6.75“ long x 9.25“ wide x 1.75“ thick, about the same size as an ipad and weights 2 pounds.  This includes the Sunjack and the 8,000mAh lithium-polymer battery that comes with it.  The Sunjack is approximately 24 inches long when fully opened.  The battery, charging cable, and USB ports are located in a mesh bag behind the charger.…

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A Good Customer Experience from Goal Zero

goal zero

The complete package including the Nomad 7 and the Guide 10 battery pack..

Lately it seems like everywhere I go the customer service is lousy, so today’s experience was a breath of fresh air.  I have a Nomad 7 with the Guide 10 battery pack.  It has given me good service, but I ran into a problem of my own making.  I wanted to charge some AAA batteries and found out I had lost the adapter that lets them fit into the guide 10.

Feeling kind of bummed out I called Goal Zero and explained that I had lost the adapter and needed another. …

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