Your Questions About Solar Powered Generator

Paul asks…

Any good sources of wind power or solar power generators at a good price? How about efficient generators?

ssadmin answers:

In my experience, any solar power panels or windmills that generate power worth buying are pretty expensive.

However, I built a windmill myself a couple of weeks ago to try to save money on electricity.

I was able to build it in one Saturday afternoon and I got everything I needed from the hardware store for less than $150.

Now it is powering a couple of lamps and a TV. I am expecting huge savings on my next power bill.

Here are the plans I used:

Ruth asks…

Cost to have a Solar or Wind Powered House?

You see these every so often on the news or on youtube. Last Earth day, one of the tv stations interviewed a couple who's house ran solely on windpower, infact, they had so much excess energy, they were running dozens more appliances than they needed to with no problem.

I've heard that people in Germany have solar generators, and actually sell surplus energy to the power companies.

Naturally having a solar or wind powered house isn't cheap (I'm going to guess at least $10k) but it would save us more in the long run.

All things were too costly at first (personal CD players, microwaves…) but as a strong market developed for them, and they could be mass produced, they became reasonably priced.

Coal, natural gas, and oil hasn't been too enviromentally friendly, and we can't afford to keep destroying the Earth

ssadmin answers:

Earthships are earth sheltered autonomous buildings made with rammed tire and bale straw and arranged in a horseshoe shape. Windows on the sunnier side of the earthship is what properly heats the underground home. Windows are set up to catch the maximum heat within the winter months.

Electricity is obtained form renewable energy sources such as solar cells or small windmills.

The earthship farm is self contained and is selling for $470,000.

Sandra asks…

Why not use solar power as a fail safe second to a generator for nuclear reactors?

I'm talking about just enough energy for charging a huge battery that can be used only in situations such as this… If this wouldn't work, maybe wind turbines?
Not a replacement… A backup. Well, I guess I understand what you're saying. If it's not safe, it's out of the question altogether.

ssadmin answers:

The problem is simple. On a calm night, you would not have much power at all – or on a calm cloudy/rainy day. That means you cannot count on it.

You need something that will work at ANY time, and very reliably. Of course, nothing is 100% reliable, so one layer of back-up is not enough in a case like this. But you still want each level to be completely self sufficient and not dependent on variable conditions.

Donna asks…

what kind of solar panel would i need to charge i car battery?

i am looking to build a small solar generator to power a few lights and so forth, i have a deep cycle gel car battery, but what watt and volt solar panel would i need to charge it in an efficient amount of time? also, is it possible to hook up 2 small solar panels to one battery to charge it or would that not work? like would 2 5 watts be as good as a 10 watt?

ssadmin answers:

More watts is more power, because watts are a measure of power. Most solar panels produce the right voltage to charge a car battery, but you should really have a charge controller too. See the source for some ideas.

John asks…

What solar equipment is necessary to power a steam generator for a home steam bath?

The generator I have is rated at 12 KW, requires 220V and 33Amp service to heat a room of 500 cubic feet. The power is only needed periodically and for short periods of time, 30 – 60 minutes a day. (on a rare occasion, twice a day.) How do I plan, organize and calculate the required equipment?

ssadmin answers:

You want to power it with Photovoltaic panels?
Or are you asking about passive solar pre-heaters?

If you are going to buy Photovoltaic panels, just call up a install firm and get some. There is a 30% tax credit for them now even. But why you are specifically tying the PV panels into your sauna is just confusing. It would sure make for an expensive sauna.

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