Your Questions About Solar Powered Generator

Sandra asks…

can a 400-Watt 16.5-Volt Solar Panel Generator power my house?

I think that that solar panel will give 17,777.78 W at standard voltage (110V in the US), which comes out to be about double of what a standard household uses, taking into account efficiency (decrease to 70%) and cloud cover, night, etc (decrease to 20%). But I might be completely wrong. I would like to hear from those who know more about these things. 😀

So is it equivalent to 17,777.78 W at standard voltage (110V in the US)? Or am I just lost? 😛
Never mind—power doesn’t change, current does.


ssadmin answers:

I dont understand your 17,777.78 figure.

Anyway, a 400 wat panel is unlikely to b enough to power your home unless your power requirement is vry low.
Those on solar power (off grid) generally start by reducing their power consumption as much as possible, by cooking on gas, using low enrgy light bulbs, and certainly not using electricity for any form of heating.

We live off grid in southern Spain with 860 watts of panels and it meets our requiremnts.
You can calculate your plower requirements (and find other info) at the link below

Steven asks…

Are there ways to power or charge a laptop without access to a power outlet (solar, wind-up, generator, etc)?

ssadmin answers:

There are solar powered laptop chargers. Try the two links below for additional information on cost and availability.

Laura asks…

Where online can I buy a solar power panel that can charge up a simple car battery to full charge?

I am building a sun-power generator for a remote encampment/retreat!

I need to know anything ya'll know about maintaining and holding length of charge in a simple car battery.

The idea is to drive as far as possible then take the battery out of the car and bring it with us to use an inverter to have house-hold power in the wilderness.

ssadmin answers:

Try Here:
Or try searching ebay
Good Luck

Chris asks…

How is solar power obtained for a 220 waterwell pump?

I live in a location without municipal water supply. I could buy a natural gas generator, and hire an electrician to connect it to my breaker box, but I believe there is a way to connect solar panels to a battery system to provide enough power for my 220 volts submerged pump. I have 2 horses, 24 chickens, 2 dogs, 4 cats, 3 parakeets, and 3 people that need water in the event of a hurricane, national power grid attack,etc. There are solar powered generators advertised, but they are not powerful enough for 220. Also, my whole neighborhood of over 200 homes all lives off their own water wells, and we all suffered during hurricane Ike: 10 days without a water supply.

ssadmin answers:

For that heavy a load, I'd think that a gasoline or diesel generator might be more appropriate.

While you could possibly set up a bank of solar-charged batteries to power a 220-volt inverter, the power requirements could make that approach cost-prohibitive.

Betty asks…

Has anyone made a home made generator?

Has anyone made a home made generator? I am looking to make a small solar, gas, battery powered generator, something that will run some barn lights. If you have made one, please give me a list of parts, and instructions. maybe a good website to visit.

ssadmin answers:

How To Build A Wind Generator ———————-Build a generator from a lawn-edger motor.—————-Homemade generator—————————- home made generator Once I bought a petrol engine of an old lawnmower on Ibazar (now Ebay) because I wanted to learn how a four-stroke engine worked. I took it apart, cleaned everything, placed new seals and finally mounted everything back together. But she would not start. After having taken my tools again and having put it together a second time, around two weeks later, she gave her old sound again. It was the first time I saw her spinning, and she did great!

Having done all this, I thought, why should I not build something useful with this piece of beautiful equipment? At first, I had the idea of making a powerful water pump with her, but because I could not find suitable parts, I changed my mind and decided to build an homemade electric generator.

For making my electric generator, I started with the engine that I already had. It is a Briggs & Stratton 3.5 HP with a vertical shaft of 7/8 inch (22.22 mm) diameter. Serial number: Model 92908 Type 1282 – 01 Code 82021605 (engine is from 1982!) ——————-I made a homemade generator. Clip this post email this post what is this?
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Posted by mihi Southeast (My Page) on Wed, Oct 18, 06 at 22:45

I recently built a homemade generator. I decided it would be nice to have if we lose power and I want to keep the refrigerator and freezer going.
Here is how I did it:

1) I asked around and got an old lawnmower given to me. It was a Murray with a 4.5 horse Briggs engine. The handle was shot, the wheels were falling off, but I got the engine running good. I cleaned the air filter, which I don't think had ever been done, and changed the oil and sparkplug. It runs fine now.

2) I bought a steel plate for $25 from This plat has universal holes drilled for a lawnmower. It also has the mounting holes for the alternator I would need. I bolted the lawnmower engine to the plate. I took the blade off the lawnmower first though. I also used 3 washers between the plate and engine to lift it off the plate a bit. This was needed to insure it could get in “depth” alignment with the alternator, in other words so the shaft didn't stick down to far.

Also, the blade acts as fly-wheel weight, which you lose when you take it off. I've found the pulley and alternator bring enough weight to make it work OK though and start easy enough.

3) I put a pulley on the lawnmower crankshaft. This to run the belt that goes to the alternator. I also got this pulley from epicenter. Theirs is a very good quality one, better than what I saw at Northern Tool.

4) I picked up a GM alternator. You can get the model number needed at theepicenter to from some of the plans they have. I used the alternator where you have a switch in the circuitry so that you can switch on the alternator to charge the battery, or you can switch it off. You can pick-up used alternators at the car junkyard, about $25. Or you can get a newly rebuilt one for about $50 or so. You do need to understand the different types and how they hook-up, which is really very simple. Theepicenter website gives a good description.

5) You have to bolt the alternator to the steel plate. I had to go to the hardware store to get the correct bolts and stuff for this. It was easily done though.

6) You have to get a belt to run between the engine pulley and the alternator pulley. I ended up getting one from theepicenter too, as it was about as cheap as anywhere else and I got the right belt. Read their info. To decide on the right belt to use. I put the belt on and tensioned it just by feel.

7) I had gotten some cables that would work to hook the alternator to the battery post of a 12V car battery that I had available to me. Tell the guys at the autopart store what you're doing, they have them. You can also get them from theepicenter too. In this system you have to have a battery because a car alternator needs to be attached to one when it is charging. But that's OK, I like having the battery because I can run small appliances without having to crank-up the engine.

8) Then I ran some wires and a couple of switches, which I got at the local auto parts store, to an inverter that I had ordered. I got a 1200 watt continuous inverter for $99 (and no shipping charge or tax!). You can get small 400 watt inverters for about $25 if you only need to power small stuff.

9) I didn't mentioned that I built a wooden frame for this all to set on. Its a hodgepodge of 2×4's I had laying around. But it does the job of holding the steel plate with engine and alternator, and battery

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