Your Questions About Solar Powered Generator

Chris asks…

can I run a desktop computer with a solar panel?

I am moving to Hawaii and the house we are living in has independent electricity. (solar panels and gas powered generators.)

ssadmin answers:

The system in the Hawaiian house has solar panels that charge a battery bank. If the sun doesn't shine enough, the generator will kick on and provide the extra power needed. An inverter converts the DC voltage stored in the batteries to AC power that you plug into a wall outlet to use. Depending on the inverter, it should be exactly the same as the AC you buy from the electric company now, so anything that you currently plug in to use will work.

The exception is if they are using an inexpensive modified sine wave inverter, that doesn't generate as clean power as a pure sine wave inverter. Some delicate electronics may have trouble running on it. You may want to ask the house owners which type of inverter it is. If they don't know, ask them the model and you can easily look it up.

Sharon asks…

Can I sue someone for flooding my generator room?

Ok I came to my generator room and it was flooded with about 1ft of water due to my neighbor who decided to jet wash the side of the wall in her garden but as my roof overlaps into her garden she has jet washed the weeds from the wall And I told her that your gonna cause a fire if the water hits the Electrics but she told me F****K OFF and I should not have dangerous Equipment in my workshop.She has completely submerged the generator and all the isolators and ammeters have been water damaged.Am I supposed to pay for a new generator and equipment or of can I make her pay for the equipment.She has broke the generator and all the equipment needs to be replaced now.I now Have no power to my house as my house is solar powered and Generator powered and all the fuses and transformers are underwater.
Ohh and to the dumb ass called equipment is not dangerous and im sure if you are a spark you would understand, if your not then shut up.and a generator is not dangerous and not illegal

ohh and the leak in the roof is not my fault the neighbor removed her shed that backs onto my wall and she has removed the flashing so it leaks now

ssadmin answers:

I hope you can

Linda asks…

Would this work in place of a gas powered generator?

I am planning to convert a retired school bus for a road trip to Burning Man, and i am not planning to do a full camperization, just removing the seats, popping a bed at the end in front of the exit, bringing in a basic couch, and building a short shelving unit the majority of the way along the walls. I am not planning to do wiring in the walls or anything like that for plug ins, as i'm looking to be able to be able to easily modify it as needed for multiple purposes. I have an older 360 watt audio amplifier i'm looking to run on a regular basis, along with some Christmas lights or tube lights around the inside of the bus and the outdoor shelter for lighting at night, plus rationed use/charging of a laptop, and the occasional blender for mixing drinks. From my time reading survival and first timer's guides, gas generators are frowned upon for their noise and environmental impact, plus needing somewhere to store the power (batteries), and fuel to run it. My thought for an alternative power source Is purchase a solar panel trickle charger

(, or )

wired to the school bus's battery(ies), to keep them continually topped up. I would wire in an inverter ( ) either through the cigarette lighter port or directly to the battery. I would then plug my devices (stereo, lights, blender, laptops) into the inverter to run them. I would leave the solar panel out at all times, as it is the desert and there is plenty of daylight.

Here is a rough diagram of what i have in mind:

Sorry for the long story, but if you've made it this far, I thank you. These are my questions:

1: Will a solar panel be able to keep the battery topped up?
2: Will it charge it fast enough to insure generally uninterrupted power to the inverter?
3: What should the minimum Wattage rating on the solar panel be?
4: Should I wire the inverted directly to the battery or run it through the lighter socket.?
5: My stereo amp is rated at 360watts, so should I go with at least a 500watt inverter, or should I get a 1000 or 1500 watt inverter?
6: How long will the battery last once the sun goes down?
7: If the battery does go dead, will it automatically recharge once the sun rises and hits the solar panel, or will it have to be specially booted?
8: What about a 2nd or 3rd battery?, Battery bank?
9: Any extra components I'll need to purchase? (meters, regulators, surge protectors, etc)
10: Any other ideas?

I could always just pick up a generator, it would run about the same price as this set up, but then i'd have to worry about purchasing fuel, the environmental impacts, and the special measures required to avoid annoying neighbors with it's noise. Plus this way i can have power wherever I go, without much preparation / planning. Sorry for the long post, but I'm new to vehicular electrical systems, and will have friends with experience to help me set it up, but i wanted to check here to see if it's even possible. Thanks for the help and advice.

thanks for your support and advice. The reason I'd like to go solar for burning man is that the bank of batteries can charge the whole day so there is no worry about them going dead at night, as I would have to limit my generator usage to about an hour or two a day, and if i fire it up in the morning to recharge after the overnight usage, unless I fire it up later in the day, it will be dead by night, if not noon. With solar I could set it up and let it charge silently all day. The wind idea would not work, as the wind is really inconsistent on the playa, If the wind gets up to a decent speed, that's not a good thing. My normal camp ground is in a valley, so there is not much for wind down there.
yes, a generator would be an option, but not a viable one, as I am unable to run one continuously, no matter how advanced they are, as 1: i'm gonna be driving down from canada, so my only options would be to either bring it all with me, or spend my canadian money in the stats, with a ~ 10c loss, and 2: it would be impossible to safely store enough fuel on the playa, as trips in to down cost 10$ and only occur a few times a day.

Also, i'm gonna be going with a group of around 10 people, so the bus will already be filled with water bottles and food, as we'd rather not get gouged by the exchange rate when buying 1000 bottles of water, plus enough food to feed 10 people for a week.
note – in the first part of my last update, i'm talking about gasoline
edit: the blender use will be minimal, if at all, i'm just thinking in a “what if” situation. The main purpose for the power will be for the lights at night, and, to a lesser (and possibly un-necessary) extent (as I have a portable boom box that's pretty good on d batteries (2/2.5 days of 8/9/more hours a day use on one set of batteries) which would be sufficient. With your guy's advice, plus reading some reviews of the solar panel i've got my eye on, that i'm just gonna run the lights off the batteries at night, and charge the laptop during the day
It's 2 am here, so sorry if some of my posts don't make sense. lol

ssadmin answers:

The solar panel will work nicely to keep the batteries topped, but will probably not be able to run much directly. Look-up solar panels, and calculate the wattage they can produce compared the the square feet of surface, & I think you'll see that a solar panel to keep-up with a blender would be huge. You'll probably end-up with a generator and the solar panels. The more batteries you have, the longer they will last. For that job, depending on how much $$$ you want to spend, the dry-cell car batteries would be best, because they don't have any liquid acid in them to drip if you tip them over. The generators are getting better, too. Look at a generator built for an RV, at an RV dealer. In fact, the RV dealer could have info on solar panels, also.

Joseph asks…

does anyone else have solar power lights at their stables?

we are in the middle of building our stables. i will have no power unless i get a generator. i was looking at solar light. i haven't used them before. i wondered if anyone else had? are they any good?
and it is solar lights i am asking about, not solar panels.
Layla i have asked on horses as i want to know how good they are in a stable.
not how they work.

Solar Light 9sqm 10 LEDs Stable/Feed Store/Shed
is what i am looking at…

ssadmin answers:

Thinking of getting my friend one who has same problem. QVC has a good double light for £39, check it out on, if you buy now, can return up and till 25th January if you find it doesnt work for you, you do have to pay the postage for returned items. Hope that helps

Robert asks…

Solar Powered Lights to heat a Cat house that is outside?

Hey everyone, I've recently befriended a stray cat. It is getter cooler and cooler out, and I would like to make her a house. I've deceided to make her a home from an old cooler and cut a hole in it. I'll use a heating pad also. The only thing is I have no power outlet on my house to connect the cord from the heating pad to. Is there such thing as a small solar powered like generator I could plug the heating pad into? That would be awesome. please help!

ssadmin answers:

Cats choose their own homes, so the cat may not want the house you make.

Wild cats have fur coats, and are generally able to survive without artificial heat. I've seen the barn cats wandering around outside in frosty weather. The cat may appreciate a cushion, blanket, or other soft, insulating thing to lie on, but I think that will be enough.

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