Your Questions About Solar Powered Generator

Linda asks…

After I set up the solar panels, how to connect to generator?

If I set up a solar collecting system, how do go about getting the power collected, to for instance, turn on a light bulb inside the house, or power an outlet?
Thank you so much. I know I have to do some more research, but you helped me out a great deal.
You know Geoff, considering I did not intend to walk outside and immediately get to work on it, but instead, I plan to actually learn HOW to do it, and will not attempt it until I know precisely what I am doing, there is no need for you to worry. I understood exactly what the other answerer was saying and I know what I need to understand before I attempt it, but thanks for the concern [?]

ssadmin answers:

If you are asking this basic a question, you really need to do lots of homework or get some professional advice!
Solar panels are usually hooked up to a group of sealed lead-acid batteries (car batteries). They are usually 12 volt. A transformer is used to convert the 12 volt up to 120 volt house current. That line will be hooked up to a balance transfer switch if you are still on the grid. The balance transfer switch will keep the power from your electric power company from interfering with your solar battery power.Balance transfer switches are also used for back up generator power.

-Brian

Chris asks…

How can I make a Human Power Generator? What parts do I need, where can I find them, and how do I connect it?

I'd like to make a human power Generator, for example by a pump or pedals, or crank, or pulley, exercise bike etc.. I'd like this to be one source into way to produce electricity, that a wind tower and a solar pannel.

ssadmin answers:

Try http://www.instructables.com It has a lot of things people make from stuff. The link below is an exercise bike generator.

They also have wind and solar generators.

Mary asks…

Can a solar panel help to eliminate frozen water pipes in a well?

This past winter my tenants had frozen water twice. Once when the power went out for 5 hours and another time when it hit -38 and no tap was running. The well is enclosed in a heated, insulated room with electric pump. There is also plenty of wind, so am thinking of going solar or wind power instead of a generator for back up.

ssadmin answers:

Was the sun shining when the temperature was so low? I'm guessing probably not. If the wind was blowing during these cold and blackout periods, that may be the best option. There are wind kits for as little as $1000 and you can connect them to ‘heat tape', which is basically a cord that emits heat. They are often used on pipes and eaves to melt snow. See the wind systems below. They will require a small battery system, have the provider draw out your system for you, and then you can install it.

Joseph asks…

does anyone know about solar power batteries?

My little cottage in spain is powered with solar, I was away for a couple of months in the winter now I have returned all seemed well but the distilled water in the batteries has gone just to minimum. I have filled them up to maximum with more distilled water but now the solar doesnt seem to be charging up properly since I added the water to the batteries, I have to keep topping up the power with a generator, can anyone offer any advice as to why please.thank you

ssadmin answers:

It's possible you need new batteries. Just happened to my motorcycle batter over the winter.

When the lead plates oxidize, they lose their effectiveness as a battery, and this is more likely to happen when the battery voltage is low, and it's cold out (or the water level gets low). Try sealed batteries, that may reduce the maintenance a little.

George asks…

What is a decent portable generator for camping?

I am looking for basically a miniature generator, something that I could charge up at an outlet, then go camping and have a bit of power to, say, run a netbook for a little while. Nothing over the top, just a little extra convenience.

I looked at solar generators, I didn't find much that was overly reliable in that direction, but I would love to hear your opinion on a good version of that as well.

Thanks,

~~~Will

ssadmin answers:

For small wattage applications such as a netbook, you have a few options for energy:

1] Purchase a larger or multiple battery packs for the computer;
2] Purchase a solar-powered recharger;
3] Purchase a car-dependent inverter to generate electricity from the cigarette lighter;
4] Directly tap the larger storage battery in the automobile for energy.

I have seen backpackers using a small, portable Powerenz solar system and heard favorable reviews from them. However, the cheapest system is currently out-of-stock, according to the web-site. Contact Powerenz and find-out when production is going to be caught-up with demand or see if a distributor has remaining inventory. If you have $2,000 to spend on a portable power system, Powernz 150 is your solution.

E-mail: service@powerenz.com

Powerenz
1339 Marietta Country Club Drive NW
Kennesaw, Georgia 30152

More solar systems:

PowerEnz LFP40 Sling Pack is a nice portable solution but the markup is quite high. For a comparable setup, here is a list of items and pricing (retail web):

Bag http://www.yourdefensegear.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MX0423B
Solar Charge Controller http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Morningstar-MPPT-Charge-Controllers/Morningstar-Sunsaver-MPPT-Charge-Controller/p6185/
300W Inverter http://www.amazon.com/Duracell-813-0207-01-Digital-Inverter-400/dp/B001TLY4D8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1268327820&sr=1-1
Battery Charger 10A – 12.8V http://www.batteryspace.com/Smart-Charger-10-A-for-12.8V-LiFePO4-Battery-Pack-Worldwide-use-CE.aspx
60W Folding Panel http://www.amazon.com/F15-3600-Folding-Solar-Panel-Charger/dp/B001QKWTJ8/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1268327891&sr=1-7
Battery 12V 40AH http://cgi.ebay.com.sg/Prius-Plugin-Conversion-Lithium-Ion-Battery-12V-40AH-/190327408932#ht_2587wt_1135
Morningstar Remote Temperature Sensor http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Temperature-Sensors/Morningstar-Remote-Temperature-Sensor/p4564/?nav=detail-addon

Check on Harbor Frieght:

“Harbor frieght sells a 45 watt set of panels for $249 regularly, $199 sometimes but most recently for about $149. I put them on my motor home roof to charge an extra battery for my laptop and TV. So: panels, controller and new deep cycle battery cost me about $250 and a little of my time to mount it up there and wire it in. ”

You need to add a lead acid battery and inverter.

Look at Chicago Electric solar panel systems.

Addendum:

I just found references to Brunton, 12-watt, flexible solar panels, $322 retail, for recharging small electronic devices with a cigarette-lighter adapter. Sears lists a Brunton, 17-watt, foldable solar panel, $432.

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