Three 20W panels for £165 inclusive. That works out at £2.75 per watt, which is very good value. Most panels are going for well over £5 per watt. For some reason Americans can pick them up for half that price in the US. As usual, anything shipped over here just has the $ sign replaced with a £ sign and no attempt is made to exchange the currency.
Now, I need to get a few deep-cycle batteries, a charge controller and an inverter to convert DC to AC. As stated in my last post, I put a power meter on various devices that I may want to take with me on my off-grid odyssey. A fridge is out of the question and so is a television but I will run DVDs and CDs on my 20W netbook.
Most other things I have run off rechargeable AA batteries that can be recharged with a 1W recharger. I will need my power tools but they can be run off the car battery with the engine acting as a generator to stop the car battery being ruined.
The solar panels will act as trickle chargers to keep the deep-cycle battery topped up. With only 60W that is not going to be possible on an overcast day and so the car will be employed as a generator again. I will try to avoid so-called civilisation but when I do drive in then I will put the batteries in the back of the car and charge them up via the cigarette lighter.
I should really have bought more solar panels but the chap who was unloading them has sold out. I want to get all this up and running here before I go anywhere else so I might make a short video to demonstrate how it all fits together.
NB - I notice that in my previous post I mention some CFL bulbs. They are, of course, useless in an off-grid system that will probably use a modified sine wave inverter. I won't be splashing out on a pure sine wave inverter, and a modified (ie. square wave) inverter cannot be used in conjunction with inductive loads, which CFLs and all fluorescent lights are.