Solar panels have been delivered

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.

2 comments:

lisa winter said...

i'm so excited for you, i can't wait to see pics of the panels up and hear how they work for you. i can't wait until we can afford to get a couple.

James said...

I'll put some results up in the coming weeks.

I've just returned from Northern Spain having been rained and hailed upon for days on end.

Now, to bed for a loooong sleep.