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Emergency Power - SOLAR

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Emergency Power - SOLAR

Post  WD4PG on Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:34 am

I am running a solar emergency power system. I use it to power all my UHF/VHF gear. It's 6 15 watt solar panels on the roof charging two marine deep cycle batteries.

Is any one else doing a solar power backup? Maybe we can share some ideas.
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Re: Emergency Power - SOLAR

Post  WD4PG on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:11 pm

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so...

I bought two of these kits from Harbor Freight http://www.harborfreight.com/45-watt-solar-panel-kit-90599.html.

I use all six panels to charge my 2 deep cycle batteries that I run my VHF/UHF and limited HF ham gear off of.

Panels on roof, here are the panels but you can't see them very well, I have some better pics that I can post. I just need to find them. These panels are 12 volts and 15 watts each, times 6 panels and together make a 90 watt solar capacity.


This is the charge controller for my solar array. It monitors, measures, controls and provides a host of power jacks to run "stuff" off the array. The kits each came with two low wattage 12v CFL lights.


And here are two deep cycle 27D Batteries from Walmart. These are off my boat and were three years old when I put them in service on this array. They had been severely neglected by me and had discharged substantially. But some TLC and time charging on the array has revived them. I keep them in a semi-enclosed garden shed to protect them from the elements and freezing.


What can I do with this setup? Will I be able to stick it to the man by using free power? No! But I can run my radios in an emergency. And I run them on the solar array all the time now. I used my ICOM 706mIIg for all of field day last year on this system. It will run a 12 volt HT forever, literally. And 5 watts on a good antenna is not to be laughed at. I can charge all of my cell phones and small accessories. I can provide some light to areas of the house. The two 27D batteries can provide quite a bit of current if needed for some 110 volt devices through an inverter, for limited use.

I'd really like to add more panels and batteries and expand the system. I thought about mounting some 12 volt RV LED lights in strategic places in the house, stairways, hallways, bedrooms. Then use the 12v lights instead of the AC lights for things like going to the basement, or down the hallway, or going to the bathroom at night. And they would be available in an emergency. But that is a future project.

I'll dig up those other photos and post them...

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Re: Emergency Power - SOLAR

Post  WD4PG on Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:37 pm

BTW, I got my kits for more than half off during one of Harbor Freights crazy sales events. Sign up for their emails, they tell you about all of the sales they have.
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Re: Emergency Power - SOLAR

Post  KJ4LRM on Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:05 pm

This is an excellent setup for the money. Also this kit comes with 2 cfl lights. And as an added bonus if you buy 2 kits you end up with an extra controller for a back up, and 4 lights.
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