Solar on a Budget
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below!
In this show, we discuss ideas for building a low cost solar powered system as an option to provide lighting and some, limited AC power in a grid down scenario. I discuss what I used and why I chose it. We will include the benefits of buying the solar kit from Harbor Freight. What the basic kit comes with and how to buy it on the cheap with coupons.
Listen to this broadcast or download “Solar on a Budget!” in player below!
Next we’ll discuss the reason why using a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) charge controller is better than Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) and how you can improve the health of your batteries. Batteries are delicate creatures when it comes to charging and keeping them up. We’ll briefly discuss the difference between Flooded Lead Acid and Absorbed Glass Mat and some of the pros and cons of each; careful not to fall into the trap of Cold Cranking Amps..
Next we’ll dive into mood lighting and why it’s important to set the mood when preparing for the end of the world. I’ll explain 3000 Kelvin and 6000 Kelvin LED lighting and how choosing the right color temperature can affect your mood and productivity. I’ll go over a few options for running small AC appliances and why you might need them. This includes Pure Sine Wave and Modified Sine Wave inverters. I’ll give a cool hack for making cheap inverters from a junk UPS. Finally I’ll review problems I have encountered so far, why moisture SUCKS, and voltage drop.
We will not be not talking about running a whole house, running standard appliances, or the new panels that have micro inverters and sell power back to the grid.
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SHOW LINKS to Equipment Used:
• 30A MPPT Solar Charge Controller
• Pyramid RPB8100 8-Gauge Power Cable 100 Feet
• Pyramid RPR8100 8 Gauge Power Wire 100 feet
• 20PCS T10 Harness Connectors Wiring Sockets
• 20pcs T10 White High Power Car Led Lights Bulb
• GLW 10w 12v Daylight White Flood Light
• GLW 10w Warm White Led Flood Light
• Harbor Freight 100w Solar Panel