Father_Burn wrote:Get Golf Cart Batteries. It's the best battery for the money.
wimala1 wrote:i used solar this past year. ran my swamp cooler, supplemental fan in the tent, a light in the tent at night, charged the phones for the drive out - it was great!! i used a charge controller and had just a normal car battery from walmart ($50) which i gifted to my neighbor with an rv at the end.
i used the panel from a solar attic vent fan - already had the panel and it produced great power - i didn't lack for anything.
Fufa wrote:Anyone have an idea how big of a set up is needed to charge up a couple quad batteries (used to light bikes), a deep cycle to light the camp with xmas lights at night, and small things like camera batteries? We currently use a generator, but I hate the noise.
oscillator wrote:The ingredients of this system are not the cheapest, but more robust, efficient and smaller footprint than say, the 45W Harbor Freight option and cheap car inverters that do not hold up in the desert. I think the current parts cost for this system is around US$900 and its longevity makes the extra cost worth it.
Let's talk apples to apples, kWh to kWh. The average usage for a typical home is approximately 920kWh per month, totaling about $95 per month in charges @ 10.5 cents/kWh. That's approximately $1100 per year spent on electricity, for ~1200W of power used 24/7 for a year. Using this calculator, for solar power setup that would provide 100% power offset, for a typical 7.5hrs of average sunlight per day in the US, you need a 5.38kW solar array. Going rates for solar cells can vary depending on array size; I used $6/W as the average cost for an array like this. An array that size would cost roughly $32,000 to install.
BeachBum wrote:So, looks like you'll generate 250 Watt-hours of power per day, and use about 310+35+180+30=555 Watt-hours per day. Probably need to cut back on some power used.
Best way to cut back on power used is to cut down the Watt-hours used by the swamp cooler. Like to Figjam's 18 Watts ( 12V * 1.5Amps), and limit the hours it's used each day. Also, maybe change the lights to LEDs or LED Christmas light strings (5Watts each). Another thought is to provide a bit more for lights and sound (the fun stuff), and really cut back on the swamp cooler, you probably won't be in your tent from mid-morning till evening anyways. Or, can add a little bit of power by getting the 55 Watt Coleman Solar Panel kit from Costco for $200. They also carry a much, much smaller 60 Watt folder semiconductor solar panel for $270 at the bigger stores. You have the basic math to figure out if it'll work.
If your battery goes down too far, you can always jump the battery by your car, idling your engine for like half an hour or an hour. Or, ask someone with a generator to top it off. After TTITD, just give the battery a full recharge, sit it on a shelf, and it should be good till the next year, checking it with a voltmeter every few months to make sure it didn't discharge itself.
Nice and fun project! Have a good time with it!
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