Thoughts on Solar system

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Thoughts on Solar system

Postby karmabox » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:05 pm

Thoughts on this system to (quietly) augment a generator systems. Would be used for lighting, fans, recharging, etc.

http://www.costco.com/GOAL-ZERO%C2%AE-P ... 78386.html

Of course it is more than a DIY system. If it turns out to be crap, Costco return will be helpful.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby BBadger » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:05 pm

I think solar power for the playa in general is a joke, but a 30W solar panel rig with a tiny 350Whr battery for $550? You've gotta be kidding me.

Unless you're planning on using that solar panel all the time the rest of the year, don't bother. Solar power is a waste of money for just playa use. Hell, even if you use it the rest of the year I'd look into something else worth keeping.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby ygmir » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:13 pm

BBadger wrote:I think solar power for the playa in general is a joke, but a 30W solar panel rig with a tiny 350Whr battery for $550? You've gotta be kidding me.

Unless you're planning on using that solar panel all the time the rest of the year, don't bother. Solar power is a waste of money for just playa use. Hell, even if you use it the rest of the year I'd look into something else worth keeping.


yup, I'm factoring out costs, PITA, and maintenance, related to the 2500 watt system I'm still trying to get county approval for.
All things considered, It'll break me even, over it's life, meaning I'll make as much from the electricity sold back to "the grid" as the system costs me........or close.
Solar stuff is getting cheaper all the time. and the bigger panels are the best deal, per watt.
220 watts is pretty average. It comes out at 24 or 36 volts.......you can buy, or make your own, ways to handle that D.C. current.
of course, one good rock, and the panel is junk, or mostly there.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby Elorrum » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:47 pm

I'm so dense today... this is what I thought of when I saw this thread:
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby danibel » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:48 pm

One of my campmates brings out a panel he bought a harbor freight a few years back. He uses it to trickle charge a battery for his fridge in a trailer. I think it was under $100. He does have to move it around and dust it off once in awhile. I wouldn't spend more than that for any solar panel for the burn. Like it was said above, unless you are going to use it for something else throughout the year, it's probably a waste of cold hard cash.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:16 pm

Hello Karma, That is a great post-Sandy system capable of keeping mobile phones allive, a small light for a few hours and getting a little laptop use.

As others point out, it is expensive in relation to the components. If you search these forums, you will find a large amount of helpful suggestions on solar. Good for you in jumping to energy self reliance on playa and off!
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby karmabox » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:00 pm

I don't debate that cost of watts from solar is not competitive with a generator, however the other factors (noise, portability, etc.).

I do have a gennie, so what I am looking for is a battery/solar system for LED lighting, recharging, maybe a 12V appliance or two. Obviously I can rig my own, but am not too thrilled about having a wiring rats nests and something that only I can run.

This out-of-the-box system looks pretty straightforward to operate, has clean wiring, and provides a wealth of power output option.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby karmabox » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:02 pm

I would also use the system off-playa for camping, earthquake preparedness, art projects, etc.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby mudpuppy000 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:05 pm

Elorrum wrote:I'm so dense today... this is what I thought of when I saw this thread:


Haha, me too... Nerds. :D
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby unjonharley » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:07 pm

Tiahaar has a wind powered charger on his bus. The wind powers a 12v motor.. I notice he has to stop it .. It produces a little to much power.. YOU might PM him for information..
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby BBadger » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:09 pm

karmabox wrote:I don't debate that cost of watts from solar is not competitive with a generator, however the other factors (noise, portability, etc.).

I do have a gennie, so what I am looking for is a battery/solar system for LED lighting, recharging, maybe a 12V appliance or two. Obviously I can rig my own, but am not too thrilled about having a wiring rats nests and something that only I can run.

This out-of-the-box system looks pretty straightforward to operate, has clean wiring, and provides a wealth of power output option.


Most power packs have those exact same outputs. Anyway, it sounds like you just want an appliance. If $550 is worth it to you for a 30W solar power source, by all means go for it.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby Noboundaries » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:19 pm

mudpuppy000 wrote:
Elorrum wrote:I'm so dense today... this is what I thought of when I saw this thread:


Haha, me too... Nerds. :D


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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:39 am

Elorrum wrote:I'm so dense today... this is what I thought of when I saw this thread:


You're not alone, I am here to tell you. :)
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby Savannah » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:03 am

If I wanted to have independent power, and were driving to the event, I'd probably aim at a Powerpack, as previously mentioned (half the price) and buy locally from an automotive or home store with a 30+ day return policy, two weeks before the Burn. I've seen enough nightmare horror stories about trying to return defective powerpacks online that I would never bother to buy that way. A certain noticeable percentage are duds from sitting too long, and it costs a lot of money to ship them back, after which some merchants become argumentative about refunding shipping (even when the unit is purchased through a major retailer).

To cut back on the amount of power I need, I have oscillating fans, light strings and lanterns that are battery-powered and (go ahead and laugh) a curling iron that's butane powered. :)
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby BBadger » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:16 am

Savannah wrote:If I wanted to have independent power, and were driving to the event, I'd probably aim at a Powerpack, as previously mentioned (half the price) and buy locally from an automotive or home store with a 30+ day return policy, two weeks before the Burn. I've seen enough nightmare horror stories about trying to return defective powerpacks online that I would never bother to buy that way. A certain noticeable percentage are duds from sitting too long, and it costs a lot of money to ship them back, after which some merchants become argumentative about refunding shipping (even when the unit is purchased through a major retailer).


Yeah, the rated shelf-life of those batteries is 6 months or so. I'm not sure what it drains down to, but if it's too low it starts damaging the capacity of the battery.

To cut back on the amount of power I need, I have oscillating fans, light strings and lanterns that are battery-powered and (go ahead and laugh) a curling iron that's butane powered. :)


After learning that my sister brings shavers to shave her legs on backpacking camping trips nothing surprises me anymore.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby Savannah » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:32 am

BBadger wrote:
Savannah wrote:To cut back on the amount of power I need, I have oscillating fans, light strings and lanterns that are battery-powered and (go ahead and laugh) a curling iron that's butane powered. :)


After learning that my sister brings shavers to shave her legs on backpacking camping trips nothing surprises me anymore.


Heh! Re appearance, my thoughts are these:

1) Positive reinforcement is a helluva drug.
2) Negative reinforcement is a helluva drug.
3) Sometimes it's not literally about how you look, it's how you feel.

. . . If a person doesn't make her (or his) primping your problem, it's best to laugh and look the other way. :)
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby Packoderm » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:29 am

I'd rather buy the 45 watt system from Harbor Freight for $149 in conjunction with one of these for $126. You really do end up using the jumpstarter part outside of BM. I've had good luck using such a combination while camping in Baja California.

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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:12 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:
Elorrum wrote:I'm so dense today... this is what I thought of when I saw this thread:


You're not alone, I am here to tell you. :)

Yeah, I guess all us space nerds are being flushed out of the bushes on this...
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby Savannah » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:27 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:
Elorrum wrote:I'm so dense today... this is what I thought of when I saw this thread:


You're not alone, I am here to tell you. :)

Yeah, I guess all us space nerds are being flushed out of the bushes on this...


I don't think I'm knowledgeable enough to be called a space nerd, but I thought that's what this thread was going to be about, too. :lol:
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby trilobyte » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:01 pm

It made me think of the awesome BBC docu with Professor Brian Cox

[media]
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:07 pm

Oh great, now I'm going to hear Sir David Attenbourough's voice every time I read this thread.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby trilobyte » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:15 pm

No no no, not Attenborough. You'll be thinking about Cox all day. :mrgreen:
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:18 pm

No, I didn't follow the link. Attenburough is my go-to voice for BBC documentaries.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby Savannah » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:19 pm

trilobyte wrote:No no no, not Attenborough. You'll be thinking about Cox all day. :mrgreen:


:lol:
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:04 pm

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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby maladroit » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:05 pm

I put a 30W system together for about $125. I only needed to run a few things, and the solar panel was basically helping the batteries not drain so fast. If your batteries are charged, you're carrying a decent amount of power with you on playa already.

The solar panel also came in pretty handy when my car wouldn't start. Only took an hour to charge up enough to get started while packing.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby BAS » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:37 pm

Weirdly, I thought of both meanings of "Solar System."

My best grades for the semester I flunked out of the university were in Astronomy... B on the lab component, C on the class. (I had to look up my GPA for a job application-- never mind that the semester was 25 years ago and the job didn't require college. I couldn't just leave off a GPA and proceed on the online application form.)
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby latchseeker » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:01 pm

Elorrum wrote:I'm so dense today... this is what I thought of when I saw this thread:
Image


Could you imagine if this was your cash cow for you science classroom supplies company, and then they ax pluto.
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby some seeing eye » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:11 pm

I'll have a little steampunk with my solar system:
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Re: Thoughts on Solar system

Postby Tiahaar » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:38 pm

unjonharley wrote:Tiahaar has a wind powered charger on his bus. The wind powers a 12v motor.. I notice he has to stop it .. It produces a little to much power.. YOU might PM him for information..
yus, the permanent magnet alternator I gots does pretty good, however I would rather get more solar power from sun than hope for lotsa wind...dust an all that ya know, I must be getting jaded :wink: There are some great deals on the flexible solar panels going on now over at the 'bay if you're into that but even I must concede that a quiet genny used sparingly is a more doable power solution for the average playa camper.
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