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Old 11-18-2008, 08:18 AM   #1
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solar power


Hello,t


I have had some brite idea on watys to try to save money. I would like to get some thoughts on a solar panel wired to some batteries then wired to an outlet. This is wear I could plug in a small space heater to minimize the use of my furnace. My real issue is how big of a panel do I need and how many batteries would it take to get the max power out of the set up.

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Old 11-18-2008, 09:04 AM   #2
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Solar systems are not that simple unfortunately. If they were, I think they'd be a lot more popular. It is a job better left to professional electricians with solar/photovoltaic experience. Just some of the things involved are DC disconnects, inverters, grounding, AC side disconnects, and connection to the home's electrical panel. One thing to remember is that PV/solar panels are generating electricity whether or not you're using it, and that electricity must be stored. To my knowledge, most professionally installed/code compliant residential PV/solar systems do not incorporate batteries.

Besides, the cost of installation and purchase of such a system to power one receptacle would take decades to be offset by the savings.

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Old 11-18-2008, 10:08 AM   #3
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Hello, The way I see it is that if I got a panel and wired it to the dc inverter then to batteries I would have a place to store the energy. My real question would be how much power could I store from the panel. (I need to know how much power would be created and how many batteries will it take to hold the max power. Then I would need to figure out how long the batteries would hold up. Depending on what I had running.) I think that if I spent $1000 and could heat the house with a space heater off one panel and a few batteries my benefit would be awesome. Remeber my set up is only 600sq ft. Very easy to heat.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by waitegarry View Post
Hello, The way I see it is that if I got a panel and wired it to the dc inverter then to batteries I would have a place to store the energy. My real question would be how much power could I store from the panel. (I need to know how much power would be created and how many batteries will it take to hold the max power. Then I would need to figure out how long the batteries would hold up. Depending on what I had running.) I think that if I spent $1000 and could heat the house with a space heater off one panel and a few batteries my benefit would be awesome. Remeber my set up is only 600sq ft. Very easy to heat.

You would be better off with a wood stove and firewood than trying to use solar power to run a space heater. As mentioned above the solar system is more complicated than your proposal. What about getting quotes for a complete solar system considering your place is only 600sqft or a set up for all of your major appliances.
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Old 11-22-2008, 02:03 PM   #5
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A watt is a watt in any voltage so it would be a waste of energy to convert 12 vdc into 120 vac just to burn it, get a 12vdc automotive heater and skip the inverter.

Now for the logistics - a 200 watt photovoltic cell will cost about $800, 100 amp/hr battery about $100, and a $100 charge controller. Six wires and an hour later you are ready for the juice.
This $1000 setup would give you approximately 1000 watts of 12 vdc per sunny day, summer time a bit more. The storage battery can hold 1200 watts of energy but it is never recommended to go below 50% of charge so you only get to use 600 watts when there is no sun.

A 1500 watt electric heater which is equal to about 5100 Btu/hr wouldn't even last an hour on this system. My power company charges me 10 cents for 1000 watts so it is not quite economically feasible to do what you want unless out of necessity.

Conservation is the cheapest, I got my usage down to 300 kilowatts a month which costs me $30, it is just not worth the $20,000 to go solar for me. The above system would only be 1/10th of what I would need and 1/20th of what an average person may need.

Solar space heating and solar water heating is a different story and is what you should be looking at. I do have a small photovoltic system but it is to run the pumps and fans on my solar "systems".

I just thought of something - a 50 watt 12 vdc electric blanket costs about $35 and would last all night on a battery.

Last edited by hychesee; 11-22-2008 at 02:08 PM. Reason: addendum
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