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Old 03-28-2012, 02:58 AM   #1
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Is there anyone out there in the HomeBrew Talk world that is familiar with solar power. I have a bunch of questions about what I need. I don't want to talk to a salesmen about it because they want to sell you all the stuff you don't need.
I am responsible for the family cabin now and my family are the ones that use it the most. Having a steady source of electricity sure would be nice. We don't need much just enough for probably a couple of lights, the TV, direct TV box and the occasional microwave. And maybe the washer and gas dryer every now and then during the peak of the day. There is no power within at least 10 miles so getting it ran to the cabin is not in the budget. We have a massive generator but it is good for depleting the cash reserves really fast and I only want to use it for welding and construction work.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:16 AM   #2
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From what I can remember, you can find a hemisphere map online that would give you a idea of your solar index. Your solar panels are usually angled about 10 degrees less than your latitude to your latitude. Generally a 100watt panel will give you 300-400 watts a day. Your generally keeping a battery bank charged and then using an inverter to run AC appliances. Lights can be dc so largest consideration would be motor on dryer and microwave.

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Old 03-28-2012, 03:31 AM   #3
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I took a week course in PV systems. I've only installed one system. It is a large grid tied with battery backup system.

You need a small stand alone system. There is a fair amount of math involved in properly sizing the battery and the array. You have to start with a load analysis.

It's basically Array --> Charge Controller --> Battery --> Inverter. Using DC loads is a good idea too.

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Old 03-28-2012, 03:35 AM   #4
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Would a wind/solar off grid wouk better. I ahve looked into this a couple times.

and if you hace a back up fuel genie, then you are set.

some of the new wind genies are easy to mount and make big power for under 1000usd

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Old 03-28-2012, 03:40 AM   #5
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The dryer may be a problem heat elements draw a huge amount of current. Think of a small 1500 watt heater. You might want to go with propane for the fridge and stove. Solar at this time is about a 15-20 year payback and then you need to replace. There are lots of propane and natural gas appliances out there give them a try.

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Old 03-28-2012, 03:43 AM   #6
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RTI for a grid tie system could be 10-20 years off (depend on the local price per kw/h) but stand alone systems can be much cheaper than connecting to the grid in remote locations.

You could use an electric dryer with full sun. You will need enough panels and inverter that can push the current. Running a dryer off the battery is not a good idea.

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Old 03-28-2012, 04:32 AM   #7
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Ok, there is no way to get a grid tie in we are 10 miles from the nearest line through the national forest. If the line was to follow the 50 year old county road it would be a 45 mile trip, not cost effective. I have a gas fridge, gas stove, and a gas dryer all I need is to be able to turn the drum with electricity. My plan is to only use the washer and dryer in the daylight not off the batteries. For my power requirements. I have 4 plugins one will be for a microwave every now and then, one will be for the TV and the cable box. the other two will most likely used to charged batteries for the kids toys and a radio. I have 4 lights in the cabin. Not a lot of power required.

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As a parent, hearing nuggets of parenting wisdom from someone who's never had kids is a bit like hearing sex advice from a virgin.
“Fairy tales don't tell children that dragons exist; children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.”
― G.K. Chesterton
http://whatalesyou.webs.com/
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:41 AM   #8
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A kit like these is the easy way. Still needs a inverter and battery. Probably could find a better kit. I haven't looked much.
http://www.solar-electric.com/rvandsmbasoc.html

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Old 03-28-2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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If you size an inverter for your microwave and dryer motor, probably just use one at a time, use dc for lights then your probably looking at a reasonably sized array. You would need a structure to mount the solar panels and store the batteries.

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Old 03-28-2012, 08:28 PM   #10
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Weird coincidence, my future sister in law works in the solar industry. Her last name? Coulter...

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