Hi All

This post is intended to be a running design log of a small solar “cart”. Basically, I cannot stand the pricepoint of actually installing  a full size solar system, so  I intend to make a small backup system. Ya sure, maybe I could make it more bearable by depending upon taxpayer subsidies (aka, forcing the masses to pay for my PV cells so we can all collectively hug each other) or the feds printed dollars, but really, that’s just not how I choose to live. So i look at the tiny cells for camping, hiking, etc… I see them as overpriced and barely having any power. If I am going to do anything, I want at least a few decent sized panels. I’m not particularly worried about being man portable, but it should be man movable.  (Well, at the very  least, movable by a  couple). So I really like the idea of a using a small metal cart to move around 2-4 batteries, and then mounting a couple PV cells on top of it. This seems to make the most sense for backup power, at least to me. Not too big, not too expensive, but  maybe i can run my fridge off of  it.

So moving on, I have made the first step in this process. After being annoyed at having to work so much, and being so stressed about  work, I decided its time to at least buy some panels. Since my time is more valuable than money, I did research, but not long enough, and ended up wasting at least a bit of money. Don’t feel totally ripped off, but ehh. I ended up buying 2 X 100 watt Renogy monocrystaling panels off of Amazon. Came with a 30 watt charge controller and some connectors. Looked like a decent enough unit, but, as I soon realized, yes Mono crystal is more efficient than poly, but just barely… like indistinguishable to anyone  but advertisers. At least, that is what I read. Haven’t worked with these things yet to know from experience, but that’s what I read. Ohh, and the charge controller, is a cheap dinky thing from China. In all fairness, it looks like it will work just fine,but ya get what ya pay for. Would love to build one myself, but who has the time when you work full time. End of the day, did I get a bargain… Na, but they do look like quality panels that will work, an Renogy sent me an LED build after writing a truthful review  on Amazon, so that helped even the score.

Lets start with listing requirements.

1. 24 Volt to limit  required wire size?…. (Research  batteries more to know what I really want.)

2. Man portable via a cart.

3. Easy  to remove from cart, so i can actually use cart while  panels/batteries sit in the yard charging.

4.  At  least 2k  watts, probably 3k, pure sine.

5. Regulated 12V  for LEDs, 5 Volt Cell outlets, regular car type outlet

6. Rain proof

7. Investigate a grid tie inverter… (DO NOT USE WITH MAIN POWER, illegal/dangerous) Can I use it with a generator? AKA i see my generator  as my primary, but if solar can boost capacity, that would be cool.

More is TBD,

 

Future Reference/Research:

NiFe Batteries??

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=276932

Panels

http://www.solar-electric.com/

http://sunelec.com/shop/solar-panels

Drool

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=201697&highlight=solar+cart

http://ecorenovator.org/diy-superefficient-fridge-1-kwh-day/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/diysolardvd/home/free-downloads

http://solarbodge.blogspot.com/2011/01/active-battery-balancing.html