Today my Kickstarter campaign, on which I have worked for over three years, has finally gone LIVE - and when I reach my funding goal, thousands of fridges will come off the grid, and tons of CO2 will be saved! Here is the link: http://kck.st/1dfFaIg
It is a DIY project using equipment you might already own: Solar panels, batteries, and inverter.
Please support my KICKSTARTER Campaign in any way you can - LIKE / SHARE / Chip in.
Can you provide drawings of your wiring as well as make & model of the used equipment?
Going with the information you have provided:
-42V seems right for panels made from 72 individual cells
-"Low voltage connection 25.2v which batteries have been as low as 24v"
>>do you mean "low voltage disconnect"? 25.2 and even 24 is to high for that value. Go for 23 - 22V.
-Question, if each solar panel is rated at 10amp x 5 = 50amp , being the regulator is only rated at 50amp would or could this be slightly undersized ?
>>50A is the short circuit current, you will never get that in a real world environment. So 50A rating is OK.
How do you know that no charging is happening thru the panels?
I have a sine wave too but they are 3-4x the cost. I am looking to keep the cost low for a working system.
I do have a well working installation with the PowerBright 24V, 900W. The problem is that all newly bought models (4 units) are failing after some days of operation. The next model up is 1500W - it looks as if that is the only option.
if you are trying to charge the tractor that I see when clicking the link I can not recommend this setup. 45W is the manufacturers boiler plate. That value needs to be de-rated, look for the Photo Voltaic USA Test Conditions (PTC) value.
They will most likely not print this value on those type of 'low end' panels. If you are lucky you get 80% of the value: 36W effective output. To make things worse the supplied charge controller does not deliver you that power on the output side.
It will loose another 10-15% unless you purchase a rather expensive MPPT charge controller.
Long story short: you can use it for some LED lights and as a cellphone charger. The total daily energy it will be able to produce should be no more than 200Wh
The type of battery influences DOD lifetime cycles. Here is a brief description about what to expect.
Summarizing the article: with 50% DOD you get between 1-3 years of lifetime out of your batteries assuming you charge them up to 100% and discharge to 50% every day.
If that is the case I recommend you get a much bigger battery bank.
On the other hand you might not measure right. You need to buy a 'fuel gauge' type of SOC meter that is doing 'coulomb counting'.
As an alternative you can disconnect ALL batteries and let them sit for 24h and measure the voltage of each battery. That will also tell you if one of the batteries is bad.
As a rule of thumb: a battery healthy is full when the absorption rate is between 1-3% of its capacity. Lets say you have a 55AH battery then you would see the current drop to 0.5 - 1.5A at 28.8V.
I am looking for a solid and reliable 24VDC MSW inverter for 120V outputting 1000W. I own a PowerBright 24V, 900W inverter which does a very good job but I recently recommended that same model to 2 friends and they both had a very bad experience: one was bad out of the box and the other died after a week of usage. So either there is a quality control issue or they did a new revision of the circuit board.
I also think this a 'bad' idea but it looks like a town in Holland is now building a 100m long bicycle path to test the concept of solar panels in the pavement. Maybe that slight alteration into a bicycle path works better.
I have experienced that some Stereo and TV equipment does not like MSW so much and produce a fairly loud acoustical humming. They still work but it is annoying - with pure sine this is not the case.
On the other hand are pure sine much more expensive and have a higher idle consumption than MSW. I would suggest you could buy a MSW from a store that will take it back in case you run into these problems.
12 + 12 = 24V correct in series but if you want 48V you need to put them all in series. You are writing you have 2 in series and 2 in parallel which can only make 24V.
For parallel wiring you connect all + poles with the other + poles (and same for - )
For series wiring you connect of one panel + to - of the next panel and so forth.
If one element in the series is dead then you get 0V on output. Are you using new panels with proper connectors?
This device is not available so good luck finding anyone with "hands-on" experience. But I can break down numbers for you if you want to evaluate the 'beta-ray-1-80':
1)Numerical Aperture: 1.8m diameter
well, this is strange; the numerical aperture (NA) of an optical system is a dimensionless number (that means no meters) that characterizes the range of angles over which the system can accept or emit light. Is this the area that can catch sunlight?
2)Electrical Data: 560W (220W/M2)
looks like 220W per square meter -> 560/220 = 2.5 square meter
3)Thermal Data: 890W (350W/m2)
this is weird, there is no mentioning how you would use the hot water and the image shows absolutely no connectors. Also a clear water container is the worst solution in creating hot water.
4)Capacity Per Day: 3.4 kWH max.
This is the important number and you can use this calculator http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/ and type in your location and energy needs to compare it with regular solar-panels. I ran the numbers that get close to the 'beta-ray-1-80' with a fixed roof-mount solar array that gives you 4 kWh (15% more than the beta-ray):
DC Rating 1 kW
DC to AC Derate Factor 0.77
Array Type Fixed (roof mount)
Array Tilt 34.2°
Array Azimuth 180°
the cost are $1060 for the panels. You would need to add an inverter (about $200), a charge controller ($400) and battery ($400) and some cables. Lets round it up to $2500 for the entire system -- not counting labor & shipping.
Now the rawlemon lists with 9000 Euros, that is about $12000! Very little bang for the buck.
It's a nice looking gadget but unfortunately it is not efficient at all. It uses a huge sphere of glass to concentrate light onto a small solar panel that will be moved around to track the sun. This is equal to a dual axis solar tracking mechanism. The amount of energy it can use equals the surface area that is exposed to the sun. Here is a map of the energy levels reaching earth by square meter: http://solar-trap.com/?p=179 For a sphere that is A = 4*Pi*r*r . Because the way the sun moves you can only use half of the sphere: 2*Pi*r*r. As an example: a ball of 40cm diameter will give you 0.5 m2 surface. The same glass sphere has a weight of 0.03 m3 * 2531 kg/m3 = 76kg ~ 167 lbs. Yes, very heavy. You will get a little more surface (0.66 m2) with just one 26' by 40' panel - but that would not be as sexy as the gadget.
It is by far more costly to produce and install a huge glass sphere than mount a small panel. But unfortunately like with the 'Solar Roadways' campaign people get tricked into these gadgets and believe in unrealistic dreams. They on purpose NEVER publish real energy numbers. This one will end up in a landfill after 5 years because then even your phone will use 4x the amount of energy for charging.
What was the storage temperature? Recommended for most batteries is 15°C (59°F). You can store a sealed lead acid battery for up to two years if done properly. Since all batteries gradually self-discharge over time, it is important to check the voltage and/or specific gravity, and then apply a charge when the battery falls to 70 percent state-of-charge. This is typically the case at 2.07V/cell or 12.42V for a 12V pack.
Low charge induces sulfation, an oxidation layer on the negative plate that inhibits current flow. Topping charge and/or cycling may restore some of the capacity losses in the early stages of sulfation.
This means do NOT use a car battery charger. Get a charger that can apply an "Equalizing Charge" (forced overcharge) and charge all batteries separately.
Many 12V and 24V inverters use automotive blade fuses - they are cheap and easy to replace. I would open the inverter housing and pull out the burnt ones.
What type of inverter is it: MSW or pure-sine? I had several pure-sine blow out fuses but there was actually a short on the circuit board.
there is a lot of data published about this, here is a link to a blog-post of mine http://solar-trap.com/?p=76 - here you find references to long tables of data.
But if you want to measure it yourself I can recommend an inexpensive device called "kill-a-watt" which I used a lot in my household. It can measure over a long period of time to get a better average.
Interesting concept. I was always hoping for a new type of "gas station" where you would pull up and instead of charging the battery you would just swap out the empty battery for a fully charged one. This seems to make it possible.
I am a big fan of solar energy so I would suggest you invest in 2-3 solar panels, a battery and an inverter. These items will cost about $500 - $600 in total. I am running my fridge for more than a year on just 2 solar panels and I also own a nutribullet
Since cellphones consume very little energy and I assume you are running the blender less than 5 minutes a day this is an easy off-grid solution.
I agree with parking lots and roads locking up the land but especially having these tiles in parking lots is not convincing me. Most of the time there are cars parked covering the ground. I would much more prefer having a solar roof above the parking lot. You get the additional benefit of providing shade and it is less expensive. Also you could provide charging stations for EV which are powered by the sun!
No doubt a generator has a wide variety of use cases. In case of pulling an entire house off grid it is certainly the easy way. And if you have a cabin in the woods where you spend some days per month it might still be the least costly option.
But if you spend $2000 on a device you maybe need once a year in a black-out situation then I would say that money is not spend the best way. If you live in an area with lots of sunshine the solar panel will save you money the first day you install it and you will reduce your CO2 footprint. Creating a sustainable lifestyle is something we have to put all out efforts into.
Speaking about CO2: So we environmentalists have a "warped illusion of saving the planet"?
It certainly does not end with solar but keep on burning gasoline is definitely not the answer to climate change. A quick quote from the website of the EPA:
"Greenhouse gases trap heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years. The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation."
I have a LEAF since 3 years now and I am very happy with this car. I use it every day for work commute and weekend activities. Especially getting a carpool lane sticker makes my work commutes a pleasure. I use a mix of roads and freeway and get an average of 75 miles out of a charge. If you want to find out about charging station i can recommend these apps: "PlugShare" and "ChargePoint" so you see what is available at your important destinations.
My cost of driving dropped from $120 (Gasoline) to about $30 (electric) each month. I do get an average of 4.4 miles/kWh out of the LEAF
Gas generators are certainly a reliable option but I dislike the fact that they burn gasoline and produce stinky CO2.
If you just want to have backup power for a few appliances you can do this by spending less than $2000 on a few solar panels and some batteries. I installed a system at my house after I had a 4 day black-out (Pasadena, DEC 2011). My small off-grid system is producing 2kWh per day. I ran a separate circuit (just a long power strip) at my house powering the fridge, TV, stereo, internet, laptop/phone chargers. At night it automatically switches to the city grid to save battery life.
I put all the items from this off-grid system (well, not the solar panels) in a wooden crate to have it movable so I can take it to camping.
I am wondering about the power consumption as well. The watt meter somehow does not play well with the high frequency pattern of the load. Here is some math how we can solve the problem -- it only involves measuring time till the capacitors are fully discharged. The amount of charge in a capacitor can be calculated using this formula:
J = 1/2 * C * V^2 (J = Joules, C = Farad, V = volts)
example: Cap with 12V and 8000uF --> 0.5 * 8000x10^-6 * 12^2 = 0.676 Joules
To translate joules to watt --> W = J/s
So you have to calc the energy J for your setup and count the seconds to discharge them.
Then you divide J by the secs and you have the watts!
Wonderful idea especially with the heating and light elements!
But this looks like an installation nightmare with the access needed below the surface. Maybe this is better for intersections and walkways because you need only a few to have an impact on the safety than to plaster the entire road
I would like to present my project because I hope it is of interest to this group.
A lot of people I know do not qualify for a big solar rooftop installation because they either rent, don't consume enough energy, or don't have the money to invest in a grid-tie system. So I thought maybe a small scale PV setup would be enough to focus on a few key appliances (Fridge, internet modem, laptop, chargers...) that run 24h a day.
Triggered by the big power outage in DEC 2011 in Pasadena where I was out of power for 4 days I started developing a new type controller to build a "hybrid off-grid" system. It is DIY and works with a wide variety of inverters, charge-controllers, and batteries.
I have built a prototype that I call a "solar UPS controller" and it does monitor your energy usage and decides which power source is best to use. When the sun is shining it uses solar, at night it uses the utility power and during a black-out the batteries. It would not require permits to run because it does not feed back into the grid -- similar to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) you plug your computer in which gets powered by solar. Here is a link http://solar-trap.com/?page_id=874 to a more in-depth explanation on a web page I created.
I currently have only one prototype system that is fueling my own fridge and a few other appliances in my home. I want to help increase the sustainable use of energy but I definitely cannot do this alone! You are all involved in permaculture and would like to get some feedback because I am thinking of applying for crowd-funding.
Any and all information that you deem relevant to this is much appreciated, and much needed! Grassroots projects only work when we come together and share our information and resources. If you like the idea of a hybrid off-grid solar power supply and want to see it grow from prototype to common backyard contraption, please share your input with me!
you need to look at the "boiler plates" of the appliances you are listing to find out how much watt they draw.
It is also important to know how many hours they are running on average in a day or month.
Also Is this planned for a complete off-grid operation?