Let’s get Deep with DIY Solar!

  • cheryl

    Member
    September 2, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    I know nothing about solar and don’t even know where to begin. I wouldn’t know a good setup from a bad one. I have been listening to others talk about it but it is just so confusing to me!

    • SunshineKid-GardenCoach

      Member
      September 2, 2022 at 6:31 pm

      Connect with my husband Dan, aka @Private_Cluck . He has put together a solar system for us on a separate circuit that will provide power to critical items like our refrigerator, freezer, well pump, some lights, etc. It won’t run our HVAC system but will run a mini split in a separate room. I have no idea how it all works but he can answer questions you might have.

      • Data

        Community Leader
        September 2, 2022 at 6:42 pm

        @Private_Cluck – Jump in and tell us about your Solar setup please and thanks!

      • cheryl

        Member
        September 3, 2022 at 3:59 pm

        Thank you! I’ll be hitting him up with a few questions shortly.

      • Mottshillhomestead

        Member
        September 4, 2022 at 6:26 am

        i know nothing when it comes electrical and building solar and wind systems, but yours sounds like what i want to do, but have to work with it in sections on a budget.

    • B.Lynn

      Member
      September 4, 2022 at 11:56 am

      👍

  • SoulEz

    Member
    September 2, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    Looking to learn as much as I can…..I am all electric right now. Have had a wood stove in my basement that would heat up my small home, but know I will not be able to manage that as I get older. Seems like solar would be doable for me.

    • Data

      Community Leader
      September 2, 2022 at 6:46 pm

      @SoulEz , I hear ya there! We put in a wood burning fireplace last year after the crazy cold snap we had the year before. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes, not to mention the ability to heat our home when the powers out. We’ve learned that the Batteries/Power Storage tend to be the key and most costly component.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by  Data.
  • Private_Cluck

    Member
    September 2, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    I installed a DIY system recently on our house. I have an engineering background so I was able to do all the design work myself. I wanted something that was not expensive, but could provide power for our critical circuits like refrigerator, freezers, well pump, septic system, food storage, etc. I also wanted it to be expandable so that I could add capacity in the future as we could afford.

    The basics you need are the solar panels (of course), an inverter to convert the power to 120v, and batteries to store any excess power generated by your panels. You’ll need wiring, mounting hardware, and possibly some electrical distribution panels with circuit breakers.

    The cost for these components varies widely, consequently the cost for a complete system can vary widely as well. You may be able to get used equipment which can save you money, but may make the reliability of the system less.

    First step you need to do is to determine how much power do you need to supply. Do you want to power your whole house or just a few critical circuits? Once you have your power needs you can begin to design your system.

    I would be happy to answer any questions about solar energy that you have, just let me know.

    • SoulEz

      Member
      September 2, 2022 at 8:20 pm

      Thanks for your reply. I thought I purchase the components separately rather than a one time large purchase. Purchased 4 solar panels from BougeRV nine month ago. Haven’t done anything since except looking at different set ups on youtube. I too would just want the essentials for now, which would be refrigerator, freezer, well/water pump. I like the idea of future expansion, but it may not be necessary. I have five rooms in my house, each can be closed off to help heat a smaller space with a kerosene heater, or space heater. Just need to determine the capacity I need based on those things. Thanks again, and enjoy this great day!

    • Wendy

      Member
      September 3, 2022 at 3:33 am

      Always wondered how solar would stand up to a EMP versus the grid. We have a deep well – 365′ – and I would like to set it up off grid w/a storage tank and pressure tank. It’s currently offlin. I looked for info, but just don’t have enough knowledge to understand what to look for an surely can’t afford (financially) to make a mistake on it….any kindred spirits? I have seen ready made setups, but it’s out of my range. Interested in solar info, for sure! I can learn but starting from square one, I guess.

      • Private_Cluck

        Member
        September 3, 2022 at 4:02 am

        Both are equally venerable, since all electronics are venerable to an EMP. If you want to DIY a system, then first step is to know about the power requirements of your well pump (voltage / running amps / start amps). You will need to size a solar power system that supplies the needed power while it is running and enough backup power when the sun is not shining (if you want that). Most deep well pumps are 240v so your system must be able to supply that voltage. There is one 240v system that I’m aware of that does not use batteries and is made specifically for water well pumps. But this means it would only be able to operate when the sun is shining. You would need it plus adequate solar panels. This type of system is used in agricultural applications for filling water tanks. Kinda like what the old fashion farm windmill water pumps would do when the wind was blowing. Let me know if you have further questions.

      • Private_Cluck

        Member
        September 3, 2022 at 4:19 am
      • Wendy

        Member
        September 3, 2022 at 12:31 pm

        When I was trying to search out information, some videos I watched were from “Tiny Shiny Home” on YT. Also went to their website to get an idea on pricing… https://tinyshinyhome.com/off-grid-solar-cost-breakdown They stated they bought ‘used'(?) solar panels from SanTan https://store.santansolar.com/product/santan-solar-t-series-240w-cracked-vinyl/ Anyone have any comment on that? I was thinking about trying to get some from there to get started, then replace as I get funds built up, if possible. At their prices, I could get a few for emergency repairs, if needed.

      • Art

        Member
        September 3, 2022 at 3:22 pm

        @Wendy … I have not personally dealt with SanTan but I have many RV friends who have bought from them and give them high marks.

      • Wendy

        Member
        September 3, 2022 at 8:54 pm

        Thank you – seems like a good way to slash some dollars.

      • Wendy

        Member
        September 3, 2022 at 12:12 pm

        Thank you – that is a good place for me to start.I am happy this site is here, maybe I can get onto some tings I have been trying to figure out. Thanks again, I’m grateful.

    • Glen

      Member
      September 3, 2022 at 3:08 pm

      Hey brother question for you. I’ve got a 32’ RV trailer that I would like to put a system on that would run the whole trailer. I’m wanting to put in solar as an alternative to grid power because of the current prices for electricity. Right now my electric bill is half of what I pay for lot rent which is $425, bringing my total bill to $650mo. Do you know anything about SanTanSolar? I went and looked at their site and they’ve got used 240v panels for $44ea. They have cracks on the back of the panels and I was wondering if they can repaired by spray painting a clear coat or gel coat to fill in the cracks.

      • Private_Cluck

        Member
        September 3, 2022 at 3:31 pm

        I am familiar with SanTan and their used products. Personally, I would not purchase cracked solar panels. However, nothing wrong with undamaged used panels. That’s what I purchased off of Ebay a while back for my system. New panels certainly have gone up in price lately, but you should have reliable output from them for many years. I can point you to a couple of other places for new ones if you are interested. Also, if you need some help on a DIY design, let me know.

      • Glen

        Member
        September 3, 2022 at 3:55 pm

        Thank you, I appreciate your input. I wasn’t sure if repairing them by resealing the backs would be feasible or not as I don’t have unlimited funds to build a system. I never thought about eBay but will check there and see what I can find for used panels. I would welcome any help in this venture as I don’t know enough about solar.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by  Glen.
      • 1000MileVision

        Member
        September 10, 2022 at 11:31 pm
      • lllaible

        Member
        September 11, 2022 at 1:07 am

        Try this forum https://diysolarforum.com/ and here is a good youtube https://www.youtube.com/c/WillProwse

      • SharpeningMac

        Member
        September 12, 2022 at 5:58 pm

        Good suggestion!

        Will is a very knowledgeable guy, and a great teacher of how to set up correctly.

        I was all thumbs will this stuff until I got his guide…

  • Private_Cluck

    Member
    September 3, 2022 at 3:04 am

    My solar system has 3kw of solar panels (mounted on the roof) and 10kw-hr battery capacity. I installed dual inverters (they also have built in solar charge controllers) capable of 240v and 6kw total output. I needed 240v for my well pump. The inverters have total solar input capability of 4kw. They can also supplement utility power to charge the batteries. I’ve designed the system to be expandable as I can afford it. The output from the inverters goes to a transfer switch. The switch is to select from solar or utility. The transfer switch feeds power to a sub-panel with my “critical” circuits. I’ve not connected the well pump yet because I need to install a soft-start controller that I’ve bought on it to insure it operates with less power draw on startup.

    • Elizabeth

      Member
      September 4, 2022 at 2:07 am

      @Private_Cluck – My husband would really appreciate chatting with you about design. We have no idea where to start.

      • Private_Cluck

        Member
        September 4, 2022 at 2:33 am

        I would be glad to answer any of your questions to help get you started on a solar power system.

      • Elizabeth

        Member
        September 4, 2022 at 2:45 am

        Thanks so much!

    • Data

      Community Leader
      September 4, 2022 at 4:45 pm

      I love it! That’s where we would like to build up to Private_Cluck, somewhere around 10-12k of storage and the ability to power 240v appliances. Thanks for being a part of the community Sir!

      • Private_Cluck

        Member
        September 5, 2022 at 5:19 pm

        I am proud to be part of such a great community of like-minded people!

  • culdesacgrocerygarden

    Member
    September 11, 2022 at 12:30 am

    I have to admit the intracacies of this topic just befuddles my brain. But its so important. I need a Solar for broke dummies version! Did anyone else see Prepper Princess on YT this week, I dont always watch her and Im not subbed but I saw a video she did about having been out of power after high winds and a dust storm and then a regular storm (I think) during a dangerous heat wave. She said the temp was like 118, and the power is outage spans over a 100 mile radius where she lives in the desert southwest and people couldnt even bug out because the roads were closed. The Jackery she was using failed, she was thinking due to maybe it was overheating. Talk about a wake up call! If someone that you would consider a prepping expert got worried within 48 hours, what hope do “normies” have? Its time folks. Its time to do ALL THE THINGS that you think you might need to do and then some. So. I really need to figure out the solar situation and get it done.

  • gods-child

    Member
    February 12, 2023 at 11:39 pm

    what an awesome community helping each other without judgement

    this is what it is all about 😃

    bona-fide

  • gods-child

    Member
    February 13, 2023 at 1:02 am

    here are a few playlists on youtube that some may find beneficial that folk can watch at their leisure

    battery parallel v series https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjwDksg5jYtI0J54nqiZZAuUOa_NlD3Xm

    portable solar generators https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjwDksg5jYtIVvJ_9HhrjgWUgUd1XoO7y

    solar https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjwDksg5jYtLSK2UfphMj2Unpb2xDG-h6

    inverters https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjwDksg5jYtIHwZ7JUbD5yHyXNVed6i9B

    top solar energy project compilation 2022 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAY30bf7ZN4x0yg28QVZSVXer4rRzP1hJ

    hope these help

    bona-fide

  • gods-child

    Member
    February 13, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    food for thought

    how much mining and slave labour does it take to produce one [1] yes one [1] lithium battery that costs £thousands…?? for a solar set-up

    is it not time we re-valuate our values to see if we want to contribute or continue to contribute to slave-labour and the destruction of earth

    compare that to the same for traditional lead-acid or gel batteries

    12v lead-acid and gel batteries can also be purchased for a fraction of the price of lithium and most folk do not know they can go to vehicle breaker yards also known as scrap yards and get vehicle batteries for a fraction of the cost of a new battery

    and you may also save costs on other things such as cables and connectors switches lights fuses and more plus there could be other things and bargains to help save money for your homestead or mobile-home and-such

    for example

    where i live i can get second-hand 12v vehicle batteries anywhere from £10 ~ £40 each whereas one [1] new lead-acid battery starts at around £90 for a 60ah ~ 70ah wheres the higher the [ah] the higher the price

    thereby if you purchase second-hand 12v vehicle batteries you would be saving them going in the landfill and saving lots of money

    and

    looking at the high and low price scale for 12v second-hand vehicle batteries

    lets calculate costs for a single battery

    if second-hand only last five [5] years you can weigh them in get a few bob back or could likely do a swap for a good second-hand battery from the breakers yards or scrap yards or even second-hand vehicle dealers

    £40 4x over twenty [20] years is equal to £160 v £4,000 a massive saving of £3,840

    £10 4x over twenty [20] years is equal to £40 v £4,000 a massive saving of £3,960

    the batteries may last longer as i have seen some folk that claim they are still using their 12v vehicle lead-acid batteries nine [9] years on

    £40 2x over twenty [20] years is equal to £80 v £2,000 a massive saving of £1,920

    £10 2x over twenty [20] years is equal to £20 v £2,000 a massive saving of £1,980

    lets calculate costs for a battery-bank of ten [10] batteries

    £40 10x is equal to £400 v £10,000 a massive saving of £9,600

    £10 10x is equal to £100 v £10,000 a massive saving of £9,900

    £400 4x over twenty [20] years is equal to £1,600 v £40,000 a massive saving of £38,400

    £100 4x over twenty [20] years is equal to £400 v £40,000 a massive saving of £39,600

    £400 2x over twenty [20] years is equal to £800 v £20,000 a massive saving of £19,200

    £100 2x over twenty [20] years is equal to £200 v £20,000 a massive saving of £19,800

    lest calculate a new lower end lead-acid 60ah ~ 70ah battery at an average £90 each

    £90 is equal to £1,000 a massive saving of £910

    £90 4x over twenty [20] years is equal to £360 v £4,000 a massive saving of £3,640

    £90 2x over twenty [20] years is equal to £180 v £2,000 a massive saving of £1,820

    lest calculate a new lower end [ah] lead-acid 60ah ~ 70ah battery at an average £90 each for a battery bank of ten [10]

    £90 10x is equal to £900 v £10,000 a massive saving of £9,100

    £900 4x over twenty [20] years is equal to £3,600 v £40,000 a massive saving of £36,400

    £900 2x over twenty [20] years is equal to £1,800 v £20,000 a massive saving of £18,200

    lets calculate a 240ah new leisure battery at average price of £390

    £390 is equal to £390 v £1,000 a massive saving of £610

    £390 4x over twenty [20] years is equal to £1,560 v £4,000 a massive saving of £2,440

    £390 2x over twenty [20] years is equal to £780 v £2,000 a massive saving of £1,220

    lets calculate a 240ah new leisure battery at average price of £390 for a battery bank of ten [10]

    £3,900 is equal to £3,900 v £10,000 a massive saving of £6,100

    £3,900 4x over twenty [20] years is equal to £15,600 v £40,000 a massive saving of £24,400

    £3,900 2x over twenty [20] years is equal to £7,800 v £20,000 a massive saving of £12,200

    the costs will vary for area to area country to country thus this is only a guide based on my sources and first hand knowledge

    also cheaper quicker more environmentally friendly to replace for most and makes connections with those in breakers yards or scrap yards or even second-hand vehicle dealers

    for those in remote areas you may be able to purchase online on places like ebay and have them shipped to you

    open for discussion

    does this make sense to you or do you have a different point of view…??

    sources:

    https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/02/01/south-america-s-lithium-fields-reveal-the-dark-side-of-our-electric-future

    https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2023/02/01/1152893248/red-cobalt-congo-drc-mining-siddharth-kara

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/01/child-labour-behind-smart-phone-and-electric-car-batteries/

    https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/22/signs-of-forced-labor-found-in-chinas-ev-battery-supply-chain-report.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/03/child-labour-toxic-leaks-the-price-we-could-pay-for-a-greener-future

    https://www.eenews.net/articles/u-s-shift-on-child-labor-may-scramble-ev-sector/

    https://financialpost.com/commodities/mining/china-lithium-ion-batteries-child-labour-us-trade-war

    p.s

    if my calculations are off please correct me as i am not good with math

    bona-fide

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