Looking For New Solar Panels

kentuck_8bOctober 14, 2007

Going to redo my whole camphouse at the country.

Need panels for water well and house.

May put up a new windmill for electricity on the waterwell, any suggestions?

Where to buy and how much would I need? Everyone tells me something different.

I presently have several different gadgets all connected separately or together, to provide electicity, but the system is cumbersome, ugly, and beginning tp fail.

Use up to 400kwh/week.



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I would say that 1000kwh per month would also be excessive. I was under the impression that 400kwh/month was more average.

I have done a few things, like turn off the surge protector for my computer, tv, vcr, when I'm not using them and been able to reduce my power usage significantly.

Of course, I heat and cook with natural gas, and have a gas dryer, so my electric usage is low mostly from that.

I would suggest you look into directly pumping water into a water tower using the wind power, instead of making electricity first, but this might not be feasible in your situation.

Especially since you are using so much electricity a month, you might want to identify the major energy usage in your house and try to lessen it. And keep doing this until you have a cheaper goal for electricity production.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 8:36PM
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Thanks for both of your replies! I know it's not an easy thing to answer, but was hoping for at least some ideas and maybe a ball park figure to start with.

I use up to 400kwh/week at my present home, not the camphouse where I want the solar panels, sorry for the confusion. I was figuring that that would be a maximum point to shoot for.

I will probably use wind for my waterwell and a water tower and gravity flow, but wanted to know what the extra cost and usage would be. Also, may possibly use gas for heating and/or cooking if needed.

Budget is not my first concern. I first want to know what it will take and then I will reduce from there if needed.

I stay at the camphouse for long periods of time, but am only inside for a few hours each day, usually after sundown till sun up.

The usual appliances would be used, but not at the same time. These would be an A/C and Heater, washer, dryer, microwave, TV, radio, small fans, ceiling fans, lights, and computer.

Some of these may not be used at all, such as the dryer and the heater. Turning one item off while running another is no problem if needed.

The A/C would have to be used because of the extreme heat during the day, but could be turned down low. I am planning on building a roof over the entire camphouse. This will greatly reduce daytime heat.

Maximum watts would be using the A/C with TV or computer on, and possibly the microwave. I'll have to see how many watts these use.

I hope this helps some?


    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 9:09PM
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A/c would reqiure a good sized system. Make sure you know what you are doing or hire a installer as Dc is very dangerous in high wattage or high volt situations. Don't want to see anyone get fried

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 4:29PM
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What about a full-time refrigerator @ 1.8kwh/day.
TV maximum 4 hours/day @ 1 kwh/day.
Fan & lights maximum @ 1.2 kwh/day.

Total = 4 kwh/day or 120kwh/month.

Would One Of These Work?


    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 10:52PM
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Hi SJ,

"Have you considered a propane-powered refrigerator? I understand that they're efficient."

If you look up the gas use for propane fridges, and convert the the propane to the equivalent amount of electricity, they actually turn out to be very inefficient.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 11:21AM
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Thanks Gary,

....but does your comment take into consideration the high cost, and inefficinecies of, an off-grid PV system?


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 11:49AM
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Thanks everyone! I am still deciding what all I will need.

I am planning on having a solar powered waterwell and a separate solar system for the camphouse. SolarJohn, yes, I thought they might be a bit high estimates, but wanted a higher estimate instead of too low of one. Nice Blog, but haven't read it thoroughly yet, thanks for the link.

I will probably use propane for heating, a water heater, and for a stove, if I ever use one there.

I may try one wind generator since the wind blows from 8 to 12mph most of the time, but averages up to 27 mph for short periods of time each month, and even more during Winter months. I am still learning about these wind generators, how well they do, and how much output I can get from them.

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 9:30PM
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400kwh a week is excessive, you would stroke if you had my house! prior to slowly making efficiency changes, our house used on average about 160kwh A DAY! we changed to almost all CFL, got rid of the 30+ year old HVAC system fro the front and installed a new high efficiency HP. all appliances are energy star, with the exception of the deep freeze. i did finally get rid of the 2nd deep freeze, or rather quit using it and unplugged it. it was made inthe early '70's and after unplugging it we saw a drop of around 400kwh per month!

our usage this month was less than 1800kwh. our average now is less than 2800kwh a month, with a our highest period inthe last 13 months being Feb, the month before the new HP went in. i could get my usage lower, but my wife and 3 yr old think that if they are in acertain part of the house that ALL lights in that area must be on.

i will get the usage down further, i still have a 15yr old HVAC system for the back of the house that must be replaced when money allows, but i cannot see possibly getting our usage below 1500-1800 kwh a month on average.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 5:29PM
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The wind generator would be a definite option if you have that kind of wind. Think about it, the wind generator works at night and when its cloudy. You may even look at a hybrid system.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 12:35PM
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Thanks, and yes, I'm thinking of a hybrid system, just doing as much research as possible before taking the next step.

I would like the quietest wind generator possible, some that I have been around are kind of noisey.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 10:11PM
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I talked to an electrician the other day and he told me that he saw one of those electric generators that produce more electricity than it uses, actually work.

I am still very doubtful about the idea, but he is a reputable electrician. He is building one himself to see if he can get the generator to work like the one that he saw.

He is a skeptic, but when he saw the unit running, he couldn't believe what he saw, so now he wants to prove the system for himself.

Anyone heard of these? I've read about them for years, but they just don't sound like they can actually work as advertised.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 9:37AM
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My assumption has always been that energy can neither be created or destroyed, only changed in form. So power out = power in, at best. You can never get more energy out then you put in... but maybe I'm wrong.

Anyway, fixing to add more batteries to my off-grid solar power unit. Instead of spending more money on inverters that can acept more solar panels, I decided to just add the same number of batteries, but with a switch to change from one set of batteries to the other so that when one set of batteries is drained to their designated limit, then I will just need to switch off those batteries and switch on the fully charged ones.

It is a bit more work but much cheaper than having a full up and continuously running system. My biggest thing will be checking the batteries to see when they are fully charged, then switching over to the next set that need to be charged.

I generally only use the unit on weekends, but am there during the week to check the charge of the batteries. I can connect as many batteries as needed this way, but can only charge one set at a time.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 2:43PM
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It is impossible for a machine to produce more energy than it consumes. That's basic physics. When an over-unity machine appears to "actually work," one of two situations prevails.

1. The instruments monitoring the machine's energy input and/or output are inaccurate, or they are the wrong type for the situation.

2. The monitoring instruments are rigged, or there is additional energy input which is hidden from the observer.

In the first case, the person doing the demo (usually the one who built the machine) is probably undereducated and doesn't know how to make the measurements properly.

In the second case, he is a criminal.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 2:39AM
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I agree, Davidr,...and I may have mis-understood him when he was explaining it to me.

He did say that it took a 12 volt battery to start the generator, but it's output was around 60 volts, so maybe I misunderstood, but the way he explained it, once he saw it up and running, it ran continuously with a steady output of 60 volts...no other input was needed, or inother words, the generator was running on it's own power by using strong magnets instead of electricity to power the unit.

He sounded convinced enough to attempt to build his own...we shall see.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 9:43AM
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