Where is all this coming from? Well, to be honest, I was listening to the Chip Monk Podcast about cheap solar power this evening. In doing a rough calculation it looks like the whole setup may cost me between 700 and 1200 dollars for ample power in an extended power outage situation…
Here is what I am looking at:
- BatteryMINDer Solar Charging System — 12 Volt, 15 Watt Panel
- AGM Indoor Deep Cycle Batteries (at least one good one with a high wattage rating)
- Amazon Search here: http://goo.gl/Ug1J
- BatteryStuff.com Search Here: http://www.batterystuff.com/batteries/rv-marine/agm/
- Associated inverter, wiring and cabling.…
What makes me feel really good about this, is that I have a sliding glass door on the back of my apartment that opens onto my deck. I can put the whole unit inside the apartment, as the glass doors get direct sunlight approximately 50% of the day… This way the panel can recharge what I use from the previous day, every day. Winter is a little harder for this since the days are shorter, but if I have ample battery power to begin with and do not over use it, I should be okay.
Honestly, I am not sure when I am going to get around to doing this, but I would like to do it before winter sets in so that I can feel a little better about incidental power outages…
We’ve been considering solar backup systems as well. Found this link http://www.mysolarbackup.com/ but it’s on the expensive side and not sure if it would even fit in the balcony. I’ve not listened to the Chip Monk Podcast and will check it out. Thanks for the links!
I’ve read very negative reviews of many portable solar power backup units. It’s said things like the panels are very fragile, if one cell goes the whole unit’s power output drops, much more bulky and clumsy to operate, etc.
I’m using the a Brunton Solaris 26 folding, portable solar array (12v, 26w) and a couple of Brunton BattPacks and battery chargers to recharge AA, AAA, 9v, and D cells. The panel is powerful enough to charge 12v car batteries. I use a Brunton 12v Charge Controller to do this so I don’t ruin an expensive car battery by leaving it in the sun for too long and overcharging it. Depending on the nature and length of the power interruption, there could be alot of cars laying around with little or no fuel to run them. Most preppers plan to use electricity-dependent technologies but overlook or procrastinate reliable, portable, renewable engery sources.
I standardized my 12v power cables to use 15amp Anderson PowerPole Connectors. These connectors are the standard for emergency amateur radio power connections. They are genderless, so I can easily connect any 12v DC devices or power sources. Using the PowerPole connectors, I made a cable so the Solar Panel can recharge a Duracell Powerpack 600. I also converted the Brunton charge contoller to use powerpole connectors and made or bought a variety of cables, splitters and connectors so I can easily connect to any common connector and run multiple devices off of a single battery.
Just as many preppers standardize on as few type of ammunition as possible, it’s also worthwhile to try to standardize on devices that use as few different types of small batteries as possible. Thanks to recent improvements in solar cell, battery and LED flashlight technology, the sooner you standardize, the more money you’ll save over a lifetime.
@Mr-Jones I recently bought the DPP-600HD Powerpack 600 Jump Starter & Emergency Power Source and will be buying a solar source for it shortly. I still do not have solar chargers to recharge AA, AAA, 9v, and D cells.
As for standardizing on devices, that is a great idea, and makes perfect sense… Saves $$$ too in the long run.. Thanks.
The Solar Array is the key. Once you get that, you can start getting the right cables, batteries and chargers for your devices. It doesn’t hurt to draw it all out on paper.
Powerwerx is a good source for the Anderson PowerPole connectors.
Cool. Great resource. Thanks!!!
saw a new power source, self contained 120V AC and 12V DC. Anyone here with experience with the “humless” generator. see http://www.humless.com for info