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My solar electricity project

Old 10-07-2010, 03:47 PM
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Default My solar electricity project

I wanted to mention here that my family is in the middle of a DIY solar electricity project. I've done a lot of research, constructed 2 out of 8 planned panels and they've been doing great for several months.

Here is a link to more information about our project:

I'm also part of a solar energy discussion forum and we occasionally get people asking questions who've been caught up in scams.

These scams seem to be advertised more and more around the net and this is really why I created this thread.
The scams promise to reduce or eliminate your house electric bills with simple to construct DIY solar panels and wind generators. You receive the plans as advertised but quickly realize all the information is easily and readily available on the internet.

Some of the information is extremely misleading, often dangerous if one would actually employ their ideas and illegal.

Someone created a comedy parity website to illustrate these scams, complete with an acutal scamster's website link on the bottom.

Knowledge is power and buyer beware.

Last edited by Hot_Georgia_2004; 10-07-2010 at 03:50 PM.
Old 10-25-2010, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: My solar electricity project

Nice one, how much did you spend for that? It's quite not affordable according to some of my friends.

About that scam I, once went to their site but I was not lure by their techniques because I noticed that they are over promising which I suspect that maybe this is not real. I tried to search to forum if they know about it and surprisingly there's no clear claim that they really have a reputable name.
Old 11-01-2010, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: My solar electricity project

Hi Greenboy.
The purpose of my solar electric project is for:
1. Power backup for grid failure
2. A fun hobby with a lot of "wow" factor.
3. Practical solar power learning experience.

I plan to retire in 12-15 years in the Philippines. The grid there is not reliable so I hope to apply what I learn now in a more practial manner.

$110 74 New Multicrystaline solar cells from Ebay with tabbing,buss and flux pen
$75 (x2) 6 volt golf car type deep cycle batteries from Sams cub
$206 (Total) for 4 sheets of 1/4" Tempered glass including hermetic sealing
$80 DC to AC inverter
$50 Misc items

99% of all solar power advertisements I see around the internet are either complete scams or extremely misleading. I have not seen any pay DIY guide which was not a scam. The information is readily available on the net
Old 01-15-2011, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: My solar electricity project

Steve - Nice solar panel. Thanks for sharing.

I've toyed with solar for basic power backup here in Texas (it started during the post Hurrican Ike blackout). I've wired 3x20W (12V) panels to two 12V car batteries via a charge controller. The panels sit on the bar top, the batteries and electronics sit beneath it. Through an inverter, it a great outdoor plug for my bar area. The system can run my beer fridge for 5 hours in the summer before the system voltage in the batteries drops below the inverter's minimum requirement.
Old 01-15-2011, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: My solar electricity project

You will need to replace your batteries as soon as possible.

Deep cycle batteries are rated in reserve amps (RA) and starter batteries are rated in cold cranking amps. (CCA)

The difference:

The starter battery rating refers to maximum amperage delivery for only 45 seconds. That is the estimated maximum time needed to start (crank) an engine. The starter battery is designed to maintain more than 98% charge at all times. The plates are physically thin and they quickly deteriorate as the battery discharges.

The deep cycle battery is designed to be discharged down to around 80% thousands of times. It can even be occasionally discharged to around 40% with no damage. They are rated quite differently than starter batteries. Their amp rating is the number of continuous amp delivery over a 20 hour period. For example mine are rated 240ah, so they're supposed to sustain a 12-Amp draw for 20 hours before reaching 100% DOD. (12 Amps X 20 hours = 240Ah)
Their plates are much heavier and use solid lead rather than the sponge type in starter batteries.

Remember a 12 volt lead acid battery is considered flat-line dead at 11.9 volts and full at 12.7, measured after resting for a few hours with no load or current applied.

Marine batteries are supposed to be a happy medium between starter and deep cycle, but they also will not stand up to regular solar demand.

I've looked online and found some wildly outrageous prices for deep cycle batteries. The best deals I've found are designed for golf carts. I bought my two 6 volt 240ah deep cycle golf cart batteries at Sam's wholesale club for $75 each.
They've been discharged to around 80% SOC (Sometimes lower) every other night since last October and show no signs of wear. They run my exterior CFL and LED lighting.

Here's a good article about lead acid cells:
Battery information

Last edited by Hot_Georgia_2004; 01-15-2011 at 08:48 PM.
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