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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Beginner solar starter kit for $70!

Here it is: One solar panel, charge controller with 4000mah lithium battery, 2 LED light bulbs, for $70usd. I have this one and it works great.
  1. The solar panel has brackets to mount the panel on the roof at the correct angle, and has long wires from the solar panel so you can link to the battery indoors. 
  2. Also has 1 USB charging port, with USB cable with many adapters.
  3. Charging box (contains battery) also has on/off switch which turns off all lights to make sure no energy is used during vacation. Each light bulb has a tiny red LED to show you there is power going to it.
  4. I will splice in a voltmeter to monitor the voltage myself later.
This $10usd kit with one lightbulb is also great for those who just want to dip their toe into solar power.

Here's one for $61usd: two lightbulbs, 8000mah hour battery, charge controller, solar panels.

These can be good for sheds or workshops too!

Notes about solar power.
  1. The systems above are too small to run a TV but work fine for LED lights, which are typically low powered. Since some of the systems have a USB port, those will run any USB device like a small light, fan, or charge power banks, etc.
  2. Charging of the battery can take a long time in overcast or dark weather. Batteries charge best in full sun where the suns rays hit the solar panel at 90 degrees.
  3. Solar panels should be placed in south-facing windows or on the roof facing south.
  4. Latitudes of the earth go from zero (equator) to 90 degrees (north or south pole). The best angle for the solar panel is (if you live in the Northern hemisphere): the angle formed between the ground and the panel should equal your latitude. I.e. at 30 degrees, closer to the equator, the angle would be 30 degrees from the ground, or close to horizontal. For latitude 85, the panel should be 85 degrees from the ground, or nearly vertical. At 43 degrees latitude put the panel at 43 degrees to the ground. This will help your panel get the most sunlight as the sun moves throughout the day.

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