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Small solar system


sickofmice's Avatar
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08-24-08, 06:28 PM   #1  
Small solar system

I'm going to be building an outdoor bar at my pool and I thought it would be a great idea to make it self-sufficient for power. I would need enough power to run a small, bar-size refrigerator, stereo and small LCD TV all from a solar system with battery storage, inverter and panels and whatever else. The area gets tons of sun but I don't know if it is worth the effort especially for a novice. Am I looking at mega-bucks?

 
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08-24-08, 06:54 PM   #2  
Solar power is quite impractical for all but very low drain devices.

One panel I looked at produces 80 watts in full sunlight but costs $750.00!
A bar fridge alone could consume 300 watts when running so if you are in a warm climate it could run at least 75% of the time.
You would need several panels to power up what you propose along with batteries, a charging system and inverter.

Pretty much qualifies for mega bucks.

(Let me know if the link does not work)


GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

 
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08-25-08, 11:34 AM   #3  
Thanks. I saw that one too (the link works!). I am in southern Ontario and since last night I did some power-use calculations on the fridge, stereo, etc and I think you are right about the mega bucks for running these from solar. The roof of the bar would be too small to hold all of the panels I would need.
Thanks for the confirmation.

 
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08-25-08, 06:28 PM   #4  
But solar pool heat is very do-able.

 
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09-27-08, 02:14 PM   #5  
Wow i had no idea of the prices to run solar power.

I too was wanting to run a home fridge or maybe a small bar fridge for emergency power outages and a tv to keep updated but I would have to do it all WAY cheaper than that.

I was thinking of a 15 watt cell a 7watt charge controller,800 watt inverter,and deep cycle battery.
Was i dreaming? Is it possible ?

what can i run on this set up?

 
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09-27-08, 06:05 PM   #6  
The math on this is quite simple.

If you have a power source which would be your solar cell that puts out 15 watts, that power source could power 15 watts continuously.

If the sky were to cloud over for a given amount of time when the sun came back the solar cell would have to supply the power for the device as well as charge the battery.

A 15 watt cell is just a toy, good for a couple of very small lights at best.


GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

 
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11-27-08, 09:49 PM   #7  
wow that sucks, I had no idea.

so even with a battery for storage i couldn't run a small bar fridge most of the day to keep food cold or frozen ?

 
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12-05-08, 06:37 PM   #8  
Since this is a DIY forum has anyone thought about building their own panels? Im in the process of build a few myself and although they arent the top of the line megabucks panels they will easily have a combined output or a midrange panel.....say 60-80 watts.

has anyone tried to build their own with an success?

 
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12-06-08, 09:32 AM   #9  
My "belief" on this is that a manufacturer can buy the cells for a much lower price than a hobbiest making DIY impractical.

Have you researched the price of the raw cells?
Would be interesting to know if it was feasable to DIY.

Even if a panel could be built more cheaply it still doesn't make the output of a cell high enough to be feasable to power high current draw devices.


GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

 
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12-06-08, 10:26 AM   #10  
Posted By: GregH My "belief" on this is that a manufacturer can buy the cells for a much lower price than a hobbiest making DIY impractical.

Have you researched the price of the raw cells?
Would be interesting to know if it was feasable to DIY.

Even if a panel could be built more cheaply it still doesn't make the output of a cell high enough to be feasable to power high current draw devices.
Solar cells arent powering the devices directly....they are charging the banks of batteries used to power the devices....either 12 volt or through an inverter.

I have a decent amount of individual cells that I am in the process of connecting with ribbon before I install them inside an enclosure. Thats what DIy is pretty much all about.

 
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12-07-08, 07:03 AM   #11  
Posted By: sickofmice I'm going to be building an outdoor bar at my pool and I thought it would be a great idea to make it self-sufficient for power. I would need enough power to run a small, bar-size refrigerator, stereo and small LCD TV all from a solar system with battery storage, inverter and panels and whatever else. The area gets tons of sun but I don't know if it is worth the effort especially for a novice. Am I looking at mega-bucks?
This *might* get you going. Small 12v fridge, power from 12v battery, battery charged by solar panel:

Solar-powered refrigerators by Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #102

It's not an ad - just some reviews of some alternatives to grid-based refrigerators.

Hope this helps.
Tom

 
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12-10-08, 08:41 PM   #12  
Standalone versus Grid-Tied Systems

I think I'd recommend a grid tie solar system. You didn't mention anything about the amount of wind you receive on average. There are combo solar/wind grid tie systems that are under 2k available that would probably be more cost reasonable and practical I would think. Something like this might be a better thing to consider.

 
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