HomeAlternative EnergyEpisode 192 – Build a Small Solar System

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Episode 192 – Build a Small Solar System — 7 Comments

  1. This was a fantastic episode. Backup power is really the one area I’m definitely under prepared in. I’ve got a very small battery backup setup which I use for my ARES/EMCOMM work but it’s a far cry from something which would be useful outside of my meager HF means and still relies on a trickle charger from an A/C outlet to charge the batteries back up.

    I’m running the math right now to plan for something like you discussed in this podcast.

    Thanks Rob!

  2. Loved the last podcast. It was clear and easy to understand, which is not small feat for such a topic! And I really like your thinking on this matter. Soooo…. what did you buy?? Do you have an affiliate link?
    I’ve been eyeing this set up…

    Panel:
    http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/12/Nomad-13-Solar-Panel/3:4/
    Power Pack:
    http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/151/Sherpa-50-Portable-Recharger/2:8/

    $360 total, but even that seemed too expensive to me.

    Thanks!
    Dina

  3. I bought my stuff from here:
    http://www.radiolabs.com/products/electronics/solar-power.php

    A 15 W foldable panel and a couple battery/charger packs. I don’t know if I’d recommend them now, as I haven’t checked them out recently and compared what else is out there. I’m sure there are cheaper ways to accomplish the same thing (when I bought, it wasn’t this expensive).

    I haven’t had a lot of hands-on time with the GoalZero stuff, but I really like what I see. I was talking to one of their reps at a prepper expo and was digging into the quality of their gear and I was somewhat impressed.

    Unfortunately, solar stuff is too expensive just to buy for testing, and I wasn’t able to convince my wife that we needed another small solar panel charging system, but I liked their setup. I did pick up one of their LED spotlights, though, and they rock.

    The battery charger I was using was from the CCrane company, but I’ve since moved onto different ones. The one I’m currently using is from Powerex and will recharge 4 AA batteries via 12VDC or grid power. Comes with a carrying pouch which makes it convenient to keep all the stuff together.

    Oh, one thing I failed to mention on the podcast is that can get away with mostly AA batteries, especially if you standardize with gear that only uses the AA size. Although, you’re likely to still have stuff that needs AAA, C or D size batteries. What I’ve done is to have mostly AA batteries and a few AAA for those that need that size. But for devices that use C and D size, I just use battery size adapters. It’s probably easier to see this than to explain it, so here’s a link to some: http://www.amazon.com/C-sized-Adapter-Shells-AA-Battery/dp/B000855034.

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