Monday, October 26, 2009

Solar!

Got around to powering my shed with the solar panel kit I picked up from Harbor Freight. Other than the fact the thing is made in China, the kit seems to be pretty slick. 3 fifteen watt solar panels, a power management center to control power coming in from the panels, and going out to the lights and accessories, and a few other ancillary cables and lights come with the kit. I ditched the brackets that came with the kit, which were geared toward setting up the panels for temporary use, and made my own out of some galvanised angle hardware from Lowe's.
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Here are the panels in their new home, on the roof of the shed on the south side. Funny how my rain barrel always peeks into these pictures of mine.

And the brackets I fabbed up. The tabs are fashioned so that they fold back up and tuck under the shingles, where they are screwed into place and then the screw heads are sealed over with black silicone caulk, as an extra precaution. There are 6 brackets...3 on the high side of the panel array, and three on the low.


I actually put the panels in about 2-3 weeks ago, the same weekend that the cat butchered something on my VW. Last week I got one of the last pieces of the puzzle by stopping off at Pep Boys and buying a deep cycle marine battery for the panels to charge, and then I'll have a power source when the sun is down or on cloudy days.
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The final part of the equation will be a small inverter that will swap the 12 volt panels/battery over to your typical household current, and then I'll be able to run proper lights and my Dremel tool and stuff like that.
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Electrician?! We don't need no stinkin' electrician!

2 comments:

Steve said...

You're off the grid! Now you can join a militia!

Utahdog! said...

I'm not a joiner, I'm a starter! HA!