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Solar & 12 Volt Power for beginners: off grid power for everyone…

by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 

A Simpler Way To Better Power Management

The sun has enough energy to power the world for millions of years. Everything you can think of that plugs into the main socket of your home, can be powered by the sun! The sun’s energy is harnessed by the use of solar panels.

A Little Bit On The Technical Side

Solar panels are made from photovoltaic cells generally, a 12 volt solar panel contains 36 of those solar cells. Each cell can produce .5 volts (wattage is based by surface area of the cell), totalling 18 volts for each solar panel – so you’re probably thinking now; “why is an 18 volt solar panel, rated at 12 volts?”… 

It’s confusing, I know… So why is a car battery classed at 12 volts, when in fact, the measured voltage is 13.8 volts? Well, I’m not too sure about those questions, but basically, 12 volt car batteries actually produce 13.8 volts and 12 volt solar panels really produce 18 volts at peak power.

It takes 18 volts to charge a 12 Volt Lead Acid (car battery) or deep cycle battery, or 13.8 volts to trickle charge or standby.  

Why Choose Solar Power Over Backup Generators?

Has there ever been a time in your life when power was unavailable? Maybe you had a backup generator - but if you didn’t have one, you may have possibly wish you did! 

If you have ever been in line of those long queues outside the gas station during the time of a power failure, you may have wished you had spare gas laying around in your shed. But even when you did manage to get the fuel, that very quickly got chewed up! 

Here is where solar power can rival over gas guzzling generators…

With a well established solar power system, you can have available electricity on standby, whenever it’s really needed, here’s how…

With a single 100 watt solar panel, a charger controller and a 100 amp deep cycle battery,  you can have standby power to power lights as a starting point. Whenever there is a power failure, lighting tops the list and then refrigeration comes second…

It’s always handy to have 12 volt LED lights available, so that you can run those straight off the battery. If you need power to run your fridge, then you will need a powerful inverter and a huge battery(s)!

In times when backup power is not needed, your battery(s) will remain topped up, because the solar panel(s) will insure that.

With the example above, you can begin to go off grid, one step at a time! 

How to Reduce Your Energy Cost With a Solar Energy Kit

Did you know, you can reduce your energy costs by offsetting your energy usage to a portable solar generator?

If you’ve been thinking on getting your own grid tied solar energy system installed and you’ve done your research, then you’d know well how expensive that can be. Hiring a qualified contractor alone, cost about $1.00 per watt and when you consider the costs of a 5Kw energy system – the cost alone to have it fitted is $5,000.00 and then comes the cost of the whole energy system!

Don’t despair, as there is a simple solution that most households can adopt. 

When it comes to offsetting your energy costs, you don’t have to be experienced, nor qualified to do that.

A simple solar energy kit is all you need to get started. You can start with lighting first as this is the most simplest to do. Firstly, you may want to consider replacing all your lights with LED lights, as they consume way less power and therefore will need less solar power to power them and hence required, is a smaller, cheaper energy system.

An example of the above is proven to work with this current configuration:

  • 1. Change to lower voltage LED lights, so that your system can run straight off the     battery…
  • 2. Choose a 200 ampere hour deep cycle battery for storage…
  • 3. Choose 200 watt solar power to charge the battery
  • 4. Choose a 30 amp solar charger controller

The simplest way to adopt the above configuration, is with a solar energy kit, as all necessary parts are contained so can simply, “plug and play”…

After you’ve established your system and you’re already powering your lights, you may wish to consider upgrading in time!

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