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Old 05-26-2015, 11:47 AM   #61
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wow, a roof deck made of solar panels!

these are monocrystalline silicon (non-flexible) but walk on as well.

http://www.bruceschwab.com/solar-pow...-solar-panels/
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:50 AM   #62
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I'm not yet ready to order mine but its getting closer!
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:16 PM   #63
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What do y'all think of the $69 Harbor Freight briefcase solar panel? Looks like it could be good for occasional use and for that extra bit if power.
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:16 AM   #64
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I guess it must be good for something.. depends on a person's use case, maybe? If I'm looking at the same one you are (#68750?) it has a 13 watt rating? On a good day that could be enough to mostly charge a smart phone, if you had time to let it sit out all day. My own personal plan is to build enough solar array to run the refrigerator very reliably with some left over to do lighting and who knows what. Maybe 2 or 3 of the 230 watt class panels. It'll probably be hard for me to completely escape keeping at least a small generator onboard, but hopefully I can get solar to cover all the needs on an "average" day.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:52 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
I guess it must be good for something.. depends on a person's use case, maybe? If I'm looking at the same one you are (#68750?) it has a 13 watt rating? On a good day that could be enough to mostly charge a smart phone, if you had time to let it sit out all day. My own personal plan is to build enough solar array to run the refrigerator very reliably with some left over to do lighting and who knows what. Maybe 2 or 3 of the 230 watt class panels. It'll probably be hard for me to completely escape keeping at least a small generator onboard, but hopefully I can get solar to cover all the needs on an "average" day.
I think you're underrating that panel. A friend of mine had one and used it as his sole power source for years. Www.lesguis.com\wp
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:12 PM   #66
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Anyone here have experience using the wrap panels, applied to the outside of the bus?
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:39 PM   #67
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It'll probably be hard for me to completely escape keeping at least a small generator onboard, but hopefully I can get solar to cover all the needs on an "average" day.
I'm running over various power solutions at the moment. Internal construction is all but done. I can almost see the end of the journey.

I'll have to have an electric plugin point. I guess I need to put fuses in too. I really don't want to use one of those honking big breaker boxes.

Inside there will be just three 110v outlets in the kitchen area. One for the microwave, one for a fridge and one for whatever else. There will be USB outlets in the bedroom and the dinette. Basically to charge my phone, my tablet and possibly my mifi though since I now get 5gb on my phone, I probably don't need the mifi.

Lighting - I might just use portable hurricane style led lights. They should run off AA batteries. I have a ton of rechargeable AA batteries.

I'm not a great power user. I can't stand TV. I don't possess a TV or a radio\stereo\noise polluting device. The most I use are my phone, my tablet and my books.

Nothing is set in stone. But I'd like to get a small fuse setup. I'm thinking I might end up having to use three screw in fuses and 3 light sockets though I'd prefer to use the small cartridge fuses.

Im thinking initially of just having a generator then later adding a battery then solar panels as and when with the generator as backup. The cheap harbor freight generator should run a microwave.

Solar will initially just be used to recharge electronics and take care of the 12v stuff.

I'll have to see how it all goes. I've spent enough already lol
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:48 PM   #68
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The lamp socket style fuses do have that old-timey charm... but surface mount, panel mount, inline, etc are all readily available for just a few dollars from electronics suppliers. (Digi-Key, for instance, or Mouser, or Newark, and the list goes on..) Mini circuit breakers are available in similar packages. These are the kinds of things you'll find sticking through the side of an outlet strip, or in the back panel of an appliance.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:59 PM   #69
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I've not really dived in yet. Lowe's has cartridge, blade, screw-in and brick fuses but only brick fuse boxes. For my tiny home, a great bug brick is overkill. The cartridge fuses I really like though I'd be just as happy with fuse wire.

Remember fuse wire? Get a roll of 1a wire, one strand for 1a, 10 strands for 10a etc?

I'm going to have to figure out how many amps I need per socket. Might as well have them individually fused.

The beauty of the British system is each plug has its own fuse. The circuits have their own fuses. A blown fuse in a plug doesn't mean a trip to the breaker box and you know immediately which appliance has an issue. Trouble is, British sockets are designed for 250V not 110 so the wiring is thinner due to lower voltage drop through resistance.

I'm going to have to rummage in radio shack and Lowe's. Websites are great but nowhere near as good as a catalog when it comes to browsing for what's needed.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:02 PM   #70
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Whats wrong with just using the smaller, household-type breakers in a small (2 space) breaker box? Its cheap, easy to fix, and parts are common!
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