Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-12-2009, 09:22 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
ezbme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Solar power questions...

I am adding solar power to our bus (it is going to be our office at our new cabin) & it will power our laptop, laser printer, satellite modem & a radio. I am assuming I will need to figure out daily watt hour usage to know what kind of power we will be using but am not sure how to calculate this. I am guessing I may be able to find out the amps & voltage on the power adapter for the laptop? Also, if this is correct do I then multiply the amps X volts to come up with daily watt hour usage? I am taking a stab at it & haven't been able to find any set way to calculate my usage to come up with a total to know what power panels will cover my needs.... Also, is 24V that much better than 12v & is it much more money?

Any help is appreciated as we are ready to purchase a system but budget is very tight so we really want to be sure we know what we are doing!
Jonathan
ezbme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 11:50 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
ezbme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: Solar power questions...

I just came across solarbus.com... Found some good info here & a nice (I think) Crown bus they use to teach about solar power! Check it out!
ezbme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 362
Send a message via AIM to baadpuppy Send a message via MSN to baadpuppy Send a message via Yahoo to baadpuppy
Re: Solar power questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
I just came across solarbus.com... Found some good info here & a nice (I think) Crown bus they use to teach about solar power! Check it out!
It would appear that solarbus.com sells network equipment. I think you meant solarbus.org.
jim
baadpuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 12:32 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
ezbme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: Solar power questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by baadpuppy
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
I just came across solarbus.com... Found some good info here & a nice (I think) Crown bus they use to teach about solar power! Check it out!
It would appear that solarbus.com sells network equipment. I think you meant solarbus.org.
jim
LOL! Just testing you Jim & you are correct, my bad! Welcome back... How was the vacation in Oregon?
Do you know much about solar power & how to calculate usages?
ezbme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 03:26 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
swinada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern BC Canada
Posts: 538
Re: Solar power questions...

You mention a Laseprinter, laserprinters draw lots of power, sure they print nice, but an inkjet will use way less power.
__________________
Proud owner of a: 1996 Thomas Safe-T-Liner,Cummins 6CTA 8.3Lt diesel, Allison AT.
http://picasaweb.google.com/swinada/BusPictures http://www.swinada.com/bus.htm
http://lh4.ggpht.com/swinada/SL91F-b...opbussmall.jpg
swinada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 03:47 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 362
Send a message via AIM to baadpuppy Send a message via MSN to baadpuppy Send a message via Yahoo to baadpuppy
Re: Solar power questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
Quote:
Originally Posted by baadpuppy
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
I just came across solarbus.com... Found some good info here & a nice (I think) Crown bus they use to teach about solar power! Check it out!
It would appear that solarbus.com sells network equipment. I think you meant solarbus.org.
jim
LOL! Just testing you Jim & you are correct, my bad! Welcome back... How was the vacation in Oregon?
Do you know much about solar power & how to calculate usages?
Still in Oregon, won't be home till Thursday.

As for calculating power usage, I've done it based on the label provided on the equipment, and I can say that those labels aren't as accurate as you'd think. Much of my equipment varies based on how it is being used.

A kill-a-watt meter will be your best bet for figuring this stuff out accurately. Record the settings for all your equipment, add it all up, then add a nice 10% safety margin, and go from there.

Also, with a laptop or computer, you need to get the measurement when off, on, and heavily loaded as well as charging or not charging. My "85 watt" laptop actually uses in the range of 26 watts most of the time.

hope this helps,
jim
baadpuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2009, 07:14 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
ezbme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: Solar power questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by swinada
You mention a Laseprinter, laserprinters draw lots of power, sure they print nice, but an inkjet will use way less power.
Thanks swinada. The reason we went with a laser is because we print out shipping labels everyday (7 days a week) along with business documents (many many) & it is so much less cost-wise to use a laser as the toner lasts much longer than any inkjet we have tried... I understand that the inkjet is much more efficient tho... catch 22! Anyone recommend an inkjet that has longer lasting catridges that are still compariably priced? Maybe we could just get less power-hoggin' laser. I don't know yet. I don't want to spend an arm & a leg for solar panels just because of the laser tho!

Quote:
Originally Posted by baadpuppy
[
As for calculating power usage, I've done it based on the label provided on the equipment, and I can say that those labels aren't as accurate as you'd think. Much of my equipment varies based on how it is being used.

A kill-a-watt meter will be your best bet for figuring this stuff out accurately. Record the settings for all your equipment, add it all up, then add a nice 10% safety margin, and go from there.

Also, with a laptop or computer, you need to get the measurement when off, on, and heavily loaded as well as charging or not charging. My "85 watt" laptop actually uses in the range of 26 watts most of the time.

hope this helps,
jim
Thanks jim! I had a couple other people mention the Kill-A-Watt meters... We just purchased one off of ebay. Better to be sure now than sorry later...
ezbme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 09:52 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
ezbme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: Solar power questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
Do you know much about solar power & how to calculate usages?
Not sure if this will help or not?

http://www.macandchris.com/ElectricalSystemSizing.htm

Smitty
Thanks smitty, that is a VERY helpful site. Much appreciated!

For others that are looking into solar I found another also: http://www.backwoodssolar.com/
ezbme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 10:06 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
lapeer20m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: near flint michigan
Posts: 2,653
Re: Solar power questions...

you may also need to get a fancy (expensive) pure sine wave inverter to run that printer. I am of the understanding that a laser printer is one of the few items that will not work properly with a modified sin wave inverter. I have not actually tried it myself.
__________________
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (who will watch the watchmen?)
lapeer20m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2009, 02:46 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
ezbme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Datil, New Mexico
Posts: 642
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas Transit Liner
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: CAT 3208 Turbo
Re: Solar power questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
you may also need to get a fancy (expensive) pure sine wave inverter to run that printer. I am of the understanding that a laser printer is one of the few items that will not work properly with a modified sin wave inverter. I have not actually tried it myself.
Thanks lapeer, I am slowly edu-makating myself in solar & starting to realize that my direction may have to change...
I am thinking that we just need to sell the laser printers (we have 2) & buy an energy star inkjet & maybe just fill our own ink cartridges to save on cost as we do alot of printing. Has anyone ever filled their own ink cartridges? Any input/advice?

Would a modified sin wave inverter be sufficient for a laptop?
ezbme is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Solar power 3forward2back Conversion General Discussions 1 09-07-2012 12:56 PM
Solar power vent fan lornaschinske Electrical, Charging and Solar 2 03-24-2012 09:09 PM
Solar Power Conversion questions crazycal Electrical, Charging and Solar 8 01-30-2010 04:39 PM
Solar power and usage drchefscott Skoolie Conversion Projects 7 02-07-2009 08:22 AM
Solar power rolecall timecrash Conversion General Discussions 4 08-19-2007 08:25 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.