Free Electricity

Discussion in 'Top Tips & Tricks' started by keith, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. keith

    keith Funster

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    After installing another solar panel I have been watching how it has performed.

    I have noticed that it keeps the batteries fully charged, then the controller (built into the power management system) switches the power from the panel off.

    So power being produced but going to waste. I have found different ways to utilise it by charging things like my drill & power screw driver and the power pack by plugging into the vans 12V plug. I use a small inverter (150W) so if it has a 13 amp plug it is possible to charge it. :BigGrin:

    There seems to be lots of things that use rechargeable batteries these days so there could be other ways of using this free lecky.

    I suppose in the winter I may struggle to continue to get enough to charge, but during the summer - use it or loose it. :thumb:
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    sounds like a good enough reason for.......



    More Batteries!!!!!!:thumb:
     
  3. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    when at home i plug an extension lead into inverter n run it into house keeps the fridge n deepfreeze running for free. as we go in fridge quite alot its easy to see if the lights on if not plug back in mains. keeps the bills down n lets the batteries work instead of standing idle.
     
  4. keith

    keith Funster

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    No John, not more batteries.... :Eeek:




    Spend more time in winter in Southern Europe
    :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  5. keith

    keith Funster

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    That is also my thinking.

    Great idea with the fridge Alan. Got me thinking of more ideas.

    Run computers?

    Lights?

    Need a bigger inverter I think
     
  6. gazznsam

    gazznsam Read Only Funster

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    people with large solar arrays on homes usually have shunt loads to use the lecky produced when the batteries are charged,

    this is usually an imersian heater element so it heats the water up for free.

    i've been thinking of putting in a small 12 volt element in my calorifier, so when the vans batteries are fully charged the excess power from the panels goes to good use keeping the water tank hot, saves running the eberspacher every day for 30 minutes to keep it hot,

    We also usually run the laptop on it's internal battery on a night, going to sleep when it runs out, then re-charge it during the day when the solar panels are producing power, same with our phones,

    only we use 12 volt chargers to really minimise the losses in inverters and chargers,

    i have a drill in the van, but it no longer has internal batteries, the battery pack died years ago, so i took the batts out of it, put a socket in the bottom of the now empty battery pack connected to the terminals, and a coily lead goes to a 12 volt plug, so my drill runs off the vans batteires... helps that it was a 12 volt battery drill to start with of course, but i never worry about the power running out when there's 2 screws left to drive in as always happens with battery drills (tho i now have a makita li-ion drill at home, 15 minutes to charge it, tons of power and lasts absolutely ages on a charge)


    i keep talking about utilising the heat in a solar panel, by running some copper pipe loops along the underside, circulate water thru the pipes connected to the calorifier and have a dual solar panel... pv and water heating.
     
  7. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    The trouble is this - if you are going to spend a lot of money on extra batteries etc the electricity is not free and it may be cheaper and more convenient to just forget the lost solar energy.

    Don't forget almost everything you buy has been dug out of the ground, transported half way around the globe, made into components, transported half way around the globe, made into a final product, transported half way around the globe and then stocked in a warehouse that that has been built via the same process before being sold to you.

    During this convoluted process many resources, some rare and scarce and most non-renewable, have been consumed and often toxic waster has been produced.

    All in all the so called "green" solar energy is very far from being green.

    Greener it may be but green it is not.
     
  8. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi oldun, i agree dont really know of any green energy. i live in my truck for 6mths at a time never use c/sites so have 3x80wt panels 600amp battery,s other than for welding all leccy is solar. like gassnsam drills made to run on cables etc when home if i didnt use the power i would just have full batts doing nothing . by using the fridge etc its keeping things working . i would like to bring back about 30panels from maroc n fit an export metre to the grid. they pay twice as much as for this so called green energy. price of panels here is too much but a few shilling to be made with the right ones. last winter we were using washing machines etc all powered by solar .the initial cost is high but when other source isnt available its a god send. nothing worse than the constant drum of even the quiet gennies . if we worried about the planet we wouldnt be in motor homes . i have a saying when the last man leaves the planet the world could be a better place .till then lets enjoy it .its an adventure playground out there. :thumb:
     
  9. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Indeed, there is always an environmental impact ... got me thinking so I did a bit of a search and found this answer which puts it in prospective

    Dear Mr. EcoGeek,
    I've heard that it takes more energy to produce photovoltaic cells than the cells will ever produce throughout their lifetime. Is there any truth to that, or are those naysayers just saying nay?

    David
    Spokane, WA

    Short Answer:
    Those naysayers are just saying nay! But that doesn't mean there's not more to this story.

    Long Answer:

    This myth was probably perpetuated by studying solar panels created for NASA. If you need something extremely efficient for use in outer-space, yes, then it doesn't matter how much energy you use to create the panel. But for use hear on Earth, it's ridiculous for anyone to say that solar panels consume more energy than they produce.

    Of course, doing anything in this world takes energy. Whether it's building power lines or shipping oil from Saudi Arabia, it takes energy to make energy usable. In fact, there's a nifty number that puts all of this into perspective. It's called the “energy balanceâ€, and it is, in short, the amount of energy you get out divided by the energy you put in.

    So, for corn ethanol, for example, we get 1.3 units of energy for every 1 unit we put in, so its energy balance is 1.3. Whereas for Brazilian sugar cane ethanol, we get 8 units of energy for every one we put in. As for gasoline, its energy balance is about 5.

    So what does this have to do with solar? It is a bit incorrect to apply energy balance to solar panels, because they don't actually contain the energy, so it's not something that I've ever actually seen done. But I think it makes sense to fudge it a bit in light of your question.

    Data from a study(pdf) from Energy Environment and Economics Inc. showed that the average solar panel gets five times more energy out than was originally put in. Roughly the same “energy balance†as gasoline.

    Still, no one is satisfied with that number.


     

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