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Experimenting----- Will it work where I live?

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Posted by spaco on December 29, 2007, 3:33 pm
Are there any successful (you get to choose what "successful" means to
you) PV systems in  west central Wisconsin or east central Minnesota?
    The reason that I am "experimenting" with PV solar is that my local
electric supplier recently said that wind and solar won't work here.
They said they have a 30 year study to prove it.
   So I thought I'd buy a small collector and take some data to see if
the solar power available where I live is really that poor.

I thought I read somewhere that some PV collectors can generate a decent
amount of power on a cloudy day.  (Like maybe 30% to 80%.)  Is there any
truth to this?   My 45 watt  HF "kit" surely does not.   I am lucky to
get one or two watts on such a day; that's about 2%.

On the sunnier days, it does produce at least 2/3 of its rated power.  I
tilted the collector until I reached the max power output at noon in
late December and it came out to be 66 degrees from horizontal.  We are
44.874 North.   After playing with various load resistors for a couple
of days,  I have come to appreciate the amount of design that can go
into a controller.  And I have to say that the HF controller seems to do
a pretty good job for the price.

Pete Stanaitis

Posted by bealiba on December 29, 2007, 8:29 pm

Yes, you are allowed to decide what "successful" means. For some
"successful" means a garden light works for a couple of hours a night.
For others "successful" means they can work during daylight hours. And
yes there are those that count "successful" as a system that can
provide several days of energy without input and works as designed
from the moment it is installed.

Why experiment. The design of solar power systems is well defined and
proven. The experimenting was done years ago.

Good for them.

Pointless endeavour. Learn to size a system.

Yes, for a given value of truth.

The old maxim "You get what you pay for" is alive and well.

The controller supplied with the HF kit is trash. The only redeeming
feature of the panels themselves is that they can provide some shade
if installed properly.

Pete, learn to correctly size a system. It's not hard to do. Once you
know the required size of the system you can cost it. Then you will
know if it is worth doing for your circumstances.

One solution for you would be to build a system to run your lighting
only. This can save you up to a third off your power bill.

Posted by Randy on December 30, 2007, 1:20 pm
The controller supplied with the HF kit is trash. The only redeeming
feature of the panels themselves is that they can provide some shade
if installed properly.

Hi George
I agree the HF kit is a toy in comparison to the real (costly) systems.
However my brothers recent HF purchase showed a marked improvement in thier
charge controler, such as actual over voltage control and  LVD, not just the
stupid buzzer (it has an option to switch off) and has a somewhat accurate
digital volt meter.
As for durability, we shall see, The charge controler is working fine so
The instuction sheet that comes with it is fun to read, yes we know the
battery is not included!
It seems to be a nice kit for those who wish to experiment any way.
Just my two cents
Take care

Posted by Solar Flare on December 30, 2007, 5:50 pm
 Forgive George for his abruptness. Weiner has been trying to push his
button for 5 to 6 years in these groups and it makes you alittle jumpy
after a while cause he won't hide his buttons and they're easy to

Posted by Randy on December 31, 2007, 12:44 am

All is forgivin as I also have buttons that can be pushed, however I am
trying to disable thier operation:)
Take care

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