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Ideas for solar power in home -- - Page 2

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Posted by Malc on February 6, 2006, 8:42 pm

As others have said you would do best to start with reducing your
consumption first.

Your 110V is AC (alternating current) whilst batteries are DC (direct
current). To convert DC to AC you need an inverter which can be got for
surprisingly little cash.

Converting watts to amps and volts is fairly easy. Watts = amps multiplied
by volts. or W=IV where I = amps. So a 60 watt 110 Volt bulb would take
60/110 or about 0.5Amps. If you were to run that from a battery via an
inverter you would still be taking 60W out of your battery so that would be
60/12 = 5Amps (assuming your inverter is 100% efficient which it isn't).

Now you have Amp Hours which is the capacity of your battery. A 1AH battery
will give you 1 amp for one hour. So to run your 60W bulb for one hour you
would need a 5 amp hour battery (again assuming 100% efficiency). To run it
for say 4 hours for reading in the evening would require a 20 amp hour
battery. Probably best to add at least 20% to that for the inefficiency of
the invertor.


"Ah, that did it. Spare brain in action, I'm ready to go again!"

Posted by dold on February 6, 2006, 9:47 pm

Visit your local power agency's web site.  They probably have pages about
advice for reducing your bill, before involving solar.

They should also have pages about the solar rebates available.

Austin looks like it has some programs.

Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA  38.8,-122.5

Posted by Doug Simpson on February 6, 2006, 11:50 pm
 Visit this page and see what it says. It is a calculator for solar
system sizing.


Also, visit otherpower.com and on IRC, irc.anotherpower.com and join
#otherpower. Lots of brians there! Lots of math and calculations people,


Alex wrote:

Posted by Doug Simpson on February 7, 2006, 2:29 am
 Doug Simpson wrote:

Should have been brains, not brians!

Posted by Gary on February 6, 2006, 11:58 pm
 Alex wrote:

Hi Alex,

As others have already mentioned, solar electricity (PV) is not the best way to
save energy if you are on a budget.

I'd think about taking this approach:
- Go through the electric loads in your house as if you were going to put in a
PV system -- paying $ to $0 per peak watt for initial installation of a PV
system makes most people real believers in electricity conservation.  Some
people report cutting there power consumption by 50% or more.  Having a
Kill-A-Watt meter helps in figuring out where the power is going.
But, after you do this don't put the PV system in -- use a fraction of the PV
money for the items below.

- Do the best you can to bring your insulation levels up and your air
infiltration down -- this will help both your heating and cooling bill.  Here is
some info to start with:

- Think about using a solar water heater.  This is probably the most cost
effective solar investment.  It is many times times more cost effective than
energy from solar PV.  Many solar water heating systems are simple, and make
good DIY projects if you are so inclined.  Some info to start with here:

- Take a look at this section on passive and simple active cooling techniques,
and see if any of them are applicable to your house/climate:

- Think about using solar space heating.  Solar thermal collectors that might
contribute up to about 30% of your heating needs can be built for less than a
$000 (potentially much less).  These are simple systems that don't require
complex thermal storage.  Some information to get started with:

Good luck with your project!




"Build It Yourself" Solar Projects

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