The manufacturers we provide are designed to offer reliable solar panel mounting structures for residential, commercial, and utility-scale projects and often include stamped engineering. At Solar Electric Supply, we assure customers with the satisfaction of knowing that these manufacturers have designed mounting structures with the intentions of making installation cost effective and easy. Professional Solar Products ProSolar has been manufacturing solar equipment for more than 20 years, longer than any other PV mounting provider. Being the original patent holding U. All products are proudly made in the U. Quick Mount PV was founded in to bring code-compliant, cost-effective, waterproof rooftop mounting systems to the solar industry. By being able to recognize the need for fast installation and the demand that every attachment be absolutely watertight, the company innovated the patented Qblock Elevated Water Seal which would ultimately result in the Classic Composition Mount. Their proven track record to deliver effective products in a market hungry for mounting solutions is undeniable. For more than 15 years, IronRidge has been the choice of hundreds of solar installers and integrators on thousands of projects.
How portable do you want your solar generator to be? Think about how heavy and large it should be? Are you going to use a hand truck to carry around a huge toolbox filled with batteries and a large solar panel or do you want a tiny one that will fit in your glove box? The wiring and concept will be the same for either size so the choice is yours.
For a closer look at solar economics, head over to our guide to going solar.
Matt Benson If you want to live in your van full time or just camp in remote locations on the weekends, you will most likely need some sort of auxiliary battery setup to power your devices. Whether it be charging your cell phone or running your refrigerator for a couple days, auxiliary batteries can help you power your electronics without the risk of running down your starting battery and becoming stranded. Of course, learning to live without any electronics at all is probably the least expensive method, but that just isn’t realistic for the majority of people out there.
But while it might seem this way at first, if you treat this as a learning opportunity and you are willing to put in the time, I promise you it isn’t nearly as difficult and scary as you might think. My goal for this post is to give you a step-by-step guide on how Jenny and I installed our auxiliary battery bank and solar panel into our Vanagon Westfalia. Obviously your power needs, and perhaps even your vehicle, will be different from ours, so it will be up to you to make certain decisions based on your own requirements and situation.
However, I hope this post will serve as a helpful resource for anyone researching auxiliary power and solar power for their own installation, especially if that installation is inside a vehicle and most especially if that vehicle is a Vanagon Westfalia. I do want to point out that I am not a professional, and I highly recommend doing additional research aside from this post.
When researching myself, I found many insightful threads on The Samba and various RV and solar forums that did not relate directly to the Vanagon but that contained helpful advice and knowledge about solar systems in general. I will include links to some of these resources down below in the Conclusion section of this post. Before you start planning your system, it is important to have a general idea of your power requirements.
How many devices are you planning on running? How many amps do these devices use?
The first thing I did was recruit the Survival Husband to do the heavy lifting. Then, together, we decided that we would install the solar kit on the roof of our garage which was angled just right and facing the south. During the summer months, we should get six to seven hour of sun a day in this location. We also agreed that climbing the roof was a task for someone younger — a lot younger — so until my brother and my electronics wizard nephew come to visit, we set things up on our upper patio and to heck with the patio furniture.
It also includes all of the parts you will need:
Do not just connect the ground wire only to the array mounting rack and assume this will ground the entire group of modules.
From phones to refrigerators, and everything in between, with the Goal Zero Yeti Portable Power Station, you have the power to back up your life in any situation. Ditch the noise, fumes and gasoline and enjoy unlimited power from the wall or the sun. Charge in and out simultaneously with pass-through power capability. Built-in charging tip means no extra cables to lose or forget.
Secures tightly to tools with metal collar. Perfect for short weekend trips and charges up on-the-go from Goal Zero Solar Panels. The Yeti Lithium is even more powerful than its predecessors with increased surge allowances, advanced battery protection and a sleek design that makes for a lightweight, big power solution. With user replaceable lithium packs and increased shelf life means you are ready for any type of project. Exclusive, Replaceable Lithium Pack – Lightweight lithium batteries yield long runtimes and extended month shelf-life.
High quality cells feature additional monitoring electronics for superior management and ultimate safety. The lithium pack is also easily replaceable and is easily swapped out at the end of the product lifecycle. Informative Display – Get real-time usage data at a quick glance. Easily Rechargeable – Keep your Goal Zero Yeti Lithium powered up from the wall or from the sun solar panels sold separately. Waterproof in Use – Spray it down, take it to the beach, leave it in the rain – and never worry about rubber plugs.
This off grid energy genverter system is designed to sustain an off grid home with watt usage per day. It is called genverter because it is designed around a generator and an inverter. Most, if not all off grid energy systems, will need a generator so we use this generator as a foundation in our genverter system.
Some audio equipment will have a background buzz that may be annoying to music connoisseurs.
Further, as electricity rates go up, your solar array pays you back all the more quickly. Grid-tied solar arrays require no batteries, no complex wiring, and no moving parts. The AC electricity flows into your circuit panel and is available for any active electric loads: A separate meter tracks this exported electricity. Earned credits carry forward up to a year. Retail net metering is currently protected and accessible for new customers in all the states where we offer service:
COM website is gone. I do not know what you will get if you order this item, but I do know that you will not get a watt grid-tie solar system that plugs into an outlet. First off, I can almost guarantee that no matter what you get, it will not include a watt solar panel.
You will also need a permit and the electric company to inspect the work.
It is very lightweight at only 20lbs. I was looking at other generators and for the same amount of power output i was looking at a similar price but 2x to 5x the weight with fewer connections. This is the best choice by far.
Solar kits range in size from small devices designed to charge you cell phone to rooftop panels you can use to power your home. You can get your start with solar using a kit and most of the larger, more costly kits will allow you to expand your system by adding panels later. This page will help you understand the parts most kits include, give you the pros and cons of solar kits, and help you understand the range of kits available today.
Generating solar power is more than just slapping a dozen panels on roof and calling it a day. Are you handy and comfortable with hand tools and assembling projects? Learn more about solar kits:
Can you find an installer who will install a kit you buy?
Deep-cycle batteries Video of the Day Wire the solar panels together so that they combine their amps and voltages. Calculate the total voltage and amp outputs of the appliances that you will be feeding with electricity from you solar panels. This will give you an idea of how to wire your panels together for a specific voltage and amp output. You can choose a series circuit, parallel circuit or a combination of both types of circuits, which will produce the most volts and amps for your system.
Connect your solar panels to a charge controller. This will discharge any excess solar electricity from overloading your deep-cycle batteries, ensuring that your batteries will have a maximum shelf life and will be able to undergo the maximum number of cycles for each battery. The type of deep-cycle battery you buy will determine how many years and cycles it can sustain.
Maybe you’ve considered solar energy – even if only for a brief moment – only to dismiss it as too complicated and too expensive, or maybe you’re seriously considering a project, but don’t know where to start. With this Instructable, I hope to demystify the not-really intimidating process of installing solar panels in your home. We’ll review the parts of a solar panel system, the things you need to consider when you’re planning, and how you can save money on and even get free money for your project.
At the end of the day, you’ll know what to look for and what to keep in mind with any solar project.
When the grid goes down you can still run some essential loads IF you have a battery backup system.
How far your site is from the grid affects the cost of bringing in utility power—the farther away, the greater the economic viability of an off-grid RE system. But living where you want may make those costs worth it in the long run. With additional components like charge controllers, metering, DC breakers, batteries, and backup generators, they are more complex than batteryless systems.
Space heating with electricity is usually prohibitively expensive with off-grid PV systems. While the low cost of PV modules has made the economic viability of solar water heating SWH systems questionable for on-grid applications, in an off-grid situation, SWH may be the best renewable option. The former can be used for some or all of the cooking in the winter, when the cookstove serves as the primary source for space and water heating.
Wind energy is a difficult resource to verify. Measuring your wind resource with an anemometer over time is a smart first step. A solar siting tool like the Solar Pathfinder helps determine shading at the potential PV array site.
Discover below how solar power works. The V AC electricity is used to power appliances in your home. Surplus electricity is fed back into the main grid. Whenever the sun shines and even in overcast weather , the solar cells generate electricity. Some electricity companies will meter the electricity fed into the grid by your system and provide a credit on your bill. How much you are paid is determined by the feed-in tariff.
Are you planning to apply for rebates or incentives?
Installing your own small, remote off-grid solar system By Jeffrey Yago, P. In almost all of my past articles I have described many different types of solar power systems, but did not go into detail on how to install them yourself, since most systems should be sized and wired by licensed solar professionals. However, the Backwoods Home website continues to receive many e-mail questions related to smaller do-it-yourself solar projects for remote weekend or vacation cabins in areas not served by power lines.
If this is your situation, and you are willing to stick to the basics, I will show you how to install a very simple battery-based off-grid solar system just to power a few lights, and possibly a DC well pump or freezer. I am staying with all volt DC equipment which has a limited shock hazard and allows using many of the electrical components you can find locally.
However, a word of warning. Just because everything will be the same low voltage wiring as used in your car or boat, this still does not mean there are no safety concerns.