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backup and portable system

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  • Jim & Janet
    Noyes I hope you will be at the Renewable Energy Roundup this weekend in Fredericksburg. If you can make it there, please come by my booth and say hi. I would
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 23 9:55 AM
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      I hope you will be at the Renewable Energy Roundup this weekend in Fredericksburg. If you can make it there, please come by my booth and say hi. I would like to address some issues about a backup energy system that you may not have considered.
      Jays insight has made some great points but there is a lot more to talk about when planning a system with any batteries.
      best regards
      Jim Duncan
      North Texas Renewable Energy Inc
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 10:30 AM
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Re: backup and portable system


      Outstanding information.  I have received some other advice from another member and this has really fueled my fire.  I have to get on the RE ride somewhere and I set the $1500 budget because 1) I am not sure how long I intend to stay in Houston and it doesn't make sense to get a loan to grid-intertie my home 2) I have to live within my means while I pursue some learning 3) it just makes sense to be prepared for the next sustained power outage. 

      I was recommended the Xantrex powerhub 1800 which is an outstanding product becuase it is an all-in-one charger/inverter but I already have a Tripp Lite 1000 watt inverter and two 125 Amp hour marine batteries (which gave us power to run a fan during Hurricane Ike at night when we had no power for  a week) which would allow me to get two solar panels, charger, wiring and maybe better batteries?
      My dad and I are looking at some property in south central Texas in the next year, and I certainly intend on being "off grid" by then.

      What about internet courses to learn the fundamentals of system design?


      From: Jay <txses@mailbot. transcendent. us>
      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 9:18:11 AM
      Subject: [hreg] Re: backup and portable system



      Well at $1500 you are not going to get much, but you can still put together a -very- basic system that will work well. They key is to keep your expectations reasonable.

      I would look at getting a "power pack" inverter. These are batteries plus inverters. Here is an example model, it costs about $140 - very reasonable:

      http://www.amazon. com/Duracell- DPP-600HD- Powerpack- Starter-Emergenc y/dp/B000TKHMWK

      The great thing about these is they can be used all the time. I keep one in my car in case I need a jump start. It also works well as a general purpose automotive inverter, and you can carry it away from the car if you need to.

      Now, to attach a solar panel, all you need is a panel and a charge controller. The charge controller keeps the solar panel from over charging the battery.

      Here is a 7A, 100W charge controller for about $25:
      http://www.amazon. com/Sunforce- 7-Amp-Charge- Controller/ dp/B0006JO0XI

      This can be used with up to about a 100W panel. You may want to get a better charge controller, more power or better features. This one will work and is very, very cheap.

      Last, pick a panel. Any 12V panel will work. Most 12V panels are actually 12V nominal, meaning they are used for charging 12V batteries. They actually produce 17-21V (or so). Don't let that confuse you :)

      Here is a nice 85W unit for about $430:
      http://www.affordab le-solar. com/kyocera. kc85.85.watt. solar.panel. htm

      So, this is a 85W system, which can handle peak loads of 600W, with battery backup, for about $600.

      I would probably leave it there, but if you want more, look at getting a better charge controller (30A instead of 7) for around $100, and then buy a second panel. That would give you a 170W system for about $1100.

      The main downside to this system is the short battery life (12AH) It won't last very long after the sun goes down (maybe a hour or two). The power pack comes with jumper cables for use on your car. If you would like, you can buy another 12V battery and attach it directly using these jumper cables - this will significantly extend your battery life.

      Here is a list of batteries you might look at:
      http://www.affordab le-solar. com/deka. mk.batteries. htm

      They have a 97AH battery for about $250, or you can get the 183AH for about $500. These are both good buys, it's more a question of how much you want to spend. Remember, they are completely optional.

      You might start off with the good charge controller and one panel, but no extra battery. Once that works and you are comfortable, decide if you need more battery or the second panel and add that next.

      You can scale this system up a little as you go, up to around 500W or so. Keep in mind that it is a very low cost system, and keep your expectations reasonably low. But it will serve you well.

      Anyway, that's what I would do, given the budget. I don't have any preference to Affordable Solar or Amazon, they are just convenient pictures and prices. Shop around a bit. If you have any questions feel free to ask, and good luck with your project!

      - Jay

      --- In hreg@yahoogroups. com, noyes livingston <noyesliv@.. .> wrote:
      > Please read and respond if you have an idea.  Else, direct me to a group or forum who does.  My primary goal is to find a company either in the Houston area or on the internet to start...
      > A)  What is the best one stop shop for purchasing a simple, portable emergency backup system?  The only reference point I have is Northern tools that sells a system for $4700 (BPS 1250-S Solar Standby Power System)
      > which comes with:
      > -mounting rack
      > -two x 120 watt PV panels
      > -two x 220Ah sealed AGM batteries
      > -3 stage 30 Amp battery charger
      > -BPS inverter/charger providing 1250 running watts
      > I want to run two halogen or LED lights, a fan, a small TV or radio and perhaps a hotplate for at least two weeks considering spotty solar recharging capability.  It would weight around 100-200 pounds, be assembled easily and mounted just about anywhere.
      > * I do have a Tripp Lite 1000 watt inverter (PV 1000 FC) in my garage for last two years, but it is military issue and supposed to be able to run forever if this reduces my cost
      > ** I am also interested in adding a low cost, small DC refigerator/ cooler and can add to my budget if not excessive.
      > *** the most important criterea of all is that I have a "mad money" budget of around $1500 for this.
      > My goal is to prepare for a sustained power outage and learn a little.
      > B)  Are any classes held in the Houston area or what is the best starting point for learning on the internet?
      > Thanks.

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