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Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], May 3, 2008.

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  1. Guest

    I want to built a garage for an electric vehicle with a photovoltaic
    roof and/or a wind generator that will trickle charge the battery. I
    need a simple, economical DC system with the reliability of an anvil.
    And - I need someone smart enough to diagram it all out. That's
    probably too much, but I'm told it never hurts to ask.....
  2. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    That's not too difficult but why would you want to use soalr cells for
    that ? Have you looked into the details of how little power they produce
    ( get the insolation data for wherever you live and multiply by 15% ) and
    how shockingly expensive they are.

    If you want to be energy conscious, reduce your usage by means of
    thorough house insulation (which is pretty inexpensive) and if you like
    the idea of solar use solar thermal to preheat your hot water supply,
    don't waste money on hugely expensive stuff whose return is minute.

    Wind turbines are also very ineffective at low heights (below about 80
    feet) and especially so in built up / urban areas or near trees since
    these all act as very effective wind breaks.

  3. Chris W

    Chris W Guest

    First you need to find out if wind and or solar are good for where you
    live. If you are in the USA. anywhere in the south west is really good
    for solar. OK, TX, NM, CO, UT, AZ, NV, CA. The border where CA, NV and
    AZ meet is about the best place. Many other places aren't bad either
    just know what to expect. For wind it isn't quite that easy. There are
    spots all over the country that are great. Many places that people
    think would be good for wind power aren't. For example in Oklahoma
    City, where I live, many think there is lots of wind. There is a lot
    more wind than I would like, but from what I have read, not enough to
    make wind power worth the investment. However just a few counties north
    and west of Oklahoma city is a great spot. Which is where the power
    company put it's wind mills. So consult a map like this one....

    You will notice a blue island that covers the north west part of
    Oklahoma, part of the TX pan handle, and some of KS. If you live in an
    area that is that shade of blue or darker, wind power is worth looking into.

    Pick the right solution for where you live.

    As for solar, I would wait about 18 months or so. A new company,
    nanosolar, is producing solar panels much cheaper than any one else.
    Their product is in such high demand, it will be that long before they
    are caught up with the demand. Currently you are hard pressed to find
    solar panels that cost less than $5/watt. Nanosolar says they will be
    selling them for $1/watt.

    All that said I'm not sure how well your solar powered garage/electric
    car charger will work. If you are like most people, you are away from
    home during a lot of the day. Solar panels aren't going to give you
    much charge at night. Unless you do most of your driving at night, or
    you have 2 sets of batteries for this electric vehicle that can easily
    be swapped, I'm not sure the solar charger for the car will work very
    well. Another option is to hook the solar power up to an inverter that
    can be tied into the grid power (about another $1/watt) so you can sell
    the electricity to the power company during the day and then buy it back
    at night to charge the car.

    Another thing you need to find out is how many watt hours does it take
    to charge this car? You can't design a solar/wind system to recharge it
    till you know how much power it needs.

    Chris W

    "Protect your digital freedom and privacy, eliminate DRM,
    learn more at"

    Ham Radio Repeater Database.
  4. Chris W

    Chris W Guest

    Once Nanosolar has panels available to the general public (18 months or
    so), solar will be worth the investment. Right now, I agree, they
    aren't worth it except in certain exceptional situations.

    I don't know why this isn't pushed more. In a large part of the
    country, you could easily heat get more than 90% of your heat from solar
    thermal panels. Not just for hot water, you can heat your whole house
    with it. And the cost is much less than solar electric. Last I
    checked, if you used solar heat with radiant floor heating, you would
    see a return on the investment in 2 or 3 years and have nearly free heat
    from then on.

    In a few years I hope to build a house that is solar powered. I plan to
    have close to 10,000 watts of solar electric and enough solar heat to
    heat the house. Most of the roof will be solar electric, because it
    takes a lot more electric panels than thermal ones to get the job done.
    The reason I want close to 10,000 watts is I want to sell enough back
    to the power company during the day that I will have a net return and
    have a negative power bill most of the time. I could probably do that
    with 6,000 watts.

    Very true, but if you happen to live in one of the areas of high wind
    and live on or near the top of a hill/mountain. You cold place a wind
    mill their that was only 20 to 40 feet over the top and get good power.
    I suspect there are very few people that live in a place like that.
    For most people, it is probably better to leave the wind power to the
    power companies. If I lived in a high wind area I would have a 100 foot
    tower for the wind mill just so I could also use it for antennas. But
    since I'm not a big fan of wind (pun intended), that is very unlikely.

    Chris W

    "Protect your digital freedom and privacy, eliminate DRM,
    learn more at"

    Ham Radio Repeater Database.
  5. neon


    Oct 21, 2006
    that is a very lame idea in palm springs there are acres and acres of wind generators. 200' high and blades of 40' the whole mess produce 40 mega watts at peak. now why did they biuld such a stupid thing simple tax breaks from the state.the maintanance of those generators cuts the suppose profit to nill. EDISON is required to buy the power since is the state say so. solar is rediculous my car sitting in las vegas cannot be charged by 15w solar. the best that i can do is battery switch and a floater of 500ma. somebody allready told you get your checkbook ready for solar charger.and wind be ready for hi maintance. if it is an electric car obviously does not run on just 12 v.
  6. Guest

    I'm curious to know how much taxpayer input is required to buy this
    energy back from your excess production.

    What happens if you invest in this infrastructure, and the subsidy is
    reduced or removed?

    PV is very expensive electricity, this being the reason that utilities
    don't use it, and I understand even PV factories don't use it :)

  7. Chris W

    Chris W Guest

    Why would there be any taxpayer input? If you are some how making more
    energy than you use, and send it to the power company to then sell to
    someone who will use it, it is a win win. You make money from the power
    company and the power company gets a little extra power with no capital
    investment or maintenance costs.

    In CA there is a subsidy for purchasing the solar panels where the power
    company will pay about half the cost of the panel which is a cost they
    pass on to the other customers. But that has to do with the cost of the
    purchase of the panels not the money involved in selling back in excess
    Again the only subsidy I have ever heard of, and that makes sense, is in
    the purchase of the solar panels. The only way I see where the power
    company would not buy your excess power back is if they had so much
    generation capability, they didn't need any extra. That is unlikely to
    be the case. Even if they do one day stop buying power, just being able
    to generate your own power can be very handy.

    I guess you missed the part of my post where I talked about a new solar
    company, Nanosolar, that is making solar panels MUCH cheaper than anyone
    else. The problem is they are still building factories so they can meet
    demand. For now your average person can't buy them. They are selling
    panels at just under $1/watt. At that price, it is worth the
    investment. A power company in Germany is using their panels to build a
    10 megawatt power plant.

    That said you are right, the PV panels you and I can buy today are far
    too expensive to make it worth the investment except in exceptional
    situations, such as if you have a house so far out in the middle of no
    where that it will cost several thousand to get the power company run a
    line to your house. Also if you live in CA, the subsidy to buy the
    equipment helps. Even then, it still costs more than double what
    Nanosolar is charging for their panels.

    So in 18 months or so when Nanosolar has enough production that they
    will start selling to everyone, Solar power will be very economical with
    or without subsidies.

    Chris W

    "Protect your digital freedom and privacy, eliminate DRM,
    learn more at"

    Ham Radio Repeater Database.
  8. I don't know where you live, but here in Australia you can simply buy 100%
    wind or solar energy from existing capacity on the grid. Much cheaper and
    easier than installing your own system.

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