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Solar Powered Systems

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by Joe Lucia, Oct 23, 2005.

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  1. Joe Lucia

    Joe Lucia Guest

    Has anyone installed any completely stand-alone solar-powered system?
    I'm thinking mostly of an AES Radio in the middle of the Desert as a
    repeater running off of Solar Panels and Batteries.
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    For quite a while I have been running some FBI XL31Bs on solar panels using
    some license plate sized solar panels I bought from JC Whitney real cheap.
    Alll the buildings have phone lines and I keep saying I am going to go out
    and run ac power to these buildings but its a long run of several thousand
    feet to get 16vac to each one. There is a line of telephone poles behind
    the buildings but the closest ac power is on poles at the front of the
    property and thats 40 acres away.
    Each system has two sets of photoelectric beams across the doorways (cause
    there are no doors) and contacts on two regular doors and each unit has
    either a 70 ah or 90ah battery which powers everything and stays fully
    charged without a hitch.

    I have some similar systems on oil platforms that are shutdown with long
    range radio that also use solar panels. However I used much larger solar
    panels and battery boxes with several batteries in them; the battery boxes
    are changed out on a regular basis when the platforms are checked. Its
    cheaper to use solar panels and swap out battery boxes than it is to
    continuously run the power plants. The battery boxes are brought in and the
    batteries fully charged and/or replaced as necessary and ready to go back
    out on the next pass. Depedning upon the weather, you can go up to nine
    months easily without making a tour to swap batteries but of course the
    theory is that at some point the platforms will be active again.

    The new solar panels can easily provide plenty of current to run alarm
    panels because they draw very little current except when the panel is in
    alarm and mostly it goes to the keypad - but panels now have keypad blanking
    so that draw is reduced.

    However you are talking about AES and that is a (high current) low power
    radio transmitter which needs the high current to key the transmitter for a
    fraction of a second which is easy to solve by using a large car battery as
    the standby. My guess is that the range of the radio and the height needed
    for your antenna will be a much bigger problem than powering the thing. The
    actual range on those radios is very limited and a tall antenna site is a
    must. On the other hand, over open unobstructed ground, the range is pretty
    good since its strictly line-of-site.

    If there are mountains where you can put a transmitter site then everything
    'lower' should have an unobstructed line-of-site and reception will be good.
    If your location is surrounded by taller structures you are screwed.
  3. Guest

    We have done what you are wanting to do. AES has a subscriber unit
    which is DC powered. You want to be sure to have that one. There is a
    company locally that manufactures solar panels. These are rated at 85
    vdc at about 55 watts. Jameco has a power converter that will regulate
    this high voltage down to 13.6 vdc to run the radio. The charging
    circuit in the radio will charge the battery when there is sunlight
    enabling the battery to operate the radio through the night. This has
    been in place for three years now and is still working. You will need
    the enclosure from AES rated for outside installation to protect it
    from the weather. A 12 v 7 AH gel cell is what we used for backup
    power. I have tested the radio to run for a few days on battery alone,
    however this time is dependant on the amount of radio traffic you have
    going through it. I also mounted the radio in the shadow of the solar
    panel to protect it somewhat from direct sun light. Two of these were
    set up on bill boards we contracted to use to increase our network with
    the AES radio.
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