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Working backwards...

Discussion in 'Photovoltaics' started by Bob W, Apr 3, 2006.

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  1. Bob W

    Bob W Guest

    In my home office all day I'm running 2 desktop computers, a (newer)
    laser printer, a couple of small fans, a couple cordless phones, a
    scanner, cell phone charger, a router, a DSL modem, and a radio. I
    live in an old neighborhood in which the power goes out every time the
    wind blows hard, so I've got some of this stuff on a typical "computer
    store" battery backup unit. Said backup unit is getting old and will
    probably need to be replaced before too long.

    I'm also interested in this photovoltaic stuff.

    What I was thinking was instead of buying another self contained
    backup unit, I might instead get a couple golf cart batteries and an
    inverter, and run everything off that. At first I'd charge the
    batteries with a normal 110v battery charger. If it all worked then
    maybe I'd think about solar panels.

    Unfortunately I don't have a very good site for solar panels. The only
    south facing roof is just the thing over the back door, about 4 1/2
    feet square. (One of those Harbor Freight sets you guys have been
    discussing would fit there (I measured).) There is a huge tree in the
    back yard. In the winter, sunshine on that roof would be going through
    the tree's bare branches in the afternoon. In the summer I think the
    sun is high enough to clear the tree. (Central Ohio)

    Does all this sound feasible? About what size inverter and battery set
    would I need?
  2. Bob W

    Bob W Guest

    Sorry - I wasn't clear about that. The whole kit & kaboodle runs about
    10 hours a day, during the day. My intent was to run on batteries all
    the time. The power goes out often, but usually not for long (just a
    few seconds). I think the best I can hope for is solar *assisted*
    charging, which would be fine. The main thing I'm asking now is what
    size inverter, I guess. I suppose I should get one of those clamp on
    meters and measure consumption, eh?
  3. Glenn jacobs

    Glenn jacobs Guest

    I am on 100% solar power and I had to add a UPS!

    The reason being when the well pump kicks on it drops the voltage enough
    for my computer to kick off and that causes dick errors from time to time.
    So going solar may not be the ultimate solutution! I would agree to just
    add UPSes as they are a bunch cheaper and the Solar system may create other
    problems as it did in my case.

  4. Bob W

    Bob W Guest

    Hey, I like that idea!
  5. Bob W

    Bob W Guest

    Yeah - that's what I'm a thinkin' after the other poster pointed out
    that the things have chargers and inverters in them.
    This is just an excercise in tinkering :)
    The tree is mature - seems like it's been about the same size ever
    since I've been here (past 20 years) (~80' tall x ~70' in dia.).
  6. Yeah, what Merlin said. My new UPS that is engineered for external
    battery packs has a multi-speed fan to keep it cool during extended
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