solar kits

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by jash, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    Has anyone bought a solar kit from somerwhere? We were going to buy one from Gaiam Real Goods solar (it was a cabin kit) but they have discontinued it. :mad: We would like to buy a kit the first time so that everything is included and we can see how it should go together. Any advice?
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Thinking solar, check this out. While the prototype is highly focussed for steam generation, it would be easy to defocus a bit for lower temps, or for hot water tank charging.

    Edit to add: I am not sure how long this link will work, it is in a newspaper. So: the company is Raw Solar, a subsidiary set up by MIT to pursue development. The concept is NOT new, in spite of the hype, collectors and concentrators have been around for many years. All the same, this widget may be practical and cost effective at home sized setups when developed.

    Quigs, this should run your Sterling powered pump rather easily. De-focus to make hot water, circulate it past the engine head. This might also work for me to drive the well pump or ground source heat pump.
  3. toemag

    toemag Monkey++

    We have some panels on the roof for heating the house, power generating ones are on the agenda.

    They had a open day at my kids school yesterday about energy and recycling etc, they had one of those solar dish cookers set up with a pan in the middle, as it was 28°C sunny clear sky, it didn't take long for that pan to heat up. Damn, I wish I'd set a cam up on that, the amount of parents that burnt themselves on the pan was going into double figures before I left. [ROFL]

  4. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Watch out, if there was not sign that said "hot surface!" they might turn around a sue. You know that pain & suffering along with the humiliation of not knowing the sun can heat things up like that.

    Back to the OP.

    I found the store "Northern Tool" carries some solar panels along with the controlls for them. I've thought about getting one just set it up and play with it for fun to see how it works, just haven't done it yet.
  5. toemag

    toemag Monkey++

    German Law isn't like the US law, They won't get anywhere very fast.

  6. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    looked at a few manufactured solar cookers at the energy fair pretty; impressive. However one can be built with little to no technology, plenty of online info if I get a decent one put together I'll post some info...
  7. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Well Ghirt with that steam they could produce electricity , convert it from a/c to d/c store it and convert it back again for homes .

    A few of these in the right places and it would seem to put and end to such nonsense as roaming blackouts in Places like California in the sweltering heat of summer .
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    No question about that at all, but it gets pretty pricey 'till the steam engine is set up. In this case and for home use, generation of DC is probably the way to go, as engine speed regulation is one of the more difficult tricks with varying steam input (say when the sun goes behind clouds.) Keeping first costs down for individual users sorta points to hot water rather than steam; control of single phase (liquid) water is much easier than two phase (liquid and gas.)

    Commercial sized applications are a different case, those will have staff and skills to handle the variability of sunlight and the capital for the more complex control systems.
  9. Gravy

    Gravy Consfearacy

    The website below is a good place for solar panels and batteries/kits. I bought this sunlinq 12w 12v panel because of its portability. I use it now with rechargable batteries. I also picked-up a couple of large 12v batteries which I keep charged in case the power goes out. The batteries will run lots of stuff including the laptop computer. This whole system has worked so well that I just ordered the sunlinq 25w panel and am going to experiment with charging car batteries that I am going to try to use running the freezer and fridge. If this works I'll be able to keep food no matter how long the power goes out. These guys have great tech support = answered all my questions and pointed me in the right direction. I recommend the portable panels, just in case you get displaced someday.
  10. Jeep79

    Jeep79 Monkey++

  11. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    Don't use water for your sterling engine. use a different solvent. and keep it a closed system. it will be more efficient and even work at lower temps.
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