Solar Power & Wind Turbine Systems -Looking For A Little Advice

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Cykkatron, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. Cykkatron

    Cykkatron Monkey

    So I'm trying to figure out what items I will need to buy to start setting up either a small solar or turbine power system. I've looked up kits, but they seem to be lacking some items which I've read about on some DIY sites. Such as a inverters/storage banks ect.. Any resources or knowledge on this topic would be helpful! Thank you!

    -Just trying to learn-

    Solar power / Wind Turbine
    Any info on the items I'd need maybe a link to a good site or two wouldn't hurt none.
    -Thanks again.

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  2. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    There are several here who have solar and they will weigh in shortly. Get a larger inverter than the "kits" as you will probably want to enlarge your system.
  3. Cykkatron

    Cykkatron Monkey

    I've been reading a few threads and searching through the forums lurking around, I figured people here seem very knowledgeable hence why I signed up. :) I am currently in a tiny little "cabin" type home. I'm not looking to run a normal house hold lot of energy (No lights/no full size fridge) I have a wood stove to heat my home and cook upon, I'm more or less just trying to run small appliances charging cellphone/laptop/mp3 player/radio. I have the start of a green house and a chicken coop, setting up a water system soon as well, since I live in the North West I figure a Turbine would be better then Solar but I assume (might be bad of me to do) that if I get the knowledge and info about Solar Power systems I can put that info towards turbines too.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Turbine as in Steam, Water or Air?
    swampbilly likes this.
  5. Cykkatron

    Cykkatron Monkey

    Air, sorry should of been more clear about that.. lol I mean actually water wouldn't be bad either.. But due to living by the beach I get ALOT of wind.
  6. Cykkatron

    Cykkatron Monkey

    Well I've done some calculations, not in depth though. My main question is really what are the basic items needed by name.. Alot of the DIY sites don't actually list the items/parts needed for a solar system to properly hook up to a home or some sort of bank to a outlet...

    Or they state that I need a converter but don't put any examples on the site.. Im really just looking for some basic examples/descriptions of the items.. .-.

    I mean all other information and ideas and recommendations are welcome and always accepted with a smile because knowledge is power!
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  7. ralph kramden

    ralph kramden Monkey+

    First you require to educate yourself a bit. I would recommend several sites as a beginning. check out, although they are a vendor of solar goods etc, they provide quite a bit of info to get you up and running. also the home energy section of, a plethora of info there as well., another vendor of solar goods, including complete, small systems, up to big ones minus batteries of course, and they provide free shipping on most of their items. none of this info is anywhere
    all inclusive, but a good way to start. oh, check out the ldsprepper on youtube with his videos about his system. and always remember conservation of energy pays back the highest return on your investment. the other idea is to plan your system so that you may augment its capacity for the future. good luck
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    You need for Solar:
    1. Solar Panel or Panels.....
    2. Charge Controller
    3. Battery Bank

    You need for Wind:
    1. Wind Generator
    2. Charge Controller
    3. Battery Bank

    You need for Hydro:
    1. Water, flowing down hill
    2. MicroHydro Generator
    3. Charge Controller
    4. Battery Bank

    You will notice a common thread here. Charge Controller & Battery Bank are common
    For all of the above. For small electronics, that use USB Chargers, or can be run of a Cigarette
    Outlet in a Vehicle, there is no need for an Inverter. Run everything off a 12Vdc System.
    No use wasting your precious Power doing the conversion to 120 Vac, just to convert it back to
    12Vdc for these devices.

    There are two basic types of Charge Controllers.
    1. Fixed reference Charge Contollers
    These are the cheapest and lest efficient of the two. They take the 17Vdc from the 12Vdc
    Solar Panels and throw away the 5Vdc difference by heating up a big Power Resister. Let's
    Say your Panel outputs 17 Vdc @ 10 Amps, when fully illuminated. That is 170 Watts.
    The Fixed reference Charge Controller will put 14Vdc into the Battery @ 10 amps
    (140 Watts) and waste the difference 3Vdc @ 10 amps (30 Watts) by heating up a Power
    Resister in it's Circuit.
    2. MPPT Charge Controllers
    These are more expensive and most efficient of the two types. They take the same 17Vdc
    @ 10 amps (170Watts) and using modern MicroController technology, monitor the output Voltage
    and Current produced by the Panel and keep it operating at its Maximum Power Point. As the current
    Goes up the Voltage goes down, so to track where the connected Panel produces the Most Power,
    (Voltage * Current) it adjust the current drawn, for Maximum Power out. Then it takes that Available
    Power and, minus 5% Conversion Losses, and charges the Battery at 14 Vdc @ 11.5 Amps. An increase of 15% in Charing Current.

    Ok, end of lecture: Charge Controllers 101

    Next: Battery Systems 102
    Yard Dart and hank2222 like this.
  9. Cykkatron

    Cykkatron Monkey

    Thank you guys so much! :) I knew I'd find some great info here!
    I think I've found one of my fav sites around haha. Much love to all of you for the help and information.
  10. hank2222

    hank2222 Monkey+++

    I tell this best statement ...---get the best that you buy and get bigger than you need for future expansion of the system when it needed not be afraid to ask for help and do not be afraid to make the mistakes that are needed for the learning curve of using a solar system
    Altoidfishfins and BTPost like this.
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