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Greetings:

 

I want to share some recent findings, either on my own, or with the help of my good friend Monte. He helped me out especially by getting the links to the videos I have attached, below. Anyway, if solar power interests you at all, please feel free to take a look at any / all of the information I have posted below:

 

Solar Calculator - An excellent webpage for calculating sunrise and sunset for your location, at any point throughout the year.

 

Amp Hours & Beer - Who ever knew there was a connection?

 

Solar Panel Talk Forum - Very helpful forum, offering tons of information and very helpful members.

Solar Power Forum - older forum, but too much SPAM

Solar Panels Philippines - Smaller forum, but helpful members

 

During my research, I have determined that I will, most likely, build my own panels. I think it will be a great thing to learn, and a good learning experience. Here are three videos making up a small series, the best ones I have viewed regarding building your own panels:

 

Video 1 of 3

 

Video 2 of 3

 

Video 3 of 3

 

Considering the higher cost of buying manufactured panels, and especially the shipping rates for them once assembled, I can spend a lot less money on buying frames, or building my own frames from 1.5" x 1.5" stock aluminum angle. The image below is of a manufactured aluminum frame designed for 36 - 3" x 6" solar cells, creating a panel that would produce ~ 18vdc at 3.5 amperes:

 

36 3x6.jpg

 

Add a piece of tempered glass, 1/4" thick, and start soldering solar cells together on top of that. It sounds simple enough, anyway. Below is a photo of a 6" x 6" cell. I will probably use 3" x 6" cells, though, if I can get them cheap enough:

 

solar_cell_3.jpg

 

This is what a completed panel would look like. This one would be a bit larger than 6' long x 3' wide, if using 6" x 6" solar cells:

 

phonomonosmallshad.jpg

 

Considering the high cost of solar trackers (the motors that will rotate your panels to keep the most amount of sun on them throughout the day), this fellow decided to build his own. Here is his excellent writeup and a link to his website, Living On Solar:

 

solar-tracker.pdf

 

And, just in case you don't believe me about the costs of commercial solar tracking units (hold on to your hats, boys):

 

Wattsun_Tracker_Prices.pdf

 

A pdf focusing on inverters and battery sizes:

 

inverter_battery_sizing_faq.pdf

 

Here is a voltage drop calculator, an excel file:

 

voltage_drop_calculator.xls

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I may add more links to this thread, or, perhaps just start a new one, as I learn more about solar panels and building my own solar array.

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Seems you want to kick off a power plant... :( I think for the price of the panels you can pay your electricity bill for ages. How much power do you plan to collect with this?

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Hey Paul, don't know if you are aware of this place but when I was doing various research on aquaponics, solar power was one area I was looking into for the self-sustainability aspect. I came upon http://www.sophilcor.com/, a local shop there in Cebu.

 

It sounds as though you are going the DIY route on the panels, but they also carry inverters, charge controllers, and whatnot. Might be worth checking out, might not.

 

Good luck on the project and let us know how it works out! :biggrin_01:

Edited by Mailman
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Seems you want to kick off a power plant... :itsokay: I think for the price of the panels you can pay your electricity bill for ages. How much power do you plan to collect with this?

 

That's right. But, my reasoning isn't to get a return from the solar array. I'm too old to do that now, anyway. To get a return on what you pay out, you would need it to last about 30 years, typically.

 

My reason for doing this is for sustainability. I am doing it so I have power all the time, not just when CEBECO thinks I need it. Right now, I am not looking to be off grid 24 hours per day, only for the 8 to 12 hours during brownouts here. If I move elsewhere though, that could change.

 

 

Hey Paul, don't know if you are aware of this place but when I was doing various research on aquaponics, solar power was one area I was looking into for the self-sustainability aspect. I came upon http://www.sophilcor.com/, a local shop there in Cebu.

 

It sounds as though you are going the DIY route on the panels, but they also carry inverters, charge controllers, and whatnot. Might be worth checking out, might not.

 

Good luck on the project and let us know how it works out! :stooges:

 

I contacted them about a week ago. I inquired about their hours and such, as I will be dropping by their place once I get back to Cebu City. I will post what I find. But, for some reason, I have this idea in my mind that most parts are not going to be in stock. They will probably h ave to order most parts I need. If so, I can probably get them as quickly as they can. I will check it out, though.

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My reason for doing this is for sustainability. I am doing it so I have power all the time, not just when CEBECO thinks I need it. Right now, I am not looking to be off grid 24 hours per day, only for the 8 to 12 hours during brownouts here. If I move elsewhere though, that could change.

 

So wouldn't it make economical sense to charge your 12 volt battery array from the 220 volt CEBECO socket and switch to your batteries any time there is a blackout.

 

For the three years I drove a RV up and down the east coast of Australia I had a single deep cycle battery that we kept charged by linking it into the RV circuit (Toyota Coaster, 25 Amp hour alternator).

Sometimes we charged it from 240 volts wall socket via a charger but that was super slow.

From that single 12 volt battery I could run my desk top computer and 15" CRT monitor for several hours. (or a fan all night).

If memory serves, it once ran our TV and VCR for 5 hours.

And that's just one 12 volt deep cycle.

 

We may not like it but there is no electricity supply cheaper or easier than the socket in your living room.

And there's no faster way to charge a battery than your automobiles circuit.

 

KonGC

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So wouldn't it make economical sense to charge your 12 volt battery array from the 220 volt CEBECO socket and switch to your batteries any time there is a blackout.

 

For the three years I drove a RV up and down the east coast of Australia I had a single deep cycle battery that we kept charged by linking it into the RV circuit (Toyota Coaster, 25 Amp hour alternator).

Sometimes we charged it from 240 volts wall socket via a charger but that was super slow.

From that single 12 volt battery I could run my desk top computer and 15" CRT monitor for several hours. (or a fan all night).

If memory serves, it once ran our TV and VCR for 5 hours.

And that's just one 12 volt deep cycle.

 

We may not like it but there is no electricity supply cheaper or easier than the socket in your living room.

And there's no faster way to charge a battery than your automobiles circuit.

 

KonGC

 

Kenny, you take all the fun out of it, you know that? :P:killself::D :D

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broden

Well Paul if you want to charge batteries and at the same time look after your health

 

parts-for-DIY-BYO-exercise-bike-pedal-power-station.jpg

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My reason for doing this is for sustainability. I am doing it so I have power all the time, not just when CEBECO thinks I need it. Right now, I am not looking to be off grid 24 hours per day, only for the 8 to 12 hours during brownouts here. If I move elsewhere though, that could change.

 

 

Strange. I am here for about 6 months and there were only 2 major brownouts all this while. Maybe you will consider Moalboal? :biggrin_01:

You don't have to give up your solar power plant, you can even add a windmill type of device to it, quite windy here.

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What do you call "major"? I know, for a fact, that we have had more brownouts than that in the past six months. Perhaps, being on a different grid, you are not suffering similar electrical issues.

 

I have considered moving there. But, the internet simply is not reliable enough on that side of the island and that far south, for it to be appealing enough to me.

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Kenny, you take all the fun out of it, you know that? :scratch_head: :scratch_head: :D :D

 

I'm reminded of the time NASA spent several million dollars, months of designing, manufacturing, meticulous testing in refining a pen that would allow their astronauts to be able to write in a vacuum with zero gravity and in any position.

 

The Russians gave their guys a pencil.

 

KonGC

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Well, in my case, I have always found alternative energy sources very interesting. As I stated, I know I am too old to ever see a return from it. It is something that just interests me enough to where I would like to try it. I am going to buy a small scale kit first, to see how well I assemble that, before undertaking a "high dollar" project anyway.

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