I few years ago I bought a 40W solar panel from Yahoo Auction Japan for my tiny prefab at work. For years I have been using generators to power up my tools and sometimes I even use a DC/AC converters hooked to my cars just to get some juice to power-up lights. One time I hooked my DC/AC converter to power-up my vacuum cleaner and the vac killed the car's ECU... HAHAHA!

I asked the power guy if he can hook electricity to my prefab and his price is just too much. The only thing that he has that I don't have is the license for hooking-up the power. I have been playing with 240V since I was 7, I climbed electric posts and towers, have played with high voltage and even got electrocuted several times and this guy said that I have to pay around 100,000 Yen. I refused and he offered me that if I do all the work (building the pole, installing the meter, hooking-up the wires to the power pole, and doing all the set-up by myself) and all he has to do is to make it legal, he'll give me a 10% discount... I refused and showed him my huge generator which is enough to run a welding machine.

This is the reason why I stay off-grid because I don't like some wise-ass telling me that I have to pay a lot for his services that I know that I can do myself...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

solar panel testing

Since I didn't want to pay the electrician clown who wanted to rip me off, I decided to buy a second hand solar panel. I found a cheap used solar panel at Yahoo Auctions Japan and bought it. Then I bought a regulator, some wires, switches, alligator clamps and a one way diod for preventing the charged batteries from getting depleted at night while the solar panel is not charging. The batteries that I was using came from my cars and since that I'm in the car biz, finding donor batteries for my little project is never a problem. Since the batteries that I was using are 12 volts and my solar panel only pumps up 19 volts max but I needed 100 volts, I had to use a DC to AC converter to power up small appliances like a radio, speakers,  small TV, and my Macbook or my other laptop. To make life easier for me, I ripped off a cigarette lighter socket from the crap car on the back ground and connected it to the batteries where I connected the DC/AC converter that had a cigarette lighter socket. 

The first time I assembled everything, all worked well and as planned. It was a cloudy day that day and the solar panel barely got my Macbook to run using direct current from the solar panel (I depleted my macbook's battery before testing). Then I connected a half-dead battery and left it to charge for about an hour and got my Macbook working again. 

Before I decided to buy this solar panel, first I made a small windmill generator with blades about 1.5 meters in circumference (sorry I don't have photos...) it too worked but the sound of the blades/fan spinning was too annoying and had problems when the wind wasn't blowing strong so it went to my metal bin for recycling. I also made a generator powered by a 50cc Honda 4 stroke motorbike engine but that too wasn't "eco" because it still needed gasoline to run and since I have a real generator that has lots of grunt, it went to my recycle bin for scrapping.  

1 comment:

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