Connecting the Solar Cells Together

You will find little tabs on the back of the cells. Take your soldering iron and heat it up. Touch the tip to the tab and gently feed some solder onto the heated surface of the iron. Just one drop will do. Make sure you do all 4 or 6 of the tabs that you find. The tabs on the backs of the cells will form a line, one on top and one on bottom. The top tabs are negative and the bottom tabs are the positive leads. With the drop of solder on the backs of the tabs gently place a copper wire lead onto...

Inexpensive Solar Panels

Solar panels are very fragile and frequently get broken during shipping and occasionally during installation. What do they do with these solar panels You guessed it. To the dump, or in some cases they go back to the manufacturer. These panels you will not get for free usually. Most of the solar panels can be bought for one quarter of their wholesale price though. Be sure to test the solar panels to see how many watts they are producing before you buy them though. Usually the relative amount of...

Free Solar Panels Found Source

We have to give credit for this one to our good friend Bill who shared this one with us. Solar panels are getting better and better everyday. New manufacturing process is making them more efficient and cheaper everyday too. Now homeowners who have had solar panels on their home, some for over 20 years are upgrading. It's just like buying a new care every few years. Installers and dealers are now getting frequent calls from homeowners wanting to put up a new solar panel array. What happens to...

Finding Cheap Batteries

You'll need a good deep cycle battery to store the power from your wind generator. These can be purchased rather inexpensively on Ebay, but there are ways to find them for free as well. A couple of good sources of free batteries are old golf carts and forklifts. Companies tend to replace these batteries long before their shelf life runs out, and they just so happen to make the perfect deep cycle battery for our wind generator project. So if you haven't got a deep cycle battery on hand then go...

Maintenance of your solar panels

You should clean your solar panels at least once per year to insure maximum performance. 1. Confirm that the correct battery type has been selected. 2. Confirm that the current levels of the PV (Photovoltaic) array and load do not exceed the ratings. 3. Tighten all terminals, inspect for loose, broken, or burnt wire connections. Be certain no loose strands of wire are touching other terminals. 4. Check that the charge controller is securely mounted in a clean environment. Inspect for dirt,...

Free batteries in your own backyard

For a few years our oldest son worked at a golf course for his summer job. One of his jobs was regular cleaning and maintenance of the golf carts, some gas powered, some electric. He usually rode his bike to work, but upon occasion he would ask me to drive him to work if it was raining or if his bike was in need of repairs. One particular morning that I dropped him off for work I spied one of the electric golf carts in the shop with the body taken off for repairs. They were going to replace the...

Grid Intertied solar power system

Free Power Energy Source

This is the type of solar power system you should use if you a still using power from the grid. This is also known as on- grid, grid-tied or a utility interactive solar electric system. If more electricity is produced by the solar system then that is used by the household loads then this will actually turn the electric meter backwards. When this happens it will credit your account and you can use this for future months power usage when less electricity may be produced (periods of cloudy...

Chapter Reduce your oil dependence

One of the biggest problems that people as individuals face when trying to reduce personal energy consumption is overcoming the amount of fuel they consume for personal transportation. There are already many cars coming to the market that greatly reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. Fuel efficient hybrid vehicles do make a significant difference. Another alternative to fossil fuels that is already available to the public is grease powered conversion kits. These kits allow you to take a...

What DC motor should you use

What you want to look for is a surplus permanent magnet DC motor and pay attention to the RPM, shaft size, amps and voltage. You need to look for a DC motor with a LOW RPM rating. The reason for this is because when we use a DC motor as a generator it must spin much faster then the rated RPM to produce the rated voltage. Your goal is to obtain a DC motor with HIGH voltage (over 12v), HIGH current and LOW RPM rating. An ideal motor would be one rated under 400 RPM at 30 volts. When this is used...

The Charge Controller

In order to prevent your battery pack from overloading from too much energy, a charge controller is absolutely necessary. Although it is possible to build one from scratch, it's probably more economically viable to just find a cheap one on Ebay. You can find charges controllers on ebay for about 25. Set up the controller to defer extra power to the dump load we'll cover this in a bit .

The Limitations of PV Power Systems

It is important to realize that PV power systems are expensive when compared with the low price of utility power in North America for the most part. You should reserve the electric power produced by PV modules, an inverter and a storage system for your most energy-efficient appliances, tools, lights, etc. Although it is technically possible, heating with photovoltaic is generally not recommended. You can easily and more efficiently collect heat with a solar thermal system. A solar water heater...

Why build your own and not buy one

All wind turbines have 5 things in common. They all utilize a generator, blades, a mounting to keep them in the wind, a tower, and a control system. If you're looking for a solution that provides a viable replacement for the majority of your energy needs, than you may want to look into prefabricated wind turbines. A wind turbine large enough to provide enough energy to power an average sized home can run anywhere from 6,000 to over 20,000. They currently reduce utility bills by 50 - 90 on...

Chapter Ethanol as an energy source Energy from sugar and corn

Ethanol is an alcohol based energy source usually derived from sugar or corn. It is already widely used in the United States and Brazil by combining ethanol and gasoline to power automobiles. The use and production of ethanol is widespread, but there is still much controversy as to whether or not it is an economically stable and viable alternative to gasoline. First of all, ethanol does burn cleaner than gasoline. Due to its chemical make up, it can reduce or even eliminate the output of carbon...

Tried and True Monocrystalline Solar Panels

For many years monocrystalline solar modules have been the workhorses of the solar market. Those iridescent blue faced panels you have been seeing on rooftops are probably of this type of panels. For most of you this is the type of solar panels you will build because these types of cells are readily available. They have distinct rounded individual solar cells visible from all angles stacked in very uniform rows. This type of solar panel is produced from a single silicon ingot or crystal....

Nanotechnology

Advances in nanotechnology may greatly increase the efficiency of current alternative energy technologies. Some examples are increasing the strength-to-weight ratio of wind turbines or maximizing the ability of solar panels to absorb energy. Nanotechnology may even be able to make electricity more efficient, allowing us to use less amounts of energy but outputting greater amounts of power. The impact of nanotechnology on renewable energy is yet to be fully understood. But the technology is...

Portable Solar Power Generator

Power Plant Generator

This solar generator can literally pay for itself within the first few weeks that you put it into use. I have included the most basic setup below but there are some extra features you can add if you have some money left over. You can build on this system by using multiple solar panels and batteries. We will talk about wiring together multiple panels and batteries later on in the book. 1. Energy source - Solar panel s 12V is fine 5. Household loads Laptop, TV, DVD player etc. 1. Energy source -...

Thin Film Solar Panels

Recently a new product was introduced into the market that could provide some much needed answers for solar power users. Amorphous silicon PV or thin film technology could make rigid solar panels obsolete if some better research is done. Thin film solar panels are produced by applying silicon material on glass or stainless steel, or more commonly between two pieces of flexible laminate material. Solid or rigid thin film panels are in use but flexible laminated thin film panels are more popular....

Series Parallel Circuits

A Series parallel circuit is simply two or more series circuits that are wired together in parallel. In the above example two separate pairs of 6 Volt batteries have been wired in series and each of these series pairs have been wired together in parallel. Why in the world would someone want to do this Lets say that you want to increase the Amp hour rating of a battery pack so that you could run your appliances longer but you needed to wire the pack in such a way as to keep the battery pack at...

Geo Thermal Energy

The Earth itself contains enormous amounts of energy, which if harnessed, may be all that we'll ever need. Volcanoes, seismic activity, storm systems, even waves all contain vast amounts of energy that will more than likely be harnessed sometime in the future. There are limitless possibilities for the future, more than we could cover in one book. Regardless, it's an exciting time. New technologies are constantly being developed, while old technologies are constantly being improved upon. One...

Simple Charge Controller Circuit

Electrocar Controller Simple

The above diagram shows the simple charge controller circuit. The incoming battery voltage is divided in half by a pair of 3.3K resistors, so the trip points are adjusted to one-half the desired levels. Start at 14 volts for the trip points. The actual trip points will depend on your particular batteries, but a good starting point is 14.5 volts for full charge, and 11.8 volts for discharged. In this case, the trimpots should be adjusted to read 7.25 volts at TP-A and 5.9 volts at TP-B. You will...