Gasing Up on Sunshine

   / Gasing Up on Sunshine #1  

Gale Hawkins

Super Star Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
11,954
Location
Murray, KY
Tractor
1948 Allis Chambers Model B 1976 265 MF / 1983 JD 310B Backhoe / 1966 Ford 3000 Diesel / 1980 3600 Diesel
Using sunshine for our energy needs is as old as man. Stored sunshine in the form of trees and coal was our sources of heat as a child. First it was coal (fossil fuel) then dad got a gear driven McCullough chainsaw when I was about 3 or 4.

My interest in capturing sunlight directly for electric needs is long termed but like early electric cars a solar powered home was cost prohibited in my case. Seeing the 45 watt solar system in the Harbor Freight catalogs for $150 kept solar energy on my mind.

Like the cost of EVs, home solar power options are better and lower in cost than every. DIY solar options are common place. My first objective is to learn how to put together a solar solution with an output of 120 volts of AC at 15 amps for charging our Nissan Leaf.

Watching this video yesterday got me off of top dead center.

 
   / Gasing Up on Sunshine #2  
I would consider making it 240V; with a 6-8 hour window for peak solar, ideally you would want the solar energy to straight into your Leaf as fast as possible. Your Leaf supports high current DC charging which might be the most efficient, but I don't know if it can do lower / variable current DC charging to save DC-AC-DC conversion losses.

I had looked at using an old Leaf battery to back up our solar as the grid here is less than reliable...

If you aren't trying to go off grid, you could just put in grid-tie solar and charge your Leaf via that. Many utilities will give you net metering credit. Mine lets us use energy in January against credits earned in June. We are in the process of installing batteries to let us generate solar energy during the day and discharge it in the evening, when the demand for power is greater. (Which also earns us more $/kWh)

FWIW: For most rural folks, a ground mount solar system is much, much less expensive.

Good luck!

All the best, Peter
 
   / Gasing Up on Sunshine
  • Thread Starter
#3  

7 points to first consider
 
   / Gasing Up on Sunshine #4  
Seeing the 45 watt solar system in the Harbor Freight catalogs for $150 kept solar energy on my mind.
If that unit is anything like their solar maintainer run, don't walk away. In full sunlight with no load, I measured 12.2V on it. That POS ain't gonna charge anything!
 
   / Gasing Up on Sunshine
  • Thread Starter
#5  
If that unit is anything like their solar maintainer run, don't walk away. In full sunlight with no load, I measured 12.2V on it. That POS ain't gonna charge anything!
Now you tell me years after I bought it! Well it's still in the box unopened so maybe I could take it back. It was meant to be a homeschool project for electrifying the horse run in but that never happened the kids got older and everything else took their interest. :)

I need to get it out and get it ready on a frame on Wheels so I can rotate it 180° and check about different angles and those kind of things to learn more about efficiency issues related to collecting solar energy before I start dumping new money into solar in my current state of solar ignorance.
 
   / Gasing Up on Sunshine
  • Thread Starter
#7  

That explains a lot of the recent ads I've been seeing.

Perhaps new back up generator sales are on the skids to the downside due to better and cheaper solar panel options?
 
   / Gasing Up on Sunshine
  • Thread Starter
#8  

Solar panel technology is very varied and evolving like crazy and that solar panels like EV batteries do degrade over time.
 
   / Gasing Up on Sunshine #9  
Gale- The title "gassing up on sunshine" compels me to add my comments:
About 20 months ago we put in use a 7500 watt solar array on the rooftop
of a garage at our home. The output averages about 24.6 Kilowatt hours per day.
This is a "grid-tied" system.

Earlier this year the boss of all things got a new Mitsubishi Outlander
Plug-in-Hybrid Electric. It runs on battery for 24 miles or so and when
out of charge, runs on the gas motor.
Most of her trips are less than 24 miles round trip and I've only been to
the gas station to fill up 3 times. It had a full tank when we got it
in March.

This has truly been gassing up on sunshine, and it can be done...
 
   / Gasing Up on Sunshine
  • Thread Starter
#10  

Sounds more affordable is all I currently know but has the chemistry that I currently prefer.
 
 
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