We are just getting into summer, although you may not think so after the disapointing day today, and it is an ideal time to start your experimentation with Solar Panels. I may have electrical experience in the past but this branch of electrickery is quite new and yet so integral to any technological footprint after an event that it is worthy of spending some time working on.
I’ve looked at my requirements carefully and there are only a few things that I can see a use for that require electrical power.
- Comms. Hand held radios to longer range comms.
- Security. CCTV, PIR, Night Vision, Lights and reconnaissance.
- Fridges and Freezers. Medicines and food.
- Reference and calculation. Computers and Calculators.
- Manufacture. Machining small parts for items.
- Food production. Incubators, aquaponics and irrigation.
Not an exhaustive list but it covers most of my requirements after TSHTF.
To make things easier for myself I have two clear requirments for power collection and distribution.
- I want a separate power supply for each device as this gives the benefit of backup as if anything should happen to one of the panels I can use another one as a replacement.
- I want a larger system to provide power to the whole homestead for when I am settled in.
Basically, I want it all. I’ll be making sure that I have more than sufficient cover and that I have backups as well.
I’ve already got a couple of smaller panels and these were bought specifically for charging batteries and powering the computer which worked fine. I’ll add to these as I work out the power requirements of the kit.
So first thing first. I have ordered a 120W solar panel with a 20A controller plus a 125AH battery so that I can give this technology a go. First of all I’ll set it up as a battery charging system for 12V and then I’ll plug in some 12V devices and see if it can power them, first with, and then without the battery.
I’m sure I’m in for a few surprises when I start looking at power consumption. I’ll keep you informed on progress.