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Mon Dec 12, 2011, 12:40 PM

Solar Power Setup for Campers, Small Cabins

I have a camper trailer I use at the beach during the summer that is powered by a simple solar energy setup. Cost under $500.00. We use 2-50 watt panels and a 7 watt panel as a trickle charger. We run our laptops, ipods and lights off this setup. We have gotten so many inquiries on how we did it, my partner put together a web site explaining the process. It can be mind boggling at first learning about inverters, controllers, solar panels, etc. Hopefully, we can help you save some time and money. http://www.simplesolarsetup.com.

I'm new at posting. Hope this is appropriate for this group. If not, my apologies. Love the new look of DU3.

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Reply Solar Power Setup for Campers, Small Cabins (Original post)
cyberspirit Dec 2011 OP
pinto Dec 2011 #1
hunter Dec 2011 #2
Fumesucker Dec 2011 #3
JDPriestly Dec 2011 #4

Response to cyberspirit (Original post)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 12:49 PM

1. The web site looks really useful for those do-it-yourself folks. My BIL is one,

he's looking into solar. The background info would probably help him make some choices about what would work for his situation. Forwarded him your partner's website...Thanks for the post.

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Response to cyberspirit (Original post)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 02:56 PM

2. That's a nice down-to-earth write up.

Inevitably with this kind of solar setup you'll learn how loathsome lead-acid batteries and inverters can be. I've begun to think of them as temporarily useful toxic waste.

I'm hoping the electric car industry pushes these technologies a lot further. When will we see robust and affordable batteries and control systems with a lifespan of 25 year or more?

Someday I'd like to try some nickel-iron batteries. What you lose in efficiency you gain in longevity.

Does anyone on E/E have experience with NiFe batteries?

I found this page, don't know anything about them, but it looked interesting:

http://www.nickel-iron-battery.com

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Response to hunter (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 12, 2011, 09:48 PM

3. It might be worthwhile trying some Prius battery packs..

They are NiMH and if you operate them between about 30% and 70% DOC they can last a very long time, that's how they're used in the Prius, they never fully charge and never fully discharge.

Prius packs are available fairly reasonably on the used car parts market, I see them on Ebay pretty regularly. They aren't so good for a pure EV because they are heavy for the amount of charge they can hold (compared to lithium) but for stationary applications they could be quite good.

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Response to cyberspirit (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 02:35 AM

4. Bookmarked although it is way beyond my technological capacity, way, way beyond.

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