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AskTJ

DIY solar setup for under $100

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have no knowledge in solar and inverters and all that. I have no idea what it all means. But I have been starting to watch @jehugarcia recently, about his Power Wall. I have been wanting to recreate that, but for under $100. I know I will need a battery, to take all the charge in. I need a solar panel, to charge the batteries, and I need something that connects to the solar panel, that gives the correct amount of voltage and amps to charge the batteries. 

 

Now, my budget. Yes, it is $100. That is nothing. I know. I can barely buy a solar panel with it, let alone batteries and an inverter?

 

I can choose out of these 2 panels.

 

Choice 1

 

Choice 2

 

Now I need batteries. 18650 is the obvious choice. I need to hook them up to something.

 

Basically, I need the whole process explained to me, please.


hi.

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Unless you enjoy house fires, don't try to do this for $100.

you would also save more money spending that $100 on your power bill.


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Also keep in mind that these panels are only 100W which is next to nothing. On a perfect sunny day you might be able to run 2 light bulbs off them

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OP, from your post you don't seem to know what you're getting into here. I might be wrong, but I suggest you go watch more of his videos before you start, especially his earlier ones explaining why things are done the way they're done.

 

Again, as others have pointed out. 100 bucks ain't gonna cut it for these kinda projects my friend.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
10 minutes ago, Huntsman said:

OP, from your post you don't seem to know what you're getting into here. I might be wrong, but I suggest you go watch more of his videos before you start, especially his earlier ones explaining why things are done the way they're done.

 

Again, as others have pointed out. 100 bucks ain't gonna cut it for these kinda projects my friend.

Thank you.


hi.

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Just as extra info.. here's some youtuber which has very informative stuff on what you're doing.

 

Your fellow Aussie. Gotta dig abit as it is in there with other highly technical stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/user/EEVblog/featured

 

British dude with interest in DIY-ing solar stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/user/julius256/featured

 

He does have some playlist of where he made his solar stuff on his own tho.. could try following, might save you some bucks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAHxeNlRUZc&list=PLjzGSu1yGFjWaVRoYZx_OpdiDVUnB1QWJ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSz4-cr3EJw&list=PLjzGSu1yGFjWv4KeN-7TSYeQIcicM9Ghl

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY-6GK873ts&list=PLjzGSu1yGFjUsB3ChZJ2_-MTNp7bHaKED

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AobcNhLG_Xw&list=PLjzGSu1yGFjWa5BEHgX5UUrSexppett3W

 

Hope you find them useful..


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On 6/16/2018 at 3:24 PM, AskTJ said:

I have no knowledge in solar and inverters and all that. I have no idea what it all means. But I have been starting to watch @jehugarcia recently, about his Power Wall. I have been wanting to recreate that, but for under $100. I know I will need a battery, to take all the charge in. I need a solar panel, to charge the batteries, and I need something that connects to the solar panel, that gives the correct amount of voltage and amps to charge the batteries. 

 

Now, my budget. Yes, it is $100. That is nothing. I know. I can barely buy a solar panel with it, let alone batteries and an inverter?

 

I can choose out of these 2 panels.

 

Choice 1

 

Choice 2

 

Now I need batteries. 18650 is the obvious choice. I need to hook them up to something.

 

Basically, I need the whole process explained to me, please.

Buy some used deep charge batteries and solar panels, for  100$ you cant do much.


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For this sort of budget you're better off looking at small scale projects.

 

If you lived rural for example an idea could be a solar panel and battery to run some sensors at a remote location with no power. Like say a level sensor on a water trough, moisture sensor, weather station and so on.

 

Could do something like a solar irrigation controller and pump from a water tank, greenhouse or run some sort of automated hydro/aquaponics system.

 

Too low a budget to bother with trying to augment grid power/backup system.

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The normal way would be get a MPPT charge controller, here's something that's cheap and seems to have ok reviews: https://www.amazon.com/ALLPOWERS-Charger-Controller-Intelligent-Regulator/dp/B01MU0WMGT/

 

The potentially cheaper way would be to get a pair of lead acid batteries and wire them in series to have a default voltage of 24v (charging at around 13.8v per battery, so around 27-28v to charge the batteries)

A panel like the ones you linked will have a nominal voltage of around 18v-19v and an "open voltage" of around 21-22v, so by using two batteries in series you can use a simpler and cheaper boost only dc-dc converter (probably 5$ on eBay) that would boost  whatever... 22v to around 26-28v and constantly try to charge the battery (and you'd use a diode or something to prevent the power from battery to going back into the boost regulator)

Then you can get this 20 .. 27v and do stuff with it, use an inverter or use dc-dc converters to produce 12v or whatever your devices use (you can have 12v led light fixtures, 12v..18v laptops, etc..

 

Those eBay panels are not great, and in the best light conditions you'll probably get 60-75w or so from them.

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