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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / 50W solar panel
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Hangblague
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2021 13:10
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Canadian Tire has a sale on their Noma 50W crystalline solar panel kits. It includes a 7A charge controller They go for $300 normally, now $100. I like that it is compact size - about 27" x 20". It has a stand, but I'd probably prop it instead high up on the south facing gable end of the cabin and connect it to a 12v battery. I haven't tried to do any math, but I'd like to think it would be plenty to stay charged for turning on some led bulbs in the evening and connecting up some usb ports for phone charging. Comments?

Also, I think I'd go with an AGM battery stored inside the cabin permanently, probably up in the loft in proximity to the panel through the wall. I understand AGM is better for frigid temperatures. Comments? (I've never dabbled in off-grid power before apart from running a gas generator).

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2021 13:45
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There are much better deals than the Canadian tire sales but if you think 50w is enough (it’s not much) then it’s a simple option

No need for agm. Normal lead acid deep cycle batteries work just fine for a little system like that. But I’d leave them outside the cabin. No need to keep them warm. Just keep them fully charged

Caution though. Dabbling in solar leads to a long road as once you have power you will want more and will have to keep upgrading

Hangblague
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2021 14:13
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Thanks for this. Are there cons to interior battery storage? I was thinking of proximity and wiring convenience rather than warmth.

Nobadays
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2021 14:46
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[quote=Hangblague]Are there cons to interior battery storage?

AGM and FLA they should be in an enclosed box and vented. AGM does not generally release as much hydrogen gas as FLA but still does.

gwindhurst
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2021 17:54
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I started with a small system; 100w panel, 10A PWM CC, 100Ah AGM, then added another 100W panel... I quickly realized power requirements beyond "my" basic needs. I added 2 more panels, another 100Ah AGM and was forced to upgrade the CC, wiring, inverter etc. etc. etc. Build a system larger than you think you need with a CC even bigger to allow for expansion. keep in mind, you'll want more in the "tank" for cloudy days and panels that can top the batteries off ASAP when you do have sun...

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2021 18:42 - Edited by: gcrank1
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You can charge your usb stuff with your vehicle cig-lighter (and I hear some have usb ports too) or get one of those 'power sticks' to take with you after recharging at home. They will run other usb stuff too.
For led lighting look at the 'Edison' bulb solar lights on Amazon. The come in singles and triple packs with their own little solar panel, disconnect so you can hang or carry them anywhere and throw off a decent amount of light. We keep a 3 pack going in the south window as our 'back-ups', they are about $10 per bulb and Im satisfied.
That gets you usb and led light for cheap now while you learn more about what to Not Throw Money At in self solar electric generation plus are usable in other times and places.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2021 18:55
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If your just charging a few devices and need a few lights for a couple of hours I suggest getting a portable battery bank. A bank that can charge your cell phone say 3x, some 12v vehicle jump packs can do this no problem. For lights led lanterns with rechargable batteries work fine. Or wire up 12v lights and plug them into your portable jump pack.

If I didnt want to run a fridge I would prob just get one of these solar generator battery packs and charge it at home.

Hangblague
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2021 19:20
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Thanks all for the ideas. This has given me more to think about. I like the idea of light wiring with fixtures instead of portable sources. I was also thinking of wiring for DC fixtures and forego the inverter. I get that some day I'll likely wish to have more, but I'm willing to learn the hard way.

Just
Member
# Posted: 29 Jul 2021 19:41
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I have the predecessor to that unit .I is forty watts and a 7 amp controller. We run some 12 volt lights, 12 volt water pump ,tv ,radio,small inverter150 watt.about 6 hr. A week .
105 amp hr. Wallmart deep cell ,in a vented box. Very happy all we need. Good luck.

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