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February 22, 2011 at 12:00 am in reply to: Where is the most inexpensive but best quality solar products? #65014
I don’t see that it describes the wire as tinned all the way through, inside the covering, not just the ends. If that.
The wire I purchased was tinned all the entire length of the wire.
I also do not see it describes the wire shielding for shielded multi-strand cable either.
The multi-strand shielded cable I purchased was shielded throughout.
Of course, I was not doing a big installation.
I did not feel any “ouch” factor. I felt the price was fair for retail.
I have an excellent system. It does everything I designed it for, and more.
I once saw an interesting name for a power system: “Ample Power System”.
I am not selling anything. Obviously, you are. It is more than annoying!
I was only offering “my experience” living with solar power off-grid: the OP asked for.
I only mentioned my 12VDC system is “quiet” because there is no “sizzle” like one has standing near every brand inverter I have been near.
It is also electronically quiet for my amateur radio “building” projects.
I suppose one could make a case about EMF, and other such things, but I won’t.
The batteries are “sealed” from Wagstaff’s, Portland, OR. Nevertheless, I have active ventilation to the outdoors in my closed compartment, where the batteries are.
I understand this is good practice.
I can not think it is “healthy” for the OP to reside in the same space, without at the minimum having a separate place for his batteries, and, active ventilation.
I would not be surprised, if what he proposes violates building codes and fire codes that are “good laws” for a private residence.
I am no “Philadelphia lawyer”. In fact, my family has no lawyers. But we do have several competant and famous engineers.February 14, 2011 at 12:00 am in reply to: If going or already are off grid what tools would you own #64987
The tools I have, so far, are to repair everything I have including my vehicles up to a point. I am purchasing housebuilding tools, but not for a primitive house.
I purchased structural lumber from surplus building a different structure at a ranch auction. It is like a garage sale, only the materials are more substantial.
I plan on post-and-beam construction method, using the structural lumber I purchased at the auction because that method uses the least amount of lumber. Other than what I already have, I will continue to purchase surplus materials.
I do plan on building windows in place.
I still need an augur for the post and pier foundation.
I need a small well-drilling outfit for the well. Otherwise it is a walk to the largest spring.
I plan a grey water system, as well as a pressurized water system in a small house no larger than 24 x 32 ‘ and very likely smaller.
I have a propane furnace that makes amps of electrical power: the Midnight Sun.
I do have a small generator to recharge battery-powered tools and operate an air compressor, if necessary, for a nailer. I am not sure I want to have air tools.
I have car tools, building tools (except a large hand drill and perhaps a battery powered reversable drill), plumbing tools, electrical tools I have used to install my solar power system and my portable General Class amateur radio station.
I have satellite dishes for satellite internet.
That is more power requirement than I have, but I would not have batteries in the same structure as the living structure, unless you have active ventilation of a battery room. Even so, it isn’t healthy.
Everyone I know that have a 48V system stepped down have a separate “power house” even if it is only a small shed near the house.
If you have a wind generator, locate the wind generator further away from their dwelling, only bringing the 48V to get to their “power house” shed, and then, 12 VDC or 110 VAC into their home to avoid the noise of the wind generator and/or invertor.
I have 12 VDC because it is silent.February 14, 2011 at 12:00 am in reply to: Where is the most inexpensive but best quality solar products? #64989
I got mine just after a trade show.
The solar panels were the ones I researched.
The store sold them to me as “used” solar panels because they had been mounted (had screw holes for the ground wire).
I got my other components from West Marine hardware.
They do have mail order.
Their policy for returns was helpful: open packages carefully, get the Tech Support phone number to be able to ask useful questions about the components.
If necessary exchange for a different model.
West Marine allowed cash refund, if I paid cash, credit debit or check according to how I paid.
The best part, from my standpoint, was high quality for a “marine environment”.
Their tinned throughout “marine grade” electrical cable including multiple shielded wire and high quality flexible copper battery cables were worth it.
In fact, everything was first-class. But I had to shop.
I got a great deal of help at Real Goods, Ukiah, CA. They had demonstration models and books. I had to read about a dozen books to get up to speed.
I had to be selective.
I also found two mail order catelogues especially helpful, one from Arizona and one from Idaho.
Two articles in Home Power magazine helped me a great deal.
I purchased the solar panels in Laytonville, after a show.