I bought some cheap solar pathway lights and some decorative solar lanterns. They provide next to zero light, for about three hours. Then they really provide zero light. Also, about 80% of them turn on at all on a given day, though they all turn on *sometimes*. It's a shady area, so I know they aren't charging as much as they might if I lived elsewhere, but might higher quality solar lights be better and brighter, or is this just how they work?
As part of an art project, I would like to be able to use my Canon Selphy CP910 portable printer to print about 30 4x6 prints while at a remote campsite for 5 days. I was thinking maybe I could get a portable, rechargeable UPS like this. How do I figure out how many prints I can get out of something like that? Is that the best option? [more inside]
What are my options for power while on the playa at Burning Man for 4-5 days? I don't want to buy or use a generator. [more inside]
Where should I start getting some better info on this? [more inside]
How can I charge my Luci Light without the sun? [more inside]
We have a small cabin out in the middle of nowheresville, USA that is probably five miles from the nearest human being. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, wood stove for heat, that type of thing. We recently decided to use a big ol' marine battery to power some electric lights because the lp gas lantern lights really just don't cut it anymore. To charge those batteries (we have two), we are currently using a generator, but we would like to use solar instead. What are we looking at for equipment and cost?
I'm writing an SF story which involves something akin to a space station/industrial complex in orbit around Neptune. I need to know whether Neptune ever goes completely behind the Sun when seen from Earth and if so for how long, or whether the line of sight between Earth and Neptune just grazes the edge of the Sun. [more inside]
My property's at the end of a PG&E power line and during the winter, fallen trees and mud slides cut the power for a few days at a time. Most utilities (heating, refrigeration, cooking, water heater) have propane or wood-fired back-up but Internet connectivity has not. I would like a power supply for +5 VDC and +12 VDC, capable of about 60 Ah, and rechargeable with solar cells. [more inside]
We'll be on holiday with our two just-teen kids in a house on a Spanish island that's off both the water and the electricity grid, but with plenty of sun and wind. What are some cool little projects we could do - without having to ship out complicated gear/components - to own and appreciate the situation, and its potential? Self-built solar cooker? Makeshift wind turbine? Would love suggestions plus pointers to how-to's. [more inside]
I am (Very much theoretically) wondering, given that chlorophyll has quite a tight absorption spectra could you use a solar panel to power an LED array that just outputs blue and red light and get more/better plants per square meter than using that square meter of sunlight. (Taking into account the significant losses in the system etc.)
I'm interested in buying a solar system for my roof (not interested in a lease option) and am not sure I'm getting the best consumer info from various review sites. [more inside]
I want to get into solar by putting ONE solar panel on my roof, then plugging it into a generator. Which solar panel should I buy? [more inside]
SolarCity wants to put panels on my roof. The deal looks too good to be true: they claim it will knock my average monthly bill from $90 to $26, no money down, free repairs for life. [more inside]
Our insurance company won't insure our solar panels on their own - they'll only add the value to our "replacement amount" on our insurance policy. We want them to have their own coverage. Any leads in Ontario Canada? [more inside]
Help me understand the heating and cooling system of this house we just toured. [more inside]
I'm looking for your favorite schemes, gadgets, and systems which make camping with large groups easier and more fun. Things like "a different campsite hosts dinner every night" or "get lots of solar lanterns" or "color code all the tent parts." Our specific details are inside. [more inside]
I have a deck, and it needs a light fixture next to the door. There's no electricity on the deck, and I can't cut through the wall (mounting a fixture to the siding is fine). Do they make battery-powered, wireless, remote-controlled exterior light fixtures? [more inside]
So I find myself with 4 185 W Solar panels AND 4 enphase M190 Micro inverters (that onboard connect to each panel). The system from what I can tell is "made" for a grid connected solar system. Which is great but NOT what I want/need (Also I am too far from a station to qualify for microfit in Ontario). [more inside]
Once we develop the technology of manned, long-term space travel (such as star trek, for example), how would our spaceships hulls and housing be protected from things such as solar wind, other "energy debris", and deterioration? [more inside]
As a consumer I'm evaluating their bias in helping me find installers, but I can't find it's affiliations & organizational structure. [more inside]
Making a desktop clock out of a 24-hour clock movement, a globe, and an LED. Help me design it within! [more inside]
This offer feels too good to be true. Is it? [more inside]
I'd like to learn about the basics of 12v electrics. I'm looking for recommendations for books, videos, websites, etc. [more inside]
ASU (Arizona State University) as made a huge investment in PV solar: https://cfo.asu.edu/solar My friend and I are arguing about the costs of ASU's solar program. [more inside]
Our chickens [!] have trouble hopping up on their roost at dusk. We have glued a keychain LED to the inside of the coop and have been turning it on every night, and then off when they are roosting. I would like to have this turn on automatically at dusk and then off again an hour later. If this were AC I would buy a timer from the dollar store. For DC do I need to build something? [more inside]
I'm in over my head on a DIY project involving electrical terms I don't understand. I want to use a solar panel to power both a water pump and a computer fan, and need to know if this is possible with the components I have, and if possible how can I splice/connect these non-matching wires? [more inside]
Going on our annual summer vacation an need to get a canopy for the beach that can: -provide shade -not fall over in typical beach wind -handle the sand [more inside]
I bought a number address plaque from Etsy and I love it. However, the wall it is mounted to is blue, and consequently it is pretty difficult to read the sign from the street. I'd love to mount something behind it to solve this problem. [more inside]
So instead of providing an answer, please help me by showing me how you got your result. I have a 12v device that consumes 1W in idle mode, and 5W in active mode. How many "amp hours" am I looking at over a 24 hour period (always on). I am looking specifically for amp hours... I don't understand the relation between amps and amp hours yet.
If I buy solar panels for my home, what are things that I need to consider in the supplier and product? [more inside]
As a gift, I am looking for an "off-the-grid" charger thingy. I have read a bunch of posts and reviews on these things, but I'm a little in the weeds. Plus, it seems like this stuff is developing and changing rather quickly. Hoping you can help! Specifications after the jump. [more inside]
I'd like to heat up a rock or piece of metal to drop in my chicken's water source to warm it up. What should I use? [more inside]
We're building a new house and have a roof with plenty of space for number of solar panels, most likely photo-voltaic electric ones. But I'm hard-pressed to find a thorough *current* analysis discussing the pros and cons of various schemes for the systems. [more inside]
Commercial landlords/property management: You are approached by a solar power company or a wireless telecom company that wants to lease space on your roof. Can you list in order of importance (to you and your firm) the issues that you want to be fully informed about and cover point by point in negotiations and any potential lease? [more inside]
I have a home in Louisville, Kentucky that I want to possibly put solar panels on but I need to know the whole process for 2012. i have read where solar panels cost are lower now given the glut from China.
Calling all electrical engineers! Need some clarity on how to figure out solar charging rates and consumption of a USB device... [more inside]
I need a primer on how (electrical) power works. [more inside]
Home energy advances. Are there any new developments I should know about as I'm about to move into an older single-family home after 13 years of living in an apartment? It is a gas/electric home with heavy tree shade.
I'm torn between just putting up asphalt shingles or splurging on a metal roof. Hoping to get recommendations on materials with a mind to efficiency and environmental sustainability. Also, who should I contact to plan a more efficient roof/home in Hamilton/Greater Toronto Area? What would be the best roof for planning a solar MicroFIT project? [more inside]
Time/temp/solar display: what is the solar telling me? [more inside]
Where can I buy glasses or such things to view the annular eclipse on Sunday -- at the last minute, for a reasonable price? [more inside]
SolarPoweredApartmentFilter: Still no cost effective non-permanent solar installation for my balcony?
SolarPowerFilter2012: Is there a currently available somewhat affordable solar power rig of any worthwhile kind I could use to take advantage of my westerly facing, blasted-by-the-sun-for-7+-hours-a-day-rented-apartment balcony? [more inside]
Installing hydronic radiant floor heating when building a new house? [more inside]
How do I unstick this brass bypass valve? [more inside]
How many kWh would be produced in a year in the south of England (roughly)? [more inside]
How do I install solar water collector panels on my (garage) roof without paying for fancy roof mounting hardware? [more inside]
Should we lease our land to a solar energy company? We were approached by a solar energy company that wants to lease 5 acres of our family (3 generations) land in Ontario, Canada for solar collectors. We are having some lawyers and other folks make recommendations and look over contracts, etc. What sort of things might we be missing? Will our neighbors hate us? In 10 years, what will make us say, "didn't see that coming?"
On a small solar system that trips out a lot, what's the most important rating on a replacement fridge to indicate efficiency: full-load amps, or kWh/yr? [more inside]
Assuming an island with its own supply of power via generator and/or solar power, how much electricity is consumed to turn N liters of sea water into potable drinking water? [more inside]
How do I make solar "sexy"? [more inside]