Some people have asked me about where I got my information and venders used so I figured I would create a page Dedicated to that. I will update this page with other links to sites I find useful.

My Solar Power Plan page

Details about my system are contained on 7-3-2008

Forums : (this one is more geared towards wind but the discussion section is very nice) (good place to ask questions but less active)

here is a site I found about building a frame ( I did not use it but still nice)

Good basics site :

retail sites : (the one I used)

solar panel prices site

3 thoughts on “SOLAR RESOURCES”

  1. Hello Chris

    Just wanted to express my appreciation for your website. I live in NJ, and am a member of a team of individuals who travel to Malawi, Africa each summer to assist a local organization which supports orphan children. They operate “feeding centers” in very remote areas to provide food, recreation, and some education for the children. In past years we’ve constructed wooden swingsets, and last year a gravity drip irrigation system. The remote areas in which our organization works does not have electricity, and last year I had the opportunity to be at one of the centers after sundown. All activity stops. I couldn’t help but imagine how life could change with a few electric lights to continue activity into the night at these community feeding centers. I’ve just begun investigating how I might install one of two solar panels to run a few electric lights at one of the feeding centers. I’d think 200-300 watts would be more than sufficient for a pilot system, and perhaps the first time out we could begin staying with DC and utilizing DC landscape light bulbs. Don’t know yet.

    Although I’m an engineer, and have done a good deal of electrical wiring, solar technology is a new venture for me, as well as DC electricity. While there seems to be a good deal of information scattered over the internet, studying you project has encouraged me to “give it a go”, and your mention of “blemished” panels was very helpful as we’re cost limited by fund raising.

    I’d be very interested in hearing how the panels you’ve utilized have held up, as well as any new insights you may have that I could apply. I’m looking into the resources you list.

    By the way, good luck with your IH 240. I have a similar tractor with a loader, and have spent more time, and money, than I care to admit rebuilding it. But it is a strong machine.

    Paul Sigmund

  2. I have a few questions as I am just getting started with solar power system.
    1. If you are only charging battery bank with panels, what are benefits of having larger panels (100w over 50w) if they are only charging batteries?
    2. I understand connecting panel and battery to charge controller. What connects to the load wires? Does the load power items directly and bypass battery bank?
    3. If you are running power from inverter (I have a 5000w) how do extra solar panels affect power output thru battery bank for varying wattage use?
    4. What is a good meter to have installed in system to monitor input power from solar panels, usage from inverter, battery state, etc.
    5. For inexpensive batteries, what do you recommend? 6v golf cart batteries, 12v deep cell marine, etc from walmart, sams? what does the amp hour affect (30ah v 100 ah)?
    Sorry for such basic questios – but I am starting with no prior knowledge. any help will be appreciated. Thank you. Glenn

    1. 1 larger panels simplify the wiring… probably limit line lose as well…
      2 the load, in my case inverter, run off the batteries
      3 the inver is more affected by the battery bank… having more panels allows you to use power that might not be used if the batteries are floating
      4 I like the Victron BMV 600 but have not purchased one yet
      5 I use 6v golf cart batteries from sams club and have had good luck so far…

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