Solar D.I.Y Radford mill presentation
12v Solar power: It's easy!
Section 1: Panels
Personal – £10 - £70
travel - £250
Infrastructure - £250
Section 2: Setup
Placement – In shade, even partial shade, and facing north is no good. To get it 100% opimum is impossible. Be realistic and do the best you can.
Connections – This is the hardest part, there are many solutions. The panels almost always have 'MC4' waterproof connections that you simply plug together, you can if you need to just tie wires together but isn't ideal for a permanent set up and so you should make connections neat, strong and solid.
Wires – Make sure they are thick enough. Remember that low voltage needs thicker wire.
Polarity – Red to red black to black, use multi meter to check at every stage.
Troubleshooting – if it doesn't work quickly sniff each connection and unplug anything that smells hot and re test polarity/crap connections.
Section 3: Batteries
-Use any 12v batteries. Second hand (scrapyard job) car battery is very cheap, leisure better once you have a permanent setup.
-Use volt meter regularily to test batteries. Don't allow your battery to go below 12V. Learn to love your battery! it likes to be treated kindly and kept fully charged.
-Don't touch red and black, keep battery right way up and in permanent installations ventilate batteries.
Section 4: Use
-Use power when sunny
-100w panel and 110 ah battery setup will run a phone, laptop and LED lighting
- If you take the laptop battery out you will save lots of power
- Avoid inverters they are inefficient and belong in the box of sin.
There are many many ways to setup a solar system i advise to keep it simple and neat. Enjoy.
You can find much more information on Hamish's blog here
If you want you can find out more about our media workshops here