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The Solar Power Expert Blog

Free Charge Controller Kit – Part 6 – Testing the Charge Controller

by Chris - October 2nd, 2012

This post assumes that you have already tested the power circuitry to verify the unit draws about 100 mA (1000 milli-Amps = 1 amp) or less (see the picture below). The Aruino should draw about 60 mA and the shield circuitry should draw about 30 mA when unloaded, but active. That’s how I’m getting 90 […]

Free Charge Controller Kit – Part 5 – Assembling the Load Circuitry

by Chris - September 29th, 2012

This is the fifth part of a multipart series of articles describing how I constructed the v4 Free Charge Controller kit from Jameco. See Part 4 here, Part 3 here, Part 2 here, and Part 1 here. If you have not done so yet, please complete those parts first. This section describes the assembly steps […]

Free Charge Controller Kit – Part 4 – Testing the Power Circuitry

by Chris - September 29th, 2012

This is the fourth part of a multipart series of articles describing how I constructed the v4 Free Charge Controller kit from Jameco. See Part 3 here, Part 2 here, and Part 1 here. If you have not done so yet, please complete those parts first. When testing the charge controller, I strongly recommend that […]

Free Charge Controller Kit – Part 3 – Assembling the Power Circuitry

by Chris - September 29th, 2012

This is the third part of a multipart series of articles describing how I constructed the v4 Free Charge Controller kit from Jameco. See Part 2 here, and part 1 here. If you have not done so yet, please complete those two parts first. You will probably want to have a paper copy of the […]

The Importance of Alternative Power Options

by Chris - September 29th, 2012

This post is not intended to be fearmongering or unnecessarily alarming, but it IS meant to bring some things to your attention. There are many reasons why everyone should feel compelled to install (or at least posess) solar panels. And hopefully this article will lay some of these out for your consideration.

The Most Energy Efficient Way to Use Your Heating

by Chris - September 29th, 2012

Using our heating in an energy efficient manner is incredibly important and a very effective way to alter our overall carbon footprint and our overall energy bill. When it comes to using heating efficiently though, most people are not fully informed and don’t understand all of the various factors at play. Here then we will look at some tips to help you use your heating in an even more environmentally friendly manner.

The Present State of Solar Automobile Technology

by GuestPoster - September 6th, 2012

Unfortunately, vehicles that are completely powered by on-board solar panels are a long way from being practical. Such vehicles, in their current form, are typically used to demonstrate the future potential of solar power and as experimental engineering projects. One of the problems preventing vehicles powered by on-board solar panels from becoming practical is the limitations that come with the photovoltaic cells used to convert solar energy to electricity. They require much more space than is provided by standard car designs. Examples of present solar vehicles include the Tokai Challenger from Japan’s Tokai University. The Tokai Challenger is the single-passenger solar car that that won the World Solar Challenge in 2009 and 2011. The roughly six square meters of solar panel and the blade-like design for minimal drag make it unsuitable as a vehicle for the average motorist.

Shopping For An Affordable Solar Lamp Post

by Chris - August 15th, 2012

If you are interested in adding a solar lamp post to your backyard, it can be helpful to know that you have many shopping options to choose from to fit your needs. It is important to dedicate time into researching so that you can find and purchase merchandise that is going to stay in your backyard for an extremely long time. If you decide that you want to take your chances and head to a store to shop in person, you may find that you are stuck with a poor selection, outrageous prices and end up completely frustrating after the lamp post your buy stops working after several months.

Basic Home Safety and the Solar Security Light

by Chris - August 9th, 2012

One of the most desperate concerns of home owners today is the security of their property. Not only are the home owners worried about their physical property itself, such as their home, outdoor buildings, and vehicles, but also the security of their loved ones inside of the home. Obviously, home owners will want to keep […]

The Free Charge Controller v4 is Working!

by Chris - July 4th, 2012

My request for help to the Free Charge Controller mailing list was answered by many generous people. Donald H, a member of the group, pointed out that C2 was being overworked. Below are the results of trying different values for C2.