The Solar Power Expert Blog

Archive for the 'DIY Solar' Category

This category contains all the articles I've written that touch on do it yourself (DIY) solar projects and equipment.

Balancing or Equalizing Lead Acid Batteries

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

I came across some very confusing information regarding battery balancing and equalization on the internet. Some of it was correct, some was misleading, and some was outright non-sense. I recently installed a 48 volt battery pack onto my boat as part of my off grid solar system and found that the batteries needed to be equalized. This article shows how I figured out how I needed to balance the batteries and how I went about doing it.

My Solar Off Grid Living Plans

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

This article walks through my off grid solar system that I’ll be installing over the next few months – how I’ll build it and why I chose the components that I did.

Deep Cycle Battery Charger Reviews

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Although most off-the-shelf 12v chargers today are designed to respect deep cycle battery charging rules, it always helps to know what to look for when buying a deep cycle battery charger. This post will point out the important features to look for in a battery charger to ensure you get the longest life from your 12v deep cycle battery. I will also recommend a charger that I have personally used for years. Weather your a solar enthusiast or not, a good, quality battery charger is an essential tool to have around the house.

A DIY Barn Solar Lighting System

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

One of my readers left a note in the comments asking me for advice on how to build a solar lighting system to run as barn lights in the evening. This article shows how I would go about building one, and includes the math on how to adjust this idea for your own setup.

How to Quickly and Easily Calculate Average Household Electricity Consumption

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

One of the first steps in justifying the cost of a new solar system is to perform an electricity audit to determine your average household electricity consumption. This article shows you a couple easy ways to go about performing your own home energy survey.

Once you’ve completed an electricity audit, you’ll be able to put the numbers into an electricity consumption calculator and see just how much money each appliance costs you per month. This can be a real eye opener.

Using The Gel Car Battery and Marine Gel Batteries In Solar Applications

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Gel cell batteries are suburb batteries for solar, marine, and automotive applications. The gel car battery as well as marine gel batteries are excellent choices for use in a solar system. This article covers maintenance and installation of the gel cell battery in order to get the longest lifetime out of them.

Wind Turbines Prices for Proven Wind Turbines

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Wind turbines only pay for themselves if they last long enough to recoup the investment. It’s important to buy wind turbines proven to withstand the test of time. This post reviews personal windmills, provides windmill information and prices, and tries to answer the question of how much energy does a wind turbine produce.

Different Types of Fuses For Solar Systems

Friday, August 19th, 2011

The fuse is your friend.” That’s just as true for solar systems as it is for electric bicycles, automobiles, or any electric circuit for that matter. A fuse is essentially a precisely sized wire that ‘blows’ or melts when the current running through it exceeds the fuses rating. It’s an intentionally designed weak link in your circuit, so that if any problems occur, the fuse will sacrifice itself to protect the rest of your circuit elements.

Enphase Energy Grid Tie Micro Inverter

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Enphase Energy makes a range of micro inverters and energy management products for consumer solar products. This article introduces their products lines, how they work together, and how they help people adopt the advantages of solar energy.

Choosing a Battery Disconnect Switch

Friday, July 8th, 2011

A common component that DIY solar builders often forget to include is a battery disconnect switch. These electrical switches are specially designed for switching large currents and are frequently used in 12 volt power systems such as boats, heavy duty trucks, and solar systems.