Small scale solar

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slick4591

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Electricity went down around 4:30 this morning as a storm passed thru. Normally not a big deal, but I have around 50+ eggs that are pre-sold in my incubator. Luckily, it came back up a little over an hour later. Incubator temp was down to 91 but the egg temp should have retained most of the temperature in that short of time, so they should still be viable.

Since storm season is upon us I'm looking for a small scale solar unit that I can switch my incubator and hatcher to when this happens again. I know nothing about solar, although I've been looking at a few packages this morning, but I'm as lost as I was before looking. :help: please.
 

dun

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Why not just get a generator and put in one of the switches that takes you off the grid.
 

lavacarancher

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Slick, what size (in Watts) is your incubator? The reason I ask is because, as Dun said, the generator might be the cheapest way to go. When you start talking solar the cost goes up exponentially with size. For example, you can buy a 100 watt inverter (converts DC to AC) for about $75. A 1000 watt inverter will run you $400 or more. 5 KW, $3000 or more. Same for the panels. Then you are going to need switch gear. And batteries.

Look at the tag on your incubator and tell me how many watts it consumes and I will get you a little closer estimate and send it to you by PM.
 

backhoeboogie

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You can get the large Coleman solar battery charger for around $100. You can buy an inverter for around $70. Then you need a deep cycle battery.

My inverter will run 3 large ice cream freezers at the same time. and a box fan too. I spent around $130 but you don't need something that large for just an incubator.

Are you going to be home when the power is off? You are going to have to unplug the incubator for its current source and plug it in to your inverter. They make a relay that would do this for you but I am not sure what they cost and I have never owned the relay.
 
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slick4591

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I have two units that are 325W each. The entire home generators I've seen and suggested size for our home run 6k+ after all is said and done. Basically, I'm wanting to mount a panel on the roof and run a wire through an existing antenna hole in the wall to a plug. Just don't know how I get there.
 

skyhightree1

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slick4591":v6r331fs said:
I have two units that are 325W each. The entire home generators I've seen and suggested size for our home run 6k+ after all is said and done. Basically, I'm wanting to mount a panel on the roof and run a wire through an existing antenna hole in the wall to a plug. Just don't know how I get there.

I am not an expert but I think a regular generator will work and take care of what you want.

http://www.harborfreight.com/900-peak70 ... 63025.html
 
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slick4591

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skyhightree1":1cz891hm said:
I am not an expert but I think a regular generator will work and take care of what you want.

http://www.harborfreight.com/900-peak70 ... 63025.html

That would work and I've thought about them. I'm looking for something more plug and play so I don't have to set it up every time and keep it fueled during long periods.
 

skyhightree1

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slick4591":3jer48ub said:
skyhightree1":3jer48ub said:
I am not an expert but I think a regular generator will work and take care of what you want.

http://www.harborfreight.com/900-peak70 ... 63025.html

That would work and I've thought about them. I'm looking for something more plug and play so I don't have to set it up every time and keep it fueled during long periods.

Yea but its a lot easier to just keep fueling and you can carry it with one arm... I thought solution was solar till I found out if cloudy or bad weather for a extended period of time it doesn't hold well unless you have a big set up. Easy to pour gas in and walk away hard to push clouds back and let the sun through :lol:
 

lavacarancher

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slick4591":1zwr3igj said:
I have two units that are 325W each. The entire home generators I've seen and suggested size for our home run 6k+ after all is said and done. Basically, I'm wanting to mount a panel on the roof and run a wire through an existing antenna hole in the wall to a plug. Just don't know how I get there.

I should have never opened my mouth.

1. A solar panel outputs DC (direct current). Your incubator requires AC (alternating current). You CAN NOT power an AC appliance with DC - period.
2. You CAN NOT power your entire house with a generator costing $6K or at least not a new generator. Household requirement is going to be in the neighborhood of 24KW not counting appliances that happen to start at the same time. If you don't believe me look it up. This kind of information is readily available on the inter web. If ANYONE tries to tell you different they're blowing smoke up your skirt.
3. If your load is only 650 watts, (two incubators at 325 watts each, round up to 1000 watts) why would you want to power you whole home?
4. A 1KW generator is readily available for < $600 almost anyplace - start with Home Depot.

Here's a link to a solar place. Call them and tell them what you want. http://www.saferwholesale.com/Solar-Gen ... wAodJisPwg
 

greybeard

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My 7KW Generac gasoline generator was right at $700 last year at Home Depot--included the 240:triple 120v power cord, wheels and handle kit. I see they are now around $900.
It will run all my 120v stuff (lights, refrigerator, freezer, computers) or the 220v water well alone--will not handle the central air unit or oven/range or dryer.)
I need to get the receptacle and the lockout thingie for the main in my dist panel and wire it in permanent.
 

callmefence

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A 10 amp solar panel battery charger will cost you 150.00.
Deep cycle battery...100.00
Inverter 150.00
Plus wiring , switches etc. What you'll have is a 500.00 "rig"

I would get a generator and extension cord..
 
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slick4591

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lavacarancher":3ujt82x5 said:
I should have never opened my mouth.

1. A solar panel outputs DC (direct current). Your incubator requires AC (alternating current). You CAN NOT power an AC appliance with DC - period.
2. You CAN NOT power your entire house with a generator costing $6K or at least not a new generator. Household requirement is going to be in the neighborhood of 24KW not counting appliances that happen to start at the same time. If you don't believe me look it up. This kind of information is readily available on the inter web. If ANYONE tries to tell you different they're blowing smoke up your skirt.
3. If your load is only 650 watts, (two incubators at 325 watts each, round up to 1000 watts) why would you want to power you whole home?
4. A 1KW generator is readily available for < $600 almost anyplace - start with Home Depot.

Here's a link to a solar place. Call them and tell them what you want. http://www.saferwholesale.com/Solar-Gen ... wAodJisPwg

I was thinking there were converters or something that would get me there because there are houses around that are solar powered. Maybe there's some smoke blown as far as generators go, but this info came from a rep working a booth at Lowes a few years ago when I was curious about a backup generator. I'm not thinking about a backup now, just something that would keep my incubator and hatcher going until power is restored. Thanks for the link!
 
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slick4591

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greybeard":1vlq5747 said:
My 7KW Generac gasoline generator was right at $700 last year at Home Depot--included the 240:triple 120v power cord, wheels and handle kit. I see they are now around $900.
It will run all my 120v stuff (lights, refrigerator, freezer, computers) or the 220v water well alone--will not handle the central air unit or oven/range or dryer.)
I need to get the receptacle and the lockout thingie for the main in my dist panel and wire it in permanent.

Reminds me that what I priced wouldn't handle the a/c unit, but it would the blower (gas heat) and everything else in the house.
 

Nesikep

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I agree with the suggestion of just going with a generator.. I would try to go diesel... Yanmar, Onan, etc
We have a 10hp, 5.5kW Yanmar we bought used nearly 20 years ago, unbeatable reliablity, has electric start, but starts with ONE pull even on the coldest winter day, and it doesn't matter how long it's been sitting... It hasn't run a full tank of fuel through it in 15 years and it still works great.

We mainly have ours for our freezers in the summer time, though power outages are rare in the summer, the cost of the meat, etc in the freezer far exceeds the cost of a gen set... It is big enough it can power the range, etc as well, though perhaps not everything at once.. Runs 10 hours at full load on a tank of fuel too and it would be trivial to make it run off a bigger auxilary tank and add automatic start
 
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slick4591

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callmefence":2lxikmps said:
A 10 amp solar panel battery charger will cost you 150.00.
Deep cycle battery...100.00
Inverter 150.00
Plus wiring , switches etc. What you'll have is a 500.00 "rig"

I would get a generator and extension cord..

Less expensive than the place Lavaca linked me to. Their smallest is 1200W and they want $1223.00 for a plug and play kit. Generator may be biggest hassle, but it will save money. I was sure hoping for something solar that was lower in price tho.

Nesikep":2lxikmps said:
I agree with the suggestion of just going with a generator.. I would try to go diesel... Yanmar, Onan, etc
We have a 10hp, 5.5kW Yanmar we bought used nearly 20 years ago, unbeatable reliablity, has electric start, but starts with ONE pull even on the coldest winter day, and it doesn't matter how long it's been sitting... It hasn't run a full tank of fuel through it in 15 years and it still works great.

We mainly have ours for our freezers in the summer time, though power outages are rare in the summer, the cost of the meat, etc in the freezer far exceeds the cost of a gen set... It is big enough it can power the range, etc as well, though perhaps not everything at once.. Runs 10 hours at full load on a tank of fuel too and it would be trivial to make it run off a bigger auxilary tank and add automatic start

I'll poke around and see what they are running these days. Thanks for all the suggestions!
 

Nesikep

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How frequent are your outages?
You may consider just a battery backup unit, and it just recharges when the power comes back on, heck with the cost of solar panels..
 
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slick4591

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Pretty much every time a storm rolls thru that contains high winds. Yeah, I didn't realize solar was so expensive until today. Probably think I'm dense but I don't have any experience with battery backups, either. Went to the Best Buy site to have a look and found them in various price ranges, but it looks like the $750 one will only run my equipment around 20 minutes on a full load. That's not enough so I guess it's back to the generator.
 

Cross-7

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Nesikep":wubh9zac said:
How frequent are your outages?
You may consider just a battery backup unit, and it just recharges when the power comes back on, heck with the cost of solar panels..

I had something similar typed out and it vanished.
6 or 8 150 amp hr batteries wired together for 24 volt and an inverter would last a long time.
I've forgotten the conversation but AC amps to DC amp is around 16 @24 volts
 

Nesikep

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if you have a 12V battery and make 120V power, it would be a 10:1 ratio, plus whatever the inefficiency of the conversion is..
So 1000W /12V = 83 amps.. with inefficiency you can probably call it 100 amp.. if you want it to run for an hour you need a 100 amp hour battery bank
 

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