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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
I'm new to the forum and wanted to share my current project. I'm building I guess what you would call a hybrid
place. I just need lights and running water (hot -n- cold). I figure that if I have that much that the main comfort
and survival stuff would be covered. In West Virginia they say there isn't enough sunshine for solar so I'm going to run 3 100watt panels And hope that it's overkill for what my needs are. I'm going to run two battery packs that will have two batteries in each pack. Total of 4. They will be charged separately so one will be sort of a reserve power pack. I hope to be able to flip a switch and switch from one pack to the other for power and/or charging.
I have installed 12 volt lights in every room. I'm trying out a new bulb I think it's called a SMD the next thing over a LED light. I used camper overhead lights and added a pull switch. The SMD bulbs are super bright and the big ones only pull about 1/4 amp. Other than lights the only other thing I will be running is a water pump from a camper.
I also am installing a 6 gallon propane water heater. I heat with wood and cook with propane so I should be a little ahead of the curve when TSHTF. (I have two years of propane stored and wood for about two years cut)
Water will not be a problem. I need to make the panels retractable due to some nasty weather we have. Hail, High winds, Lots of snow and some serious rain. I'll try and figure out how to post some pictures of the stuff I'm using
If you have any questions I'll do my best to answer. And any suggestions are appreciated.





first pull left bulb on, second pull right bulb, third pull both bulbs.
I know this place needs paint from heating with wood but until I get the
survival stuff done it can wate
 

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Reminds me of my motorhome (mobile BOL). How big are the battery packs, AH that is?
 

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I'd say that you probably need more battery capacity for days when the sun doesn't shine well, but otherwise it seems that you are off to a good start! Especially in converting the lighting and things to LED 12V.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Well if a light pulls 1/4 of an amp and each battery has 114 hrs @ 1 amp and I have 4 batteries I should have a fair
amount of running time. (I would think) I had one light hooked up and running on one of the batteries for 4 days straight
(forgot it was on) and it didn't seem to pull much out of the battery. It still had a good charge.
I'm not running LEDs I'm using SMDs less amp pull more light.
I don't have my solar panels up yet so I just hook up a battery trickle charger every now and then.
I'll be working on installing the panels today maybe I'll take some pictures. Total of 300 watt
 

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What happens when you discover that you need or want to run something beyond lighting? Say, a cordless drill that needs recharging? I can see where using one of those could cut some project time by a factor of 100 over hand drilling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yes agree 100% I'm checking into a converter just incase I need 110 volt for a short time I will have a total of 4 batteries
so I think I will be ok,, Also I have a 3500 watt generator and small 800 generator if I need one. --have fuel stashed--
I'll be doing a post on converters I have some questions about them.
 

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Watch your terminology. A converter will change 120 VAC to 12 volts (usually for campers, etc.), an INVERTER changes battery voltage to AC volts for normal household tools, etc. If you ask for a converter, you won't get what you want, and the store might not take an electrical item back for exchange or credit. Not that I recommend it for buying things, but Power Inverters and Solar Inverters for Home and Businesses - The Inverter Store has a good FAQ for beginners
 

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Instead of making your panels retractable, consider making some sort of shutters for them. It would be easier, and it's nice to have the expensive bits firmly fixed in place and just move the cheap parts. Just a thought.
 
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