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Hi all, I am new to this and hope I am not missing a simple place that answers my questions...
After purchasing my kit, what else should I need? What type of batteries and in what condition can I store them?
My goal is to have all of my lawn equipment run off solar. I have a cordless 24 volt mower and cordless 18 volt weed-eater and blower. I was thinking of buying this inverter (link below) and plugging the chargers for these devices into it. I am completely new to this, so if I am doing something bone-headed then fill me in. > http://astore.amazon.com/newworldsolar-20/detail/B001RNOHBC
Hey Chris, great topic. Summer of 2012 will be remembered for the summer that everyone went solar/electric with their yard equipment. Google searches for solar/electric powered blowers, weed eaters and lawn mowers is off the charts.
So let's start with some numbers, look at your equipment and get out those owners manuals. Let our members know what kind of power these tools need to run and we'll hash it out. If you made me place my bet right now I'd say this 400 watt unit won't be enough.
I will do that today after work! And just so we are clear on it I am only running two battery chargers off of the predicted set-up and I do not have to run them at the same time. Thanks in advance for all of your help on this! I will post my specs asap.
It seems Chrome doesn't like this forum... I'll try typing this out again.
I have two chargers, my Ryobi charge station (which takes about an hour to charge a battery for use) has an input of 120V~60Hz 85W
And my SunJoe mower charger (which takes about 12 hours to charge the battery) has AC100-120V 50/60 Hz 1.5A
I would hope to expand the setup to use it on other devices in the future. I like the thought of having a standard 120 outlet to use.
The 1.5 amp at 120 volts multiplies out to 180 watts. You next need to think on what and when are you going to run things. I like to work with 10's as the math is quick! For example lets say we have a 100 watt light in the bedroom and one in the living room. One could use a 100 watt inverter as long as only one is on at a time, however a step back and we no some where, some how two and probably more will get turned on at the same time! A well pump or microwave would be prime examples here, both are larger draw but for short run times. We will do fine with a marginal size inverter as long as we don't drink water when dinners in the oven!
The inverter draws a small amount of power in stand by, that being hooked up, turned on with little or no load. My inverter runs 24/7 here. The power above that basic need will be approximately the output plus 10% for losses, the 100 watt 120 volt bulb would need.110 watts of battery power What I'm trieng to say is a 400 watt inverter or a 2500 watt inverter will draw very near the same if the same with that 100 watt bulb is plugged in, and in some case's the big one will be more efficient.
So the worst that will happen with a big one is you'll never use it to capacity. If it's to small it will run warm and flat may not do the job. If your like Ed the beer could get warm on game day as the TV dim's!
I have the sunforce 2500 watt. It's cost varies all over depending where you look from over $1000 to just under $500 at walmart. It's a nice unit that I'm very happy with.
Realize, big power requires big cables! Copper's expensive! And a unit this size should set right next to the batteries, as close as possibly and I'd advise it be pertinently put there and not move'd around.
Thanks a bunch, I read through it today at work and that setup you were going for sounds a lot like what I would want. How is it working out so far? What is the pros/cons with the inverters?
Bill here, On the inverter. I can't read minds and figure for people when things change. I get asked what do I need to, and inevitably a few weeks out there running more then we talked on!
So! I'm taking a new approach. I've always been big on starting by figuring out what you want to run, not like Ed that now has to live in the garden shed cause the better half said your crazy! And he, like the rest of us, probably is! Gotcha Ed!
The inverter will be a big factor depending on what you want to run, for example, A brush type motor, a drill or skill saw will run on near any source of power including pure D.C. A none brush type motor gets fussier and can have starting problems or run hot and be short lived. A radio or T.V. , some run fine, some get hums in the sound and bars in the picture. The same is true of plug in power supplies, some handle it fine others make heat and die.
I have used pure sine wave, modified, square and straight 120 D.C. and depending on the application all will do fine. However, a pure sine wave is the wave pattern all of these devices were designed to run on, it simulates grid power and anything will run and run good on it. You are no longer playing the " I wonder or hope " game when you plug it in! It will work and not be harmed. All of your electronics will do far better and you'll be happier. The added cost for the preformance of the pure sign wave to me is worth every penny.
As to the size, I'd try one about 12 inches by 10 inches? Do the math! figure what you want to run and go from there. If you no for sure what you want to run I'd be glad to help ya further.
Hear there may be a good deal on a near new inverter in New York?
Still use mine!
Have a great weekend everyone.
Good lord, I totally understand that living in the yard shed takes a toll on a fellow!
Not knowing what you intend to run, sunforce makes a nice 1000 watt pure sine wave also, IT'S ABOUT 10 by 12? Also available from walmart, price'd right. 1000 watts for what I expect your up to will do nicely, realize I'm running over a quarter of the house on the 2500 and rarely get close to what it's capable of. My goal is adding frige and maybe microwave, then for short term use it will be working!
It's friday and brandy drinking time, gona take more then Ed to screw that up! Have a good one! Bill
Thanks guys, I think for starters (this solar stuff seems to snowball on folks) I really want one 120 outlet I can use for various things... charging my batteries once a week, maybe a radio outside every once in a while.