All Blog Posts (92)

my alt energy leaning curve

Wood Furnace was a bear but up. Solar hot water heater in use daily. 4 sunforce kits 60 Amps on the roof. 10 DM 148s and Two DM 158 on the roof. A NG conversion to a generator.

Lots of wire. Mostly salvage.  I did not fry near as much as I thought I would. ( Mostly due to the support of fellow users on this form) I haven’t burned my house down. Not bad for a ex Medic. No Smoke and no fire yet

Added by dave simmon on April 20, 2014 at 2:43pm — No Comments

Old yeller went up

Lots of sunshine today battery’s stayed topped off. Then one of my 30 AMP APGtek CC did the magic smoke show and leaped to its death.

It Had been one that the lights never seemed to work the same as the others but it would go to all green lights, Yep it was a problem child but no pulse .ugly baby but it was ours, Joking squirrelly as it was it still worked righ up to its failure for 25 bucks and a year hot. I cant complain. I am ordering two so to have a backup on the…


Added by dave simmon on April 19, 2014 at 5:13pm — 1 Comment

Attic Fans to cool house w. Evap

I think this is doable. I will be buying two of these maybe three. Going to go big with the 1900 CFMs. It says their warranties is 25 years.

Three would 5700 CFM through the cooling pads of my evaps.

If you read this and think it wont work please yell out


Added by dave simmon on April 7, 2014 at 4:41pm — 4 Comments

advice on controllers and inverters for off grid homestead

Finally getting around to installing my full system. I have been using 2 HF kits for my RV. Now I want to get my entire mismatch of parts going.

 Here is what I have and what I want to do. I need to know what recommendations you guys have on inverters/ charge controllers. All advice would be much appreciated. I have a limited budget.

I have 870 watts of the DM panels. I also have 300 watts of older Simmons. I have a xantrex C40 charge controller and a samlex 600 watt…


Added by M B Hill on March 7, 2014 at 7:08pm — No Comments

Posting thoughts Been in school

Wow been a while since i posted. Looking back, Hot water on solar. Wife trained. 11 DM 148s hot and running. Evap cooled house on solar,Two DM 158s added. Then added two HF Kits to my light bank.Two   Battery bank in place. not bad for almost two years in. I burned up alot of lights and fried a tv and a inverter. But house is still intact. Its warming up now.

We had two power outages in here. We didn't know it. The power company has put in two of the smart meters and our bill during…


Added by dave simmon on March 7, 2014 at 5:04pm — 2 Comments

Good Sunny Day

Came out of the bad weather slowdown. I got two 45 Watt kits up and tied into my two 12 Volt marine Batts, Lites should be good to go total watts in panels for the lights alone is now 210 Watts.

Small Job gave a moral boost to me

Added by dave simmon on December 2, 2013 at 3:51pm — 1 Comment

shading effects

if i have 4 panels mounted and one of the panels becomes partly shaded will it effect just that

one panels output or will it effect the output of all of the panels.....i have installed 4 panels "dm 145" on the roof of a 19 ft. 5 th. wheel and find that at certain times of the day at least one panel will become partly shaded.

Added by michael houston on November 18, 2013 at 10:42am — No Comments

Small Custom Home Designed for Solar & Wind -OFFGRID

I personally want a blog or place I can record progress and this is probably the best place as others can see it as well as myself.  I know others who did it used YOU TUBE or created there own website as I have been reviewing them, as I want to keep tabs on everything from cost to the last board used.



Added by Ryan Paul Romero on September 23, 2013 at 3:00pm — 5 Comments

Do it yourself solar solutions for Dummies Part 3

The TERMS of Solar :The Glossary…


Added by Ryan Paul Romero on September 16, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Do it yourself solar solutions for dummies Part 2

The Status of Current Projects…


Added by Ryan Paul Romero on September 16, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Do it yourself solar solutions for dummies Part 1

Feel Free to Distribute and Use this document; however I am not responsible for any action whatsoever that you do with this information.  Secondly this is a…


Added by Ryan Paul Romero on September 16, 2013 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

Do it yourself solar solutions for dummies Part 4

Float Charge:…


Added by Ryan Paul Romero on September 16, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Posting thoughts

Over a year on the solar band wagon. Today inverters and switches came together wire fell into place. I had wall three inverters lit up washing machine evaporative cooler, frig, TV and DVD going all at once. No Smoke No Fire. No Hot wires after 3 hrs. I sat out watching the Power room ( Its 105 Here today) Fire extinguisher and water hose ready to go.

I was surprised the Tiger Claw 1500 seem about as good as the HF inverter.  Started everything at 9 AM shut the power room off at 4. I…


Added by dave simmon on August 8, 2013 at 4:00pm — 6 Comments

Question About Solar Power Adequacy


I do social networking for Harbor Freight. Recently, a customer sent me this question which stumped me, and the first thing I thought of was this group. Perhaps one of you good folks have an answer for Jim? Thank you ahead of time!

 I got 3 sets of the 45 watts Chicago electric solar panel kits and was wondering if that is enough to charge my battery system.

I have a total of 1000 amp hours (9 batteries) on the batteries and they seem to be…


Added by dave tedder on July 18, 2013 at 9:21am — 3 Comments

Battery Connections

New member, first post. So far I have 1 Harbor Freight kit  and 2-35 ah Harbor Freight batteries. When hooking up these in parallel does the charge controller need to be hooked up to negative on one battery and positive on the other or can it just be hooked up to the closest one? The other question is how many kits can be controlled by one Harbor Freight controller. I have an array rack built for four.

Thanks for your input.

Added by Leonard Thompson on May 21, 2013 at 2:30pm — 3 Comments

Maximum voltage expected in solar systems

Trying to spec out a new LED board.  It would cost less to build if the board was designed to operate in the 10-24 volt range instead of a 10-30 VDC range. 

What is the maximum voltage I should expect to see in solar systems?  Would a 24 volt upper limit be a problem for many users? 

Added by Kraig Whiting on May 20, 2013 at 1:02pm — 2 Comments

A couple of newbe questions

Guys just a couple of questions, I'm looking at setting up my first system here's what I'm looking at, three 250W panels = 32 amps? Six 6v gulf cart batterys = 12v 585A probably a morningstar MPPT controller, now first question, if I'm reading the wire chart right to get the 750w 32A 50 feet to batterys I'll need #1 wire for 12v #4 wire for 24v is that right? Next question, if I go 24v can I knock it down to 12v for appliances that don't take 24v?

Added by Michael G Gilmore on April 29, 2013 at 6:38am — No Comments

Solar lights done

Well a Year Later and 20 of the .4 amp LED are Now hot and running 9 of the .3 LED are up. On two Marine RV Batteries and two NT 60 watt kits. I have hit 100 percent on Lights now. I am now into the Hard stuff Icebox and freezer next with swamp cooler. I think I can pull it off with the tiger claw 1500-2000 watt inverter,

But for now Yah hooo the lights alone were a milestone

Added by dave simmon on April 9, 2013 at 5:00pm — 42 Comments

Learning and Cost

Well I was off today and since it had been a while I took a good look at the Batteries, And decided to do some Maint/Cleanup. Well Being color blind is not a plus, I cleaned up the terminals added a little H2O Put a red wire where a black out to be. You know the rest, Panels and the House hold lights made it fine. The APEX TV however had a bad day. Thank god for Walmart and its extended warranty. Had to ship it back to the WH, but a new one is in route. As with my Comrades in a quest to be…


Added by dave simmon on March 5, 2013 at 6:29pm — 8 Comments

will my 10 amp charge controller be ok running 2 - 45 watt kits plus a single 15 watt panel for a total of 7 panels?

will my 10 amp charge controller be ok running 2 - 45 watt kits plus a single 15 watt panel for a total of 7 panels?


Added by William Walter Francis III on February 28, 2013 at 4:44pm — 3 Comments

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