Despite that most people highly rely upon the electrical grid for power, it is very clear that the grid is at great risk of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and other calamities. In case of such events, most people suffer a lot due to power shortages.

This affects businesses and home activities. It is quite important to be ready for such instances. Solar panels are the best way to be on the safe side. If you do not want to be left in the dark or your business to come to a standstill at some point, then solar panels are good for emergencies.

Sometimes it's good to have emergency generators/inverters to go with your panels. Being prepared for anything. If you live in hurricane prone areas like I do these are nice to have.

Also the kits are nice to have for unexpected trips when bad weather approaches. I can't remember how many times I would keep saying I need to upgrade by emergency kit or get something a little bigger in output but still portable. Being on the eastern coast of Florida, this is something to think about.

I'm checking out the foldables now but there's so much nice items now it's really a good time to upgrade.
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Here's a good video on solar generator using panels.

Video Transcript

good morning youtubers and our commerce this is kf7 IJ said and i'm out here today because I have finally finished version two of my solar generator what you're looking at right now are four goals zero boulder 15m panels each one of these panels is a 15 watt solar panel and they sell clips that allow you to attach them to build a raised these panels have a nice aluminum frame and then tempered glass on the top so they are water-resistant and meant for outdoor use little rugged still glass and aluminum so I wouldn't throw them down a mountain or anything but quite handy and portable i have them mounted on a camera tripod this is a bogan manfrotto tripod that I've had for my photography days it was just something I had around its heavy-duty it's ready to hold I think of 216 pounds which I think my array ways like 14 so it's just what i'm using for this today the weather is there's some sun by it's kind of cloudy son's been going in behind the clouds Daisy I guess maybe but not a 100-percent blue sky and sunday so we're not getting maximum output and i have discovered a few shortcomings with my set up already this is the first time i've had this actually out in a field the I need to do something be able to adjust the angle of how far back i can tilt the panels we move around the back another hand friend of mine fashion for me using this aluminum channel is a mounting . and then he built this mounting plate Jenna know if you'll be able to see this is just sits on top of the actual tripod head and then we're using a these long nuts and these aluminum bars wing nuts to secure it on there it's it's not going anywhere I thought this would be an ideal situation because the tripod i had were 33 access control from rotational standpoint rotating very easy but the problem that I have is the vertical when I guess the tilt this is as far back as it goes and I think I need to be able to get a little flatter than that but you know that's why we do these things to learn what comes built into the goal zero boulder 15 panels are these little boxes each box has a cable that comes out of it terminates to this bundle I don't know it's 46 feet of cable probably 24 gauge coax so fairly small stuff and then also on each one of these panels see if you can see there where it says chain these things are meant to be able to be chained together and you just run the cable from one plug it into the other so i have all four of these hooked up so it's still giving me the 12-volt equivalent out the because it's such small cabling and because at the end of the day if you're at the last panel you're running through almost 24 feet of cable quite a voltage drop I assume some in the process of trying to make I've ordered the plugs for the trading ports I'm trying to shorten each one down to two feet that all converge on a central power . bus or power Anderson power pole bus that I'm out here on this plate but we haven't gotten there yet i tried that last night and it's really tiny soldering and so I got frustrated so that is the array the these panels are great because they're relatively small if i remember correctly I think there are 11 inches by like 18 or 19 decent-sized these are available online best place I've seen them online as amazon.com although the place to buy these if you have a costco membership i'll add the link to the goal zero page where they show if there's going to be a roadshow but if you catch these at a goal zero roadshow inside of a costco you can get them for ninety-nine dollars which is a good deal now one other thing I'll point out these are monocrystalline panels which are with the current consumer technology i believe the most efficient met somewhere between 18 and 20 little more resistant to heating than a polycrystalline or any of the other port type one thing also it kind of comes to the video you'll see the panels on the bottom have a blue tent the ones on the top have a black these blue panels are about a year old these are in a couple months old so obviously they switch suppliers the actual panels but in theory that shouldn't actually matter at all so the array by itself is all well and fine but kinda useless so what I did is I built a power box for my amateur radio operations and let's take a look at that further recommendations a ham form another member of i was introduced to the sportsman's box made by a company called mtm they're called spud boxes which is the sportsman's plus dry box this guy was thirty-three dollars off amazon they make four versions this is the next two largest i'll have a link to this as well the manufacturer site cuz i remember the dimensions offhand but this box is a heavy-duty plastic it's water-resistant it's not submersible but there is an o-ring around the main lid but a couple of unique things in addition to being heavy duty the first thing that I really liked was this lid you see this divider here i was able to install a West Mountain radio rig runner at westmount radio power check and i was able to install my power pole connections you'll see i have green and grey green and gray is my standard for anything related to solar solar charging so what we do 400 i have a cable a little adapter that connects from their proprietary 4.84 4.75 millimeter plug to Anderson power poles i have a what's up meter right now you'll see that the panel voltages of 19 volts right now but there's no load so come down here and again these ports are for getting to the solar charge controller will show you in a moment the red and black or for connection to the battery to run the power meter in runner [Music] so if i plug this in you'll notice now that we have a load on getting 42 wats off of what should be a 60-watt array almost three amps of current and it's running being drawn down to 14.9 seven volts now so we're running about two-thirds efficiency I blame some of that on again the small gauge cable the array some of the fact that the Sun is not 100-percent out and strong today and some of it might lack of being able to aim this properly but the idea behind this box was that I wanted to build a unit that I could basically run a hundred watt VHF radio at field day without a generator you get in the amateur radio world we have a yearly exercise called field day and it's designed for us to practice our emergency communications capabilities I wanted to be able to run a station completely without a generator even though I do have a honda to kilowatt generator and this was a setup I came up with so that's the lid of the box no one thing I'll add i have 2 20 amp our batteries i got from Batteries Plus in the bottom of the box and parallel giving me 40 amp hours of capability last night I ran the computerized bandit battery analyzer on it ran it down to 11.8 bolts which is where our amateur radio stuff stops working and found that i got 30 amp hours of usage at a 1 amp draw which means i could run my radio and receive for 30 hours just with the setup here without even replenishing the battery which is quite good let's take a look inside alright so here's the interior of the box right now it's pretty sporting what I have here is a morningstar son saver maximum power point tracking charge controller he left two connections are to the panel and I have them running up to the green and gray powerful connections on the box the middle to go to the battery which I'll show you that down below the two to the right of that are actually made to attach a load the reason that i'm not using that function right now is this thing is only rated for 15 amps my the the hf transceivers i use can drop 20 2 amps at a hundred watts for something like CW or FM which the batteries can handle the charge controller could not so i had to bypass that which is kind of a shame the other thing i have is this morning star remote meter which this thing plugs into the charge controller via phone cable basically and it basically tells me you know what voltage is running is the controller that loading the panels to right now we're getting over three amps i don't know if you can see that 3.15 amps occur into the battery i believe and then there's a quick gauge a red yellow and green that show you the health of the battery which is also on here the other nice thing is that if this were charging my load it would cut disconnect the battery at 10.7 volts which sealed lead acid batteries you don't want to discharge below 10.5 this tray came with the box and is removable and down below are the two batteries now one thing I still have to do is I do need to get a some styrofoam or something to which those in a little better so they can't move around but all told I am very happy with this project and the best part is is that with the exception of the things coming out of here I've had to drill no holes in the actual box so the box still is waterproof resistant with that late close as I mentioned I during this thing down to 11.7 volts or eliminate volts for my test last night actually gonna stay out here and see if i can get recharged and I we've been charging for I don't know about 40 minutes now we'll take a measurement here in a bit and see what the batteries are up to so let me know if you have any questions as always i look forward to your comments and hopefully there's something to be learned from all this i will add links to everything that is in this box in the comments and thanks for watching 17 actually I thought of a couple more things to add so as I pointed out be this is a maximum power point tracking solar dr charger controller these are a bit more expensive by this guy was over a hundred dollars i don't remember what i paid like i said i'll put that information in the comments but the reason you want a maximum power point charge controller is it isolates your solar panels from the battery and what that ends up doing for you is it allows it to keep the panel's you know solar panels want to be between 15 and 18 volts so it allows you to receive all the power off the things are off the panels that whatever amperage they can put out medical response times amps equals power it can then take the higher voltage and convert it down to the appropriate voltage for the batteries and the results as you get more current into the batteries if you buy a less-expensive charge controller what it ends up doing is the battery is not isolated so it actually pulls the voltage of the panels down whatever the batteries at and you have wasted you've wasted power I there I've seen some really good sites that explain what these do so i'll probably try to include a link to that either in this part of the video also in the comments but yea maximum power point tracking charge controllers are the best way to get every ounce of power out of your solar array another couple things about this particular model is it can track it has a temperature sensor built into it a little guy know if you can see that but it also allows you to hook up an external probe connect your batteries i think this thing is really expected to be a lot further from the batteries than what i have but what's neat is an addition to being able to hook up the meter that I have I can also have an interface i can plug it into a computer i think this thing will log 30 days of data and you can download all that data and graph it charted if you're really really really interested in tracking performance of your unit one of the thing I'll point out you'll notice i have room in that train of course I can throw cables or the wats up meters which are really one of the most indispensable tools you can have the battery's probably won't see this very well i have a couple of fuse connectors determinate two power poles and you'll see i have a powerful jumper running the lid this just gives me flexibility to be able to disconnect that for whatever reason or plug other things and now also with that extra space if I wanted to there's plenty of room in there to install either a West Mountain radio power gate PG 40s which is a it's a neat little device it's basically a ham radio ups you plug the battery in the one side of it you plug a 13.8 power supply into the other and then it has a center tap output that goes to whatever you know directly to a radio or to a reg run or whatever it'll act as UPS because if you lose mains it will automatically switch your load over to the the battery which is nice but it also has a four-stage built in charge controller so i could do that I the other thing that I have for this box but it's not out here is a battery tender marine version which is waterproof and also outputs 5 amps which makes charging these guys pretty fast the the other thing i have those i have a West Mountain radioisotope power which is a unit that's designed to be an automotive battery isolator so i could technically install that in here so that if I ever needed to charge this box off of the vehicle i could so I haven't decided yet if i'm going to install something permanently or you know I can just leave the boxes in here loose and use them if I need them of course normally with this I would have a lot of jumper cables different things to hook my set up two so again if you have any questions please let me know I very much enjoyed building this the first version of this box was just a group 1 power box sold an auto parts store made to hold a 33 and power battery now the biggest upgrade i made besides the boxes i went from that battery because it just didn't conveniently fit inside the box i chosen to use but it was a 33 and power battery that I tested on a 1 amp draw down 11.8 bolts will give me about 22 empowers power like I said moving up to 40 gave me 30 so that was that was an unexpected bonus even though the batteries were more expensive than i would have liked but anyway take care of 73

How it Works

Conclusion

Having an alternative source of energy is very important to keep you working even when others face power shortages. Solar systems provide clean energy and the installation costs are relatively friendly. In addition, solar components are well designed to meet durability standards hence little maintenance if any may be required.

Camping Solar Panels that have been located here
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