Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Solar Back Up Power
For lights I use 3AAA head lamps. a Solio and Brunton solar charger keeps several sets batteries charged.

the hard part is water. Pumps need a lot of juice to get them started. Water heaters run 4-5000 watts...

A good friend has a 12volt marine pump hooked into his plumbing system for emergencies. Runs it off a normal car battery. Swaps it out in his car to keep it charged.
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change."

Charles Darwin
Terrific info.... <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' /> As for me I have a combo for backup power...

1) a gas powered generator - just in case I need an additional power source or to add a boost to charging backup gel cell marine/RV batteries

2) primary backup for 'minimal essentials' - a Solar 1800 backup generator from Solutions from Science (provides 1800 Watts)... actually pretty sweet system that will also run/charge everything electrical in my travel trailer if I need to bug out. Very portable... easy to use, set up... has the inverter, solar controller, 95 Watt solar panel and the battery pack (5 outlets) ready to get up and go... Website:

3) for small stuff have a Brunton solar charger - for batteries, cell phone, ham radio, walkie-talkies, and such

I like wind power - but I can't take it with me... personally I like the portability of both the gas powered generator (and yes gas - would be an issue with the SHTF - but worth considering) and the very portable solar generator. <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/banana.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':banana:' />
"All that is necessary for the Triumph of Evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

If you can read and speak English - thank a teacher. If you can write and speak your mind - thank those that serve in the military.

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"If you want to be immortal, then either write something worth reading... or do something worth writing about" - Ben Franklin ['... or don't die' - Woody Allen]
I have read this article, [url=""][/url] and

have my own Solar backup. I use 3 12V 12AH gel cell batteries connected in parallel (12V @ 36 AH) to a solar controller

to my 17 W solar panel. I use the batteries to power a 400 W inverter for AC loads, and to power a

12V DC fan, 12V lights, even a water pump if needed. I can run the batteries to 10.4 V before the controller cuts me off.

It takes about 3 Hours full sunlight to top off the batteries. Of course, I can run the fans directly off the solar panel

as long as I don't exceed 1 amp draw.

Here in the Ohio Valley, wind is not much of an option.


Great info... I too have been working on a Solar back-up system.

I see that you've been here for awhile... If you would, post a new topic with a little about yourself on the "Welcome to the Hoodlums" page. Just so we know something about you... (yea, we like to know who we are talking to... <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' /> )

Welcome! <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />

So. Indiana, Metro Louisville area...

"Hope for the best... prepare for the worse"

In other words, "Pray to GOD... But row for shore!"
I was researching the solar solution on the web and thought about using the deep cycle batteries used in locomotives(and they are hosses)along with solar shingles which are a fairly new item. I read where someone was using the solar shingles and actually selling power back to the power company. They install just like the normal shingle and are identical in size. Just something to add in here.
Thanks for your input, Gatrfanzz. I hear that the technology of solar cells is going to take a huge jump.

BTW, I see that this is your first post. How about sliding over to the Welcome forum and posting an introduction so we know a bit about you. Important things like what knives you like and which of the Hood's DVDs you have. <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />



Ash, volcanic or wood, and dust can scratch the surface of solar cells reducing their effectiveness. It would be wise to keep some clear poly sheets handy to cover them if need be.
Those on the far right would call me a liberal tree hugger, I'm worst than a tree hugger, I'm a tree planter. Those on the far left would call me a gun waving conservative, I never wave my gun, I keep it steady on target.

If we don't watch out for each other, who will watch out for us?
I have gone ahead with this project & am very happy with the results.

Details: I have 4 Group 31 Gel-cell batteries (From my work) & a 1000 watt Cobra Inverter (Amazon) attached. There is a Schumacher battery charger (Walmart) keeping it fully charged on the grid 24/7. It is on a rolling cart in my garage. I drilled a hole through the garage wall that enters into my basement where 2-120 volt receptacles are.

Results: When the power fails the Charger simply fails to continue to monitor/charge the batteries but the LED lights that are normally used still work. This solved a few problems. When the power goes out at night the lights stay on. If I am at work & my family is home then they have lighting, the ability to charge phones and other electronics for many days as well as the amenities of out finished basement aka propane heat. Entertainment can be supplied to our children via DVD's on the laptop & the internet can be kept powered. My wife doesn't need to deal with hooking up & starting the 5,500 watt generator to the house. Draw is kept to about 250 watts at most. Battery draw from my lights test out at 82 watts...PLENTY of lighting; Lumens equal to 4-75 watt standard bulbs. As redundant as it sounds I can recharge the batteries off of the generator during the day when I would run it periodically & run again off the batteries at night. It also gives me the option to charge off of a car. As a short term solution I am very pleased with the outcome as well as the piece of mind that my family has something in the event I'm gone for a few days and can't get home quickly.

I am now looking into buying solar panels to give about 500 watts-per-hour. My second story roof is south facing so it would be an ideal location.

Just thought I'd share. :-)


P.S. I'd like to thank Steven Harris for so many great ideas on this project.

We have the right to our opinion but not to the facts.
Nice! Good luck. <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />
Addictive knife buying isn't guided by logic.

Its probably my age that makes people think I am an adult.

Tolerance is within a standard.

"Food is power. We use it to change behavior. Some
may call that bribery. We do not apologize."
 -Catherine Bertini, UN World Food Ex. Director, 1997

Proverbs 27:17

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)