Solar panels. Useless or the future?


JamesBondo
#1
I have a sleep apnea machine that needs 1.5 amps (at 12volts). I love camping so i wanted to see if i could camp with my cpap for more than a few days without needing a wall charger or generator...

....i think you are thinking what i am thinking....

A SOLAR PANEL!!! What can be sweeter than having a solar panel and making free power, right?

So I went to canadian tire and bought a 25 watt solar panel for $100. In theory, i would have 2 amps of charging capability but im told to be careful because that is 2 amps in ideal conditions out in the arizona desert.

OK, I understand. YMMV, right? Buyer beware, right?

No problem. Even at 1 amp, i could recharge a 6 hour sleep with a 9 hour charge. And, Ive got almost 15 hours of daylight to get 9 hours worth of charging.

So off to my first campout i go....first night, wonderful...the next morning i get up early and put the solar panel on the battery, it charges all day until sunset..the next night, my battery goes dead just after midnight.....WTF!?!?!?!

Obviously, the solar panel isnt delivering 1 amp, ie half of its 2 amp rating.

So i go home under slept and grumpy. I pull out my multimeter. I want to do an experiment. How much current can i get from my solar panel when it is outside but not pointed directly at the sun?

Any guesses?

In my case, i measured it, and I got 0.2 amps.

Yup. Only 10% of the rated capability of the panel.

So how long will it take to recharge 1 nights use of my CPAP? My math tells me it will take about 2 and a half days.

So what will it cost to buy enough solar panels to fix my problem? About $400 to $1000 depending on what i buy. But now im looking at a solar panel system so big, im stuck car/truck camping. But if im stuck camping near a car,then why wouldnt i just run the car for an hour? Or buy a lunchbox sized honda generator. Honda sells a 1000watt generator, it has a 10 amp charger on a motor that is quieter than most cars.

Friends, do you get the impression that solar panels are extremely wimpy and useless? I do. The next time someone tells me that solar panels are the future, i plan to tell them to stop try to blow smoke up my arse.

Just saying.
 
petros
+2
#2
Not useless but the 600% mark up and tarrifs makes it futile.
 
Musky
#3
This....

...or this.
 
JamesBondo
+1
#4
I can not in good conscience recommend solar panels. Even when the system is working well, i would have to warn you to EXPECT problems.

I can accept problems when trying to recharge a cellphone or fm radio. But anything somewhat important like a medical device, don't waste your money.
 
Musky
-1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by JamesBondo View Post

I can not in good conscience recommend solar panels. Even when the system is working well, i would have to warn you to EXPECT problems.

I can accept problems when trying to recharge a cellphone or fm radio. But anything somewhat important like a medical device, don't waste your money.

Think small all you want.

It's coming and fast.

Hide under your bed.
 
JamesBondo
+2
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Musky View Post

This....

...or this.

Lol horseshit or horseshit.
 
Musky
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by JamesBondo View Post

Lol horseshit or horseshit.

Keep thinking small....invest in coal.
 
JamesBondo
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Musky View Post

Think small all you want.

It's coming and fast.

Hide under your bed.

I like to think big. I think i will recommend a $150 rv battery that should be big enough to last 10 days...then i'll recharge it at home.

Quote: Originally Posted by Musky View Post

Keep thinking small....invest in coal.

I dont reccomend coal. The honda generator will be much better.
 
bill barilko
+2
#9
I don't recommend buying a Solar Panel @ Canadian Tire just like I don't recommend ordering Salmon Wellington @ Rotten Ronnies-grab a brain FFS.
 
Musky
#10
I didn't buy mine from Canadian tire.
 
JamesBondo
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilko View Post

I don't recommend buying a Solar Panel @ Canadian Tire just like I don't recommend ordering Salmon Wellington @ Rotten Ronnies-grab a brain FFS.

If you know of a good place, please share, i will be eternally grateful
 
bill barilko
+1
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by JamesBondo View Post

If you know of a good place, please share, i will be eternally grateful

Do you live near a marine chandlery?

That's the place to start looking.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+4
#13  Top Rated Post
Obviously you did not pay enough tax on the panel for it to function properly.

I would suggest either pay more tax or move to California for better results.
 
Musky
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

Obviously you did not pay enough tax on the panel for it to function properly.

I would suggest either pay more tax or move to California for better results.

Yet another meaningless vapid response.
 
JamesBondo
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Musky View Post

Yet another meaningless vapid response.

I think you are trying to vap smoke up my arse.
 
Musky
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by JamesBondo View Post

I think you are trying to vap smoke up my arse.

No, just replying to your dumb post.
 
Angstrom
+2
#17
Solar panels may be a good solution for countries near the equator. But thats not Canada
 
Musky
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Angstrom View Post

Solar panels may be a good solution for countries near the equator. But thats not Canada

Solar is one part of many.

Again I don't get why people hate renewables.
 
JamesBondo
#19
on the bright side, I've got a 200mA charger that will charge my cellphone and all my buddy's cellphones while we are out camping.

but even that seems like a poor way to spend $100, because once I have a RV battery with a 180 Amp hour capacity(to solve my cpap problem), I can charge everyone's cellphones without the problematic unreliable 12in by 20in solar panel.
 
Danbones
+1
#20
Quote:

Again I don't get why people hate renewables.

its the political lack of math, science, and common sense that goes with them.

@ JB
btw: you can pick up not bad scrap batteries at the chandlry and rejuvenate them with Epsom salts and distilled water - on many of them it will work, and on the ones that it doesn't - back to the scrap pile.
Many batteries wind up there from seasonal refits, and so are still salvageable.
 
JamesBondo
+1
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Musky View Post

Solar is one part of many.

Again I don't get why people hate renewables.

I don't hate renewables. I love my wood burning stove.
 
tay
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by JamesBondo View Post

If you know of a good place, please share, i will be eternally grateful

What Province are you in? Check out Kijiji in your area for Solar

There is such a thing as a flexible panel. And one has to do their homework before buying. Apparently (based on this manufacturers claim) there is a performance defect depending on the coating.

Semi flexible,100 watt solar panel from Sunpower USA, Grade A
Puts out 6 amps
Dimensions are 1060x540x3mm
Monocrystalline ETFE coating as opposed to cheaply made PET panels.
excellent quality solar panel, $175 firm, no tax
 
Danbones
#23
I have got several( 5) from the scrap pile over the last couple years, they just needed TLC and some soldering to repair.
cost:
not much
 
Musky
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by Danbones View Post

its the political lack of math, science, and common sense that goes with them.

@ JB
btw: you can pick up not bad scrap batteries at the chandlry and rejuvenate them with Epsom salts and distilled water - on many of them it will work, and on the ones that it doesn't - back to the scrap pile.
Many batteries wind up there from seasonal refits, and so are still salvageable.

Not an answer.

My father in-law who lives up north draped black hosing all over his roof for hot water is as conservative as they come.

He does his own energy saving projects at home.

He even made some sort of heat device out of pop cans.

Some how the cons here just love praying to big oil, coal, gas....
 
tay
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by Musky View Post

Not an answer.

My father in-law who lives up north draped black hosing all over his roof for hot water is as conservative as they come.

He does his own energy saving projects at home.

He even made some sort of heat device out of pop cans.

Some how the cons here just love praying to big oil, coal, gas....

Yes. A friend of mine made that heat device for his cottage some years ago and it works..........


www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLNViUsRCVU
 
Musky
#26
It does work....how dare anyone try and get off the grid.
 
taxslave
+1
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by JamesBondo View Post

If you know of a good place, please share, i will be eternally grateful

Canadian Energy. They have a whole division for solar. Only number I have for them candy is Victoria. 1 250 361 3933
Pro tip:Try taking the panel out of the box next time.
 
Musky
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

Canadian Energy. They have a whole division for solar. Only number I have for them candy is Victoria. 1 250 361 3933
Pro tip:Try taking the panel out of the box next time.

Ecotard.
 
taxslave
+1
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by Musky View Post

Ecotard.

Vested interest.
 
Musky
-1
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

Vested interest.

Good for you....seriously.

I think you get it.