Monday, April 16, 2012

Let the sun shine!

The Sarge has been researching solar power options. Let me just start off with small portable configurations. If your desire is large scale units contact me and we can go into your specific requirements.

First thing is to perform a energy audit to determine your wattage usage. small plug and play devices are best for this task. The one I recommend is called Kill-a Watt ( runs about $40.00). To use it is as easy as plugging it into a power outlet then plugging the appliance into the unit. Instructions are easy to understand and follow, allowing you to know what the appliance cost you to operate it.

Once your audit has been performed you can then determine how many watts your system should be. Keep in mind reducing you wattage usage is your first priority. We switched out from incandescent bulbs to led and cfl bulbs and dramatically reduced our usage. Some appliances will be unusable due to their higher amp requirements, ovens, A/C, furnace, and water heaters. Most portable configurations can't handle more than 20 amps.

Power usage management is critical to making the most out of your portable unit. How many panels, batteries, and type of inverter will depended on how well you are able to reduce and manage you power requirement. Small configurations can be easily transported if need be. The Power source 1800 from is the Sarge's choice for plug and play units. The price is not cheap at $1600.00 but for it's ease of use it would be perfect for Preppers who are not comfortable with electronics.

For those of you who want to build you own units your choices are restricted only by the money your willing to spend! You can buy low budget configurations for as little as $300.00 that put out about 45 watts (enough to run some lights, chargers, laptops, etc.) The more panels and batteries the more wattage you have. If your interested in building you own watch some the ones on you tube for some ideas and inspiration. Any questions or comments feel free to contact me

  As always, The Sarge is on duty!


  1. I just started building my solar project. I am frugal, did much research and found on 500 individual cell kit for about 400 with shipping, purchased diodes, controller from ebay, and inverter from, glass and plywood and other framing stuff from Lowes. prebuilt units run about $4-6 a watt, it appears my 900-1000 watt system will be costing just over $1-1.25 a watt, with labor spent soldering the cells together. In bright sunlight 35 cells per panel are producing 20volts 3.6 amps, that is a bit over a 60 watt panel, will end up with 14 of them was a great source of assembling idea's.....oh all the prices do not include the batterys....also found a site to guage what size battery bank one would want to create

  2. oh I forgot to mention, my total solar output at high noon will be estimating at moment 20V at 50 Amps charging a planned bank of 16 12 Volt batteries which according to what I have read should supply 2880-3000 watt hours per day....I did purchase a 5k/10k surge watt dc to ac inverter which I dont think I will be able to use the full ability of it....I will try to remember to update this comment when system is running fully

    1. very sweet deal, I know it all seems easy to you , but a lot of people don't have your skills, I would love to post a full article on what you have done in hopes that others could follow you. If there's any chance you could put one together PLEASE let me know. Great Job!


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