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Small scale solar and batteries


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Small scale solar and batteries
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-07-04, 13:26

I'm looking at a project for a "remote area" of my yard where I don't want to run electricity from the house. What I'm thinking about is getting a Gazebo set up and putting some solar panels on it. Then have some kind of battery pack there too so I can put up some lights and such. Clearly this is going to be a low current situation and most things I intend to run would be something like LED lights and phone charging. I do want to add a USB powered wifi camera though that would enable me to grab snapshots of the view from the Gazebo.

I'm thinking of something like this:


I whatever solar "system" I put I would mount to the roof for solar panels and the battery/inverter would be under the roof overhead. So with something like this we would need to ensure it has some weather tolerance. Also a level of heat tolerance given it will be under that canopy.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
 
2022-07-04, 17:33

For a camera, I have Arlo 4K cameras around my property that are powered by a solar panel. They work amazing 98% of the time. Only time is in the winter when they get covered. The battery will usually last 1-2 weeks.
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Frank777
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2022-07-04, 18:05

Similarly, Costco now sells strings of LED solar lights.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-07-04, 19:18

I get that I can piece together different little things, but I'm looking for power to be present at the gazebo for other things as well.

The camera that is going there is a specific one that doesn't "support" solar but is powered by USB-C. So really anything that can power USB-C would be fine for it.

Lights can be of course anything as well. If I get something that is running 12VDC, then I could buy supplies that are geared for automotive/RV use and not have as inefficient conversion just to run a 120VAC light, USB charger, etc.

Ideally, I would be able to run a conventional 120VAC outlet there so I can power a laptop or such if I work there. The lights, fans, USB power points would all run off of 12VDC.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2022-07-05, 10:51

We have one of Costco's solar light strings for our gazebo. Has a little battery that will run the lights for 6-8 hours. Works perfect.

They seem to have a new version of it, now, which is this thing.

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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-07-05, 12:27

I appreciate the options to piece together individual items, but I know what I'm envisioning for amenities and one by one just won't work in the long run. This is why I'm thinking about a small scale solar system. Think of it like a cabin off grid.

I'm more thinking something like this. Not it specifically, but it would allow 12VDC for most accessories and also a 120VAC option.


Thing is, I've yet to really learn the intricate details of solar and what is needed for this kind of project. While I could just buy a kit, I know it is almost always better to do it with individual parts.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Frank777
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2022-07-05, 12:30

I'm out of my depth when it comes to the electrical side of things.
But it sounds like the camping solar panel setup alongside a small battery for storage is what you would be looking for.

I've seen the Coleman? solar panels at Costco as well. I imagine there's a host of small batteries that would work.

You may need to bring the battery pack inside at night, I don't know if they're meant to remain outside 24/7.
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Frank777
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2022-07-05, 12:33

I see you got their without me. Yes, if you know what you're doing building a custom system will work best.

Until Apple gets into this space and decides to glue and solder everything together for 'better performance'.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-07-05, 12:40

Well, the idea came from seeing this (or similar) Jackery product that comes with solar panels.

It makes bringing power and such simple if you are camping. I kinda see this gazebo project like that given it isn't close to the house at all. Something like this Jackery, you would have to bring back into the house when you're not using it. It can't be exposed to the elements long term. Being realistic, am I going to remember to lug that to the gazebo, set it up and hang out? No, it would sit idle in my garage because the inconvenience of setting it up isn't worth the effort. >$500 and a "permanent" solution though, that is tenable.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2022-07-05, 13:26

I have the Jackery 500 with solar panel and the thing is just awesome!

But, yeah, not really what you're looking for. That kit up higher is, and would do you well. Seems like a good starter kit for the gazebo.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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