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View Diary: My Solar Panels Rock (155 comments)

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  •  I love mine too (1+ / 0-)
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    though I have a much much smaller set-up. Most people tend to think of solar as expensive, but it is really only expensive as you want it to be. Americans are not typically used to thinking of electricity as a commodity that is limited, but if you change your mindset, you can find great satisfaction with only a very small system.

    At my mountain get-away, I have 45 watts of amorphous panels on the roof, which are controlled by a small charge controller that features DC and USB outlets. The charge controller is hooked up to an absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery and a 1000 watt inverter. Extension cords do the rest. An average of 5 hours of sunlight produces somewhere around 225 watt hours throughout the day, enough to charge cell phones, watch a small 7" TV, use a laptop or watch a DVD, charge a KIndle, and of course run a compact fluorescent light through the night. Doesn't sound like much, but it is a huge difference between that and a noisy gas generator or using kerosene lamps for light. And the entire system costs less than $500.

    Of course I have plans to expand, but I love my little system. I am reminded of the famous quote from Arthur C. Clarke: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

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