solarray

From void into vision, from vision to mind, from mind into speech, from speech to the tribe, from the tribe into din.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My Solar Bedroom

My bedroom is now basically off-grid.

For years my bedside radio has been a solar/dynamo flashlight/radio. This particular one has been modified to charge AA batteries besides the hard-wired internal battery it was designed to charge. It gives me about two months of radio for an hour or more a day before running down. Then I place it next to the window for two days and have the use of a radio for another two months. In a pinch, a minute of turning the crank gives me about ten minutes of radio.

Of course, since I have been experimenting with these things, I have a few solar/dynamo flashlight/radios so I always have one charging in front of the window. You can see an example of a solar/dynamo flashlight/radio at http://www.modernoutpost.com/gear/details/om_sdradio.html. It's not the one I'm using but it looks to be much the same, without the ability to charge AA batteries in the battery bay, and is close to half of what I paid.

Now I've installed two solar powered LED lights above my bed so that my reading light is off the grid as well. Came in handy just the other day when we had a black-out for a couple of hours. The lights are attached to solar electric panels I place in the window and have batteries in the base of the lamps that provide power for up to 24 hours on a full charge. You can see the specs and order them at http://www.kansaswindpower.net/portable_led_lights.htm

This system is still a work in progress but for about $150 I've got one room that is independent of the grid, that provides me with radio and reading light for the foreseeable future without the use of coal, oil, gas, or nuclear energy. I have one room running on sunlight. 

Now on to the next.

Update: Take your spare room off-grid! (http://www.off-grid.net/index.php?p=294) describes a solar electric system that powers two lamps, TV, Stereo, satellite box, dvd, vcr, and XBox, and a battery charger for the rechargeables in the battery powered clock.

This 600 watt hour system includes solar panels, batteries, and inverter and prices out at $1300.

I think that's a little pricey. A few years ago I assembled the parts for a one window solar electric system. It consisted of a 2 foot by 2 foot Kyocera panel, peak wattage around 64 kw, a power controller, battery, and wiring. The cost for those pieces was around $500, but I have yet to built the frame, hang the panel, and connect the system. In fact, I've since given the pieces to a friend in the hopes that he can finish the project before I would probably get around to it.

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44 Comments:

At 12/08/2005 9:36 PM, Blogger baloghblog said...

get a good old-fashioned wind up alarm clock and your all set! 10 sec of cranking = 2 days of ticking.

Great ideas.

 
At 12/13/2005 5:20 AM, Blogger Khairul Nizam Zainon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12/13/2005 6:19 AM, Blogger Khairul Nizam Zainon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12/13/2005 8:13 PM, Blogger Karl Hiunzm said...

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At 12/13/2005 9:10 PM, Blogger Karl Hiunzm said...

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At 12/14/2005 4:29 AM, Blogger Rockerz said...

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At 12/14/2005 7:08 AM, Blogger Rockerz said...

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At 12/16/2005 12:18 AM, Blogger Rockerz said...

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At 12/23/2005 4:22 AM, Blogger Rockerz said...

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At 12/26/2005 8:39 PM, Blogger BilkyBadass said...

Hey, you have a great blog here that looks like its being comment spamed!

 
At 12/27/2005 12:02 AM, Blogger Jeego said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12/27/2005 7:07 AM, Blogger Karl Hiunzm said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12/27/2005 12:38 PM, Blogger adamvaughan said...

Good, thought-provoking idea. Clearly one of those memes (horrible word) that will spread.

 
At 12/30/2005 7:47 PM, Blogger Richard said...

That's an excellent idea. I followed an article in the Indepndent to the treehugger.com site and finally landed at your blog.

By the way, you best check some of the comment spam taking place on your site.

 
At 1/23/2006 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was doing something similar. I got a car battery and did the leds lights in my bedroom. I have just also found the wonders of all the things made for cars that you can use. I just bought a little 12 volt LED TV to run off it too. The lights were pretty easy but past that it got a little complex. I found some good instructions at http://www.yourgreendream.com/diy_solar_charging.php to get it to work.

Good luck and let us know what else you can add to your bedroom.

 
At 10/03/2007 3:54 PM, Blogger ej said...

Nice site, good ideas. Thanks a bunch.

I've got a Kyocera panel on my 1973 Dodge B100 van roof that charges two sealed batteries and run thru a 600 watt inverter I got thru realgoods.com.

This not only runs my Mac powerbook but when I did the bodywork on my van it powered all the sanders, etc. I used.

There are solutions to not having "carbon taxes" that really hurt the poor.

 
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At 12/25/2008 1:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool system. I have a small scale setup in my bedroom. 35 watts from combined solar panels in my window going into a charge controller (10 amp max), hooked up to a 40 AH AGM battery and a 400 watt inverter on top. I usually run 2 fluorescent lights (39 watts total) and my tv / laptop at night. The LED lights you have sound like a good alternative. The tv is a hog at 80 watts. Two things I keep on the grid are my ceiling fan (don't want to even attempt that) and a 15 watt fluorescent light connected to my light switch so I can turn that on initially and get to my inverter. On occasion I'll run a small fan through the night and sometimes use the VCR/DVD player from my setup.

Looks like you're well ahead of me with your setup.

Fred

 
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At 6/26/2010 1:45 PM, Blogger Kathryn Grace said...

Found this through TreeHugger. I had not thought of taking an entire room off grid. Love the idea! Now I'm off to research a more affordable way for ordinary people like me to do it.

Btw, you can eliminate a lot of comment spam by changing your comment post settings to require human interaction via responding to a captcha. Go to Dashboard/Settings/Comments and scroll down to "Show word verification for comments?". Mark it yes. That should eliminate most of the nasty spam you're getting.

 
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At 10/13/2010 2:14 AM, Blogger Dolce said...

How to plan a bedroom to take maximum advantage of sunlight, solar heat gains and winter sun. This is one way to make your bedroom work from day one. With solar bedroom plans, you can be energy efficient, sustainable, save money on heating bills and create a warm sunny living environment.Thanks for your good concept.

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