Solar Panels to power Lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by silver phanton, 18 May 2009.

  1. silver phanton

    silver phanton

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    OK guys this is the setup

    1.3 m tank, 600 deep & 800 height (150 deep sand bed x 600 water height x 50 clear height)

    I was going with 6 T5's for normal daytime use at 12 hours and 6 Builders wharehouse Leds (4 blue & 2 White) for use as moonlighting.

    So what is going to be the most cost effective setup and use over say 2 years
     
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  3. silver phanton

    silver phanton Thread Starter

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    Okay guys say we go for 2 metal halides and 4 t5s how can we run it of solar panels
     
  4. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

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    I dont know do you
     
  5. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    I think it will turn out to be VERY expensive.

    You will need the solar panels, an inverter, and some batteries. Let's play around with some figures...

    2 x 150W MH's burning for 10 hours per day :

    2 x 150 x 10 = 3000 Watt-hours of power needed.

    I'm not sure of efficiency of such a system, but let's assume 75%, thus power needed = 3000 / 0.75 = 4000Wh

    Assuming that you want to store the power so the lights can burn after sunset, and on rainy days (for 4 hours), you will need at least 6 x 105Ah deep discharge batteries and an inverter rated for at least 4kVa. In real life, you will probably need more batteries AND a larger inverter as the inflow current required by the MH ballasts would be substantially higher than the above.

    I have recently installed a 2.2kVa pure sinewave inverter (for the MH's a square-wave inverter will work at approximately 50% of the cost...) and 4 x 160Ah long life deep cycle batteries, for a total cost of approximately R50 000.00 (actually a bit more, but I cannot remember the figures off-hand). This allows me to run some of my house lights, the essential pumps on the tank, my computer and either the microwave oven or the deep freezer for about 4 hours on battery power.

    If you plan on supplying ALL the power directly from the solar panels, you will probably have to double this cost, as solar panels are *very* expensive. I plan on adding a few solar panels to my setup in the near future, but I will be doing the calculations based on 10 -12 hours of sunlight needed to charge the batteries sufficiently to supply about 2-4 hours of backup power, and not for continuous use every day.

    Hennie
     
  6. silver phanton

    silver phanton Thread Starter

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    Thanks Reef, now who else wants to pour more cold water on the idea?
     
  7. ADVdiver

    ADVdiver

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    Sorry :baffled:
     
  8. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    Well, you asked the question and Hennie answered. You cant be upset by his answer. Its a nice idea in theory, but i think this kind of idea would on really be viable for really big projects where you stand to save more, am i right hennie?
     
  9. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    :whistling: :whistling: :whistling:

    Well, perhaps I painted the picture a little TOO dark. Remember, my setup would supply 2200W x 4 hours = 8800Wh, about double what you're looking at. Also, with a modified square-wave inverter, your cost of the inverter would be substantially less than what I paid for mine... Still, with 4000W of solar panels neede, you are going to have to talk to the bank manager :whistling:

    Best is to do some research on the 'net, and get some quotes - after all, that's free :)

    Hennie
     
  10. silver phanton

    silver phanton Thread Starter

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    Lets see what the chinese have on offer:whistling:
     
  11. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i also started looking into the solar panel idea to asist but being in east london youre lucky if somone will quote! im still waiting for the dudes up the road.
     
  12. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Yes, I think it would be a good idea to incorporate some type of "eco-friendly" electricity supply into the design of a new house, where an additional R50 000 - R100 000 would not be too bad, as it would constituse perhaps 5% - 10% of the cost of the house, and would not make a huge difference on a bond repayment. On the other hand, having to find this type of money in addition to paying off the bond / car / ex wife is pretty difficult :( even though such a unit should pay for itself in the long run (20 years plus...).

    Installing a skylight would be a much cheaper solution, IMHO.

    Hennie
     
  13. seank

    seank

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    bond / car / ex wife = children :lol::lol:
     
  14. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Some interesting info Hennie :thumbup1:

    Am I correct in assuming that the house's geyser/s is the biggest consumer of electricity ?

    I have noticed loads of houses around my area installing these solar panel geysers. The actual tank is on top of the roof rather than buried in the ceiling.

    Six months ago we got a blanket installed on our geyser and I am really amazed how much our electricity bill has come down. That is where my assumption has come from.
     
  15. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Yes, the clever people reckon that a geyser accounts for about 30% - 40% of the total electricity consumption.

    Yes, that is about the single best thing one can do to save electricity.

    I've installed a solar water heating panel on my roof, but have connected it to my existing geyser, using a small (50W) hot-water pump. My geyser's thermostat is set to 50°C, but the solar panel keeps the hot water temperature at about 75°C, so the geyser only works for a short time after a lot of hot water has been used, if at all.

    Hennie
     
  16. alister

    alister

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    Hi,

    Solar powered lighting is a relatively simple concept. Withdrawals from the battery to power the light source must be compensated for by commensurate deposits of energy from the solar panels. As long as the system is designed so deposits exceed withdrawals on an average daily basis, the battery remains charged and light source is reliably powered.

    Since each solar electric light operates autonomously, every light is programmed through its own control system, to turn on and off as needed. And, in the unlikely event that an individual solar outdoor light fails, no other lights are affected. Solar systems outperform traditional wired systems hands-down.
     
  17. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Solar Geyser and Solar electricity is totally different setups.

    Solar Geysers a lot cheaper. 12-15K Electricity cost savings about 30-40% of household consumption. The panel does not generate electricity, water runs through it and is heated by sun.

    Solar electricity, involve batteries, inverters, panels that create electricity. As Hennie installation shows, a lot more expensive. And size of setup needed is crazy. This can be an option in the Karoo or Australian outback where you do not have Eskom (juck) electical supply.

    If you want to same money, innitial installation and long term. Go with Solar Geyser.
     
  18. Heaven Net

    Heaven Net

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    There's more to solar power than blue glassy panels shimmering on rooftops. Just as important are the inverters that convert DC power created by the solar panels into grid-ready AC power. Typically, all the panels in a rooftop PV system are connected to one large inverter mounted on the side of a house.
    [​IMG]
    Startup Enphase Energy of Petaluma, CA, is now making the first micro-inverters. These smaller inverters can be bolted to the racking under each solar panel, to convert DC power into AC for each panel individually. The company claims that the devices will increase a PV system's efficiency by 5 to 25 percent and decrease the cost of solar power.
    Enphase has raised more than $20 million in its latest round of funding. The company has teamed up with various distributors and partners, including solar-module manufacturer Suntech Power Holdings and installer Akeena Solar, to bring its device to customers. The micro-inverters could be used on residential, commercial, or even utility-scale PV systems, says Todd Wilson, a general partner at RockPort Capital Partners, one of the leading investors in Enphase's technology.
    In addition to DC-to-AC conversion, inverters are in charge of getting the most power from solar modules. They have a logic circuit that constantly searches for the best voltage and current levels at which the panels can operate. (Power is the product of voltage and current.
    allternative energy
     
  19. Submariner

    Submariner

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    Forget The Solar Panel Idea Rather Go With Solar Tube's Much Simpler And Less Expensive
     
  20. Boendoe

    Boendoe

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    I also a look at it a wile back but it just don't financial sense, Eskom power is still cheaper, but if you realy want to go the green rought like Hennie said look at a skylight option.
     
  21. ben lloyd

    ben lloyd

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    I'm looking at this www.winglette.com not to expensive and if the wind is blowing at least then i will smile, i normally hate the wind.
     
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