Category Archives: Energy

Double Conversion UPS, Part II

In the first article in this series, we described a small double-conversion UPS consisting of a 600 watt AC charger, two deep cycle batteries, and a 1000 watt pure sine wave inverter. In this article, we present test results obtained for a load well above, and a load well below, the applicable 20-amp-hour rating for […]

Double Conversion UPS, Part I

Most people are familiar with the idea of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), such as used to help keep a computer running throughout power outages. Intended for only seconds to minutes of use, long enough to get past a short power glitch, or to give the user time to save files and shut down before […]

Product Review, Bestek 300W Pure Sine 12V Inverter

As part of our off-grid solar series, we’re looking for bare-bones options for the charger and inverter components to meet the minimum requirements of driving a 70 watt freezer, 24/7 if possible. We recently tested a Bestek 300W Pure Sine 12V Inverter, shown to the right. Although this unit failed to drive the freezer, it […]

Ground Solar, Part VI, Wiring, Connectors and Tools

We’re ready to finally wrap up our series on the ground solar installation we used during Hurricane Matthew to keep our freezer and refrigerators cold. We’ll provide links to all the previous articles at the end of this post as a convenient reference. In this post, we talk about the wiring, connectors and tools used […]

Ground Solar, Part V, The Batteries

We’ve been discussing our Hurricane Matthew ground solar installation (overview, combiner, charger and inverter), as well as fundamental solar panel principles and off-grid lead acid battery principles. This time, we will discuss the battery array used for this exercise, as well as the automotive DC safety breaker. Refer again to the photo of our inside […]

Ground Solar, Part IV, The Inverter

In previous articles here, here, and here, we’ve been discussing our off-grid solar power system we used during Hurricane Matthew. We also gave an overview of solar panel and lead-acid battery principles. While there is much more to discuss regarding batteries, including alternative battery technologies, let’s skip ahead to the inverter, which is the tip […]

Off-Grid Lead Acid Battery Principles

We’ve been dedicating several posts to building an off-grid energy system with solar panels. Any off-grid energy system, especially solar, is best operated with batteries to store energy, unless you plan on making a generator available 24/7 to fill in the gaps. There are many available battery technologies, and eventually we’ll review many of these. […]

Offers 7 Nov 2016

Saturday’s post about chargers mentioned that our sponsor SoftBaugh might be able to get pricing that would beat Amazon pricing for some items. Here are the latest quotes SoftBaugh is able to provide (in all cases, ground shipping to US locations is included): Midnite Solar Classic Lite 150 MPPT Charge Controller: SoftBaugh can offer this […]

Ground Solar, Part III, The Charger

In Part I of this series, we provided an overview of the solar power system we deployed on the ground to keep our freezer and refrigerators running after Hurricane Matthew. In Part II, we discussed the combiner, an essential element that is often overlooked. Along the way, we discussed the principles of solar panels as […]

Ground Solar, Part II, The Combiner

In the previous ground solar post, we described deploying a solar power system after Hurricane Matthew to keep our freezers and refrigerators running. In the post on solar panel principles, we discussed important issues to consider when selecting solar panels. Once you’ve selected a solar panel model to create your solar power array, it is […]