Whether you’re going camping, attending Burning Man, or taking a cross-country road trip, it’s always nice to have a way to power a laptop computer, a cell phone, and some LED lights. We’ll show you what you need to build a portable, 100 watt DIY Goal Zero alternative, and how it compares to a real […]
Basics of DIY Solar Panels
If you’re thinking about going DIY solar, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll show you the basics of DIY solar panels, charge controllers, batteries, and more. Our goal is to empower you to design, build, and install your very own solar power system, without having to hire a solar installer to do it for you.
We did it, and so can you!
600 watts! Now we’re talking. With 600 watt solar electric system, it’s definitely possible to use normal household appliances in an off-grid cabin, RV, or tiny home. Let’s explore what you’ll need to make this happen. What can 600 watts of solar panels power? At this level, the world is practically your oyster. Well, save for […]
Although it doesn’t sound like much, a 400 watt solar electric system can be plenty for a camper van or bus conversion. Let’s explore further, shall we? What can 400 watts of solar panels power? If you’ve read my 200 watt write-up, then you know that 200 watts is enough for the absolute basics—a laptop, […]
A 200 watt solar electric system may not sound like a lot, but for a lot of minimalists, 200 watts is perfectly adequate. Let’s dive in! What can 200 watts of solar panels power? As always, it depends on how much power each appliance draws, but generally speaking, 200 watts is enough to power: 1 […]
The difference between series and parallel circuits is actually very easy to understand. A simple diagram (as it relates to solar panels and off-grid electrical systems) demonstrates the difference. But that’s just the tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) version for those who wanted a quick answer. There’s actually much more to this concept. Let’s start […]
Why is understanding volts, amps, and watts important? Understanding volts, amps, watts, and how they relate to each other is the foundation of every perfectly-sized solar electric system. Every decision made will be based on this understanding, so it’s important that you’re crystal clear about what these terms mean. In order to size your solar […]
Solar energy is trending these days. It’s good for the environment, it’s renewable, and best of all, it saves money in the long run. But it’s still rather mysterious, isn’t it? How does the energy get from the solar panels to your appliances? What are all those wires for? How Does Solar Power Work??? For […]
Typical Solar Panel Dimensions These numbers are general approximations only. Actual numbers will vary. Be sure to check manufacturer specifications for dimensions specific to your solar panel model. 20 watt panel: 20 in. x 14 in. x 1 in., weight 5 lbs. 50 watt panel: 26 in. x 21 in. x 1.2 in., weight 10 […]
Start Going Solar With These 5 Steps If you’re thinking about going solar, you probably have the exact same question that I did when I started thinking about solar: Where do I start??? Having been through all of this before, I know it can be a little daunting to jump right in, especially if you […]
So, you’re thinking about going solar, eh? Great! If you’re not entirely sure that going solar is right for you, then you’re probably wondering what the advantages and disadvantages are of installing a solar power system. We’ll help you make your decision by listing everything out for you. Solar Energy Advantages There are tons of […]