My Simple, Affordable DIY Solar Electric Generating System for Emergencies/Back-up Power!! (Under $1000!)
Thank you for coming to my site.
I'm Bill Seavey and I've been experimenting with what I call "basic" solar power for nearly 25 YEARS.
I started with a small 40 watt solar panel on my 20' motorhome and eventually outfitted my 900 sq. ft. "strawbale" house in Baja, Mexico with a system that would run lights, pumps and electronics in general. I now have an even better system in my 2400 sq. ft. California home.
Eventually (2002) I wrote a tech manual on these small systems (see Testimonials elsewhere on this site) which has sold thousands on the internet to every state in the union and province in Canada. (It's even gotten overseas). The tech manuaL needed updating so I have come out with a brand new edition in 2013...and taken it to a completely new level!
It's called The Solar Solution (A Simple, Affordable, Portable DIY Generating System for
Emergencies/Back Up Power).
No, I am not an electrical contractor or an engineer. I started out not even knowing how to change a light switch! Which suggests that anyone, male or female, who is basically handy (and open to new ideas) can do this. AND IT IS PERFECTLY SAFE.
I shouldn't have to tell you that there are some very, very serious problems with the nationwide electrical grid. It's subject to possible terrorism and overcapacity--but more than likely you may have personally experienced occasional or fairly long-term outages due to natural disasters or emergencies--such as (1)tornadoes (2)hurricanes (3)heat waves, (4)earthquakes, (5)icing of electrical lines, or even sun storms.
Hey, I live in a neighborhood in coastal California where trees fall on electrical lines all the time when the wind blows and rain falls fairly heavily.. We've had outages lasting as long as three days...
Need I mention Hurricane Sandy? Or Katrina? One estimate is that as many as 60 million people (!) were without power at the height of Sandy. (Source: Carl Bialik column, Wall Street Journal, 11/10/2012). It was way more than an inconvenience....
The solution, if you can call it that, has been back-up power via gasoline or diesel generators....
But what if you can't get the fuel? (There were long gas lines during Sandy). And then there is the fact that generators are noisy, smelly and difficult to even start if you are a novice. They have been known to fry your electronics. Yes, they are affordable (unless wired into your house) compared to most larger scale solar electric systems (which, by the way, shut down if they are grid-tied to the electric company--few realize that. They don't generally come with battery back-up!)
I'll take some credit in developing the concept of low cost SOLAR back-up generation before some of the largest manufacturers got into the game. But alas, what's out there is generally inadequate, and WAY OVERPRICED..
For several thousand dollars some of these off-the-shelf solar powered units are MERE TOYS. Why?? Because they are not really designed to provide power for DAYS, as opposed to a few hours. Quite simply, they skimp on the number of batteries needed, and the solar panel they provide is almost always too small to recharge the batteries quickly enough.
So caveat emptor!
In the slide presentation that follows I will discuss the issues related to the need for emergency or supplemental power, and why what I am offering is FAR SUPERIOR. And it shows you precisely what appliances and tools my system will power up.
And my latest manual, The Solar Solution, will give you complete DIY instructions on how to assemble a 2000 watt (2k) system that is, dollar for dollar, comparable to gasoline generators-- without the negatives. I feel strongly that 2000 watts or so capacity is the "sweet spot" for back up generation--1000 watts is too low, and 3000-5000 watts, while desirable, may simply be too expensive, whether solar or fossil fuel generation.
PLEASE NOTE: We wish we could sell you a ready made kit, with every component, but at this time it is only available in our local area. We are open to finding a firm which can outsource this aspect of our expanding operations. (Prices on such a kit as visible on the slide show can only be approximate at this time.)
FYI, the slide show was presented to a high tech business start-up incubator in San Luis Obispo, California called Softec (affiliated with Cal Poly University). We were semi-finalists. The unit itself was displayed and utilized two years at a local "green" festival.
So what is the bottom line cost for the solar generator described in The Solar Solution when fully assembled? It is an amazingly low $750 or so for all the components INCLUDING an adequate size solar panel and the batteries (readily available locally). The Solar Solution manual explains everything in detail, gives supplier addresses (much of what you need can be obtained at a Home Depot or Lowes), and is illustrated with clear diagrams.
After you assemble all the parts, you can put this together in a HALF DAY even if you don't know how to change a light switch! (Like me 25 years ago...).
The Solar Solution DIY Manual, by itself, sells for only $49 (postpaid in the U.S. or Canada). We are also offering a 400 watt (800 watt surge) inverter that could become part of your system (can also attach to a car battery for emergency AC power), a 15 minute telephone consultation to answer any questions you might have, our original best selling solar manual (The People's Guide), a book that includes a chapter on green investing (see details at thecrisisinvestor.com) and a 20 minute DVD of our Solar Solution System, in action at Seavey's home in California (along with his innovative rain water catchment installation). All for only $125.
So welcome to the world of affordable green energy! I sincerely hope this is the answer to your concerns and worries about power outages, whatever their cause may be in your part of the country. It has certainly been an answer to ours.