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Power From Sun

Informational Slides | Buy DIY Package


Power from the sun unit

Welcome to our site!

I'm guessing that you'd like some straightforward (and not too complex) answers about solar electricity. Such as: what kind of system might you need depending on your individual circumstances (or if you even need solar at all!).


Questions you might have:

    1. How can I produce solar electric (photovoltaic) power as cheaply as possible, especially for emergencies?

    2. Do I need a whole house system, and will solar work if the grid goes down?

    3. How long are solar panels and the electronics involved likely to last?

    4. Can I DIY a solar power system or do I need to hire professionals to help me?

    5. What's the future of solar, especially now that some utilities refuse to credit solar generation?


Well, here we go...

I've been experimenting with solar power since the 90's and it was only in the early 2000's that
I published the People's Guide to Basic Solar Power which sold thousands of copies on the internet at $14.95 before I completely revised it a few years ago (it's now The Solar Solution.)

I received many testimonials over the years (click to Testimonials here) that this guide made solar understandable. FINALLY people were able to start putting together a small system to be used to power up some obvious things--like lights, electronics and a few essentials like a garage door opener! For many of them, this was the solar "aha" moment...


Now, to the above questions...:

  1. The first thing you should know about solar electricity is that it will never be totally "free" because in order to harvest the rays of the sun you need manufactured panels that convert photons to electricity (DC power) that can be stored in a battery. The panels have come down greatly in cost, to as little as 75 cents for a watt of energy output, from $5 watt about 20 years ago when I first started experimenting with them. In other words, a panel that is rated at 180 watts might now cost as little as $145 and CONTINUOUSLY generate that 180 watts (as long as the sun shines!). The rather startling thing is that a small but practical system (expandable) using that same 180 watt panel and peripherals can cost considerably less than $1000 to put together yourself!!

  2. The August 2016 issue of Consumer Reports has the best article I have ever seen on whole house solar electric system pros and cons ("Shedding Light of Solar Power"). I'm happy to send a copy for $5 p&h, make checks out to Crisis Response Publishing, POB 1681, Cambria, CA 93428. (Or free when you order the solar manual). The article reveals that your best bet is to BUY your system, NOT lease it or get a loan for it, and gives the reasons why. This is a topic that drives people nuts, and it shouldn't. The only real question is, do you want to between $10,000-$25,000 (or more) to have your own whole house solar system? With rebates and tax credits that amount will come down some. Obviously, leasing is a lot cheaper upfront, but has some serious few pitfalls. Also, if your electric bill runs only $100 a month or so, having solar won't pencil out for years. And what many don't understand is that if the grid goes down, your solar won't work at all! (Most solar electric systems are tied into the electric grid). Tesla has developed a back-up battery system called the Wall, but that will add a few thou to your purchase. (But it's clearly the future...)

  3. Solar panels are generally warrantied for 25 years but unless they are damaged by a falling tree or lightning strike they will likely last MUCH LONGER, with only a slight reduction in power generated. I have USED panels that are 20 years old and still cranking out juice just fine. If you use the deep cycle batteries I recommend for my back-up/supplemental system I have detailed in The Solar Solution manual, they will last up to five years or longer as long as they are kept "watered" and fully charged. Inverters (DC to AC) rarely fail nor do charge controllers but they are not too costly to replace if you really have to...

  4. This is where I was a pioneer back in the early 2000's. I was at one time completely ignorant about working around electricity--hadn't even changed a light switch--and my first small solar electric system (with a 50 watt panel) was installed in 1993 in my motor home with very little help from me. A guy who raced "solar cars" across Australia did it. But soon enough I was forced to do the maintenance (I wore rubber gloves!) and amazingly I have never been SHOCKED on any of my low voltage systems. (Happened once on a whole house system). Obviously, I survived! The answer is, OF COURSE you can learn to put together a small back up/supplementary system and my manual tells you exactly how to go about it, for about $700 (2000 watt continuous output that will run most appliances). That price INCLUDES the batteries-everything you will need. We call the unit EE-BASIC (see pix at the slide show below).

  5. Solar power is not going away and is an excellent long term investment however you do it--starting small or buying a house size system. Right now (2017) there are solar farms in California generating so much power that utilities are GIVING IT AWAY to other states just to make sure it gets used (adequate large scale storage is still years away). Solar panels are starting to change form (such as into roof tiles) but those somewhat ugly rigid rectangles will be here for many years to come--BUT available even more cheaply. Increasingly, utilities are cutting back on how much they will credit your solar power generation on your bill, if they will do it at all. Shame on them! (A DIY system avoids any corporate complicity).


On this site is a slide show that reveals some reasons why you might want to have a basic DIY system (for emergencies or supplemental power), what it can power up, and the cost which you already know (under $1000).. And for those who want to get started by having just a few of the components of a small system, we have an introductory package--which will work off a standard car battery to provide some AC power (includes small solar panel). At least it will give you a feel for some of the components a solar electric system entails (on a small scale).


Or just go ahead and get The Solar Solution manual which has ALL the information you need about suppliers etc. so you can get started building EE BASIC, our 2000 watt solar generator, right away. Guess what: many of the components can be obtained locally (such as the batteries from Costco!).

I want to thank you for reading through this. You now know a lot more about solar electricity than most people, and if you do decide to have your own small (or large) system, you'll be way ahead of the game. If you do purchase the introductory package you'll have an opportunity to ask questions directly from me during business hours.


P.S. There is a money back guarantee on all materials if returned in good condition.



William L. Seavey
Crisis Response Publishing
POB 1681
Cambria, CA 93428
(near Hearst Castle)



Buy DIY Package


Use pause button to pause as needed


The introductory DIY Solar Solution Starter Kit
all for only $99

(DIY Solar Solution instruction guide ONLY, $29)


You get:

  • The Solar Solution Detailed Instruction Manual with full color illustrations and full materials list. Value $29

  • 400 Watt DC to AC Invertor (750 Watt Surge) with clips for any 12 volt battery, can be used in DIY system. Value: $35

  • 5 watt framed solar panel with clips to charge any 12 volt battery (including your car battery), value $40

  • 45 minute DVD (public demo of "EE Basic" in actual operation along with DIY basic rainwater harvesting system) Value: $15

  • Ten Minute Phone Consultation in U.S. or Canada (10-5 pst). We have Canada calling. Value: $10

  • NEW! Solar Financing (6 options for homeowners) for when/if you upgrade to a whole house solar electric system--an article from energy think tank Rocky Mountain Institute.


Total value $139, you pay only $99.


"Buy Now" Button below.

OPTION ONE: DIY Solar Solution instruction guide ONLY $29

OPTION TWO: Complete Package, $99

OPTION THREE: Personal checks or money orders for $29.00 or $99.00 payable to Crisis Response Publishing, P.O. Box 1681, Cambria, CA 93428 (personal checks will be held seven days for clearance).

The Solar Solution DIY manual will be sent FIRST CLASS MAIL in the U.S. and the Complete Package by PRIORITY MAIL (2-3 day delivery).

The Solar Solution DIY Manual or Complete Package

continous power

Sun Power

©2016 Bill Seavey


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