Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pentax K10D owners; Solar Power follow-up

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Well, I have been doing a lot of reading, testing, and hands-on experimenting this past week. I know now that it is indeed possible to power a small photography home studio (1000 to 1500 watts) and be off the grid most of the time. However, it is a little too costly to have a solar system supplying power twenty four hours per day via battery stored power. The amount of batteries required to continue supplying the power after sunset or during rainy days, is too expensive. At the present time, I only have 2 solar panels, one 12v deep cycle battery (for storing excess), one solar charge controller and a 400 watt inverter and a APC UPS. That is a good enough system to power my laptop, printer, and external larger monitor. Of course it has all the capabilities to recharge all my K10D and K100D camera batteries, Flash, cell phones, iPod, etc. My current backup battery ($153.00 at Costco) stores enough power to keep me going about 1 to 2 hours after the Solar Panels stop functioning. In order to keep my equipment from damages, I installed an APC Surge protector/battery back-up. If the power gets dangerously low, the APC Uninterrupted Power Supply takes over, and within it’s 5 to 10 minutes reserve and software, securely shuts down my system and save the files so that nothing is lost. Keep in mind that the laptop also has its own battery, which can add another hour or so to the system. I still prefer using my Desktop when working with Photoshop. It’s a much faster system. I suppose I could purchase a better laptop, and maybe that’s the answer.

This is my current system.

In the months to come, I will acquire wind generator, for additional 12v DC input to the system. This will compensate for night and of course when it’s raining, and providing it’s windy.

I live in the red zone, great for sun and wind.

I live in the desert and not only is it sunny most of the time, but like clockwork; it gets windy every afternoon around 1:00 P.M. through the next morning. It rains very seldom, so it should work great in this area. .Once both systems are in place, adding additional Solar Panels will eventually be enough to power my complete Desktop system and maybe more. The wind generator is available right now from Amazon for less than $500.00

This is my future expanded system.

My total cost for the current system is about $450.00. It will take a long time to save enough on my electric bill to justify the system monetarily wise, but ecologically wise, I’m doing my small part. Once I add the wind generator, I will reach the $1,000 theshold for my project.

Thanks for reading,

Yvon Bourque

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