Monday, October 27, 2008

Solar No Mo'

I tested the solar panel again and it was only reading 6 volts in the sun. Well shit. I scanned the sheet of 144 cells, arranged in 12x12 rows and remembered the time when a light would go out on the christmas tree and we had to find the burnt-out bulb by going through every one of them on the string.

The cells themselves are so fragile, my soldering so shoddy, and with winter approaching and the bus only getting a few hours of evening sunlight, I decided it was best to dismantle it and put it up for sale. I sold the cells along with the controller, inverter, and four of the 35ah batteries.

This leaves me with a 350 watt inverter and a 60ah battery pack. The nice thing about this pack is it is small enough to be carried. After the third day in the bus I will take the battery inside to charge, or charge it while I am writing at the coffee shop. It will be fine for supplying some juice for my computer and the heater.

It's a shame the solar setup is not going to work out, but at least i had the experience of putting it together myself. I think I will start my "retreat" this week.

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