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Off The Grid

I'm going to live off-grid. Read my blog and learn how to do it yourself!

Archive for August, 2011

Pros and cons of flexible solar panels

I bought my first solar panel (not taking into account the ones I had in my calculator or watch) in 2006 r., and it was a flexible 10 Wp (PowerFlex 10 from ICPSolar). With the charge controller I had and a typical lead-acid car battery, it was my first solar system I used in my RV (camper van).

At the moment I have in my RV two standard solar panels (laminated in glass) and lead-acid deep cycle batteries (as far as I remember, AGM – absorber glass mat – type). I used both the standard solar panels and the flexible ones, so I have an idea on what are the pros and cons of two types of solar panels. (more…)

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  • Filed under: electricity
  • A week off the grid on a campsite

    Last week I returned home from a short summer holiday which I spent in my Vanagon Camper (RV) in Łeba, a town on the Baltic Sea coast. As I own two solar panels (40 Wp each) and two gel batteries, I decided not to pay for the electrical connection and use my own power.

    The prices for using the grid on the campsites in Poland are extreme. From your point of view probably it’s as cheap as everything here (10-15 PLN per day = $3-5 / day = 2.5-3.7€/day), but if you compare that price to the price of energy (0.5 PLN/kWh) it’s not worth it.

    On the other hand, since I paid for the solar panels only about 900 PLN, this investment pays for itself after 60-90 days on the campsite, which is in my case equivalent to roughly 4-6 years of camping holidays. Of course that doesn’t take into account the batteries, charge controller and wiring that is not free either. (more…)

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  • Filed under: electricity
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