Deaf guy trying to understand all these thing about solar lol

LostEar

New Member
Hello, everyone. Saw Will's YouTube channel and accidentally clicked a link to this forum. I'm liking what I'm seeing so far so decided to sign up. Currently I'm living in a camper at my parent's property. Was only supposed to be here for a couple months til I gets back on my feet (Had just quit a job that was burning me out) but I arrived right before the pandemic upended everything. So for now I'm just relaxing and working on overhauling and converting my popup camper into a hard-sided camper. I'm deaf. Have been struggling to find jobs so for now I'm focusing on getting off the grid to minimize all of my long term expenses. Also to make me far more mobile if I find a job elsewhere. Deaf communities is kind of small but really spread out so I've moved to Montana for one deaf related jobs and then moved to PA for another for example. And now there's apparently a possible job for me in the next school year in Mississippi (Depending on the virus). I'm in Alabama right now and really hoping to maybe find a place/job in Colorado or further west (got some family scattered out there). My camper itself is only 61.5 sqft and I'm enjoying it so far! Just can't wait to finish up all the builds on it!

I wasn't too sure how I want to set up my solar power system until I started watching some of the YouTube videos on the topic. Thought about getting some goalzero type stuff. Now I'm wanting to build it completely. However, I do get somewhat easily overwhelmed when trying to learn all of these technical stuff. So it'll be slow going for me and I probably going to be asking annoying questions til I figure it out lol. I do have a few months before I can get on the road so I have time. Anyway, my goal solar power system is this...

MPPT 24v system with two 100W moveable panels on a PVC pipe stands. I want to park my camper in the shade at times so will have to sit the panels separately. With a complete focus on multiple USB charging devices including raspberry pi. I do have a ps4 that I want to be able to power but I wouldn't be running that 24/7. However, I do have a ceiling mounted AC that I'm not entirely sure is feasible for me to be able to run off the solar power. So basically the AC inverter is low priority cause I can handle not gaming for a little while and I can always find other way to cool down if I must. So yeah, just two items that runs off AC in any form. I do have a laptop but I'm switching to my iPad for most computing need and the Raspberry Pi for the occasional stuff that the iPad cannot handle (like transferring eBooks to my hacked nook ereader or organizing my personal files on external storage). Hoping to sell the laptop once I have a process in place for my computing need.

As for USB devices, Several of the more heavily used items charges via USB-c and the rest charges off MicroUSB. So I'm likely wanting to have all of my usb ports to be higher quality and can handle the USB c higher demands.

I also have a few other things that I'm working on converting to DC only. I'm ordering a special USB cable for my game boy micro (it originally have an AC plug but that's easy to replace). I have a hair trimmer that charges off AC but I'm looking into modifying the cord to charges via USB or just buy a new hair trimmer that can actually charges via USB (anybody find one?).

I've been doing somewhat okay so far with 1 usb c 20w charger and two generic usb ports on my power strip. So I don't expect to need to wire too much stuff up. Main challenge will be running the wire for usb power all the way around the camper to the bedside. The solar power system is expected to be built out in front of the camper and the bed is in the back.

I also want to install a diesel heater so I will need to connect that to the power system too. It'll be mounted in the front too, close to where the fridge used to be (there's an external ventilation panel there that I intend to take advantage of to reduce the risk of CO poisoning). I'm also going to be building an arduino setup where it can trigger my portable deaf alarm clock whenever any alarms (CO alarms, Smoke detector, etc...) starts beeping and whatnot. Haven't figured out the power setup for that but likely it'll have its own battery so it's still running even if the solar power fails. My built in lighting have a 12v auto plug cord for it so I'm hoping to redo the wiring for the light and connect it directly to the solar power system. Not too sure of how much power I need for that but it shouldn't be too bad as I intend to install more efficient and brighter 1156 led for that.

I feel that I've considered a lot of stuff. But I'm just not actually too sure of how to go about setting everything up. Hope to learn all I needs here! ^_^
 

RickP

Solar Power Padawan
Welcome to the forums, and best of luck in your employment pursuits! There is a ton of information available here, almost to the point of info overload when you’re new to it all. The link in my sig below will take you to a FAQ here that you can use to chain link to everything you need.

To do list:

1. Learn what you need to know to define your power usage for each item.

2. Use the above info, in a mix and match type format, to determine what you can actually count on powering with what you have in hand.

3. Use 1 and 2 above to determine what you would need to add to meet your needs.

Yep, just 1, 2, 3! But you’ll see that sorting those things takes some reading, study on options, testing your assumptions, and selecting of components. Every second researching will save hours of disappointment and frustration.

Dive in, ask questions, stay positive!
 

fhorst

making mistakes so you don't have to...
My uncle and aunt are/where deaf.
He passed away a few years back.

Architect and ingineer, studied at the most prestigious university in the Netherlands.

My aunt became famous artist, and now (before pandemic) loves to travel by train (+80 years :). )

Each period have its own struggles.
What an invention speech to braille phones and later computers and internet.

Both are the most positive people I've ever met, greatest respect!!!
I know where they came from and the sacrifices they made

Being deaf isn't easy, it's also not the end of the world and with modern technology, many jobs don't really require face to face communication.

Building yourself is a great adventure.
You will pay some learning curve lessons and probably fry some components.

At the end of the day..
That might even be your next job.
Building and installation of Solar and LiFePO4.

And why not?
High demand for skilled people.
Especially with the current LiFePO4 and solar pricing, this really takes off.
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
Don't buy things until you've designed a system with component parameters that work together.
Don't pay high retail for 100W PV panels if you can get used 250W panels for a fraction the price.
Check out SanTan Solar. Probably not worth shipment of a couple panels, but you'll get an idea of what you should pay locally for panels.
Fans are more practical than A/C, but three 250W PV panels for about $50 each and a 2kW inverter would run a small window A/C.
 

CircuitsActivated

New Member
Hello and welcome to the forum. I am new to solar and this forum as well. I want to share something with you that I did not share in my introduction post. I am legally blind, I was born with Optic Atrophy. My optic nerves did not fully form. I am not black blind, but I do not see well and am very near sited. I typed that to share the idea of you and I are over comers. Our disabilities are different but both of us live in a world where someone who can not see/hear/walk, etc can at times be passed by or looked over. I am proud of you for doing what you do. Keep learning, ask questions, etc. You will never know unless you attempt it. I can not drive but I can work on vehicles as a hobby to help others. I may not be able to solder tiny components, but I can solder wires. While I live on a fixed income, I can still enjoy the things in life money can not buy. Keep on keepin’ on and you will obtain your goal. Thanks to the dude that suggested SanTan Solar. Now we have another source to explore and learn from. Will’s solar book is on Kindle Unlimited for free as well.
 

pollenface

Solar Addict
Keep an eye out for people upgrading their house panels. You will often see people almost giving their old panels away just to get rid of them (more money than brains).
 
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