The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Mounting Harbor Freight solar panels

Harbor Freight solar panels mounted on top of wood shed.

The recent power outage motivated me to find a place to mount our solar panels.

The red cable should be enough tension to handle moderate levels of wind.

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

Curious how many watts those panels produce. It probably says on the back.

I'm just about ready to order 1 kw of replacement panels for my house..

Also, do you still need a charge controller, or how are you charging batteries from those?

Comment by Wed May 31 14:42:24 2017

I'm no expert, but for perspective: The HF system is rated @ 45W. IF (a very bog IF) it could really produce that for 5 hr/d and it lasted you 20 yrs (unlikely). AND if you used all the juice it produced, then you're getting power for ~ $0.12 /kW-hr--very competitive with commercial production costs AND you don't have to pay the taxes, so it's really cheaper. BUT-- you'll probably really double the cost due to inefficiency & erratic weather. And if you're only using it as "back up," then your costs per kW-hr go way up.

You need to add the cost of a battery to the HF system (~$70 for a 35 amp-hr unit). That will take 3-4 days to fully charge, but you can run a typical laptop for 50-70 hrs on that charged battery, or a 100W light for ~40hrs.

Reviews I've read suggest the HF kit is convenient for the inexperienced but can suffer from quality issues.

Comment by doc Thu Jun 1 07:50:49 2017
The power of nature - ocean waves or wind is greater than people imagine. I would anchor this down a bit more
Comment by Jim Thu Jun 1 09:06:38 2017

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.