12 volt electricity

I really enjoy living offgrid, but I do want some power.

My requirements:

  1. Light at night
  2. Run Macbook (no battery so needs to run off power direct)
  3. Charge (different) laptop battery
  4. Charge mobile phone
  5. Charge other devices eg small 2000ah battery backups for mobile, 12volt hoover, drill, minirig
    audio speaker

So notice I don’t want a fridge or indeed anything that uses a huge amount of power. I will need an inverter to charge/run the computers.

This situation has forced me to buy a smartfone, my first, and whilst that is regrettable in some ways, I can’t really see what else I could have done and it is handy to hotspot the phone and have internet on my laptop in bed, like right now weeeeeeee.

My setup:

item specifics cost supplier
solar panel 100W 90euro marktplaats
battery Dynac 31DC Semi tractie 102 Ah 110euro marktplaats
inverter HQ 300watt 60euro internet
charge regulator CMTP01-DU 15euro marktplaats
solar cabling 8metres 8euro marktplaats
fuse, 20A to stop fires 5 euro markplaats
LED lights 5xG4 10euros LED lampen direct
TOTAL = 298euro

This seems pretty awesome to me to have an energy system for under 300euro. For those of you scoffing, remember this is an initial outlay, but then that’s practically it! Sure things will need to be replaced but no monthly bills!!
In more detail:

  • panel 100euros, found a guy (an engineer) on marktplaats (dutch ebay) who sells panels in his spare time and who gave me excellent advice
  • battery 100euros, really great price, again found a local guy on marktplaats
  • regulator 15euros, was stoked about this coz it had a usb socket, very nice, again off marktplaats (guy had ordered something else from china and the regulator got sent by accident! i had to explain to him what it was)
  • inverter 60euros (dutch made), spent a while finding exactly what i wanted online, then bought it
  • LED bulbs found a local hardware shop that sells them, also bought some online (2euro-5euro)

What’s been fun is that the house has lots of cables everywhere (it used to be a bank, then a japanse garden centre) so i’ve done some rewiring to get lights on switches in the lounge, bedroom, kitchen and toilet.

Next project = moodlighting


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