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Products for weaning off oil

By: Skyepony , 3:30 PM GMT on July 09, 2006

What I'm looking for here is actual products you can buy that get us off the oil. I'll add links to these world savers up here as they come in.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Light My Shed~ I looked into running power out to my barn. The cost for the extra electrical box & wiring work was gonna be $500, with me digging the ditch. Purchased one of these, they throw alot of light, easy to install ~20 mins (no professional, ditch digging or permits involed). Saved $400 & have free light.

Getting the house to quit feeding off an oil grid...
Solar Water Heaters
Solar Solutions They also sell water pumps.
Northern Arizona Wind & Sun Also sell water pumps & cell phone chargers. The windmills were pretty cheap, but they warn to check with locals about feeding back onto the grid.
Solar panels, windmills & smaller solar generators

Solar Generators~ For when the lights go out & you don't feel like dealing with a gas generator.
Build your own~ super easy~ less than $300, AC & or DC, higher output too.
Brief case style for DC power, stronger than battery packs ~$138
Power Packs with solar panel chargers
Coleman Portable Power Kit

Rebates & Insentives
The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)
FPL Alternative Energy Page A must for Floridians

What Not~
Solar Watches
Solar Calculators
UCSY~ These people make really well priced solar cell phone, laptop & camera chargers. As well as a product that makes drinking water from air.
Batteryless Flashlight ~shake to recharge, LED light, less than $13.00
All sorts of solar gadjets From lanterns, battery chargers, air conditioned hats, lights, kids toys, panels & etc.
Make a solar cooker from cardboard boxes & aluminum foil

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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91. otis
12:15 AM GMT on September 16, 2006
My Dad built his own solar heating forced air panels back in the 80's using a storm door frame,aluminum sheeting painted furnace flat black, a small electric motor, R13 insulation and a panel wood back. and yes with a lexan outer sheet. It really put out the BTU's. It was low tech but material(minus the lexan)cost was low as well.
Living up here in Titletown, WI(yes the place with the stale ice bowl replays whenever they mention us) BTU's are more the point than electric. But I was thinking of powering the panels with solar electric when available. I'm checking out your links.
Thanks for responding to my blog skyepony!
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90. Fshhead
8:35 AM GMT on August 06, 2006
World must race to develop green energy, urges Rees

· Research drive 'must rival the Apollo moon project'
· Royal Society president warns of climate disaster

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Friday August 4, 2006
The Guardian

An urgent project on the scale of the Apollo moon landings is needed to boost research into green energy sources and save the planet from environmental disaster, according to Britain's top scientist.
Writing in the US journal Science today, Sir Martin Rees, president of Britain's most prestigious scientific institute, the Royal Society, expresses dismay at G8 leaders' "worrisome lack of determination" to accelerate development of new energy sources, given the expected 50% rise in the world's energy needs - and carbon dioxide emissions - in the next 25 years.

He warns that without an international, focused programme to develop alternatives to fossil fuels it will be impossible to keep greenhouse gas emissions low enough to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Calling for a programme with the single-minded commitment of the US Apollo programme, Professor Rees suggests an exploration of alternative energy sources with at least 10 times the $1.5bn a year funding that goes into researching nuclear fusion, a cleaner and safer alternative to conventional nuclear power.

"The Apollo project, like the Manhattan project, is an example where a goal was given a high priority and showed things can be done much more rapidly than would have happened in the normal course of events. The scale of funds needed is small in proportion to the scale of the problem and the trillions of dollars now being spent on energy," he said.

A carbon tax on companies generating the most greenhouse gas could be used to fund the project. "Private companies themselves won't provide an adequate research effort even for technologies that may turn out to be the most important ones, because they're still furthest from market," Prof Rees said.

According to the International Energy Agency, 80% of the world's energy needs will be met by fossil fuels by 2030. Nuclear, hydroelectric, biomass and waste power will provide only 17%, with other renewables such as solar and wind accounting for less than 2%.

But David Baker, a British scientist who joined Nasa's Apollo programme in the 1960s, said rather than copying the Apollo programme, oil and other energy companies should be forced to participate.

"We know what is happening to the climate and we need a concerted sharing of the problem throughout the whole of industry. Why should it be borne wholly by government when there are these companies making huge profits out of all of us?" he said.

This is what I have been saying all along. You cannot tell me this country cannot do this if it REALLY focuses on it!!!!

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89. LakeWorthFinn
6:11 PM GMT on August 01, 2006
Hi {{{Skye}}}, thanx for the great graphics at Dr. Masters's blog yesterday. Love to read your input. Have a wunderful day!
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88. Fshhead
7:20 AM GMT on July 31, 2006
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87. Skyepony
2:38 PM GMT on July 30, 2006
Hey all thanks for coming by & keeping the blog afloat. I added fshhead's coleman portable power pack & some more federal insentives for installing large solar & wind stuff. Looks like ya got til dec 31, '07 to get the big bucks back from the govt.

YellowPitts~ Ya got any good links to some solar stuff? & I really enjoyed your blog.

Cregnebaa~ I'll grant you the saved the world a little this week award...That Yucca put ya over the top..lol.


Herminator~ I checked into it & Lexan is even a stronger panel protector. It's used on the high end ones. Think I'll go with that on my little barn panel. Thanks again though, hadn't thought of it & hail is a factor here.

Here's a link to the Australian company fshhead mentioned.
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86. Fshhead
7:19 AM GMT on July 30, 2006
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85. Fshhead
7:56 PM GMT on July 29, 2006
I found another interesting solar power pack. I think it would be good for hurricane season & it's made by Coleman.

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84. LakeWorthFinn
6:30 PM GMT on July 29, 2006
This blog needs a ^ and the owner a {{{hug}}} !
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83. Fshhead
7:23 AM GMT on July 29, 2006
NSW turns on light for climate change
Friday Jul 28 09:24 AEST
Almost 150,000 NSW households are helping to close a power station and combat climate change by changing their light bulbs, an Australian company says.

The company, Easy Being Green, says NSW residents are the first in the world to tackle greenhouse emissions by entering the world of carbon trading.

Easy Being Green chief executive Paul Gilding says the company is distributing free climate-change starter packs, containing six energy-saving light bulbs and one AAA-rated water-saving shower head, around the state.

In less than a year, 145,000 householders have agreed to install the packs, and Mr Gilding says each pack stops one tonne of greenhouse gas pollution entering the earth's atmosphere each year.

The company's target is to reach one million homes, with pollution reduction equivalent to that of closing down a small coal-fired power station of about 200mW, or taking 300,000 cars off the road.

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82. Cregnebaa
2:08 PM GMT on July 28, 2006
If your going to go for a solar watch, Citizen Eco drive is good, personally I prefer my solar powered sundial, but it's a bit big for my wrist.

I also have sold my car and replaced it for a bike. Alot more enjoyable to get to work, although I do arrive a lot more sweaty than I used to.

Also just purchased a solar powered CO2 scrubber in the shape of a Yuka plant, be warned though this doesn' work at night

Jokes aside this a good blog, keep up the good work
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81. FLCrackerGirl
1:51 PM GMT on July 28, 2006
:o) Go Green & Conserve.
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80. seflagamma
7:20 PM GMT on July 27, 2006
Hi Skye,

Haven't stopped by your blog in a while; actually there are many out there I still haven't made it to in weeks. I do see you around and enjoy your comments!
Take care,
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79. Fshhead
7:17 PM GMT on July 27, 2006
Here's another pic of the 0-60 mph. electric car

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78. YellowPitts
8:16 AM GMT on July 27, 2006
Ho ho ho. Just seen the image of the SS over your home. Would I not have liked to see a launch. LOL. Have been using all solar since visiting the African bush. It is amazing how many products are out there! Regards
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77. Fshhead
8:07 AM GMT on July 27, 2006
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76. Trouper415
9:33 PM GMT on July 25, 2006
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentleman.

I just watched the video at KickTheOilHabit.org and it was GREAT.

We need now for Republicans and Democrats to unite on certain issues such as this one as we are all being negatively affected by them.

Great work all.
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75. Fshhead
11:12 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
Found another good one. Check out this link. Click the logo!!!!

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74. Fshhead
7:08 PM GMT on July 24, 2006
slipped off the main page, get on back up there LOL!!!!
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73. Skyepony
8:59 PM GMT on July 22, 2006
Thanks for stopping by all! I figured that waterspout pic would keep this place bumped up while I got a little book time in. Best thing out of the book was solar cookers, I never heard of them. The great part is you can make them from 2 cardboard boxes, glue, aluminium foil & a little black paint. I'm thinking afternoon project with the kid. Cooking in the house just makes everyone hot this time of year. & I would have loved one of these after more than 1 'cane. I'll post a link or two up top.

Notes for the solar generator project~ Figure out how long any # of watts will run off what ever volt, how everymany # Ah battery. Oh this is sweet.

Herminator~ wins tip of the week award:) I had wondered about hail.

Awesome car Fshhead..

$60 atomic watch for Trouper.

no luck on an affordable pendulum wrist watch...go solar!lol

For Lemonbalm (happy to see you still lurking)~

For those that don't think light pollution isn't rampit check out this satalite pic (but ya gotta look at night since it is near real time)...Link

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72. Fshhead
6:59 PM GMT on July 21, 2006
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71. Herminator
10:23 AM GMT on July 21, 2006
Here's another tip ... If you live in an area where you get big hail (1/4 inch or bigger), attempt to put a layer of plexiglass over your solar array. I have a solar fence charger and the panel was damaged by hail. I glued a piece of plexiglass over the array and haven't had a problem since. I should have put it on in the first place but ...
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70. aquak9
9:08 AM GMT on July 21, 2006
skye...great pics! I just happenned to notice that you posted new ones, and that waterspout was from yesterday. I've never seen anything like that before w/my own eyes, nor have I ever seen a live tornado. Don't want to, either!

Thank you for sharing the cool weather pics! (and the bunny is too cute, too!) sincerely, Aqua
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69. Trouper415
8:58 AM GMT on July 21, 2006
I saw a 150,000 dollar watch in popular science that had a pendulum inside of it that swung as you walked or moved your arm, constantly winding it without a battery or electricity.

Just goes to show that you can take advantage of many types of energy you might not have thought of.

Awsome watch made by Porsche hehehehe.
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68. Fshhead
7:13 AM GMT on July 21, 2006
K, Pony...
I found the ultimate way to get off the oil. People always complain the electric cars are going to be slow......

Battery-Fueled Car Will Smoke You

By Joshua Davis, from Wired magazine 12:00 PM Jul, 19, 2006

Martin Eberhard holds the brake down with his left foot and presses on the accelerator with his right. The motor revs, the car strains against the brake. I hear ... almost nothing. Just a quiet whine like the sound of a jet preparing for takeoff 5 miles away. We're belted into a shimmering black sports car on a quiet, tree-lined street in San Carlos, California, 23 miles south of San Francisco. It has taken Eberhard three years to get this prototype ready for mass production, but with the backing of PayPal cofounder Elon Musk, Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and ex-eBay chief Jeff Skoll, he has created Silicon Valley's first real auto company.

"You see any cops?" Eberhard asks, shooting me a mischievous look. The car is vibrating, ready to launch. I'm the first journalist to get a ride.

He releases the brake and my head snaps back. One-one-thousand: I get a floating feeling, like going over the falls in a roller coaster. Two-one-thousand: The world tunnels, the trees blur. Three-one-thousand: We hit 60 miles per hour. Eberhard brakes. We're at a standstill again -- elapsed time, nine seconds. When potential buyers get a look at the vehicle this summer, it will be among the quickest production cars in the world. And, compared to other supercars like the Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari Enzo, and Lamborghini Diablo, it's a bargain. More intriguing: It has no combustion engine.

The trick? The Tesla Roadster is powered by 6,831 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries -- the same cells that run a laptop computer. Range: 250 miles. Fuel efficiency: 1 to 2 cents per mile. Top speed: more than 130 mph. The first cars will be built at a factory in England and are slated to hit the market next summer. And Tesla Motors, Eberhard's company, is already gearing up for a four-door battery-powered sedan

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67. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
6:01 AM GMT on July 21, 2006
cool an atomic clock wristwatch.. but pricy cost. -_-'
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66. cjnew
5:53 AM GMT on July 21, 2006

G'night! everybody~*~*~*
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65. lemonbalm
2:11 PM GMT on July 20, 2006
A moment out of lurking

Just had time to read a couple of posts from the beginning of this blog.

I'm all for the new compact flourescent lights. Hubby and I started switching out about three years ago and now almost everything in our house that requires a light bulb has a compact flourescent in it, even the ceiling fans and the light above our stove.

As for night lighting, ugh! Hubby is an amateur astronomer and there is nothing worse than going outside at night and not being able to see the stars because of all the light pollution.

People, if you need lights outside your home at night, please get lights that don't cause light pollution. You know, the ones that only shine the light down on the ground where you need it, not around to the sides where it just blinds everybody. And no, lights do not deter theft. Studies have been done to prove this. Improper lighting only results in more shadows for thieves to hide. Proper lighting can deter it, but not many people have proper lighting. You pay a little more for proper lighting but don't you want to be able to see the stars at night? Do people even remember that there are stars in the sky?

Back to lurk mode....
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64. seflagamma
1:49 PM GMT on July 20, 2006

Good morning to you! Hope all is well. Back at work again so will be checking in and out as I can. Have a great day!

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63. Fshhead
6:04 AM GMT on July 20, 2006
Sounds like this company needs some financial help!!!
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62. Skyepony
5:13 AM GMT on July 20, 2006
I started reading a book on solar stuff. Mainly generator. Wire size is crusail on one that big as well. I'll get back with more on that.

Checked out that company. Always looking for a good stock. & been eyeing these alternative energy ones. This isn't it's 1st aqusition. Link $0.26 a share.
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61. Fshhead
9:21 AM GMT on July 18, 2006
Merger means solar power at fossil prices
PENNINGTON, N.J., July 16 (UPI) -- Thanks to a merger, one N.J. company will be able to provide solar power at prices competitive with traditional electricity without relying on rebates.

WorldWater & Power will be responsible for the price drop as a result of its acquisition of Entech Inc., according to a report by Renewable Energy Access.com.

"Entech's patented concentrator technology also allows for the installation of massive solar "farms" with reduced requirements for solar cell materials ... and, when used in conjunction with WorldWater & Power's technology, reduces the reliance on rebates or other incentives for economic installations," according to the report.

Concentrator photovoltaic technology is one of the keys to Entech's success, according to the report. Instead of using flat photovoltaic panels to collect sunlight and convert it to electricity via a chemical reaction, concentrator technology uses mirrors to collect sunlight and concentrate it on a small patch of photovoltaic cells.

The technology is cheaper because it is composed mostly of glass mirrors, rather than expensive silicon. It is also more efficient, because the sunlight is concentrated.

"The pending acquisition ... will give us unmatched solar concentrator applications," WorldWater & Power Corp.'s chairman, Quentin T. Kelly, said via the report.

It will "(enable) us to compete on large-scale systems of one to 100 megawatts or more that can efficiently harness the sun's power for large industrial and municipal electricity supply," Kelly continued.

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60. Fshhead
8:24 AM GMT on July 18, 2006
Back up Power for 120 Volt AC Appliances and Equipment
Run hundreds of devices including: fluorescent and halogen lights,
desktop computers, power tools, stereos, TVs and VCRs.

Solar panels come with a "highest quality" charge controller to insure proper battery charging,
and a simple-to-install wire kit with easy-to-follow full color instructions.
Minimal (easy) assembly required - just a screw driver (regular and a Phillips tip).

Ahhhhh that's what I am talking about!!! Runs pc no prob'. I gotta say I rely heavily on internet for storm coverage(satellites etc..)
Being without all that after being steamrolled by a storm kinda scary when you know something else could be out there lurkin'
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59. Skyepony
4:48 AM GMT on July 18, 2006
Power pack 2
PowerPac II AC/DC Power Unit - BASE UNIT (14.8"H x 15.6"W x 12.3"D) 60 lbs.
Handle extends to 38" and is removable - 8" wheels for easy pull-along and the base unit is also easy to pick up. Has dual 120VAC receptacles and a 12v lighter socket for 12 volt devices. Inverter: 1500w for 10 min./1350w *continuous and 3000w max. surge. 60Ah sealed battery. AC wall charger and 12v charger cord. (*Continuous based on battery capacity. The smaller the load the longer the run time.)

Interesting ~ smaller 60Ah battery ($130), think that inverter runs around $60, 50w panel is like $325. + 100 for wires, shipping, 9v & what not= $510, to make something similiar without the ability to charge off a wall or car. I was way off on the $500 quote for the poerpack I't's close to $900. So the make your own would be substantial savings.
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58. Skyepony
4:30 AM GMT on July 18, 2006
LMAO Fshhead...but your not 1st I've fooled, not that I ment too. My photos are riddled with ponys & there's that bunny;) You could say I've always worked well with guys though.

Glad your enjoying the notes on the homemade solar generator. Here's some more.

The AGM battery can be charged much faster than the acid one he uses. So instead of a trickle charging $70 5 watt panel, how about a $100 10 or 12 watt one. But those can, at peak, deliver over the 15 volts you need to keep it under to not ruin the battery (as can some of the improved designs of the 5 watt). So add a charge controller ($30 the 1st one I saw). If ya go with the same battery size as him (100Ah), I think you could get a good bit of extra juice when it is sunny. Like plug in the the house well pump. Still need to work out all those calculations as far as the capasity. Be great to run the well a little, coffee maker, toaster oven, 9vt fridge.

Batteries have gone up since he wrote this or I need to look local. If I can find them cheaper than this would drop... Roughly guessing $400 & under, with a battery as big as his but the safer kind & the bigger panel, etc. Have to compare it closer to the PowerPackII. Think that's like $500.

HH Thanks for the water heater tip:) I'm wanting one. Two weeks after Frances, I was taking the batteries out of the radio to power the fan on the infant. You couldn't buy batteries around here. We had a good hoarde but they dwindled quick.
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57. Fshhead
8:55 AM GMT on July 17, 2006
Started looking through some of the links your compiling up there. Found the solar pack 2 link

The PowerPac II will operate small refrigerators, electric coffee makers and motors
up to 1/2 HP for sump pumps and many other back up power uses. Ideal for cabins
any many applications requiring remote portable or stationary power.
Thats the type that I am talking about. Wonder if that one would be around same price as other now that you said the prices dropped since they wrote the plans??? Man.... really liking the sound of all this!!!!!
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56. Fshhead
8:43 AM GMT on July 17, 2006
Pony thanx for all the info. alot of that safety stuff was what I was worried about. Sounds like the AGM battery the way to go. Sounds a little risky but not if batterys stored right.

BTW..... Did you ever throw me for a loop when you said your husband. Hope NO OFFENSE is taken but, for some reason I figured you were a guy LMAO!!!!!!!!
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55. HateHurricanes
7:43 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
Things to know about:
Be careful with the solar hot water. It's gets very, very hot. Can burn.
You can get battery powered fans at one of
those linen stors (forgot which one) I got two of them for storms and they work quit well. They are 10" and will work for 72hrs.
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54. Skyepony
6:28 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
hmm, gel batteries, not the way to go cause they need special charger. Want the AGM barrery. They are commonly refured to as a gel battery but aren't & are cheaper than gel, more expensive then acid. Doesn't Gas off or explode like acid. Higher the Amp/hr (AH) longer the batteries last at night.

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53. Skyepony
4:55 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
checking out batteries

Solar power 101~ Batteries

If you can afford to invest in the more expensive gel or absorbed glass matte (AGM) batteries, you will have more flexibility in locating your battery bank, since these batteries do not need to be refilled and do not normally generate explosive gasses. The photo shows a large battery bank with the batteries mounted close together in a vertical steel rack. You do not need a vapor proof enclosure or vent pipe when using these batteries, however they cost almost 30 percent more without providing any additional life or storage capacity.

Though more expensive, I see the point on battery safety now~ gel or absorbed glass matte (AGM) batteries maybe the way to go.
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52. Skyepony
2:49 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
The prices on the inverters has gone way down since this guy wrote this. Saw one the size he bought for $50 for $12. Here's a 400watt $34.00 ~free shipping too. It's got all the overload & short circut stuff, fuses already built into it. The inverter store
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51. Skyepony
2:10 PM GMT on July 16, 2006
They guy says for keeping it in the house to buy the battery box & mount the DC outlet & AC converter on the top. It wasn't needed if you were setting it up in a shed or non-kid area. The box safety issue were for use around kids. I know what your saying about the fan. Gonna turn the husband on to this today & start building one this week. Might order the AC convertor online. He said that's were the beefer ones are to be found. I'd like to go slightly bigger & run the entertainment system off it, so it has the oppertunity to pay for itself over time. According to that dude it's all in his bedroom except the panel. I got some cubby room in the cabnet with the tv, can stow the battery there. It's all close to a window to get a wire out & up to the roof.

defenately more powerful than any of the for sale stuff
It will run radios, fans, and small wattage lights all night, or give you about 5 hours of continuous use at 115 volt AC, or about an hour boiling water. This system may be added on to with larger panels, inverters, and batteries.
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50. Fshhead
8:30 AM GMT on July 16, 2006
Y'know Pony, that solar generator sounding better & better. I think it would be really good for hurricane power outages. I wonder how safe it is like can you keep battery in the house while charging? They also showed dc tri-plug box. Hmmm wonder if our auto parts store has them. I know they sell the inverters. Man theywere saying you can run a fan all night with it. Tell you this much after Andrew hit here, I would have given anything to have that fan blowing on me.(August)
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49. Fshhead
7:41 AM GMT on July 16, 2006
Like I said no prob' if it helps the cause!!!!
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48. Skyepony
9:02 PM GMT on July 15, 2006
I found it! Thanks again for all your help with this.
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47. Skyepony
8:22 PM GMT on July 15, 2006
Ah Ya caught me about to update. Agreed more repuatable. Ya got that link to the briefcase generator you posted in Master's. If not I'll find it...
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46. Fshhead
8:18 PM GMT on July 15, 2006
Hmmm this might be a little more reputable..
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45. Fshhead
8:16 PM GMT on July 15, 2006
I remembered these. Pretty handy for the car & unexpected power failures!!!
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44. Fshhead
7:39 AM GMT on July 15, 2006
thanx for the explanation of the refraction :)
Yea I really like the idea of the solar power.
I'm wondering how long it will run a desktop pc. LOL thats one thing I gotta say after the storms it is alot like camping.Man after Wilma came through I sat outside late nights & just looked at all the stars in the sky. WOW, forgot how many...
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43. Skyepony
10:09 PM GMT on July 14, 2006
Fshhead~ that's why I'm looking at the make your own.... I keep mine in my bedroom where it powers my cd player, turntable, lights, modem, laptop, and (ahem) a back massager. I run a line out the window to an 8" x 24" panel on the roof. Sounded like a TV & VCR didn't max it out either, plus you can go bigger panel & bigger AC converter. A small fridge & fan would make me happy. Power goes out & it's camping with a hand water pump here.

I'll try to get this blog updated, with the new great finds up top, tonight.
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42. Skyepony
10:02 PM GMT on July 14, 2006
LOL, Bob. What spaceship? Noone in my family works on any spaceships...atleast not at home...& ready? It's already in space:)

Extremely High Horizon Refraction ~ Comparing polar & temperate sunsets to forecast global temperatures in the coming months. I'm lost with alot of this guy's thoughts but enjoy the pics & his predictions have been right on.

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41. Fshhead
8:17 PM GMT on July 14, 2006
Hey Pony, could you explain simply what the horizon refraction is?? (guess I am a dumb***)LOL The site was a little over my head. Thanx for the other link. That was what they were saying.......
As far as the solar generator, WOW that got my attention for sure. I'm thinking they could be good for power outages. Kinda weak though, very similar to rechargable power pack I own. I would be really really interested if someone would come up with solar gen that would rival gas gen. That would be really something. Like I said I hate the gas ones. So freakin' noisy & you always hear of people dying from the fumes. (although the deaths are usually caused by ignorance. No offense to those people)
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