Installing a Basic 12V Solar System in an Off Grid Cabin

quite a few people have asked to learn
more about the solar system I installed that serves as my power source for my
off-grid cabin if you'd like to learn more about that off grid solar cabin
which you'll see in this video please click this link above in the upper right
hand corner here you'll see two 100 watt solar panels on top of my Cooke shed
these can be purchased on eBay or from a solar supply shop which are easily found
on the Internet I suggest the panel's face in a
southerly direction if you're situated in the Upper Midwest of the Northern
Hemisphere as I am here in northern Michigan I'd also suggest you increase
the angle about three times greater than what I have on my panels if you're going
to be using these in the snowy climate to help facilitate the shedding of snow
in the winter time here I run the cabling down through the
roof and onto the backside of the shed the cables connect with what are called
m4 connectors which are very simple to use my cabling then runs along top and
down the sides of the inside of the back of the shed and from there runs
underground and underneath my cabin be sure to give yourself a little extra
cable you'll never know when you need it but believe me you're gonna need it your
mic cables from the panel come up through the floor to my charge
controller I don't endorse any particular product
here but this is an example of a charge controller you can find on eBay for $27
it's rather simple device your leads from your solar panels connect to this
and then to the battery and prevents overcharge into the battery it usually
has a digital display as well that tells you what your battery levels in input
and output levels are here you can see on my display that I've got about 8.6
8.7 amps coming in and by the press of a button you will tell me that my battery
level is a hundred percent and my output is about six point four amps what that
means is the charge controller is not charging by battery at the current time
because I've got more energy coming into the system into a battery that's already
a hundred percent full everything that I have on in the cabin right now is
running completely off the panels let's talk batteries for a moment I'm
using one v-max charge tank 125 amp hour battery for my system my system is very
basic because I'm only running 12 volts throughout I'm only running lights and
fans I don't have any high amp energy needs like TVs or appliances so I've
kept this very simple this battery is available for $299 on the internet and
although I don't endorse this brand it has served me well now for about 2 years
I do recommend the use of an AGM battery due to the low risk of gassings as
you'll be using this inside of a confined space might wonder what kind of lighting did I
use throughout the cabin I found these on eBay and purchased
about 15 of them and strategically placed them in the cabin pointing toward
the ceiling and in each one of the bunks they run on three tenths of an amp and
they pivot to point in almost any direction they also have an individual
on/off switch the low amperage means that if I left one of these on it would
take about 17 days to drain my battery if you watch the video on how I built
this cabin you'll note that I put in USB power ports each one of the bunks that
power a fan and also could be used to charge your phone at night I also installed LED strip lighting in
between floor joists that loft above it reflects upward and then is reflected
down from the steel wainscoting that I placed in between the floor joists 15
feet of the strip lighting will set you back about eight dollars and can be cut
to any length you want it to be one of the keys to efficient power use
in an off-grid solar cabin is to set up a switch panel so that you can adjust
the lighting to whatever degree that you want this will ensure that you don't
waste power unnecessarily this is an eight gang switch panel that
could be found on eBay I suggest you to click around on Amazon eBay you'll find
all kinds of interesting 12-volt light fixtures available which will suit
whatever your particular needs may be here I encased a stainless steel utility
box in wood and added a 12-volt switch to it hanging from it is a recessed
light fixture that hangs above my kitchen table
the lighting is a standard e 26th socket that screws into the light fixture and
runs off a 12 volt this two can be found on Amazon and eBay although I'm in
northern Michigan we do get hot days in the summer this ceiling fan runs on one
amp and comes along with a six position switch which allows me to tune it back
and use even less than one amp if I so desire it also comes with a remote
control which you could take to bed with you if you desire you

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