If you are a tech person like me and depend on technology for your business, being without electrical power for several hours can be a real problem.
Let's face it, we are pretty dependent on technology. We must stay connected to the internet to communicate and do important business transactions. You may have a battery in your laptop but it will not last long and what good will it do you if your internet connection, router, switches are down?
One important fact to keep in mind is that conserving energy is half the battle to having a effective solar backup system.
Reduce your power consumption first:
- Use a laptop instead of a desktop, they use far less energy.
- Use LCD monitors instead of CRT monitors - CRT monitors are energy hungry.
- Use inkjet printer instead of laser printer. - Laser printers use lots of energy to print.
- Use CFL light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs.
I have these items backed up on Solar Power:
- 1 laptop
- 1 Verizon FIOS Router/switch and Verizon ONT at the service entry
- 1 Linksys ATA (for VOIP Phone)
- 1 Cordless Phone with Speaker Phone
- 1 24" LCD TV
- 1 Roku XDS Streaming Video Player
- 1 Cell phone charger
- 1 inkjet printer
- 1 Lamp with 10W CFL bulb (equal light to 40W incandescent bulb)
If I lose power I can run these items for about 10 hrs. before needing the sun to charge the batteries again. So if the power goes out at night and I got a good charge that day I will be good until morning. When the the sun comes out again it charges the battery bank again.
To make a small solar backup you will need these items:
- Solar Panel(s)
- Solar charge controller ( regulates charging of battery bank from solar panels)
- Deep cycle batteries (12VDC marine batteries)
- Inverter (converts 12VDVC to 120VAC)
- Breaker panel or fuse panel
- Wire and connectors.
My system consists of 160 Watts in solar panels from Ebay , a 30Amp charge controller from Amazon, Three 12v MAXX Marine Deep Cycle batteries from Walmart.
I have a small breaker box with a 20 amp breaker between the solar panels and charge controller I got from Lowe's to protect the charge controller. The three batteries are connected in parallel and then to a 2000 watt power inverter from Harbor Freight Tools. The power inverter changes the 12VDC from the batteries to 120VAC
My power inverter is a modified sine wave inverter and has worked great for me. However, pure sine wave inverters are better but cost more. My inverter has three AC outlets and I have one of the outlets connected to long 12 gauge extension cord that is connected to the UPS in my office and all of my tech devices are connected to the UPS. I can also connect the power from my FIOS ONT box at the service entry on my house to one of the outlets on the inverter also.
This setup works well for me. If I do not need to run on the solar backup, I can just plug the extension cord onto a normal wall socket in the office. When I switch power sources to run on solar backup power, my UPS keeps everything powered on long enought to make the switch without a glitch.
Well, there you have it... My DIY solar home office solar backup system. The best part of solar power is independence it gives you. The sun comes up every day and is free to use for everyone...
Please comment and let me know what you think or if you have a question.