Solar Panel


Why I Love My Solar Power System

Why I Love My Solar Power System

It all began when I was living in Haiti in the early 1990’s. It was after a Coup that overthrew President Aristide that the US government imposed a trade embargo on Haiti blocking fuel supplies to the country amongst other things. The result was that they had an unprecedented energy crisis and we spent months without electricity. I went out and purchased 12 solar panels from a local merchant for US $330ea, I already had two 2000W inverters and 24 Deep Cycle Batteries. I installed half of this equipment in my house and the other half in my office downtown. We had maybe an hour or two of electricity every 4 to 5 days.

Well, I can tell you this much about the electricity supplied by my solar power system both in my house and in my office:

First, I unplugged the big 2-door refrigerator that I had and purchased a small energy-efficient freezer.

Second, I used a small gas-powered generator I had that I only ran for about 30 to 45 minutes a day just to pump up water from my underground 40,000 gal reservoir to a small 300 gal unit on the roof so I can take a shower by gravity. I must remind you that gasoline supplies were almost zero due to the embargo. The cost per gallon reached US$15 on the black market.

Third, I changed all the incandescent light bulbs to energy saver bulbs.

Forth, I changed my habits from watching TV for hours to just one hour a day, I turn the lights on only when needed, I made sure my batteries never ran dry of distilled water and that the cables and terminals were clean and tight. That’s all the maintenance the solar power system needs to run smoothly.

Understand that I was only living off 6 solar panels. For cooking, we used gas ovens. Propane gas was not part of the embargo for obvious reasons.

Now I don’t know how to call this if it’s not FREE ENERGY.

I must make another side note because I know you’re wondering why I had inverters, generators and batteries. Well it’s because in Haiti the power grid had always been unreliable, so everybody and every house has a generator, an inverter and a few batteries. In addition to that, I had my solar panels and this is where the difference was. After so many days without power and no gas for the generators, all batteries went dead and most of the city was in complete darkness, so I was one of the few that had lights on all night until I decided to go to sleep.

I had the same scenario in my downtown office where I needed to power three computers, some lights and a laser printer. Back then it was a 300W Apple Laserwriter, so I used a small generator to turn it on, do my printing and then turn it back off. The inverter was not connected to the power grid at all. The batteries were being charged by the 12v solar panels through a charge controller and then converted to 110VAC by the inverter so the computers were never off.

That’s a new example of FREE ENERGY.

Some people say that nothing is free. I think that only human made things are not free; everything else is. You don’t see animals in the forest pay for their food.

Anyway, I hope this article will open some people’s eyes on the tremendous possibilities of solar energy. Remember that the panels can be coupled to a windmill generator for more power, and the combination can be very efficient since the windmill can generate electricity day and night providing you live in a relatively windy area.