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Old 11-25-2014, 12:14 PM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Default Window Solar Panels

I saw a device for supplementing electrical power.

A solar panel for one window of a room.

The panel attaches outside of the window.

Do you think this is a good/practical idea?

Also, saw instructions for a free-standing larger panel at Mother Earth News. The panel would sit on the ground outside a window.
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:39 PM
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Bearfootfarm Male Bearfootfarm is offline
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I doubt it would be as efficient as a more typical installation

Panels need to be angled to get the most direct light

It sounds like a gimmick to me
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:39 AM
connie189 Female connie189 is offline
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Would you know how many hours of direct light panels need?

Most of our windows face south. I have sun-blocking curtains (gets a lot of sun). Even in winter the sun coming in does pretty good, but I know that might not be enough or for a set number of hours (not sure what that might be).

We get "usage" statements re electrical usage from the electric company; we always (supposedly) seem to consume more than our neighbors. We're almost sitting in the dark now, LOL.
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Old 11-27-2014, 02:49 AM
HuntingHawk HuntingHawk is offline
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If you can't adjust the panel angles you are wasting the solar panels. I'm at about 30 degrees & threw the year have to adjust between 15 & 45 degrees adjusting once a month
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Old 11-27-2014, 11:29 AM
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12vman Male 12vman is offline
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First off, Welcome to the mix!

"We get "usage" statements re electrical usage from the electric company; we always (supposedly) seem to consume more than our neighbors. We're almost sitting in the dark now, LOL."

I would look around the house and try to figure out what is using all of that power! A Kill-A-Watt unit is cheaper than solar panels..

You would need to cover an area the size of your roof with solar panels to put a dent in your electric bill. (Not including all of the other required equipment) Changing out a fridge or freezer would be a much cheaper way to save money than trying to feed the beast that is causing your high usage..

A window sized panel would work for some low power/voltage lighting in a room but don't expect the same results compared to your existing fixtures..

I encourage solar usage but it has its limits. If you would like to experiment with something, there's lots of help around here..
"Without Deviation from the Norm, Progress is not Possible".
*Frank Zappa*
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and Ió I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference"
*Robert Frost*
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Old 11-27-2014, 06:03 PM
doc doc is offline
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Consider the economics: You can get a cheapo 45W portable unit at Harbor Freight for about $150. Add in batteries and the charge controller and you're talkin' $400.

In Chicago we only have about 85 non-cloudy days per year. Let's be generous and say we get 4 hrs of usefull sunlight per day, on average. That means this system will produce 4hr x 0.045W = 0.18 kW-hr/d. Here, we pay ~ $0.15/kW-hr from the grid. So this $400 system will save you $0.15 x 0.18 = $0.03 /d off your ComEd bill and replace only 0.18 kW-hr out of the average household usage of 30kW-hr/d.

12vman is right: you don't use solar to save money. Conserve energy
and money by limiting usage. The blower on the furnace in winter and AC in summer are the biggest energy users most of us have. For most of us, lighting only takes up about 10% of our usage.
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:43 PM
RyanRichardson RyanRichardson is offline
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Interesting idea, but as someone else pointed out, a solar panel really needs to be at a proper angle. Also, I’m not sure that you’re going to get all that much energy from a single panel. From what I understand about solar, you really need an array on your roof to get any sizable amount of energy from it. Maybe consider some other eco projects for now.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:26 AM
wywhitewolf Male wywhitewolf is offline
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Did this setup use an inverter that you plugged in the wall?

If so, they are not legal for use in the US or Canada. Hooking panels up in that method does not follow NEC code.

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Old 07-06-2016, 12:38 PM
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johnjmw johnjmw is offline
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Most window mounted solar panels I've seen have been solar heat to heat a room. Size matters and bigger panels provide more power or more heat, which ever that system is producing. How big of a panel do you want hanging outside the window?

Meanwhile I am still fighting the 12v 24v 48v decision. Problem is I have a bunch of 12vdc equipment. Do I want to limit my use of AC or go with a more powerful higher voltage battery bank.
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