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My tiny project in sunny Ecuador

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  • ecusolar
    started a poll My tiny project in sunny Ecuador

    My tiny project in sunny Ecuador

    Lower my monthly electric bill
    Help the mother earth avoiding to burn oil etc.
    Grid independence is my goal
    Want it as a PC etc. backup system in case of energy cuts
    I started a thread in another forum and Jason asked me to post it here as well.
    The mods in the other forum are more focused to professional solar installation and rarly answered a question there, I hope that I can get better responds here.

    I will copy the most important parts of the proyect.

    Hi everybody

    First of all I want to introduce myself.

    I’m a 51 years old German retired (of my self employed biz) mechanical engineer and own a hostel in Ecuador where I’m living since almost two decades.
    English isn’t my mother language, so please forgive if I use sometimes a wrong word or have some typos.

    Ecuador has a huge amount and intensity of sun hours and at noon you have no shadow as the sun is right above you. We have only 3 to 4 months raining season with very poor rainfall.

    EC (Ecuador) generates his electric energy mostly from hydro systems and during a strong dry season we have energy cuts which lead to dark nights all around.

    I use a 7500W diesel generator and a emergency 3500 gas generator for those cuts and can work without interruption in my hostel where I have an electricity bill of about 150$ monthly.

    Now I came up with the idea to generate enough energy to be independent of the grid at least in my own house which is relative big (500 m2) but we are only a two person household.

    I want to exclude in this first project air-conditioning, microwave, washing machine, dryer and the fridge which are the main power eaters. For hot shower water I will try to construct a Solar panel with isolated 100L hot water backup during my project.

    I will have several questions during realizing my mini project and hope to find useful answers here, thanks for that in advance.

    In attach my estimated energy use during a day/night for this project.

    In the not far future I want to construct a Wind Generator of about 600W grid tied, I already bought a 60VDC Ametek motor, the rest have to wait till I finish the first step, the solar energy.

    I need to refine these values, to be able to find real numbers I bought a watt meter called Kill_a_Watt which should arrive next week from USA.

    What I already invested:

    To start the project I was surfing in the net and tried to figger out what would be basically needed for my small project and the conclusion was:

    330 3x6 cells 0.5V, 3.5 Amp 1.75W (will leave a review of 3 different Ebay sellers when finished)

    1 Charge controller Morningstar 30 Amps

    1 Modified Sine Wave inverter 2500W/Spikes 5000W

    I do have basic tools like a solder pistol of 35W and 60W, a multimeter which I’m replacing actually with a Clamp multimeter to measure Amps, etc.

    What I’ve done so far.

    Well, the first solar cells arrived, it was really well packed and the shipping cost me 40$ additional to the US Ebay price.

    I was able to solder the 3 x 12 cell strings with only damaging one cell which broke in the middle while a strong wind passed the open window of my work room, will not happen again.
    I have a friend who works in aluminum doors and windows, I told him about my needs as a solar panel frame and he said: no prob look for it in two days, that’s today. I will upload a photo when I glued the cell strings.

    One string of 12 cells produce 7 volts from 9:00 to 17:30 in the afternoon.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ecusolar; 12-13-2009, 12:35 PM.

  • Haiqaljacob
    I will give some picture, actually im Geodetic Eng. really hard for me to do the electric thing. But its like a challenge for me
    the blue one, is my first project. the solar cell looks burn because my solder too long touched the solar cells. it is my first experience to make solar panel.
    and for solar backsheet i change to vinyl wallpaper. and the resin im using pmma its strongly for heat, water and UV

    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:

  • Haiqaljacob
    Hi All,
    Let me introduce myself, my name is Haiqal. im 26 years old from Indonesia.
    i just start my solar panel, its long time ago when you talking about this.
    I hope so all of you have more expert experience. and also still can catching all of you in here.
    for now, i want to start to build the company for assembly solar panel. i imported solar cells from china.

    lets we talk about my work so far..
    i try to change glass and eva laminate with resin. but i just finish my second panel with wet resin ( i wrongly about dosage! ). so the result still disappointed. wet resin still a conductor for electric pulse.
    can we start talk about solar panel again now? please..

    I enjoyed reading this forum, and can see the Engineering background in the details. Really appreciate with your things, but i have finished to read the forum but still not get your Manual book to build the solar panel.

    Leave a comment:

  • skasden
    Soloar Cells

    Originally posted by raesh
    hi ecusolar i wish to build a tiny cell with in cheap material. any one has goods row for this .......rajesh
    Where do you get your solar cells from, and the back up batteries from?


    Leave a comment:

  • Txtinner
    Pictures please

    Hi all,

    I also would like to see pictures of your project if possible.

    My project is ready for the next rain inspection to see if Phase I is complete, so I can start building internally.

    Most of my work is posted on my Facebook page at txtinner

    Leave a comment:

  • Txtinner
    Thanks for details

    Hi Ecosolar.

    I'm just getting started with solar, and appreciate your project post.
    I agree that building your own panels is not cost effective, but when your in remote areas, any power is better than no power.
    I enjoyed reading your post, and can see the Engineering background in the details.
    Hope your still posting here.


    Leave a comment:

  • aqa204
    If it is useful LED 12VDC 5W bulbs in Ecuador

    Hello I have done my OEM 12VDC 5W LED bulbs, locally in Ecuador, I am located in Guayaquil.
    If you need help with DC LED lighting, I have now a lot of experience with LEDs lighting both DC and AC.
    I will try to attach an image.
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:

  • DeltaFox 25
    I'm glad everything is holding up for you. Have you made any more? It's good to hear from you.

    Leave a comment:

  • russ
    Hi Joe - Good to hear from you!

    Glad all is going well with your system.


    Leave a comment:

  • ecusolar
    All fine till here

    Hi all

    I didn't post for a year or so, just want to leave a feedback.

    The panels have passed two years in action now, there have not been a single problem with them - neither the used gel batteries I bought.

    All in one it was a good investment and a lot of fun, I use no other electrisity for my small distillery, the heat source is gas.

    Wish all the very best


    Leave a comment:

  • don tomas
    yo la gusta

    i like you prefer to build on my own,, then you know what you have.. good way to learn,,even if it costs more, the education contains some value.

    my task
    i run my generator 3 hours a day and want to charge as much battery as possible, is there a formula?

    Leave a comment:

  • DeltaFox 25
    Thats real nice . good going

    Leave a comment:

  • Mike90250
    There is always the simple Solar Monolith:

    Leave a comment:

  • 2DegreesSouth
    Originally posted by russ View Post
    Look at for DIY stuff

    Joe (ecusolar) is Mr. Solar in Ecuador for all of us around the world.

    Thanks for the link, Russ! The content seems very rich and I'm sure I'll be busy reading through it in the next few days.

    Thank you, too, Joe, for your encouraging words. I will be contacting you directly with some Ecuador-specific questions. I live in Cuenca at a higher elevation than Manabi and a somewhat different climate. But it really is spring-like all year just like the tourist sites say. Warm but not too hot during the day and cool but not cold at night. There is no need for either heat or air conditioning here and that alone keeps energy costs down.

    In contrast to your situation, our electric supply in Cuenca is good and quite reliable. The only time we had cuts was during the worst drought the area had seen in 35 years. There was not enough water in the Paute River, source of our hydro power, to meet demand for a couple of months. But even then, the cuts were posted in advance by district, never affected the entire city at once, and didn't last more than 2 hours at a time. It was a minor inconvenience. It just goes to prove that you can't generalize about Ecuador! Not with 3 completely different geographic regions and hundreds of micro climates.

    The concern I have for solar panels is that we are in the Andes and sometimes have very violent hail storms. I imagine that hail would destroy unprotected solar cells. I think I would need to put them under non-reflective glass. I was happy to read that Joe didn't see a power drop after encapsulation.

    I'll be gathering information for the next few weeks but will be sure to post as soon as I have a plan. Thanks to all for this forum.


    Leave a comment:

  • ecusolar
    Thanks for the flowers russ but in this forum are many folks that know much more than me.

    I'm only taking advantage of the super dry clima with more than 7 hours of sun daily coming direct above us, at noon we don't produce shadow.

    Others have to struggle with snow, heavy rain, huge daily temp cicles and stuff like sun trackers.

    My only big enemy is dust, I have to clean the panels every once a while or the charge amps will be around 60% of normal production.

    Leave a comment: