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I am looking for an alternative power 101 type of book. Complete systems cost an arm & leg & then some so I want to learn what all the bits do & why. My library has no books either :( Can anyone recommend a solar or wind power for dummies book please or any web sites with basic info please ?
 

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www.backwoodssolar.com
www.homepower.com

I'd start with these two. Backwoods has lots of good books. Lots of good info on their site too. You can download current copy of home power mag for free every couple months. Quite a few folks here have lived or are living off grid. I had solar panels for several years, but living in town now.
 

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Thankyou so much! I will check all these out when the kids go to bed later. It'll most likely take me a few days to digest them all but I will be doubtless back with questions :D
 

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I am in the process of building an alternative electric system. And you are right it does get expensive. I have been able to locate many components on E-bay (inverters, charge controllers and a wind generator to name a few) and found a good source for my solar panels by "googling" around the web. I subscribed to "Solar Power" magazine for a year and got the introductory package of back issues along with the current issues throughout the subscription. It was a good education. Some of it gets a little technical for a country boy. But instructive. You can subscribe at the Solar Power website mentioned in previous postings.
 

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Since you said it---there is an energy "For Dummies" book. I don't remember whether it is for solar or wind. I don't have time to search for the correct title now. You library should be able to get it in on Inter-Library Loan.
 
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Before you sink big $$$ into equipment, start looking for used batteries and learn how to take care of them. Even those deep cycle golf cart batteries are a great place to start, cheap and not so big that they'll break your back moving them.

Batteries are EASY to ruin by over/under charging, charging too fast, discharging too deep, etc. Batteries will cost you the MOST over the life of your system!

FREE batteries can be found in Telecommunications companies (cell, ILEC, CLEC and regular vendors). As a rule, they wire strings of -48VDC (4 @ 12V), and if one goes bad, they REPLACE THE WHOLE SET. We regularily throw away batteries that are 92% capacity in the industry. Most of them have never even been discharged past 5%, but are designed to last 20 years if short cycled.

Other than lightning strikes, all the rest of the components are much more hardy.
 

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Unregistered said:
Before you sink big $$$ into equipment, start looking for used batteries and learn how to take care of them. Even those deep cycle golf cart batteries are a great place to start, cheap and not so big that they'll break your back moving them.

Batteries are EASY to ruin by over/under charging, charging too fast, discharging too deep, etc. Batteries will cost you the MOST over the life of your system!

FREE batteries can be found in Telecommunications companies (cell, ILEC, CLEC and regular vendors). As a rule, they wire strings of -48VDC (4 @ 12V), and if one goes bad, they REPLACE THE WHOLE SET. We regularily throw away batteries that are 92% capacity in the industry. Most of them have never even been discharged past 5%, but are designed to last 20 years if short cycled.

Other than lightning strikes, all the rest of the components are much more hardy.

Could you be more specific on locating free batteries,I got nowhere with a web search.
Thanks,
BooBoo
 

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Our little set of batteries was from a UPS system like this, we got ours through a local battery wholesaler, for $15 each tested and fully charged. (out of 9 he had to sell,we got 8, the last one exploded on the test stand)
 
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