Solar Panels William Wieland's Family
Solar Panels We mounted 4 solar panels on the south side of our home like an awning. They are each 21 inches by 4 feet. They are at a 45? angle because Aberdeen, SD is at about 45? north latitude. They are mounted a few inches away from the siding so air can flow around them. Cooler solar panels produce more electricity.
Charge Controller The computerized charge controller receives the power from the panels and charges the solar battery efficiently with MPPT technology. (Google for more information.) The charge controller includes a lightning surge protector.
Battery Box I do not have a photo of the battery because it is in a box which is insulated from the cold attic but separated only by drywall from our upstairs bedroom. Batteries perform best at room temperature.
Safety Disconnect The safety disconnect on the right can shut down the whole system. The box on the left is a standard circuit breaker panel.
LED Light My son and I converted a desk lamp from 110 volts AC to 12 volts DC by changing the plug and bulb. The LED bulb uses only 80 milliamps.

12 volts x .08 amps = .96 watts.

This reading lamp uses less than 1 watt!
DeWalt Charger After talking to construction workers, I chose DeWalt. I can charge their 18 volt batteries with a 12 volt charger. We have a DeWalt vacuum cleaner and a flourescent lantern / trouble light. I plan to get DeWalt cordless tools as well!
Battery Charger We charge AAA, AA, C, D and 9 volt batteries with a very efficient 12 volt charger.