Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator

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Jasper1
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2013/08/05 17:36:37 (permalink)

Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator

I'm going to be starting a mobile food business and was seeing what others thought of using batteries and solar panels instead of a generator.
There's a guy in town who has a truck and he operates on solar and batteries and doesn't even have to plug in at night.
He has five 250 watt panels and six 250ah AGM batteries.
I live in Arizona so it's sunny most every day. I need to pull about 50 amps at my peak with two AC units, display case, freezer, frigde, water heater and lights. BUT it may be a lot less than that. The solar guy said that there are 12v 15k BTU AC units and also 12v freezers and fridges that could take me down to 30 amps.
 
I was looking at five 350 watt solar panels (with the amplifier they produce 420 watts each. and ten 250ah AGM batteries.
I've calculated that I could get just about a full days at peak power with this setup.
I already calculated generator fuel at just over $5k a year and that's only burning 5 gallons a day.
The cost of this system installed is about $7k and I planned on spending about that on a 10kw generator.
So if the figures are correct, I could go a full day on battery power.
I would buy a used 3,000 watt portable generator just in case I needed some extra juice.
 
I was first looking at Lithium batteries but at $1,200 for a 250ah verses $250 for a 250ah AGM I'd go that route. The total weight may be twice to three times a generator but the truck would easily be able to handle the weight and there's plenty of room in a 15-16ft step van.
I'm just curious if anyone has looked into this and seeing what their thoughts were.
Am I just dreaming or can this idea really work ?
 
 
 
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13 Replies Related Threads

    daddywoofdawg
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/06 14:34:39 (permalink)
    google roadfood solar panels
    #2
    fishscale28
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/07 01:00:15 (permalink)
    I think that's definitely doable...as long as you can bank on enough sun to keep things topped off and have a backup then you're golden.  But again a generator is exactly what you need, when you need it and might even be less of a headache in the long run.  I even thought about doing the same thing-having a battery bank that is charged over night and kept topped off with a small generator..just made more sense to get a diesel genny that is rated for 20,000 hours of use.  And with 500 hour service intervals the amount of maintenance is really not even a big deal at all
    #3
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/07 08:34:58 (permalink)
    Of course! 
    I see it all the time in the movies.
     
    Or, set up near a Post Office and take advantage of this brilliant plan:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S4pHUwv2nc .
    #4
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/07 13:05:05 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim Of course!   I see it all the time in the movies.
    Or, set up near a Post Office and take advantage of this brilliant plan:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S4pHUwv2nc .

     
    LMAO god that is what's wrong with our country. So Funny.
    Thanks for the post.
    #5
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/07 19:03:03 (permalink)
    Dr of BBQ

    MetroplexJim Of course!   I see it all the time in the movies.
    Or, set up near a Post Office and take advantage of this brilliant plan:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S4pHUwv2nc .


    LMAO god that is what's wrong with our country. So Funny.
    Thanks for the post.


    You are most welcome.
    With C-Span, who needs Comedy Central?
    #6
    jcheese
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/07 19:21:04 (permalink)
    Last year I did a Festival where I was between two trailers running generators all day. Spewing fumes and noise, had to yell all day to my customers, and them to me. Who could smell my grilled onions, peppers and hickory?
    The solar approach is a good way to go, tho you may need back up.
     
    #7
    jcheese
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/07 19:28:08 (permalink)
    And then you get the Neo-con deniers.
    Think spewing fumes and burning resources is OK.
    I applaud your efforts, but question your motive.
    Park under a tree and yer screwed.....
    post edited by jcheese - 2013/08/07 19:36:21
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/08 10:17:19 (permalink)
    jcheese

    And then you get the Neo-con deniers.
    Think spewing fumes and burning resources is OK.
    I applaud your efforts, but question your motive.
    Park under a tree and yer screwed.....


    I truly wish that I could click my heels and be in a world where electricity is generated by fusion and vehicles are powered by hydrogen; where the fundamental fuel is water and the effluent is water vapor.
     
    With regard to the latter, GM was well on its way to developing hydrogen fuel cells but "politics" stopped that and incentivized them down the path to the Volt, which - all things considered - has a higher "carbon footprint" than conventional vehicles.  But, it sure makes its advocates "feel good".
     
    With regard to the former, I applaud government funding of BASIC research - e.g., the Human Genome Project, the Manhattan Project, the Hadron Collider, and this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER . 
     
    However, government funding of APPLIED research amounts to picking "winners & losers", an activity best conducted by private individuals willingly and knowingly risking their own resources in the hope for gain (which the government is then able to tax!).
     
    If the government was as "busy" with this then as it is now I have sound reason to believe that Edison/Morgan would have prevailed over Tesla/Westinghouse and we all would be using the "safer" DC current to power whatever remaining "stuff" we would have today if Tesla were relegated back to digging ditches instead of "inventing the Modern World".
     
    And, I can only imagine what the world would be like today if the EPA had been around in 1859 and had slapped an injunction on Col. Drake.  One thing I can say for sure:  we wouldn't have any folks around today trying to "save the whale"; that species would have been hunted to extinction by 1900.
     
    One of my favirite modern aphorisms is:  "If computers had existed in 1875, surely the prediction that NYC would be under 10' of horse sh*t by 1925 would have been made!"
     
    BTW:  Sadly, "name-calling" has become for all too many - even otherwise intelligent, rational individuals - a substitute for reasoned discourse.  I'm not exactly sure what a "Neo-Con Denier" is, but as I do not think "spewing fumes and burning resources is OK", I guess you didn't mean me.  Maybe you were just referring to some straw man; no harm, no foul.
     
    Jasper1:  Even though I am not too sanguine about the efficacy, efficiency, or cost-effectiveness of your solar/battery scheme, so long as you are doing it on your own dime I can only applaud your effort. 
     
    At the very least, even if you have to use a back-up generator, the "solar rig" is a nice differentiation that may well pay for itself in increased business.  And, on reflection, we entrepreneurs ought not discourage our own; therefore, I apologize for the smar-a$$, dismissive comment I made above. 
     
    Besides, as you obviously have done quite a bit of homework in this area already I'm sure you found the Senator's "Rube Goldberg" scheme as silly as I did.   
    post edited by MetroplexJim - 2013/08/08 19:00:37
    #9
    Jasper1
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/10 12:59:21 (permalink)
    I think I got my solar system set up and all for the price of a nice 8kw generator ($7,000)
    I calculated over $5,000 a year in fuel just for the generator alone.
    I'll have six 300 watt solar panels on the roof and they will sit in about 4" from the edges on the sides and front and back.
    twelve 250ah 12v AGM batteries with a 36v controller and a 8kw inverter. I live in the desert and it's sunny almost every day and when cloudy the panels still produce about 60%.
    Everything together will get me about 38 amps on 110 and last for 10hrs and that's with leaving 30% capacity in the batteries. My peak would be 45 amps wit both A/C's running. But I don't think they would run the entire time especially since there's no cooking in the truck. I think this is the way to go for me. Just the batteries and solar panels alone weigh 2,200 pounds.
    I just like the idea of not having to use a generator and hoping something like this will work. And in 5 years when a $1,200 lithium battery will cost $300 I'll replace the AGM's for lithium.
    Just wanted opinions.
    #10
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/10 14:08:21 (permalink)
    You have my every best wish for $uce$$!
     
    Once you get up and running, keep us posted.
    #11
    Jasper1
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/11 00:30:37 (permalink)
    Thanks,
    I'll post if it all comes together
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    daddywoofdawg
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/14 15:05:53 (permalink)
    Just the batteries and solar panels alone weigh 2,200 pounds. So your close to gvw on your trailer before equipment.
    #13
    Jasper1
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    Re:Curious if batteries and solar panels can replace a genetator 2013/08/14 22:28:36 (permalink)
    Ya. I calculated the batteries panels in all my equipment at 4800 pounds
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