Sol Train

Great Caesar’s ghost– what IS that?!

It all started when Michael Jordan a.k.a. “Big Moe” decided to power his barn. He’d been using it as a workshop for his cars and other projects, and he wanted to get juice over there without having it tied to the grid. The barn did, in fact, have its own meter, but Big Moe opted to keep it turned off. Instead, he started clipping Harbor Freight coupons and bought 45 Watt Solar Panel Kits. After a year, he had purchased 45 kits– that’s 135 solar panels!

“I could have purchased larger panels from other sources, but I felt that the affordability and flexibility of buying from HF was better for my budget.”

Big Moe then created an on-roof rack system and installed all of the solar panels to it. Once the system was built and all the bugs were worked out of the inverters and battery banks, he found he had a lot more power than he needed in the barn. But, he made sure none of it went to waste.

“At that point I decided to also power my house. I now power my home and my barn from the HF panels. To be fair, I do not power the home 100%. I still run all of the 220v appliances from the grid, but all other aspects are run from my solar arrays.”

 

How Big Moe Did It

  • The solar system consists of two arrays with a total of 135 HF 15w panels (75 panels on array #1, 60 panels on array #2).
  • 2 @ 80 amp solar charge controllers
  • 12 @ 2v batteries in a single battery bank that holds 2220 AH of power.
  • 1 @ 5000w pure sine inverter for the barn.
  • 2 @ 3000w pure sine inverters for the house.
  • 1 @ Chicago Electric 400W Continuous Power Inverter for an outside security light
  • The panels are wired in series/parallel in sets of 3. This allows for a 43v input at load and 62v open circuit voltage. The controllers drop the voltage and up the amperage for the 12v battery bank.
  • 2/0 welding cable for wiring and the battery bank is connected to each other using copper bus bars.
  • 2 @ wind generators to help diversify for wind and solar. They are a 600w and a 800w wind & solar unit.
  • The wind generators are connected to one wind and solar charge controller.
  • The power to the home is fed through service wire to a breaker box that is located in the home, but is seperate from the standard breaker box.

He can feed any circuit in the home with either grid power or his own alternative power. So if the battery bank is running lower he is able to selectively change circuits from alternative to grid power.

Been thinking about adding a power source to your property, campsite or other location? Consider Harbor Freight’s solar panel kits, individual 15 Watt Solar Panels and other Chicago Electric solar power equipment for your project!

You can visit Big Moe’s page on the DIY Solar Energy Forum for more information, or if you have questions.

 

Grand Opening – Waterbury, CT

 

August 6, 2012– On Wednesday, August 8th at 8:00 a.m., the doors will swing wide at the newest Harbor Freight Tools, located at 650 Wolcott Street in the city of Waterbury. The Grand Opening Sale will have discounts at up to 80% off, and will be accompanied by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:00a.m., hosted there by The Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“The Waterbury Regional Chamber is thrilled that Harbor Freight Tools has become one of our newest members,” said Cathy Dalton, Chamber Membership Director. “As the nation’s largest discount tool and equipment retailer, it’s great news that they are investing in our community by opening their Wolcott Street location. We look forward to helping grow their business in the greater Waterbury area and wish them long-term success here.”

Come join the celebration, browse the huge selection of quality tools and hardware, take advantage of the incredible specials, or just come by and say “hello!”

Store hours are MON-SAT 8:00AM-9:00PM and SUN 9:00AM-6:00PM.

See you there!

Sunny Solar Power Sale!

Solar Panel Sale!

Click HERE for Products and Coupons!

Harbor Freight carries a full line of affordable solar panel kits that are a huge hit with Harbor Freight customers. It’s amazing the innovative things people are doing with them to make their life easier and greener! If you want proof, just checkout lasts week’s blog post on The Solar Toolman. Right now we are offering an awesome deal on our popular 45 Watt Solar Panel Kit – now only $159.99 with coupon!

Check out our Brand New Line of Cordless Power Tools!

New Cordless Power Tools

New Powertools DrillWe are very excited to announce that Chicago Electric Power Tools has just released its new, professional grade line of cordless power tools that are of highest quality and feature the latest advanced designs and engineering.

These new cordless power tools will exceed the high expectations of even the most demanding professional cordless power tool user.

Our exclusive new line of Chicago Electric 18V Cordless Tools feature:

  • One battery platform for all five 18V Chicago Electric tools
  • Small charger that restores battery to a full charge in just one hour
  • Heavy Duty case is included with the Drill, Hammerdrill, and Impact Driver
  • Cushion grip handles designed to avoid fatigue
  • Back up batteries available for $14.99 – most competing brands sell them for $70 or more!

We put these power tools through punishing tests in our state-of-the-art test labs to ensure that they perform to professional quality standards and stay tough for the long haul. And our quality commitment is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Check out the new family of Chicago Electric 18V Cordless Power Tools for yourself at one of our 400+ stores or shop at HarborFreight.com today.

 

The Solar Toolman

I found Larry “The Solar Toolman” Taylor’s video recently on the Do-It-Yourself Solar Energy Forum site. In a quiet, confident tone—no script, no teleprompter– Larry gives “workshops,” demonstrating how someone can run multiple power tools, juiced by a solar panel kit and a cleverly assembled solar system, using hardware from Harbor Freight.

Click on the video’s YouTube link on the lower right, and it will take you to three more Solar Toolman videos, explaining how, with some low-cost modifications, a modest home solar system can power a swamp cooler, a refrigerator-freezer, a 5000 BTU air conditioner, TV, DVD, VCR, and more. For those who are looking to live more “green,” prepare for emergencies or just want to “get off the grid,” there are a lot of valuable tips to be gleaned from these few instructional videos.

When I showed this first video to a friend who’s really into DIY projects, he said, “If I decided to use solar power on my pool filter, these are the videos I’d watch to help me figure out what I needed to do it.”

While you’re at it, browse the rest of the Do-It-Yourself Solar Energy Forum and check out other interesting solar panel project videos and articles– contributed by innovative alternative-energy users! You’ll find a lot of them using the Harbor Freight 45 Watt Solar Panel Kit, 15 Watt Solar Panels, as well as the 100 Watt Solar Charge Regulator, the 30 Amp Charge Controller, power inverters and other Thunderbolt and Chicago Electric solar system hardware.

Great job, Larry! Keep those solar panel videos coming!