Solar panel laying on the roof.
I've been working on this project over the past couple of months and have finally got it all together. It's basically just a little T-Amp
running from a battery bank that I power with a solar panel. I had the idea a little while ago as it pretty much all fits together nicely since the T-Amp is designed to run from a 12Volt battery source, and it just so happens many solar panels are designed for charging just this type of battery. Searching on the net I found someone had already done this as well as outlined on an article on New Consumer
. And searching for that article to add the link to this post I see someone has recently posted an instructable
for this same idea as well.
But anyways, I thought I'd post what I did anyways even if it's not unique :)
The first thing I did was get a reasonably sized solar panel. I ended up finding a 40 watt SL040 Sunlink PV
panel on ebay, sold new from a seller in Toronto who runs a store on ebay called Go Green Energy
. The panel was about $320 all said and done and it came with a charge controller as well. This panel is rated at 17.2 volts at 2.33 amps, however since I am charging a 12 volt system with it my effective wattage form the panel is ~28W, but it seems to output that even on cloudy conditions and such which is why I think the panel is designed to be 17.2 volts. It's a little bit wasteful in full sunlight, but does work in a wider range of partial sunlight conditions. (At least thats how I understand it. I'm no expert). It's also pretty small measuring 25"x21" so it fits on our little porch without having to do any work mounting it to the roof or anything.
View from porch onto street...
Close up view of the panel.
Batteries wired in series.
So with the panel I was able to hook the T-Amp directly to the battery terminals from the charge controller and listen to music when it was daylight. However I needed to get some batteries so I could keep it running beyond that. I managed to get two Interstate Workaholic U2200 Deep Cycle batteries from a guy at work for free which was a pretty good score as they would be around $80 each to buy I believe. These are 6 volt batteries with 220 amp hour rating. I hooked them up in series and so I have a 12V battery bank with lots of power now. This should be enough to run the T-Amp for 200+ hours. I'll probably end up hooking up some other 12 volt items to this bank though as the panel should be able to keep the battery charged pretty easily.
To wire everything up I've run the solar panel into the charge controller (as seen in the photo below). I then have the positive feed from the charge controller running to the battery where it is fused off with a 4 amp automotive fuse as close to the battery as possible. The negative lead simply runs directly to the battery. I then have the T-Amp power running to the positive terminal where it is fused off with a 5 amp fuse in another automotive fuse holder. (I purchased the fuses and fuse holders from the automotive section at canadian tire). And the negative lead from the T-amp wried in directly to the negative side of the battery terminal as well. You can also see the jumper cable I'm using in between the two batteries to wire them in series (connecting the positive post of one battery to the negative post on the other battery.
And thats pretty much it. I've been running it on the battery bank now for a week or two and it's been working like a charm.
Fused positive terminal. Using a 4 amp fuse inbetween the charge controller and the batteries, and a 5 amp fuse between the batteries and the T-Amp
The charge controller, black wires are coming in from the solar panel, and the blue wires are running to the battery. The T-Amp (load) connects to the battery itself.
T-Amp hooked up and running from solar power.
posted at: 20:21 | path: /energy | permanent link to this entry
These aren't very sceintific tests, but it's interesting to see the difference from processor to processor. The test I'm performing is a builtin pystone benchmark from the test module in python that tests mostly cpu performance in executing python code. It is simply done by doing the following on a *unix box:
from test import pystone
It will then output the time it took and the pystones/second value. Run it a few times and take the lowest value. Here are the results from a bunch of machines I have access too:
|Intel Core 2 Duo 6600 (2.4 ghz)||7.04||71022.7|
|Intel Xeon 5110 (1.6 ghz)||10.42||47984.6|
|Athlon s969 3200+ (2.0 ghz)||12.02||41597.3|
|Athlon s969 3000+ (1.8 ghz)||13.37||37397.2|
|AMD Hammer? (1.6 ghz)||14.95||33444.8|
|AMD Opteron 242 (1.6 ghz)||15.20||32894.7|
|Intel Pentium 4 (2.4 ghz)||16.53||30248.0|
|AMD Sempron (1.6 ghz)||17.01||29394.5|
|Epia M6000 (600 mhz)||74.54||6707.8|
|Intel Celeron (300 mhz)||100.89||4955.9|
As can be seen from the graph the new Core 2 Duo chip I got outperforms my old AMD 64 3000+ by almost double in this test. And it really does make quite a noticeable difference in just day to day use. Well worth the upgrade I would say...
posted at: 00:00 | path: /general | permanent link to this entry