In my last Solar Energy review I took a look at the SolarGorilla portable charger which as it turns out was hopeless. Although the idea behind the portable charge was good and the number of attachments was very good the kit was let down by the solar panels which would not charge anything unless you live in Spain!
Today I took delivery of a ‘DZ Energy portable solar solution’. This portable solar panel came with only a couple of attachments, 2 LED lights and a few other ‘bits and bobs’.
Below is the video of the Solar Panel review, I also compared the solargorilla to this DZ Energy product whilst filming to show just how bad the gorilla’s solar panels actually were.
After the solar panels and solar equipment turned up this morning I began work on setting up the ‘solar energy power station’ and of course recorded the whole event. The video is a bit over 13 minutes long however it only took around 5 minutes to actually setup the charging station which was a bit of a surprise.
After the video was complete I did go back and tidy up the work I did but that is because I do have a 2 year old son who would find all the wires very interesting.
From start to finish while making the video I was shocked at how easy the solar energy charging station was to make. Once all connected up again (after the video) I did try and turn the inverter on and plug in a tablet I own, straight away it began charging it so a good test / proof it was all working.
Solar Panels temp home
As you can see from the above picture I managed to tidy up the mess I made in the kitchen and tried to have everything in a sensible position.
The solar Panel at the moment is next to the shed for the reason that area gets plenty of sunshine (when it’s out).
The cable at the moment is just running into the Kitchen through the window which is connected to the regulator which then connects to the battery.
The inverter is then connected to the battery which completes the circuit.
The battery, Inverter and regulator setup in the kitchen
I’ll be leaving the battery to charge up and once full charged I will start running some tests to see just what you
can run off this setup or for how long you can run something.
I have no doubt it will charge up various devices like mobile phones, tablets, laptops without a problem but I will be looking at larger objects such as lawnmowers, toasters to name a few.
My next video which is related to this Solar Energy Charging Station will look at what will / wont work so be sure to keep on reading my posts.
So what do you need to build a Solar Energy Power Station and to answer that question is now very easy. Of course I’m not talking about a power station that will power 100 homes but a small solar power station that will charge various devices in your home.
A couple of days ago I started e-mailing the company SunShine Solar and I kept getting replies from a person called ‘Mike’. Mike was very helpful and answered all my questions no matter how many I sent and how stupid they no doubt sounded. But thanks to Mike I now have everything needed to build my own Solar Energy Power station… well nearly everything!
Solar Kit needed for Solar Energy Power Station
The whole kit includes:
Solar Panel Stand
Now the above list is missing 1 product which is a battery box but I didn’t order this from SunShine Solar it was ordered from EBay so no idea when it will turn up. The battery box is going to be very important for this project as with the battery living outside I need it protected.
Today I’ll be making another video of how to put together this setup and I’m hoping it wont be too hard but Mike has assured me that I can contact him for help.
Important: To be honest without Mikes help I’m unsure if I would of bought the right products. I nearly bought a 80 W solar panel but after e-mailing the person selling it it turned out that “Weather Proof” does not always mean “Water Proof” .. who would of thought it!!
Till later when hopefully the whole idea of a ‘cheap’ solar energy charging station will be up and running.
As part of the ‘how to save money at home’ videos and blog updates I’ve started for the bigger part of this. I’vejumped in head first and bought some solar products which has came to close enough to £600.
The idea is I can’t afford to buy a solar panel kit for the house, at well over £10,000 for a full solar system this is just not possible at the moment so I’m looking at various other ways to reduce our electric bill for as little as possible.
With cost cutting in mind rather than spending 10k and over I thought £600 was a much better option for me. I’ve bought:
1 x 60W Monocrystalline Solar Panel @ £225.00
1 x 5Mt Extension cable @ £ 8.99
1 x 7amp Charge Controller @ £ 15.00
1 x 110ah Deep cycle leisure battery@ £ 94.98
1 x 2000W Pure Sign Wave Inverter @ £189.00
To add to the above I’ve also bought a solar panel stand so I should be able to direct the solar panel at direct sunlight in order to get the best charge.
With the above I’ll be able to make my own ‘Solar Energy Charging Station’. This charging station will, after setting up / experiments run in to the kitchen were you will find some standard plug sockets. The sockets of course will be getting their energy / power from the solar panel which will live it’s long life in the garden.
I’m hoping that after trying various methods I will be able to run a few house hold products from the solar panels and hopefully cut the cost of my electric bill even further.
I of course don’t expect to save £600 a year but I’m hoping that with various other cost / energy saving products I’ll reduce my electric bill a significant amount which, after a year or two the money saved will have paid for all the devices bought on this journey.
I’ve had the SolarGorilla now for a few months and I’ve been trying and testing this portable solar panel unit on my travels within the UK.
The device is a nice unit in the build quality and functionality but is totally let down by the fact it does not really work in the UK. I’ve done a short video talking about my experiences so I hope you enjoy it.
If you have watched the clip above then thank you for watching! I would of liked to said better things about the Solargorilla but I could not get it to work very well.
I will be looking at further products to review so if you do have some suggestions please leave a comment and let me know!
Well the Solargorilla turned up the day I went on holiday. This does mean that I can fully test the solar power charger while spending 10 days at the family caravan on the east coast.
I will try the solar panel tomorrow fully and see just how good the charging power is along with just how easy it is to use. Along with plenty of pictures I’ll be adding a full video showcasing the solar panel device.
Lets hope we do have some sun over the next few days rather than the current wind and rain!
As part of this blog I’ll be buying and reviewing some solar panels. These will include solar panels for the home and travel panels. The first product which I’ve ordered is the ‘solargorilla’ which is basically a portable power pack for various mobile devices.
The solargorilla I managed to get for a around £120 after shopping about. I’ll be taking this charger on holiday next week with the family (if it turns up in time) and I’ll post my views and the results of the solargorilla on here along with some film of the product.