Ran across one of these recently

Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 402 ✭✭
http://omjcsignal.com/heavyduty.php

Now this might not seem all that odd to many of you, but out in the little slice of nowhere I live in, these are kinda rare and rather neat to look at. The two I passed (they were using them to direct traffic on a bridge repair) had 5 panels each, all of which looked a lot like the 130w Kyocera panels they sell in the store here. and what looked like a gigantic Surrette battery in a locked security box.

Again, this is probably a yawner for you guys, but I still wanted to post it because I think these units are neat. Another similar road sign I saw around here a couple years ago was one of the LED message signs which had a single panel on the top powering it. :)

Comments

  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    looks like the perfect gadget to drive away with.
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    Yes, very neat. Somewhat related to this, I bought a solar powered traffic arrow trailer from a road commision auction last year. FLA batteries and the system controller were shot, as was one tire. But the unit frame, trailer and two 80watt panels were good. I recycled the batteries and the aluminum flashing arrow sign box...the proceeds from which was more than I paid for the whole unit, so I did fine on this item. I am currently cleaning up the unit. I intend to rig it with some good used agms, and a dedicated controller, as well as adding a couple more equal size panels and a inverter. There is enough room on it to mount a small genny on it for higher daytime loads, and quiet night time use.

    I should have a nice little portable quiet power source.
    Only problem will be keeping it secure while not in use.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    James,\

    The provincial roads temporary signs (in Ontario) use these units all over the place. For security they pull one or both wheels off. For more security you could pull the wheels and use locking lug nuts on the empty hubs?

    I saw one flipped over after a high wind with batteries flung all over. That wouldn't be a problem without the signage. Locking the hitch coupler with a spare ball in it would prevent an opportunist from a quick steal, a more determined thief might not try if there's no wheels.

    Sounds like a real deal you found.

    Ralph
  • Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 402 ✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    Oddly enough, I've actually considered building a panel and battery pack set similar to what's on that sign uses. After setting up and running that other rig I did for my buddies for the time they were camping up in the mountains, I've actually considered one for hauling around to events, out camping in the middle of nowhere (like I love to do), *OR* for use as a backup power source back home when the power goes south, which it seems to do far too often around here.

    The only difference this time is, if I do build it, I'm letting someone *ELSE* build it for me. lol. Man, that was too much bloody work to build the last one. Wait, correction, the last three. Oy. Yes, I built one and got suckered into building two more. Being a desk jockey, I'm *SO* not cut out to be humping 100+lb batteries around, let alone installing solar panels, or the fact that I lost count of how many times I tried to electrocute myself. I fully understand now why the professionals get paid so well to do that. lol.

    Interestingly enough, the company that builds those road signs also has a fairly meaty power plant trailer that I figure to copy. This is the unit here: http://omjcsignal.com/powerplant.php

    I'm not entirely sure how to build one yet, but I'm definitely sure I want to build it. The biggest thing I'm worried about is the setup. IE, panel storage (for transport) and deployment, mounting, the battery box, inverter, etc. I may be mechanically inclined, but one thing I'm definitely not is an electrician. If anyone would be interested in helping me build one, please let me know. ^_^;; Actually, I think I might even start another thread.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    We may just have to start a whole 'nother section for portable solar power projects. :D

    I need to re-roof the cabin. That means the panels have to come down. But while I'm working there I'll need the power. So there's this boat trailer that last got adapted to bring the canoe up. It may get adapted to hold the solar panels so I can keep the power on. If I remember to, I could move it around during the day and keep the panels producing longer. And then, why not put the whole system on there so it can be hauled away when not in use and reduce the chance of theft? Parked at the other house it could be ready for back-up power - or experiments in running the whole house off the small power (would have to get the power usage down considerably).

    I've thought about this before. There still seems to be merit in this portable power concept. Better return on investment even.
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    Hitch couplers don't help much, a determined thief will just pull up and wrap a chain around the whole deal and move it into a garage where he can take his time getting the lock off. Same for using a lock on the latch, that's even easier since they can still drop the coupler onto a ball and then wrap the chains around to hold it in place. I'm sure the lack of wheels is the biggest deterrent.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently
    And then, why not put the whole system on there so it can be hauled away when not in use and reduce the chance of theft? Parked at the other house it could be ready for back-up power - or experiments in running the whole house off the small power (would have to get the power usage down considerably).

    Sounds like a winner. I've thought of moving my batteries and inverter to a trailer so if someone else has a long outage I could keep their food cold for a day or two. But I already have 2 campers and a utility trailer, if I built a 4th trailer I think my wife would have a few words to say about that.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently
    techntrek wrote: »
    Sounds like a winner. I've thought of moving my batteries and inverter to a trailer so if someone else has a long outage I could keep their food cold for a day or two. But I already have 2 campers and a utility trailer, if I built a 4th trailer I think my wife would have a few words to say about that.
    Bring up the subject during a power outage.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    Already have a permanent genset outside and inverter/batteries in the garage, she would have a good point about moving them outside onto a trailer.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 248 ✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    Steven, thanks for the link on the power plant.
    i figured someone was building it.
    mine will not have 700watt of pv, but it will do nicely for what i have in mind. I still like the "Monolith" post that was up some time ago....a buddy wants one like that...just big enough for some music, a small fan, and of course, his flourescent blacklight for the 60's posters in his trailer!
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently
    James wrote: »
    Steven, thanks for the link on the power plant.
    i figured someone was building it.
    mine will not have 700watt of pv, but it will do nicely for what i have in mind. I still like the "Monolith" post that was up some time ago....a buddy wants one like that...just big enough for some music, a small fan, and of course, his flourescent blacklight for the 60's posters in his trailer!
    Then there's these guys:
    http://www.sustainablewaves.com/

    They set up a big solar powered stage at Burning Man every year.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    Yup, they 'litter' one of our less traveled highways (#20) warning of road closures and restricted travel hours due to numerous washouts experienced over the last year,... and this year looks like a repeat with heavier amounts of water runoff.

    Locally the operators remove at least one wheel and block them up to deter theft.
    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    Mikes solar monolith:

    Solar Monolith:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=384&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1234752636

    attachment.php?attachmentid=385&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1234752653

    Update pictures/information here.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 402 ✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    Mike, I absolutely love your project! :D

    Ggunn: Very cool link!

    James: Yeah, I figured as much too. Usually by the time I think of an idea, I typically find that someone else has already done it. lol. But, since they've done it successfully, that means I have a good chance of pulling one off. Well, assuming I can do it without electrocuting myself like I seem so skilled at doing. >.<

    Cariboocoot: Hey, sounds like a win to me! :D

    techntrek: You *could* always just build one for me, then when you get done, you could prove to your wife that it'd be something worth having by demonstrating the finished product. ;)
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    Add it to my "list"! I might get it started around, oh, 2014...
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently

    here is another one for you Marc

    http://www.solarover.com/index.html
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently
    westbranch wrote: »
    here is another one for you Marc

    http://www.solarover.com/index.html

    That's a little bit bigger than I'd planned. :D

    Regrettably there seems to be a lack of definitive specifications on their web site. Or maybe I just couldn't find it for all the hyperbole. 24 kVA? Obviously not continuously - with 14 panels. The most that could be is a 3.5 kW array. More like 7 kW hours at best in my estimation. Not fair to advertise the peak Volt * Amp capacity and leave out kilowatt hours.

    You can refuel a generator as needed. Not so with solar.
  • Steven LakeSteven Lake Solar Expert Posts: 402 ✭✭
    Re: Ran across one of these recently
    westbranch wrote: »
    here is another one for you Marc

    http://www.solarover.com/index.html

    Holy flipping carp! I want one! :D<3

    Cariboocoot: Very true, but what happens if you're somewhere that you can't get fuel? That's the biggest problem in my perspective of all this. That's part of why we tried to build that one camper rig as hearty as possible, because we knew we wouldn't be anywhere near a gas station, and it was too much of a pain to drive 2 hours round trip just to get gas for a generator in case we ran short on power in the PV system.

    I fully understand your logic, and it does have some merit. But for me it's always best to build your system and temper your usage such that it reaches a point where the generator becomes the item of absolute last resort. Oddly though, one of the things I'm starting to research next is a sterling solar power system. The idea came up after seeing a video of some larger sterlings in action. I got so intrigued I actually stumbled onto several designs for them ranging from a small tabletop system that could charge a cell phone (5v-1a) all the way up to one large enough to run a house completely off grid.

    And given that Sterling engines are actually more energy efficient when it comes to converting sunlight to power, I'm looking into those as my possible next step up in both portable solar power, and home tied setups. :D
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