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Solar 101 – Introduction to solar power

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The first video in a series that aims to teach you everything you need to know about solar power.

This series will cover every topic related to solar power such as assessing how many panels you need, measuring the output of panels, choosing a charge controller, deciding between off-grid (battery storage with AC Inverter) or on-grid with grid-tie inverters and so on.

In this first video, I give a quick overview of solar power and look at the two simplest ways to get started with solar.

I talk about portable solar power units like the Anker 14W which allows you to charge two usb devices (cell phones, tablets etc) but doesn’t include a battery for night time charging.

I talk about portable power banks with built in solar panels (useless!).

I also talk about a small individual solar panel wired directly (with a diode) to a battery. Consuming the energy with car accessories such as in-car usb chargers and bulbs/fans designed to use inside vehicles.

In the future we’ll explore larger panels which require charge controllers, big deep cycle batteries and inverters.

This video is primarily aimed at my viewers in the Philippines, but the knowledge is universal.

Solar power in the Philippines, Metro Manila and the provinces is exploding right now; with every home, business and government unit trying to get in on the action. With an increase in rolling brownouts as the power companies struggle to keep up with the demand, expect more people to turn to solar.

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29 Comments on "Solar 101 – Introduction to solar power"

  1. Hey man ( I need to eventually need to know your name)
    I have a question regarding watt meters. We are trying to get a grid tie inverter to get net metering with Meralco but we need to know our max house hold consumption. What watt meter would you recommend getting to measure from the breaker box?


  2. IshockO says:

    Pv array on your house isn't worth it

  3. sohc ron says:

    I'm from the Philippines but I now live in Adelaide. I just bought a house and now planning to put solar. I was surprised to see this kind of video. Thank you for the videos it is very informative. cheers

  4. titobi25 says:

    Hello. Thank you for this video hope to see the follow up soon. I'm planning to put up a small solar panel to power 3 small 12v led bulb at night for the farm. What is the maximum size of solar panel that I can directly put on my old car battery without overcharging it just a basic setup without a controller. Like you mention on the first part of this video. Thank you

  5. hey Gadget, is there any useful software to calculate how many solar panel we need to install and how many batteries we need to install and to know how many hours it could feed up ?

  6. thanks for the video.. any update on this series?..

  7. Hi. I bought a 20 watts solar panel and I'm planning to test the feasibility of having solar power in our home. When I checked the voltage from the panel, it's around 20 volts. Can the solar controller withstand the voltage and convert it to lower voltages for the battery?

    I have no plan of converting it yet to AC so an inverter is out of the plan as of the moment but I do plan to use the 12 volts dc from the battery to operate a solenoid valve for irrigation purposes. So it's like I'm planning a solar powered irrigation system in our home. Thanks.

  8. hi great vids, Im from Samar, 700km down south of Manila, I'm planning to solar power my small house and cdr-king is becoming my choice for my project.. i will also be watching these series… thanks and keep up..

  9. robert james says:

    Thank you again for the video. Now here is my question: I would need at least 210 kilowatts a month(based on my current electricity bill) to power 1 hp inverter aircon, 1, 70 watts Samsung ref. 1, 45 watts Samsung TV, a laptop and 12,  9 watts led lamp. I got a spec from CDR-King Davao( my house is in Dipolog City) which was explained to me in plain vanilla (which is awesome because Im an RN not an engineer) and they said that I need 8, 100 watts solar panels ( I will buy 12), an inverter of 3000 watts, 8 batteries-deep cycle ( I forgot the specs for that, but I will buy 12 of those), can you explain how to set up that up in your next video please? At least, I think a lot of your audience are probably based abroad (Im based in Sanfo), so we are not that threehuggers but not wasteful either, we just want just little comfort and being responsible as well. I think so too that by doing that, a lot people will just be able to add or subtract other specs since I think, most people would want to have at least 1 aircon in the Philippines(inverter, that is) MORE POWER TO YOU!

  10. robert james says:

    Dont apologize! You are doing a great thing. More power to you. I might have some question when I install my solar energy system in the Philippines by next year. Thank you.

  11. cyrus ecle says:

    I'm looking forward to your videos! +1 subscriber!

  12. hello i like your vids about gadgets "bythaway" can u pls make more vids about ebikes or e scoots im planning to buy 1 kasi sa cdr king (i Know u understand tagalog)

  13. Hi! I'm planning to purchase a CDRking 100 inverter from cdr-king, cut the car cigarette plug end and attach alligator clips to directly connect it to a 100AH solar master battery. I will also buy a cheap 150 peso USB fan from cdr-king and directly plug that to the USB port of the inverter to keep the inverter cool. Not to mention that I might open the casing so that the fan will be able to cool the inverter faster. What do you think Phil?

  14. Sorry for the poor lighting in this video. The first time I shot this video, the audio was messed up so I had to record it all again. The second time I thought the sun would be bright enough so I didn't turn on my recording lights. Bad choice!

  15. Green Apple says:

    I love your videos and I'm one of your avid subscribers. I need your help. I have a Compton eBike (from CDRKing) and instead of purchasing additional battery pack, I'd like to replace it with a car battery. Can this be done? Is there a car battery that is 24v 9ah?

  16. please update your solar channel, I built my own solar setup by watching your solar videos.

  17. I started my solar journey with a 1w solar 6v dc packaged with my vistron fan which could also charge my phone through a usb female connector. Then bought a 2w firefly panel for 320php 6v dc also. I connected it to my another vistron fan. Seems charged it a bit faster than my 1w panel. My next trial would be a 50w panel. But still need to buy a 12v bat, a larger inverter and a charge controller.

  18. wajinshu says:

    Looking forward on the next video.. LOL @ Cdrking staff hahaha

  19. Hi Phil, thanks for doing an initiative to start a series of solar 101 session.  I hope you could show us the "step-by-step" installation process and some advises during the installation process soon.   Just 2 questions, currently I have a 4.5ah firefly 6v battery for the reachable fan.  Does it mean I should only hook it up on a 6v panel or can i also connect it with a 12v panel ?  I also tried to connect (using alligator clips) the 12v usb car charger to the 4.5ah 6v battery but does charge my phone.  Should I buy the 12v battery instead ?

  20. PCGamer says:

    Hiya, I really do like your video's. Keep em coming!. I know your doing the 101 series so this may come up but i wouldnt mind seeing a video on how solar power actually works ie how do the panels convert the suns rays into usable power.

  21. Nice! This is the kind of video I was looking for. I was initially hoping that you make a video review of solar power banks. Good thing you already mentioned it in this video so I guess I'll drop the idea of buying one. I hope on your next video, you can show us a sample of your Meralco bill to explain about the average KWH and how much solar panel you need based on it.

  22. Great thank you im looking forward to all you stuff as usual and you always do it for dummies like me that are learning thanks again !!!

  23. Great Video. You have to love Cdr-King, but the people are not that knowledgeable. I am looking to put up a small system anywhere from 2 to 4 of the 150 watt solar panels from cdr-king. Along with a pure sine wave inverter. I would like to get everything I need from cdr-king. Do you have any suggestions of what you would buy? I am not planning on powering  aircon since I really do not use it that much. I live in Cebu.

  24. cdr king ar in sale 100 watt solar panel 2.990 peso 50 watt solar panel 1.990 peso

  25. tnx for the tip

  26. nice of you to make videos for solar, I myself has engage into solar panel system. can't wait for the next solar 101 and definitely will share these videos to those who wanted to join the band wagon and save mother earth

  27. Ni ge says:

    Excellent.  Just one question, does the Anker thing you showed have a diode?  I only ask because I've plugged my phone into a similar panel to this before which didn't have a diode and after about thirty minutes of typical british overcastness, the phone battery was completely flat having started out with about 30% of charge.

  28. pigpapakoko says:

    looking forward for the next videos! thanks for doing this series

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