[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he latest technologies in consumer solar power options was the focus of CMSARA’s February program. A widely known Brandon ham, Steve Powell KF5QXU, told Central Mississippi hams that the current efficiencies in solar panels is about $1 per watt of electric energy although the batteries, frames, solar charge controllers need to be added into that equation for a full cost per watt.
A large crowd attended this informative talk. Many grilled Steve on some of the popular vague notions about solar-based power, such as whether 12VDC is the most effective voltage (yes) and how did the new bendable amorphous panels work? (well!) and what’s needed to keep the batteries from going bad (don’t let them get “low” on current). KF5QXU handled each question quickly with depth, referring some persistent ones to the diagram on his tee shirt. You can’t make up energy. You can just transform it with some less than perfect efficiency! [Read more…] about What? Get Solar Power for $1/Watt!