Lithium Powered 5V Solar Power Storage and Supply

I’ve built a new gadget to store electrical energy in lithium batteries for an outdoor application. It’s very simple, and it all fits in a weather tight enclosure. Here are the circuit drawing and a photo. As you can see the output is 5.1VDC, just right for a webcam or other SoC board gadget. Of […]

Building Gatecam 4

Gatecam number 4 is based on an Orange Pi with USB camera board. It replaces an earlier camera made with a Raspberry Pi. The Orange Pi using UVC video and MJPEG Server produces up to 15 fps at FHD (1920 by 1080) compared to a max of 4 fps with the Raspberry pi. I used […]

Another Year, Another Check from SoCalEd

We have completed another year of net billing for our large PV solar installation. After all the math was done it turned out we were net producers of electricity again, and so we got another check. Not much money, but better than a $1000 a month bill. During this year our battery electric vehicle (BEV) […]

Final Accounting For Solar Year 3, SoCalEd Pays Us $74

We ended up being net producers of electricity for our third billing year having solar power online. It was also the first full year during which we charged a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), which was charged nowhere else in the entire year. With all of that we still were net producers of electricity while running […]

Mid-Winter Update on Solar Power

We had some actual, much needed rain in December 2014, so power generation was reduced. Obviously the shorter days and lower sun angle also reduce solar power production in the winter. We’ve had our mid-December to mid-January bill, and so far we still have a credit with SoCalEd. It’s pretty much as expected, no cause […]

Solar Electric Update As Winter Approaches

During the long, sunny days of summer when we produce much more energy than we consume our electric bill goes negative as Southern California Edison pays us for excess power applied to the grid. But as winter approaches the days start getting shorter and shorter, and we inevitably start using more power than we produce. […]

Eight Months Driving an Electric Car

In a few more days our Chevrolet Spark EV battery electric vehicle will be 8 months old. By now I’m very used to the car and there has been enough time for its flaws to bother me and its strong points to become apparent. I’ve learned how to hyper-mile in it, and have gotten the […]

Solar Gadget Charger Update

Here is an update on my home made solar gadget charger. A new voltmeter is on its way, expected to have greater brightness in mid-day sun. Meanwhile the professional solar installation on our roof is producing over 100kWh daily at this long day time of year. It’s all good.

Home Made Solar Motion Floodlights and Gadget Charger

Using found materials whenever possible, I have cobbled together various bits to make a solar powered gadget charging station with two motion detecting floodlights. It’s a very unimportant project, but it keeps me from playing in the middle of the street. The metal box was originally a sonar fish finder left behind on our property, […]