Going off grid – …a little bit – Chris Elsmore & Steve Pike

Going off grid – …a little bit – Chris Elsmore & Steve Pike

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Slides to talk about solar stuff

On Github stringfellow / solar-power-deck

Going off grid

…a little bit

Chris Elsmore & Steve Pike

@elsmorian & @stringfellow


http://www.flickr.com/photos/doug88888/4612035503 http://www.flickr.com/photos/88364173@N00/9331718347

EMF Camp 2012

Camping, Making, Hacking, Fire & Club Mate!

Good low power DC Photovoltaic test bed


Making A Solar Panel?

Making A Solar Panel!

Making A Solar Panel!

Made A Solar Panel!

Charge Controller

Birds Nest Of Cables

Parts & cost


  • B-grade cells - eBay, £40
  • Acrylic Offcuts - Homebase, £10
  • MDF - B&Q, £15
  • Battery - eBay, £80
  • Charge Controller - eBay, £30

Sensing and reporting

Arduino & ACS712 Current Sensor

EMF Day 2 - Generated power

It worked!

Charged phones, torches and Macbooks, pumped up airbeds…




.. & Wipeout64

Current status

Water damage..

Worth it?

  • Not monetarily or for longevity..
  • But could be if sealing wasn't an issue
  • Learnt a lot about capabilities In Real Life
  • Definitely worth it as it inspired Steve…

Low effort install

Put up a solar panel?

Put up a solar panel!

Parts & cost

  • Biard 100W Monocrystalline PV panel (ebay, £119)
  • Numax 110AH Motorhome battery (ebay, £84)
  • Victron BlueSolar 5A regulator (ebay, £28)
  • Misc wires and stuff (ebay, ≈£30)

Total: ≈£260

Sensing and reporting

Sensing and reporting


  • Dodgy wiring - use a crimp and solder!
  • Cables too long? MacBook Pro charging bit tricky...

Current status

You're looking at a PV-Python-Pi-powered slide deck!

Router, Pi + Arduino powered by PV :-)

Current status…

Daily use

Worth it?


Stuff we've powered

N64, MacBooks, iPhones, iPads, router, Pi, Airbed pump, LED lanterns, UAV battery charger…


@elsmorian | @stringfellow

http://www.elsmorian.com | http://goingoffgrid.tumblr.com