I spent the weekend out in the sunshine recycling an old desk into a state of the art mobile solar power unit.
Coming soon to a car park near you, Energy Friend will be there with the unit to offer free mobile phone charging or basically power for any device that you want to bring along. Why can we do this for free? Because the energy from the Sun costs us nothing.
While you’re there putting free, renewable energy into your mobile device we can look at whether or not your home could benefit from solar electricity too, this advice is also totally free.
The glorious sunshine this weekend enabled be to not only charge up my phone, but also power the drill I was using to put the unit together and there was still energy to spare. In a real system this would mean that not only would I be powering my home devices for free but I would also be exporting excess energy into the grid – getting paid for it and enjoying the satisfaction of knowing that my free, renewable energy was contributing to lowering carbon emissions.
The unit itself consists of a 40W solar panel, a 12V leisure battery, a charge controller, an inverter and multiple outset power sockets.: 2 x 12V cigarette sockets, 6 x 230V mains sockets and 2 x USB power sockets. You may think that by having a battery in, I am cheating and the power is not really coming from the Solar Panel, but this battery/inteverter combination in the unit replaces the job of the inverter in your domestic solar power system. The inverter in your homw ensures that the electricity being supplied is is done so at a voltage that can be accepted by the devices in your home and by the grid. In our mobile unit the battery ensures that the current is regulated to avoid any damage to mobile devices that are plugged in.