The solar hub and battery powered chainsaw arrived today

Two packages arrived today it’s almost like Amazon is the adult version of Santa Claus this month. Oh sure I have to pay for the stuff I order but it’s kinda fun getting in new stuff for the house or RV. The chainsaw is a reconditioned Black and Decker 18 volt battery powered that cost less than $60.00. With the cultivator I bought I now have two chargers and three 18 volt batteries for some lightweight power tools.  I won’t be plowing any feilds or cutting down a forest with these tools but  the little cultivater did a good job on my raised bed garden. My hope is the chainsaw will be good for small jobs that works well with the solar generator and  I can add to the RV toolbox. I think the little chainsaw could be very handy if I needed to bugout or after a storm cutting up limbs and small logs and I could save my gasoline for the big stuff.

The solar hub came in and I think it would work better for Mom’s solar setup rather than what I have in mind for my solar generator. I did not notice the specs limitations and I have a slightly different idea of how I want to go solar and doing the wiring.  Mom’s solar panels have a lower total amperage compared to mine and I think since she has those panels mounted on the roof that the hub will work better for her start on solar power.  Dad has done most of the setup for Mom’s solar power system but he seems to have major issues with solar energy. Perhaps it is a prejudice from when solar energy got it’s start back in the 70’s and was not very good. Dad worked for Idaho power for over 40 years as a lineman so I think he does not realize just how much solar has improved since then.  Then again Dad is not on board with the whole prepping /self-reliance thing so there is a bit of denial/anger going on because life is changing rather dramatically and it’s getting harder to ignore.

I know most of my family thinks I’m nuts by preparing and getting self-reliant. But other than the water main fix that Dad just had to “help” me with I have managed to pay off almost all of my debt. Refi my house to get a good interest rate, put in a very wood stove and is managing life pretty well.  Like many families these days this is a mixed family via divorce and sometimes it hurts Dad that I make “his kids” look sort of financially incompetent. Plus he has told me that he feels  guilty about not helping me as much as the other kids!  While I need help from time to time to make things a bit easier, I’m proud of the fact that I’m the kid he doesn’t need to worry about making it! My parents are in their late 60’s/early 70’s and us kids are in our 40’s-50’s and we are still “kids” and they are still “parents”.  I don’t think this is a new thing about us humans but instead of spraying a bit of Bactine and giving a kiss and a hug for a “boo boo”. Parents try to cushion the slings and arrows of real life.

I was so lucky as a child that my Mom would allow me to go out and discover the world and get a bit smashed up by it to learn there are some sharp corners in life and  gravity and inertia can hurt.  I don’t have kids but watching my nieces and nephews can just about give e a heart attack or stroke when I see them play. I don’t have the strength my Mom had to be a parent and let a child discover life and learn for themselves.

4 Responses to The solar hub and battery powered chainsaw arrived today

  1. I am not sure what you mean by a solar hub? You mean the charge controller? My panels all come into the controller which regulates how fast and when the batteries are being charged.

    As for the chain saw did you get the Lithium one or the regular battery type? I got the regular battery type and I really wish I had gotten the lithium one. Still they are useful just be sure you run the battery all the way down before recharging. I love my battery chainsaw for pruning and cleaning out fence lines.

  2. Jamie says:

    Pioneer, It’s a 8-1 solar hub. Basically it’s a way to connect solar panels incoming energy through 7 wired hubs to one output wire that goes to a charger/controller and then into the battery bank. Each input is limited to 7 amps for each port and the total power going through the hub is 450 watts. Now Mom has some 15 watt solar panels Dad already positioned on their roof but the wiring is a bit of a mess. So cleaning up the wiring and running it properly from the solar panel output into a charger controller to the battery to the inverter would be huge difference as far as cleaning up the wiring and making it a bit more efficient.

    I have a couple of 100 watt, 7 amp panels that I want to use for a portable solar generator. But a basic wiring harness should work fine with the 30 amp charger controller and leave a bit of room for expanding the solar panel array. I’m starting out with two 100 watt solar panels/ solar generator I’m planning for a 1kw- 2kw solar setup in the future. So each 8-1 port could handle up to 7 amps but the hub itself only handles 30 amps total. So theoretically you could plug in a total of 49 amps but the hub can’t handle more than 30 amps. If you are using 15-50 watt solar panels the hub would be fine to use. But if you are using larger 100 watt + solar panels the hub will not work because of the amps.

    I think for my basic solar set up that an electrical bus bar and box co-located with the power main will be the safest and most efficient method of power distribution. I have no inclination to zap a fireman or a utility worker.

    I believe the battery is an Lithum-ion type. While I have not tested the chainsaw I got a good 30-60 minutes of work out of the cultivator even using it to cut a flowerbed in hard clay soil.

  3. I used a big Trane inverter when I had my system up and running. Everything ran through that and I could control the generator, the batteries, the solar system through the keyboard on the inverter. In 1999 solar wasn’t as sophisticated as it is now and it cost more to keep the system running than it was worth. Now I just use the generator if I need power.

    • Jamie says:

      Harry, Solar has dropped a lot in price though it is still expensive to do a whole house system. Adding a few panels for lights and small gadgets isn’t to costly. I like that I can keep building the system a little bit at a time.

      My original idea was to use solar the keep the RV powered so I could use the 110/propane/12 volt fridge going if the power was off longterm. The panels would help stretch the propane and the fuel for the onboard generator when camping.

      The larger panels would be a sort of portable generator not attached to the house so I could use it camping as well. One item I want to run nearly year round is a fan to circulate the heat from the stove or to circulate air in he summer. I have gone to a lot of battery powered things like radios the kindle, laptop and the cordless chainsaw and cultivator.If I can keep those charged up it will save a lot of work and give me some basics without breaking the bank.

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