John Drake Services, Inc.
1427 E. 68th Street
Long Beach, CA 90805
electricity from the sun by John Drake II | home
About Us | About this website. | Getting Started | Solar Panels / Photovoltaic Modules - Read Before You Buy | Make A Plan | PV System Layout and Parts | Start with the loads you are going to operate | Battery Types and Sizing | Battery Safety | Battery Charging Voltages and Temperature | Battery Trouble Shooting | Charging Batteries - You can't have everything. | Battery State of Charge and Measurement | Safety Devices Fuses and Circuit Breakers | Series & Parallel Wiring | Wiring and Power Distribution Connections | Photovolatic Module Specifications - Real or a Pipe Dream | Photovoltaic module solar panel location and positioning | Photovoltaic Module and Solar Panel Information | Charge Controller Types | Wire and Cable Types | Wiring - Doing it Right | Connections for Wiring | Voltage Drop - Wire Loss, What are they? | Outdoor Connections | Wire loss - Voltage drop charts | D.C. to A.C. Inverters | Low Voltage D.C. Lighting & Color Temperature of Light | Battery System Monitoring | Dont fool yourself - Spending your money wisely. | Solar Converters GS-1AC | Linear Current Boosters for Water Pumping | Utility Grid Intertie Systems | Solar Insolation Chart | More Information | Alternative Energy Expectations | Power Needs Worksheet | Reference Sources | Contact Us
Make A Plan
These pages are set up to help you design and install an alternative energy system
using photovoltaic modules, the basics also apply to systems using wind or water
generators as the power source.
First off, ask yourself what you want your system to do.
Is it for an off-grid (self-sufficient) home, a remote telemetry or monitoring station,
a vacation cabin or lodge, or a back-up system for your home or business in case
the utiltiy power goes out?
As more people are retiring and becoming full-time RVer's they are learning something new.
When you live in your motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer, or on a boat, you become your
own power company.
You learn how to make power, and just as important, you learn how to use power wisely.
Each one of these types of installations has its own requirements for power production,
storage and monitoring components.
The first thing I recommend is to pickup a pad of graph paper and a ruled legal pad.
The graph paper is for making a dimensional drawing of your system with all of the components and
the wire run distances between each component.
The legal pad is to start a parts list as well as to make notes.
Don't be surprised if you go through many pages of graph and legal paper before you are ready to
start buying components.
This is, in opinion, the wisest thing to do.
If you get in a hurry you will most likely end up with a cobbled up system that will not work to your