Harbor Freight had a solar panel kit on sale for Black Friday. So I ordered one. I'm not sure when it will be here, but when I get it I will take lots of pictures of the box contents, the installation and any extra stuff needed to make it all go together.
Ok, before any "alternative energy" snobs start dogging me for getting a Harbor Freight kit, don't do it. I don't know shit about solar energy, nada, zip. This is an inexpensive way to learn and still have something that is useful. There are about 25 vdeos of people on the Youtube that have this same kit and are thrilled with the performance they get out of it.
It's also expandable, which is important to me. I want to be able to grow this a little at a time as I learn what I am doing.
I'm not getting this kit with any unreal expectations about what I can do with it. I'm not expecting to power my house or even my shed with a single 45 watt kit. I do expect to be able to charge up some batteries, including my Dewalt drill and some AAA and AA batteries in a charger. And maybe power a couple of lights in my shed.
I'm also beginning a little bit of research into a homemade wind turbine that will supplement the current system. It doesn't seem that hard. And most of the pieces for it are cheap or free. The more I think about it, the more I realize how much I could be saving for other things b using the "free" energy available to me everyday. We all know that the wind and solar energy isn't really free. Like with anything else, there are costs associated with the original setup and then on going maintenance, so nothing is really free.
But, with some good choices and little sacrifices now, I can have at least some power when people around me don't. That could come in real handy.
As soon as I get my bits and pieces together I will make a new post with some decent pictures...