Anker PowerHouse to store the energy. 400 WH which is about the same capacity as the deep cycle battery listed, but this is lithium based so it's much lighter (9.3 lbs vs about 30 lbs for the deep cycle version). $500
Foldable 80W solar panel. $190
Extension cord for solar panel to battery. $8
Evaporative Cooler instead of building your own. $112
$810 for the total package. The benefits are that you get to use a lithium-based battery which is 20 lbs lighter, you can use a foldable solar panel which is more portable, and you buy a pre-assembled evaporative cooler which has nice features like swinging. Mainly this is a good solution for those that just want to press buttons and set up their configuration in a few hours otherwise the kit seems like a good option too.
I used this configuration at burning man and the battery was permanently charged even with the cooler on the whole time. I needed another shade structure for the tent to keep it down a couple more degrees but I was able to sleep until noon with this set up and be totally off grid and have enough power left over for lights and music.
Do even a handful of deep discharges on a lead-acid battery and you'll kill it.
BMSBattery (China) sells a 48v 30AH Lipo battery pack  for $530 + $120 shipping, with delivery in 2-3 weeks. That's 1440 Wh! And the battery includes a "BMS", circuitry that prevents under/over-voltages, over-temperature, cell balancing, and allows for simultaneous charging and discharging. This last feature is really useful if you are using the battery with a solar setup and want to be able to source loads bigger than your panels can supply from time to time.
If you need batteries ASAP in the bay area, you can get similar products from AA Portable Power Corp / Batteryspace.com  located in northeast bay (caution - these do not include BMS so no simultaneous charging+discharging).
So, if you are spending $500 for the battery, you can get much higher capacity (Wh) Li-ion batteries around the same price point from suppliers serving the diy ebike market.
Caveat is that these batteries are typically in the 36-48v, so depending on your application, you may need to add a buck converter (to regulate voltage down to 12v or 5v) or a boost/ac inverter for 120v. Sometimes having a higher voltage can lead to some efficiencies vs lower voltages - can use thinner wires, less power loss over same wire lengths, voltage converters / inverters may be more efficient.
"DROK"-brand voltage converters are around $30 on amazon.
If you want to charge your 36-48v Li-ion battery, try the $38 MPT-7210A "Docooler® MPPT Solar Panel Battery Regulator Charge Controller 10A". If you have two ~20v panels, wire them in series so the panel voltage going to the charge controller is ~40v; it won't have to work as hard to boost the voltage for battery charging and will be more efficient.
The high Ah capacity was to support using the motor and accessories (atv soundsystem, lots of "dotstar"-style LED strips) periodically throughout the day and night.
We had two batteries and two sets of solar charging systems: a large, heavy 270-watt panel at camp and 2x 100-watt flexible panels for the bike.
Bike panels extended the range of the bike through a combination of powering accessories during the day, recharging the battery (when not using the motor), and reducing the load on the battery by providing supplemental power directly to the motor controller (when using the motor). "750" watt motor, ~200 w of solar, so not really possible to drive without also using the battery.
Meanwhile, the spare battery is charging at camp and also available for light loads like phone charging and some lights at night.
Every day or two we swap the batteries such that the bike has the more fully charged one.
DC systems and AC systems also require differently rated components. You cannot just go buy a 30A 120V AC breaker from home depot for the DC side of your system. It takes a lot more to disconnect DC than it does in AC (because AC cycles to 0V 60x/s it doesn't take much of a gap/insulator to break a connection, DC is not the same. Trying to use a light-switch for a DC light can result in problems .
I've had good luck with midnite products (charge controllers and breakers, etc) . Their breakers are 100% rated in that if you expect your max current output to be 30A DC (12v probably), you can use a 30A breaker and not have to oversize it, they are rated to take the guess work out of how to size your breakers which is nice.
Edit: I tried to find some info on the CC they use (in case it had internal protection which I wouldn't trust even if they said it did) and no luck. Given its pedigree and price (most charge controller add on displays cost more than this thing) you definitely don't want to take any chances. Price doesn't always mean quality but there is probably a good reason they are usually more expensive than this.
100W panels are $94 now? Holy crap, if we used more power boondocking I’d cover the roof of the camper with them. But we don’t use the power we make now, with a propane-powered refrigerator and LED lighting. And that’s the problem with solar, it can power the little stuff, like LED lights or a small invertor, and 100W panels are almost overkill. But get to something like a fridge or A/C for even a small camper, and one will need multiple panels and a big set of batteries.
Nice setup, and I wish them well with their turnkey solution.
Spot market for PV modules is as low as 28 cents per Watt. Just the cells are as low as 20 cents per Watt. pvinsights.com (These are before tariffs, I think.)
We're in a very different world from when dollar-a-watt (at the cell level) seemed like the holy grail.
They do say it's a DC based swamp cooler. Looks home made though...more detail on it would be interesting.
Called something like a "Burning Man Bucket Swamp Cooler":
Simple and cheap to make; the problem with swamp coolers at Burning Man is the dust. Eventually the water turns to mud, and the pads get caked in it. Plus, you have to carry enough water not just for drinking, but to run the cooler too.
But that's at Burning Man - in other contexts it works as well as any other similar cooler.
I was under the impression swamp coolers needed big air flow to work well. Seems maybe not?
According to the chart at the bottom of this article, it's not optimal, but it'll take the edge off: https://www.air-n-water.com/common-swamp-mistakes.htm. And for most summers, this one being an exception, our problems with heat are in the high desert east of the mountains.
But now you've got me thinking about some WiFi or LTE module that monitors continuity or voltage, build a companion phone app that gets pinged when $SOMETHING goes wrong. :-) (Our use case is bluegrass festival->leave dogs in camper to see show, so we're never very far away.)
There exist smartphones with ambient temperature sensors; if you already have USB power, this is only a few hours of hacking.
Duh, of course. That's why they don't let me design things. :-) (Though in my defense, it was an "off the top of my head in 500ms" thought.) Plenty of power available, the only issue would be connectivity, as there's about a 50% chance that any festival we go to won't have a cell signal. Which makes me wonder how hard it would be to rig something that sends an APRS message over amateur radio frequencies when a the alarm has voltage, or something.
Anyhoo, this is drifting way off topic. If I get around to making something, I'll post a Show HN.
big power hungry fan motor
I would have concerns with a 100 watt DC panel being able to handle a 65 watts AC swamp cooler. Conversion loss, motor startup current draw, etc.
Big alternating current fans that can move air do use lots of power. Especially a current surge at startup.
It sounds like in this space, people are making their own direct DC powered swamp coolers that are using less power, with relatively low flow fans. That's what I was missing.
Also, I used 2x100Ah deep cycle marine batteries + 2 additional batteries of unknown capacity, probably between 50 and 100Ah
Both charge batteries using pulses rather than a constant voltage which extends the lifetime of the batteries compared to a cheap automotive charger that would over time reduce the capacity of the battery), all of which is geared towards lead acid.
Most PWM or MPPT charge controllers I've seen only support lead acid (which come in a variety of configurations, some vented some not) and do not do li-ion, at least not out of the box. Theoretically they have the hardware to do it (my CC can do 12v, 24v, and 48v systems) but maybe not the software.
Lead acid batteries have been probably the most commonly used in renewable energy projects for a while due to their cost-density but li-ion seems like a superior choice if you can front the initial cost. I've been looking at them but also feeling like in 5-10 years there might be more alternatives so replacing lead acid batteries every 5-10 years seems better for me at this point.
This is exactly why I think solar will beat nuclear hands-down. Solar enables gradual adoption, unlike nuclear's power-plant sized step function. Regardless of the actual price in $/kWh, people like doing easy things.
So unless you can build a flywheel for $100 you're kind of stuck with batteries.
My first plan is to use the panel and battery to run a set of 12V led outdoor lights, but I'm also thinking about trying to tie into the existing 12V system that I never bother turning on.
That's got me thinking about taking it a step further and adding some capacity to power my Christmas lights this year. Now that they're LEDs as well, it seems it should be possible, but probably not cost effective.
I keep thinking there must be a decent market in between tiny panels powering path lights and a full rooftop system. Like a standalone patio cover or pergola that has solar panels for a roof. That should give a decent amount of power, and it could be an easier sell to people instead of permanently attaching something to their roof.
Actually, I was trying to think of a way to run a small air conditioner from solar—like one of those split systems. The AC could run when the sun is out, which is when the upstairs of my house gets hot. It would be a supplement to my central AC, so I wouldn't be worried about it not running at night or cloudy days. So, I don't need a lot of storage or even worry about tying into the grid.
Again, though, it's probably not cost effective piecing it together, but still the solar patio cover seems like something that should available in a big box at Home Depot or Costco these days.
Plus, you can built it on the ground and then just tilt it up and bolt into place.
The previous 'post' focused on apartments was discussed https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14821478
Let's keep in mind that a car alternator has 0.5-2kW and you need to burn <0.1l of gas to charge that battery once with the alternator. I'm not sure its worth all the extra equipment and cost to go full solar.
Edit: The solar panel probably gets you 360Wh to 900Wh per day, depending on how sunny the region you live in is. This is not enough to run a household refrigerator, but enough to charge your phones or laptops and some lights.
For example, when you're camping or at another event with lots of people around. There's nothing quite as abominable as a fleet of autos chugging along in a loud cacophony.
If you have been to burning man you know there are things way more abominable.
That said, I agree cost is not the priority. Convenience is.
We started camping w/ a battery this summer and I'm definitely going to add solar charging. For me, the allure is to have the battery charging silently, and while we're away from the campsite.
I used it while camping for the eclipse, and only had to charge it once every few days, and that was with charging all sorts of other devices as well.
From a professional standpoint I'd nag about
> the battery is laid into the tool tray. Plenty of extra space in this toolbox, which protects the system from dust and the sun.
A closed box is not a good place to keep actively cooled electronics; less so when it's a black box in the sun.
If you seal your box in a humid environment, the cool night temps can cause condensation, so ventilation of the box would be useful to prevent this (as well as provide for active or passive cooling of electronics) or throw in some silica gel packs.
If you suppose a 12V 420Ah battery, its capacity will be of 5kWh. That would require at least 0.5l of fuel. But with a typical efficiency of 30%, it will require 1.6l, and not 0.1l.
If you have money, you can buy integrated solutions like the Xantrex XPower Powerpack 1500 + regulator + solar panels.
According to https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/products/10series/gefor..., the cards pull 150w. But how to know what setup work?
BTW: I live in Medellin, Colombia and have sun like half-day for sure.
Just use solar power for whatever, and grid power for the mining rid and it works out the same.
To truly be green you would either do without or not go.
So then, the very greenest things you can do probably involve mass murder and industrial sabotage.
Further down the list, after those, you have leading an ascetic life of minimal consumption and minimal travel while devoting yourself to the right sort of political advocacy.
A bit further down is dying underground as soon as possible. But it's important to note that a small amount of advocacy, sabotage, or murder per year can make it a net positive for you to continue living.
Way below all that stuff that nobody wants to do (and who can blame them) are (a) living as a hermit in the woods eating only berries and mushrooms or (b) living a normal life with a normal career and making consumer choices like buying solar panels and electric cars when other people might buy various combustion machines.
If you're not counting your effect on other people, (a) is a clear winner. However, people's consumer choices do have an effect on the direction of the economy. And, if you take those effects into account, I honestly don't know how to decide whether (a) or (b) appears higher in the greenness ranking.
Maybe standard rooftop solar panels lifetime is too short as they are exposed to the elements all the time. But as a general rule? Seems wrong.
Solar panels will generate power for as long as there are cells still alive.
Both are recyclable, but batteries are specially so. Therefore, how can't they beat diesel, which also has to be extracted, processed, transported and finally burned (at low efficiency)?
Show this to a landlord and see what their reaction is.
In the real world I'd probably double that to 8 years.
On the other hand the inverter would be more expensive, since you can't just use any old cheap inverter, but you need one that is true sine wave (cheap ones are filtered square wave), and able to phase and voltage match to the grid.
And how would I verify that this works for my electricity provider (PG&E in San Francisco)?
And don't forget true sine wave is not enough, it must also voltage, and even more important, phase, match.
You don't need anything specific to any particular electricity provider.
There are plenty of places to recycle both lithium-chemistry and lead-acid batteries (plus any mercury containing hearing-aid and similar cells). For car batteries, you can usually trade in the old battery for the "core charge", otherwise there are places that purchase old lead acid car batteries and similar.
Virtually everything in those batteries is recycled, and usually turned into new batteries again (heck, I think they ever recycle the sulphuric acid, too).
Perhaps DIY is the way to go.
Solar panel can push 100W in.
Invertor can pull 150W out.
I had this happen on a properly wired off-grid system (bad diode) and it would have been quite bad had it not had a breaker of the appropriate size. I would not sleep next to a battery that wasn't fused or breakered.
Reminder: DC systems and AC systems require differently rated components. You cannot just go buy a 30A breaker from home depot for the DC side of your system. It takes a lot more to disconnect DC than it does in AC (because AC cycles to 0V 60x/s it doesn't take much of a gap/insulator to break a connection, DC is not the same. Trying to use a light-switch for a DC light can result in problems .
I've had good luck with midnite products (charge controllers and breakers, etc) 
(Officially. In reality there are a few more things that they sell, but the 'only two things' label has stuck).
Edit: Also, you don't need Ice for a swamp cooler. You don't even need cold water. The water temperature doesn't really matter, as the temperature drop comes from the evaporation, not the water temperature.