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solar panel

 
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I've got a remote control that has 2 simple buttons on it for opening and closing the curtains.
The linear mechanism on the curtains has a receiver that receives signals from the controller via the wifi. I've recently found a way that I can integrate it with google home.
Eventually I'd like to find a way that it can run on solar power. Does anyone on here have experience in solar panel electricity? I'm wanting a way that I can harvest solar power for the system, but it needs to look nice. So maybe I could have a solar panel on the roof and then drill a tiny hole for the cable to feed into the linear system.
Thanks in advance!
 
gardener
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Hi Harry;  Welcome to Permies!
Yes, you can put solar panels on your roof and run the wire indoors.
There is a small issue, your panel will be making D/C electricity and your home runs on A/C.
Now to fix that , you will need an inverter to switch from d/c to a/c and you will need some kind of storage battery to hold your d/c until you need it.
Sounds a little complicated and it can be if you start sizing up the power.
But on a small scale what your thinking of can be done.
 
master gardener
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First, Thomas is correct. I will add the question regarding your overall electrical needs.  If they are as little as your post seems to indicate, you may be ok with a couple of deep cell batteries and an inverter without a solar panel.  The batteries would have to be recharged, but rarely.
 
pollinator
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Hello Harry,

Check the voltage of the curtain opener, many of them are 12v and have an in-line converter to change domestic current to DC. (Just like your laptop, tablet, mobile telephone and probably your WIFI box have too). So you may not need an inverter, which wastes a lot of energy just by being switched on.

While you're designing the system, why not use a slightly larger solar panel than you need and run a few LED lights, charge your telephone and do all sorts of other things with the spare energy? After all you only open and close curtains once a day.

Solar panels are relatively cheap but batteries and reliable inverters are not. Am I being cheeky asking why you want to spend time and money on stuff when you already have a system that works on your domestic circuit?
 
gardener
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Wow, I have a passive solar heated home and I love the idea of this automatic curtain!

I can think of two reasons why a person might want it powered directly off a small solar system. One is, if it is an off-grid weekend or ski cabin, the small solar power operating the curtains could make a big difference in heating the house and keeping it warm till the occupants need it.

At my house the electricity is unreliable. In winter, mains power comes only for a few hours in the morning and evening. I have a couple of nice little solar lanterns that do us fine when the power goes out for an evening or a few days. They can charge a phone during sunlight hours, too. For cooking we use gas. In winter the pantry is as cold as the fridge anyway, so that's fine too.  But I can imaging an automated curtain system might make a degree or a few degrees of difference when the occupants are not able to come home exactly at the right time in the afternoon. The coldest 6 weeks of winter is when it would matter for my house, and that is also when mains power doesn't come until after dark.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Rebecca

I went to solar for a similar reason.  Although rarely,  power in my area has been known to vanish for a week.
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