Well, now that I’ve finished the van’s solar/electrical system; the result of many hours of research, head scratching and learning ‘just enough to be dangerous’, out of the blue Serendipity, sees fit to bring to my attention a great little book on the subject.
Titled, ‘Do It Yourself 12 Volt Solar Power’ by Michel Daniek, it is a veritable little gold mine of information, ideas and circuit diagrams for those seeking to live off-grid.
Daniek’s approach is down-to-earth, practical and best of all pragmatic, rather than slavishly cow-towing to health and safety political correctness. His advice for checking unknown second-hand batteries, for example, is as follows:-
“Bit dangerous, but good quick check is to short-circuit the poles with a small cable (eg. 0.75mm^2/ 50cm long). If the cable gets hot and you see some sparks, it’s good.”
It’s a great little book and an ideal starting place for anyone new to DC electronics and solar power. The first part of the book goes through the electrical basics while the latter part is primarily about constructing a wide range of solar-powered tools and equipment, but more aimed at sedentary off-grid situations that for van-living.