I’ve set up an 18-module system, but purchased 20 PV modules to get a pallet discount. I sold one of the remaining modules to an RV owner, but the other is still sitting idle in my basement. I thought long and hard but could not come up with a good use. Due to the disadvantages of batteries, I don’t think charging a battery and using the battery power is a smart solution. So my question is, what can I do with one 135-watt PV module?
Jakob Speksnijder • Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
Save that module for when you break one. In a few years, 135s will not be that easy to find. Carefully store it; it was smart to get extra.
Light your chicken coop, run some lights for your shop, add a night security light—so many things.
Do you have fans in your attic? An attic gets very hot in the summer. Also, all year-round, the attic traps moist air from the bathroom that seeps up through the ceiling. Why not purchase two 12 VDC attic fans, and have the solar module power them? (I have two attic fans operated with two 20-watt modules.) Put the module to use. If one of your current 135s does break or go bad, you can replace it with this one. Don’t let this potential extra energy go to waste!
Let’s see—you could power attic fans, security lights, light up the dog house, charge your zombie taser, and our favorite: supply power for your secret bunker where you store all your Home Power magazines.
GV2 | The Powerhouse
That’s exactly what I would do! Death to zombies, LOL.
While tasing zombies would definitely be more fun, I’m with Chip on this one. Store the module so it’s available in the future. Think down the road 10 years‑—even if a module in the array happens to fail and it’s covered under warranty, there’s no guarantee that the manufacturer will have a replacement module with the same physical dimensions and electrical characteristics.
Here’s another idea: turn it into a community education project, like a solar fountain to take to schools. Kids make a wondrous connection between sun hitting the PV module and the work it can do.
You could use the module to power a small water feature in your back yard.
I’ll take it to Africa to power a family’s hut with light for the very first time! Life-changing experience.
We have assorted spare old modules (even some of those original old Arcos—must be close to 50 years old now)! List of odd uses: attic fan, greenhouse fan, solar fountain, pump for 30-year-old solar hot water Sunspool system that works like a charm, power for guest house, power for camping. Have fun!
Simmons Natural Bodycare