How to use stolen solar panels (1 Viewer)

Onemanbandit

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When me and my friends were like 16 or something we'd go driving out on the logging roads and cut these big fat like 3X5 solar panels off of the top of razorwired weird government buildings, but we never figure out how to get the parts that actually convert the energy into usable power. Basically we've got the panel with some chopped wires sticking off. Well like 6 panels. Anyone ever done this before and actually used them?
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!
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Hmmmm. Not a good way to get em. Is there a plaque or sticker that gives a number for the Voc (open circuit voltage)? How many wires?
 
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The reason I asked about the Voc is that gov't spec can be be weird voltages like 48V, 72V or higher. Especially if they're designed for communications. That's too much to put into a 12V battery without some kind of step-down. That's the kind of charging that can make hydrogen and explosions. For high voltages you can charge several batteries in series and then draw off of one battery at a time.

If you've got a few bucks, a charge controller is good idea to keep from overcharging your battery, but like Murt says, it's not necessary. A multimeter is really cool too, but you can use a car tail light or dome light to get an idea of voltage. If the light is dim it won't charge a battery. If it goes POP the voltage is too hot. After that you can figure out which wire is positive and negative by very quickly striking sparks across the battery and then switching leads. The smaller sparks are the good ones.

Also, if you've got a ground wire on the panel frame you should ground it. They can build up a massive charge on the frame.
 
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Onemanbandit

Onemanbandit

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Thanks a lot for the tips, they've been sitting in a shed for like 6 years now and with some of to projects I have planned for the spring this could be really useful. I won't have a chance to look at them for a while because I'm out of town right now but when I do I'll report back on what voltage they are and any progress I've made.
 

kidbob

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this is awsome i myself have been starin at these solar panels in my area over well head protection areas and wondered? the ones i have looked at do produce 12v but ive wondered if u needed a controller for them,plus not exactly light for travel,but around here alot of ppl use solar to power their hot fences,and they usually easy to steal....just gotta do some research
 

kidbob

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A lot of govt solar panels are having gps trackers put in them, gotta be careful with stealing those.

So i got my hands on a nice one..bout 18x18...just snip snip and some nuts... Ive used it twice....charges a 12v security battery in just a couple hours...no real way to identify it...just a sticker like on school computers ..ive had it for 6mnths now? its heavy...
Keep this in mind i guess...future refrence on solar panels.
 

kidbob

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id also like to note that i used a 180 watt power inverter for a car as my step down...cant say this will work for ever and ever but the two times i used it this summer...it kept my peavy electric guitar amp running and charged a small 12v security system battery
 

mikefwt

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as a person who works for a solar energy company, ive never heard of gps tracked solar panels. also its not the government that does the install or electric, its contracted out to a company. also..... i may be wrong, but if you dont have a disconnect tool or a zip tie or hell even a small flat head would work, you may ruin the panel by ripping it out of the optimizer or microinverter. i deal with damaged wires on a daily basis. those panels may last for 25 years but put a squirrel around the fucker and that thing is done for. also i know that my company has hundreds of old panels that sometimes get thrown away or sold on the cheap. if you went to a smaller company (example: NOT SolarCity) you might be able to walk about with a few panels for around 50 bux a pop
 

BelleBottoms

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Wow. What fucking brats. If anyone ever tries to steal our panels, they will hit the ground before they get to the fenceline.
What is up with people thinking that stealing is okay or somehow part of a desirable lifestyle? There are ways to get what you need and what you want without being a d-bag OR settling for "status quo options" you don't agree with. And no, stealing off "razorwired weird government buildings" instead of an individual's property doesn't make it better.
I'm not against unlawful behavior if it's logical and serves some purpose. But at the very least, know who you are taking from. Know it can be replaced. Know you're not breaking someone's heart. For all you know, those panels powered a monitoring system for an endangered species whose habitat will get bulldozed without sufficient data in court. (That's NOT a fantasy scenario.) And you don't even have a plan to use what you took.
Thanks for making the world a shittier place. Cause we needed that.
 

Hobo Mud

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Wow. What fucking brats. If anyone ever tries to steal our panels, they will hit the ground before they get to the fenceline.
What is up with people thinking that stealing is okay or somehow part of a desirable lifestyle? There are ways to get what you need and what you want without being a d-bag OR settling for "status quo options" you don't agree with. And no, stealing off "razorwired weird government buildings" instead of an individual's property doesn't make it better.
I'm not against unlawful behavior if it's logical and serves some purpose. But at the very least, know who you are taking from. Know it can be replaced. Know you're not breaking someone's heart. For all you know, those panels powered a monitoring system for an endangered species whose habitat will get bulldozed without sufficient data in court. (That's NOT a fantasy scenario.) And you don't even have a plan to use what you took.
Thanks for making the world a shittier place. Cause we needed that.
I wanted to commend you for going against the grain pertaining to your post, not that I am an angel by any means because I am far from it but suspect we see eye to eye about certain issues at hand.

I will steal if my back is against the wall and only out of desperation as to which is so far in between that I can not recall when is the last time I have had to do that but it has always been for food and nothing else, still does not make it right and this I understand but when you have not eaten in three days, the need for food is overpowering and so is your judgment on the matter,

I do not panhandle or through up signs but instead, I normally find handyman work that pays cash for the day when in need of funds. Was refreshing to see your post and I am glad to see that you're being true to yourself and I agree with a lot of things you stated.

We have raised a generation of spoiled little fucking brats. Make no mistake, I don’t knock anyone down for stealing out of desperation, however, I don’t agree with people stealing just for the fuck of it and taking what does not belong to them because there to lazy to get off their ass and put forth a little effort and work for it.

I am sure I will get negative ratings for not being in the end crowd opinion on this matter however at least I am true to my fucking self. Enjoyed your post.
 

Coywolf

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Wow. What fucking brats. If anyone ever tries to steal our panels, they will hit the ground before they get to the fenceline.
What is up with people thinking that stealing is okay or somehow part of a desirable lifestyle? There are ways to get what you need and what you want without being a d-bag OR settling for "status quo options" you don't agree with. And no, stealing off "razorwired weird government buildings" instead of an individual's property doesn't make it better.
I'm not against unlawful behavior if it's logical and serves some purpose. But at the very least, know who you are taking from. Know it can be replaced. Know you're not breaking someone's heart. For all you know, those panels powered a monitoring system for an endangered species whose habitat will get bulldozed without sufficient data in court. (That's NOT a fantasy scenario.) And you don't even have a plan to use what you took.
Thanks for making the world a shittier place. Cause we needed that.
Not sure why stealing stuff is okay. If it's a life or death situation, sure. But solar panels?
These^^ exactly.

Those "razor wire government installations" you are talking about are Probably wildlife, weather, or water monitoring stations. And that is like, the lowest of the low to steal from. Seeing as they are most likely attempting to protect the environment in this country.

Go steal stuff off of oil and gas wells, not USGS stations.
 

Coywolf

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Also, @Hobo Mud You hit the nail on the head.

I have no idea why the new generations feel tgat they are entitled to whatever they want without working for it.

It's not catering to the man, it's responsibility. And no one is saying you have to have alot of it, just enough to take care of yourself.
 

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