Merlin Solar folding panel survived Gale winds

The other day I was working and gale winds came up. I realized that because I was in a meeting and I noticed how strong the wind was blowing. Checking on a weather website it said gale forces were in effect. I couldn’t take the panel inside since the meeting was going on, so I just had to wait. It turned out ok.

I looked and the Merlin solar folding panel didn’t have any damage. I was relived but if it had broken that was ok I would just get a higher wattage one. You learn from experience and sometimes things happen. It had already paid for itself in electricity produced so I have no problem investing in another solar panel if I needed to.

You can see to the right the view from the top of my Merlin folding solar panel. It has been very durable. I have been impressed. I first bought cheaper folding solar panels but the materials were cheap and they didn’t create energy in low light conditions. Even with a partly cloudy day I can get solar power. That is so exciting to me!

Today it is partly cloudy and I know that if I put the panel out I could generate some energy. I don’t know that it is worth it to me. According to the weather on Sunday it will be a Sunny day and that will be a better use of putting the panel out. I am only 1 slice away from being completely full. I like being full, but I also try to weight the cost of having the panel out when it only generates a small amount of electricity. Increasingly I am not putting it out in windy weather even though it could make a little bit of energy. Windy weather tends to be on partly cloudy days like today, so it is a choice.

I am just sharing this because the cost of this panel is worth it for the durability. I am very pleased with this product. No I am not getting any benefit from saying this.

If you have solar power you should prepare for fire

I spoke before about the risks of solar power. One of those is fire depending on the battery chemistry you use. I bought a fire extinguisher and I realized I should talk more about the risks of solar power.

Since I use LifePO4 which is one of the safest commercially available forms of solar battery storage, it is highly unlikely for them to catch fire, but with all electronics there is always the possibility. Normally I have a fire extinguisher in the house so I bought one to be prepared. This is what I bought. No I don’t get any benefit if you follow the link or buy it. I read lots of reviews and had experience with some of the other brands and this seemed like the highest quality one that I wanted to spend money on.

Most likely I will never use this fire extinguisher. I haven’t had to use the ones that I have bought in the past, but I do have experience using a fire extinguisher. They do work well and every home should have one.

To me, buying a fire extinguisher smaller than 10 lbs is a waste. If there is a fire I want the best chance of getting out alive, so I want more fire power not less. I always put it in the bedroom since if there is a fire at night it will give me the best chances. If there is a fire during the day then I have more options.

There is one solar array I watched on youtube that focuses the sun like a magnifying glass in order to get more solar power and heat. It is more efficient but there seems to me to be a higher risk of fire because of that setup. I would not buy that kind of array even if it were outdoors like it showed. There is also a risk of fire from improperly setup solar systems especially at higher voltages. I would always hire an electrician for any system that exceeded 24 volts. If you want to risk your safety and save a few bucks that is your choice. It will never be a choice I will make.