Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Solar for the Telescope Garage

 Our concrete contractor is supposed to pour a 16' x9' slab on April 1.  Then we will have a Suncast shed installed on it, probably held down by ammunition; yes I have enough to act as anchor for even hurricanes to not move it.  The three telescopes currently taking up space in the garage will roll in and out onto the slab.  It is also really dark out there (Milky Way in summer) and I will not have far to roll them.  Right now I have to roll them from garage to the front porch to get a reasonably flat spot; this should speed up the process.

The Suncast was sufficiently close esthetically to our rather modern (and to my eyes) weird pseudo-Southwestern house to meet with Rhonda's approval.

So about that title: It is impractical to run power to it.  I need enough power to recharge a couple of battery packs that I use for two of the equatorial mounts.  This 100W kit looks to be appropriate.  I probably do not need a battery; if it does all the charging during the day that is fine.  It looks like the charge controller is intended to recharge a battery.  Do I have that right?


  1. One question I have about the shed Clayton: Are you going to be able to easily roll the telescopes in/out of the shed with the floor that's part of the unit? I can't tell what type of lip exists and how high it might be or whether it's molded to prevent water from blowing into the unit. Or do you just plan not to install the floor?

    Sorry, I know nothing about the charging system.

    Best wishes with the project.

  2. I think JohnG has a point - I have a similar shed for my riding mower and had to build a little ramp outside to get the mower in and out. You'll probably have to do the same for your scopes.

    I use a little panel from Cabela's to keep my mower's battery topped off. It's just a trickle charger powered by the Sun. Given that it works well I would assume the much larger system you're looking at would be more than enough to keep your scope batteries charged.

  3. Yes Sir, it is designed to charge a 12V battery. I have that charge controller's little brother and a Grape solar 100W panel to install on my RV later this month. Looks like that gives you the right charge curve for the main battery chemistries. I would expect it to be a good selection.