|Six 15-watt solar panels along the side of my shop|
First things first. Where to put them? The house is out of the question, so somewhere at my shop was on the top of the list. I had reservations about putting them on the roof as I'm not even sure that this whole deal will pan out. I know that to maximize the gain that I needed to get the most sunlight. That would mean putting them in an unsecured area and having to run wires back to the shop. More wire = energy loss. I wasn't interested in moving them around either. I decided on mounting them at an angle on the west side of my shop. They will not get full sunlight all day, but they will be right on from around Noon or 1:00 until sunset. Good enough for me at this point. How I was going to secure them presented yet another challenge. I finally found some random brackets at Lowe's that could be easily anchored into the brick and cradle the panels at an angle. Rubber coated tabs were used, two to the panel, at the top just in case a ferocious wind were to come at the wrong angle. All of the wiring ran behind the panels and into a small two inch hole back into the shop. I filled the gap with some silicone and the outside was done.
|MacGyver type power source consisting|
of two deep cycle marine batteries and a
750 watt inverter.
The challenge at this point is to try and figure the best (and safest) way to work a switch mechanism. We need the power to the grid to be off when running on the batteries. Likewise we need the batteries, panels and inverter to be cut off when we have a need to run the shop off of regular electricity. I have an idea about how to do it through the breaker box, but I need to do some more studying.
This has been a long time coming and I have had a lot of fun with it. It's more of a science experiment than any real foray into solar power. However, if I can figure through some things I might be interested in going to the next level. Once I get everything figured out I'll post another update.
Y'all take it easy,