Solar Project #1 – the demonstration setup

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Here is a vid of my setup:

Solar Project #1 from Micah Gallant on Vimeo.

My goal is to build up a solar array that will at first power my whole office, 9 to 5 (EST). I need 400watts continuous power. Yes, thats a lot, for a first system setup. I am running a lot of devices in my office:

  • two line business phone
  • wireless router
  • vonage modem
  • bell modem
  • macbook
  • speakers
  • USB backup harddrive
  • external widescreen LCD

So considering al that, if I can get my office off grid, I’m WELL on my way to converting our house 🙂 And I’ll have all the experience and knowledge I need to install a bigger system. I figure I can get my office off grid for about $1500 in parts. Maybe less actually since i really don’t need batteries. for now I can directly run my 400watt UPS, it will act as my battery bank, and I’m working throughout the day so there should be lots of light to power the system without batteries anyways – which is ideal otherwise my UPS will beep at me every 2  seconds 😉

I think for our whole house we might be able to make due with …1.5kW continuous. Thats running the fridge, lights, anything else… So we’ll see, might need more depending how ofte we just a dishwasher, or washing machine etc. A 2 or 3kW system would be ideal so that we can grid tie and get paid for excess power (thats my secret plan for extra retirement income 😉 )

Over the next couple of years I hope to slowly convert our house and electronics over to renewable energy (off grid for now,… to be legal). I like canadian tire stuff, its not UBER over priced and its nice and easy to get started with, plug and play for most of it and i’ll get a real good feel for what works, how much power I need etc.

My next thing on the list is to get an energy meter. I’ve ordered one from teh library here. Most PEI libraries have ones that you can sign out just like a book, they call it ‘the green island’. so I’ll make a post on that once I have some real numbers.

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