For over 8 years, we have lived off the grid, creating our own renewable electrical power through a system of solar panels, battery storage and inverter to translate the whole system into useable electricity for our house.
On Monday this week, the 25th, we installed 3 brand new solar panels, replacing 2 ancient 85 watt panels with the new more efficient models of 235 watts each. Of course, the technology today is phenomenal and advancing by the minute — or so it seems. We can now run an electric refrigerator along with lights, electronics, piezoelectric starting range elements, chargers — you know, the usual stuff one would find in a household.
8 new batteries now sit in our power center closet, wired in both series and parallel, replacing the old ones which were damaged by excessive cold some time ago. Also replaced was a Sunsaver unit with a new power control box from OutBack Power called a Flexmax. Its purpose is to manage and control the battery charging — a needed upgrade with this new, more powerful system. We are studying manuals like crazy to understand how to manage our system as efficiently as possible.
Of course, now we have to pay for all this new–fangled stuff, but it is well worth the expense — next year we hope to add either more panels, or a wind generator to complete the system. And wouldn’t this be fantastic, an Ecoological House.
Hydro service was interrupted in town today during a series of thunderstorms, while our service continues, one of its great advantages, but we are also thrilled that we can join the green movement and do our little bit for the environment by producing our own, non–destructive electricity using the potential power that is all around us.
Rather than bore you with more details and description, I thought I would use a photo gallery to demonstrate our new system.