Here on Scoraig, wind is the big thing... For fear of upsetting my neighbours, I’m referring, of course, to small wind turbines. But most people do also have solar panels, of varying sizes and power. At 10a (the place where we now live), we are lucky to have a very new offgrid electrical system, consisting of new batteries, inverter and refurbished wind turbine, but the existing solar panels were a bit old and underpowered, for our needs (see photo of original array).
After some re-planning and an additional panel (for a neighbour), we arranged for the five of them to be collected and delivered to Lisa, in Huntingdon. As she then discovered, they were a little bigger than we had envisaged, so she was only able to manage three on her trip up. With a view bringing the other two a month later. They (and she) arrived in time for the Post Boat and travelled over to the Scoraig Jetty. There was only one way to get them the 2 miles to the house, down the track - carrying them. If only we had had a set of solar powered wheels to attach them to - maybe I’ll have to look at inventing something like that.
At long last they all arrived and were ready to install. We decided to use the existing ‘frame’, but to add extensions either side. This not only accommodated the much bigger panels, but also gave us a valuable wood and coal (uh-oh more fossil fuel) store. With the help of our resident renewables expert, it didn’t take too long for them to be integrated into the system. We couldn’t have been happier with them. Its taken the input - from solar - from around 2-5 amps, up to 10-15 amps, on a dull day and 30-40 amps, when its really sunny!
We kept two of the three original (smaller) panels as part of the new setup, as you can see in the photo below. We plan to use the spare one in a small heating and lighting system, for the Polytunnel and, of course, I'll post about this when we do it.
So go on, as Osibisa might have said, if they'd been singing from the same solar hymn sheet... Solar Power On A Sunshine Day Will Bring A Smile.