Solar Power Pilot Project
by Dylan Kensick & Taylor Galvin
The solar power system allows us to have AC electricity within our off-grid home. The 3 main components of the system are the solar panel, charge controller system, and the batteries. The charge controller system and the batteries are in a specific location inside our house, the solar panel is mounted on the ground in our yard. The solar panel is rated to 330 watts at a maximum of 40 volts, the charge controller has a maximum input capacity of 20 amps to charge the batteries. The battery bank is composed of two 12-volt batteries with 235-amp hours, which can power 1.6 kilowatts at a 70% depth of discharge.
The current set up and system allows us to have 120V of alternating current through the inverter of the system. This allows us to power the lights in our home, charge our electronics for school and work, run other low-powered electronics like a fan, TV, gaming console, toaster, and vacuum. Other electronics can be running on the inverter, but the capacity is 1800 watts.
This is such a great opportunity for us to have power and I am really impressed with the systems charging capability and ready-to-go – easy set-up processes. Other thoughts and comments about this system is the mounting area. It is important to place the panel where it is going to get the most sunlight. The panel also does not produce much power when it is cloudy or if it is shaded. We mounted the panel on the ground in our yard for optimal sunlight which was a good thing because of the amount of snow that we are getting this year. The panel is approximately at a 45-degree angle and the snow will stick to the glass which then has to be brushed off for power production, if the panel was mounted on our roof, then we would need to climb on the roof to brush off the panel. Another note on the charging capabilities – we noticed that we could drain our batteries to the recommended depth and can re-charge it within a couple of hours on a nice sunny day (this is fast in my opinion).
Kitche Miigwetch Wa Ni Ska Tan for this incredible opportunity and support.