Yesterday was an errands day including visiting the local home center uber store for the stuff I’d need to install the solar panels on the roof and get them all hooked up to put some juice into my storage batteries. The panels went up today and all of the inside equipment got hooked up too. Unfortunately actually connecting the panels to the charge controller will have to wait for tomorrow. The wires supplied on the panels don’t reach the controller. I’ll need to stop by the uber store again for a terminal strip, about six feet of wire and some clamp type lugs.
Behold! The panels:
I got my new solar panels installed just in time for the sun to set. Tomorrow, before the panels will be connected to the charge controller there will be some sun. But it will likely be raining before I get out of work. And the ten day forecast doesn’t mention any sun again until Thursday. They are predicting partly cloudy for Saturday so I may get to test the system then.
Speaking of the charge controller and batteries, here they are:
One of the other stops we made yesterday was at a local consignment shop. I was looking for a small table that would let me set up the system pretty much as I have it here. I haven’t had a desk that size since I was in the third grade! This one even has a hole through the top for an inkwell! That’s the perfect place to route the wires from the panels on the roof to the back of the charge controller. That’s the box to the right where junior’s books, papers and frog for show and tell used to go. The box to the left is the inverter. The inverter has two standard house plugs that supply “modified sign wave” 120 volts AC. It also has a fan so I don’t think heat should be much of an issue. The charge controller has several options for powering various things with DC ranging from 3 volts to 12. Both have USB connectors to charge things that need that style connection.
The two cables coming loosely down the wall and in through the inkwell are for the 12VDC florescent lights that came with the solar panel kit. They are set up temporarily to provide emergency lighting to the area shown in the second photo. They work – though not very brightly. I haven’t decided if they will be set up there permanently or not. You can see their connectors dangling from the bookshelf right next to the charge controller.
All of the ‘stuff’ on top of the desk is generally like kind to what the desk was put here for. There’s a car charger, a booster box and a really lame ‘plugs into the lighter socket’ booster box there. Also I’ve put the chargers for my smaller Makita power tools there. Those will be plugged into a grid connected switched power strip. Once I get one to go there.
Oh by the way, that’s R2 sitting next to the desk waiting patiently for the next time we’ll need him…
There was one other item I picked up at the home center uber store: an appliance load tester. I’ll be using that to find out how much juice my stuff really needs in order to determine just how much (or how little, as the case may be) can actually be run from this system.
I am almost looking forward to going to work so I can rest!