Solar Electricity

Updated 2/13/99

Take a look at this setup:

Solar cells on barn roof.  Sixteen sets of quadlams, 12 BP Solar 75w, and three Kyocera's

Stacked Trace 4024's for 220vac.  Individual meters for each 24v array, DC Master controls.

Three 24v forklift batteries, 400 ah each for a total of 1200 ah.

Solar array is 1.7 kw, Inverters are Trace 4kw. Charge controller is Omnilink DC Master by Bobier Electronics.  Batteries from Redwood Battery Service.  Individual analog amp meters are installed to monitor each 24v bank of solar cells.  

The microhydro, and the AIR 403 wind generator are now installed!  Hydro makes 2 amps constantly during the wet season, and only 200 milliamps during dry season.  Every bit makes a difference.  The AIR 403 has only been in operation a week, but has been contributing power.  

I have been acquiring energy efficient appliances, such as a Sunfrost refrigerator, and a Staber washing machine to reduce energy usage.  All lighting is compact fluorescent.  Heating is by wood stove, as it is a renewable resource, and I have plenty on my property.  

The house is now entirely hooked to the solar system, a third battery, eight more PV panels, and a second inverter have been added to the system.  The inverters are "stacked" for 230 volt single phase power to the house and workshop.  Finally "off grid"!  

Generator for extended periods of cloudy weather.

I assembled this DC generator recently out of two industrial generators, and an alternator out of the scrap heap, and the left over engine and equipment out of my Honda EV conversion.  The engine is converted to run on propane, and the catalytic converter was retained so the emissions are minimal.  I only use the generator when there is an extended period of weather where there is no rain, no wind, and no sun.  This unit charges the batteries directly, so it eliminates the losses in generating AC then changing the AC to DC to charge the batteries.  It's not pretty, but really does the job!

Air 403 Wind turbine.  400 watts at 24vdc.  Mounted on the roof of the house.  1 1/2 inch pipe tower is insulated from the house structure with pieces of wetsuit material.  I find the noise it makes comforting, knowing it is generating electricity.  


Trace Inverters:  (206) 435-8826

Bobier Electronics (304) 485-7150

Redwood Battery (707) 542-1897

Advanced Power (707) 485-0588

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interested in: making your own electricity from renewable energy, alternative

vehicles, or finding out the latest in related technologies and lifestyles, then this

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Want more info, send email to Bob Taylor ( (remove the nospam from the email address, I put it in there to stop the internet robots from harvesting my email address for spam)