No, not Christmas lights – at least not yet. Today we were able to switch on George – our 2kw solar pv array, and although the weather is far from ideal – heavy skies and no real sign of any sun, he is generating some useful amps.
He joins Rowan, our 1kw array, and Ash, the 400w array. Now we just have one more 400w array to put up and our system will be complete.
This is the fun bit for the techies out there, consisting of the MPPT controllers to the top right, the Inverver/Charger on the left, with all the isolators below. Eventually we’ll be able to monitor and control it all remotely, and show how it is all performing here on the website.
The reality for off-gridders is that it is in weather like this that you need a combination of a very large battery bank, and an additional source of power, such as a wind turbine or generator. The amount of sunlight reaching the panels is really quite low, and they are working at a fraction of their peak output. The answer for us is to reduce our consumption accordingly, and count the days until midwinter when we can look forward to increasingly longer daylight hours.