IT’S ELECTRIFYING part two

As I said before, this is only a small system that we have, but it can be as big as you want it to be although the bigger it is the more expensive. Our photovoltic panels (PV’s) will produce 150 watts of power each into the batteries. The wind turbine will produce 350watts of charging power, so, on a sunny, windy day we get 650 watts of charging capacity, but on a still, dull day very little power will be produced hence the batteries.The more batteries you have the more power you can store (obviously), but they are quite expensive at 250 euro each (5 years ago), and all lead batteries have a life span of around 8 years. When these batteries die they all have to be replaced at the same time otherwise the older batteries would drain the new batteries life. The PV’s (which are 10 amp, 24 volt chargers each) are wired into charge controllers, so if the power is too much they will turn off to prevent the batteries from ‘cooking’.

The two charge controllers, one for the black PV and one for the blue PV.

The two batteries are wired from two 12v into one 24v. This is easy to do, just connect a wire from the positive terminal on one of them to the negative terminal on the other. The other posts are now live at 24v. Our batteries are 230 amp hour each ( a normal diesel vehicle battery is 65 ah)

The wind turbine is wired with a cut-off switch for safety,eg, if you need to take it down for maintenance. The turbine is also connected to a power ‘run-off’, so, if it is very windy and the batteries are full, this takes the excess energy.

Now comes the best bit and this part really does determine how much power can be used by you in your home.

‘ THE INVERTER’

The inverter changes the power from 24v to 240v into your house (normal house voltage in this part of the world), meaning you can use tv, fridge, lighting etc, you get the picture! Our inverter allows up to 1500 watts of power to be used at any one time, but you can get inverters as big as you want, bearing in mind the more power you use the more you will drain the batteries, hence the more power you will need to charge them back up therefore the bigger the system has to be ( you can see the cycle).

We have an on-off switch connected to the inverter so when we aren’t using any power in the house we can turn the whole system off because the inverter alone will drain power from the batteries.

Next time I would like to show you what else we have done to help us cope with low power in the winter months.

Enjoy.

P.S. Congratulations to New Zealand on winning the rugby World Cup!!