the Tire Bale house project

 

For our solar power system, we will be using 12 Kyocera 120 watt solar panels in an array on a Wattsun Tracker, a Xantrax inverter, an Outback MX-60 charge controller, and (16) L16 lead acid batteries.

tracker rebartracker pole

We went to a local metal recycler and bought a steel pipe to mount a Wattsun tracker on. We built a form 8 ft. high and 3 ft. square and drilled holes in the lower part (below ground level) and stuck rebar through the holes. We had a concrete truck deliver 3 cu. yds. of concrete to fill the form.

 

 

array

 

August 2005, we mounted the 12 solar panels on the tracker and tested it by wiring it to use its own power. Although it wasn't connected to anything but itself, it was fun to watch track the sun.

 

 

Back on the "Journey Begins" page, I mentioned that we have never been attached to the utility grid and were living in a mini trailer powered by one solar panel and one battery. After 9 months, in 2004, we moved into a little 200 sq. ft. cabin behind the house which is also powered by the solar system from the trailer. Shortly after this picture was taken, we added a small shed near the array to house the 4 batteries (which will be replaced by 16 when we move into the house) and the solar equipment. Steve then connected the power to the cabin. We are using solar power to run our cabin and the power tools to build this house. Who said solar power doesn't work? For an update on the solar electric and more pictures, click this link to go to Steve's Blog DifferThink.

 

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