We've been building some skid mount units which may set on the ground or a building as a permanent installation, or may be loaded on a trailer or truck for portable use. These rugged steel power sources can be purchased with the array only or can be combined with the inverter, charge controller and batteries, either mounted on the skid or mounted remotely (such as a shed, garage, house, barn, etc.)
More arrays can be added at any time for greater power output. We currently feature 3, 6, or 12 panel arrays with a variety of electrical/electronic packages for your every power need. Click on this specifications link for more details and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing or custom design. Thanks, Grover
Water wells can be a real issue for solar systems. We have many deep water wells in our area and it's not uncommon to have two or three horsepower pumps. Pumps have a high "starting surge" because they have to start under load. This surge can be several times the normal running power required for the pump. Sooo---the system has to be sized to the start surge of the pump. What this results in oftentimes is a system that is two or three times the capacity that it would have been without the pump. That translates to two or three times the cost----you see where this is going.
Smaller pumps are not as difficult or costly, but still need to be calculated carefully for solar applications.
We sometimes use solar well pumps. Solar pumps don't usually provide enough water flow to be used in the normal pressurized water system, so they trickle water into a storage tank during the day and then a small pressure pump (which our solar system CAN run) provides the proper water pressure and flow for normal use. Another possibility with this type of storage system is that the tank might be filled occasionally with a generator and a regular 240 volt well pump while the small pressure pump continues to be powered by our solar system. Here's a typical example. Let's say we have a 1000 gallon tank and the generator/pump can pump 20 gallons per minute into it. To fill the empty tank would take approximately one hour (1000/20=50 minutes) and perhaps one gallon of fuel for the generator. 1000 gallons might (if carefully used) take care of a small family for a month, so you could function for a year on 12 gallons of fuel.
There are several ways. The simplest and least expensive is to connect an extension cord from the system to your refrigerator and a few essential lights and plug in other devices as needed. Probably not a good solution for long term, but can get you through a short term power outage.
Another solution is to install (usually need an electrician) an auxiliary electrical panel which connects to some of the circuits which you want to use in emergencies. Some of these panels have circuit breakers which can connect either to utility or emergency power.
A third process is to install (again, qualified technician) a transfer switch that transfers all of your electrical loads to the emergency system. This can be a manual switch or and automatic relay. You have to be careful in this situation not to turn on too many devices at once, as it may overload the emergency power system (depending on its capacity) and trip some breakers.
The AC power (household 110 Volt power) is produced by the inverter from the DC power in the batteries. Here are a few things to check if there is no AC from the inverter.
The battery charge circuit includes the batteries, solar panels, charge controller, 20 Amp circuit breaker, and the wiring that connects all of them. Problems with any one of these can interrupt the current flow into the batteries.
The portable solar units are very reliable and normally require little maintenance, but please take some time to familiarize yourself with the ebb and flow of solar power --- it will help greatly when something does go wrong.
Like apples and oranges, but I'll give it a try! Let's compare it with a 3000 Watt gasoline powered generator. First, the 3000 Watt generator is not rated for constant use, maybe 60% duty cycle, meaning that it can only produce 1800 Watts (3000 X .60=1800) continuous. Then we might consider elevation---where we are in New Mexico is over 6,000 feet. That reduces the generator power by about 25% more. Hmmm, we're down to 1350 Watts maximum (1800-450=1350) that it can produce continuously, with some ability to handle some short bursts above that.
Ok, let's say we run the generator for 4 hours a day. It should produce about 5400 Watt/Hrs. of total power (1350 Watts X4 Hrs.) That is approx. what the solar panels would produce in a normal day. BUT, the PowerGenX system has storage batteries that store enough power to provide up to 3000 Watt/Hrs. during the night (or a cloudy day).
Sooo, our unit produces about the same amount of power in a day that a 3000 Watt generator produces in 4 hours (no fuel, of course.) It (PowerGenX) can handle slightly larger peak surges and can spread that power over a longer period. For example, it can keep your refrigerator and freezer cool 24/7 (they don't run continuously) and take care of lighting, etc. at night as well. BUT, the generator uses about 2 gallons of gasoline and costs (at $4.00/gal.) $8.00 per day to run (and requires maintenance and doesn't last very long either---).
Hope this makes sense. I told you it was apples and oranges!
There is a 30% Federal tax credit for the purchase of alternative energy equipment. Some States also offer tax credits or other incentives. In New Mexico, there is a 10% State tax credit. It's best to check with your tax advisor for available incentives and how they may be applied to your situation.
Wind systems require a battery and/or inverter system in order to function. The PowerGenX unit has all the basic components EXCEPT the wind turbine and its charge controller, so it's quite simple to add.
Of course. There are several ways to use the free extra power that your power plant provides. First might be simply to plug in some appliances, tools, or other items that you routinely use. Next might be to isolate specific circuits in your home or business and wire them so that you can transfer them to your PowerGenX when it is producing excess power. You might need an electrician or technician in order to do this safely. Another way could be to install a plug-in grid tie inverter which automatically runs the excess to your loads or into the power grid. You can find these inverters online at minimal expense, but some are not UL approved and should be researched before you try them.
Grover--- Resident prognosticater. If you need specifics, contact me at email@example.com.