House Panels

WD9EKA Alternative Energy
Off-grid officially since March 4, 2011.(+4 years)

Magnasine control panel

Red display is a bogart Tri-Metric monitoring the main batteries. This is set for battery state of charge when red dot under ones digit. Current when red dot under tens digit and battery voltage when dot is on the far left.
Display in upper right corner is the Magnum inverter remote control panel. The bottom right display is the Outback mate showing status of the two FM80 charge controllers.

Since 1980 I had a desire of being able to power my home independently from commercial power. Between 2009 and early 2011 I had been extremely close to achieving that goal. I had been hesitant to cut the cord though. A perfect storm of bureaucracy in the local electric co-operative finally convinced me. I have not regretted shutting it off.

garage with panel

Garage Panels

solar air heater SolarSheats1500gs align=

Todays PV status
House power:

1 - 100 watt Arco Tri-Lam PV panel (in use since 1990 and 2 moves)
3 - 120 watt AP-1206 . 1 on line 5/1/99. 2 and 3 on line 7/9/99 note 1, 3
4 - 130 watt KC130's . Online mid May 2008
6 - 205 watt KD205's . Online July 14, 2009
1 - 300 watt Southwest WindPower Air 303 mounted at 45 feet
on a Rohn 25 tower
2 - Outback FM80 80 amp mppt controller used for the solar panels
8 - Duracell GC2 215A/H Golf Cart Batteries 1/3/2014 . These replace 8 US Batteries L16HC 6V/420A which were put in service 4/9/09. see service note2
1 - Magnum Sine 2800 with Trace DC250 Cutoff
1 - Coleman PM9375 7.5kw 16hp generator. Converted to propane fall 2012 (out of service as of 8/2014 no AC output)
2 - Harbor Freight 66604 6.5kw 13hp generator, both converted to propane note 4
1 - DC charge cart - 8hp briggs and 10 SI alternator. Converted using an adaptor plate from The epicenter

1 - SolarSheats 1500GS air heater

Pictures of July 14, 2009 upgrade installation: upgrade

Garage power:
1 - Xantrex C-60A charge controller with DVM
4 - Duracell GC110 total of 430 a/h - Installed 3/21/2015. Replacing 4 1/2 year old Exide/Rural King batteries
1 - Trace DR2412 2400 watt inverter
1 - Samlex 600 watt PSW inverter
2 - Sunelec 90 watt PV panels
1- Arduino networked auto generator starter

The garage power system has 1/2 the battery capacity and 10% of the charging capacity of the house. It is configured so that it can serve as a secondary backup for the house.

wind generator
auxillary power unit
hybrid and panels

Alternative Energy Forums/Websites:
12 Volt power

Links to Alternative Energy Vendors:
Arizona Wind and Sun
Backwoods Solar
the Alternative Energy Store
Sunelec miami
Solar power data updated daily
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
2013 2014 2015
1980s solar

1980s solar

From way back when I found the pictures on the left. In 1980, while in college I became interested in solar power. I constructed a panel from 36 Radio Shack 1 amp cells that the local store had to call most of the other stores in the state. The cost was around 10 dollars per cell. I fiberglassed a plywood board and used silicone caulk to place the cells on the fiberglass. There was a lot of heat stresses and at the time I didnt really understand all the "right" ways to do it. It worked for about a year. I kept a plexiglass cover on them when I wasnt around. Even with that I accidentally left the cover off one day and some pea size hail obliterated it. I ran one light bulb and an Ten-Tec Argonaut 509 off of it.

Ashmore, il wind

This wind generator is located in Ashmore, IL.