So I have an interesting idea. Instead of a huge 5k Watt solar system, what about something smaller. Say a 1000 Watt system. That would only be 5 panels on my roof. I could still get a large inverter and have a medium sized battery bank for backup power. Currently, I have 6 UPS (uninterpreted power supplies). That right I have six.  Each unit uses about 15-20 Watts all dat everyday. I figure that this is about 100 Watts per hour. 24/7 for an entire month is 72kWhrs. Does not seem like much but it is 10% of my “off-season” average. (By off-season I mean no AC or Heat.)

If I subtract the 2.4kWhrs I waste every day from my TED average daily usage I get some thing like 18kWhrs. If the power was out in the neighbourhood and the family watched there usage very close, (Okay, Okay, If I was a drill Sargent!) this number would be much smaller. Since virtually all the lights are CFLs the light load is very small. Then you would have a refrigerator and microwave to worry about. By my estimates I would be looking at 5kWhrs. (Cooking would mainly be done on the LPG Grill.)

What am I thinking? Well, first I was thinking about using Xantrex XW components. I would want to get a XW6048 so all I would need to do in the future to expand is add more panels. I would need an XW solar charge controller. 5 Evergreen solar panel (200W each) 8 Trojan L16 batteries. Installation hardware and Presto! Back-up power. If it was only that easy.

Cost:

Inverter – $3500
Solar charger – $550
Solar Panels – $5500
Batteries – $3000
Shipping – +10%
Installation “Stuff” – +15%
Total = $15600

Don’t forget the federal rebate! (This is the reason for the solar panels in the first place, you don’t have to have them. But then you would not get the rebate now would you. 🙂

New total is $11000.
Fro my other blog post, I determined that for every Watt on my house I should produce 1.2kWhrs a year. I would have 1200 Watts of Panels, so that would be 1400kWhrs. That would equal $140 a year in savings. But the point of this exercise was to provide backup power not offset my entire usage. Every year for the next four years I could add 5 more panels. The only thing I would need to add is another $550 solar controller. Another nice idea is the inverter charger has a second AC input for a generator. I could get a small generator that would run at full power. This would maximize fuel usage and keep the cost of fuel down. It is better to run a generator at near capacity then it is to run it at 30%.

The dreams continue. I wonder if I could get a deal at solarhome.org?

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