My back yard solar farm has doubled in size to a massive 200 watts!
If you remember from the last post, the wooden frame was half empty (who built it like that?), and was feeling really lopsided without another panel. The frame is now full (Amazon is a marvel of the modern age), so any further expansion will have to happen on the roof or elsewhere.
Under optimal conditions I think this will produce 480 watt-hours per day. For reference, that’s about 60 percent of the power needed to run our chest freezer. These panels are connected in parallel, meaning the voltage (12) is the same, but the amperage is doubled (to about 10 amps). I ordered a cheap ammeter, which I’m excited to hook up so I can see real time results.
The last few weeks have been very cloudy, so I think output has been down. The next week doesn’t look that great either. When you’re a solar farmer, you start caring about the weather a lot more.
After adding some additional wiring, I now have access to a solar-powered power strip in the living room, rather than just having access in the basement where I could run an extension cord from the inverter. Now I’m regularly running some lights and the stereo from the battery. The cable modem and router are small, consistent loads, so I may move those downstairs to become battery-powered. I’ve become somewhat obsessed about matching load to the production, since I don’t want to “waste” any electricity produced (and also don’t want to run my battery below 50%).
Stay tuned for another update when the ammeter arrives.