Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hothouse Update

I had four solar electric panels I bought more than a decade ago.  I wrestled with whether I should use them.  I bought them when I was a strong advocate for "renewables".  I actually had three high quality solar hot water panels and controls that I traded for a high quality wood cook stove.  

The decision to use the photovoltaics was because I already had them.  I needed to buy a deep cycle battery and some controller/diverter electronics.  I think this will give the next generation to use our farm a leg up.  I had solar panels at my old place that had been up 22 years when I sold the place.  They appeared to be putting out the same amount of electricity as the day I installed them.  The weak link is the batteries and then the electronics. 

Yes, there is a  sense of being a hypocrite given my feelings about "renewables" simply being an extension of the fossil fuel stream.   However, given my feelings about fracking, tar sands, and deep ocean drilling, I am being hypocritical every time I drive, rototill and blow snow.  And so much more.  Damn.

We plan to use this set up at the hothouse/greenhouse to pump water using a 1/2 hp 12 volt motor on our pumpjack,
for  12 volt grow lights, and
when the batteries are full the load will switch to a 12 volt heater in the drying cabinet. 
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