2017 Solar Upgrade Project
In July of 2016, we installed Forest Echo Farms first major solar project. The barn has actually been using solar for a while to run small things, including their water pressure boost pump. And the farmhouse has had a small electrical station for about 5 years in the great room.
During the summer of 2016 it became apparent that the caretakers really wanted electricity at the barn (hence running almost 200 feet of extension cords (bad) from the farmhouse to the barn apartment). So at a work project in 2016, a group dug a trench and laid power cable from the corner of the farmhouse to the corner of the barn. This was then all hooked up in September of 2016.
But the system had not been spec'd for year round use and the winter of 2016-17 had limited power in the barn. So from 8/31 to 9/3 a work crew descended to the farm to do some upgrades. We added 4 more panels to the roof of the farmhouse; we replaced the older batteries with 8 brand new batteries; and we installed a larger charge controller.
The new charge controller also allowed us to increase the voltage coming off the roof panels from 24 volts (single panel) to 48 volts (two panels tied together). The folks at AltE said this should greatly improve our charging ability on the batteries.