|Solar panels and a wind generator on the left.|
|Our electrical closet, the heart of our system.|
|Our Air-X wind generator.|
How do you measure electricity? That's where voltage, amps, and watts come in. Voltage, measured in volts, is the force that makes electricity move through a wire. Our battery banks are connected in a 12-volt configuration.
|The inverter is the silver box on the right.|
|The black switch changes from cabin to boat.|
Last summer we decided to replace our batteries. After lots of research, Wayne decided to stick with 6-volt golf cart style deep cycle batteries connected together in a series of two to make a 12-volt system. Each pair is then connected in parallel to remain at 12-volts, but increase the storage capacity.
|The Gemini with her solar panel on top.|
Golf cart batteries last about ten years. We've had to replace a few, but our cabin system lasted fourteen years and the Gemini system lasted nine. Of course, we asked our good friend John (who built our cabin in the first place) to help us. He returned the worst batteries for a refund, but kept ten to use at his cabin. Waste not, want not.
|John installing new batteries to the Gemini system.|
We replaced all of the batteries at once because they were close to end-of-life, and it takes only one marginal battery to make a system less efficient. With winter and less solar input on the way, we wanted optimal storage capacity and output. So far, so good. We haven't had to use the backup generator yet.
|The cabin battery bank in its brand new storage box.|
In a future post, I'll let you know some of our tricks to stretch our electrical budget. -- Margy