That is, solar power for almost everything. If you compare the home page photo with this one you can see what the external changes look like. Four 280W solar panels added to the roof. Inside the changes are more extreme.
Batteries, PV controller, inverter/charger and some “always on” circuits. It’s all good for us and for clients.
Cost savings is one thing but that alone would not have been a good justification and the recovery of the equipment costs is out at about 10 years. But, there are other advantages.
- The computer system and Internet connection equipment are now running on this system which is pretty much like a super-UPS.
- The refrigerator and stove are operating off this system meaning we can cook and have cold beer without grid power or running the generator.
- Lights on the terrace run off the system as well.
- Possibly more important, the water heater runs off this system. The water heater (like the stove) is actually gas but if there is a 2-second power glitch it will shut itself off. More that once Rocio ended up outside in a towel pressing the on button rather than taking a cold shower.
Yeah, really. Before the UPS on the Internet equipment would run things for between one and two hours. This system will run all the stuff listed above for almost three days — even if there is no sun at all. As there has never been three days without sun nor three days without grid power, we are pretty much set. And there is the diesel generator which, if started, will charge the batteries.
If you want to know more about the technical side, you can read about it on my blog.