Catalog Moat Creek Web Images
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Rick and Rob plan the interconnection of the generator, which would provide supplemental AC power when the batteries get low and there isn't much sun (remember winter?)
Rick attaching thick, really thick, battery cables that will link eight 6-volt batteries together to make a 48-volt battery bank
Exterior of Beach solar system -- trailer, generator, solar panels and shed (hiding all the cool electronics)
Array of six panels of Kyocera 120 volt solar electric panels; you would get quite a shock if you touched the red and white wires that disappear into the shed (cool blue, eh?)
Wiring the control boxes and meters; the Trimetric box in Eric's hands measures the DC energy to/from the batteries so you get an instant assessment of the state of charge from 100% down to 50% when you really need to run the generator!
Two sheets of plywood, some strips of 1x2, a bunch of screws and you get a battery box (designed and built by Rick), which is needed to contain the batteries, prevent acid spashes when the batteries are charging, and to vent the hydrogen gas created when charging
Add hinges and a handle to complete the battery box, ready to move into shed
Wiring the trailer outlet box in a protected spot, Rob works under the shed to attach the 30-amp receptacle so that it won't be exposed to the Mendocino Coast rain storms; the power cord from the trailer will plug into this outlet to get AC power from the Beach Solar System
Rob attaches the battery cables while Rick and Bruce watch; the eight batteries are linked, positive (red) to negative (white) between each battery in series, one set of short cables at the back and another short cable along the front, with longer cables, like the one looped over the cover, running to the DC breaker box
Rick installs vent for battery box through exterior wall adapting a vent for a clothes dryer to the application of venting hydrogen gas from the batteries
Rob explains the system operation to Rick after testing and putting all the covers in place; oh, yeah, that shiny round silver thing under the DC breaker box is a lightning arrestor that vaporizes if the system is hit by lightning!
Completed system, ready for testing; batteries store electricity as DC energy (floor box), DC breaker box (center right) ensures power from batteries and solar panels does not exceed safe limits, charger control (upper right) routes DC power from solar panels to charge batteries or to feed inverter; inverter (center middle) takes DC electricity and produces high-quality AC electricity flowing from right to left; AC breaker box (center left) distributes electricity to outlets down conduits to the trailer; Trimetric meter box (upper middle) displays battery status; Mate controller (upper left) operates all these gizmos to make sure that electricity goes where it needs it!
Completed battery box -- but missing half its batteries that were backordered and to be delivered later
Panorama of garden area (scroll horizontally to view entire panorama), this is the lower cleared area of the home site, almost half an acre, very sandy, with Molly standing at southern edge for scale
View of trailer from down below at garden area, note trailer, shed with roof vent for composting toilet and Robbin and Heather standing by the weather station
Garden half-acre cleared area, not Molly standing at far (south) edge of garden area; typical sandy soil exposed when loggers scraped the land to pile up trees and bruch into slash pile #3