Solar Powered Rainwater Project – Completed?

The Solar Powered Rainwater Project began about eight months ago, although one might argue it is the culmination of my rainwater system dreams beginning in 2002.

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Solar Power Rainwater System – More Panels!

The solar-powered rainwater system was complete — except for more panels, and a cable to isolate the rainwater power from the rest of the system. Construction on the rainwater system began in 2002, when I trenched the various wires and pipes into the ground. I needed power for the rainwater system, and tapped into an underground wire originally intended to supply power to the well.

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Solar Powered Rainwater Project – Final Assembly

With all the parts in stock, it was time to assemble the whole Solar Powered Rainwater Project. I cleaned out a space in the garden shed, and added plywood to the wall for attaching the various components. We would be mounting the inverter/charge controller, solar panel combiner/breakers, A/C transfer switch and related wiring.

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Solar Powered Rainwater Project – Batteries

You may recall from an earlier post that the Solar Powered Rainwater Project requires substantial battery storage. In our original calculations, we decided we would need 15,796 watt/hours of storage to provide three days of autonomy (or days without sun).

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Solar Powered Rainwater Project – The Chinese Connection

It’s been a while since I reported on the Solar Powered Rainwater Project. Since that early-April post, I’ve been gathering the rest of the parts, and we took our annual trip to the Red Power Roundup — this year at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. The biggest part of the delay was waiting for the inverter/charge controller. I wasn’t thrilled with the delivery delay on the device, but it turned out well in the end.

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Solar Powered Rainwater Project – Solar Panels Installed!

The new 250-watt solar panels arrived very quickly. I was eager to install them, but they were just a bit larger than I could handle safely on the garden shed roof. Fortunately, I didn’t have too wait long, and my neighbor Jason was available a few days later.

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Solar Power Rainwater Project – Panels and Angles

Major equipment purchase done, it’s time to think about the installation. The solar panels will be arriving in a day or two, and I plan to install them right away. Solar panels produce maximum power when the sun is perpendicular to … Continue reading

Solar Powered Rainwater Project – to Grid-Tie, or not to Grid-Tie. (that is the question)

Previously, we discussed the amount of power needed, and how that determines the size of the solar array. We also mentioned Days of Autonomy and how that informs battery storage. Now for Charge Controllers and Inverters — the brains that tie everything together. … Continue reading

Solar Powered Rainwater Project – Panels, Batteries and Inverters — Oh My!

In a previous Project post, we determined our power needs – 1300 watt-hours per day to pump water. Now we can calculate the battery bank capacity,  solar panel wattage, and inverter capacity needed for our installation. Let’s start with the panel … Continue reading

Weber Piano Project – New Bushings!

So far, we’ve removed the action from the piano, disassembled, and cleaned it. There’s a surprising amount of effort involved in just those steps, and it was great to finally make progress in the rebuild. Make no mistake, the disassembly and … Continue reading