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We have been living and working off grid for three years now, with electricity solely from the wind. The leisure batteries which we purchased are depleated so we have no storage capacity and are just using power as it is produced. Most of the time this is fine for us but as the frosty days and nights approach, we will not be able to use the circulation pump to heat the radiators.

We have been thinking for some time now of solar power as a suppliment to get us through such times.                                                          So we set about getting the most suitable panels to meet our modest needs and our pockets. We purchased four panels from England and also four new  Carbon fibre batteries to store the excess power.

freestandingpanelWe needed to make a frame to mount them, so we went to our free suppliers!! the bog which has become a place where people seem to think if they dump their waste that it will just disappear (out of sight out of mind, I am biting my tongue here as I might go on and on......)

We soon found what we were looking for, some aluminium fencing. We took it home cut it to the required lengths and rivited it in place to make one large panel out of the four smaller ones

Our neighbour gave us the frame of a satalite dish which he no longer required, we concreted the tripod legs into the ground and mounted the frame onto it. We used large rocks and concrete to anchor the frame  as we dont want the wind to damage the panels  Next we  connected them up to the batteries through the Charge controller along with the wind power so that we have a duel system.  ..                   Not a moment too soon as the snow came a week later and stayed for almost six weeks. We had beautiful sunny days and no wind but lots of power. At the moment jimmy is working on a pic chip to track the sun, so that the panels will rotate to be in direct sunlight to maximise the input. Fot the present  we have the actuator arm fitted and we use a battery to point the panels towards the sun.
Recently he connected an Uhf radio link so that we can switch on and off the power when we require it. The UPS was using up power especially during the night. He is also working on putting the fan on an automatic switch so that I will on when the battery full and before it begins to dump the excess..