Welcome to the Maine Solar House
2010 Power Generation Summary PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 31 December 2010 18:58

pv-2010Another strong year for electrical production from our 4.2 kW array: 4,229 kWhrs! That's an average of  352 kWhrs per month.

In December we generated 205 kWhrs of electricity...on the low side, but now the days are getting longer as the sun rises higher in the sky each day.

As you can see from the chart, it's not quite a bell curve but does reflect higher output in the middle months with a decided decline in the fall through the end of the year.

We're now in our 16th year and the PV array continues to deliver electricity in the 4,200 kWhr range annually. That's some 62,000 kWhrs over the first 15 years which is, as they say in Maine, 'wicked good!'

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 April 2011 05:27
Our Solar Open House was a Success! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 02 October 2010 17:57

The National Tour of Solar Homes was held on Saturday, October 2nd. It was a classic fall sunny day here in Maine - 65 degrees and our house was harvesting the sun at a record pace. The PV array generated 22 kWhrs of electricity and our solar thermal panels harvested 40,000 BTUs of heat energy.

Lots of good folks visited us. They either knew about solar, are using it, are about to build a new home or are just beginning to ask questions. The following video represents the comments of those who came to see and learn - they left impressed.

Thanks to those who made this open house such a rewarding experience - our visitors and NESEA, the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, which pointed interested folks in our direction.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 April 2011 05:28
March, 2010 Power Generation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 03 April 2010 12:52

We generated 478 kWhrs in March...a strong month in spite of rainy days.

Our solar thermal system is now bringing the hot water tanks close to their limit of 165 degrees. Supplemental heat is no longer needed and spring is now the rule!{jcomments on}

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 15:34
It's a New Look! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 27 May 2010 06:23


Joomla CMS
This is a new look to our 15-year-old website. It will allow you to comment on my postings , to which I will respond, and receive email updates (likely no more than one a month). It's based on the free Content Management System called Joomla!


But, in order to use these features, you'll need to create an account. Your email address will not be sold to or shared with any others. Let's keep the solar discussion rolling.

Importing the previous site's material will take some time, so in the meantime, you can see that material by going here. Lots of good material.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 July 2010 09:59
Battery Backup System PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 16 April 2010 07:40

The winter of 97-98 was a tough one here in Maine. Ice storms ravaged the state and most Mainers were without power from several days to several weeks. Not to be out done, the mid-December ice storm of 2008 barreled in with half an inch of ice that took down tree limbs which in turn took down the power lines.

Battery Backup  System
Inverter & 12 Batteries
After the first great ice storm, we added a separate inverter/battery system as backup for the times the grid power is down. Since our main intertie inverter system depends on grid power to work, we have a second system to handle those few but critical times when the power is out.

This is the standard Trace backup system installed by Talmage Solar Engineering in Kennebunkport, Maine. I've taken off two of the three front panels to show the inverter and charge controller in the top 'box' and the six batteries in the middle 'box.' There are another six batteries in the lower section.

Here's what happens when the grid power goes out:

1. The main inverters shut down so that no power goes out on the grid (safety issue plus it really is an electric appliance).

2. Before the lights can go off, the backup inverter senses the loss of power and switches itself on, powering a small number of necessary loads (specific lights, communication, solar pumps, heating system, refrigerator and well pump).

3. I can then recharge the batteries with the solar panels (when we have grid power, the house current keeps the batteries topped off). This means that we can be independent almost indefinitely as long as there's sun to recharge the system.

4. When the grid power returns, the backup inverter shuts down and the main inverter starts up - all seamlessly.

It's certainly paid for itself.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 June 2010 17:30
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