Friday, December 3, 2010

Moving Toward the Sun

Ever since we moved here we have envisioned that our barn's south-facing metal roof would be ideal for photovoltaic solar panels.  The barn borders the largest pasture, and after we remove one ancient, hollow silver maple growing out of an old silo foundation and a small tree just east of the barn, there are no obstructions to the sun all day.

Amazingly, our solar power dream is coming true imminently, thanks to some assistance from Rog's  mom. She wanted to invest in both our farm and the future of the earth and likes the idea of solar power.  So... planning has been going on for a couple of months, and now tangible things are happening!
On Monday, the electrical contractor spread insulated tarps on the ground around the utility pole and to the barn to prevent the ground from freezing hard where the conduit would be buried. Our farm will not be off the grid; we will be connected and purchase electricity from our rural electric cooperative when our solar electric system does not produce enough power for our needs, and sell power back to the utility when we have extra.  On average, the 8.3 KW system should generate enough power to satisfy our electricity demand.
Yesterday they returned and finished digging the trench, using a chainsaw-like attachment on the Bobcat. We also had them trench a line across the driveway to the garage and the granary for future power, so there was a lot of dirt.  The conduit was laid in the ditch and then it was filled back in.  I will definitely appreciate snow covering the bare, scarred yard -- I have lots of grass seeding to do in the spring!

The actual solar panels and brackets should arrive in about a week and as soon as the weather permits, they will be mounted on the roof. Cold weather won't hinder installation, but ice or snow on the roof would be treacherous for the crew. It will only take a day or two to install the PV panels. Stay tuned for details!


daphne sy said...

That sounds cool. .good luck whatever your plans! have a nice and cold day ggrr snow lol

healthy flat

Becky said...

How exciting!!!! How wonderful that your mother-in-law believes in you guys so much and supports what you do. Can't wait to see the pictures of it all set up.