The Wendover Shed team has always planned to use solar and wind-generated power, and as it turns out, this has become a priority with our Hogtrough Lane home itself being entirely off-grid. We have been fortunate enough to receive grants from the Clare Foundation and the Wendover and Village Board of Bucks Council to fund our set-up.
Our plan is to have a mix of solar and wind generation to charge both semi-permanent and portable batteries packs that can be used inside and outside the shed. We will look to limit much of our power needs, such as lighting, to 12 volts but we will also need to run 240v power tools.
Our plan is two have two systems to provide the flexibility we will need:
A permanent “plumbed-in” system as the main power to the shed unit itself, for the lights and the shed’s built in 240v main sockets. This is system will be high-end, fully integrated and expandable in the future.
A number of portable battery packs that can be used outside the shed or in the horse shack located next to the unit. This system will be less flexible but cheaper allowing a larger number of units to be purchase at a reasonable price.
These two systems will require two solar panel set-ups, one permanently connected to the plumbed-in system and one to charge the portable units.
We will also use a donated wind turbine to help top-up the plumbed-in system.
The assumption is that “messy” power tools, such a wood lathe, table saw, or chop saw would be used outside the shed or inside the horse shack, using portable battery packs. The container would house bench-based work, including the charging of hand power tools.
The permanent container system will be mainly reliant on solar and wind power, but with the ability to remove the battery pack and charge from the mains if needed. The portable battery packs will also be charged via solar but more easily taken away and charged.
Our site is located with the south shaded by trees and in a slight dip sheltering it from strong winds. This will be great in the summer when working outdoors, but not the greatest for solar and wind power generation. However, we are confident that we should be able to generate enough power for our needs.
Check out out Off-Grid Power Project for progress.