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The Electrics

The Wendover Shed team had always planned to use solar and wind-generated power as our home is entirely off-grid. We were fortunate enough to receive grants from the Clare Foundation and the Wendover and Village Board of Bucks Council and thanks to them our full solar array is now fully operational.

The Plan

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 Stables, 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.

The Reality

The Hog Electrics

The Hog came with built in 240v flourescent strip lighting and a number of 13 amp power sockets. We quickly upgraded the flourescent strip tubes to LED options providing a brighted and whiter light for less power consumption. We also added an external 13 amp power socket for easy access to power outside of The Hog.

Our Batteries

We chose three separate battery profiles for the shed, colloqually known as Papa Baer, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

  • Papa Bear is an EcoFlow DELTA Pro Portable Power Station, storing 3.6kWh of electricty. This is our main "plumbed-in" battery powering The Hogs internal lighting and power sockets. Papa Bear is a beast, weighing in at 45kg, so not that poratble. The plan is to charge it entirely from solar power.

  • Mama Bear is an EcoFlow DELTA Max Portable Power Station, storing 2kWh of electriciy. This is for use outside or in The Stables,. Mama Bear is more manageable, weighinhg in at 22kg. We again plan to charge her using solar power, but can also transport off-site for charging from the mains if needed.

  • Baby Bear is an ALLPOWERS S2000 Pro Portable Power Station, storing 1.5kWh of electricity. Baby Bear is much more poratble and easily transported for mains charging or for use at events and off-site practical demos.

Solar Power

We chose Renogy for our supplier of solar panels. Our initial purchase is of 18 x 100w panels. Each of our battery packs can take a different maximum current and power input. Additionally, our site is mostly north-facing and in the shade, so we needed to calculate the best configuration for optimal power generation. A large number of smaller power panels coinfigured in a mix of serial and parallel was deemed the most efficient.

We started with a temporary configuration of 6 panels on the roof of The Hog and generated enough electricity to keep Pappa Bear topped up with minimal power usage and the lovely period of sunshine we experienced in early summer.

However, our longer term plan was to install all 18 panels on the roof our our new Outdoor Space, which completed in Septemeber. The covered area was built to provide an area to work outside in all weathers, but also specifically to house the solar panels. This was ready just in time as the sun was starting to get lower in the sky and falling behind the trees earlier in the the day.

We mounted the panels towards the front of the roof, as far away from the trees as possible and slighly angled to the south. Our first day of full solar generation recharged Papa Bear from about 50% capacity by noon, with a maximum output of 800w from 1,500w of solar panels. It was a hot but hazy day.

The drop-off at noon was as the battery became fully charged and no longer need any input power.

Wind Power

We have been donated a DC wind-generator which we have mounted and getting ready to add to our grid!

The Statistics

The graph below shows our power consumption and solar power generated over the first few days of operation. Click on the chart for live data!

Project Gallery

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