Sunday, June 05, 2011

Solar Energy Question and Answer


Hello my name is Paul Melko. I just finished reading your infromation on solar energy. I have one question. I built a 1200 sqr ft. cottage in the Muskoka area 5 years ago. This cottage is well insulated and I leave the heat on when we are away from cottage. It is heated by electric baseboard heaters and I leave 3 of these thermastat controled heaters on at 15c setting. During the winter months we usually go up to our cottage approximately once per month. Can solar panels generate enough power to operate these heaters while we are away from cottage. We use a woodstove to heat the cottage when we are there. Any information you can send us will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Paul Melko

Hey Paul!

I think your best bet would be to install both solar and wind power units and a backup battery system / generator system. That way the solar/wind would do 99% to 100% of the work, but there would be a backup system in case there was ever days with very little sunlight or wind or very cold days when the heaters are on constantly.

You would need to calculate how much electricity is needed on average to run the heaters daily (this will vary on especially cold days) and then plan to buy enough solar/wind units to get approx. 120% of the amount needed. The extra 20% is to provide extra juice to the battery system.

Charles Moffat


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