Solar Power for shop.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:49 am

Having a 30' x 40' pole building constructed for a shop and machinery storage. Commercial electricity is available on site, but costs $18- a month even if no electricty is used. Commercial electricity is not hooked up.

Building almost never used at night. Building will be wired for 120 volt lighting and outlets, powered by one of 3 generator sets on site. 10KW the largest generator set. Previously crunched the numbers and for no more than the buildings on the acreage are used at night, it's much cheaper to purchase gas for the generator sets. Also keeps the generator sets exercised for use during major power outages.

Thinking about purchasing a solar panel and controller to charge up 12 volt batteries. Using batteries to occasionaly provide some interior area lighting and motion detector perimeter lighting at night. A 50 watt solar panel with 8.5 amp charge controller cost around $250-. Estimate pay back time is 14 months when compared to just having commercial electricty available.

Looking for thoughts and input.

Re: Solar Power for shop.

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:52 pm

Eugene, looks like you have thought it out and it is a no brain er. No sense hooking up to the grid.

Re: Solar Power for shop.

Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:24 pm

Hi Eugene

When using solar for lighting its best to use 12v or 24v direct to led lights. When you use a inverter to bump the voltage up to 110v that inverter is drawing power 24 hrs a day where you are only making power during the day. And with mine I don't get much power the first and last 1.5 hrs of the day. Until this year I didn't pay any attention to how much the sun moved in a year. I have two 110w panels on top of my wood shed. And I was surprised that the wood line 150' from the panels shaded them until almost noon. So pay attention to where the trees are from where you put the panel up.


The most amps I have gotten with the two 110w panels at 24v was 8.2a but it usually gets 5-7 in the middle of the day.