Solar System Installed!

A project log for Renewable Greenhouse

An excuse to make a small power system, and work on some cool sensor systems for watering plants.

Sam GriffenSam Griffen 04/17/2021 at 02:020 Comments

Okay, this update has been a long time coming. University is insane, and I have been making very very slow progress on this project. So this update is retroactively documenting progress I made over summer, I'll post another update today about some more recent progress.

Near the end of the summer break, I got hold of a solar panel, battery, and MPPT charge controller to provide energy to the pump, and hopefully a some LED lighting in the greenhouse.

So, ultimately the goal is to hook my turbine up to power this greenhouse. However, for now a solar panel will do the job. My previous update made some estimates on power requirements, showing that without a heating unit, this thing needs incredibly small amounts of power. As I have decided to whack some LED strip lighting in there when it arrives, I figured I should go well above this power budget. 

In the end, I got a 10W, 12V panel, and a 12V 6Ah SLA battery. This is 10 times as much generation capacity as I calculated, and almost 70 times more capacity than calculated. Largely, this was because this was effectively the smallest system I could implement without using small components like a mini solar panel, and a LiPo battery or something. At the end of the day, this system needs the capacity to be expanded to far higher power requirements (Heating and lighting, that is going to use a lot).

Without further rambling, here is a picture of the MPPT charger and the electronics enclosure:

This unit mounts to the wall of the greenhouse., and has waterproof connectors to interface with the solar panel, and the external electrical equipement (Pump, lights, heating, etc)

Here is a picture of the solar panel mounted to the fence:

This thing is rock solid, as it should be given the insane wind we get against that fence.