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About the solar

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The choice to go solar and be ' off the grid' was fueled by several factors. It was going to cost a fair sum to bring power from the road 1200 feet to the house. To so would have required 4 poles and would have also required that we (Jaja...) clear a 12 foot wide swath of trees next to the road. (About 50 trees. The road itself is required an 18 foot swath and consumed 80 trees) ) We liked our forest road and did not want wires to interfere visually. Going underground was out of the question due to ledge.

What we really wanted was independence from the power grid, just like we had on the boat. We already had our own well and septic field. Our own source of power completed the circle. All we were missing was our own government so that we could pay ourselves taxes.

Are we 'saving' the planet by having solar? Probably not. We have a propane dryer, propane boiler, and a propane refrigerator. We also burn wood for heat. It is nice, however, not having an electric bill. Whenever the town's power goes out we are not affected. Our house is a hybrid house.


-We have 24, Sharp 165 solar panels producing a combined 3.9 kW

-These are split into two arrays that feed two Outback MX60 charge controllers. Output from the panels is 96 volts and the MX60's are convert that to a 48 volt charge level.

-The batteries are Rolls KS125's wired in series for 48 volts.

-We have two, Outback FX90 inverters (3.8 kW each). One is essentially a backup and sits mostly unused. The primary inverter runs through a transformer creating two 120 volt legs.

-I wired the house the same as any house not using solar.

-We have an 6.5 kW gasoline generator for a back-up charging source. Maine winters are long and often snowy. We run the generator 25-50 hours each winter to supplement the solar panels. (It all depends on cloud cover and how much snow is on the arrays). Between March and October we have excess power.

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