Greenhouse solar power installed, making progress!
Part of my big push to get the greenhouse ready for this years growing season is to get the greenhouse solar power installed. Including the power set up for two things my powered hose pipe and the autonomous watering system.
This was one of the few things that worked very well in my previous greenhouse. As you can see its a very modest system. which is only meant to do a small amount of work so a large panel array and battery bank is not needed.
One of the nice things about this, is that it keeps the costs down and space needed small.
The system consist of the following things
- 50w solar panel
- 2x 7ah deep cycle batteries
- 20a solar charge controller
from this i look to be powering a couple of things mainly a 12v water pump that was salved from a camper-van i built 5 years backs to power a hose hooked up to my water butts in the greenhouse.
However I’m not always around and to stop the plants suffering in the summer heat I’m also looking to finalise a better autonomous watering system. Doing this will help fulfil my duties when I’m other wise occupied.
Onto the installation
First port of call was to fit some sort of cupboard to put all of the electronics into. I was lucky enough to score this for free as a neighbour was throwing it out perfect to keep things tidy and protected from the sun.
Handy little cupboard mounted where i needed it.
Once it was in i started test fitting components and it’ll fit everything i need in it as well as some space to grow and add extra electronics or batteries if needed.
Charge controller in place wired up
Batteries in with space for more if needed and the fan acts as a load to stop over charging.
I was worried about water running down the cables and making its way to the the unit so a little loop and some sealant will stop this in its tracks
Mounting the Solar panel
Previously this had just sat outside propped up again a pot but this stopped it getting sun until around noon then it would lose light 4 hours later.
In the new build i wanted it inside, free from damage, hidden from thieves and in a position where it will get more exposure to sun light.
To fit it i salvaged some of the aluminium frame from the old greenhouse and cut this to length to support the solar panel between the rafters out of the way.
The proved to be tricky doing by myself but it got done with no damage to me or the panel, phew..
Overall i’m super happy with the set up, its ten times cleaner that the old one that can be seen below. Next i just need to get my head around the new auto watering system. Hopefully i can have this in place for when the first plants go in the ground in early May. (If not sooner)
The old system was a little slap dash and not very well thought out.
So i could do with your help.
Power distribution? can you help me with ideas on how to make a free/cheap power distribution bar/s for getting power to the other devices, i was always worried about shorting those ones out so any ideas for sealing them would also be greatly appreciated. Next stop off-grid watering!
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