Just like nature that is awakening around us as it is sprouting new growth on tree branches and spring flowers poking fresh greens through the earth, I have been bursting with energy. I am so much looking forward to warm days in the garden. Last week I raked up dried leaves and debris the last storm had blown onto our lot and noticed that the first dandelion buds were poking through the grass. Yes, spring is here.
Also, to my sheer amazement, there are a couple of birds busily making a nest inside the little ornament that is adorning Benno’s workshop. It is a cute little travel trailer dangling under the eaves troughs. Now I am curious how many eggs or hatchlings will be raised in there. It will be a bit crammed in there for sure.
It was not just me that got restless looking for something to do outside. Yes, you know who was also itching for something to do outside. With barely enough warmth to melt the frost off the roof of the travel trailer, Benno was up there having a great time installing four solar panels.
There is plenty of real estate up there for lots of those panels, but we are not aiming to do long periods of time to do boondocking. Four panels of 100 Watts each should give us enough juice into our batteries to hold us over for a little while.
What really inspired us to install these solar panels was an ad from "Renogy"advertising set of 2 each 100W - 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panels for a very good price, Amazon sold them too for CDN $ 209.99 each set and shipping was free. We got two sets.
The installation went faster than I expected, but of course Benno had prefabricated brackets to mount the panels onto the roof from aluminum angle material that he had cut, filed smooth and drilled holes through in his heated workshop. These kinds of little tasks he really enjoys doing at his workbench with the TV on in the background.
After the rooftop installation of the panels with the junction boxes, he got to work to wire them up. He ran the cables between the roof and interior liner and by using the ceiling lamp holes to fish the wires through from one side to the other they are hidden. He then led them along the inside corner of a bedroom cabinet into the basement to a breaker and the solar charge controller on to the battery bank. I cannot show you pictures, because the whole indoor installation is invisible and you cannot see any wires inside the travel trailer.
In the meantime we have unplugged our travel trailer from the hydro post to let the solar panels do their job. With so much sunshine upon us for the last couple of weeks, our batteries were also full to the rim even with some parasitic 12V loads staying always on; the solar panels are now shut off at the breaker for the time being.
The complete solar panel package with 4 Renogy 100W Monocrystalline solar panels, a 30amp solar controller, 2 water tight connection boxes, 8 water tight PG 7 cable glands, a 30amp circuit breaker, some AWG #10 marine wire, a few stainless steel screws, a length of aluminum angle material to make the mounting brackets, plus the free labor of love to do the job, it came to CDN $ 950 well spent.
I know I will unpack my garden ornaments in the next few days and hope there will be frost-free nights coming soon so that I can plant some bulbs.
Benno is awaiting another shipment for a little job he is going to perform on the travel trailer to give the trailer a smoother ride on the road. I let you know what it is in my next post.