Solar Energy Additions

The cabin will be using solar energy for heating and electric as part of a backup system. This is the first solar panel made from discarded beer and pop cans that were collected on the road ditches by my son & I. The panel contains 240 aluminum cans and a 120 cfm 12 volt exhaust fan for drawing the cold air in and expelling the hot air out. This panel is for heating the air, and soon I will be adding two 205 watt solar electric panels for maintaining batteries and a solar water heater panel.
This solar heater was partially based on this youtube video I seen


Using a step bit, three holes were drilled in each end, the other end was completely removed, then washed and dried. 
 Cans have been assembled with high temp silicon and installed in the box ready for paint. I used high temp krylon  flat black.
Cans painted and ready for lexan.
Solar heater installed on the awning which was cut from the opening for the living area.

Now named the Taj MaLodge.
Vinyl lettering is from  http://www.signspecialist.com/ They do a great job with a very easy to use online DIY tools and very fast service.


Cold air intake at bottom right and hot air exhaust top left.
 Feb 5 2011
Outside temp-39       degrees
Intake temp--56       "
Exhaust temp-112    "
I think if my panel faced the sun at a more direct angle the exhaust would be a little better, keep in mind that our sun here in ok is at it's lowest point of the year, so as we advance towards spring and the sun starts its climb back up, the exhaust heat will keep climbing with the sun. Yehaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!
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Electric Solar panel mount.
 The solar panel mount is made of 2'' angle iron and spacing between feet is 94" which will allow the feet to be mounted to the square rails of the container  with self tapping screws without drilling into any interior surfaces.
Legs have five adjustments for seasonal adjustments to help optimize electrical out put/ 

  Tabs have been added at the bottom so panels can easily slide into place and then be secured at the top with just a few screws.
I designed this mount to house two sun-205 solar panels. 
 Solar panels are now installed and are doing there job!
 Battery room is complete and the solar electric system is up and running!
 The energy storage room consist of (5) 200ah deep cycle batteries, a PE3000 watt power inverter with a 6000 watt High Surge and a EPI30R Charge Controller (30amp).
The inverter is tied into both sides of the service panel and can run everything in the cabin, including the washer & dryer which are 220V. 
Also mounted on the right side of the floor is a receptacle for plugging a generator into, so in case of an emergency, a generator can be used to charge the batteries.
On the left side of the floor is the twin fan crawl space ventilator which is humidity controlled.   

   Lower left of the container door is the vent louver for the crawl space fan and above that is the ventilation  louver for the battery storage.
I have now converted all my lighting to LED, and now my total LED watts are 110, that replaced over 1,200 incandescent watts.
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Solar water heater addition in progress
The solar collector frame is finished. Again using 2" angle with legs set @ 94" to allow for mounting in the square top rails of the container.


Solar water heater collector bracket mounted on the roof.
  Solar water heater collector is now mounted on the roof. I am using a fixed angle that will be more optimal during the winter months.


 
 Solar water tank is 40 Gal. and has 110 volt backup 
 


 The solar water heater is up and running and for the first time in over a year the Taj MaLodge has FREE hot water.
I love this solar water heating system. It is October 31 now and outside temps were only 69 degrees and the solar collector had a reading of 135 degrees. And the water in the tank was 121 degrees, you can not hold your hand under the water at that temp. This is free hot water at it's best. The system is so quiet, you can not even tell it is running. This system has lots of options as far as setting up how you want it to operate. I set mine up to have the aux heater turn on during the hours between 11:00 pm- 5:00 am should the internal temp in the tank fall below 85 degrees and turn off at 95 degrees. That way the water stays warm and it does not take much to heat back up during the day. Although I don't think the aux heater is really necessary, it is like insurance in that it is nice to know you have it should you need it.
The solar heater pump automatically comes on during the day just as soon as the collector temps exceed the tank temps.