Cabin near the forest, a lot o shade in winter, do solar panels work?

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  • J.P.M.
    Solar Fanatic
    • Aug 2013
    • 14939

    Still at it huh ?

    Speaking as someone who has been around alternate energy and solar in particular for about a half a century while changing careers to engineering along the way, your situation is simple to me.
    You have an application that is not suitable for solar in winter and you don 't have the knowledge - practical or otherwise about or with solar energy technology - to see that.

    Yes, PV can be done as can some solar thermal applications for summer or warm(er) weather use but even those will be impractical for a lot of reasons, mostly dealing with cost and hassle for what you get out of it.

    So, Suit yourself and good luck but before that get informed about the practical limits as much as the advantages of alternate energy applications such as PV.

    Some of what's meant as constructive criticism: Stop using electricity for tasks that can be done better with fossil fuel (like heating and cooking). Then, find a way to get propane to your site and get a generator to provide power and light for tasks that can only be done with electricity.
    Some of the hassles of energy supply will still be present but they will be easier to manage, a whole lot more reliable, easier to maintain and probably less expensive.
    If you do happen to wind up with some batteries, SUPER insulate the structure around them while still providing a way to heat and ventilate that structure appropriately and safely - check local codes even if you won't be following them.

    Solar is not suitable for every application. IMO only, other ways of meeting your energy demand are much more appropriate for this application, starting with learning about where it's used and how to use less of it.
    Last edited by J.P.M.; 06-19-2024, 10:45 AM.


    • Lradu
      Junior Member
      • Feb 2024
      • 10

      Cabin is under construction, just now i am at the point i am really starting to install the system, also in this time i talked to a local company and defined most of the system, just putting in the final touches.
      But, since i am an engineer my self, i like to do my research before hand and double check.

      And i did understand a while back that i will not be able to rely on solar in the winter (the initial plan was a lot of solar + heat pumps, but that changed now). Still going with solar for summer but a smaller system backed up with a petrol generator for the rest of the time.

      So, the final form should look like this:

      - 10 solar panels on the roof
      - 5kwh LiFePo4 storage (although i got a good offer on a 11kwh that i may change to)
      - 5kw inverter
      - back up petrol generator

      Heating, cooking will not be on electric.
      Only water pumps, lights, and the usual.

      I don't want to take the solar part out since it is way to convenient (don't like the noise pollution and getting gas part of the generator) and the cabin will mostly be used in the summer so i figured this is the best compromise.