The project brief was to design a system using solar PV panels that could be set up on the roof of a marquee and power an extensive array of equipment within. To the uninitiated all this sounded easy. As one commentator remarked, “I”ve seen loads of these things on the roofs of houses, how difficult can it be?” The reply that first came to mind is unprintable, the second was that we would see what we could do within the very limited time we were given – two months from start to finish.
In the end the finished design used 20 light weight solar PV panels used for marine applications and a casinoustenoon.com bank of batteries to absorb energy when the generator was not in use while supplementing its output in times of very low light, something that became synonymous with its installation!
On its maiden voyage at Wentworth back in May the day on the Island started bright and cheerful enough, but as the motorway miles increased in a north easterly direction, so the clouds started to thicken. On site, things became even worse when it was found that the marquee the installation was to be sited on faced north! As the day wore on, the clouds continued to thicken until the heavens open with a torrent. Fortunately, the solar panels chosen have excellent low light performance and were merrily churning out electricity even at a gloomy 7pm when the road to Southampton beckoned. Ironically, as the ferry departed the sun broke through, providing a spectacular sunset over the docks.
Pictures below show the generator in brief glimpses of sun shine at other venues.