This week’s solar project takes us westward down Interstate 40 to Williams, Arizona. Known as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon”, Williams is a bustling tourist stop for those making that last pitstop before the northward trek to the Grand Canyon. Tourists are so excited and focused on seeing the Grand Canyon that no one notices the endless acres of ranch land on the way. Many of those subdivided ranches depend on solar power as their source of energy due to the remoteness of the area.
Solar power was a necessity for landowner Hank who lives north of Williams on 30+ acres. Hank is a retired dentist, formerly of New Hampshire where he was a member of the New Hampshire Solar Energy Association. Hank first got acquainted with Arizona when he lived in Tucson for several years. He also owned a home in Montana which he sold in order to search for a more permanent locale. After searching numerous states, Hank chose Williams as it offered fresh air and a welcoming populace. The area also provided many choices in purchasing remote land.
With remote land comes a need for alternative choices for power due to the expense of bringing in electric utilities. Hank read several books about solar power in order to prepare himself to work with off-grid solar power. Another motivator for Hank was lessening his personal impact on our planet and solar power would help him do his part.
Hank reached out to Northern Arizona Wind & Sun to help guide him through the process of designing a solar power system all the way to installation. The solar system needed to be large enough for power tools to be utilized for construction purposes since Hank was living in an RV at the time. A shop for his woodworking tools and eventually a full-time home needed to be constructed. Designing the off-grid solar system to output between 25-30 kWh ensures there will be enough power to run a freezer, fridge, table saw, drill press and planer. Not to mention, this large-scale system also powered an air-conditioned wine cellar. The design was perfect for taking Hank from a temporary living situation to a full-time residence on the property without changing the design of the system at all.
Aerial photo of Hank's off-grid property
Simpliphi PHI-3.8-48-60 3.8kWh 48 Volt Lithium Ferro Phosphate Batteries
Outback Radian GS8048A-01 8,000 Watt Advanced Inverter/Charger
REC TwinPeak2 Mono Series 310 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panels
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Wind and Sun's approach to serving their clients fit well with my need for appropriate guidance. My solar products of choice are serving me well.
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One size misfits all.
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Overall, did Northern AZ Wind & Sun meet your expectations?
It exceeded all needs and expectations.
Hank came into our office quite confident and knowledgeable but was also accepting of our recommendations. His application is common here in the west - the creation of a homestead is a progressive process starting first with the acquisition of land, then building a garage and finally the house. Power usually fits somewhere in between building the garage and the house. Typically, during this process, one lives in an RV on-site; at least this was the case for Hank and many others. Imagine designing and installing a power system that can sustain your home in the long run but also provide enough power to build your home and allow you to live comfortably in an RV while doing so. This was exactly what we did for Hank, and he will only have to do it once. The system was designed around an 8KW Outback Radian inverter system with a 5.6KW array and a 19KWH lithium battery bank. We expect the system to be able to generate about 25-30KWH per day and this will be more than enough to power Hank’s home and shop (garage). Currently the shop is fully functional complete with freezer, fridge, air-conditioned wine cellar, 2HP Table Saw, drill press, planer etc. Two RVs are also plugged into the system as the temporary residence. Reports so far show we’re barely touching the potential of the system. The home is going up soon.
Solar Power System Components
Below is a list of components that were used in this system.
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