Dear Friends, I was at Amherst and had an enjoyable two days. I learned a lot but I still have one question which I never got clarified. My home is completed with conventional AC wiring, 14 ga. for lighting and 12 ga. for outlets. According to the way I read some of your articles dealing with this, I should be able to add PV panels, batteries and inverter wired into my house wiring and be off and running. I understand that I'll have to modify my electrical use as described in HP#14 page 11 and may even isolate the circuit to our washer to keep it on the power grid. My question is, do I have to make any changes to the size of my wiring or to any of my switches or outlets when changing over. I'm also aware that if I go with 12 VDC or 24 VDC I would be able to power everything more efficiently but for the cost of change over and the nightmare of rewiring I'm thinking that installing a few extra PV panels would offset this. Your opinion on this would be most appreciated. The enclosed check is for the following back issues, 2,3,4,6,8,9,10,11,12,15 &17. I enjoyed your talk at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair and I bought some of your magazines and now I'm hooked. Keep up the good work.
P.S. Is the Trace 2524 ,with options, as described in HP#16, going to allow power stored in batteries to supply my home with 110 VAC and when they (the batteries) get low will the Trace's battery charger option automatically kick in to recharge them? Or will the Trace automatically switch me over to grid power if I so desire? I would think the best situation would be to use PV stored power until down to a set level and then automatically switch to grid power until batteries are charged again by PVs at which time the inverter switches back off grid power.
Thanks Again! Steve & Linda Sventek, Frederic, WI Dear Steve & Linda, #14 AWG copper wire is fine for your AC lighting circuits if fused for not more than 15 Amps. #12 AWG is required for small appliance circuits (like in kitchens) and should be fused for not more than 20 Amps. DC lighting is somewhat more efficient, but you're right in assuming that rewiring and changing switches in an already existing structure would be a chore. With present day inverter efficiencies at 90+, it's hardly worth it, and an extra PV or two will surely be enough to offset the difference. Whether you use DC or AC lighting, they should still be energy-efficient types. The Trace 2524 with the Standby Charger (SB) option will use your batteries to supply your home with 110 VAC until the batteries get down a preset voltage. At that point, it will switch over to Charger mode and recharge the batteries if it has 117VAC at its input. When the batteries get back up to a preset voltage, the Trace will switch back to inverter mode. Both the low voltage and high voltage transfer levels are user programmable and adjustable. Bob-O
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Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.