Up in the Gleneden area, on the outskirts of Salmon Arm, is a solar installation that tracks the sun as it moves through the sky. Ground mounted, on three separate metal posts, the panels swing silently on electrically operated actuators following the sun. Each of the three arrays is guided by a digital sun tracker that points the array at the sun as it arcs through the sky. The total output of the three arrays is 2.34 kws. The owner says his electricity bill averages $40/mth. and runs a house that is electrically heated, has three freezers, a water pump, electrical hot water tank and of course other appliances and lights. He does supplement the heating with a wood stove.
He also has two separate solar powered projects. A green house that has lights, fans and 110 AC outlets. He also has a food drier that he made himself. The green house and food drier each have one 100 kw. panel and two lead acid batteries for storing solar energy.
If all this wasn’t wonderful enough all of it was designed, fabricated, built and installed by the owner. A lot of the metal for the tracking arrays was salvaged to help keep the cost down. The solar panels, digital tracker, motors, actuators, solar charge controllers, DC to AC power inverters and were quite easy to find and buy online for very reasonable prices.
The three tracking arrays have has been in operation for four years and the owner is so enthused about solar that he is thinking about buying an electric car to add to the rest of his electrically powered tools and appliances.