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Our recent work on a solar lumber kiln has become a solid success. Using simple DC circuits we set our client up with an efficient way to harness the sun to move hot air through a private lumber mill kiln and in only a few days the moisture content of the wood was dropping significantly. Best of luck to the crew as they begin production!
Few locations will challenge a builder more than anywhere near the arctic circle. Here is the before shot of the homestead we renovated under an existing cabin in Fairbanks, Alaska.
It takes a steady hand to use a walk-behind excavator to grade under an existing post/piling foundation in permafrost. The end result was well worth it and we added a generator switch for the moments the utility power was out on that homestead.
Winter in Alaska is long and makes every building timeline critical. In the end this basement nearly doubled the square footage of this home and had a new Buderus 115-4 Heat Boiler and Generator Switch to give peace of mind on the long completely dark winter months.
Every now and then we take older equipment - run the necessary steps - and install it at a discount. Most solar equipment just needs a bit of work to restore it to at least a majority of it's original function. Why spend more if you don't need to. With this system I built in a generator bypass switch (with interlock) a cutoff, and a small breaker box. This design is perfect if you have limited space.
Systems like this are perfect when someone really needs help and is on a limited budget.
This old trace system was working well past it's life expectancy. To get ahead of a potential breakdown sometimes it makes sense to plan for the worst and get a new system in place (and keep the old on the side as a spare).
It may not look like much but this system is now basically a Ferrari. With a coupled Koehler 12RES Generator and a Magnum Dimensions Inverter running both legs of 240V through the system and Ni/Fe batteries you can flip the appropriate switch to either run entirely off solar, off generator, or off utility power.