8 panel addition to existing 8 panel system

I have an 8 panel 235 watt each system and am adding another set of 8 each 300 watt panel’s to the system which will more than double the capacity of the system and available power output throughout the daylight hours. This is a fixed position set and will produce a little different amounts of energy at different times of the year. The system has a monitor that will log out put of the panel’s throughout the year and will be able to store production change records for yearly production. Note winter output will be lowest because of deflection but more because of the short days for production…I have all the panel’s set and secured but not covered with the hardware cloth yet..Will have in production in the next couple of weeks and will be post pictures later this week or next. This is a system that I have built for a customer of mine and have been upgrading for them as they go along. They will and are planning on adding another 8 to 12 panels within the next year also..they will be on a ground mount system not up in the air so high as these are.

8 Solar Panel Back Up System

This is an 8 panel 235 watt each panel off grid system, set up for a 48 volt battery system. The maximum voltage for the panel’s is 150 volt controller voltage. The system also has a propane back up 8 KW generator and 2 each 3,000 watt inverters for power distribution. this system is covered with 1/2 inch hardware cloth to protect from hail damage or other damage too.The system is mounted on top of a van box for easy relocation and security set up.

We are going to add several more panels to the system at a later date. If interested in a system similar to this or any other system please contact me. Thank You, Calvin Allen

Start of A New Year and Growing Season

IMG_0915It’s getting that time of  year and spring fever is on it’s way. Checked out our cold frames and we have some good looking spinach and kale. Also have some  lettuce and other items up out of the ground. Will have to start working the ground but will not start tilling for now and am going to try to go without tilling this year, just break the ground with a hoe or fork.The extreme cold is  really had a effect on the growth. We have eaten some spinach though and could have some kale and lettuce and other items. I am going to start my first tomatoes this Thursday or Friday and will plant a few other seeds too.  Looking forward to a great year and hope to have a lot of  stuff to sell at the local farmers market.

Worked in the garden most of the day on March 15th, was warm about 60 degrees. I tilled a place for my potatoes and will plant on the 17th. We just plant a few potatoes each year, and I am planting Yukon Gold. This is one of my favorite varieties. This will also be about all of the tilling I do this year, I am trying to do a no till year for most of the garden and see if I like the results. I planted so red sweet onion bulbs and some white sweet onion plants for fall harvest also, and will plant more in a couple of weeks. My  Rhubarb is starting to grow and looking very good too. I have added about 3 inches of rabbit manure mixture to one of my asparagus beds also. Cleaned up and repaired some of the raised beds and will quit for the day. Next weekend will start more projects in the garden. Planted two rows of potatoes, Yukon Gold and Idaho baking potatoes, I have always been told that the 17th is the best day to plant. I did 2 rows yesterday, and also planted last year on the same day and had a great small crop last year and hope to do so this year too.

Will try to post a few pictures over the next few weeks. I will have 2 off grid or supplement energy systems up and going this week and next week.  Will try to post some pics by weeks end.  Have a great week and 2014 too.

Calvin Allen with Ground Wind Turbine

Coming Soon – Solar Panels and Charging System Controllers

I have bought and am installing some solar panels with a charge controller. I also am doing an install of some Nichole iron batteries with a charge controller and a 48 volt pure sine inverter 110/220.  My system is a 12 volt system with 4 solar panels 305 watt each.  I have a 12 volt inverter so I will keep mine at 12 volts for now and plan to upgrade to 24 volt soon. I also have all parts available for sale, with shipping available too. I will get pics of the installs as I get them completed this Spring. I have just finished a back up system that can also be used as an off grid system, if the grid stays down for a extended period of time. This system is only using a propane generator with heavy duty lead acid batteries, and a pure sign inverter with a manual transfer switch.

Calvin Allen with Ground Wind Turbine

Beginning or Start Point System (must start somewhere)

The system can start small to be added on to as time and assets become available.  A good start point is a few solar panels with a couple of 12 volt batteries and a  12 or 24 volt inverter. 12 volt inverters are usually less expensive  and more available at this time. That doesn’t mean that they are better, just a good start point. If you start with 4 each 12 volt solar panels and hook them in parallel  to use as a 12 volt system and later decide to make it a 24 or even a 48 volt system. The change can be made easily without new solar panel expenses, by rewiring the system to match the required voltage. You will need to add at least 2 more 12 volt batteries to make it a 48 volt system.  Deep cycle batteries or even golf cart or heavy equipment batteries are a good start point for batteries. Nichol/Iron batteries are top of the line, but very costly. To build a 12 volt system with 2 each 400 watt solar panels and a 12volt to 110 volt inverter system and 2 each 12 volt batteries. could be built for about $3,200 dollars and be wired into 2 to 4 inside outlets that are only on the off grid circuit. Using only off grid circuits will keep down switching and over load protection  equipment cost. This will also reduce liability and equipment damage accidentally.

Probably the best system you could build and with the best return to cost would be a 48 volt system. The ability to enlarge or add on to the system as your needs increase is the easiest with the 48 volt system and also the cheapest to add on after the original installation.  The equipment cost will be greater but the advantages and wiring cost will be less. There isn’t  much in the used market with 48 volt stuff, so most will have to be new product.  If  interested in a design or products to build the system please contact on the contact page or call 573-743-6357.  I design, build and install systems of all sizes and can provide product and support for your own install. Thank You Calvin Allen

Calvin Allen with Ground Wind Turbine

Garden Preparation for Spring Planting

Burn Off watch.

This is one of my typical control burn off fires. As you can see it is rather small for good fire control.

As soon as possible in the spring I start working on my garden preparations. Usually, I start by raking up and pulling the residue from last year’s plant and weed remains. After I clear out all I can—I burn the rest to avoid weeds and vines clogging up the tiller tines. I almost always do two burns to get the wetter residue, which won’t dry until it gets air exposure. After burning, the real work begins! Once the burn process is over I start the cultivating process.

The areas I’m planting root crops in I usually turn over with a good cultivating fork. This is not an easy job, but it will greatly help the root crop production. A good plow will also work well, but in a confined area like mine, I can’t use a plow. Once the dirt is turned over, I run my small cultivator through it to mix up the soil blend, then rake it down and begin planting.

Cultivator Fork

These forks are good to turn over ground to about 8 inches, if the dirt is workable. I have added a lot of organic mulch for several years and the ground works well.

In the larger plots, I use a rear-tine tiller that I bought over 10 years ago and it is still working fine. Any kind of tiller you want to use will work. The rear-tine is best to work in the dirt and rocks, but it is much heavier to maneuver especial at the ends of the rows.

Garden Preparation for Spring Tilling and Planting

Propane tank with flame torch

This is a small propane tank that I have used for several years to do most of my controlled burning in the garden area. Propane leaves no burn residue to harm the plants or environment, and is easy to buy and store. The small bottle is a little harder to acquire but can be found in some propane shops. The cost for the small size is much higher than the 20 pound cylinder that we use for our BBQ Grill. The flame torch can be bought at most farm and home supply centers.  The cost of the torch is somewhere around $30.00.

Burn tank and 2 wheeler

Burn tank and 2 wheeler

The big 20 pound or bigger cylinders are cheaper to buy and to fill. When using these tanks a good 2 wheel dolly makes the job much easier. When using the dolly to transport the tank, be sure to use a tie strap to keep the tank from falling out or off the dolly. I use the big tank of propane to burn around the lake and other burn projects throughout the year. It can also be used to start your brush piles and other burn projects.  Be sure to secure the tank when in use, so as to not allow it to fall into the burning materials.

Calvin Allen with Ground Wind Turbine

Cold Frame Planting

We have had strawberries and broccoli transplanted since late fall but have added lots of cuttings for spring transplanting. We have also planted spinach for spring  greens in this space.  Have added another section as well and planted lettuce, spinach, beets, and peas to add to our green’s for salads. We also cook a lot of the greens. We are going to continue to add and experiment with lots of other greens and some other plants for raised beds and cold frames.  I am going to add light and heat to the tall cold frame. We are going to market the frames in several different sizes and styles. The one I have pictured below is about $900.00 set up and ready to plant or I will also plant. This is set up on a level accessible area, and does not include mileage charges. If this is something that interest you please contact me, I may be able to help you design something that will work for you and provide some of the materials and design for DIY projects.  Thank You for viewing my site and  hope you enjoyed what you read and viewed.

Calvin Allen with Ground Wind Turbine

Onondaga Energy Show

The energy show at Onondaga went very well, we had about 100 visits and lots of questions.  Lots of literature was picked up and lots of real interest.  hope to visit some of the sites that were in question by visitors and hope to produce some work and sales. The biggest interest was in hydro or water wheel power.  One of the best investments with a quick return on your investment available out there .  Thanks to all that visited my site and that supported the show.  Sincerely  Calvin Allen

Calvin Allen with Ground Wind Turbine

Gardening Ahead

The last 2 weeks have made a big change in the garden area. The garden is mostly tilled and has been providing some harvest.  The spinach is doing very well and Sunday I was able to give some to a lady in our church that really loves it. I will post some pics of the progress soon. The Asparagus is also doing well, We had our first bunch Saturday the 9th of April and had a very large bunch today. We brush it with olive oil and then sprinkle garlic salt on it and wrap it in aluminum foil and grill it for about 15 minutes.  I have planted 2 rows of corn and hope it will not be lost to frost.

We usually don’t  have late frost here because we are at a good elevation for this area. The elevation is also a plus for the wind turbine. I am going to set one in top of a tree that I have topped and see how it works. It will be about 30 feet up. I also have a tower to put one on but want to try the tree first. I am planning on the tree living so I won’t have to remove or replace the structure any time soon.  I will also upload some pics of the install. The fruit trees are just about done blooming and the cherry trees bloomed very heavy too.  We have seen a lot of honey bees in the trees this year and that is a good sign, since we haven’t seen too many for several years.. Maybe I can find the honey tree and rob some of the honey this fall. I spent some time in the woods Friday and again Sunday and found about 30 black morels.  We had them for lunch today and for me this is a real treat.. Hope to find more soon and will continue to look and post if I find any more.