Dave M.'s new captive caboose--you can just barely see the solar panel on top--it's tilted back into summer position.Our friend Dave M. just bought this caboose near Otherpower HQ, and the beautiful acres surrounding it! He set up a quick and inexpensive solar power system to get electrified quickly, since he's living it full-time. Everything's working great--and we believe this is the first time there's been electricity in this caboose since it was built in 1913! It was one of the last wooden cabooses in service when it was retired in 1962 by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. It was moved up to the mountains as a vacation cabin sometime in the 60s. It appears that all previous owners have used kerosene or gas lamps--there was no wiring at all.
The new power system consists of:
- 1 x 105 Watt PhotoWatt PW-1000 solar panels.
- 4 x Golf Cart batteries, 6 volt, connected in series/parallel for a 12 volt system.
- 1 x 350 watt Chinese inverter.
- 10 foot diameter wind turbine from Otherpower.com
That's it! But it works great, and serves his needs. Wiring for 120 volts AC from the inverter is in progress. Presently he runs lights, a stereo and a full-size computer from the system. There's no charge controller--the power input and use are very well balanced at this time, and 100 Watts of input all day into a fully-charged battery bank this size would cause no damage, as long as the batteries are watered regularly.