Thursday, September 15, 2011

Solar powered ham shack gets a new controller

The new ham shack is up and running. The 65W solar panel is placed simply on the north facing side of the roof. There is some shade during the day but it seems to be producing enough for my operating time.

The little charge controller supplied by Jaycar was really meant for a night light so I purchased something more elaborate from Hong Kong via Ebay made by ProVista Technology. It's a very nice unit.

It's an ISC3020 which is rated at 30A input and load current. It has a very informative multi-page LCD display. Here it is both charging and supplying power and the battery is at 13.8V.

Both current drain and charge current are available. Here's charge current of 4.8A.

I paid AU$75 + $20 postage from Ebay seller greensolarwind and it came in 10 days.


VE9KK said...

Good morning Marxy, very impressive and I would imagine this is the way of the future for ham radio. On this side of the pond solar is just starting to catch on.

Peter Marks said...

I'm not sure, but we probably have more sun that you do in Ontario. The prices are really coming down.

One good thing I've noticed is that the noise level is down in the shack compared to when it was in the house. I think this is because I'm away from all mains wiring.

You have a great blog there, I'll be following you.


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hello Peter, great to see your solar system. I was just thinking about the north face of your solar panel. And then it was clear to me that of course the sun on your side of the world is always at the north. Here we need to face them to the south. A nice detail. Great controller, it´s a pity solar systems are so expensive. But it saves you the cost and time to install a mains cable to the new shack. You´re lucky the controller does not interfere your radio receive. 73, Bas

Peter Marks said...

Ha, thanks Bas, yes we're "down under" here and the sun is in the north.

I was concerned about noise from the solar charger too but it doesn't seem to be a problem.

Interestingly I'm finding the shack is quite low noise in general, presumably being distant from mains wiring helps.

Best 73's


panda said...

Hello Peter,
Great on the solar panel and the new controller I have had a small panel on the shack roof for a few years it provides about half a amp on a sunny day it charges a marine grade battery in the shack to supply my 2 metre and 70cms transceivers good to see you also going green.

Peter Marks said...

Thanks Ian, weather has been good but results so far are very encouraging. I have a 300W AC inverter and it runs the soldering iron just fine too.

Today I rigged up a 9V regulator for running radio and other small devices, I have a 19V voltage booster on order which should run a netbook for WSPR.

If I can get a WSPR station to run indefinitely on pure solar I'll be very pleased but not sure if that is practical.



Solar Energy said...

That is a nice setup. :) It always good to see that many are adapting this technology. :)