Renewable Energy Innovation designed, installed and commissioned a small solar PV array for a beach hut in Mudeford, Nr Christchurch on the South coast of England. The hut is owned by the Timms family who wanted to power a fridge, lights and some small appliances (mobile phone chargers etc.) throughout the main season (from mid March until October).
There is no electricity supply to any of the beach huts and lighting and refrigeration was previously supplied by bottled gas, which had to be transported to the hut through a site of special scientific interest.
A system was designed to ensure that there would be enough energy from the PV array to supply the loads throughout the main season. Planning permission was required from the local council and a case had to be made to allow the three solar PV panels to be installed, as this was larger than the allowed area. With a good system design and correct calculations to back up the planning application the system was approved.
The final design comprised three 90Wp Lorentz high-efficiency solar PV modules with three 110Ah Elecsol carbon fibre batteries for energy storage. The batteries were contained within a separate section of a fire-retardant gas cylinder box.
This supplied a Shoreline high-efficiency fridge, four high-efficiency 5W white LED lights, a fluorescent light and a number of 12V ‘car’ type sockets.
A Steca charge controller and system monitor is used to ensure correct charging of the battery and to allow the user to instantly see the state of the system – which allows them to make decisions on using the energy in the battery.
The system will be monitored to ensure that the loads are supplied throughout the year.