Wind or solar battery charging systems can be the ideal solution for remote buildings that need power for lighting or appliances.
Smaller systems use 12V lighting and equipment run directly from a battery, with the wind or solar charging sized to keep up with anticipated demand. Inverters can be included to enable 230 Vac ‘mains’ power to be provided, enabling conventional tools or appliances to be run.
The simplest systems use a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel to recharge the battery. This can be easily fitted to the roof or a sunny wall of the building. Greatest output will be over summer months so this is ideal for holiday, weekend or garden buildings.
No moving parts are involved so such systems are almost maintenance free.
For year round use wind generators are ideal for providing lighting since maximum output tends to be over winter when lighting is needed most. Small wind generators can often be easily mounted on the end of a building using TV aerial type brackets and pole. Power is fed down to the battery via a charge controller and then on to the loads. In sheltered locations where using wind power is not feasible, additional PV panels to increase winter output helps year round performance.
For buildings with greater power requirements larger systems or combined wind/solar systems can be designed, allowing an economical alternative to bringing in the mains.
Read more about some Simple DIY Off-Grid Systems
PV modules are the ideal way to maintain the charge in 12V batteries used to run electric fencing units. Usually a 10Wp PV module will suffice. A 20Wp module may be necessary where there is heavy use in winter. Alternatively, electric fencing is commonly an extra load in stable lighting systems.