Solar powered car maintenance workshop

Workshopshed: Mark Bradley aka Buzz dropped me a message via the contact form letting me know of his project to run his car repair/maintenance workshop from solar power over the summer. He has a mixture of high power items such as a welder and compressor as well as lower powered items. The solar panels and batteries are installed in a double decker bus which means that when they are not powering the workshop they can power remote installations such as festivals.

Hi Buzz,
thanks for getting in contact this sounds like a great project. What motivated you to try this out?

Buzz: The primary reason is to avoid fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions but there could be economic benefits too.

Workshopshed: What are the key challenges?

Buzz: Key challenges is to get a smaller compressor motor from 3 hp to 2.5 hp and change all fluorescent lighting to led panels in the workshop to reduce inductive load. The inverter 15kw pure sine (it has three 5kw toroidal cores) and panels 14kw max but as there is very little room near workshop will only use 5kw of it although a few high frames could be the answer one day..

Controls

Workshopshed: Do you have prior experience with solar powered projects?

Buzz: I have had many years of self taught knowledge of solar systems.

Workshopshed: Who do you have working on the setup? Can it be done singlehanded?

Buzz: I’m the only person in charge of set up initially but due to mobile solar panels being heavy to set out in a festival set up I have a helping hand.

Workshopshed: Has the setup been a success? Did you manage to power everything?

Buzz: Workshop is now entirely off grid until winter months using 15kw inverter backed up by fork truck batteries 1000 ah @ 48 volts

Batteries

Thanks Buzz for taking time to share your project. To find out more about the setup, visit Solar doubledecker

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