By Chuck Ohler

A completed solar array is now nestled in the trees but out of reach of their shadows.

The array is arranged as three by nine panels, for a total of 27 at this time.

The lower row is empty for future expansion which will allow us to make use of newer, more efficient panels that will no doubt become available.

Each of these panels is producing 330 watts in full sunlight which gives a total of 8,910 watts. Assuming 6 hours of illumination per day and a 30-day production period, the array will provide about 1,604 kilowatts of power, which is almost three times what we normally consume in a month.

Of course that ignores cloudy days and losses due to wiring and other inefficiencies in the total system, but the system has been engineered and built to reduce those to a minimum.

Inset: Tandem inverters mounted to the wall convert the DC from the panels to AC to power the homestead. Excess power is banked by CMNEC and we draw upon that when the sun is down.

We are planning on bringing the system online in the next few weeks.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at