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SolarHanger

William Waters III - N7IPY

The Solar Powered Hanger is up and running.
My plane is based at the Lincoln Regional Airport, North East of Sacramento, a 20 minute drive from my home in Roseville.  I was lucky and at the right place and and right time and was able to purchase a small 'T-Hanger' on the North side of the airport.  The hanger was not only a dry and safe place to store the plane in, but was a great investment.  Hanger space is rare and expensive to get into.  The only real problem with this hanger is that the rows of hangers on the North side have no utility power.  It gets dark out at the Lincoln Airport at night so I had to do something.  It so happened that an area of interest for me is Solar Electric power, and I had almost all of the parts to build and install a fairly substantial solar system into the hanger. 
The system is designed for moderate use, such as weekends and the occasional evening.  I only installed 2 100 watt pannels as that was all that was needed to keep the batteries charged during the week.  The large battery capacity and large inverter allows for high current usage on the weekends and allows the rest of the week to recharge the batteries.
One of the most handy tools in a hanger is the air compressor and I wanted enough surge capacity to start and run a small compressor.  I also found an electric leaf blower is a great way to keep the hanger clean.  Both these devices draw about 100 AMPs at 12 volts so my system was designed to sustain 170 AMPs.  The special DC Circuit Breaker will trip at 175 AMPs and disconnect the batteries from the system. 
All wiring is installed using flex conduit and standart electrical boxes to keep it compliant with city code and make the installation safe.  The system has aover $4000 in parts, but I had many of them as I was building a solar system for home at one time, so I just moved many of the parts to the hanger and installed there.
This simple installation has been working great for the past 5-6 years.  All the power I need out in the hanger.
Below is the wiring diagram for the project:
SolarHanger.jpg
 
The construction parts came from the local Home Depot including the solar panel mounts.  The system is contained in a 5 foot 19 inch rack which makes it neet and keeps the parts clean from the dirt and dust on a rural airport.  There is a remote power On/Off switch located next to one of the bi-fold hanger doors for easy operations when it is dark outside. 
 
Next phase is to add a DC ventilation fan that will be automatically turned on once the batteries are charged to use excess power from the pannels.  Someday Ill find time to build and install the fan system...

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Close up of inverter, diconnect and connections, 40Amp charge controller is behind the Disconnect box.
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Solar pannels prior to mounting on the frame and installing to hanger roof.
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These are the 2 Pannels mounted to the frame and installed on the hanger roof.  I made the frame adjustable but have not needed to readjust the pannel angel for different times of the year as I do not ever use more power than I can currently collect

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The whole Solar system is held in this 5 foot tall 19 inch rack enclosure.  The electronics and power handeling hardware is mounted above and the 6 large storage batteries are mounted on shelfs below. I used 20 AMP plugs to connect to the hanger wiring I installed to allow for easy dicsonnect.

(C) 2007 - 2017  William Waters   Last Updated July, 2017