Sunday, 30 May 2010

The solar-powered woodland

Last week we went up to the woods on a beautiful sunny day for dinner. The oaks are all out in leaf now and it looks fantastic!
In between them there's patches of sunlight reaching the ground, and I used one of them to test out running our woodgas stove directly from a solar panel, with no batteries involved:
The setup used a 10Wp solar panel:
A very basic charge controller (shunt mode rather than PWM, for those who are technical). This is normally used with a battery, but I left that out in this case:
A voltage regulator to give 3V for the stove:
And then the woodgas stove, which ran nicely:
Of course, all the trees in our wood are solar powered too ;-) We went for a walk to look at them, and found that the ride sides we coppiced 18 months ago are springing to life even more:
There's even grass starting to grow in the rides, now that there's some more light there:
Deeper into the wood there are still bluebells around, as they made such a late start this year. Here's a few photos of them...
It's a similar story back near our camp, though this has the benefit of being the third summer after coppicing, and oak thinning too in this case. The ground is positively green now, with new plants and more bluebells that last year:
Nice to see the Blue Bugle arriving, probably having travelled in from the wayleave:
Of course, the fruit trees needed tending to, though they're awkward to get at because of the fences we made to keep the deer off them while they're young:
I needed to get in there to remove blossoms, so the tree can focus on twigs and leaves instead of fruit this year...
There's more photos to come from the bank holiday weekend in a day or two...


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