Amherst College Renewable Energy


The Merrill Weather Tower and Photo-voltaic Solar Panels

Weather tower atop Merrill.Weather tower atop Merrill.Windmill on weather tower.

The photo-voltaic array consists of 5 panels.

The 4 large panels (model BP 7185) were donated by BP Solar and have a combined rated DC power of 740 Watts. They are wired in series to produce 96 Volts DC. This DC voltage is converted to 120 Volts AC and fed directly into the electrical grid using a PV Powered PVP1100 inverter. The AC power put onto the grid by this system is plotted in the graph labeled "Solar Power".

The 5th panel (far end) is a 110 Watt, 12 Volt panel made by Shell Solar. Together with the wind turbine, it is used to charge a bank of 12 Volt batteries that are used to power various devices around the physics department, including a laptop computer and a class room projector. This is an example of an "off grid" system.

Our Air-X wind turbine is made by Southwest Windpower. The turbine is rated to produce 400 Watts at 28 mph wind speeds. The power from this turbine is plotted in the "Wind Power" graph. Also shown is the Davis weather station that monitors the solar intensity, wind speed, temperature, pressure, humidity and rain accumulation.