Over the past few days the Nipika team was able to test our solar panels, to see if our theory matched real life situations. Powering the MRR and the laptop required to run the MRR and parsivel was our biggest challenge at Nipika. Long story short, our solar power system worked out better than we had anticipated and was able to power the equipment throughout the night - SUCCESS! Here’s a few more details worth noting:
At Nipika we have 2 x 24V panel systems set in series, which through the use of a charge controller was regulated to a 12 V system, powering our 2 12V batteries that are connected in parallel. The solar panels are right outside the trailer, where the charge controller, batteries, inverter, and laptop are housed. The idea is the solar panels keep the batteries charged and the batteries are then what power the parsivel and inverter. The inverter provides a clean AC sine wave power source to the MRR2 and laptop. It was the happiest moment seeing our plans realized, and ultimately a huge weight lifted off our shoulders!
The first two days April 29 and 30 were spent setting up the trailer, one of two solar panels and the tripod for the parsivel. We were unable to install the MRR the previous two days because we had a missing part of MRR pro tripod. Andre Bertoncini (USask) and Cecile Carton (UQAM) drove from the eastern side to drop off a new tripod and our second 300 W solar panel that Nipika Mountain Resort had graciously lent us.