At the Edson & District Recycling Depot we have implemented several solar PV arrays. We have a mobile system in our Enviro Discovery Trailer as well as systems in three locations at the depot, each with unique differences. One system is located on top of our Take it or Leave it building and is called the Repsol Innovation Centre, another on our main building and the third on top of our glass/ metal building. The first two systems are grid-tied, the last one is off-grid.
What does this mean?
Grid-Tied: our system is connected to the standard power grid that typical houses, businesses, etc. would be using to get their power. This is convenient because it means that we are able to take regular power from the grid if we do not have enough solar power coming in. We are also able to give extra solar energy back to the regular power grid, so during the summer months you may just be using a bit of our clean solar energy!
Off-Grid: one of our systems is not connected to the standard power grid where most houses and businesses get their energy from. This allows the building powered by this to be completely self sufficient. To keep a back-up reserve of energy in case we do not receive enough solar energy to meet our needs, this system has batteries. Solar energy is used in the building and any extra goes towards charging our batteries for a rainy day. Batteries we use are an environmentally sound alternative. They are made using saltwater rather than hazardous materials and other recyclable products; at the end of their long life cycle they will be easily recycled and the saltwater will cause no environmental harm.
Two of our three systems are also equipped with a data tracking program, this allows us to easily see how much energy we are collecting. If you are interested in seeing our live and historic data in an easily understandable format check out the links below!