Location: Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast (and farmstead), Browntown, Wisconsin
Rated Output of PV System: 680-watt PV system (or .7 kW)
Commissioned: October 26, 2006
System Design: Four Suntech 170-watt modules were placed on an Unirac which was cantilevered off the south side of existing equipment shed, connected to a Sunny Boy 700U Inverter which was then connected to a circuit breaker box connected to the rest of the farm/house service. The inverter converts Direct Current (DC) generated from the modules to Alternating Current (AC) which can readily be used for electricity needs on farm or, in the case of surplus generation, "stored" or "banked" back on the grid through "net metering."
Type of PV System:Grid intertie with Alliant Energy which offers net metering, in essence allowing owners to sell excess electricity production back to the electric utility. No battery storage was employed. All electricity used at the Inn Serendipity farm is from 100-percent renewable energy (wind and bio-gas), based on the Second Nature program offered by Alliant Energy.
Annual Electricity Output: 899 kWh/year in 2007. Click here for: complete PV output by year. In 2007, Inn Serendipity produced a surplus of 1,870 kWhs of electricity for our community.
Project Designers: Tom DeBates with Habi-Tek, Ken Hulet with Engineering Services Co., John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist, co-owners of Inn Serendipity, and Phil and Judy Welty, formerly of Solar Use Now (S.U.N.) of Wisconsin. The system replaced the .5kW Kyocera system.
Renewable Energy Systems Dealer: Habi-Tek, Geneva, Illinois
Ecological Impacts: Over the expected 25 year lifespan of the .7 kilowatt PV system, approximately 21,925 kWh of electricity will be generated from the sun to meet electricity needs at Inn Serendipity; this will help avoid the emissions of about 34,650 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is among the most common emissions from coal-fired electricity generation plants. Excessive CO2 emissions is the leading contributor to global warming. Source: Energy Center of Wisconsin.
Use of Electricity: Because the electricity is originating in the farmyard, it is likely that fans and pumps in the active, closed loop, solar hot water heating system for the greenhouse will utilize some of the electricity before reaching the farmhouse.
Eco-nomics (Cost of .7 kW PV System):
Site Integration: Integration of PV system to help meet the energy needs of a diversified small-scale organic farming operation and home-based small business.
PV System Funding Support: The .7 kW PV system is supported, in part, from funding from the Wisconsin Focus on Energy program. The original demonstration PV system installed in 2002 is made possible by funding, in part, from the Wisconsin Focus on Energy program, the WisconSUN program and the Energy Center of Wisconsin.
Comprehensive Farmstead Overview and Self-guided Booklet: Print out the 20 page booklet, The Good Life Guide: A self-guided tour of Inn Serendipity & the renewable energy systems that make it possible for a more detailed overview of the renewable energy systems employed on the farm.
Demonstration Grant Funding Support: Portions of this website and related Good Life Guide: A self-guided tour of Inn Serendipity & the renewable energy systems that make it possible was made possible, in part, through funding provided by the Wisconsin Focus on Energy Program.