The Wedge generates its own power via an array of solar panels installed on the roof. It is designed to run solely on its own generated power.
Power from the solar panels is used to charge a bank of batteries so that there is enough power at all times to run lights, cook and use other devices within the home that consume electricity even when the sun’s not shining.
An inverter is used to convert power from the 24 volt DC bank of batteries to standard household power of 120 volts AC for a limited number of devices where we chose to use AC power. In general, we tried to power most of the lighting and other devices in the house directly from DC power so as to avoid the overhead of perhaps 10 to 10 percent that is incurred when converting power from the the 24 volt DC battery bank to 120 volt AC.
We chose not to directly use any fossil fuels in the house and therefore our cooking will be done with an efficient induction two burner cooktop. In this case it was necessary to use a 120 volt AC appliance and incur the power conversion overhead.
Most of our lighting is done with bulbs that run directly off of 24 volts DC. We only used LED bulbs because of them being significantly more efficient that incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.
Our hot water will be heated with electricity and once again we chose to do that using 24 volts DC so as not to incur a power conversion overhead. We replaced the 120 volt 1650 watt heating element in a conventional 10 gallon electric water heater with a 24 volt 600 watt heating element and as a result it will take longer to heat our water. We have attempted to address this issue by setting a higher temperature on the water heater and using a thermostatic mixing valve.
We chose a very efficient refrigerator that runs directly off of 24 volts. We added additional insulation during the installation to make it even more efficient.
While we are able to generate sufficient power for our anticipated needs during most of the months of the year we may need to embellish our power generation capabilities to handle the winter months when there is less sun available by adding additional solar panels or relying on other sources of power that might include use of propane for heat and cooking.