So, two questions. Both involve my unattached garage that I use as a woodworking shop. It has no electricity or heat, but came prepared for both when I bought the house.
First, how feasible and economical is installing solar panels to power my workshop plus lights? Would it be difficult to set up myself?
Second, any tips on putting in a small wood stove? Like I said, it already has a vent for one.
>First, how feasible and economical is installing solar panels to power my workshop plus lights?
What is your budget? Which kind of system are you going for? AC? DC? Grid tie? Independent/battery backed?
>Would it be difficult to set up myself?
You have not told us what electrical skills you have. based on that I am assuming none. In that case, very difficult.
Preferably independent/battery. I have rudimentary electric skills. Around one to three thousand.
Basically trying to judge the project, what I'll need, etc. I'm not sure how much electritions run but I will look into one if it's over my head.
If you are going with batteries and want to run AC motors for your shop tools then the electrician wont be that expensive compared to when you will pay for the batteries and the DC-to-AC converter. I'd run the lights off of DC from the batteries directly but you will need a lot of batteries and a hefty power converter to output AC for those motors. Assuming you aren't using the shop all the time you wont actually need that many panels to keep everything topped of though. The initial investment is still going to be stupid expensive even if you do the work yourself.
You can, and I have, used heavy duty extensions cords outdoors for years. It's crude but common. I have shop space but also weld/grind/drill outdoors and leave the cords where they fall unless mowing. You can unplug them from the house side when not in use.
For happiness, you could run a separate electrical service to your garage. I had a pole placed with an outdoor service panel and various outlets including 50A single phase for my welders. You can install a subpanel and wire the shop later but this approach gets you immediate power with little fuss. Run a subpanel inside your shop.
It was very convenient having power when I built my shop, and I can place a mobile air compressor, welder, or power box as I like to do outdoor work. Plan for versatility.
I've had the setup nearly twenty years. Would do again.