Quite a few people have asked about the "Solar" in our name, wondering if we somehow roast the coffee in the sunlight, or have some big solar-heated oven. This little outline should help put things in order.
The answer is really quite simple. We capture sunlight with a large array of photo-voltaic panels that generates electricity. Quite a bit of electricity actually. In fact, it takes about 11 minutes of sunlight for us to roast 8 pounds of coffee, enough to roast about 1 metric ton per week at full capacity and still leave plenty of energy to charge our electric coffee delivery vehicle.
Even our Fully Electric Car is Charged with Solar Electricity.
This quick tour will explain the system workings:
Ian and Jessie (from our shipping department) are carefully inspecting a solar pathfinder device, which tracks the location of the sun through the sky. They want to make sure that the solar array is not shaded by obstructions such as tree limbs or other buildings. Jessie approves our location.
The panels are installed on mounting rails attached to the horse barn roof. The total array is cable of generating 10,000 watts, more than enough to power the Fluid Coffee roasting system. There are a total of 48 panels installed.
The electrical power from the PV array is converted into "regular" A.C. power which is in turn connected to the electrical grid and the coffee roastery. Excess electricity is "stored" on the Ontario Hydro power grid and purchased back, during night or cloudy days. The system generates about 2 times more power than is currently required to roast our delicious coffee and charge the electric vehicle.