Form for off grid solar newbies?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,556 ✭✭✭✭
Does anybody know of such a thing? 

It would, of course, be a great start in the determination of the proper amount of panels, size of CC and inverter plus cabling. 

I do remember the beginning when I was so long on enthusiasm and so short on knowledge. I bought a few books and was certain the road would thusly be paved like the Autobahn. All they did was explain solar essentials  and advise the reader to hire a pro. Not bad advice for the majority who may lack a background in construction and electricity.

This board was instrumental in allowing me to muscle through my own 48 volt installation. That assembly has worked flawlessly outside of my questionable first choice on batteries....regular 8Ds that were highly recommended by a solar friend. With good batteries in current usage, there is almost no worry at all.

Have decided to focus on 12 and 24 volt cabin solar. Larger systems get a bit too complicated when dealing with the extra challenges of the consumer and a strange location. Plus...I am not licensed yet. Semi-retired, just need a little more money and little less time to spend it.
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,307 ✭✭✭✭
    Because first, you start with loads, as accurate as possible.  Then you factor in your local weather conditions (how many consecutive cloudy days do you normally get in winter?) and how many days to go before needing to run the generator. 
     THAT gives you your battery size in Watt Hours
    Then you use your worst case Sun Hours ( say 3 hr ) in winter and you size your PV array so you can recharge your daily usage x1.8 in the short days.  Do that right, and you have excess capacity in summer and could run air conditioning !
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,276 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 20 #3
    I think somewhere I had done a list of questions, it could be put into a form of sorts;

    Loads;
    daily
    peaks daily, weekly
    types 12v/120/240
    Seasonal peak

    Solar insolation for your array orientation;
    average
    seasonal peak
    seasonal minimum

    Availability of alternate charging;
    desired days of autonomy w/o alternate charging.

    Type of battery bank /willingness to do monthly maintenance

    That would be a good start...

    Additionally would be distances,
    array to cc/battery bank
    battery bank to inverter

    Location of battery bank / Batter bank exposure to ambient temps

    Balance of loads day time vs night time.
    Willingness/availability to load shift.

    Queries about how they intend to handle;
    Heating
    Cooling
    Water heating
    ...might save heartache and confusion.

    Might even ask about the NEC version that is required if any...




    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,873 ✭✭✭✭
    And don't forget you have to factor in losses within the system....  like the efficiency,  in % , of each  device you have in the system,...plus line losses
    hth
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 1,556 ✭✭✭✭
    And don't forget you have to factor in losses within the system....  like the efficiency,  in % , of each  device you have in the system,...plus line losses
    hth
    Many reasons why I am only offering 12 and 24 volt cabin solar....at least for awhile. I suspect a common restraint may be what can they afford. Otherwise, it is unusual to have "too much solar" it seems. 

    Anyway....no calls yet or emails yet. No surprise there. I rarely experience much ad activity unless sensational prices are offered. Most people are bargain hunters it seems, just look at WalMart crowds on Black Friday.

    It is a lot easier to offer great service when you can make a couple bucks. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 150 watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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