First time solar, have questions

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Comments

  • BrettBrett Registered Users Posts: 19
    Re: First time solar, have questions
    They're all much like this one from Blue Sea: http://www.solar-electric.com/basw1300amp.html
    Good option.

    Carboocoot,

    I was about to order this product when my brain got in the way! The charge controller can only be connected to one pair of batteries at a time, so if I switch over from 1 to 2, doesn't the controller(physically attached to 1) also get disconnected?

    I tried to call NAWS customer service to buy over the phone, and found out they have worse hours than a bank (9-4), so I haven't been able to purchase this yet. The Solsum lights were an easy online purchase, but the various battery switches carried by NAWS have so many options that I can't select without expert help.

    Maybe I am not seeing the overall wiring scheme. How do I put the charge controller in this picture so that it charges one battery or the other when the selector switch is changed? Thank you, and I'm sorry this is so confusing to ME.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: First time solar, have questions

    Brett;

    You need to think inside the box. You're fixating on the idea of just switching the charge controller. It's simple: the charge controller and the inverter both connect to the same point; the "load" terminal of the switch. The two battery banks connect to 'A' and 'B' (or '1' and '2') respectively.

    Operation is to leave the controller and inverter connected to Bank 'A' until it reaches Float, then switch to Bank 'B'. At that point 'A' will be charged and ready while you charge and use 'B'. Next day, 'B' reaches Float and you switch to Bank 'A'. 'B' is now charged and ready and waiting for the next day. This way you keep both banks "in circulation" as it were and both will be available if needed.

    Make sense, or more confusing?
  • BrettBrett Registered Users Posts: 19
    Re: First time solar, have questions

    Cariboocoot,

    In the example link you had posted, I didn't see a 'load' terminal on that switch, just a 'common' terminal, and two positive terminals, marked 1 and 2. Is the 'common' terminal for the positive lead of the charge controller? If so, where does the '-' of the controller go in all this?

    I am so sorry to be twisting about this way. I probably would have been better off if that sales man hadn't shown me such a bargain on the 4 smaller batteries!
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: First time solar, have questions

    Again I was speaking generically because there are several switches like that one.

    Yes, "common" is where the load goes. In this case both the charge controller and the inverter. '1' and '2' are for the battery banks. You're only switching the positive wiring here; the negatives remain connected (all common).

    And remember the fusing! The fuse for the charge controller goes in line with its (+) output to the switch. The inverter fuse likewise, or one separate fuse (same rating each) on the (+) line from each battery bank to the switch. The latter method is particularly good if you plan on using both banks simultaneously as it will "protect one from the other" so to speak.
  • BrettBrett Registered Users Posts: 19
    Re: First time solar, have questions

    Update:

    I'd like to thank all the members of this forum who nurse-maided me from an idea to kick-ass application. I got really excited to be adding some electricity in a way-off location, and had great expectations from NAWS after everyone here was so helpful.

    Unfortunately my money is not welcome after I criticized NAWS for their limited support hours. Some of us don't have the luxury of extended phone calls during the middle of the business day

    I expressed my disappointment on NAWS banker's hours, and that if it hadn't been for this solar forum, I wouldn't have given NAWS any business. I had already purchased the Solsum lights from NAWS (based solely on recommendations of forum assistance) and this could have been a continuation for repeat business. I guess I am only allowed to be a customer as long as I don't complain. Mike took my comment as a personal attack, and cancelled my order.

    After Mike cancelled my order, I replied that he needed to take a stool softener. This in no way diminishes the respect and admiration I have the volunteers of this forum.

    As a disappointed customer who had his order cancelled without authorization, I will pursue a complaint through the BBB.

    As an added note, this thread has been archived for BBB submission.

    Take care everyone, and Thank You for all your help.
  • rickrick Administrators Posts: 120 admin
    Re: First time solar, have questions

    Brett,

    We felt that your criticism was unwarranted. Northern Arizona Wind & Sun is a very small, family owned company. We all work at least 40 hours a week and have normal business hours Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. If nobody is in the shop after hours or on the weekends, you can leave a voice mail message and someone will get back to you by the next business day. We also take questions and comments via email and will respond as soon as possible. And lastly, we offer the free online discussion forum for technical support and questions when it's not convenient or necessary to contact our office. We feel as if we make ourselves available to customers in every realistic way. NAWS does not have the budget to hire people to work after hours or on the weekends. So we felt that your comment was out of line and unnecessary when placing your order. Based on past orders from people that complain right from the start, many of those orders and/or customers become headaches. If you're not happy with the service we offer, we respectfully ask that you either contact us prior to ordering to clear up any confusion or misunderstandings or take your business elsewhere. We reserve the right to cancel orders or refuse service to anyone based upon our own judgement. We do not need your authorization to cancel an order. I'm sorry you are unhappy with our store hours, but it's never a good idea to criticize a company at the same time you're placing an order.

    Rick

    Brett wrote: »
    Update:

    I'd like to thank all the members of this forum who nurse-maided me from an idea to kick-ass application. I got really excited to be adding some electricity in a way-off location, and had great expectations from NAWS after everyone here was so helpful.

    Unfortunately my money is not welcome after I criticized NAWS for their limited support hours. Some of us don't have the luxury of extended phone calls during the middle of the business day

    I expressed my disappointment on NAWS banker's hours, and that if it hadn't been for this solar forum, I wouldn't have given NAWS any business. I had already purchased the Solsum lights from NAWS (based solely on recommendations of forum assistance) and this could have been a continuation for repeat business. I guess I am only allowed to be a customer as long as I don't complain. Mike took my comment as a personal attack, and cancelled my order.

    After Mike cancelled my order, I replied that he needed to take a stool softener. This in no way diminishes the respect and admiration I have the volunteers of this forum.

    As a disappointed customer who had his order cancelled without authorization, I will pursue a complaint through the BBB.

    As an added note, this thread has been archived for BBB submission.

    Take care everyone, and Thank You for all your help.
    Website administrator for Northern Arizona Wind & Sun
  • BrettBrett Registered Users Posts: 19
    Re: First time solar, have questions
    rick wrote: »
    Brett,

    If you're not happy with the service we offer, we respectfully ask that you either contact us prior to ordering to clear up any confusion or misunderstandings or take your business elsewhere.

    Rick

    I tried, but I couldn't get to a phone any earlier than 3 pm cst. And if you don't want customers to use the comment field, don't offer it. I can purchase that product near to my own town, but I wanted to show support for NAWS.

    As far as your 'leave a message' statement. When I called, there was no option to leave a message, just a machine voice telling me the hours of operation*click*
  • BrettBrett Registered Users Posts: 19
    UPdate to the Solsum lights

    I compared a 60 watt incandescent "daylight balanced" bulb to the 11W Solsum 'cool white' light on my CSB battery measuring 12.8 VDC.

    The Solsum box says it is equivalent to a 60W incandescent. This is not true. It's half the brightness. I had to add an aluminum reflector to focus the intensity. It also says it will last thousands of hours, but I have no confidence in that statement. I will have to use two to get the light I read about.
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