Critique my power center

Steve961Steve961 Posts: 93Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
I have just finished putting my power center together for my small off grid cabin, and would appreciate some constructive criticism before I install it. What's not seen in the picture are my two Uni-Solar US64 panels, and my Honda eu2000i generator. Future expansion will probably include one more panel, another 104AH AGM battery, and another SS-10L charge controller that I already have.

Things already on my list include: grounding wires (a subject for another post someday), and protection for any exposed terminals. BTW, the cabin is in a somewhat remote area without building regs, so I am mainly concerned with proper operation and safety.

Please let me know if I have missed anything.

Thanks.

Steve


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Comments

  • KamalaKamala Posts: 452Solar Expert
    Re: Critique my power center

    Very nice layout. One of the nicest looking I've seen!

    Could you provide a schematic? Just don't have the time or will to figure it out.

    Overall, it looks very good.

    Waiting...

    Also, a single battery system won't support much use. What is your PV input and what are the loads? And what type of battery? I see no fill caps.

    K
  • Steve961Steve961 Posts: 93Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center

    Kamala:

    I have seen some schematics that others have drawn, but I don't know how they do it. Is there some special software to use, or does one just use MS Paint?

    My loads are going to be fairly small. I figure 50 watts of CFL for maybe 5 hours a night - and that's worst case. Maybe a small CD/radio for an hour or two, and some AA charging, but that's about it. The range and fridge will be propane, and heat will be from a wood stove. This will work with a single battery since I will be drawing down to a 20-30% state of charge. I know that it is usually not recommended, but see this earlier post of mine to see why: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=6794

    I will still probably expand the system to a total of 192 watts of panels, and 208 AH of battery. BTW, the battery is a Concorde AGM.

    Steve
  • westbranchwestbranch Posts: 4,995Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center

    can't seem to see where the PV comes in to the system...
    as well I think something is missing or??? just cant tell at this time

    EJ
     
    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
  • Steve961Steve961 Posts: 93Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center

    EJ:

    The solar will come in where the charge controller is, it's just that I have not brought this up to my cabin yet for installation. Same with the cabin wiring hooked up to the AC breaker box - not there yet.

    I mainly just wanted to make sure I'm not missing something big, like a fuse or something.

    Steve
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,564Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center
    Steve961 wrote: »
    Please let me know if I have missed anything.

    1) needs battery temp sensor (if charger supports it)

    2) plexiglass cover or shield over the +12V fuse buss (I can't see, but the fuse block looks strange with red & black wires going to it.

    3) a simple automotive + - amp meter for battery status, in addition to the volt meter.
    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 ,

  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center

    steve,
    in the 12v fuse section with the negative bus right under the + fuse wire area you may need to take extra care that they do not short. it may be better to use a separate buss for the -. also, the overlapping, ie, criss-crossing, of + and - wires would make me nervous fuses or not. i know i'm just too nervous as + and - are paired side by side in many cases so pay little mind to me in that area.
    the wiring in that fuse area may get messier when you feed the pv inputs to the fuses and then up to the controller so it may be advisable to place the input just above the meter input and turn the whole fuse assembly counter clockwise so wires can run a bit straighter. i would've had a separate fuse for the controller output and just left the fuse bank for the rest of the minor accessories and the pv inputs, but what you've done will suffice.
  • westbranchwestbranch Posts: 4,995Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center

    S961, can you give us a description of how wou think it will work under the 3 pahses, battery, PV charging and Gen? still not fully understanding it all...like the buss bar??? beside the 60 A breaker

    ej
     
    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
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center

    i have to add that the ac outlet right above the inverter is unfused and someone may come by and plug into that instead of those designated by you that are fused on top. does your generator have built-in fuses/breakers, otherwise you should have one for the genny input to the system?
  • Steve961Steve961 Posts: 93Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center

    Mike:

    1. Unfortunately my charger does not support a temp sensor. One of those little things I would have done differently. The AGM battery will be indoors next to everything, so it's probably not that bad.

    2. The fuse block does have a clear plastic cover over it. It is a Blue Sea with a built in negative buss. http://bluesea.com/category/5/21/products/5015

    3. I think an amp meter would be nice to have.


    Niel:

    1. As above, the fuse block has a built in negative buss.

    2. I was not planning on feeding the PV inputs into the fuse block. I was going to fuse them in the junction boxes on the panels themselves - please let me know if that is not correct. I have another charge controller that I was going to hook up to the fuse block as well. I am mainly just using that fuse block for non-load items - except for meters.

    There is also a 10 Amp ATC fuse in the 12 volt outlet box that you cannot see. I really don't plan on having any 12V loads, it's basically there just in case.


    Thanks for your help guys.

    Steve
  • Steve961Steve961 Posts: 93Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center
    niel wrote: »
    i have to add that the ac outlet right above the inverter is unfused and someone may come by and plug into that instead of those designated by you that are fused on top. does your generator have built-in fuses/breakers, otherwise you should have one for the genny input to the system?

    Niel:

    Morningstar recommends a 3 Amp fuse on their AC output. I asked about that in this forum, and was basically told to ignore it. Here is the thread: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=6870. Please let me know if this is not the case.

    The Honda eu2000i I will be using has a built in 30 Amp breaker.

    Thanks

    Steve
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center

    "I was going to fuse them in the junction boxes on the panels themselves - please let me know if that is not correct."

    it would work just fine for you if all of the pvs are year-round accessible, as when as fuse blows or just goes bad, the weather does not always make it easy to reach. if they aren't easy to reach, especially on a roof, then don't fuse then at the pvs. i made that mistake and haven't corrected it as of yet as one of my pvs is out of reach during in-climate winter weather.
  • Steve961Steve961 Posts: 93Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center
    westbranch wrote: »
    S961, can you give us a description of how wou think it will work under the 3 pahses, battery, PV charging and Gen? still not fully understanding it all...like the buss bar??? beside the 60 A breaker

    ej

    ej:

    I'm not sure I have the words to describe it, I'm still pretty new to all of this. I will try and get some sort of schematic put together to help.

    The negative buss bar was just a convenient place to bring 4 wires together - no special purpose really. The common post on the battery switch kinda serves the same purpose for the positive wires.

    Steve
  • Steve961Steve961 Posts: 93Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Critique my power center
    niel wrote: »
    it would work just fine for you if all of the pvs are year-round accessible, as when as fuse blows or just goes bad, the weather does not always make it easy to reach. if they aren't easy to reach, especially on a roof, then don't fuse then at the pvs. i made that mistake and haven't corrected it as of yet as one of my pvs is out of reach during in-climate winter weather.

    This is just the kind of suggestion I am looking for - I will have to give this some serious thought. Thanks Niel.
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