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  • Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

    I am off grid, no power at street. I've been running an EU3000 4 to 6 hours per day for some time and I want to cut that time considerably. I have 2 Trojan L16H-AC 6volt batteries and plan to buy 2 more very soon.
    My question is, will this system [below] handle the load or is it more than I need?
    We're still working on power use [minimizing]. The list came from a supplier, working on getting quote/list from NAWS as well.
    Also, may be installing 68' of Rohn-25 for communication (rx-tx) with possibility of a turbine in the future. [already own the tower]

    System List [Loads are less than 5.5khs per day]

    S-SCHOTT230 Yes Schott 230 Watt "P" Solar Module 10
    SH-FQ Freight amount for shipping TBD 1
    O-PVLUG 9a C PV Module Ground Lug/screw/nut 10
    O-TYCO-CABLE 30' Cable w/ m/f TYCO plug end 5
    S-MNPV-6 E Midnite 6 Circuit Combiner Box 1
    S-OBPV-15 E Outback 15A PV Breaker 5
    C-OB-FM80 I Outback 80A Charge Controller 1
    C-OB-TEMP P Outback Temperature Sensor 1
    O-FLEXCCB Mounting Bracket for Side Mount FM60 1
    O-FLEXDCBOX-250 H Outback Flex500 250A <KIT> 1
    O-FLEXDCBOX H Flex 500 DC Breaker Box
    O-OBDC250 H 250 amp Breaker for Flexware 1
    LA-MID-SPD300 F Midnite Surge Protector Device - 300V 3
    O-OBDC80 H Outback 80A DC Breaker 1
    O-OBDC100-SMALL H 100 amp DC Breaker - Small footprint 1
    M-TRIONLY G Trimetric 2025 Meter only 1
    M-TRIBOX Trimetric Mounting Box 1
    M-TRI-WIRE Trimetric 22 awg 4 Cond Wire 25
    O-INLINE H Inline 3 Amp Fuse and Holder INSTALLED 1
    O-SHUNT-4/0-24 24in 4/0 cable with lug ends 1
    O-SHUNT-4/0-36 36in 4/0 cable with lug ends 1
    I-OB-FXDCA K Outback DC Conduit Adapter 1
    I-OBMATE M Outback System Controller - Beige 1
    I-OB-VFX3524 02 L Outback 3500 watt 24v Inverter 1
    I-BC10-4/0 N 4/0 Inverter Cable set 10' 1
    O-PVENT-24 Q [24V] Battery Power Vent Fan 1 0
    O-MINIRELAY dgrm 12v Relay for Aux Output Terminal 1

    Items for a 24 volt system. PV mount and
    batteries not listed. Transmission wire not
    included.


    Local power company wants $18K (may be more) to run wire and install meter.
    OB 3524, FlexMax-80, 6-Kyocera 235 (2 strings of 3), 4- Trojan L16-RE-B (24 volts), Honda EU3000.
    And A LOT of help from this site and SolarME (Ned)!

  • #2

    Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

    Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

    Let's do the simple check first.

    You have a 12 Volt system using two 320 or 390 Amp hour L16's. Adding two more batteries could be problematic, as old don't mix well with new. Plus you run in to current sharing problems. But it can be done.

    If those specs are right you're looking for:

    32 Amps * 12 Volts = 384 Watts / 0.77 derating = 498 Watt array
    39 Amps * 12 Volts = 468 watts / 0.77 derating = 607 Watt array

    Using 230 Watt panels that would be two or three for either battery bank (I don't know which model of L16 you have).
    If you were to double the battery bank capacity you'd double the array size of course.

    I'm not clear on your list, but it appears to indicate ten of these panels. if so, why? That would be more than is necessary if that's the right battery bank size. Get this straightened out and your halfway home.

    The other thing I'll comment on is the 12 Volt system itself. Using those big batteries, you have as much as 2kW hour capacity with one set of 390's, and up to 4kW hours if you double it. Perhaps you should consider upping the system Voltage to 24 and not only reduce the DC current but also simplify the battery bank by putting them all in series.
    1220 Watts of PV, OB MX60, 232 Amp hrs, OB 3524, Honda eu2000.

    Ohm's Law: Amps = Volts / Ohms
    Power Formula: Watts = Volts * Amps

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

      Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

      The trimetric is a good battery monitor (I have one). If you get a flexnet DC instead, you can use 'end amps' to terminate your absorb charge.

      Also, I don't see an outback hub on your list. I don't have one either, but I have two temperature sensors. If you have a hub, your temp sensor can serve both the inverter/charger and the charge controller.
      --vtMaps
      4 x 235w Samsung, Outback fm60 & vfx3524 & mate, Midnite E-panel, four Interstate L16, Trimetric monitor, Honda eu2000

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

        Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

        Thanks for the input so far.
        The plan is to have 4 - 6v batteries to build 24v system.
        Coot, look near the bottom... "Items for a 24 volt system. PV mount and
        batteries not listed. Transmission wire not included."

        "I have 2 Trojan L16H-AC 6volt batteries"
        If the "old" batteries ( nearing a year old with very little draw) don't cut it I'll buy two more new ones. Gas [for the genny] being at $4 is a waist where new batteries will save money in the long run.

        Why ten 230 watt panels? I'm in Maine, charts all say 3 to 5 hours mid-day sun [depending on season]... And that's what the [first] supplier suggested. *Haven't heard back from NAWS yet* And I may want to add another bank of 4 L16's for higher storage capacity in the future, if the system can't handle the loads in the house.

        The batteries I have say 435AH for 20 hours.... I'm not sure how that converts to 2kW hour capacity or 4kW on my planned 24v system. I've never been a math wiz and have a very hard time remembering formulas.
        And what would I need [system] if I were to max out the 5.5khs per day?
        OB 3524, FlexMax-80, 6-Kyocera 235 (2 strings of 3), 4- Trojan L16-RE-B (24 volts), Honda EU3000.
        And A LOT of help from this site and SolarME (Ned)!

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

          Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

          vtmaps, what are "end amps"?

          Outback Hub? I'll have to look that one up to see what it does. is it a must? What are the benefits?
          I guess I don't understand your term "serve the inverter/charger and charge controller".

          Thanks again guys, I may learn something here.
          OB 3524, FlexMax-80, 6-Kyocera 235 (2 strings of 3), 4- Trojan L16-RE-B (24 volts), Honda EU3000.
          And A LOT of help from this site and SolarME (Ned)!

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

            Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

            Originally posted by MadJack View Post
            The batteries I have say 435AH for 20 hours.... I'm not sure how that converts to 2kW hour capacity or 4kW on my planned 24v system.
            Those numbers were for your 12 volt system
            390 ampHours x 12 volts = 4.68 kilowattHours
            Allowing for a 50% discharge you have 2.34 kwh of available energy in those batteries.
            --vtMaps
            4 x 235w Samsung, Outback fm60 & vfx3524 & mate, Midnite E-panel, four Interstate L16, Trimetric monitor, Honda eu2000

            Comment


            • #7

              Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

              Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

              Originally posted by MadJack View Post
              vtmaps, what are "end amps"?

              Outback Hub? I'll have to look that one up to see what it does. is it a must? What are the benefits?
              I guess I don't understand your term "serve the inverter/charger and charge controller".
              Read our host's battery FAQ to learn about the charge cycle. The second charge stage is 'Absorb' stage. During that stage the charger holds the battery at a constant voltage (the 'absorb' voltage) and as the battery charges up it draws less and less amps. At some point you declare the battery to be fully charged and you stop the absorb stage. There are two common ways to know when to end absorb. One way is to set a time (for example, 2 hours). Some chargers vary the time based on the time it took for the first (bulk) stage of charging. The other way is to monitor the battery current and terminate the absorb stage when a certain current (the 'end amps') is achieved.

              If you want to do end amps, you will need a hub and a flexnet DC.

              Both your inverter/charger (vfx3524) and your charge controller (FM80) should have their own remote temp sensors. If you have a hub they can share one remote temp sensor.

              --vtMaps
              4 x 235w Samsung, Outback fm60 & vfx3524 & mate, Midnite E-panel, four Interstate L16, Trimetric monitor, Honda eu2000

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                One more thought... you are building your Outback system on their flex500 box. Its very compact and is quite a pain to work on or in. Might I suggest that you build it on Midnite's stretched E-panel. Much easier to work on and more adaptable to custom needs (room for extra AC or DC breakers). You can buy them prewired from Midnite or NAWS.
                http://www.solar-electric.com/misoprousy3w5.html
                http://www.solar-electric.com/misoprousy3w1.html
                --vtMaps
                4 x 235w Samsung, Outback fm60 & vfx3524 & mate, Midnite E-panel, four Interstate L16, Trimetric monitor, Honda eu2000

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                  Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                  vtmaps, Your explanation [surprisingly] was understood by this electrical novice. FAQ lists can be tedious to go through but I will look through them.
                  As for 'what I am building', I'm still not sure. The list I posted are not my choices as I'm not educated enough on solar electronics and such. The list is simply what *one supplier* thinks I need based on a twenty minute conversation. I posted that list here so I could hear/learn things like what is posted above with the flex500 box vs. the "Midnite stretched E-panel... Much easier to work on and more adaptable to custom needs"
                  How could anyone know that if they haven't already been there or had that conversation? That is why I'm here!

                  I was pleasantly surprised to open my email this morning and have a quote from NAWS. They work on Saturday? Awesome!
                  I still have some learning and need to review my quotes but I'm hoping to get my system on a truck in the next week or so.

                  Thanks again for the help.
                  OB 3524, FlexMax-80, 6-Kyocera 235 (2 strings of 3), 4- Trojan L16-RE-B (24 volts), Honda EU3000.
                  And A LOT of help from this site and SolarME (Ned)!

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                    Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                    vtmaps, I just noticed your sig... do you run a complete house on that system and what are you running? (if you don't mind my asking...)
                    OB 3524, FlexMax-80, 6-Kyocera 235 (2 strings of 3), 4- Trojan L16-RE-B (24 volts), Honda EU3000.
                    And A LOT of help from this site and SolarME (Ned)!

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                      Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                      Originally posted by MadJack View Post
                      vtmaps, I just noticed your sig... do you run a complete house on that system and what are you running? (if you don't mind my asking...)
                      Yes I run my whole house on it. That includes an 8 cu ft fridge/freezer and an 8 cu ft chest freezer (both ultra efficient). But my daily consumption is about 2.5 kwh (half of what you propose to consume). I have excluded my workshop from the calculations... I run a generator when I have large loads in the shop, but I have been surprised at how often I can load shift (use tools on a sunny afternoon) and avoid the generator.

                      In my opinion you might benefit from a larger battery bank (your proposed array could support twice your proposed battery bank).

                      By the way, what are you planning to spend on this system (I assume that you will have an installer)? Your power company wants $18,000 to hook you up. I guess that the installer wants less than $18,000, but you will have ongoing expenses for battery replacement, generator fuel and maintenance, and equipment replacement. (We put $14 per month into our battery replacement fund). Also, you will have battery maintenance to deal with and you will constantly have to pay attention to a bunch of meters. When things don't work, you won't be able to call the power company.

                      Are you sure that $18,000 is such a bad deal?

                      --vtMaps
                      4 x 235w Samsung, Outback fm60 & vfx3524 & mate, Midnite E-panel, four Interstate L16, Trimetric monitor, Honda eu2000

                      Comment


                      • #12

                        Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                        Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                        You may want to talk to your tax accountant. Adding solar to the $18K line run might be tax deductible at the 30% federal credit. It would be required for a grid tie solar system.
                        Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
                        60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                          Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                          Originally posted by vtmaps View Post
                          In my opinion you might benefit from a larger battery bank (your proposed array could support twice your proposed battery bank).

                          By the way, what are you planning to spend on this system (I assume that you will have an installer)? Your power company wants $18,000 to hook you up. I guess that the installer wants less than $18,000, but you will have ongoing expenses for battery replacement, generator fuel and maintenance, and equipment replacement. (We put $14 per month into our battery replacement fund). Also, you will have battery maintenance to deal with and you will constantly have to pay attention to a bunch of meters. When things don't work, you won't be able to call the power company.

                          Are you sure that $18,000 is such a bad deal?

                          --vtMaps
                          So you think I should go with 2 strings of 24v (4- 6volts batteries)

                          I had asked both suppliers for two quotes, 1) low end, with room for expansion, and 2) full blown system.
                          I will install myself with some professional help. High-end parts plus shipping was $8600.
                          With battery replacement, genny fuel (moving to propane on the EU3000), maintenance, I'm not concerned with costs compared to what I'm spending now. Especially with limitations of my current situation.
                          Meter and battery monitoring is a non-issue as I am working from home most of the time.

                          Since deregulation here, we pay for power AND a delivery charge [2/3 of the power bill], driving up the cost of 'line-power'. And CMP is trying to push delivery fees [for power] higher, 2 or 3 times per year. $18K+ for their install plus a monthly bill, no matter what the government offers [money taken from another working man] is no "deal".
                          OB 3524, FlexMax-80, 6-Kyocera 235 (2 strings of 3), 4- Trojan L16-RE-B (24 volts), Honda EU3000.
                          And A LOT of help from this site and SolarME (Ned)!

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                            Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                            Originally posted by solar_dave View Post
                            You may want to talk to your tax accountant. Adding solar to the $18K line run might be tax deductible at the 30% federal credit. It would be required for a grid tie solar system.


                            As stated earlier, I don't want to deal with the grid. My neighbors are always complaining of power outages and high bills. I was there, not going back. And 30% federal credit is coming out of *someone's pocket*.
                            OB 3524, FlexMax-80, 6-Kyocera 235 (2 strings of 3), 4- Trojan L16-RE-B (24 volts), Honda EU3000.
                            And A LOT of help from this site and SolarME (Ned)!

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                              Re: Would like input on system. Getting ready to order...

                              Originally posted by MadJack View Post
                              My neighbors are always complaining of high bills. I was there, not going back.
                              I'm living off grid, although I haven't cut the grid connections, as I might very well be glad to have grid if I become unable to maintain my off grid system. And although it gives me HUGE satisfaction to be producing my own power and living independent of the Grid, saving money is NOT one of the benefits! Off grid power will almost definitely cost you far more than living on grid. We each have our own reasons for living off grid, but if all things are considered, very few cases result in the saving of any money.
                              That said, I LOVE living off grid!
                              What I'm saying is don't go with off grid for the wrong reason/s, otherwise you will almost certainly regret the decision.
                              Last edited by waynefromnscanada; April 16th, 2012, 6:20.
                              1900 watts PV, (1000 watts PV feeding MidNite Classic 150; 900 watts PV + 160 watts micro hydro both feeding into a single shared Morningstar TS-MPPT-60) ; Xantrex Pure Sine 1800/12 for heavy loads; Xantrex Pure Sine 1000/12 on 24/7 for everything else; six Rolls Surrette 2 volt L16 @ 12 volts.
                              Domestic hot water totally provided by the sun 8 months out of every year via thermal panel.

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