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This inverter is supposed to be a replacement for a friend's Trace 2412 version. I really wanted to keep it looking original. I had another suggestion from a member on a different forum to use a remote power switch intended for this inverter. I have ordered a new remote switch and am hoping this will be the simple way to remedy the problem.
BTW The button/shaft of this switch is about as thick as a pencil lead and the base is about 1/4" x 1/4", In other words its TINY
How is the GTI connected? Most of the cheap imported ones simply "plug in" They aren't UL listed and could be a liability in the event of a fire. Insurance companies may void your coverage if this was the cause of a fire.1
That charge controller isn't an MPPT controller. It wont work well with those panels.
You need to lose the 12 volt inverter and get a 24 volt pure sine wave inverter. 3500 watts is way too big for a 12 volt system. It is also too high of wattage for your needs. All it will do is drain your batteries faster, even while doing nothing, sitting idle.
You can use that charge controller with those panels if you go with a 24 volt system. Sell the inverter and buy the correct one. Wire the panels in parallel and get some deep cycle batteries. A good starter battery is a GC2 6 volt golf cart battery. 4 in series will give you a 24 volt bank,. you might need 8 of them though with your loads.
Maybe a dumb question, but I have to ask. Are the solar panels actually in the sun? While you can get some voltage from panels even indoors under artificial light you will get no appreciable current. Are they oriented correctly and in full sun? The rated amperage should only be expected in full sun and will be substantially less with poor orientation. Are the panels a long distance from the panels, and if so what gauge wire are you using?2
Just a couple thoughts,
As Myocardia has mentioned, you can run higher voltages with an MPPT controller. At a distance of 40+ feet from your array to your controller you will be able to keep your wire small using an MPPT controller. You would be able to simply wire 4 panels in series and not need any fusing between panels and controller. If you end up getting 4 more of those panels you can series wire them as well and still not need fusing for those 2 paralleled strings.
You may get 10 hours of sun in Puerto Rico but the intensity of the sun hitting your panels will vary throughout the day. Without a dual axis tracker you will the equivalent of maybe 6 hours at best and less than that depending on the time of the year, cloud cover and the angle of your array in relation to the sun. Also solar panels are rated at STC (standard test conditions) which is done in a lab at carefully controlled temperature and 1000 watt per square meter lighting. Real world conditions will yield less wattage output most of the time, especially in a warm climate such as yours. You shouldn't ever expect to get more than 70 - 75 watts out of those panels and that will only be at the peak of the day, (solar noon),
Myocardia also mentioned needing to charge your batteries while simultaneously running your loads. If you are drawing power throughout the day you need to be able to run your loads AND charge your batteries so that you have available power for when you aren't making power with solar panels. Hence the 16 panel suggestion. You really need to get an accurate accounting of your loads and start from there. You will likely benefit from going with a 24 volt system because 1600 watts into a 12 volt system would require you to use two expensive 60 amp controllers. You may not need 16 panels but until you calculate your loads and required system you will just be guessing. BTW can you buy larger 250 - 300 watt panels where you are? They are much cheaper than 12 volt 100 watt panels. You should be able to sell those 100 watt panels pretty easily given the circumstances there.
Best of luck to you. Must be awful having to deal with the conditions there following such a devastating hurricane. It's probably going to be a long time till a normal day to day life resumes. Hope we can do a little bit to help you with that.