Astronergy panels?

I am new to solar and am looking to put up a 48 panel Astronergy 235W system using Magnum MS4448, Midnight Solar Classic MPPT Charge controller 150V in an OFF GRID system. I want to check to see if anyone has any experience with the quality and reliability of these components?

Thanks

Greg
Gulf Breeze FL

Comments

  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,176 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Astronergy panels?

    Well, for Off-Grid, this is a HUGE system on the PV input side. AND, seems like far too little inverter, and you would need four or probably five charge controllers.

    As others will council, perhaps you should look at your loads, and at some serious conseervation. Realize that in FL, A/C is very important. But with that much PV input, you will need a stack of inverters to use the power. Then, there might well be a serious bank of batteries.

    More detail on the numbers is a very important detail.

    Good Luck! Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: Astronergy panels?

    Your going to need a huge battery bank as well ...
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Astronergy panels?

    What Vic said. :roll:
    11,000+ Watts of panel is crazy big for off-grid. It's big for grid-tie for that matter.

    Follow the off-grid formula to get things right:

    1). Measure your loads. Preferably with an actual Kill-A-Watt meter; not calculated from listed equipment specs.
    2). Reduce those loads as much as possible. As in eliminating any electrical heating devices.
    3). From the total Watt hours daily and peak Watt needs determine the size and Voltage of the battery bank and inverter.
    4). Calculate how much panel and charge controller you need based on the battery bank's total Amp hour capacity and Voltage and your local sun conditions.

    Nothing wrong with Magnum inverters or MidNite Solar charge controllers. I've never heard of Astronergy panels.
  • SevenSeven Solar Expert Posts: 292 ✭✭
    Re: Astronergy panels?

    Would that be about 145a output from that setup?
    235w panels times 48 times 77% derate divided by roughly 60v for charging.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
    Re: Astronergy panels?
    Seven wrote: »
    Would that be about 145a output from that setup?
    235w panels times 48 times 77% derate divided by roughly 60v for charging.

    Yes, that's about right. Enough to supply 1450 Amp hours of 48 Volt battery @ 10% charge rate.
    That's nearly 35 kW hours of battery power. Roughly 12 times the size of a typical off-grid system.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,921 admin
    Re: Astronergy panels?

    The components you have selected should be fine. An 11.28 kW fixed mount solar array in Mobile AL (assuming similar weather to your location) using PV Watts and 0.52 end to end efficiency for an off grid system:
    "Station Identification"
    "City:","Mobile"
    "State:","Alabama"
    "Lat (deg N):", 30.68
    "Long (deg W):", 88.25
    "Elev (m): ", 67
    "PV System Specifications"
    "DC Rating:"," 11.3 kW"
    "DC to AC Derate Factor:"," 0.520"
    "AC Rating:"," 5.9 kW"
    "Array Type: Fixed Tilt"
    "Array Tilt:"," 30.7"
    "Array Azimuth:","180.0"

    "Energy Specifications"
    "Cost of Electricity:"," 7.6 cents/kWh"

    "Results"
    "Month", "Solar Radiation (kWh/m^2/day)", "AC Energy (kWh)", "Energy Value ($)"
    1, 3.79, 643, 48.87
    2, 4.56, 710, 53.96
    3, 5.06, 823, 62.55
    4, 5.48, 869, 66.04
    5, 5.41, 852, 64.75
    6, 5.31, 793, 60.27
    7, 5.11, 779, 59.20
    8, 5.15, 792, 60.19
    9, 4.96, 747, 56.77
    10, 5.31, 870, 66.12
    11, 4.04, 648, 49.25
    12, 4.05, 685, 52.06
    "Year", 4.85, 9210, 699.96
    Assuming a ~700 kWH per month minimum load:
    • 700 kWH / 30 days = 23.3 kWH per day
    A 48 volt battery bank, sized for 2 days of "no sun" and 50% maximum discharge (for long life) plus an 85% efficient inverter:
    • 23,300 WH per day * 1/0.85 inverter eff * 1/48 volt battery bank * 2 days * 1/0.50 max discharge = 2,284 AH @ 48 Volt battery bank
    Assuming a 10 Hour per Day peak average load usage:
    • 23,300 WH per day / 10 hours per day = 2,330 Watts average load
    If are using mini-split A/C systems (virtually no starting surge), a computer, and perhaps a well pump (surge current questions), that is a pretty good load for a 4,400 watt inverter.

    We always suggest that anyone (solar or not) spend as much time and money as possible on conservation measures first (insulation, high efficiency appliances, more insulation, smaller appliances like laptop vs desktop computers, turning off stuff when not used, off grid friendly devices like mini-split A/C and soft start well pumps, etc.) before going solar.

    Also, is there a reason you are 100% off grid vs a Grid Tied (no battery) system + backup genset or a Hybrid Inverter system (both GT and Off Grid capable).

    Very roughly, you are probably paying around $0.10 per kWH, a GT system may cost around $0.15 to $0.30 per kWH, a Hybrid system will cost you around $0.45 to $0.75 per kWH and full off grid system will probably cost you around $1-$2+ per kWH...

    Plus, the reason solar power costs so much for power is the cost of system maintenance too... Inverters/controllers and such last ~10 years before you need new ones and batteries need to be replaced every ~5-15 years. And cycling batteries tends to cost more in power (battery losses, charger/inverter losses) and they do not last as long when cycled daily.

    I assume you are also looking at emergency power--And it is possible you have outages in the 1-4+ weeks during bad hurricane seasons... But you also need to be concerned about damage from blowing debris too (solar panels are a big target).

    And you will probably need a backup genset anyway for emergency power and poor weather (albeit not near as much fuel with a large solar array).

    Anyways some guesses about your configuration and some suggestions.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,395 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Astronergy panels?

    For that large an array, grid tie is the only way to go. I have a 12.5Kw system and it meets my needs for almost all my annual electric usage in AZ, with a 25,000 CU. Ft. House with dual 3 ton AC and a three ton mini split in my auxiliary building. I also charge my chevy volt from this system.

    Cost is is the big question, I got $3 a watt utility rebate and the 30% fed tax credit and a $1000 state credit. My ROI was under 5 years.

    You need to reconsider what your goal is. Backup generation for outages is better handled by a generartor.
  • a0128958a0128958 Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
    Re: Astronergy panels?
    Staviski wrote: »
    ... am looking to put up a 48 panel Astronergy 235W system ... I want to check to see if anyone has any experience with the quality and reliability of these components

    With regard specifically to Astronergy panels:

    I have 36 of their 225 W version (13.7% efficient @ STC), installed in Feb. 2010. After 19 months of use, I don't have any problems to report, either electrically or mechanically.

    The panels are UL Listed, and come with a standard 10 / 25 year warranty (90/80% output).

    You can see a picture of them mounted to my roof here: http://www.welserver.com/WEL0043 .

    I don't have specific instrumentation set up to separately measure panel versus rest-of-system performance.

    Here's a reference to Astronergy's spec sheet for these panels: http://www.astronergy.com/attch/product/CHSM6610M.pdf .

    Hope this helps.

    Best regards,

    Bill
  • spiderspider Registered Users Posts: 1
    Re: Astronergy panels?

    Anyone have any additional info/reviews on Astronergy panels? I am considering them for a proposed 12kw system with SMA or Solectria inverters.

    I have not really heard much about these panels.
  • ohanacreekohanacreek Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Astronergy panels?
    a0128958 wrote: »
    With regard specifically to Astronergy panels:

    I have 36 of their 225 W version (13.7% efficient @ STC), installed in Feb. 2010. After 19 months of use, I don't have any problems to report, either electrically or mechanically.

    The panels are UL Listed, and come with a standard 10 / 25 year warranty (90/80% output).

    You can see a picture of them mounted to my roof here: http://www.welserver.com/WEL0043 .

    I don't have specific instrumentation set up to separately measure panel versus rest-of-system performance.

    Here's a reference to Astronergy's spec sheet for these panels: http://www.astronergy.com/attch/product/CHSM6610M.pdf .

    Hope this helps.

    Best regards,

    Bill


    Looking at the welserver page you posted this is VERY similar to what we are considering for our home that we are building.
    Our Local power utility does no offer net metering or any incentive to use solar, other than a $17,000 hookup fee for a 1000' service run to our house.
    We are seriously considering an off grid system as a 14kw system with battery would run us around $30-35k (I am an electrical contractor I would self install).
    with a 30% return from the IRS, that brings the "Cost" of the off-grid PV system to $3-8k which with power bills around here would offer a payoff of 1.5 to 5 years. then NO power bill only maintenance to the PV system and bank every half decade or so.
  • a0128958a0128958 Solar Expert Posts: 316 ✭✭✭
    Re: Astronergy panels?
    ohanacreek wrote: »
    Looking at the welserver page you posted this is VERY similar to what we are considering for our home that we are building.
    Our Local power utility does no offer net metering or any incentive to use solar, other than a $17,000 hookup fee for a 1000' service run to our house.
    We are seriously considering an off grid system as a 14kw system with battery would run us around $30-35k (I am an electrical contractor I would self install).
    with a 30% return from the IRS, that brings the "Cost" of the off-grid PV system to $3-8k which with power bills around here would offer a payoff of 1.5 to 5 years. then NO power bill only maintenance to the PV system and bank every half decade or so.

    It's now March 2014. Four years later. I continue to have no problems with my panels or system. No maintenance and no fuss. I am cash flow positive about $250 per year.

    Best regards,

    Bill
  • ohanacreekohanacreek Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Astronergy panels?

    How is the geothermal system working for you? If that system is in Texas the climate should also be somewhat similar.
    Do you have electric heat strips? If so how often are they energized?
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