Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

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ywhic
ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
After much discussion on 12 vs 24, PWM vs. MPPT and other things..

This is THE PLAN as carved into my little brain at 41.. This wil be a 24v system.. (using pairs of 12v panels.. 17.X+)

I am 7 miles from a real road.. no power to my cabin.. 22 miles from a town.. in S.W. Texas..

The items:
MorningStar TS45 PWM 45Amp Max Controller w/meter front.. 15ma use.. $240 (ordering next Tuesday)
Combiner Box and 6 15 amp breakers.. $60 (due in next week)..
6- MC4 10AWG wires max of 20' to combiner and building (8amps in wire).. (1.37% loss) $240
6AWG Wire for all 'board' wiring from combiner to controller and then down to battery 6' away.. (0.91% loss)
2 AWG for battery bank to inverter 3'.. (0.4% loss) $60
60 and 100 amp breakers for controller to battery and battery to inverter.. $22
Samlex PST-150S-24A 1500 watt Pure Sine Inverter (bigger is better).. $460..

$1082

Then when heading to TX (maybe in September)..

6 steel 2" mounting poles with custom assembled steel brackets for 6 panels.. $240
These will sit about 4' off the ground.. no trees or anything where I am located..

6 130W 12v panels (2 panels in series * 3 in parallel)= 780 watts total $1210
4 Rayovac GC125 Batteries..from BatteriesPlus in ELP... 226ah.. $540..

$1985

$3067 in total..

I will be adding about 14 110AC outlets inside the cabin and another small breaker panel to link this to that..

I will be running either a 24vdc Shurflo or the 110v model (which is .9amp max draw).. it will be switched..
Small refrigerator will be on a timer to go on for 1 hour every 3 hours or so..
Lightbulbs for night or cloudy days will be 13w CFL's.. maybe 2 at the most.. (I have 2 skylights)..
LP Gas Water Heater...
Heat in winter by wood or LP as well..

I plan on using a 1000 watt 12v cheapy inverter ($80) to test things here in PA with a 30 watt 12v panel and WM battery and use the MS TS45 with that.. then take with to TX for the 24V install..

I'll also be mocking up the 2" post system to test that out here in PA.. worth the $40 in stuff to try here to ensure when I get there it will HOLD the panel(s) well..

I will be buying the top stuff 1st.. then working my way down the list..

Starts with the combiner box.. using QO 15 A 48VDC/120AC breakers.. (altitude is non-issue at 3500 ft..)

CombinerBox6.JPG

Stay tuned for incoming more pics in the coming weeks.. including the POST setup..
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Comments

  • petertearai
    petertearai Solar Expert Posts: 471 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Maybe a battery monitor , I fount the battery monitor a great help. Also putting the fridge on a timer may cause you problems as a lot of the modern fridges need to be on continually for them to run properly. All the best with your install.
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . Mate 3. victron battery monitor . 24 volts  in 2 volt Shoto lead carbon extreme batterys. off grid  holiday home 
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,479 admin
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Yes, Peter is correct... Many Energy Star refrigerators with automatic defrost have defrost timers in them. If they do not defrost in ~1 day--Some units have been known to ice up and perform badly.

    Also, refrigerators and freezers keep food better at a constant temperature. Forcing long run times for the compressor can create worse "freezer burn" ("warm food", "cold evaporator", draws water/ice from food and deposits on interior of container or on evaporator coils.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mikeo
    mikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..
    Starts with the combiner box.. using QO 15 A 48VDC/120AC breakers..
    If you have no more then 3 strings of panels to combine, You can just use 1 leg of this breaker box for the combiner, and use the second leg for the solar controller disconnect. The make a 60 amp QO breaker but it will have to be ordered because the big box stores don't carry them. I usually just mount them side by side and use a conduit nipple between the two to run the wiring.
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Thanks for the tip on the fridge.. The 1st fridge will be a dormer type.. 3-5 cu ft.. so that may just be able to run non-stop..

    I was thinking a WattsUp meter coming off the battery may help read more accurate numbers than the MorningStar Controller may give to me..

    I found out using MS's website a Pro 30 controller would also work for this initial setup.. but not leave much room for expansion.. Running the TS-45 controller I can double the panels (if I wanted) to 1560 watt array and still be safe with it..
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..
    mikeo wrote: »
    If you have no more then 3 strings of panels to combine, You can just use 1 leg of this breaker box for the combiner, and use the second leg for the solar controller disconnect. The make a 60 amp QO breaker but it will have to be ordered because the big box stores don't carry them. I usually just mount them side by side and use a conduit nipple between the two to run the wiring.

    Thats an excellent idea..

    And everything for that 'end' will be neatly inside 1 box.. 8)
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,479 admin
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Note that the WattsUp meters are not very large (only ~14 awg wire or so)--and I would not recommend them for permanently installed circuits much over ~15 amps--Too much of a possibility of overheating.

    I am a big fan of Battery Monitors (Victron is another good brand) that use external shunts (100 amp and 500 amp shunts are standard sizes) and are designed exactly for this use (not cheap though).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • silvertop
    silvertop Solar Expert Posts: 155 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Good choice on the Samlex 1500 24v , Mine is the same ( Cotek 1500 24v runs 24-7). IF you ever go MPPT those QO breakers will not work with the higher Voltage, you might think about going with something like a Midnight Solar combiner with din rail finger safe fuses. Its not that much more money and it opens the door to a higher voltage/ larger system.....:cool:
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    The Morningstar RM-2 meter I am getting for/with the TS-45 controller gives me some data..

    Battery Voltage
    Battery Min/Max
    PV Input Voltage
    Charging Current Amps
    Battery Temp (I'll be installing the temp lead as I may insulate a battery box outside the cabin wall opposite the controller.)
    Charging Watts
    Charge AH (Daily)

    This will have to do for now.. as my funds are non-existent..
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..
    ywhic wrote: »
    This will have to do for now.. as my funds are non-existent..

    I think we should adopt that as the Official Motto of off-grid solar power users! :p
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,003 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    A couple things..

    Your fridge will be a challange in the summer and heat of south Texas, I had the ability to shut mine down so I could have some extra AC time, on a 1000 watt inverter, it will be a very iffy thng just to run an AC, but if your Fridge is running at the same time, I'm very doubtfull you would be able to start the AC, also the Fridge will add heat to the room it's in, on the other hand it will use much more elec in a warm/hot room.

    You will need 'strain relief's' likely water proof if your setting up outside.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    I upped my anti to a 1500 watt sine inverter from the original 1000 watt one.. (its in the OP)..

    Easy to miss as I have been saying 1000 w since day one on here.. LoL

    During the 2 hours (max the A/C will be running the fridge will just be off.. I found a small one 7.5 cu. ft. that draws about 2amps/92 watts of 110v.. and it has a separate freezer compartment on it.. I only plan on water, beer, more water in the fridge part.. some pork chops, steak, & burgers in the freezer..

    The A/C I found says it needs a 4.9 amp outlet.. and is a 5K unit.. I figure (roughly) about 1 amp per 1K for the A/C..

    I think with the Samlex 1500 pure sine watt inverter (3K surge) I should be ok for the A/C idea when running it at max watt pulling time of day as not to totally choke out my battery bank..

    I'm guessing the 'strain relief's' comment was on the possible battery box being outside..
  • mikeo
    mikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Maybe I missed something in previous threads, but how will you charge your batteries when there is not enough sun to do the job? If you bought an inverter/charger then you could use a generator to fill in the gaps in sun. With out this capability the batteries will deteriorate fast.
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..
    mikeo wrote: »
    Maybe I missed something in previous threads, but how will you charge your batteries when there is not enough sun to do the job? If you bought an inverter/charger then you could use a generator to fill in the gaps in sun. With out this capability the batteries will deteriorate fast.

    I am lost by the comment on no sun.. 780 watts of panel aiming almost due south at time of usage for the MAX of 2 hours of A/C running..

    PictureJune21st.JPG

    finalReduced.jpg

    Plenty of sunlight from 11 am to 5 pm facing south.. and no trees in the way. Panels will also be facing south at rear of cabin..

    Even at 52% numbers the panels will be cranking about 400 watts per hour a that time frame..
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,003 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    I think there is a misunderstanding, I could live without a fridge. I think minimum daily for a fridge is going to be about .8 KW in ideal conditions, I think I saw someone here who had gotten around 5-600 Watthours with one in their basement that was rarely opened. Your likely to be running one in 90-100 degree room, and not likely the latest and greatest. Look at a a pretty heavy draw from this.

    Particularly in a hot enviroment, I think you should really look into doing a chest freezer conversion, or perhaps just a small chest freezer.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • mikeo
    mikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..
    I am lost by the comment on no sun
    according to this site,
    http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=32557&refer=&cityname=Van-Horn-Texas-United-States-of-America
    You do not have that many rainy days each year but I don't know how many consecutive days you can go without much sun but it is something to consider. Batteries don't go very many day without topping up without degrading. Also they will need equalization on occasion, don't know if you can accomplish this and still provide power for your house.
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Theres gonna be a small genny on site.. and I will have a charger handy if needed.. just trying to go solar as much as possible..

    The 226AH battery bank will double (to 440ah) by the time (next summer) I get out there to run the A/C, I'm not going to attempt it on 226ah worth of bank as I don't think that would be smart....

    Anyone got a NAWS coupon?? I need to get my TS controller but would like a few $ taken off.. I found an old 5% coupon but it says expired.. I have another source for one but would like to use the forum sponsor if possible for something..
  • mikeo
    mikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..
    The 226AH battery bank will double (to 440ah) by the time (next summer)
    The 440 ah bank will require about a 40 amp 3 stage charger to properly maintain that battery bank. Shoot for about 10% of the battery bank rating for the charger. You might save money in the long run going ahead and springing for an inverter/charger combination to meet your future needs.
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    I was thinking like a battery charger.. duh.. for 12v batteries.. not taking my 24v setup into thought.. duh me..

    Considering I would need a 24v inverter/charger and just looking at pricing that may not EVER happen..

    But thanks for that tip.. slow crappy days will be genny days.. like I said I have no option 7 miles from a road.. the local co-op electric company wants $400 to just come out.. and then can turn around and say no and keep my $400.. f-that..

    Maybe this would work for under $200 to just charge the bank off the genny..

    http://www.amazon.com/DLS-27-15-AUTOMATIC-BATTERY-CHARGER-SUPPLY/dp/B0074JVP8G

    but I dunno..
  • mikeo
    mikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..
    Considering I would need a 24v inverter/charger and just looking at pricing that may not EVER happen..
    I know it is probably a stretch for your budget, but I think our host has a Magnum MS2024 with 50 amp charger in the $1600 hundred dollar range or so. This would meet your power requirement for your small cabin and you would save money in the future by saving your battery bank budget. I have friends that I have helped learn the hard way going through about 3 sets of batteries that batteries need to be babied for long life. I know this is about $1000 more than you wanted to spend. BUT if you do, I don't think you will be sorry.
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Iotas are good chargers. But 15 Amp is pretty small for a 440 battery bank.
    Here's another option (full size capacity, not the best charger but serviceable): http://www.solar-electric.com/poch24vo40am.html

    Or if you're really going to go cheap you can use two bargain automotive chargers connected to the batteries "in series" to provide the 24 Volts. Not perfectly balanced charging, but it will allow the gen to push the batteries through the Bulk stage on those days when the sun refuses to shine.
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    mikeo.. thanks for the tip..

    However I am currently un-employed.. so funds are TIGHT as a clam..

    I am buying things in piece-meal as this cabin (which was $7K last month) and whatever I do is eventually for my son (currently 10)..

    I want the setup done NLT then spring of next year.. so my max is the $3K or so I listed out.. (which I am using 90% of my UE money to get the components..)

    If I happen to get a job and income by this summer then next spring I may sink my tax return funds for more stuff (like the charger/inverter).. but like I said my max in my brain it $3k.. any change now will derail my project.. and I have ADHD.. so that won't be good..

    I'm 41 and I want this done as much as I can do in case anything happens to me (which I don't forsee) my son will have 11ac, a cabin, and some power and water.. I'm not one to wait around once I get amped up on something.. this is like a legacy project in my mind..

    Heck last weekend me and my son made a scaled down cabin.. next week were painting it a matching color..

    cabinsample.jpg

    1st item.. the combiner box.. 2nd the controller.. 3rd the wires for the whole thing.. 4th the 1500w 24v inverter.. etc..
    Iotas are good chargers. But 15 Amp is pretty small for a 440 battery bank.
    Here's another option (full size capacity, not the best charger but serviceable): http://www.solar-electric.com/poch24vo40am.html

    Cariboocoot.. That looks do-able for a charger within my budget.. I made a note on my spec sheet..
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    I found vendors for the MorningStar TS-45 PWM.. with shipping to me at 19067 (commercial address)..

    OYNOT $148.63
    EnergyBay $154.54
    Infinigi $151.71

    Ecodirect $159
    Solar Blvd $ 160.09
    NAWS $163.85
    altE $162.33

    Anyone use any of the lower priced dealers?? will NAWS match the lower folks??
  • solarvic
    solarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Do You know Arizona wind and sun has an investment and time in suporting this forum? Some people use thier forum to learn all about everything for free and go somewhere else to buy thier equipment. To me it seems like a kick in the pants to use thier forum and cry if they have to spend a couple bucks more for the product in the end. I don,t think our forum sponser is going to lower thier prices to match someone that might sell a few bucks cheaper. My opinion only. :Dsolarvic:D
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Thats fine.. but I want to know whom you folks may have used off the list.. you can PM me and I'll keep it private..

    I'm leaning toward panels with NAWS possibly..

    If you want to send me $14 to cover the shipping from NAWS.. I'll pipe down and go with NAWS..

    There was apparantly a 5% off coupon for NAWS but it seems to have expired awhile back..

    I figured I'd ask... but nevermind..
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    There's no requirement or even insistence to buy from NAWS just because you use the forum. They're a good retailer with quality service for sure, and they do sponsor this forum. In fact they're so good they never tell us to push product or even promote the store. As a courtesy we reference them first for product and price examples. Sometimes they have specials on, sometimes they don't - just like any other retailer. That is up to them. If you want to contact them and see if they'll make a deal, go ahead; the worst that can happen is they can't shift on price. But again that's up to them, not the moderators of this forum. Some people find it hard to believe but we moderators are not employed by them in any way; we are volunteers.

    You might wonder why NAWS would foot the bill for a place like this if not for advertising value. It's something more than that; it's good will. They know that the lack of and mis-information about solar and wind turns a lot of people sour on RE and hurts the whole industry, including them.

    So here we are in friendly discussion trying to sort out everyone's problems and get those systems working! Where you bought/buy it from is not important. :D

    But please do not post links to on-line competitors. It isn't fair to our host and it makes moderating difficult as it can confuse as to exactly who is behind the forum.
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..
    ywhic wrote: »
    Thats fine.. but I want to know whom you folks may have used off the list.. you can PM me and I'll keep it private..

    I'm leaning toward panels with NAWS possibly..

    If you want to send me $14 to cover the shipping from NAWS.. I'll pipe down and go with NAWS..

    There was apparantly a 5% off coupon for NAWS but it seems to have expired awhile back..

    I figured I'd ask... but nevermind..

    interesting that you would try bribery. you may buy from whom you want to buy from. for the record, naws is big on customer service and this forum is an aspect of that even though we aren't directly involved with the store. we are all free to operate to help and educate to the best of our abilities as volunteers as only rick and windsun are of the store and they don't conduct store operations or business here on the forum. the closest that would come to be would be the specials that may appear on the blog. i do emphasize that we all volunteer speaking of the many members that share their knowledge and experiences with all freely. the rest are basically those seeking the help.
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    Not bribery just don't like being told whom to shop with.. at the end of the day we all pick whom we buy from.. that $12 difference makes this a this coming week or 2 weeks from now purchase.. and again I re-iterate the ADHD issue I have..

    With the TS-meter added onto the order everyone is within $5.. which means I'll probably just wait 2 weeks maybe and buy from NAWS.. as correct without this forum I'd be lost like a puppy..
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    that's great that we all were able to help you.

    enjoy your new solar setup when you get it installed.
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,003 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    On the 24 Volt charger issue, TX is big on military and many/most vehicles, run on 24 volt, so you might well be able to find a surplus military generator, or cobble together an alternator/w rectifier from a military truck and a simple gas motor...

    Thinking out loud...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • ywhic
    ywhic Solar Expert Posts: 621 ✭✭
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    Re: Final plans for 24v system.. ready to order..

    A local ELP guy (from a firearm forum) said when I was out there the base have ALOT of surplus stuff.. water tanks, gennys, etc..

    side note.. I got my 2 websites back up and running for AR15 parts so hopefully that will kick me some fundage.. I had a sale lastnight for about $430.. with a $52 profit..