Another Newbie

paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
OK, first post in the forum... We have an off grid cabin in sunny southern California that I stay in 4 or 5 nights a week... It's been in the family for 47 years, since I was 7 months old, and over the years we thought about getting Socal Edison to bring power, but it was too expensive... About 5 years ago, I went to a week long grid tied solar class, since I am an electrician, although I have yet to do any solar projects...

Well, now I have my first off grid project... I ordered the Morningstar Tristar 45 (not MPPT), A Trimetric 2025 battery monitor meter, and four 12 volt, 100 watt panels... I plan on using two Trojan T-105 batteries in series... Eventually, I'll pick up a decent inverter for certain periodic AC use, and the rest will all be 12 volts, including lighting, fridge, ham radio transceivers, stereo, etc...

I've been scouring the internet, weeding through all the BS, and NAWS came recommended, so here I am, exploding my brain... Fortunately, I have a good understanding of electricity from being a ham for 32 years, and electrician for 25 years, so solar stuff is really intriguing me since I started staying at our cabin on a weekly basis...

Anyways, once I have all my stuff, I'll take some pictures and post my progress...
«1

Comments

  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie
    OK, first post in the forum... We have an off grid cabin in sunny southern California that I stay in 4 or 5 nights a week... It's been in the family for 47 years, since I was 7 months old, and over the years we thought about getting Socal Edison to bring power, but it was too expensive... About 5 years ago, I went to a week long grid tied solar class, since I am an electrician, although I have yet to do any solar projects...

    Well, now I have my first off grid project... I ordered the Morningstar Tristar 45 (not MPPT), A Trimetric 2025 battery monitor meter, and four 12 volt, 100 watt panels... I plan on using two Trojan T-105 batteries in series... Eventually, I'll pick up a decent inverter for certain periodic AC use, and the rest will all be 12 volts, including lighting, fridge, ham radio transceivers, stereo, etc...

    I've been scouring the internet, weeding through all the BS, and NAWS came recommended, so here I am, exploding my brain... Fortunately, I have a good understanding of electricity from being a ham for 32 years, and electrician for 25 years, so solar stuff is really intriguing me since I started staying at our cabin on a weekly basis...

    Anyways, once I have all my stuff, I'll take some pictures and post my progress...

    Hi, paulskirocks!... Welcome to the forum! ...

    I can only tell you reconsider to making a 12 V system for the large number of amps you needed for a normal operation ... I would go up to at least 24v ... also if you do not put a MPPT controller, you will lose a lot of power from your panels ... a good inverter can be a magnum or outback, to work in most situations and to last for a lifetime ...

    I hope it can help! ...;-)
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    Welcome to the forum.

    You've already made one mistake; you started buying equipment first. Two mistakes if you count buying in piecemeal. Three if you count choosing 12 Volts. Four if you count picking DC for lights, 'frige ...

    Before you spend any more money, you've got to figure out how much power you need. It makes a big difference in system size, Voltage, et cetera.
    A thread about system Voltages and why you should choose one over another: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?15989-Battery-System-Voltages-and-equivalent-power

    Now some good news: You've actually got a good balance between batteries and panels. Those panels are probably about 5 Amps max each, or a total of 20 Amps peak current which is about right for two 220 Amp hour 6 Volt batteries (in series for 12 Volts). The 45 Amp Tristar is overkill at this point, but does allow room for expansion. If you're planning on that, you should plan it now so it can be integrated later. You may find you want more than the PWM TriStar can do; once you get over 400 Watts of array MPPT function starts to make sense.

    I can understand you wanting 12 VDC to drive your ham equipment directly, but for most other things you would probably be better off with an inverter and 120 VAC wire runs; less power loss over distance, simpler installation. The refrigerator will be a problem unless you're good with a small RV type; 'full size' 12 VDC 'friges cost a lot, and full-size 120 VAC 'friges need some hefty inverter capacity to run (but they tend to be more efficient).

    The more time you spend at the cabin, the more the solar install makes sense. Trust me; been there, done that, over 26 years from propane everything to full-electric power.
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    Thanks for the replies...

    Well, my power needs are pretty low, as all I want is lighting, music, and my ham radio stuff... I've been researching the small top loading DC fridges, and that seems to make good sense, although that is just on my future wish list, since the Coleman ice chest has been working fine so far...

    Yea, I figured the 20 amps from four panels was right for the batteries, as Trojan recommends charging between 10 and 13 percent... I have a 6500 watt generator, as well, if needed...

    As far as 12, 24, or 48 volt, I figure since the panels will be 10 feet from the controller, I'm not worried about loss over distance, so I figure 12 volts is a good starting place, and if I feel I need to, I could always upgrade... The batteries will be in an outside enclosure, on the wall where the charge controller will sit, so the run from controller to batteries will be about 3 feet... As far as DC voltage drop to LED lights, the cabin is small, so I don't anticipate any problem with that, and the radio gear will be right next to the controller, with remote faces mounted in the cabin...

    Anyways, if I decide to go bigger in the future, no problem, as I eventually want to set up a system at my main house, just for power outages, so I could always pick up a MPPT controller for the cabin, and bring the other controller to my house...

    Either way, I'll keep you all posted on my success! I appreciate the feedback.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    welcome to the forum.

    coot is right in that the loads determine the stuff needed to provide power for it. i'm hoping you went over your needs already.

    often overlooked is the amount of sun that reaches a place at various times of the year, any obstructions, and being able to closely aim the pvs in a southerly direction at a good angle for collection.

    keep in mind that with most batteries that you do not want to use more than half of their capacity to help preserve battery life. many don't realize they aren't meant to be discharged that low. most of us use the 50% mark to not be exceeded, but some use as little as 25% of their capacity too. i'm betting you will need more battery capacity and more pv to keep them properly charged up with based on the listed loads.

    fyi, you should obtain a sine wave inverter for items that are inductive like fans, compressors, etc to not only keep from using an excessive amount of power, but to also keep the appliance lifespan good. some items requiring ac adapters are prone to blowing out too if not using sine wave. this means that you might as well just stay with a quality sine wave inverter for everything being you have at least one critical item to run being the refrigerator.

    btw, you'll find allot of hams here, me included.
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    A few more bits of info... I did order the remote temp sensor, and I have yet to get the batteries... I'm half thinking of going with a cheaper Golf cart battery from Sams Club, so if I screw up my first battery bank, I'd be out about half cash...

    Also, what started this all was a single 100 watt panel and cheapy throw away charge controller I picked up... I have yet to order the three more panels, and I'm willing to save that one for a different project... Any suggestions would be appreciated... Yes, money is an object, but I don't want to skimp... The Morningstar PWM controller has already been ordered from NAWS, so I plan on sticking with 12 volt panels and a 12 volt system for now...
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    Good plan on the golf cart batteries. Some folks here have used them with success, and like you say if they fail (for whatever reason) you're not out a ton of money. Wish we could get them around here!

    With 12 Volt panel limitation you're stuck with smaller Wattage these days as the 'big' 12 Volt units (Evergreen made some 200+ Watts) are no longer made that I can see. So this means something like Kyocera 140's or similar. These small Watt panels aren't the best value in $ per Watt, but they're not too bad (about $2 per). Sometimes you can find bargain close-out or seconds, but be sure and check the specifications carefully; a lot of time the sellers are just unloading stuff and don't really know/care what they've got.

    The thing with the PWM type controller is to be sure the panels' Imp will add up to your target charge current as the power available from Voltage difference cannot be utilized by that type of controller.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    some food for thought is the higher wattage pvs that aren't always compatible with pwm controllers, but are often far cheaper per watt to buy so it could make up for much of the difference in costs in many cases. if you are buying say 300w of extra pv at as an example of $2.09/w and there's a 300w pv available for $1.20/w then you could save $2.09-$1.20=$.89/w or 300x$.89=$267.00 on top of the pwm controller cost that could pay for a large portion of the costs for a mppt cc.

    hmm. i overlooked you intended to run the refrig on 12v. 12v refrigs are more costly and aren't all that much better in power consumption overall than your energy star refrig. up to you though.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    Paul,

    Welcome. At this point I would only add to wht has been said already, by stating a couple of cardinal rules about off grid living and off grid solar. First, there is no such thing as "my loads are small". The reason being is that loads, ALWAYS grow with time! For example, we have been off grid for generqtion, our PV system started with a 12 vdc adding light and a small cr battery on a 60 watt panel. Then we addeda light in the kitchen, another overthe desk, a muffin fan, the radio, then some more lights, phone system, SAT ISP, etc, etc etc. we now live in a he with 24/7 120 vac power, hot and cold running water. Our usage is tiny bynmostmstqndqrds but it has trippled in the last few years. We now use between 500-1000 WH/day. We get that consistently out of 400 watts of PV into 450 ah of t105 batteries.

    The other cardinal rule is that newbies (almost) always over estimate thier solar potential whilst at the same time underestimating thier loading, leading to double disappointment. My rule of thumb that has been born out thorugh many years of school of hard knocks is this. Take the NMR plate rating of the PV, divide by 2 to account for all cumulative system loses between the PV and the end use out the inverter. Then take that number and multiply it by 4 to represent the average hours of good sun, per day one can reasonably expect over the course of the year, factoring in weather, season changes etc.

    So, to use my case as an example, 400 watts of PV,, 400/2=200*4=800 WH/day. Magically you will see it very closely approximates my useage. Now of course ymight get better sun than "average" but dont over estimate,, use pV watts for example for yr location.

    As has been suggested earlier, the most expensive lesson of off grid PV is "ready, fire, aim!". Avoid this as much as possible by properly defining yet loads, then design a battery bank to power those loads, then in turn a chrge regimen to charge the batteries (PV, genny charger etc) and an inverter systems mix well with everything else.m anything else is ready fire aim. The result of doing any othe way might result in square pegs and round holes.

    One final note. Consider your fridge needs carefully. We hve had propane fridges for decades, and before that kerosene, as the was no viable alternative. Nowadays, the more you use a place, the more cost effective if becomes to buy a good energy star conventional fridge (which will use ~500 WH/day) than it is to use either propane or some exotic off grid fridge. If I had to do it over again, a( and when my current fridge fails) I will add another 400 watts of PV and a pair of batteries for less cost thn a new propane fridge, and buy the best 120 vac fridge I can get for a few hundred dollars, and reduce my propane costs by about 1/2, all while gaining a bigger fridge.

    Good luck and keep in touch,

    Tony
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    Lots to think about!

    OK, I have a question: If I go with a 24 or 48 volt system, what is the most efficient way to get 12 volts for my ham stuff and light the place?
  • unicorniounicornio Solar Expert Posts: 217 ✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie
    Lots to think about!

    OK, I have a question: If I go with a 24 or 48 volt system, what is the most efficient way to get 12 volts for my ham stuff and light the place?

    There are many very efficient converters that can fit your needs for some things, the other directly with AC power...
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    Ire the house with Romex, invert to 120 vac and then light with high EF. Led and CFL line voltage listing. The myriad of options for line voltge lighting is far greater (and cheaper) than 12 or 24 dc lighting. Personally, I don't think going to 24 volts is such a big deal with a system this size. You are right that there are lots of native 12 vdc stuff out there from the automotive, RV and marine market. I have a dual wiring system in my house, with the radio, the water pump and the phone wirex 12 vdc. I initially wired a parallel 12 vdc lighting system, but since the clf/led lighting market has gotten so much better there is no need. If you are not going to run a fridge on 120 vac fridge , consider the Morningstar Suresine 300 inverter. A great inverter, that has more than enough capacity for a small house and is very efficient.

    Tony
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    Tony, you've just got to get something better to connect with than that "Ican'tspellpad". :p
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    And I need to proof read better. I'll try to do better as it is embarrassing! Perhaps I will have to relent and go back to the lap top. My wife just bought a keyboard for her IPad,, maybe I will try that.

    Sorry,

    Tony
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    you may be misunderstanding me here paul, it's the pvs that will have the higher voltage and an mppt controller will downconvert the voltage to optimize for your 12v batteries. take a look at the mppt controllers as you can feed various higher voltages as well as the standard 36 cell pvs if you like and they optimize the voltage on your 12v battery bank.

    you could still go to a higher battery voltage if you would like, but everything would need to be geared for that voltage. higher battery voltages do mandate higher pv input voltages as well. what many do is get a voltage converter. here's an example of one.
    http://www.solar-electric.com/12vodc50ampd.html
    now i'm not pushing that one or even saying you should do it this way. you could just plug in a power supply to an inverter.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,223 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    I think you have some realistic ideas, I totally disagree with looking into a MPPT charge controller (CC) until your array reaches the 12-1400 watt area, they are no more than 10% more effiecent during most of the year in warm climates and cost $300+ more so adding to your array makes more sense (or cents) per Watt!

    12V can be done and many of us started there and moved on to AC systems, motors run fine on DC and I'll send you a link to my favorite 12 volt small fan, and a very good buy on 12V panels. I'm not a Ham but I would think less converting the less signal problems(but not my end of the world, I can explain the differences between solarization and sabatier effect) Be aware you'll want to be sure your runs are short or heavy wire due to voltage drop, something you likely didn't worry much about with AC.

    Southern California is sunny and if you have good exposure you should be able to count on 5 hours of charging most days. Some micro climates may effect this so if you have regular clouds during the mid days because of the side of a mountain and the updraft...

    I also like the idea of Sam's club batteries, I had 4 that lasted 5 years being abused for the last 4 summers being drawn down near 50% DOD often, while running an A/C for a few hours during the summer.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie
    Photowhit wrote: »
    I think you have some realistic ideas, I totally disagree with looking into a MPPT charge controller (CC) until your array reaches the 12-1400 watt area, they are no more than 10% more effiecent during most of the year in warm climates and cost $300+ more so adding to your array makes more sense (or cents) per Watt!
    I also like the idea of Sam's club batteries, I had 4 that lasted 5 years being abused for the last 4 summers being drawn down near 50% DOD often, while running an A/C for a few hours during the summer.

    I think that you are not taking into consideration the fact that, at least currently, higher voltage panels intended primarily for grid-tie use have a significantly lower cost per watt than the nominal 12 volt, nominal 24 volt, etc. panels intended primarily for use with PSW CCs.
    For someone starting from scratch (or adding to their current system and not committed to getting panels of the same specifications), the cost of high voltage panels and an MPPT CC may be lower overall than the cost of 12 or 24 volt panels and a PWM CC.

    For someone who has the extra capacity in their CC and most of the necessary panels, just adding comparable extra panels may well be less expensive than changing CCs, but future expansion also needs to be taken into consideration when making that decision.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,223 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie
    inetdog wrote: »
    I think that you are not taking into consideration the fact that, at least currently, higher voltage panels intended primarily for grid-tie use have a significantly lower cost per watt than the nominal 12 volt, nominal 24 volt, etc. panels intended primarily for use with PSW CCs.
    For someone starting from scratch (or adding to their current system and not committed to getting panels of the same specifications), the cost of high voltage panels and an MPPT CC may be lower overall than the cost of 12 or 24 volt panels and a PWM CC.

    For someone who has the extra capacity in their CC and most of the necessary panels, just adding comparable extra panels may well be less expensive than changing CCs, but future expansion also needs to be taken into consideration when making that decision.

    He's looking at a 400 watt system, I sent him a link for 12 volt nominal panels at @$1.10 a watt delievered for that he can buy 290 watts for less than the difference in charge controllers. Doubt you can find <1000 watts of panels delievered for cheaper cost per watt.

    If you can find them, send him a link!

    Personally I'd go ahead and get a 60 amp PWM charge controller(not much difference in cost) and expect to use it as a backup if he expands into more than a 1000 watt array, though arguably you would want to also increase the battery bank voltage at that point... My 1700 watt array is still on a PWM CC on a 24 V system, I have no regrets. at $1.10 a watt you could have a 1700 watt array and a PWM CC for around $2050 or 1700 watt array with a MPPT charge controller figuring @$1 a watt delievered for $2200 so at that size it's just getting cost effective...IMO

    Costs based on reliable retailer on the 12V panels and rough cost of the freight for 1700 Watts purchased at $.78 a watt (based on my delievered costs on a 4KW array last fall)
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    As Photowhit said the increased efficiency of the MPPT controller is not the main reason to buy one.
    The main reason to buy one is because it facilitates array design. Right now the OP has one 100 Watt panel. He wants more power for this set-up (still designing). The bigger panels are cheaper per Watt by far. Unfortunately they tend to be higher than '12 Volt' - and sometimes (often) lower than '24', with a Vmp around 30. So the extra cost of the MPPT controller is offset by the lower cost of the larger panels. But you do have to check the numbers!

    Example: Three KD140's @ $293 each = $879 for 420 Watts. Output 24 Amps needs 30 Amp PWM charge controller like ProStar 30 for $120. Total: $999
    Two KD220's @ $295 each = $590 for 440 Watts. Vmp is 26.6 Imp 8.28 so needs MPPT charge controller like TriStar 45 for $400. Total: $990

    That is as close to trade-off point as I could find. There might be bargains out there. The Rogue, if it was still available, would have dropped the controller price by nearly $100. As you can see, around 400 Watts is where things start to swing the other way just from an economic point of view.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,223 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie
    Example: Three KD140's @ $293 each = $879 for 420 Watts. Output 24 Amps needs 30 Amp PWM charge controller like ProStar 30 for $120. Total: $999
    Two KD220's @ $295 each = $590 for 440 Watts. Vmp is 26.6 Imp 8.28 so needs MPPT charge controller like TriStar 45 for $400. Total: $990

    They Coot, I'm trying to play fair, so I would hope you would as well, the DMsolar panels are still available through Amazon at $328 for 2 - 145 watt panels. I've avoided posting here in respect for your sponsor. If you run the numbers for these i think you can see where I was getting my figures.

    Since I've now put this out on the forum, I should mention that these do not appear to be UL listed panels, should still be fine for off grid use, If you search the forum we have had a couple people check them out.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie
    Photowhit wrote: »
    They Coot, I'm trying to play fair, so I would hope you would as well, the DMsolar panels are still available through Amazon at $328 for 2 - 145 watt panels. I've avoided posting here in respect for your sponsor. If you run the numbers for these i think you can see where I was getting my figures.

    Since I've now put this out on the forum, I should mention that these do not appear to be UL listed panels, should still be fine for off grid use, If you search the forum we have had a couple people check them out.

    Yes, I too was trying to be fair by picking "same brand, name brand, one supplier" for both panels and controllers. But I did mention that there are bargains to be had out there if you look around because that is fair too. The only caution on bargains is: make sure you know exactly what you are getting and that you get exactly what you thought you were buying.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,223 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    Just to get it all out there, the 200 watt + panels usually have to be sent freight which is not a cheap prospect either. When I had a single panel broken in shipping on a pallet of 20 a replacement was sent out and the cost was 65% of the original pallet. I think they could have boxed it and gotten a cheaper rate, but likely it would still need to ship freight, they sent it on a pallet.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    The bigger panels aren't that easy to handle either. If you've got to do the install without any help ... even my 175 Watt Sharps @ 35 lbs. are a struggle. I know because I've just had to take them down to redo the roof and then put them back up again. Got two up, hoping to get the other two reconnected today. Just before closing down for the year!

    But all this does go back to planning future expansion now, because the larger the system the greater the benefit from an MPPT controller.
    I really don't understand why people with small, 12 Volt RV systems spring for 60 Amp MPPT controllers to handle 20 Amps of current - but they sometimes do. :confused:
    And then there are those who bought "bargain" panels with oddball Vmps that can only be connected via MPPT.

    The moral is: plan it carefully first. Don't just start buying stuff and then see if you can make it work later!
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    paul,
    be aware that nobody is telling you to do it one way or another as all are trying to lay out options for you. for all we know you have a place near you to buy pvs and other solar equipment directly from and no need to ship. you have some things to weigh here and ultimately it will be your decision as to what way you will go with it. we are all for saving $ if we can, but that can bite you back later if you go to expand so plan well.
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    OK, just got back from 4 nights in the cabin... Power sure will be nice!

    Well, I ended up changing my order to MPPT... Still need to order some panels... I've been thinking things out a lot, and looking at my land... If I go up the hill from the cabin about 100 feet, I can get several more hours a day of sun, which makes me like the idea of a couple higher voltage, high watt panels, since 12 volts would have too much voltage drop... I would probably put them on the cabin, for starters, which is getting direct sun from about 10 AM to 5:30 PM right now, but I would like the option of going up the hill in the future...

    Anyways, I appreciate all the comments, and have definitely decided to go bigger than I originally thought, since I can! Now I need to order some panels...
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    very good as any plans on running pvs out that kind of distance would warrant the higher voltage and an mppt controller. even at that the wire would need to be addressed too to be sure it would not pose a high v drop. this makes wire selection and the distance a bit more notable and you can use a v drop calculator to help you with that.
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    Well, I ordered 6 145 watt panels (3 2-packs), 18.7 vmp for a bit over 1000 bucks shipped... Next up, 440 amp hrs worth of 6 volt batteries and an inverter... When I get everything, I'll start planning my installation, and get to the electrical supply house...
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,223 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie
    Well, I ordered 6 145 watt panels (3 2-packs), 18.7 vmp for a bit over 1000 bucks shipped... Next up, 440 amp hrs worth of 6 volt batteries and an inverter... When I get everything, I'll start planning my installation, and get to the electrical supply house...

    Wow, You just posted, check/call amazon and see if you can switch to free shippiing! Those panels will ship free but you have to mark it for free shipping!

    Well maybe you did get free shipping, but had to pay california taxes of some sort, I thin they were $328 for a pair...

    I don't know what MPPT controller you got, but I think these will be a little too much to run one string, I think I would have checked into a midnite classic 200 to bring a higher voltage with lower voltage drop down from the remote array... I really like the Classic and classic lite's if your computre literate the classic lite at $500 shipped from our sponsor is a bargain in my opinion.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    The nice UPS man just delivered my charge controller and battery monitor meter... One step closer... I'm obsessed...
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie
    Photowhit wrote: »
    Wow, You just posted, check/call amazon and see if you can switch to free shippiing! Those panels will ship free but you have to mark it for free shipping!

    That link shows them out of stock, so I ended up going direct with DM Solar... each 2-pack was 240 bucks, and shipping was 300 for the 3 2-packs... It still adds up to a good deal, since that Amazon link was around 330 bucks a pack... It ended up at $1.17 a watt after shipping...
  • paulskirockspaulskirocks Solar Expert Posts: 84 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Another Newbie

    Dang, they are out of those panels until late November... Hmmm....
Sign In or Register to comment.