Need advice xantrex 6048

PeteNoraPeteNora Registered Users Posts: 13
Hi I am looking for advice. My cabin is remote and off grid. I am in the process of setting a project up. I would like to keep it simple and allow room to upgrade. I am new to solar and inverters. My cabin is a typical hunting place and mostly used September through mid December. I have refurbished two propane fueled Onan 5kw cck models 120/240. I have a xantrex 6048 inverter with a midnight solar install panel. I have 8 Interstate 6 volt golf cart batteries available. I would like to set up the inverter with the Interstate batteries to start with. That way I can get used to the inverter and run the generator as needed to charge the batteries. Then as I advance I would like to set up a small solar array to keep the batteries charged during the week while I am not there. I would like to set it up in such a way that I can expand to a larger solar system without buying larger controllers or adding heavier wiring. Here are my questions?
1-Will my Onan generator be able to run the inverters charger?
2-What 48 volt solar control will be best?
3-what small 48 volt solar array would be recommended?
I am sure I will have a ton of questions and I am wanting advice. Thanks for listening.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    PeteNora wrote: »
    1-Will my Onan generator be able to run the inverters charger?

    Yes. 5 kW is quite a large generator for most off-grid purposes.
    2-What 48 volt solar control will be best?

    MidNite's Classic line are the best MPPT controllers available right now.
    3-what small 48 volt solar array would be recommended?

    Small? None. You've probably got 220-ish Amp hours @ 48 Volts. You're looking at a need for 1400 Watts there. Knowing the actual capacity will help a lot. I would wonder why you'd pick a 6kW inverter with a small battery bank. Normally you'd have about 600 Amp hours or more, as maximum power comes with a 'battery price'.
    I am sure I will have a ton of questions and I am wanting advice. Thanks for listening.

    That's what we're here for. That and the donuts. :D
  • PeteNoraPeteNora Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    Small? None. You've probably got 220-ish Amp hours @ 48 Volts. You're looking at a need for 1400 Watts there. Knowing the actual capacity will help a lot. I would wonder why you'd pick a 6kW inverter with a small battery bank. Normally you'd have about 600 Amp hours or more, as maximum power comes with a 'battery price'.
    Price was the main reason. I gave 800.00 for the 2 year old inverter and the midnight solar install panel. Dont ask the poor guy was going through a nasty divorce. That/s all I know.

    Am I wrong in saying this larger inverter does not use much more power at no load than smaller units?

    For weekend use what battery set up would you recommend?

    I like the Onans, I can fix them my self, and I find them quite easy on fuel.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048

    You will have a hard time running XW at full 6kW load from 220AH bank. Although, if your actual loads are smaller than this, it'll be fine. If you're using big XW with such small battery bank because you want to expand the bank later, it may be a problem combining new batteries and old ones in a single bank.

    My XW6048 works with 5kW generator without problems and can even charge 673AH battery bank

    I bought two XW SCC-60-150 and haven't had any problems with them so far. They can talk to XW through XanBus. They share battery temperature, and SCC figures out XW inverter draw when calculating terminating amps. However, SCC is a very basic model. If you need advanced features, there's nothing better than Classic.

    The smallest array? You probably can get away with 4 panels (~1kW), but 6 panels (~1.5kW) will be much better for batteries. It depends a great deal on your loads.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    PeteNora wrote: »
    Am I wrong in saying this larger inverter does not use much more power at no load than smaller units?

    Like most big inverters it has a fairly healthy consumption. About 30 Watts running, as I recall. A small unit can be 6 Watts. But you can't get the output of a big inverter from a small inverter, obviously.
    For weekend use what battery set up would you recommend?

    I'd recommend you figure out how much power you need. Frankly the 220 Amp hours @ 48 Volts would be up to about 4.8 kW hours, or twice what I use at my cabin.
    I like the Onans, I can fix them my self, and I find them quite easy on fuel.

    I've got a gasoline one in the shed. "Easy on fuel" doesn't describe it. More like "drinks like a fish". I don't use it anymore. :D
  • PeteNoraPeteNora Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    The smallest array? You probably can get away with 4 panels (~1kW), but 6 panels (~1.5kW) will be much better for batteries. It depends a great deal on your loads.

    Can you point me to a source so I can look at the cost. All I have right now is in the mid nite solar install box is a pre wired solar breakers.
  • PeteNoraPeteNora Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    Like most big inverters it has a fairly healthy consumption. About 30 Watts running, as I recall. A small unit can be 6 Watts. But you can't get the output of a big inverter from a small inverter, obviously. I thought I read that the idle or search mode was like 8 watts.



    I'd recommend you figure out how much power you need. Frankly the 220 Amp hours @ 48 Volts would be up to about 4.8 kW hours, or twice what I use at my cabin.

    My use is pretty basic. lights, tv, satellite dish, well pump, and simple kitchen gadgets etc.



    I've got a gasoline one in the shed. "Easy on fuel" doesn't describe it. More like "drinks like a fish". I don't use it anymore. :D

    My 4.0 cck units at a yearly run time of aprox 150 to 200 hours, along with heating my 24 x 36 camp, hot water and cooking equates to about 200 gallons of propane. On gasoline my onans ran 2 to 2 1/4 hours on a gallon.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    PeteNora wrote: »
    Can you point me to a source so I can look at the cost. All I have right now is in the mid nite solar install box is a pre wired solar breakers.

    Solar panels are about $1/W. Big (~250W) panels are much cheaper than smaller ones. You will need to organize panels into strings, so you cannot buy 5 or 7. Need to match string voltage to your controller before you buy. With 48V batteries you probably need to go with strings of 3 (e.g. 6 or 9 panels). If you get a controller that can handle higher voltages (200 or 250 model of Classic), you can use strings of 4 (e.g. 4 or 8 panels).

    There are too many sources for solar panels, including NAWS.
  • PeteNoraPeteNora Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048

    My head hurts already. What would I need to have just to keep my batteries up while I am not there. All my previous use was by generator. I was hoping to cut back with the gas lights and wood heat. So the generator would only need to keep the batteries charged and when I was away the solar could maintain the batteries.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048

    Have we established the actual capacity of the battery bank yet? If not, all panel sizing is mere speculation.

    Minimum for charging is usually being able to supply a peak current of 5% of capacity. As in: 220 Amp hours * 0.05 = 11 Amps. How you get that can be either through a PWM controller (few will handle 48 Volts though) in which case you look for the Imp rating of the panels to provide the current and the Vmp to be at least 70 (requires two or more panels in series) to provide charging Voltage. This will be around 770 Watts. With an MPPT type controller you can make use of a wider variety of panels: any array capable of that 70 Volt minimum Vmp and about 685 Watts.

    For merely maintaining you can use much less: about 1% current (2.2 to 3 Amps) with correspondingly smaller array. But I don't think you'll like it. Once you start using solar, generators seem to become louder and more fuel-hungry. ;)
  • YehoshuaAgapaoYehoshuaAgapao Solar Expert Posts: 280 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048

    Get 2 strings of full size 60-cell 220-260W panels ($200-250 each, 3 to a string / 6 panels), a 6-string combiner box ($75), and a MPPT charge controller ($500). This should handle a full size family. Not sure what you are going to do for an electrical box. Midnite Solar E-Panel ($800), Xantrex Power Distribution Panel ($1000) or something homemade. Go with a 60 amp controller - they can expand to 4-5 strings and downgrading to the 45 amp controller only saves you a hundred bucks. MorningStar is my favorite, and you probably can get away with that with a single-controller off-grid arrangement. Multiple controllers or bi-modal you will be stuck with Xantrex charge controllers ans Xantrex will only talk to other Xantrex devices over the network. If you don't want to rip out wiring when you expand, size it for the expansion at initial install.

    When your standard grade interstate batteries wear out, I'd upgrade to a string of L16 batteries if you can get them cheap (Got my S-530s new for $288 each). Surrette has S-500EX now with quarter-inch plates (series 4500 - series 5000 spec'd plates in a series 4000 L16 container). Otherwise just get two strings higher-grade golf cart batteries (I like the Trojan Renewable T-105, Crown is good too). You might need to get sealed batteries if the cabin is going to be unoccupied for 8 months out of the year though with nobody there to water them. AGM batteries cost twice as much and last half as long. The most economically priced AGM bank would be 2 strings of group 8D batteries (8D is 12V so 4 batts to a string).

    Generators are gas hogs whatever way you look at them. And they are thirsty and your wallet will notice it if it runs too much. Also batteries are getting more expensive and solar is getting cheaper, so off-gridders will need to learn to move as much usage to daytime as possible as they will be forced to get undersized battery banks unless they are very well to do $$$ wise. Batteries are also the most depreciating component in a off-grid or mixed-grid system (then the inverter & charge controllers). If I didn't get my Surrettes at $288 each, I would have done my system with a skimpy 2 sets of golf cart batteries instead (but I am bi-modal - grid-tied ready for rolling blackouts when the dollar decides to implode and cap-and-tax is there to make things worse).
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048

    " (but I am bi-modal - grid-tied ready for rolling blackouts when the dollar decides to implode and cap-and-tax is there to make things worse)."

    Yeah, I saw the security/cell door on the garage man door...too much to lose. Didn't see too many panels in the neighbourhood, are you mostly alone in your preparations?

    Ralph
  • YehoshuaAgapaoYehoshuaAgapao Solar Expert Posts: 280 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048

    Its not built for SHTF. Its built for martial law and hyperinflation. In SHTF, the panels are complete looter magnets and may even attract corrupt government enforcers too (they'll just take the whole house). But going by these Mark Dice petitions and the way the people behaved at the Boston bombing, it will be martial law over a few meager terror attacks and complete tyranny, while hyperinflation creates rolling blackouts and the government rounding up the few rioters that do surface into FEMA camps.

    There is only one house with PV within a half mile of me. There are a few with solar hot water systems though. I live with my sister, her boyfriend, and their daughter. Shawn comes home to momma whenever he has any problems. Shawn is breeding purebred pit bulls and has over 20 of them in his house right now. He got his bank account locked out for a fraud investigation. He has lawsuit money, the banksters don't like the way he is blowing it because they need something to 'Cyprus' or at least devalue. I don't know anybody outside of church that are NWO-awake. My church is a potential FEMA camp target for demographic roundups as fundamental evangelical (old school calvary chapel, southern baptist, some other baptist) Christians are considered potential terrorists. My church has a massive ground mount solar array with 120 solar panels on it. It is a straight grid-tie system though with 3 Fronius 3-phase inverters. It is running 24-26KW during the day.

    The security door is actually not being used as a security door. They are also cheap and easy to break into. It is to be able to have the side door open vent humidity from the swamp cooler and still have something there that is locked.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    I've got a gasoline one in the shed. "Easy on fuel" doesn't describe it. More like "drinks like a fish". I don't use it anymore. :D

    You mean to say you got one of the original twin cylinder Onan gasoline-cooled generators? :blush:
    --
    Chris
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    You mean to say you got one of the original twin cylinder Onan gasoline-cooled generators? :blush:
    --
    Chris

    Yes, that must be where all that gasoline is going. It sure shouldn't need it for making electricity.
    3kW 220 VAC 60 Hz as I recall. :D
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    PeteNora wrote: »
    Am I wrong in saying this larger inverter does not use much more power at no load than smaller units?

    It really doesn't. If you have zero loads the inverter can be set up to go into Search Mode and it will draw about 7 watts in Search. Once it comes online and out of Search it is probably one of the more efficient inverters you can buy for light loads. With your small battery bank you won't be able to run it at full power. But your generator will have no problem charging batteries with it and for a weekend cabin your small battery bank will more than likely be just fine. Can't beat the price on the inverter.
    --
    Chris
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    Yes, that must be where all that gasoline is going. It sure shouldn't need it for making electricity.
    3kW 220 VAC 60 Hz as I recall. :D

    Yep. There's a reason they got a fuel pump on those that is suitable for small block Chevy. But the confounded thing will probably outlast dirt.
    --
    Chris
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Yep. There's a reason they got a fuel pump on those that is suitable for small block Chevy. But the confounded thing will probably outlast dirt.
    --
    Chris

    It has so far. One of the spark plug holes is stripped; just screw it in finger tight and it still runs on both cylinders. Barks pretty loud now that the muffler is gone, though. I still run it every year just to be sure it does. Hasn't failed yet!
  • PeteNoraPeteNora Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    It really doesn't. If you have zero loads the inverter can be set up to go into Search Mode and it will draw about 7 watts in Search. Once it comes online and out of Search it is probably one of the more efficient inverters you can buy for light loads. With your small battery bank you won't be able to run it at full power. But your generator will have no problem charging batteries with it and for a weekend cabin your small battery bank will more than likely be just fine. Can't beat the price on the inverter.
    --
    Chris

    Thanks Chris and the rest for you replies. I can double the battery supply if needed. Chris where in northern Wisconsin are you located?
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048

    We are roughly 100 miles NE of the Twin Cities as the crow flies, and about 50 miles south of Lake Superior in the Wisconsin North Woods. I guess the official name for where we live is the "Laurentian Mixed Forest Province". But us natives just call it the "North Woods".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurentian_Mixed_Forest_Province

    Whatever you want to call it, we live in paradise here. The winters are cold and long. But the summers are temperate and beautiful.

    Attachment not found.

    The main problem we have here is City Slickers that come from the Twin Cities on the weekends with jet skis and powerboats. I don't know why they have to come to destroy our peace and quiet instead of just staying home on their scum-infested, polluted ponds around the Twin Cities. But when they leave we got it all to ourselves for 5 days a week. And there's nothing like a morning heading out to catch a couple walleyes for breakfast with a little fog rising off the water.

    Attachment not found.
    --
    Chris
  • PeteNoraPeteNora Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    The main problem we have here is City Slickers that come from the Twin Cities on the weekends with jet skis and powerboats. I don't know why they have to come to destroy our peace and quiet instead of just staying home on their scum-infested, polluted ponds around the Twin Cities. But when they leave we got it all to ourselves for 5 days a week. And there's nothing like a morning heading out to catch a couple walleyes for breakfast with a little fog rising off the water.

    I can clearly see what you are describing. In 1982 we were coming home from Colorado and stopped just north of the twin city's to fuel up before heading across Wisconsin on hwy 8. Every station was filled with any kind of boat and truck you could imagine all fueling up.. Then it was bumper to bumper 45 mph. on hwy. 8 for almost an hour. Everyone was heading north off of hwy 8. What a zoo. What city are you close to? I am north east of the twin city's by about 440 miles. Just west of Marquette Mi.
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048

    We are just north of Barron, Wisconsin. On Friday afternoons there is a Mass Exodus out of the Twin Cities of foreign pickups and SUV's pulling boats and jet skis. They all head north off 8 on 53 and go to Long Lake, Bear Lake, Red Cedar Lake, etc.. Long Lake is 20 miles from one end to the other and there is not a single place on it that you can fish on Memorial Day Weekend because there's so many Twin Cities City Slickers on the lake pulling water skiers and stuff that they'll cut your line right off if you're trolling for northerns.

    They don't respect anything. They throw beer and pop cans into the lake, their little foreign pickups aren't big enough to pull their boats up the ramp at the boat landing. So they got the landing clogged up for 6 - 7 hours on Sunday afternoon while they sit on it spinning their tires trying to get up the ramp. Meanwhile their buddies are smoking cigarettes and throwing those in the lake. Last year they sunk a Bayliner on the Hiway M landing because they forgot to put the plug in the boat and didn't even have the batteries hooked up in it. They backed in and rolled it off the trailer with some idiot in the pilot's seat - then found out it wouldn't start - then found out water was coming in the boat - and by that time it was already 30 feet from the dock. It went down about 50 feet from the dock and got hung up on the bottom.

    Then, on the 4th of July on the same landing this truck with Minnesota plates on it was going to launch a Sea Ray ski boat. They unhooked EVERYTHING - including the safety chain and winch strap on a roller trailer. As soon as they backed it onto the ramp the boat unloaded and sat there on its side on the ramp. Never seen anything like it.

    "Zoo" doesn't even begin to describe it. We don't even go out on our own lakes on the weekends or holidays. We got a big boat moored at Bayfield and we take that out on Lake Superior where there's some peace and quiet and we can fish for walleyes on the sand bars around the Apostle Islands. The Twin Cities City Slickers don't go there because the water's too cold, the lake is too big, and they ain't got big enough boats to try it.
    --
    Chris
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048

    Hey Chris, I think you should take your chipper into the Twin Cities some Wednesday morning and fire it up at 6am. Shred a tree, move a couple of blocks, and so on. Just get outa town before the crowd with pitchforks comes running (pitchforks? What calibre?)

    Give back a little of the weekend warriors medicine.

    Ralph
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Need advice xantrex 6048
    Ralph Day wrote: »
    Hey Chris, I think you should take your chipper into the Twin Cities some Wednesday morning and fire it up at 6am.

    The less I have to do with them, the better it is. I get nervous and irritable if I go anywhere near a city. So its best for me to stay away from there too.

    --
    Chris
Sign In or Register to comment.