Small effective off grid RV system for 1 Full-Timer experience with off-grid living



  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,623 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yep that is a combiner box, it should have breakers inside to allow connection or dis-connecting of the solar panels. Here is a guy setting one up. It appears to be a Midnite box and might be the same box.

    If the array is not going to be used and There isn't going to be some big squabble. I'd spend an afternoon and just disassemble the whole thing, and load up a truck, trailer or camper... You will likely need a combiner box. Likely your old system was a 48 volt battery bank. MPPT charge controllers like to have input voltage around 2x the out put voltage, if you are running long distances, higher voltage can be desirable, there is less voltage drop and the corresponding loss of power if lower current and higher voltage is run long distances over the same size wire. Some of that reasoning that higher voltage system run 'easier'.

    While you may not want or need the extra panels now, they would be nice to have for the future home or cabin you'll be building. I have 2700 watts of panels that fit easily in the closet of a small bedroom in the tin can (mobile home). So even if you have no space for them, it's likely you can find some friend to store them for you. Remember they live outside some just a couple square feet or space in a shed or barn.

    Once the breakers are off, there will be no current on the panel side. This should be a one way street and no current should flow out to the panels unless something went amiss in the fire. Once the breakers are thrown I would feel very safe in disconnecting the panels. I would also take the breaker box if possible, it'll save you a few dollars shortly down the road.

    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, 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.
  • vincevince Registered Users Posts: 79 ✭✭
    Have a big blanket or tarp and cover the panels so you know that there is no current running. Looks like some of the panels are wired in series and cutting the wire will affect the neighboring panel's wire. Just take a minute to undo the MC4 connectors, not that hard ones you see how they connect.
    Sunpower 3 x 435 watt panels, 48 v 215 AH battery bank (Sam's club), Midnite Kid and WBjr, Fujitsu 9RLS3 split duct AC, Outback FX 3048T + transformer 2000W 120/220V, GrapeSolar Fridge.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    disconnection without the 'MC4 tool' is much easier with 2 pairs of hands!
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
Sign In or Register to comment.