Adding systems to existing off grid

Ok, here we go. I'm totally off grid. PV array with backup generator.  Currently 24v, 4-  L16 batteries. 1 outback 2500w inverter currently connected. Another 2500w Outback inverter just inherited, but not connected in yet. 2 thinks:

1. I just inherited an electric golf cart with 6-6v deep cycle batteries =36v. Can I use these batteries as another backup power supply,  can they be tied to the current home system to Increase battery power? I also want to charge these batteries with my pv system. Can it be done? Probably,  Would I need a separate charge controller? Or would it be a totally separate system?

2. I want to add in hydro power, but everything  and my electrician friends say you have to have X amount of drop and blah blah blah, but I just want a slow trickle ,constantly charging my batteries,  I have a small 6" Pelton wheel assembly,  so if I add a small DC generator and a separate charge controller, can It be possible, same with a small wind generation.  Just need separate charge controllers for each input, right? I'm not looking to power a city , just a house and small shop. 


  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,242 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2017 #2
    1, will be a separate battery bank, but might be charged from you charge controller, but we don't know your charge controller, some will do 36 volt systems, some won't. I'd check to see how old they are and if they have been maintained. Likely it's not worth the effort, but if newish you might ...

    All that bla, bla, bla is important to know what if any energy you can generate. Laser levels and a stick will make this easier to figure out today, than having to use a transit.
    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
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Inherited?  Well better run right out and spend some of your money now  and check out the state of those 'free' batteries before you run off and buy another Charge Controller , ps if you want  24 volt and 36 volt battery banks you WILL need 2 controllers.. and 2 inverters... more to come

    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
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,862 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I really, really wanted to do hydro, but I don't have the height differential to make it work with my flow.   When it's raining, there is plenty of flow,  but no height.  For hydro, you need both.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,478 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @mike95490- me too. Kinda like having amps but at too low voltage to be useful.
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
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