Going off grid

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  • LumisolLumisol Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
    How does a charge controller hold wattage?
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Having more panel than you really need is nice for light overcast days. If it was me and I could swing it, I'd get the extra string.
    Off-grid.  
    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
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Lumisol said:
    How does a charge controller hold wattage?
    By being able to process that amount of power.  He has an 80 amp controller.  Assuming a 48 volt system, that means he will be running around 50-56 volts most of the time.  That's about 4000 watts.
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 738 ✭✭✭✭
    Sorry lumisol typo , I was typing from my phone , it is a combination of being blind, having sausage fingers, and doing five things at once.
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 738 ✭✭✭✭
    Yes bill , 48 volt system 80 amp Out back CC
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • LumisolLumisol Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
    Lumisol said:
    How does a charge controller hold wattage?
    By being able to process that amount of power.  He has an 80 amp controller.  Assuming a 48 volt system, that means he will be running around 50-56 volts most of the time.  That's about 4000 watts.
    Yeah, it doesn't hold wattage. It converts and passes it through. The Batteries hold the power.
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 738 ✭✭✭✭
     Hi all , my question is how do I set up my service panel ? My inverter is 120 volt ac 3600watts 48 volts . 
      It is the newer flex power one . 
     I have been running 200 amp  120/240 panels for homes for years . 
     Do I buy a regular 200 amp SD panel ? 
     I'm not really planing on a grid type system and will be off grid now , but if I die my wife would have to get power lines run up to the house . 
     I'm thinking I need 5 appliance  circuits , 7 outlet circuits @ 10/12 per 7 lite circuits 1 smokdetector circuits ? 
     As far as I know we are  required to have hardwired smoke detectors and batteries back up is there a way out of this ? 
      Smoke  detectors draw power  24 seven I have not figured out how much but 6 detectors  are required
     any way I was thinking I could run a jumper from one lug on the service to the other and just have 120 volts on all 40 breaker locations , if I get grid power some day it would be easy to just remove the jumper and hook into the grid .
     or should I just use one lug in the panel and use every other breaker space ? 
     Or back feed thru both sides of the panel thru 2 30 amp breakers . 
     I want to run the electric as if I was on the grid . 
     What about   Lighting , I just sit around 1 lamp in the living room 10/35 watts with 1  recessed light in the kitchen and one recessed light on the front  porch ?
     what do you think about running 4"   Led recessed light  around to lite the area 
     I would need  may be 16  fixtures and I'm thinking they would dim down To around  1 watt each , so 16 watt hours . 
     Seem good for lighting ?  I could crank the lights on for full power if I want at 160 watts an hr .
     My lamp burns 35 watt on full . 
     Thanks in advance John 
     
     
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Lumisol said:
    Yeah, it doesn't hold wattage. It converts and passes it through. The Batteries hold the power.
    Batteries hold energy.

    In general, when you are talking about power (watts and kilowatts) you are talking about the inverter, charge controller and wiring of the system.  Those are the components that determine how much power you can generate.

    When you are talking about energy (watt-hours, kilowatt-hours) you are talking primarily about the storage system (batteries) - and secondarily how much power you can generate via solar over the course of some time period (usually 24 hours.)
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you got grid, would you still use solar and/or battery? If so, I would wire the panel as a sub-panel and bring heavy enough wire to it to handle it fully populated. L1/L2 jumpered at/near the inverter with whatever size breaker the inverter wants. If/when you get grid, add a small service entrance panel near inverter configured for your needs and code at the time. This assumes the inverter and panel are not miles apart so the cost of the heavier than necessary 3 conductor wire isn't a big factor.
    Off-grid.  
    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
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 738 ✭✭✭✭
    My system is grid tied capable and will back feed the grid if it was hooked up . 
     I will still need backup power , the people  down below me louse power all the time .
     And they are at the end of the run . 
     The poc is in no hurry to get the power up and running . 
     As far as my place , I'm 2500' past the end of the run . 
     Up a jeep trail , thru the trees I own the line so I would have to pay to fix it .
     There mite be a ny code that all single family dewelling have to be 200amps now . 
      I really only have one place for a panel in the garage and was hoping  to just wire this up once . 
     The service will be under ground from the top of the trail about 300' to the garage area . 
    The inverter is in a utility room 5' from the outside wall. 
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Does that inverter do split phase (120/240v) passthrough? Maybe the grid tie is one-legged?
    Off-grid.  
    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
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think the grid would go first to the inverter.

    You could put in a 200a 120/240v service panel (with generator lockout if you have a generator) next to the inverter now if you want, then run 200a 3 conductor wire from inverter to subpanel in the garage. I would jumper the hot legs at the inverter ac out. If you get split phase grid later the wiring to and in the subpanel stays the same. Just have to wire grid in the service/lockout panel. If the inverter is just 120v passthrough, you'd only take 1 leg from the entrance panel to the inverter, and leave the jumper.

    You could also wire it so circuits you would want to have battery backup one one side, and stuff you can live without on the other. If you get 120/240 grid, lift the inverter jumper and feed one leg direct from grid and the other through inverter transfer switch?

    I don't know much about the rules for grid tie, and even less about what they're likely to be in future. Just trying to think how I'd do it to save rewiring.
    Off-grid.  
    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
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 738 ✭✭✭✭
      The  inverter is 120v no 240 v in the house .
     I will have a genarator but the genarator will feed thru the inverter and can be used for genarator support . 
      I'm  confused is  The service lockout panel   , just  a disconnect or does it have a 200 amp  Breaker in it . 
     What is the  purpose of the subpanel in the garage ? 
     
     
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The subpanel would feed branch circuits. You said the garage is the only place you could put a panel.

    I wouldn't put a service/lockout panel in right now at all if I didn't have to. Feeding the inverter transfer switch from the generator will work fine, assuming the generator is 120v. If /when you hook up to grid, get a small entrance service panel.

    A lockout panel has two input beakers with a metal thingy stopping both from being on at the same time. So one breaker could be fed from a generator, and the other from grid.
    Off-grid.  
    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
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭
    Hi John,
    The Flex Power quick start guide shows how the wiring is done. If I were installing this I would install a 200A main panel in the garage (future grid connection ), then install a 40A 120V breaker in the main panel and wire the breaker to a disconnect switch in the utility room. Wire the disconnect switch to the AC connection on the FP1 module. No need for a lockout panel. I would leave the FP1 feed breaker in the main panel off until the grid tie has been made. This way no modifications have to be done in any way when the grid is connected. Just switch the breaker on.

    Rick
    4480W PV, MNE175DR-TR, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 51.2V 360AH nominal LiFePO4, Kohler Pro 5.2E genset.
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Raj174 With grid installed and the generator running during an outage, where would it connect if not a lockout?

    My understanding was branch circuits go to the garage panel. If they go to the utility room and grid service entrance only is in the garage, then 200a grid breaker with 40a breaker feeding utility room and inverter ac in makes sense. I don't understand how the generator fits in without a lockout though. Does the inverter have multiple ac inputs and prevent the generator from backfeeding grid?
    Off-grid.  
    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
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭
    After looking at the manual a bit more in depth, it appears that there is only one AC input and the generator does not connect directly to the inverter, so an automatic or manual transfer switch would need to be set up for the generator at the FP1 input. All else should remain the same.  
    Rick 
    4480W PV, MNE175DR-TR, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 51.2V 360AH nominal LiFePO4, Kohler Pro 5.2E genset.
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 738 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks Estragon / Raj , I'm  definitely no  electrician but I've wired many homes and pumps and things ,
     I don't  understand a lot of the electric  language  yet
     I do know what the metal thingy is now
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • RoscoooRoscooo Registered Users Posts: 7
    Thats a crazy article, holy crap.
    From the Great White North, Love Sustainable Living and Healthy Lifestyle
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