# Please Explain To Me As If I Was A 3 Year Old:

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Registered Users Posts: 1
Exactly what I need to run a top loading washer, and propane dryer, on solar, off the grid.

Thank you very much in advance!

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ShayBurn said:
Exactly what I need to run a top loading washer, and propane dryer, on solar, off the grid.

Thank you very much in advance!
To tell you that we need:

1) Location
2) Daily power usage in kwhr (a kill-a-watt meter or similar will tell you this)
3) How many days of bad weather you want to run through (should be at least 3)
edited May 2017 #3
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Taking a guess... Lets say that maximum AC inverter draw is 1,500 Watts (you may get away with an inverter 1/2 that size--But if you do not have an "inverter" based washer/drier, the larger inverter would probably be needed (you have not talked about a water pump--That can affect the size of the solar system).

A 1,500 Watt inverter would need around a minimum of 600 AH @ 12 volt or a 300 AH @ 24 volt battery bank to run "reliably" (flooded cell lead acid). For example, this would be 6x 6volt @ 200 AH GC batteries (2x 6 volt in series, 3x parallel strings) or ~8x GC batteries for 24 volts (4x GC batteries in 2x parallel strings).

My old (but fairly efficient Fisher/Paykel) washer and drier take about 500 Watt*Hours to do a wash and another ~500 WH to do a dry (natural gas drier for me). My washer+drier might get away with a 300-600 Watt inverter if the washer and drier are not run at the same time.

A 12 volt @ 600 AH battery bank needs 5% to 13% rate of charge--If you do just a few loads a week, perhaps 5% will work for you. If you do multiple loads per day, then a minimum 10%+ rate of charge is better for the battery bank:
• 600 AH * 14.5 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+solar charger deratings * 0.05 rate of charge = 565 Watt array minimum
• 600 AH * 14.5 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+solar charger deratings * 0.10 rate of charge = 1,130 Watt array nominal
• 600 AH * 14.5 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+solar charger deratings * 0.13 rate of charge = 1,469 Watt array "cost effective" maximum
Then there is sizing the array based on the amount of energy per day you will consume (i.e., 1 wash + 1 dry = ~ 1,000 WH  per day). Say you want 2 loads per day, and live somewhere near Hilo Hawaii:

### HiloAverage Solar Insolation figures

Measured in kWh/m2/day onto a solar panel set at a 70° angle from vertical:
(For best year-round performance)
 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun 5.45 5.82 6.08 6.25 6.23 6.76 Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 6.72 6.33 6.22 5.79 5.32 5.08
If you only do 2 loads per day, the minimum amount of solar panels for use in December (long term average sun):
• 2,000 WH per day * 1/0.52 off grid system eff * 1/5.08 hours of sun per day = 511 Watt array "break even" for December
So, a 565 Watt minimum array would seem to carry you through most of the year (backup genset during periods of bad weather, or simply postpone wash until sun shines again).

A 600 AH @ 12 volt battery bank will supply approximately (during stormy weather/no sun):
• 600 AH * 12 volts * 0.85 AC inverter eff * 1/2 days storage * 0.50 maximum discharge = 1,530 WH per day for 2 days of "no sun"
Lots of guesses here... But it does give you some reasonable numbers to start budgeting:

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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Three year olds should not live offgrid unless they have adult supervision. The adult needs to understand the challenge and be responsible.
"we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
htps://offgridsolar1.com/
E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

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ShayBurn said:
Exactly what I need to run a top loading washer, and propane dryer, on solar, off the grid.
Much of what has been said before, but also if you will try to run the washer & dryer when ever you want or only on sunny days... If you will want to run both at the same time...

In general, unless you will have daily loads, a generator might serve you better. This is because energy stored to do loads and an inverter large enough to run it will sit idle.

Someone looking to run a washer off grid on solar would generally be looking for a front loading machine, as they generally use less energy. There would also be a difference if you were wanting to do Off grid on a generator, as a large capacity machine would be more desirable (usually) to get as much done as quickly as possible to limit run time of the generator. In general, solar takes in energy slowly over time, and battery banks like to release energy slowly over time...
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 backup...lol), 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.
• Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
edited May 2017 #6
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As if you were a 3 year old?

NO! Don't touch, that's dangerous and will burn you!!

I'd use a HE top loader before a front loader because they can do more laundry each cycle, reducing the overall energy consumption.
They are also easier to use and don't suffer from the mold problems that plague the front loaders which ended up in a class action suit against the manufacturers of those machines.
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2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric,  460 Ah. 24 volt LiFePo4 battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

• Registered Users Posts: 395 ✭✭✭
edited May 2017 #8
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Photowhit said:
Much of what has been said before, but also if you will try to run the washer & dryer when ever you want or only on sunny days... If you will want to run both at the same time...

In general, unless you will have daily loads, a generator might serve you better. This is because energy stored to do loads and an inverter large enough to run it will sit idle.

Someone looking to run a washer off grid on solar would generally be looking for a front loading machine, as they generally use less energy. There would also be a difference if you were wanting to do Off grid on a generator, as a large capacity machine would be more desirable (usually) to get as much done as quickly as possible to limit run time of the generator. In general, solar takes in energy slowly over time, and battery banks like to release energy slowly over time...
Speaking of Generators vs Inverters ...
B.B. recommended a 1,500 Watt Inverter.
How does a 1,500 Watt gasoline powered generator compare to a 1,500 watt inverter?
I found a 1,500 (running) Watt gasoline generator that can SURGE to 1,800 Watts = 20% Boost
I found a 1,500 (running) Watt Inverter that can SURGE to 3,000 Watts = 100% Boost

Would I need to match the SURGE rating, for example when starting a motor?
• Solar Expert Posts: 1,147 ✭✭✭✭
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First you need to define the surge time - that is a key part of the answer.
I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
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Surge time and also battery. A small bank will sag and the inverter will barf.
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
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For those who don't care for front loaders, you do figure out how to use them, and they have been working fine for years. Mine is 20+ years old. I will once in a while run some hydrogen peroxide through it, I do live in a primarily dry climate. I can imagining in North Florida (or much of the East coast) the humidity would create more of an issue. I nave a small front loader that was part of a stackable unit, it  does as much as you would want to put in a regular size dryer at one time!

I'm sitting at a friends house, and use their large capacity 'modern' front loader when I want to wash my heavy quilts, It will do and has done a heavy quilt and a summer quilt at the same time, and had plenty of room for 2 heavy quilts (Queen size) These are real cotton heavy quilts. Their front loader is slightly tilted so it drains better.
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 backup...lol), 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.
• Solar Expert Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭✭
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The main reason some people have stinky washing machines is because they are too lazy to clean them out. My lg washer has a filter on the bottom you need to clean about yearly. You can take soapy water and clean the gasket that seals the door. That is where the odor accumulates. Not a job you need to do very often but if does need cleaned periodicly.
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solarvic said:
The main reason some people have stinky washing machines is because they are too lazy to clean them out.
The reason front loading washing machines get stinky (moldy) is because the door seals so well, top loaders don't seal at all.
My wife has the solution for the LG that we have... it's complicated, so pay attention... leave the dang door open!

Rancher
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edited May 2017 #14
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"My wife has the solution for the LG that we have... it's complicated, so pay attention... leave the dang door open!"
Exactly, think the manual for my previous LG actually stated that

1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS
Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.
5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
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edited May 2017 #15
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I agree with the 'leave the door open', but also agree that they don't tend to drain as well, at least my 20-25year old machine doesn't I run a cup of hydrogen peroxide through it maybe once every couple months (I think I was shooting for once a month but fail to until I get a musty smell coming from it. Since I usually both prewash and run an extra rinse cycle the clothes don't come out smelling musty.

I wish my machine had an effective filter to clean out. It has one, but things slip by it and jam the pump up. I was warned about it by the former owner and have had to disassemble it back to the pump and remove a clog there. Mine just has some teeth with slightly larger than 1/8th inch gap.
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 backup...lol), 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.
• Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭✭
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mcgivor said:
My wife has the solution for the LG that we have... it's complicated, so pay attention... leave the dang door open!
Exactly, think the manual for my previous LG actually stated that

Yep, then the light stays on.
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edited May 2017 #17
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Lumisol said:
mcgivor said:
My wife has the solution for the LG that we have... it's complicated, so pay attention... leave the dang door open!
Exactly, think the manual for my previous LG actually stated that

Yep, then the light stays on.
Mine didn't have a light and it was a quote from @cow_rancher 's post, I just agreed
1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS
Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.
5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
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Actualy I do leave the door open and havn,t had any problems with odors. I do wipe it out but not too often. My daughter moved in with me a few months while their house was bieing built. The liked my LG so much she bought one just like it. One time I washed a foam backed throw ruig and all the foam came off the rug and pluged the filter which is preety easy to clean. I needed to replace the screen once for the water intake and that is all I ever had to do to it. Photowhit you wouldn,t believe that there isn,t hardly any water left. They have dc motor that is good for offgrid.  Before I retired I got all new apliances hoping they might last as long as I would need them. Havn,t had to replace any of them yet. I am guessing the fridge will be the first appliance that I will have to replace. I had to put a hard start on the compressor to get it going again. It has the same brand of compressor that my geospring waterheater uses.
• Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
edited May 2017 #19
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Having 6 children I went with the best power and water usage. My front loader uses .97 kwh fully loaded on a double wash and double rinse and double spin, uses 25 gallons of water on that setting give or take 10%, it would be much cheaper to run a inverter generator, with a front load washer and dryer. Or skip the dryer and use the solar Dryer on a line. Would probly get 4 loads per gallon of gas with a ryobi 2200w. On line there 429.\$ for the gray gen sometimes. And i use spring water and dont leave wet clothes in the washer. I have 85' of clothesline inside the woodburner room. I fill it up 4+ times a week.
200ah LiFePO4 24v Electrodacus Sbms40 quad breaker chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - Samlex pst3024  - 1hp shallow well pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher  Unique 290l stainless D.C. Fridge-unique 120l portable fridge/freezer