Seeking advice on DIY solar package

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Friedfuse
Friedfuse Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 2
I am new to DIY solar and still researching and reading to learn more.

Recently I came across a deal on some older solar tech and am wondering if anyone has insight or advice on whether or not it is worth purchasing for 1k.

I'd like to set up a grid tie in but am tinkering around with off-grid setups to learn more about DIY first.

Do you think this equipment is worth it, or is the 1k better spent elsewhere?


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  • JRHill
    JRHill Registered Users Posts: 293 ✭✭✭
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    Elsewhere is my vote. Other than the stuff's age, a "modified sine wave" inverter would have me continue on if that is accurate. But it was good stuff in it's day.
    Off Grid. Two systems: 1) 2925w panels, OB VFXR3648, FM80, FNDC, Victron BMV-712, Mate3s, 240 xformer, four SimpliPHI 3.8; 2) 780w, Morningstar 30a, Grundfos switch, controller and AC/DC pump, 8 T105. Honda EU7000is w/AGS. Champion 3100. HF 4550, Miller Bobcat.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,479 admin
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    Agree with JR, that "mix of product" is not going to work out well for you... The 4x100 Watt panels are probably too small to run the 3,600 Watt AC inverter (need almost 10x that size of solar array to meet "most people's Watt*hours per day expectations"--The batteries, I could not find anything about them, so don't know if a "good match" for inverter and solar array.

    There are just a lot of "better products" these days. My suggestion is that any units over 10 years old are, potentially, at the end of their life--And would be near impossible to get parts/serviced. And, if lead acid batteries, they are probably do not have much life left in them (3-5 years typical for less expensive batteries--Batteries that have not been on "maintenance charge" daily/monthly will sulfate and die, etc.).

    Anyway--Need to start by qualifying your loads (how many Watt*Hours/Amps*Hours@xxVDC do you need per day), where the system will be installed (hours of sun per day, by season, weather, etc.) and then do a paper design of a system that would support your needs. After a few paper designs, then start looking for hardware that will meet those needs.

    Off grid solar power is not cheap--So selecting the most efficient loads you can (conservation) is a very good start.

    We can certainly walk you through a paper design to set your system expectations.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • littleharbor2
    littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 2,062 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    What are they asking for this equipment?
    If you just want to get your feet wet with DIY solar this stuff could be an affordable place to start. Then again if the price is such that you could buy newer equipment for similar then you may want to pass.
    Grid tie is quite different than Off Grid and really simple in it's basic form. 

    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.

  • Friedfuse
    Friedfuse Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 2
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    What are they asking for this equipment?
    If you just want to get your feet wet with DIY solar this stuff could be an affordable place to start. Then again if the price is such that you could buy newer equipment for similar then you may want to pass.
    Grid tie is quite different than Off Grid and really simple in it's basic form. 

    They're asking for 1k on the equipment.

    So far I'm hearing that this is likely something I should pass on, perhaps I'll save a bit more and put the money towards new equipment that I can use for the eventual grid tie-in.
  • littleharbor2
    littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 2,062 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Friedfuse said:
    What are they asking for this equipment?
    If you just want to get your feet wet with DIY solar this stuff could be an affordable place to start. Then again if the price is such that you could buy newer equipment for similar then you may want to pass.
    Grid tie is quite different than Off Grid and really simple in it's basic form. 

    They're asking for 1k on the equipment.

    So far I'm hearing that this is likely something I should pass on, perhaps I'll save a bit more and put the money towards new equipment that I can use for the eventual grid tie-in.
    While the Trace equipment is good stuff it is very old. The inverter isn't Pure Sine Wave. I wouldn't pay more than 1/2 of that for it. The Batteries, unless they are 1 to 2 years old are probably more trouble than they are worth.

    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.