Newbie running out of Time

CopperkingCopperking Registered Users Posts: 17
I need some advice. With the Solar Credits set to expire in 2 weeks I want to get a couple of the big ticket items. I have an Outback GTFX 3048 and a real nice Pole and mounting set up. And nothing else except a pile of manuals and books.

If I grid tie this inverter do I need a charge controller or can I rely on the built in charger? Or should I get an Outback 60 charge controller anyway?

Panels? I have been looking at the Sun electric SUN 200 panel with:SUN SV-X-200
Power (W) 200 Watts
Open Circuit Voltage (V) 22.90 Voc
Short Circuit Current (A) 11.71 Isc
Maximum Power Voltage (V) 18.30 Vmp
Maximum Power Current (A) 10.93 Imp
Dimensions (in)(LxWxD) 65" x 37 1/2" x 1 3/4"
Connector MC-4

I can get 9 mounted on my Pole, or 12 if I kill an Aspen. What is the best series/parallel wiring Config that I could get with this Inverter? Or any suggestions for a different Panel or size Panel?

Thanks in advance---I have recieved far more information from reading forums such as this than from most of the books out there. So any really good Manuals that anyone would suggest?



  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: Newbie running out of Time

    Huh, nothing is running out on solar energy tax credits, they are good to 2016

    I believe your confusing that with the energy efficiency credits that were set to expire this year, but the recent tax deal extend them sum-what ..
  • CopperkingCopperking Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: Newbie running out of Time

    Thanks Guppy
    I have several remodel projects under the gun with the thought that the credits expire 2011. My Solar project was on the list but not close to the top. Good to know that I have more time on this venture.

    So with all my time--got any Manual recomendations?

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,313 admin
    Re: Newbie running out of Time

    Many off-grid capable inverters with transfer switches have the capabilities to use AC line power to charge the battery battery bank directly. Some also have the capability to recharge the battery bank from an AC2 generator input too.

    Please double check the Outback inverter chargers (and a few others)--Some models need very stable AC power to recharge the battery bank and are not really capable of using the less stable frequency from a typical genset to recharge a battery bank.

    Is your installation intended to be an Off-Grid only, or a hybrid system with Grid Tied and Off Grid capabilities plus AC solar panels?

    If you are looking to use the Hybrid approach (AC grid plus solar panels, setup for net metering with the utility)--Then you will still want the the Outback MX/FM 60 (or equivalent) Solar Charge Controller with the solar panels.

    This allows you to use the MPPT function of the solar charge controller to match the solar array Vmp to the Vbatt-charging requirements--plus for extended outages (no Net Metered power feed to the utility by the GT inverter)--You will still need the solar charge controller function to regulate current into the battery bank (no grid to feed power too--the GT/Hybrid inverter cannot regulate battery voltage).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CopperkingCopperking Registered Users Posts: 17
    Re: Newbie running out of Time

    That makes sense Bill
    At the moment I intend to go GT with perhaps a Batt backup. I can see where the charge controller comes into play as soon as I add a Batt bank.
    In the end I would like to scale up this installation to off Grid---so---I might as well get a MX60.

    About the Panels. What is the factor for increased Volts if one lives at 9200' and it gets clear and cold. Another words, what is the maximum Voltage or amperage that you would wire panels such that it stays comfortably below the 135 amp limit of the MX60?

    I hate to ask you guys a question at a time. Reading suggestions are very welcome.

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