Long time reader, first time poster

Heya, total newbie into the DIY solar thing. I bought 120 cells on ebay, the 3"x6" .5 volt cells.

I'll be setting up three separate arrangements of 36 cells all going at 18 volts.

My questions are, can I set myself up to run on a battery system as well as on the grid in case I need it without having to flip a switch?

I plan on getting a charge regulator/controller for my future set up. But when the batteries are done charging will it feed the grid at that point?

I see my setup like this

panel>regulator>batteries>inverter connected to wall plug>power stuff and feed grid.

Is this possible? Am I missing something or is it just that simple?

Thanks guys for being kind to the new guy.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Long time reader, first time poster

    Welcome to the fun of posting! :D

    Now for the bad and good news.
    Heya, total newbie into the DIY solar thing. I bought 120 cells on ebay, the 3"x6" .5 volt cells.

    I'll be setting up three separate arrangements of 36 cells all going at 18 volts.

    Usual caveat here; you can't build solar panels as good as commercial units. They will fail sooner rather than later, no matter how good a job you do.
    My questions are, can I set myself up to run on a battery system as well as on the grid in case I need it without having to flip a switch?

    Sort of. But not quite how you think (see next response).
    I plan on getting a charge regulator/controller for my future set up. But when the batteries are done charging will it feed the grid at that point?

    No. Reason #1: homemade panels aren't legal for grid-tie systems. Although there was just another poster who said his municipality and utility were okay with it, that was a first. Non-UL panels aren't considered electrically safe. Therefor you could not use these panels on a "hybrid" (battery backed-up) grid-tie system.
    I see my setup like this

    panel>regulator>batteries>inverter connected to wall plug>power stuff and feed grid.

    Is this possible? Am I missing something or is it just that simple?

    Except for the grid-tie part and the missing details like fuses, yes. Batteries power inverter which supplies AC. Panels recharge batteries, regulated by charge controller.

    But due to the legal ramifications mentioned you will be limited to an "off grid" system. Even then your insurance company may not be happy - they could cancel your homeowner's policy for having "unapproved" panels.

    You can use the grid as a back-up charge source for such a system, either via an inverter/charger or separate battery charger.
    Thanks guys for being kind to the new guy.

    We were all the new guy once. Even those of us who were born old. :p

    Now for the big question: what's your end goal here? Experimenting with solar? Emergency back-up power? Reducing electric bill? It's important to have a goal so you don't just waste a lot of time, effort, and money coming to no particular conclusion.
  • raydiasraydias Solar Expert Posts: 68 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Long time reader, first time poster

    I found the following videos on youtube you may find useful.

    The Channel:
    In this video he explains a setup that seems to match what you want - auto switchover to the grid once the battery bank is charged.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/econewpower#p/u/1/KvIj02sTh0w

    Hope this helps.

    I am also putting together my own panels I bought on E-bay but for a solar camping project:

    Solar panel -> Charge controller -> XPower Powerpack 1200 battery box -> power for lights, dvd player,

    XPower Powerpack 1200 - Idea came from this

    bought the box from this vendor

    this post has been edited due to religious content and links to many sites for items being sold. you will get this warning to not do it again and a 1 week ban shall be given as a reminder to not go this route as this is a discussion forum on solar, wind, etc and not for referring to other sites to sell things or discussing religion. the next time may be permanent.
    niel
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Long time reader, first time poster

    Raydias;

    What part of "not legal" didn't you understand?

    Grid tie MUST be done with a grid tie inverter which will synch properly to the grid and not put power to the utility when the grid fails. Panels MUST be UL listed. This process requires proper permits and inspections.

    THIS IS A DANGEROUS THING TO DO IF YOU DO NOT TRULY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Long time reader, first time poster

    Ouch. Well, just to supplement my needs then. The last thing I want to do is something illegal. Are there any good calculators that I can find that will help me build my own setup? (Off grid of course. Just to supplement)
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,359 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Long time reader, first time poster

    Read more of the off grid and grid tie threads on this forum, and they will lead you to all kinds of resource.

    Tony
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Long time reader, first time poster

    Cariboocoot - the OP is not the 3rd poster.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Long time reader, first time poster
    techntrek wrote: »
    Cariboocoot - the OP is not the 3rd poster.

    :confused:

    Your missing part of the thread that caused my response, got deleted, and ended up getting raydias banned. Now the thread is disjointed.

    Trust me. I sometimes know what I'm talking about. :p
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Long time reader, first time poster

    coot,
    even though it says banned for life he is not. temporary bans say the same, banned for life, no matter how long the ban is for. you can check for yourself in the banned list that he will be allowed back at the end of the specified time. funny that it would say that under their username for their posts for when you go to ban somebody it does not default to permanent ban, so go figure.:confused:
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Long time reader, first time poster

    Well okay then. A little judicious editing and hopefully the thread won't be quite so confusing. :roll:

    I did say I know what I'm talking about sometimes; not all the time. :p
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Long time reader, first time poster

    I'm a mod on another board, and an admin on yet another so I understand, I run into the same administrative issues. I just thought at first you were getting the 2 posters confused - both joined Feb 2011 and have 2 posts each.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
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