off grid, new/bigger system
A 120 watts of solar panels is a quite small installation...
For the normal 60-80 amp solar charge controllers, the minimum panel recommendation is probably ~400 Watts. Any less than that, and the controller consumes a fair amount of power just operating.
Maybe a ProStar 15 solar charge controller, 48 Volt would be an OK replacement (read manual for details) for the BZ.
Otherwise, the Xantrex and Outback line of charge 60-80 amp charge controllers is the place to start looking (you should ask Outback if they have fixed their firmware(?) issues with the Flexmate series yet).
Hi all, new to posting here.
This post is what had me sit right up and start posting here, as I have been reading on and off for a bit, but never saw this issue before.
What "firmware" problem is Bill referring to?
We have been off grid for 6+ years in northern AZ, and have lived with an old Trace 2012, 4 L-16 batteries, and multiple generators which have supplied the power. Oh, we do have 40 WHOLE WATTS lol of solar that came with our 5th wheel.
The Trace charger function has now messed up badly twice and ruined the battery bank, it holds maybe 1/9th the amps it should.
So, while exploring options online, I ran across the sunelec.com $1.20 per watt Dupont solar panels, and jumped on it, along with a Flexmax 60 controller for those 76 volt panels.
We bought 8 panels, and a neighbor bought 2 but later had second thoughts, so we will get his as well, for a total of 1000 watts.
Naturally we have to get a new battery bank, and now NEED to upgrade to 24 volts to handle the panel output (76 volts @ 13.34 amps in parallel).
Our 8cf propane fridge let all the ammonia out earlier and rather than fix/replace for $1200+, we got a 10cf 110v fridge from Lowes for only $340 thus helping to pay for the solar panels.
So, being that we already had a 10cf freezer to store my DH's occasional elk, etc. we now have about 2200 watts total of cooling (freezer AND fridge) to deal with, my 8+ hour per day internet habit, 240 watts of lights at night, and tv at night.
I figure about 4200 to 5000 watts per day would keep us fat dumb and happy.
Laundry and once-a-week well pumping could stay on the gennie.
Naturally at this point I thought all I had to deal with was mounting the panels, and buying the new inverter and load center, although my DH is a commercial construction electrician-turned-superintendent, so I was thinking maybe we could make do without a commercial load center and wire the components up ourselves...
So my first question here remains what problem(s) with the Flexmax 60???
Oh, I will have a ton of future questions, too, lol.
Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery. Off grid since 2004.
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