PV 5200 system questions

Here is my new equipment Sunpower SPR-215-BLK (21 panels=4500watts) PVP 5200 inverter and main shutoff. Here is my old equipment 12 Trojan 12 volt club car batteries and 750 watts of 12 volt panels with a 12 volt 2000/4000 watt inverter. Have been supplementing grid power with my 750 watts of 12 volt panels for 5 years. My new equipment is grid tie not yet hooked up. I desire to be off grid... I do not have deep pockets... What are comments and suggestions.


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,937 admin
    Re: Xantrex XW GT Connection

    Very roughly, Grid Tied system (no batteries) will give you 2x the usable power at 1/2 the cost vs an off-grid power system.

    The downside with pure Grid Tied is if the utility power is down (ice storms, etc.), your GT system is down too. And you need to use a generator or backup off-grid system for electricity.

    There are Hybrid Inverter Systems (like the Xantrex XW system) which combine the off-grid capabilities (solar panels + charge controllers + batteries + Hybrid Inverter and AC transfer switch).

    It runs Grid Tied when the utility power is up (and the sun is shining) and flips a transfer switch and operates as on off-grid inverter for the protected loads.

    What is it that you are looking for?

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Xantrex XW GT Connection

    Sorry for taking so long Bill to respond to your answer. I have since also purchased 16 more panels at 230 watts to add to the house without having an inverter for them. This inverter you speak of may be what I need to add to the array. On my 21 panel , 215 watt setup, am I able to do three strings of seven to make it work for my PV 5200?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,937 admin
    Re: PV 5200 system questions

    Evoforce, Welcome back to the forum. Just to be clear, you are looking at this PV Power 5200 product?

    Plus, exactly what solar panels (brand/model/Voc/Vmp/Isc/Imp) are you looking at using?

    Also, roughly, where will this system be installed and what are the min/max temperatures you would expect?

    With the above information, you should be able to use the PV Power String Calculator to work out what combination (series/parallel) of solar panel configuration(s) would meet your needs.

    Are you planning on installing this yourself, or will there be an installer used?


    PS: I moved your questions to their own thread so we can talk about your system and not get confused with the others in the old thread.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: PV 5200 system questions

    "I desire to be off-grid."

    Now that requires a whole lot of rethinking.
    Economically, almost no where in the world is it better to be off-grid if grid is available. Battery-based power systems come with a hefty per kW hour price.
    Technically, off-grid equipment is significantly different from grid-tie applications. Your existing grid-tie system may not contribute much to a full off-grid set-up. The panels could be used but probably with the need for an MPPT type charge controller, and the GT inverter (unless it is hybrid) will not be of any use.
    Practically, the #1 design rule of off-grid is "conservation". Because the power comes at great price, reducing the amount needed is the first step. This can be of benefit regardless of your power source, so it's a good place to start no matter what.

    Off-grid is based on expected loads, and needs to be designed from that POV. Going out and buying equipment before you have a plan can be a serious and expensive mistake.
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