My system is growing up!

RandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
This little "hobby system" of mine is finally growing up. After months of threatening to do it, I finally went to the supply house and bought a bunch of electrical goodies. Spent the past couple days getting a bunch of it installed, and now it feels like a whole new system! ;)

As the saying goes, there's nothing so permanent as a "temporary solution". Back when I got the Outback system hooked up, to "get things going" I wired an extension cord to the AC IN and plugged it into an outlet. I also mounted a 6-slot sub panel above it in the garage and intended to run dedicated circuits to outlets scattered about the house. Never did, for about two years I had a couple circuits temporaried in, one running down the hall to the back room! :blush: Guess it's obvious I don't have a wife to complain at me... :D

That (part of the) mess is now gone...

Here's the garage side of things now:

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The large disconnect on the left is an ON-OFF-ON switch. The UP position is wired to a breaker in the main panel, for grid power. The DOWN position is wired to my dedicated generator circuit (runs to a bulkhead connector on the back patio I plug the EU2000i into). The small disconnect on the right is fused and feeds the sub panel that used to sit here.

That has moved to the other end of the house, where I now have:

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The panel at the lower-left corner is the old 100A breaker panel for the house. When I moved in I had a new 200A panel installed on the outside of the house (back to back with this old one) and they emptied the old one out to use as a junction box to splice all the circuits over to the new panel. This made it convenient for me now, I simply pulled apart the four house circuits I wanted on backup power and wired them to my sub panel.

Fired everything up, hey it worked! (I'm so cynical... :D ) I now have backup power available in every room in the house except one bedroom. Even the garage and outside! Now I may not even know if/when the grid goes down...

Still a few more tasks to finish the "upgrade" from strictly "hobby system". Mainly redo the DC side wiring, that got changed around so many times from the first iteration of the system that nothing's cut to the right length, some a little short some too long. As I mentioned before, once I got the arrangement I liked - well, it was working so I left it alone! I'll be happy to get everything tidied up the way I like though.


  • RandomJoe
    RandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: My system is growing up!

    Fun. Today it REALLY feels like a whole new power system! Sun's shining, battery bank is charged, and hey the floors need vacuuming...

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    Snapshot from the iPad while vacuuming. 1500W straight from the roof! :) So nice being able to plug in anywhere.

    I now have my daytime grid use down about as low as I can get it, I think:

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    This is a snapshot from the power company's smart meter website. It's a little behind, doesn't show 2PM quite yet but obviously the grid load is steady since 5AM, the time I switch to the inverter. (Can't quite go 24x7 with my T105 battery bank and normal loads.)

    As for the last 16-32W, there are only a few items left on grid power now: microwave, which has an LED clock; washer and dryer, but they are mechanical controls; floodlight with motion sensor for the driveway; maybe the doorbell transformer. Don't know that it's worth hunting down the specific cause of those few watts, but perhaps someday I'll kill all the breakers and see if the meter will actually read zero.