Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
I apologize in advance if I am posting this in the wrong section. Learning a new forum and site navigation is difficult for a newbie. Here is my question for opinions of any kind. I am new to all this; What is right or wrong with this potential order:



Blue Sky SB2000E MPPT charge controller quantity 1 @ 263. 65

Multibranch MC4 Connectors, Latching quantity 3 @ 26.00 each

Kyocera KD140GX-LPU 140 Watt 12 Volt Solar Module quantity 6 up to 8 panels $309.40 each

Exeltech XP1100 12-volt 1100 watt sine wave inverter 1 @ $561.35



approx Subtotal: $2,700


I am interested in the set up itself, specifically- the inverter, MPPT controller- the amount of panels and suggestions of batteries. Any of it right or all wrong? Suggestions? Thank you so much in advance.

Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    What is wrong with this order is,,, the potential for "ready, fire, aim"!

    Define your loads (to us) and your expectations for this system. All hardware choices should stem from the loads, any other way of doing so runs the risk of square pegging. If you know your loads, both peak and WH per day, then you can design a battery bank to carry these loads (figuring how much autonomy you need or want) then find a charge regimen that fits those batteries, and an inverter to power them.

    On a different note, I would look into other MPPT options. While Bs makes good stuff, for wht I have heard, there are better MPPT controllers out there. Rogue, Midnight, Morningstar and Outback come to mind. My memory, feeble as it is, remembers that the Bs controller is too small for the array that you are proposing, AND, (this is a big AND) it won't take high input voltages. My BS controller will only take 12 volt input. The better controllers will allow series wiring of the PV to allow input voltages up to and above 48 volts.



    Finally, beware of buying solely based on price.

    Good lucky keep in touch, and once again, welcome to the forum,

    Tony
  • KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    My expectations are to run a "regular (electrical needs) lifestyle" utilizing this equipment on a future and hypothetical off grid cabin. Also I would like to start out small with the ability to add more, but that may mean a wind turbine. I probably will attempt to build a low tech tracking system as well. I guess my question is: Is this set up a good way to get quite a bit of electricity and are all the parts compatible with each other? So far?
  • KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    I switched out the MPPT.



    Morningstar TriStar 45 amp MPPT solar charge controller 1 @ 400.00

    Multibranch MC4 Connectors, Latching quantity 3 @ 26.00 each

    Kyocera KD140GX-LPU 140 Watt 12 Volt Solar Module quantity 6 up to 8 panels $309.40 each

    Exeltech XP1100 12-volt 1100 watt sine wave inverter 1 @ $561.35


    (the reason I am putting in approx prices is so that they better identify the devices/material as more of a referrence, so that knowledgable people here can know exactly what I am referring to as opposed to I have to keep on a budget)
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    My rule of thumb for off grid production is this,,

    Take the name plate rating of the PV, divide that number by 2 to account for all cumulative system loses, then multiply that number by four to represent the average hours of good sun one can reasonably expect on a daily basis over the course of the year.

    So in your case, your roughly 1000 watts of panel would look like this. 1000/2=500*4=2000 WH/day.

    So I go back to my first suggestion, clarify your load expectations and design around that.

    The first and second rules of PV are this,,,people almost always over estimate thier solar potential on an ongoing basis, while at the same time under estimating thier loads. The first rule of off grid is,, loads ALWAYS grwo with time,, take this into account in your calcs.

    Finally, I would be remiss not to remind you that battery based PV is way more expensive on a kwh basis than grid tie. It come at about twice the price with about half the performance,, leading to power that is at leastfor times as expensive per kwh. If you have the grid available, it is far and away your best resource for PV. You might look into the economics of grid tie.

    One more finally! Most newbie off grid folks destroy at least one set of batteries while they learn how to use thier system effectively. As a result, people suggest strting out with a "starter set" of cheaper golf cart type batteries.

    I also suggest that you read and understnd the following links:

    http://www.batteryfaq.org/

    http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Battery_FAQ.htm#Lifespan%20of%20Batteries

    Keep in touch,

    Tony
  • KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    Well thanks for all the information about grid tie and other peripheral information. I am not interested in grid tie. I am just interested in the compatibility of components. My load expectations are hypothetical at best, but would be one less watt than output, more or less.

    If there is anyone here that could suggest a better assortment of equipment that gets more electricity for less cost or can recommend a different grouping at the same price or recommend types of battery/banks and amounts I could use that info too.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    for another $100 you can get a Midnite Classic Lite... read here...http://www.midnitesolar.com/... get NAWS pricing as they are a volume dealer...http://www.solar-electric.com/misoclli.html
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    Is it the same as this?

    http://www.solar-electric.com/misocl200mpc.html
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    also be aware that a controller at 45a and 12v out is capable of 540w. that's a far cry from 140w x 8 = 1120w or 140w x 6 = 840w you would have in pv. a much larger controller or more than 1 controller would be in order if you intend to stay at 12v for the battery bank, but without knowing the loads we don't know if you should change the battery bank voltage upwards or not. you should also be aware that an mppt controller does not need to have 12v pvs for 12v batteries as it can take a higher input voltage and down convert this to the 12v output. this down conversion is also possible with higher battery bank voltages. you will find higher power pvs for far better pricing that would work well with some of the better mppt controllers.

    now understand that those $26 mc4 combiners are only good for combining 2 pvs or 2 arrays of pvs so with that in mind you may need a combiner with fuses/circuit breakers to combine the pvs. what's worse is that you would've needed far more than 3 of the mc4 combiners. (edited for clarification)

    you are forgetting about the wire (properly sized) and mounts for the pvs so forget what you planned for equipment and tell us what it is you wish to power in watts and for how long every day.

    btw, that is the classic 200 and it's rated for 200v input. the cl 150 is rated to 150v, but will handle up to 96a depending on circumstances. the cheaper version is called the lite and goes around $500. again tell us of load requirements and worry about equipment later.
  • KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    Thank you so much Mr Niel. This is all a learning experience for me. I have absolutely no knowledge of solar power or basic electrical knowledge. I did however consider the use of multiple controllers, but I do not have the information or expertise, set a system up that would utilize more controllers ie multiple banks? Different sets of banks or 2 controller for one bank? It is all greek to me? As far as load requirements, I am just guessing you are inquiring how much electricity I will be using hypothetically? how much would you guess on something that does not exist? With or without a 12 volt submersible pump at a hypothetical depth?
    10 kwh per day.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    maybe you need to give the loads more thought. you will be buying stuff for the place if you haven't already and you can try to go with energy star stuff as a start. also know that you can buy a killawatt meter to measure the actual power drawn and it can also measure the power used over time in kilowatt hours.

    http://www.solar-electric.com/kiacpomome.html

    for instance if you measure your refrigerator over a half of a day (12hrs) and it says .88kwh then you know that in a day it will have consumed twice that for 1.76kwh. it is important to know what you will use as close as you can figure it over a day to size the battery bank and this determines the pvs to charge them with. pvs pump power to the batteries in a short limited time frame and the batteries need to store this to be redistributed during the entire 24hr day without going under 50% of capacity for the batteries. some opt for this to be for 2 or 3 days for backup due to less than good solar days, but the pvs need to be able to provide this extra power being used up on the first day of sun again or use another source such as a generator and quality 3 stage battery charger to help out.
  • KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    Also Thank you Mr. Niel concerning mc4 combiners. I wasnt sure on that either. I need info on combiners and breaker fuses too. It would seem that the controller will have to be able to handle at least 1120 watts, so let me do some more shopping BRB- ps; ty on the wires and brackets reminder.
  • KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    I havent bought any appliances but have been looking at energy star stuff. Today I was just looking around wal mart at dorm room refrigerators and those tiny microwaves. Just going down walmart aisles, getting groceries ya know?

    I bought a 6 dollar oil lamp and I am thinking of getting a tiny Benjamin Franklin wood stove. Maybe I will buy a plastic rain barrel and invent/build a batch hot water system. Hmmm. I have a pandigital ereader that hooks up to wifi for free and I dont watch TV. I am not sure if I'm really going to need electricity but I am an impulse buyer with 3 grand to burn and thought Id check out solar stuff.
  • KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    I think this controller might work?


    Outback Flexmax 80 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller
    Maximum Solar Array: 12 VDC systems 1250 Watts


    Kyocera KD140GX-LPU 140 Watt 12 Volt Solar Module quantity 6 up to 8 panels $309.40 each

    Exeltech XP1100 12-volt 1100 watt sine wave inverter 1 @ $561.35


    assorted accouterments

    I need battery ideas. Exact breakers/fuses ideas.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    Sorry , but an impulse. User with $3 grand to blow is e ideal ingredient for, ready, fire aim.

    It is very difficult toe recommend components if we (and you) dont have any idea of your loads.

    Tony
  • KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    Ready, fire, aim is how I hunt quail. Successfully.

    But I am looking for actual information and slowly am educating myself. Thanks anyways.
  • fix_it_guyfix_it_guy Solar Expert Posts: 26
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder
    King wrote: »
    Ready, fire, aim is how I hunt quail. Successfully.

    But I am looking for actual information and slowly am educating myself. Thanks anyways.

    See and that's what will happen. If you don't approach this right, you will learn that you don't have the right equiptment, or you will learn how to fry an expensive set of batteries, or maybe you will learn what your actual load requirements are eventualy.

    Just make sure you think it all through carefully. And you're right, learn as much as you can first.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,653 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    We can throw lots of information at you, but you could just read through past posts...

    For max power, dump the 12v system and go to a 24 volt system, Exeltech 1100 watt inverter is available, and a Midnite Classic CC or I believe the Flex 80 will handle up to @2-2500 watt array.

    You'll likely need a combiner box. This is just a samply for the likely number of strings, we don't know how many strings or where it will be install, so don't know if you need a weather tight box.

    I'd go with 4 Golf cart batteries first time around, cheap for you to destroy/Learn. Buy locally Sams club or Costco are good sources around $80-90.

    Might search for DMsolar on this site as we have had posts about Amazon offering a good price on their 145watt panels, though they are NOT UL listed but fine for off grid use.

    DC Disconnect box or a Generic E-Panel (this one's breaker is too big for a 24v w/1100watt inverter but for the price you could buy the proper breaker and I think this is a wide enough box that you could mount the inverter on the door and drill it for near code compliant install with exeltech) might help simplify your wiring.

    Likely you'll want some sort of battery monitor. Trimetric is a good choice.

    Since your playing and don't have planned loads, I would recomend you buy your panels in 2's or 4's so you can likely use them in a system when you have planned loads. I personally like the Midnight classic, the Lite version is likely as cheap as you can get a quallity MPPT charge controller that will handle your panels and perhaps the best going.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • KingKing Registered Users Posts: 15
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder
    fix_it_guy wrote: »
    See and that's what will happen. If you don't approach this right, you will learn that you don't have the right equiptment, or you will learn how to fry an expensive set of batteries, or maybe you will learn what your actual load requirements are eventualy.

    Just make sure you think it all through carefully. And you're right, learn as much as you can first.


    Well the resident expert here said quote: "The first rule of off grid is,, loads ALWAYS grwo with time,,".


    I am just looking for professional courtesy and advice on equipment compatibility. I will look for local dealers and see what they say. Thank you.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,653 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder
    King wrote: »
    ...I have a pandigital ereader that hooks up to wifi for free ...

    So your going to have WiFi, that would be a load or will your neighbors have WiFi available? says the guy who pays his neighbor $20 a month...

    No "professional"s here, we aside from engineers from Midnite, solar installers, a couple retailers...the rest of use just want to help out and don't need/want your money but rather want to help you make good choices. Thought what you might have been asking was "what else" I took some time and provided some links to discounted items that might save you some money, as well as other things you'll need fusing, combiner box, you will need some wire for runs and some type of mounting for the panels...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Opinions For A Newbie On An Orrder

    I am not a resident expert on much of anything. What I do have is some real life experince. What you are asking is beyond my scope of expertise, because in no small measure you are not providing enough information t make rational suggestions.. Not knowing the load makes all the other decisions kind of moot.

    As Photo says, we can throw all kinds of info at your, like for examples, I like Rogue controllers, and Morningstar inverters and Trojan batteries, and Honda gennies but beyond that, if you ant tell me what you are going to do with them, suggesting that any one of those components is the "right one" is impossible.

    If I have seemed "unprofessional" I would only add that advice is worth exactly wht you pay for it. If I offend by not telling you exactly what you want to hear, or indeed telling you whqt you don't want to hear I am sorry,, no offense is intended. What was and continues to be intended was to share the benefit of experience that I bring to the table. Others here bring more and better experince, and by and large the advice given is spot on. There are people here (not me however) who have quite literally forgotten more about RE than most of the rest of us will ever know. Our sole intention is is to freely share interests, advice and expertise in the best forum possible, checking our egos at the door.

    Good luck, keep in touch and keep your questions coming,, and don't take offense at answers tht are freely given.

    Icarus
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