Any inputs appreciated..

Ok, project is to power a tv-103 watts @ power surge to 200 watts
     &  Home theater system- 35  watts @ power surge to  70 watts
                                                                                         140 continuous
Here's what I've scraped together in hardware ideas...                             use watts ttl.

two (2) Gel-8D batteries Amp Hour Rate (20 Hour) 225 x 2 = 500 aH                      $700
one (1) PST-60S-12A Samlex 600 inverter                                                            $220
one (1) 20 amp charge controller                             ??   (don't know what to buy?) $  ?
two (2) GE 50 watt solar panels (GEPV-050-M modules)                                         $840
one (1) DC disconnect switch                                   ??   (don't know what to buy?) $  ?

Questions: 1 controller and switch mfgr's?
                2 would the Samlex inverter be as clean as voltage from utility company?
                3 how many hours could I run the tv during a 24 hour day?  Formula ?
the two panels would be stationary for now in OHIO but poss. put on a
                     automatic turntable in the future.
                4 are two batteries enough?
                5 do I need any other hdwr?

If nothing else, can you suggest a "solar power for Dummies" book?


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,853 admin
    Re: Any inputs appreciated..

    I would go to Wind-Sun's store and start reading their articles and about the components they sell... It won't answer all of your questions, but they have done a pretty good job at helping with the first 80%.

    Wind-Sun's Web Store:

    By the way, you need to calculate how much energy you need, per day, per three days, or whatever... If you want to run your home theater for only 1-2 hours hours per night, you would probably be happy with 100 watts of solar panels--but if you want to run it 6 hours per night, other than on long spring/summer days with little clouds, you might be less than happy. Kind of like knowing you get 30mpg with a car, but not knowing where (mountains, flats, freeway, city) and how far you want to drive--we can't tell you how big the fuel tank needs to be.

    To help you with figuring out how many solar panels / batteries you may need--having an approximate location (so that we know how much sun you have), how much power you really use (daily, summer only, or whatever--should be measured with a kill-a-watt type meter), and how many cloudy days you would like to plan for (generally a minimum of 3 days is a good compromise).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Any inputs appreciated..


    As Bill indicated, the place to start is to understand your daily energy requirement (Wh/day), the number of days of autonomy (days without Sun), and the insolation available in your area. There are numerous design examples like this one on the forum to use for reference.


    In short, let’s assume you want to be able to enjoy your AV system for three hours/day and that you want three days of autonomy. Assuming a 12 V system, 90% DC-to-AC inverter efficiency and limiting battery discharge to 50% depth of discharge, you’ll need a 12 V battery rated at:

    (140 W / 12 V x 3 hours/day x 3 days) / 90% x 50% = 233 Ah, or just one size 8D VRLA battery.


    Your AV system will require 233 Ah / (3 days / 50%) = 39 Ah/day. Using 2.2 hours average daily insolation data for a south-facing array tilted up at latitude in Columbus, Ohio, in December, you’ll need a PV array rated at 39 Ah / 2.2 hours = 18 A. As a practical matter, that probably means an array rated at 18 A x ~17.2 V = ~300 W STC. Five Kyocera 65 W modules wired in parallel should just work, but three Evergreen 120’s would cost about the same and deliver more energy.


    A good controller for an array this size would be the Morningstar ProStar 30 M with the optional remote battery temp sensor.


    Finally, the starting point for a DC breaker panel for circuit breakers for the PV array, the controller and the battery might be something like the Midnite Solar Mini DC breaker box.


    The numbers and products above are suggestions. The final decision(s) and responsibility are yours.

    Jim / crewzer
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Any inputs appreciated..

    Ok guys, great info....thank you
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