Simple Man with a Simple Plan

Hello all
Newb here

I am just looking to power a CFL, box fan and radio, not necessarily all at the same time.
Here is what I have
ICP 100w plug n play panel (to be pole mounted)
Sunsaver 10 controller

Here is what I intend to purchase
Trojan CB24-AGM
Inverter?

Question is, will this work?
Am I missing something (other than cables)?

Please help
I dont want to damage myself or the equipment. :-o

Has anyone made purchases from this company with good results?
http://www.ebatteriestogo.com/

Thank you
Peace

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    it would be possible that you could skip the cost of an additional conversion loss by not using an inverter as these items could be bought for and run on 12vdc. the battery being 80ah means you would not want to go below 40ah (50% dod) to keep battery life. the approximate 5.75amps from the pv would represent at least a 5% charge rate for a battery up to about 115ah so the 80ah is receiving a good charge rate, but you can go higher in ah for the battery if you need to use more power or would like a bigger buffer to hedge against cloudy periods. i recommend that the total wattage used in a day should not exceed that which the pv can produce with any losses. you must now determine how much power you will normally average per day with that pv for your location. maybe jim will be kind enough to put the sandia link here for you. the power of the items you choose multiplied by the total hours per day will determine if you will use more than, less than, or equal to what you produce. again, if you elect to use an inverter because you may choose the 110vac cfl, fan, or radio rather than use a 12vdc cfl, fan, or radio will introduce more losses and could up your system requirements (pv power and battery rating) 15% or more.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    Earth,

    Following upon niel's comment... Can you tell us a bit more about where you will install your system (i.e., city and state)?

    More later,
    Jim / crewzer
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    Thanks for the replies.
    I live in Dallas TX
    Plentiful Sun.
    Wonder if I could run a tool off of this set up like a circular saw?
    I have a chance to buy a couple of blue top batteries for the same price as one Trojan.
    Think this is a good deal? Would they work well?
    http://www.shipsound.com/product_info.php?products_id=100676
    Thanks again
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    Earth,

    Here’s a link to solar irradiation data for Ft Worth: http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/nsrdb/redbook/sum2/03927.txt

    I have no personal experience with the “blue top” batteries. However, I’ve not heard much good about them, and the one you’ve suggested is rated for only 55 Ah and RC 120… neither are great specs compared to the Trojan 24-AGM. See: http://www.trojanbattery.com/Products/ProductSpec.aspx?Name=24-AGM

    Both sources seems a bit expensive to me. I’d recommend you instead consider the MK brand 8A24. Here are the specs: http://www.mkbattery.com/images/8A24.pdf You might want to contact MK’s warehouse in Dallas to see if they’ll sell you a battery directly or point you to a retailer. See: http://www.mkbattery.com/locations.php You should be able to get their phone number on-line (i.e., www.switchboard.com).

    For such a relatively small system, I’d recommend you consider DC loads and save the energy otherwise lost powering AC loads via an inverter. 12 V CFLs, radios and fans are available. For example, see: http://www.fantasticvent.com/products/endless_breeze/endless_breeze.html

    I expect that a circular saw application would be problematic. It might draw upwards of 1,500 W (~12 A at 120 VAC), which would bring a single size 24 battery to its knees, and it could overheat if powered from an inexpensive MSW inverter instead of a true sine wave (TSW) inverter.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    I agree with the others--don't get an inverter. In building my mountain cabin, I bought a 14.2 volt circular saw with rechargeable battery, but rigged a cable to connect it directly to my 12 volt system, and it worked quite well. Unfortunately I bought a RYOBI saw and it stopped working shortly after the cabin was built--maybe bad luck, or maybe Ryobi isn't that good (only costs about 60 bucks) frank
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    Thanks to everyone for the input. I really appreciate the responses and I am super excited to get started on this. Next stop MK battery. I will keep you guys posted and thanks again.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    Well unfortunately MK wont sell direct from warehouse. I shot an email to MK asking what the warranty was on their batteries. No response as of yet. I think it is 5 years. So it is either MK or Trojan. Trojan has a 7 year warranty. Here are the links MK sent where I can purchase their batteries.
    http://www.ebatteriestogo.com/
    http://www.apexbattery.com/
    http://www.batterystuff.com/

    Anyone know of some other reliable sources?
    As always thanks for the help.

    Peace
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    Bad news about MK's response! :x HBPhil had much better luck when dealing with MK in Southern California. 8-)

    You might try searching the Yellow Pages or Googling for a Dallas-area battery warehouse-type store.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    Thanks Jim
    Did as you suggested and contacted the warehouse directly. Super nice guy was very helpful and said he would contact a sales rep to call me back. Never happened nor did customer service reply to my emails about MK batteries. If I cant get help when I am trying to make a purchase what can I expect if something goes wrong with the product? I sent the emails last week. Anyhow I just purchased a Trojan. I like the 7 year warranty piece of mind. Now I need to find a pole for the panel.

    Thanks again for the help.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    you need to send one more email to them telling them all that they lost a sale and why. may or may not do any good, but if they are sincere and catch wind of some bad reps causing the loss of sales a few heads may roll. at least we could hope anyway.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    Thanks Niel. I agree. They may not respond to that email as well. At least the RE community here knows of my experience. Who knows may be just a bad time.

    So here is what I have so far:
    100w panel
    Sunsaver 10 controller
    Trojan 24-AGM battery

    I am going to try to go at this without the inverter for now.
    I am going to use this person's idea for mounting the panel. http://www.jatobservatory.org/construction.html I will mount mine on a 12 foot pole. Question is does it matter if I mount it horizontal or verticle?

    Any recommendations on cables/connectors.

    Thanks for the help.
    You guys rock!!
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    "Question is does it matter if I mount it horizontal or verticle?"

    if by this you mean, is the rectangular pv more top to bottom than left to right, no it doesn't matter just as long as you have it aimed at the sun. many have used systems of mounting like that shown in the example you intend on using, but some others mount the pv connecting to the pole both at the top of the pv and the bottom of the pv. many times this is refered to as a side of pole mount. naws does carry some, but the pictures of them do not give you the best overall picture of the mount as it looks almost to be on the ground for the bottom of the pv. in either mount it does not matter if the rectangular shape is more up and down or sideways, just as long as you keep it towards the sun.
    you may use nearly any method you'd like to make connections as you have a simple system. you should protect the connections from the weather if you can though. as to your wire that would depend on how far you intend to wire it. i cannot use the voltage drop calculator i helped develope because i purchased vista as an os. boy did i goof. anyway you can do the calculations yourself with excel or an excel clone. read on it here: http://www.wind-sun.com/smf/index.php?topic=1477.30
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Simple Man with a Simple Plan

    I lucked out. I called MK Customer Service and ask for the nearest dealer to their local (Anaheim, CA) distribution center. The dealer practically shared the same lot withthe MK warehouse and was friends with the whole MK staff.
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