Do I need too upgrade my panel ?

Well guys, I need your help.

I have reached the point where I have too choose. Grid tied OR battery. I have the panels up, the shed properly anchored, and the wiring run too the house. Now, I can either buy all the GT inverters, and wire too the panel, OR buy the batteries and inverter and run seperatly . .

The problem is, I will not know about a potential panel upgrade until the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) comes in for the final inspeciton. Which I am worried could add significantly to the cost of going GT.

Here is a pic of the panel now. I am planning on running 2 - 120 V breakers (2 @ 20 amp) for the solar and 2 -120 V breakers for the shed ( 2 @ 20 amp) for a total of 4 more breakers in the box - I do have room for the 4 breakers.
Attachment not found.

Here is a pic showing the values of the breakers (hard to see in the first one)

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Where it gets confusing, is the intermitant loads - garage only has a garage door opener, but I do use it for a welder now and then - on demand water heater - only when showering - and heat pump - only when needed....

I have tried doing research on this, and have read you need the following info :

finished square feet - 1,000 sf
cook top - no
one kitchen - yes
elec. heat ? - heat pump
dryer - no
a/c - small window unit - 10,000 btu
garbage disposal/microwave/dishwasher/fridge ? - 1 micro wave - one fridge no disposal unit.

Any advice would be appreciated - I do not want to put it all in - then be told I have too upgrade my service for another 5,000 $ . .

Thank you.
2 - 255W + 4 - 285W PV - Tristar 45 MPPT CC / 3 - 110W PV -wired for 36V- 24V Sunsaver MPPT CC / midnite bat. monitor.
1 KW PSW inverter 24V / 2.5 KW MSW inverter-24V ~ 105 AHR battery.
3 ton GSHP.- 100 gallon warm water storage / house heat - radiant floor / rad
9 -220W PV - net meter - Enphase inverters and internet reporting system.
420 Gallon rain water system for laundry.***  6" Rocket Mass Heater with 10' bed for workshop heat.
Current project is drawing up plans for a below grade Hobbit / underground home.

Comments

  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Do I need too upgrade my panel ?

    Skippy
    If you went grid tie you wouldn't need four breakers would you? I you don't go grid tie, If it happens like me, I actually moved stuff out of my main panel to my critical load panel, which freed up quite a bit of space. I would stay away from batteries if I went grid tie unless you have a problims with outages. You can do both with an inverter like outback but the battery and charge controllers really add to the price.

    You will make much more usable power with less waste with a pure grid tie in my honest opinion and don't have to worry as much about matching loads. If you run the air or microwave the pv will give what it can, If you run from battery you have to recharge it and everything has to match.

    Good luck
    gww

    Ps as for the math of how it is loaded now, someone else will answer I am sure. I am guessing you are adding the garage, Otherwise the box if it was good before is surly good now with only a different power source. I could be all wet though.
  • SkippySkippy Solar Expert Posts: 308 ✭✭
    Re: Do I need too upgrade my panel ?

    I would really like to go GT . . but if I am told too upgrade my service, I will go with a completely seperate battery system. . . no in between or mixing the two systems.

    As for the breakers, I need 240 V for the inverters - so 2 - 20 amp - 120 V for 240 V - right ? dedicated just for the solar.
    The other two breakers are just for power - for lights and drills and stuff in the shed.
    2 - 255W + 4 - 285W PV - Tristar 45 MPPT CC / 3 - 110W PV -wired for 36V- 24V Sunsaver MPPT CC / midnite bat. monitor.
    1 KW PSW inverter 24V / 2.5 KW MSW inverter-24V ~ 105 AHR battery.
    3 ton GSHP.- 100 gallon warm water storage / house heat - radiant floor / rad
    9 -220W PV - net meter - Enphase inverters and internet reporting system.
    420 Gallon rain water system for laundry.***  6" Rocket Mass Heater with 10' bed for workshop heat.
    Current project is drawing up plans for a below grade Hobbit / underground home.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Do I need too upgrade my panel ?

    So, the shed is new and not powered now?
    gww
  • SkippySkippy Solar Expert Posts: 308 ✭✭
    Re: Do I need too upgrade my panel ?

    No power to anything yet, I ran 2 wires underground to the shed about a month ago . . 1 wire for the solar and 1 wire for the shed. Just a have to make a decision on GT or Stand alone.
    2 - 255W + 4 - 285W PV - Tristar 45 MPPT CC / 3 - 110W PV -wired for 36V- 24V Sunsaver MPPT CC / midnite bat. monitor.
    1 KW PSW inverter 24V / 2.5 KW MSW inverter-24V ~ 105 AHR battery.
    3 ton GSHP.- 100 gallon warm water storage / house heat - radiant floor / rad
    9 -220W PV - net meter - Enphase inverters and internet reporting system.
    420 Gallon rain water system for laundry.***  6" Rocket Mass Heater with 10' bed for workshop heat.
    Current project is drawing up plans for a below grade Hobbit / underground home.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Do I need too upgrade my panel ?

    You apparently are building and not using an existing house. This is way above my pay grade. Do you know any electritions that may help you?

    I do everything myself but live in a county that has no interferrance and can get advice and help sometimes from people I know. Most of the electrictions I know don't know that much about solar but would be able to look at your ac stuff and tell with out too much trouble what is acceptable in you area.
    Good luck
    gww
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Do I need too upgrade my panel ?

    You've gone about this just about as wrong as you could.

    Plan first, all the way to the end, then get the equipment. What you would buy for GT and what you would buy for OG are two quite different lists, including which PV.

    You won't save any money with an OG system when you've got grid available, so that's just throwing away money.

    GT system will be based on 120% of you service panel's rating. So if it has room for a 240 VAC breaker (NOT two 120 units) and a 100 Amp capacity they should allow 20 Amp GTI connection. If there is no breaker space available (and apparently there is) there are ways around that which may/may not be approved. A 20 Amp connection would allow up to 4800 Watts (possibly less depending on local interpretation of derating).

    With a GT system the load ratings are irrelevant as the GTI simply supplies whatever power it can to whatever loads are active and/or the grid.

    OG the inverter, battery bank, and PV will be sized according to what loads you need/want to power with it. This in terms of both peak Watts needed and Watt hours used daily.
  • SkippySkippy Solar Expert Posts: 308 ✭✭
    Re: Do I need too upgrade my panel ?
    You've gone about this just about as wrong as you could.

    Ya, I leaped before I looked, but in the area of solar and "quick sells" ya gotta admit, I am not alone . . now just trying to get it too work . . . :blush:

    I admit it.
    Plan first, all the way to the end, then get the equipment. What you would buy for GT and what you would buy for OG are two quite different lists, including which PV.
    The guy selling these solar panels does not have much experience with OG systems - since he sells the micro inverters for these panels, I made sure I can get the GT inverters before purchasing the panels. . . I have already called him, and I can get nine inverters - ready to wire. Just wanted to check in first.
    You won't save any money with an OG system when you've got grid available, so that's just throwing away money.

    Ya, I agree with you there, since more of the output goes into the grid than into the batteries, it just makes more sense to go GT. Just wanted to check on here before continuing . .
    GT system will be based on 120% of you service panel's rating. So if it has room for a 240 VAC breaker (NOT two 120 units) and a 100 Amp capacity they should allow 20 Amp GTI connection. If there is no breaker space available (and apparently there is) there are ways around that which may/may not be approved. A 20 Amp connection would allow up to 4800 Watts (possibly less depending on local interpretation of derating).

    Here is the big one. So, When "the guy" comes to approve the system, I will be under the rating for the power panel for the solar and that is a good thing - BUT - with all my extra stuff on there, I may have to upgrade it - just because...

    Thanks Cariboocoot every little bit helps. I am trying to tell the guys at work the same thing you said here . . Don't go out and buy a hardware store special - and then try to make it work - then I describe what I am going thru, and it makes em think . . ;)
    2 - 255W + 4 - 285W PV - Tristar 45 MPPT CC / 3 - 110W PV -wired for 36V- 24V Sunsaver MPPT CC / midnite bat. monitor.
    1 KW PSW inverter 24V / 2.5 KW MSW inverter-24V ~ 105 AHR battery.
    3 ton GSHP.- 100 gallon warm water storage / house heat - radiant floor / rad
    9 -220W PV - net meter - Enphase inverters and internet reporting system.
    420 Gallon rain water system for laundry.***  6" Rocket Mass Heater with 10' bed for workshop heat.
    Current project is drawing up plans for a below grade Hobbit / underground home.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Do I need too upgrade my panel ?
    Skippy wrote: »
    Here is the big one. So, When "the guy" comes to approve the system, I will be under the rating for the power panel for the solar and that is a good thing - BUT - with all my extra stuff on there, I may have to upgrade it - just because...

    I'm not sure what you mean. If the rating of your backfed breaker is less than 20% of the rating of the panel main and busbar (assuming they are the same) and on the opposite end of the busbar from the main, then you are good to go. If by "extra stuff" you are talking about load breakers, they don't figure into the calculation.
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