Sold some land. Should I invest in my next big inverter and charge controller?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭✭
Figuring that replacement will be due in 4-8 years. Currently have 1 1/2 years on my Outback 3648 and FM80 charge controller. They sat in their box for three years. Outback makes good stuff so I don't figure that corrosion etc was an issue while in storage.

I didn't plan too well for retirement...probably did about average. Have a couple paid for rental units. They usually generate income but are surprisingly low yield due to constant problems and horrible property taxes. Will be 58 in a week. Almost no jobs around here to speak of. Kind of easing into selling/installing small solar set-ups for cabins. That may or may not work out. I've had my share of small businesses.

An unexpected replacement of my electronics would be a terrible blow. Really terrible.

Currently have the MATE with all the extra jazz that kind of intimidates me with all the flashing lights. Think I'd just do the inverter and charge controller next time.
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2016 #2
    Personally I'd go with Money-in-the-bank method of planning for the next failure. Or at least have enough to replace the most expensive major component. Might be on the look out for deals, electronics age somewhat like batteries, once purchased they will never be new again. Connections start to oxidize... 

    I say this while I have never purchased the intended inverter for my new system, and having the a backup from my cabin system that I sold and a smaller Exeltech installed that I use for yard work when running things on my 1800 watt. So I have multiple backup's aging as I speak, but I got good deals on most of them. It was nice to have the cabin system, wen the fan went out on my home inverter, 10 minute switch, then back after replacing the fan.

    Good luck with the small solar installs, I though about doing some, but it took for ever to sell my cabin system and I was giving a pretty sweet deal on it!

    FWIW - I'm 57 and in much the same boat as you, left my job of the last 20 months, owner has some dementia and it was hard to deal with. He fired the office manager of 14 years and 2 others left the same day not wanting to deal with him directly. Out of a staff of 5, left 2 of us! I made it another 4 months, but dealing directly with someone who forgets about important things, he had you stop to do... well it was just too hard. I have many small talents and am currently in Florida helping do some photo archiving on film! I'll be back to Missouri figuring the next move in a couple weeks...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,380 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I too, would park the $$ in the bank, newer gear might be developed before yours goes bad
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭✭
    Life has taught me that the only way that I can hang unto money is to buy real estate. Good thing that I have several lots since the credit card debt keeps going up. I could discipline myself into hanging unto a CD if it paid good interest. Right now, inflation is a lot higher than any CD returns.....which are shockingly low. Wonder if I could do a 5 year TIGR...Treasury Investment Growth Receipt. Invest, say, $3800 and watch it magically become $4000 in five years.

    In the 80's, I knew some CD millionaires who opted for their immaculate safety and contentedly turned over jumbo CD's. Now they pay pennies...

    I have read that US patents will soon expire on the quality inverters. The Chinese invasion will begin with low prices and snazzy marketing with high gloss boxes. The Chinese invasion is part of the reason that savvy people are going backwards to go forwards.....buying appliances made before ~2005.

    Has anyone heard of new technology around the corner? It doesn't seem like much has changed to inverters and charge controllers for quite awhile.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Midnite is working on some inverters, They will likely be a large player pretty quick. The owners/engineers have designed inverters for Trace/Xantrex and at Outback. They posted this as a "...preliminary brochure..." on their forum;



    The forum thread is here;

    http://kb1uas.com/mnsforum/index.php?topic=602.0

    This looks to be a higher end, redundant, bomb proof type, much like and perhaps designed as competition for, the Exeltech used in our embassies. It will put pressure on the well designed inverters. I did NOT read through the 28 page thread to see what else is in the works.

    boB, Robin, or Bill feel free to remove this if it is premature.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
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