# Solar system intallation info needed

Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
edited June 2017 #1
Hi, Please anyone who can help. I have bought 4×300 watts solar panels to install in haiti on top my house. What specific other items do i need to install this solar system ? Your idea will be greatly appriciated since i have yo do it myself.

• Registered Users Posts: 395 ✭✭✭
edited June 2017 #2
From a paper design point of view, you want to charge your battery bank at 5% to 13% rate of charge. 5% for weekend/seasonal usage, 10%+ for full time off grid. You can probably use either a 12 volt or 24 volt volt battery bank with this size array. The ideal battery bank for your array will be around:
• 1,200 Watts solar * 0.77 solar panel derating * 1/0.05 rate of charge * 14.5 volts charging = 1,274 AH @ 12 volts
• 1,200 Watts solar * 0.77 solar panel derating * 1/0.10 rate of charge * 14.5 volts charging = 637 AH @ 12 volts
• 1,200 Watts solar * 0.77 solar panel derating * 1/0.13 rate of charge * 14.5 volts charging = 490 AH @ 12 volts
For a 24 volt battery bank, the AH capacity is divided by 2 (same amount of energy stored, just high voltage/lower current).

Also, I would suggest if your battery bank is >~800 AH, you should go to the next higher voltage bank (i.e., 1,274 AH @ 12 volts would be better at 637 AH @ 24 volt battery bank).

If you choose a 10% rate of charge battery bank, the average power for 2 days of storage and 50% maximum discharge (longer battery life):
• 637 AH * 12 volts * 1/2 days storage * 0.50 max discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 1,624 Watt*Hours of "no sun" energy from bank per day.
And the amount of energy per day would look something like:

### Port-au-PrinceAverage Solar Insolation figures

Measured in kWh/m2/day onto a solar panel set at a 72° angle from vertical:
(For best year-round performance)
 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun 5.58 5.73 5.69 5.69 5.63 6.26 Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 6.26 5.77 5.44 5.22 5.13 5.29
Your typical worst case average month is ~5.13 hours of sun per day, so the typical maximum energy per day would be:
• 1,200 Watt array * 0.52 off grid system eff * 5.13 hours of sun per day = 3,201 Watt*Hours per day typical (November)
And the maximum AC inverter for a flooded cell battery bank (based on 10% rate of charge bank) would be:
• 637 AH * 12 volts * 0.85 AC inverter eff  * 1/5 hour discharge = 1,299 Watt maximum (for this battery bank)
1,299 Watts continuous (an hour or so) load and ~2,600 Watt maximum surge load (starting well pump, etc.).

A larger inverter on that (flooded cell) battery bank would not supply any more useful power (battery bank limitations). And if you wanted a smaller AC inverter--That would be fine (smaller AC inverters tend to "waste" less energy when powering smaller loads).

The above is just a bunch of "rule of thumb" design guidelines. Without knowing what your loads are (and if you are not in Port-au-Prince), the answers would probably be different.

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭
joefanfan said:
Hi, Please anyone who can help. I have bought 4×300 watts solar panels to install in haiti on top my house. What specific other items do i need to install this solar system ? Your idea will be greatly appriciated since i have yo do it myself.
First decide whether you are going for a offgrid or on grid setup. If it is off grid then shortlist inverter capacity, battery bank voltage and charge controller.

If you want to go for a offgrid setup then you have to follow a totally different route.

When installing panels you should carefully plan the mounting as haiti is more vulnerable to natural disaster.
• Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
Hi, here are the specifiications on my 4 panels: Max power 300W, Max Power voltage 36.6V, Open circuit 44.8V, Max current power 8.20A, Fuse 20A, Maximum system volt 1000VDC . According to the specifcations what types of inverter, batteries, and solar charge controller do I need to purchase.Thanks for your willingness to help.
• Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
joefanfan said:
Hi, Please anyone who can help. I have bought 4×300 watts solar panels to install in haiti on top my house. What specific other items do i need to install this solar system ? Your idea will be greatly appriciated since i have yo do it myself.
joefanfan said:
Hi, Please anyone who can help. I have bought 4×300 watts solar panels to install in haiti on top my house. What specific other items do i need to install this solar system ? Your idea will be greatly appriciated since i have yo do it myself.

• Registered Users Posts: 4,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
We need to know if this is to be a grid-tied or off-grid.

What loads do you want to run, and for how long?
Off-grid.
Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
• Registered Users Posts: 4,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
Looks like there's a new thread on the same subject in off-grid.
Off-grid.
Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
• Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
joefanfan said:
Hi, here are the specifiications on my 4 panels: Max power 300W, Max Power voltage 36.6V, Open circuit 44.8V, Max current power 8.20A, Fuse 20A, Maximum system volt 1000VDC . According to the specifcations what types of inverter, batteries, and solar charge controller do I need to purchase.Thanks for your willingness to help.
Well, what kind of loads will you be running?  What will be their maximum load (all maximum powers added together) and what will their average draw over the course of a day be?  (i.e how many kwhrs would you use normally.)  What voltage do you need?  50/60Hz?

Here is Joe's last post:
joefanfan said:
I bought  4 module type: JC300M-24/Abh               Short circuit 8.69 A
Maximum power 300 w,                                           Maximum current Power 8.20A
Open circuit 44.8 V                                                  Maximum series Fuse rating 20A
Maximum power voltage 36.6 V
Maximum system voltage 1000 VDC .
those are the specifications on the panels. Does this consider to take 12V or 24v battery bank ?
And what battery bank size and type would give a better performance in a full sun area. Also considering this system gonna have a water pump intermittently and a refrigerator on it for my home. Appreciate your opinion.
I generally like to suggest a system that is capable of providing around 3.3 kWH (3,300 Watt*Hours) per day. That not only gives you plenty of power for most energy efficient 120/240 VAC refrigerators, it has enough power left over for running a small well pump, clothes washer, LED lighting, TV/Laptop computer.

Doing a rule of thumb design... 1-3 days of energy storage, with 2 days being a pretty good optimum point, 50% maximum discharge (for longer battery life). That gives us a nominal 24 volt battery bank of:
• 3,300 WH per day * 1/0.85 AC inverter eff * 2 days storage * 1/0.50 max discharge * 1/24 volt battery bank = 647 Amp*Hour @ 24 volt flooded cell lead acid battery bank
Then there is enough solar to charge the battery bank. 5% to 13% rate of charge:
• 647 AH * 29.0 volts charging * 1/0.77 solar panel+charge controller deratings * 0.05 rate of charge = 1,218 Watt array minimum (weekend/seasonal usage)
• 647 AH * 29.0 volts charging * 1/0.77 solar panel+charge controller deratings * 0.10 rate of charge = 2,437 Watt array nominal (full time off grid)
• 647 AH * 29.0 volts charging * 1/0.77 solar panel+charge controller deratings * 0.13 rate of charge = 3,168 Watt array "cost effective" maximum
And then there is sizing the array for your load and hours of sun per day (by season):

### Port-au-PrinceAverage Solar Insolation figures

Measured in kWh/m2/day onto a solar panel set at a 72° angle from vertical:
(For best year-round performance)  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun 5.58 5.73 5.69 5.69 5.63 6.26 Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 6.26 5.77 5.44 5.22 5.13 5.29
Assuming you want to minimize your generator time (noise and fuel costs), your worst case "typical" month of November would give you an array of:
• 3,300 WH per day * 1/0.52 off grid system eff * 1/5.13 hours of sun per day in November = 1,237 Watt array minimum "break even" November
Now--If you are going to live there full time and don't want to watch your energy usage and clouds every day, I would suggest 10% minimum solar array of 2,437 Watts. That would give you:
• 2,437 Watt array * 0.52 off grid system eff * 5.13 hours of sun (Noveha 1,200 Watt minimum array (could work pretty nicely), or an array that could be "oversized" for your system (you have lots of sun) of 2,437 Watts--Your choice.

If you have few times with days of cloudy weather, the smaller array may work out OK for you (you can try the smaller array and add to it down the road, if needed). The large array would be very nice and would provide a lot of "extra energy" for fans, well pump, etc. during sunny weather.

The minimum AC inverter for running a full sized frost free refrigerator is around 1,200 to 1,500 Watts. A typical inverter for a 647 AH @ 24 volt battery bank could easily be 2,400 Watts to ~3,300 Watts maximum (maximum capability of that flooded cell battery bank).

The number supplied are a rule of thumb design with no real knowledge of your loads, exact location (if I guessed wrong), and your over all needs (minimum power, want to provide more power for other appliances), how much you want to spend for the system, or how much you know about solar and managing the system.

The above is just a starting point, which can give you a very nice system (conservative design). Use 6 volt @ ~200 AH "golf cart" batteries (4x in series, 3x parallel strings for 12 batteries total). If you can get/justify larger capacity batteries, the above "golf cart" battery bank is about the maximum I would suggest building use GC batteries (vs larger/better quality batteries).

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
Tank you Bill, for your effort in helping.This info gives me some comfort it was clear and understandable. Does a 3000 watt  inverter with multiple outlet will do ?
Joe,

I like to call the battery bank the "heart" of your system... The solar array needs to keep the battery bank happy. And your loads (AC inverter) can only draw what the battery bank can support.

Yes, a 3,000 Watt @ 24 volt AC inverter would be very nice. However, you do have to design the battery bank to support the inverter, and the solar array to supply enough charging current for the inverter and loads.

Larger AC inverters do "waste more power" just to be turned on (a small inverter may take 6 Watts, a larger inverter may take 20-40 watts or more, just to be turned on). The average "North American" Refrigerator averages around 60 Watts average load--A "large" inverter can pull as much power as a refrigerator--One reason I try not to "over size" the AC inverter--It can be a waste of energy/money (larger solar array, larger battery bank to support "tare losses" of inverter).

What do you think of my "guesstimates" about your energy needs and location?

If you do not know your loads, my "guesses" as to the optimum AC inverter (and balance of system) design--Is just that. Little better than educated guesses as to what you need.

We have a poster here, Keith Hare, that has been volunteering on installation and maintaining a solar power system in Haiti.

You might read through his posts and/or send Keith a private message:

http://forum.solar-electric.com/profile/KeithWHare

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
Hi during daytime it most likely the refrigerator and a ceiling fan. on top of that at night we have some 4 light bulbs. like every 3 day we might run the water pump for a couple hours.
• Registered Users Posts: 48 ✭✭
BB Thanks for this great post I copied this guideline as my target I do have a few questions

The charge controller I bought is the pcmx60 as the name implied 60 amps charging max, going by your disign suggestion
647 bank would need a larger cc unit , what is your thought?

the panels the cc can only handle 3200 watts @ 48 volts 1600@ 24 any input

the inverter I was going with the magnum 4024 unit a little larger then you propose what do you think?

also as  far as the batteries
I generally like to suggest a system that is capable of providing around 3.3 kWH (3,300 Watt*Hours) per day. That not only gives you plenty of power for most energy efficient 120/240 VAC refrigerators, it has enough power left over for running a small well pump, clothes washer, LED lighting, TV/Laptop computer.

Doing a rule of thumb design... 1-3 days of energy storage, with 2 days being a pretty good optimum point, 50% maximum discharge (for longer battery life). That gives us a nominal 24 volt battery bank of:
• 3,300 WH per day * 1/0.85 AC inverter eff * 2 days storage * 1/0.50 max discharge * 1/24 volt battery bank = 647 Amp*Hour @ 24 volt flooded cell lead acid battery bank
Then there is enough solar to charge the battery bank. 5% to 13% rate of charge:
• 647 AH * 29.0 volts charging * 1/0.77 solar panel+charge controller deratings * 0.05 rate of charge = 1,218 Watt array minimum (weekend/seasonal usage)
• 647 AH * 29.0 volts charging * 1/0.77 solar panel+charge controller deratings * 0.10 rate of charge = 2,437 Watt array nominal (full time off grid)
• 647 AH * 29.0 volts charging * 1/0.77 solar panel+charge controller deratings * 0.13 rate of charge = 3,168 Watt array "cost effective" maximum
And then there is sizing the array for your load and hours of sun per day (by season):

### Port-au-PrinceAverage Solar Insolation figures

Measured in kWh/m2/day onto a solar panel set at a 72° angle from vertical:
(For best year-round performance)  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun 5.58 5.73 5.69 5.69 5.63 6.26 Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 6.26 5.77 5.44 5.22 5.13 5.29
Assuming you want to minimize your generator time (noise and fuel costs), your worst case "typical" month of November would give you an array of:
• 3,300 WH per day * 1/0.52 off grid system eff * 1/5.13 hours of sun per day in November = 1,237 Watt array minimum "break even" November
Now--If you are going to live there full time and don't want to watch your energy usage and clouds every day, I would suggest 10% minimum solar array of 2,437 Watts. That would give you:
• 2,437 Watt array * 0.52 off grid system eff * 5.13 hours of sun (Noveha 1,200 Watt minimum array (could work pretty nicely), or an array that could be "oversized" for your system (you have lots of sun) of 2,437 Watts--Your choice.

If you have few times with days of cloudy weather, the smaller array may work out OK for you (you can try the smaller array and add to it down the road, if needed). The large array would be very nice and would provide a lot of "extra energy" for fans, well pump, etc. during sunny weather.

The minimum AC inverter for running a full sized frost free refrigerator is around 1,200 to 1,500 Watts. A typical inverter for a 647 AH @ 24 volt battery bank could easily be 2,400 Watts to ~3,300 Watts maximum (maximum capability of that flooded cell battery bank).

The number supplied are a rule of thumb design with no real knowledge of your loads, exact location (if I guessed wrong), and your over all needs (minimum power, want to provide more power for other appliances), how much you want to spend for the system, or how much you know about solar and managing the system.

The above is just a starting point, which can give you a very nice system (conservative design). Use 6 volt @ ~200 AH "golf cart" batteries (4x in series, 3x parallel strings for 12 batteries total). If you can get/justify larger capacity batteries, the above "golf cart" battery bank is about the maximum I would suggest building use GC batteries (vs larger/better quality batteries).

-Bill