My solar panels are done!

flighthouseflighthouse Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
I finally finished installing my first set of solar panels. What a road it's been. I really thank everyone here for helping me with all my questions. In return I present you with a video of my new setup.

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,657 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My solar panels are done!

    I lost that shirt back in the 70's...

    I don't think your fuse system meets code, but should be safe, might get a fused distribution block from an auto parts store, won't meet code either, but it'll clean up you combiner box.

    Also don't like the top of the "C" in the panel mount above the panels, even light shading like this can reduce the panels output, particularly in the moring and evening with low light angles.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: My solar panels are done!

    Second the lower mount, its obvious your shading all of the lowest cells in your video ... you need to trim or change it so there is NO overlap on the mounts
  • DapdanDapdan Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭
    Re: My solar panels are done!

    I would like to add that that 30A fuse inline with battery and inverter is too small and would blow the moment the inverter has a load greater than 720w. I think you would need a fuse or breaker that allows you to access the 2000w surge that inveter is capable of. I think the value of your fuse or breaker should be 175A DC IMHO.

    Nice panels and inverter though, I have an inverter just like that one.

    Cheers...
    Damani
  • flighthouseflighthouse Registered Users Posts: 18 ✭✭
    Re: My solar panels are done!

    Hmm, good points as always!

    I will look into a better mounting system that will be out of the way. I didn't realize how sensitive these things are. Even one tiny little cloud can cause it to drop by 90%!

    When you say fuses aren't up "to code" where is this code and what do I need to be code compatible.

    The 30 amp fuse actually has blown on the inverter once when I tried getting the fridge going. I will certainly consider getting this upgraded. I now see the math too, 12V * 30A = 360W, so doesn't that mean anything over 360W load will blow it?

    Thanks again for all your help everyone.
  • KamalaKamala Solar Expert Posts: 452 ✭✭
    Re: My solar panels are done!

    Also, make sure that the cables connecting the batteries to the inverter are of a gauge sufficient to carry the current. Fuses are there to protect cables/wires, not devices. In my case I have a 2KW inverter (4.5KW surge for 5 seconds.) It is connected to the battery bank with 4 foot cables. They are #4 gauge. The fuse is 300A.

    Your undersized fuse may have prevented a fire. Increasing the fuse amps without making sure the cabling can handle the current it will allow to flow could be dangerous.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,657 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: My solar panels are done!
    When you say fuses aren't up "to code" where is this code and what do I need to be code compatible.

    I'm refering to NEC code, local codes may trump these and local inspectors are the final word. These may not have an inforcment person, but if you have a fire, your insurance company will ask questions.

    This is a link to New Mexico State Universities "PV and NEC: Suggested Practices" Much of it written by and over seen by John Wiles who is one of the people writing the NEC code.

    http://www.nmsu.edu/~tdi/Photovoltaics/Codes-Stds/PVnecSugPract.html

    I originally saw the link at solarpowerforum.net provided by a moderator there that gives misleading or false info with an air of a professional in the field, and is largely responsable for me being here. This link was one of his better contributions.

    The Code is evolving and changing, the last gathering to discuss changes, The combining box, what you have at your panels combining all your panels would require UL listed materials, Box, fuse holders and fuses or breakers. The next gathering will likely see panel front boxes required (OK this is the wrong term, basically a box with no exposed connections) From reading a bit there weren't any fuse holders UL listed that were "breaker Style" were the fuse and contacts were enclosed.

    I'm just a hack from Missouri in a county where there is no enforcement of electrical code. But I wanted a tax credit on my new panels, read the requirement was to be installed to code, NEC is law there. I installed with a combiner box took a photo and hooked them back up with a distribution block and returned the box. I bought new panels this years and got a good deal on a combiner box so I'll leave it in. I really don't see my free standing panels as any fire risk, silicon, glass and aluminum don't readily busrt into flames, even the tedar isn't very flamable. From the combiner box the wires travel 5-6 feet into a breaker at the power center, I just don't see a risk, but if you have any doubt in your wiring... ...remember a heater/toaster is just a wire with electric running through it!
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
    Re: My solar panels are done!

    Ok system Looks ok you need to fix the mounts but you know that now. But whats with the glasses??
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: My solar panels are done!

    hi,
    we are happy for you,it looks good!

    if you will use LED LAMPS it will save a lot of vatts.

    we use solar power on our homecar for refrigirator,ligh and computer,tv etc'.
    we invite you to watch the system we built.

    just search with the 2 words: homecar solar (in google search)

    good day

    rool
  • LucManLucMan Solar Expert Posts: 223 ✭✭✭
    Re: My solar panels are done!
    I finally finished installing my first set of solar panels. What a road it's been. I really thank everyone here for helping me with all my questions. In return I present you with a video of my new setup.


    Great Video!
    I especially like the smoke wafting in the air when you are in battery & inverter room. It really adds to the total visual effects.:p
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