7-3-2008

My two 180 watt Evergreen solar panels, charge controller, and two hundred amp fuse came in the week. I had the inverter and main panel wired up a while ago and will get some pictures up soon. I wired up the charge controller, panel and batteries to test them out. Here is some basics about this side of the solar setup ( I will do the same for the AC side later along with drawing up a plan) :

parts :

• 2 Evergreen 180 watt Spruce Line (blemish) panels from Sun Electronics for $540 each (Datasheet)
Outback FX-80 charge controller purchased from Sun Electronics for $575 (manual)
• 2 100 amp DC breakers purchased from auto zone for about $28 each
• Bus bars used for negative bus and ground bus (system was not grounded for this initial testing)
• 2 Everyready 6v 200 amp batteries wired for 12v purchased from Sams club for $75 each

notes :

I used Dual 6 gauge for the battery positive, negative and PV positive, negative as I had some laying around. I plan to put each breaker and the negative and ground buses into a housing when finished along with putting the wire into conduit.

I wired the two panels in series to bring the voltage up and using the charge controller MPPT feature to bring the voltage back down to 12v to charge the batteries. This will allow me to put the panels the 40 or so feet away I want to without buying huge wire.

The DC breaker on the left disconnects the panels and the breaker on the right disconnects the batteries.

For testing I just wired the panels to the charge controller with the 12ga romex I had. The plan is to use 6 gauge in the final system.

I had topped the batteries off a couple of days ago so there was not much to do. I will try and drain the batteries a bit and see what type of numbers I get. Also for this initial testing it was a very cloudy day with no direct sun light and the panels where also under my patio roof

Right now I have 360 watt system. When I finish building this I would like to get to about 1080 in 2 3 x180 series.

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