SOLAR POWER – PLAN

OUR SOLAR POWER SYSTEM

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Panels on mount

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Charge controller, Breakers and Ground and Negative bus bar

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Inverter, 200 amp fuse, breaker and two 200 amp 6v batteries

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Here was this initial plan : 

Here is the plan. It is still a work in progress. I need to find out more about wiring requirements, fusing and breakers. So far I have my inverter which I got from Craigslist.

Here is the DC wiring diagram

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Here is my AC diagram

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16 thoughts on “SOLAR POWER – PLAN”

  1. I am thinking about designing a small solar system and was wondering about the battery bank. Would you have any suggestions to offer after living with yours for a while?

    1. if I had it to do again I would probably go 24 volts… I can change my charge controller over any time but would need a new invert so for now what works works… capacity wise I am good but if I planned on being out more time in the winter I’d have gone with 8 of those golf cart batteries right away… as it is now I am hoping to get another 3 or 4 years out of mine and will not add any capacity until I swap them out…

      not sure if this is what you’r looking for… if you have any specific questions let me know…

  2. I am new to solar and am trying to learn about building about our backup lighting system. I have 2 deep cycle 12V batteries wired in parallel to feed the 12V lighting I have in the house. Wouldn’t I wire my 3 100W solar panels in parallel as well? I get confused (not knowing much about electrical stuff like this) which is more advatageous. Wouldn’t wiring it in parallel put more amps into the batteries?

    1. I am just getting started as well. But under my research you need three major things to get started. Panels. a Charge controller, and someplace to put the power. (Batteries, grid tie inverter)

      DC power has on weakness, low voltage = hot wires. The more resistance on the wire the more power is lost through heating up the wires. So you need thicker wire to lessen the resistance. Thick wire is expensive. So you need to keep in mind that main weakness. The longer the panels are from the charge controller the more resistance you have as well. Higher voltage flows easier so needs less thick wire.

      I am going with a MPPT Morningstar Sunforce charge controller, that gives me flexibility in the voltage needed to charge batteries. But it also gives me only 15 amps to work with. My two panels put out 24 -29 volts and 7 amps of power at full bright sun. So I am wiring them in series to one cut down the need for a bigger wire and to make sure I do not butt up against the amp ceiling.

      If you get that controller, and wired the panels in series (if they are 12 volt panels) you would have a much more nimble system to charge the batteries faster and could use less expensive wire as well. Yes the charge controller is much more expensive but it is supposedly a 30% increase over other types of non mppt charge controllers, so it acts like you have 30% more panels than you actually have. (Efficiency wise not raw power)

      Hope this helps some but please do not take my word as gospel, I still need to make my damn setup run been waiting on amazon for a week. Right now I have no practical experience, just theory, conjecture, research, and some wild youtube viewing.

    2. try to make this simple
      parallel wiring you add the amps (power)
      series you add the voltage.
      your wattage will be additive no matter what.
      The Charge Controller is what dictates how you wire them. But a MPPT charge controller can control the voltage and amps to better charge your batteries.
      I use 250 watt 39 volt panels (24 volt panels) on a 12 volt battery bank. The CC takes the higher volts and changes it to higher amps. Just one way to do it. I will be switching to 24 volt system when I by a new inverter. But I have no problems with the MPPT CC doing this for me.

      1. There is power to the land but not my cabin… We have an official dwelling, an old trailer, that is grid tied. My cabin is off the grid running on 480 watts of solar panels with 4 golf cart batteries for storage…

        As my place has no running water or bathrooms it is listed as a shed and as such has a much smaller tax footprint… might be something to look into…

  3. Your system is much like the one I’m making. Prices have really come down.
    How far is it from your panels to your charge controller, and what size wire did you use?

  4. Initial thoughts about going solar in a remote cabin. Main concern is having the battery bank sitting at -40 to -50 C in the winter. Will the low temps harm them and what batteries would be recommended?

    1. these batteries are now 4 years old and our cabin gets down to low teens in the winter… as long as they are fully charged you should be ok… but with temps that low if you place is seasonal you might want to store them in a heated area at home… good luck

  5. After installing a few systems both grid tied and off grid I’m convinced from an economic standpoint unless you just don’t have a way to tie in I would always go with a grid tied system. I like the micro-inverters now offered as well. The idea of going straight to AC just makes sense to me. I like to keep things simple and using this method you always have an expandable system.

    1. I was looking to do it off grid… I like having no outside connections to the world here… in my city house I agree that grid tied makes more sense…

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