dcsimg

Small solar power station

This topic contains 43 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  richardandrews 1 year, 5 months ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 44 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #229052

    Lakelover
    Pro
    Fort Qu'Appelle, SK

    Hey folks.

    I have been thinking about setting up a small solar system.

    Something to run the WIFI router and cel phone amp. So when the power goes out, I am not cut off from the world. Or just hook it up and not worry about change over during a storm esp if I am not home and sweety is here alone.

    Also add a small inverter to keep the cordless tool topped up.

    Anyone ever tackle such a task?

    #229057

    TonyG
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    I have helped install solar systems as an apprentice never did one by myself. I was just doing what I was told to do and how to do it. What I remember was that we installed the solar panel and than wire theme to batteries. We had rows and columns of batteries. We wired the rows in series and than wires the columns Paralell. They we hooked it up to the electrical system. But I cannot recall how we tied it in as in if we used some type of transfer switch. @rickr would be the person I would ask.

    #229084

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Hey folks.

    I have been thinking about setting up a small solar system.

    Something to run the WIFI router and cel phone amp. So when the power goes out, I am not cut off from the world. Or just hook it up and not worry about change over during a storm esp if I am not home and sweety is here alone.

    Also add a small inverter to keep the cordless tool topped up.

    Anyone ever tackle such a task?

    Sounds like a good idea. Interested in this too. Speaking of solar, Tesla broke ground on a new battery factory in NV. It is not so much the batteries he will produce for the cars but the batteries he will produce for the home solar market. The plan is to market both the car and a home solar charging system. If he does that look out; it is a game changer for both the auto and electric companies. Come home plug your car in charge it for free. Road taxes? Goodbye.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #229085

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    It’s pretty easy. Start by adding up the wattage of ALL the things you want to power at the same time. Then figure out how long you want to have power when the lights go out. Then get solar panels rated for 2x that wattage (this will vary all over the place if you look, but that’s what I would go for on a small system) It’s going to be more then you think.

    You’ll need a charging regulator (or things get over charged) because you need to have it charging all the time or it won’t be ready for the power outage.

    I would go with 24V system, so that means a min of two 12V AGM batteries or four 6V AGM batteries. I wouldn’t even mess with lead acid batteries. They need to be vented (might makes inside use an issue) They won’t last (unless you have some older 12V car bats you want to use just to kill them) and they leach their charge to quickly compared to AGM

    Get a 24V inverter.

    Get a variable input voltage USB plug and start looking at all your electronics that either run on 5V or have a voltage range (usually 12V-36V) Try not to go 24V->120V->5V It’s inefficient. Our cell phone chargers, USB wifi hub, GPS, laptop etc all run off of 24V

    Be careful of voltage drops. Things don’t like to charge, switch, regulate with low/high DC voltages. Wire gauge and length is extremely important. It was a night mare in my Lancruiser until I got that figured out.

    I looked hard at doing this for our truck to supplement batteries while camping and the amount of panels was just to many to make it mobile.

    I will rig something up on the farm for sure when we get there.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #229093

    Lakelover
    Pro
    Fort Qu'Appelle, SK

    @theamcguy
    Tesla sure is pushing the industry along, good for them. Darn glad they are building a plant in North America. Any Idea when they are going to get the plant open ?

    @thedude306
    I have a high school level of electronics, so my milivolts and miliamps confuse the heck out of me.

    That you say 24 v. Ohh shivers. Can you give me some links to the products you have used.

    Living on rural power sucks. In the summer our power is out way more than winter.

    I’ll have to find a link about solar power. His largest beef was people undersize wire in DC systems way to often.

    #229102

    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    Very good idea can’t wait to see how it works out

    #229103

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    I have the ML2300 in our truck

    http://www.dcacpowerinverters.com/24_volt_power_inverters.html

    I’ve got a converting from here for 24V to 12V in the truck. Flawless. They have lots of other things for your solar needs.

    http://www.solarconverters.com/index.php/products

    from there is goes to one of these to control the charging to the 12V battery. You would need one for 24V.

    http://www.amazon.ca/Sunforce-7-Amp-Charge-Controller/dp/B0006JO0XI

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #229106

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    Living on rural power sucks. In the summer our power is out way more than winter.

    For this exact reason I am putting in a ng generator with the house. It will be a completely automatic system.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #229156

    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    You know that Hilfiger has released their solar power jacket to charge your devices. Have been watching this tech for a while now and it’s hitting main stream now boys and girls. W00t

    Ugly stuff though. Come on Bosch can you show them how it is done?

    Solar Panel Jacket Tommy Hilfiger USA
    http://usa.tommy.com/shop/en/thb2cus/7655931

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #229160

    Living on rural power sucks. In the summer our power is out way more than winter.

    For this exact reason I am putting in a ng generator with the house. It will be a completely automatic system.

    @thedude306, Thanks Brad! Are you off the grid? Our electric company is really jerking us around. It’s been almost a year since we’ve applied to get our PV system. They are a monopoly here and have been holding up PV installations for everyone. I am really thinking of going off the grid.

    #229169

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    esla sure is pushing the industry along, good for them. Darn glad they are building a plant in North America. Any Idea when they are going to get the plant open ?

    Don’t really know but when they do and if they can sell cars with a home solar charging system like I say it will be a game changer, range or not.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #229177

    thedude306
    Moderator
    Foam Lake, SK

    @maukarunner not going off the grid. But being ready for when it doesn’t work. We will wire in lots of low voltage in our house for “just in case” I just have too many high amperage toys that I would miss and I honestly would miss having the convenience of the grid.

    The best would be if we could sell power back to the utility. (we can’t here, they only credit us for what we use) Then there becomes some incentive to get an efficient (cost effective) solar array. And not have to have $$$ in batteries. Sell surplus solar to the grid (don’t have to store energy) and still have it there for those rainy/cloudy days that you don’t see the sun or for those days that you want to weld, bake, pump the home theater…

    The batteries and electronics are the killer of the system. The actual panels are reasonable if you have the space.

    Brad T
    Self employed Pro since 2014!!

    #229198

    Seven-Delta-FortyOne
    Pro
    The Emerald Triangle, Northern California

    Good solid overview from TheDude.

    Between the panels and the battery is something called a “Charge Controller”. Search for one of those. That is what keeps the batteries from overcharging, and also keeps the batteries from drawing to much power initially.

    I second the recommendation for AGM, or even Lithium Ion, if you want to spend gobs of money. Here’s an article from homepower.com about them.

    http://www.homepower.com/articles/solar-electricity/equipment-products/lithium-ion-batteries-grid-systems

    Remember that there are losses every time you convert from one thing to another. For example, an inverter changing 12 or 24 volt dc to 120 volt ac is only about 85% efficient. So if you have 100 amps available in the batteries, you only have about 85 amps to use.

    If you are going to be running anything sensitive, or with solid-state controls, you must use a pure-sine-wave inverter. Modified sine wave simply will not work. Pure sine inverters are about twice the cost.

    Remember also that the amp rating on batteries is usually a 20-hour rating, meaning a 100 amp battery will supply 100 amps over a 20 hour period. If you discharge the battery in say, 1 hour, you’ll only get about 93 or so amps.

    Delta

    Goin' Down In Flames........

    #229202

    hgonzalez7
    Pro
    San Antonio, Texas

    Subscribed!
    Great information in this thread.

    Bert

    #229211

    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    This is a great idea and a great thread. I would love to live off the grid and will take some of the advice here while I research it.

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #229213

    TonyG
    Pro
    Colorado Springs, CO

    There is a lot of great information. Not only for a home owner but as an electrician that does primarily residential.

    #229356

    jdw1865
    Pro
    Dewey, OK

    There was an article last summer in Fine Home Building (I think) about a contractor who put a couple of solar panels, a windmill, some batteries and an inverter. Used it as a power supply on work sites. It was a really neat set up.

    I have thought about adding solar panels to the top of my topper to keep my tool batteries charged up.

    #229502

    jstare
    Pro
    Langley, BC

    This is a great idea, good luck with making it work and hopefully you can come up with a good solution

    #229553

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    @Delta, Thank you for the info. Good stuff.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #229623

    Lakelover
    Pro
    Fort Qu'Appelle, SK

    I found this link. some good reading.
    https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/2014-solar-ideas-batteries-other-things/

    Going totally off grid is a $ affair.

    I just want some minimal backup.

    A few houses I have worked on had NG backup gen sets. I don’t know the costs. From my reading if you just keep water flowing and the fridge freezer working it is not that bad. To run a whole house with 0 inconvenience well crack the wallet open.

    @seven-delta-fortyone
    Good article.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 44 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

queries. 2.731 seconds