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  • Few questions / system review

    This has been a great resource, I'm combing through posts - if there's anything glaring that's already been answered feel free to point me in the direction, thanks!

    Daily needs: 1.09 kWh, Solar zone 2 (SE Utah)

    I'd be appreciative of any input on the off-grid system below, and have three main questions right now:

    1) do I need a remote inverter controller? The wholesaler I'm buying from recommends it (specifically the Magnum Energy ME-ARC Inverter Remote), they say the inverter (Magnum Energy MMS1012G) needs to be reprogrammed for most folks use

    2) The panels will be 50 ft from the structure where energy will be consumed. What would be the best distances to configure? For example, keep everything at the panels, run a cable to the structure - or house everything there

    3) What is the proper application / place for breakers? One between charge controller and batteries and then between panels and the controller?

    Thank you in advance for your time!

    I'm planning to purchase & install this system:

    Magnum Energy MMS1012G Inverter
    4 Solarland SLP160S-12 Silver Mono Solar Panel
    Four Star Solar MC4 Unlocking Tool
    Four Star Solar MC4 10 AWG - 100' Cable Extension
    Four Star Solar 2/0 - 96" UL Cable (White)
    Four Star Solar 2/0 - 60" UL Cable (Red)
    Four Star Solar 2/0 - 36" UL Cable (Red)
    ? *Magnum Energy ME-ARC Inverter Remote
    MidNite Solar MNBCM battery capacity meter
    MidNite Solar MNEPV-60 Breaker MidNite Solar MNEPV 15 amp 150VDC din rail mount breaker
    Morningstar Corporation TriStar TS-MPPT-45 Charge Controller MidNite Solar MNDC125 Breaker Box Morningstar Corporation TriStar Controller TS-M-2 Display
    2 Crown AGM 220 Ah 12 VDC 2,640 Wh (2) Batteries

  • #2
    The first thing that jumps out to me is the 160 watt 12 volt panels. Unless you got a smoking price on them you are paying too much for panels that make little sense in a MPPT system. You can accomplish the same thing using 2 320 watt 24 volt panels which should price out cheaper than 4 160 watt panels. The 100 foot 10 awg cable extension, assuming it is for the 100 foot round trip from array to controller seems a little light.
    2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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    • #3
      Originally posted by littleharbor View Post
      The first thing that jumps out to me is the 160 watt 12 volt panels. Unless you got a smoking price on them you are paying too much for panels that make little sense in a MPPT system. You can accomplish the same thing using 2 320 watt 24 volt panels which should price out cheaper than 4 160 watt panels. The 100 foot 10 awg cable extension, assuming it is for the 100 foot round trip from array to controller seems a little light.
      Thanks for the feedback littleharbor!

      Panels: To keep costs down on the inverter I'm wiring the panels to be a 12v system, the inverter with 12v input vs 24v input seems to be significantly cheaper. The panels I'm looking at are $320 each.

      Wiring: The 100 ft cable extension is what I plan to use to move the energy from the panels to the 50 ft distance to the structure, so I'll plan to use about half of that unless I'm missing something.

      Thanks again!


      EDIT:

      After further research it seems like the voltage of my panels doesn't matter, the charge controller will step it into whatever my battery setup needs. If this is true I'm looking at getting 2 LG 310N1C Black Mono Solar Panels (310W 9.45A 32.8VDC) instead as it would save money. Does that seem like it would cause any issues?
      Last edited by coloradomoose; 12-12-2016, 02:52 PM.

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      • #4
        Coloradomoose,

        That's pretty much my point regarding using the larger, cheaper panels. Mppt controllers are a great way to take advantage of these modern panels plus you will harvest up to 30% more power from your panels than using a conventional PWM controller.

        You should be able to find 24 volt inverters comparably priced, although they will usually be of larger capacity.

        Your 100 foot MC-4 cable should be cut into two 50 foot pieces which gives you your positive and negative lines from your array to your charge controller.

        2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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        • #5
          > Four Star Solar MC4 10 AWG - 100' Cable Extension
          Nope, too lossy, Do they make a 8 AWG version ?
          I'll assume the controller batteries & inverter will be at the house, 50 ' remote from the PV array ?
          With the new panels, they are barely at the min voltage to allow you to EQ batteries, 32V and you may not be able to EQ on a hot day, 64V increases your downconversion losses, and causes the controller to run hotter.

          Advice - If you are handy with the internet, the 60A model of the TS-MPPT has a integral web server you can connect to any browser with a ethernet cable (I connect mine to a wi-fi router and connect to that with my laptop or phone - very handy) well worth the extra price, and you could skip the optional meter.





          Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
          || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
          || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

          solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
          gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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