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  • solar system for shed

    im building a shed and would like to have a solar system on it just for fun. the easiest way would be to get a goal zero yeti 150 and a small panel but like to do a little more than that.

    i got a quote today from a company for $2500 for a 280 watt panel 1000watt inverter charge controller wires and i use my own battery. how could it be 2500? the panel is $250 inverter and charge controller im guessing are roughly $200 each and wires after that.

    i was wondering what do you guys think i should do for my setup, i want something small that charge dewalt batteries maybe 3ah a week and run 4 led lights ever now and then while im in the shed. i dont mind spending some money but not $2500.

    it seems like the yeti and small panel is my best bet but want to know if there are any kits out there better than the yeti? i see canadian solar has a nice little all in one where you just plug a panel into it so im wondering if any of you guys have played around with that one?

    thank for all the replys.

  • #2
    Unfortunately I have never seen a "kit" that was worth the money. IMO even the Yeti hardware is over priced.

    You can build your own system depending on what you need and how you want to mount the panel but will require some research and labor to put it together.

    I spent (actually over spent) about $2500 on a system that included 4 x 90 watt panels, 12V 200Ah battery system, 30A PSM CC, 600watt PSW inverter, along with the hardware and electrical cables to connect it all.

    It can safely produce about 600 watt hours daily which is enough for me but I could have saved about $1000 if I purchased a 30A MPPT type CC and used 2 x 6V 235Ah batteries instead of the AGM type. It would have produced more power and cost me less.

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    • #3
      What would you recommend for under $1000? I already have my own battery.

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      • #4
        I have a small 400 watt system for my shed. I spent somewhere near $1700. Got the panels, AGM batts and inverter from WindyNation and a Victron MPPT controller from another dealer. Not sure what folks here think of WindyNation, but the stuff is working fine. I did not include the mounting as I built it with materials from a local building supply store. From what I can recall, the cost was less than $200.

        Full disclosure: I ordered the 200 watt kit (panels, battery, PWM charge controller and inverter) last year and ordered another kit this year, minus the inverter. I used the PWM charge controller the first year then when I installed the second set, I replaced it with the Victron. Yeah, I probably could have saved some $$ by not getting the kits but, to me, this was the easiest way to get a small system to try out and learn about solar and maybe get a little benefit from it.

        I use mine primarily to power lights, a fan and the occasional power tool as well as charging cordless power tool batteries.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Freeesun View Post
          What would you recommend for under $1000? I already have my own battery.
          What is the make and model of that battery? Specifically the Ah rating at 20 hrs. From there we can determine the amount of panel wattage, charge controller and inverter size.

          You can probably build a small system for under $1000 but you still need to have it balanced so the battery does not get under or over charged.

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          • #6
            i actually really like that windy nation website they have some nice stuff thats really cheap and nowhere near $2500.

            my battery is a 70 amp hour battery its not a deep cycle and it came off of a wrecked car i bought. not sure if its in 20 hrs or not? just says 70ah at the top
            its a ...super start platinum" wouldnt the battery be protected from under or overcharging from the charge controller? i thought thats what its meant to do? i would really like to stick with the canadian solar all black panel which is i belive 265 or 285 watts and base my system around that panel.

            for allensco. why did you spend $1700 on 400 watts when on that windy nation website a 400 watt system is around $600?


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            • #7
              what i would really like is a all black panel dosent have to be canadian solar but ive read that panasonic panels are good so any all black panel that you guys suggest im willing to look into. ill beb using the shed every one and a while so the battery will hjave a lot of time to charge but when i use the shed i would like to run lights a stereo and maybe even a electric heater. so i would be using power pretty hard but let the system charge up for a while after that.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Freeesun View Post
                i actually really like that windy nation website they have some nice stuff thats really cheap and nowhere near $2500.

                my battery is a 70 amp hour battery its not a deep cycle and it came off of a wrecked car i bought. not sure if its in 20 hrs or not? just says 70ah at the top
                its a ...super start platinum" wouldnt the battery be protected from under or overcharging from the charge controller? i thought thats what its meant to do? i would really like to stick with the canadian solar all black panel which is i belive 265 or 285 watts and base my system around that panel.

                for allensco. why did you spend $1700 on 400 watts when on that windy nation website a 400 watt system is around $600?

                While a CC should not over charge a battery it can charge it too quickly by pumping in a high rate of amps. An FLA type battery usually can be charged between a C/12 to C/18 rate where C = the Ah rating at 20 hours. So if you had a true 70Ah battery (most starter batteries are not deep cycle) you would need somewhere between 6 & 9 amps. Too much and the battery can "cook". To little and the battery plates can "sulfate".

                I am not sure why Allensco spent what he did, but I will say that you can spend a lot just on the hardware to mount the panels, wire and fuse the system. It can add up if you don't plan ahead.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Freeesun View Post
                  what i would really like is a all black panel dosent have to be canadian solar but ive read that panasonic panels are good so any all black panel that you guys suggest im willing to look into. ill beb using the shed every one and a while so the battery will hjave a lot of time to charge but when i use the shed i would like to run lights a stereo and maybe even a electric heater. so i would be using power pretty hard but let the system charge up for a while after that.
                  For your understanding a 12V 70Ah battery can safely provide about 210 watt hours a day (12v x 70Ah x .25% = 210 watt hours). So depending on how much your loads actually use in a day will determine how big a battery system you need.

                  Most people underestimate their required watt hour usage by just thinking, "I only want to run a couple of lights, radio and heater" to find out they will drain their battery in less than an hour which will kill it.

                  So before you hang your hat on a "black" panel you may want to calculate what your battery system should be to meet your needs and then determine your panel wattage (whatever color is a vailable).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Freeesun View Post
                    i actually really like that windy nation website they have some nice stuff thats really cheap and nowhere near $2500.

                    for allensco. why did you spend $1700 on 400 watts when on that windy nation website a 400 watt system is around $600?

                    IF I had bought the 400 watt kit first, it would've been cheaper. I wanted something to learn on (play with) so I got the 200 watt kit (with inverter) last year...then ordered another 200 watt kit (minus the inverter) earlier this year. The Victron MPPT 100/50 charge controller was $325 by itself and I had to buy more wire, fuses, etc. My estimate may be a little high. I'd have to go back and figure out exactly what I spent but I figure I'm pretty close. Just the equipment totals right under $1500 the way I purchased it (which in hindsight was a bad thing), not including the extras I had to buy to hook it all up.

                    Edit: after doing a little figuring, I arrived at a grand total for everything at under $2000. Too much, I know and I'm not setting a good example.

                    If you go with the 400 watt kit (as I should have), it'll be cheaper and you'll have a more $$ to add to it/upgrade later. It's a good starting point. If I had to do it over again, I'd go that route. My system is small and as much as I'm getting into solar and really enjoying learning about it, I can't see dumping more $$ into it for what I use it for. It does what I want it to and for me, that's enough....for now I'm sure SunKing will be along soon to ream me out for spending that much $$ on such a small system
                    Last edited by AllenSco; 10-24-2018, 01:21 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Learning on a small scale is very beneficial. Then when going for an all out system, it will be just
                      what is actually needed, at the right price. Bruce Roe K9MQG since 1958

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                      • #12
                        it would mostly be just for small stuff and if i end up getting fridge or multiple heaters and my system cant keep up i can always run a electrical wire from the house to the shed for the extras. after this battery dies i would like to get a deep cycle battery and keep everythig simple. just one panel one battery etc... im mostly doing this for fun and to learn about solar.

                        the system would have multiple days to recover but i would like to use quite a bit when using it but not for long. if im in there i wont spend 5 hours in there and if i need more power i guess i could always double my battery size down the road?

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                        • #13
                          what setup would you guys do for a simple shed install? i have a battery and want that all black panel now im interested in a acharge controller and a inverter? what is everyon suggestion. ive been reading a little about cc and it seems that i would do a mppt type and for a inverter i see that i should get a pure sine wave. is that all or is there more to it?

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                          • #14
                            i could even buy a battery or two for my setup but would really like to use the one i have for free. but just for fun what would everyone suggest for a 265 watt solar panel?

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                            • #15
                              nobody has any advie on a charge controller or inverter?

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