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Newbie putting in solar off grid

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  • Newbie putting in solar off grid

    Hello new here and new to solar.I have an off grid hunting cabin I want to put in a very small solar system.All I need it to run are a couple 60 watt light bulbs and a small flat screen tv.I have 2 deep cycle marine batteries to start with.Im thinking 3 100 watt panels in parallel.With a renogy mppt 30 amp controller and a 750 watt pure sine inverter.One of my questions is grounding this system? Do I drive a grounding rod in the ground and hook the ground on the battery to it via 8 gauge wire?Will the panels be grounded through this also?It will be 30 ft from panels to charge controller I will be running 8 gauge ext cables to the controller.I realize it's a lot of questions and a big thanks for responding and your time.

  • #2
    You need to series wire the panels for input into an MPPT controller.

    60 watt lights? Get some 60 watt equivalent LED lights. Warm white are much easier on the eyes.


    After you wear out the Marine deep cycle batteries get a pair of 6 volt golf cart batteries. Better suited for your usage.
    2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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    • #3
      A much more efficient system would use LED lights and a TV all designed to run directly from
      the battery, such as RVers use. Bruce Roe

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      • #4
        As others have mentioned, definitely buy some led lamps. That will be the biggest/best thing you can do for your small system.

        If you're going to run a small tv, make sure it's an efficient led unit. Some of them draw less than a 40W light bulb.

        A 750w inverter is plenty big, in fact you could reading get away with a 300w for what you're talking about running. Pure Sine is a good choice.

        If you've already got the Marine batteries and have no other use for them, then use them. But as mentioned, a couple golf cart batteries will have a longer lifespan.

        If your cabin is subject to extreme cold and snow in the winter, id suggest taking the batteries home with you when close up for the year. Put them on a trickle charger at home and bring them back up when you return next season.


        Grounding a system that small, that's off grid, may be optional. Need a guru to weigh in. But if you do ground it, you'll need to run #6awg up to the panels and connect that to the panels (if mounted direct to timber) or the rails of whatever racking system you use. They are not grounded via the DC wiring.

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        • #5
          Go with grid tie panels instead of battery based panels. Every installer has extra panels they want to get rid of and it will be far less than than half of what you are thinking of buying. If you don't get at least 500W of panels, you might as well stay home. Long storage = long recovery. An equally bad situation to be in.

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