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  • #16
    Originally posted by jflorey2 View Post
    Yes.

    Yes - PROVIDED the converter does not collapse the input (i.e. draw more current than the panel can deliver.) That can often be a problem.
    Right, so like other guys said, sunlight should be enough to produce the needed current for the converter to do its job.
    I figure I could have a meter after the panel, to know when to turn on the set up, if having the controller permanently connected causes any damage. So, question: Does leaving the converter permanently connected, with or without attached load on the output, reset/damage the controller or burn/damage something?

    BTW. I'm reading all these comments, and a used cheap car battery seems like the way to go given the extremely low loads I have to supply. That and a charge controller, of course. But I still appreciate all the info you guys can provide on these little DC-DC converters. Thanks.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by RenewablesRock View Post

      If you're going to use a cheap charge controller, you need a battery or you can do damage to the charge controller. Just like they said above, use any old car battery (that still charges). The inverter's that I plug into the load section of my charge controller charge up a cell phone with no problems. I paid $26 for each of them and they run up to 600 watts peak. I've run fans, lights, big TV's and charged our phones after Hurricane Irma nailed us.

      I had two of these fans running on us all night while we slept with no power all powered by one of those small inverters. The 100 Ah battery kept it running like a champ. I can imagine the small setup I have here would be an absolute godsend for many people in PR still without power.

      I went back to the store that I bought this inverter and I couldn't find it. I went to one of the store managers and asked them how such a huge electronics store could go without carrying things such as power inverters. They sell gas generators.

      I'm wanting to buy a larger inverter but I don't want to pull the trigger until I find the perfect one. I am hoping for 1,000 to 3,000 watts where I can run cables to a junction box with breakers to run power throughout my house in various rooms. That would be nice to have free power all over at a moment's notice. When the next hurricane comes, I want to be prepared. I want to put all of my solar panels back inside the garage. When the store is over, I want to put them back outside and connect them to give me power again.

      According to my Kill A Watt, this fan uses only 22 watts at full speed. The inverter is putting out a nice 120V.

      I know this is totally unrelated to the this thread but I would like to know more about your particular set up, to possibly replicate it myself, who knows.
      I don't need much power(for the next one to two years), this is going on a property that's too secluded to get power comfortably(too many new light poles = aesthetically unpleasing), also time consuming and stressful(bureaucracy and quality of end result). Eventually I'll need a proper solar set up, with several panels, several batteries, and all the rest.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Soleadus View Post
        Right, so like other guys said, sunlight should be enough to produce the needed current for the converter to do its job.
        I figure I could have a meter after the panel, to know when to turn on the set up, if having the controller permanently connected causes any damage.
        That won't work well, unless it's an ammeter and you switch it out when you enable the DC/DC converter. (The voltage pretty much always shows OCV even when the light is insufficient to support much load.)
        So, question: Does leaving the converter permanently connected, with or without attached load on the output, reset/damage the controller or burn/damage something?
        Nope. As long as you don't load down the output when the light input is insufficient.
        BTW. I'm reading all these comments, and a used cheap car battery seems like the way to go given the extremely low loads I have to supply. That and a charge controller, of course. But I still appreciate all the info you guys can provide on these little DC-DC converters. Thanks.
        That would likely be wise - provided you do not rely on the cheap car battery for any significant storage.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Soleadus View Post

          Right, so like other guys said, sunlight should be enough to produce the needed current for the converter to do its job. I figure I could have a meter after the panel,.
          Hold the bus, it does not work that way. I can take a solar panel inside a dark room, and make it read full voltage with a flashlight. Will the panel supply power? No sir it will not, apply any load and the voltage collapses to 0 volts at 0 amps.

          MSEE, PE

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Soleadus View Post


            I know this is totally unrelated to the this thread but I would like to know more about your particular set up, to possibly replicate it myself, who knows.
            I don't need much power(for the next one to two years), this is going on a property that's too secluded to get power comfortably(too many new light poles = aesthetically unpleasing), also time consuming and stressful(bureaucracy and quality of end result). Eventually I'll need a proper solar set up, with several panels, several batteries, and all the rest.
            I bought two Duracell Ultra 100 Ah batteries locally, but they were super expensive. I just ordered two more of these batteries to add so that way I will have 400 Ah, 200 Ah usable: https://amzn.to/2K8tUNw

            I've seen videos of people living in RV's using the same batteries that I just ordered from that link. I saw some people charging them with anywhere between 100 to 160 watt solar panels mounted on the roof of their vans or RV's. For a while I just had one 310 watt solar panel in my yard. I started off with a Windy Nation PWM charge controller. That seemed to work good. I then upgraded to the EPEver Tracer 40 amp, which I saw many people on YouTube using as well. I've watched probably hundreds of hours of solar and charge controller videos on YouTube so far. These nomads are doing a great job out in Arizona and Nevada living out of vans and converted vehicles. My biggest wish is to run A/C on solar. Maybe not 24 hours a day, but at least enough where I can run it during peak hours when the temperature of my house goes crazy. This could compliment my central air. And maybe I could raise the central air to a higher temp and use the solar powered A/C in the room I stay in the most. Every time I go to Home Depot and show people photos of what I am working on, most all are amazed and wonder how I am able to do this.

            I have bought most of my stuff through Amazon. But if I post a whole bunch of links of where I got everything, the forum will not allow the post to go live. The only things I bought locally were the solar panels and two batteries. The rest were pretty much on Amazon.

            Just scrolling through my previous Amazon orders I can see orders for:
            - 4 orders of 4 gauge battery inverter cables
            - 2 100 amp hour batteries
            - MC4 connectors to put wire multiple solar panels in parallel since it was suggested that my panels are putting out too much power to run them in series for my charge controller
            - EPEver Tracer 40 amp
            - 40 amp circuit breaker
            - Install Gear 4 gauge gold ring terminals
            - 60 amp circuit breaker
            - Kill A Watt electricity usage monitor

            Stuff I ordered in 2017 right before Hurricane Irma nailed us just so I could test out the panels I bought:
            - 2 of Sun YOBA 5 Pairs of MC4 Male/ Female Solar Panel Cable Connectors
            - Renogy TOOL-MC4 Solar Panel Mc4 ASSEMBLY Tool
            - MC4 Solar Panel Cable Crimper Crimping Tool for Solar Panel Connectors Wire Cable 2.5-6mm2 (AWG 14-10), LS-2546B
            - WindyNation P20L LCD 20A PWM Solar Panel Regulator Charge Controller with LCD Digital Display and User Adjustable Settings
            - DIGITEN Mini 2 Wire DC 4.5-30V LED Panel Digital Display Voltage Meter Voltmeter

            I was able to use the stuff in 2017 to power some small 12V batteries that I took out of a UPS battery backup.

            What exactly are you wanting to run and for how long? That's the big question. You have to build a system that does your needs. If it's only a laptop, that's pretty easy. I think the cheap PWM controller would even run that, but I would not advise it. I would get the cheapest MPPT controller you could find instead and just pay a little extra. Even the cheapest EPEver Tracer 10 amp is a good controller and will charge the batteries quickly. No average laptop needs 10 amps of juice to run, especially stuff by Apple. My Mac Mini only takes about 90 watts of power to run.

            Comment


            • #21
              A cheap car battery will work fine for now if that's all you have and are planning to use it only temporary. Many people use those. Just don't plan on using it for 4-5 years. You need deep cycle marine batteries or even golf cart batteries. I spent the extra money for AGM batteries since I am using this stuff indoors. If you use a car battery (if it's one of those that require distilled water periodically), make sure you change the setting in the charge controller to be set to "Flooded" and not "GEL". It will charge the battery differently during the day.

              The Windy Nation charge controller I bought knowing in advance it would just be for testing and that I would basically be throwing money away. Keep that in mind. I have not powered anything that requires significant energy. So far I only run stuff like a 22 watt fan and maybe a 15 watt LED bulb and also my HP inkjet printer. That's what I am testing the waters with for now. As soon as I get more batteries and stuff, I plan on maybe running my 55" TV off of it.

              The PWM charge controllers are perfect for shed use where people only go in once in a blue moon to turn on a light bulb or power a small radio while they are working. If you want to run long term stuff like laptops for hours and other small devices, I recommend MPPT. If you can't afford an MPPT, just know if you buy a PWM, plan on spending more money in the near future to replace it.
              Last edited by RenewablesRock; 07-28-2018, 01:13 PM.

              Comment


              • #22
                If you're going to use that stuff outdoors, you could almost get a little toy wagon and put most of the equipment in that and then just connect the solar panels to it when you're outside. You could easily use a cheap or free flooded car battery as long as you are charging it outside and not have to worry about the hydrogen in the air issues.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by jflorey2 View Post
                  That would likely be wise - provided you do not rely on the cheap car battery for any significant storage.
                  Yes. I would only have them as a means of transferring power to very small loads, like a 12V mini water pump that would run for less than an hour during light hours.

                  When the time comes to set up the system I'll probably end up going all the way. "All the way" in terms of the range of 2Kw +/-.

                  The priority is the transferring of water from a rain collection system. I'll probably keep it manual until I'm ready to set up the PV system. I'll make sure to have pictures as things develop. Currently, I'm in the stone age in terms of development.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by RenewablesRock View Post

                    I bought two Duracell Ultra 100 Ah batteries locally, but they were super expensive. I just ordered two more of these batteries to add so that way I will have 400 Ah, 200 Ah usable: https://amzn.to/2K8tUNw

                    I've seen videos of people living in RV's using the same batteries that I just ordered from that link. I saw some people charging them with anywhere between 100 to 160 watt solar panels mounted on the roof of their vans or RV's. For a while I just had one 310 watt solar panel in my yard. I started off with a Windy Nation PWM charge controller. That seemed to work good. I then upgraded to the EPEver Tracer 40 amp, which I saw many people on YouTube using as well. I've watched probably hundreds of hours of solar and charge controller videos on YouTube so far. These nomads are doing a great job out in Arizona and Nevada living out of vans and converted vehicles. My biggest wish is to run A/C on solar. Maybe not 24 hours a day, but at least enough where I can run it during peak hours when the temperature of my house goes crazy. This could compliment my central air. And maybe I could raise the central air to a higher temp and use the solar powered A/C in the room I stay in the most. Every time I go to Home Depot and show people photos of what I am working on, most all are amazed and wonder how I am able to do this.

                    I have bought most of my stuff through Amazon. But if I post a whole bunch of links of where I got everything, the forum will not allow the post to go live. The only things I bought locally were the solar panels and two batteries. The rest were pretty much on Amazon.

                    Just scrolling through my previous Amazon orders I can see orders for:
                    - 4 orders of 4 gauge battery inverter cables
                    - 2 100 amp hour batteries
                    - MC4 connectors to put wire multiple solar panels in parallel since it was suggested that my panels are putting out too much power to run them in series for my charge controller
                    - EPEver Tracer 40 amp
                    - 40 amp circuit breaker
                    - Install Gear 4 gauge gold ring terminals
                    - 60 amp circuit breaker
                    - Kill A Watt electricity usage monitor

                    Stuff I ordered in 2017 right before Hurricane Irma nailed us just so I could test out the panels I bought:
                    - 2 of Sun YOBA 5 Pairs of MC4 Male/ Female Solar Panel Cable Connectors
                    - Renogy TOOL-MC4 Solar Panel Mc4 ASSEMBLY Tool
                    - MC4 Solar Panel Cable Crimper Crimping Tool for Solar Panel Connectors Wire Cable 2.5-6mm2 (AWG 14-10), LS-2546B
                    - WindyNation P20L LCD 20A PWM Solar Panel Regulator Charge Controller with LCD Digital Display and User Adjustable Settings
                    - DIGITEN Mini 2 Wire DC 4.5-30V LED Panel Digital Display Voltage Meter Voltmeter

                    I was able to use the stuff in 2017 to power some small 12V batteries that I took out of a UPS battery backup.

                    What exactly are you wanting to run and for how long? That's the big question. You have to build a system that does your needs. If it's only a laptop, that's pretty easy. I think the cheap PWM controller would even run that, but I would not advise it. I would get the cheapest MPPT controller you could find instead and just pay a little extra. Even the cheapest EPEver Tracer 10 amp is a good controller and will charge the batteries quickly. No average laptop needs 10 amps of juice to run, especially stuff by Apple. My Mac Mini only takes about 90 watts of power to run.
                    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate you taking the time to make that post.
                    I've searched for all the parts you mentioned. I made a wishlist on AMZ for it. Without batteries I'm looking at 1200 more or less.

                    I don't see a mention of an inverter.
                    I would need it, eventually. My priority with solar is to run a fridge, a small one, about 7 cubic feet, Then it's phone charging, power tool battery charging, 4 or 5 LED light bulbs, and TV, maybe.
                    I found some reputable ones, pure sine wave, and all that. I've also watched my hours of vids about solar, but not hundreds like you did.

                    You guys in the US have it good when it comes to shipping costs. The battery from the link you posted won't even ship to this island. I'll have to call some place local, compare their price to buying on AMZ then shipping to the US(I have family there) and then ship them to me here.
                    Last edited by Soleadus; 08-10-2018, 07:10 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Batteries, look into getting golf cart batteries locally. Two 6V batteries in series will give you 12V @ 200ah Nearly everywhere has a golf course with carts
                      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

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Soleadus View Post

                        Thanks for the reply. I appreciate you taking the time to make that post.
                        I've searched for all the parts you mentioned. I made a wishlist on AMZ for it. Without batteries I'm looking at 1200 more or less.

                        I don't see a mention of an inverter.
                        I would need it, eventually. My priority with solar is to run a fridge, a small one, about 7 cubic feet, Then it's phone charging, power tool battery charging, 4 or 5 LED light bulbs, and TV, maybe.
                        I found some reputable ones, pure sine wave, and all that. I've also watched my hours of vids about solar, but not hundreds like you did.

                        You guys in the US have it good when it comes to shipping costs. The battery from the link you posted won't even ship to this island. I'll have to call some place local, compare their price to buying on AMZ then shipping to the US(I have family there) and then ship them to me here.
                        I bought the inverters locally for almost $50. But they are too small and they are not a pure sine wave versions. A good pure sine wave inverter is tough. I found many on Amazon but most had bad reviews.

                        This John Daniel guy swears by his modified sine wave inverter. I've seen him run tons of power tools and what not and all using cheap, Harbor Freight 100 watt solar panels.

                        https://youtu.be/coibfrlTVsc

                        Look at some of his videos. I've seen him run an A/C on the inverter and other power tools. I've seen lots of inverters like his used on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by RenewablesRock View Post

                          I bought the inverters locally for almost $50. But they are too small and they are not a pure sine wave versions. A good pure sine wave inverter is tough. I found many on Amazon but most had bad reviews.

                          This John Daniel guy swears by his modified sine wave inverter. I've seen him run tons of power tools and what not and all using cheap, Harbor Freight 100 watt solar panels.

                          https://youtu.be/coibfrlTVsc

                          Look at some of his videos. I've seen him run an A/C on the inverter and other power tools. I've seen lots of inverters like his used on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
                          The biggest issue with Modified sine wave inverters is that they tend to screw up electronics and motors (like those found in say a refrigerator).

                          Please don't take what you see on YouTube as always being correct or even safe. While the equipment may run for a short period of time continues use of a Mod Sine Wave on a refrigerator will end in failure.
                          Last edited by SunEagle; 08-11-2018, 10:38 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

                            The biggest issue with Modified sine wave inverters is that they tend to screw up electronics and motors (like those found in say a refrigerator).

                            Please don't take what you see on YouTube as always being correct or even safe. While the equipment may run for a short period of time continues use of a Mod Sine Wave on a refrigerator will end in failure.
                            That's why I said it's tough. I think mine are modified. I only power a lamp and a fan on mine for testing. I've run a big screen TV and computer for short intervals just to see if it was possible. But long term seems scary on the electronics.

                            Soleadus, look on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace and maybe you can find a good, used pure sine wave inverter locally. It may cost a little more, but then you will probably have cleaner power coming out of that than the utility company.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by RenewablesRock View Post

                              That's why I said it's tough. I think mine are modified. I only power a lamp and a fan on mine for testing. I've run a big screen TV and computer for short intervals just to see if it was possible. But long term seems scary on the electronics.

                              Soleadus, look on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace and maybe you can find a good, used pure sine wave inverter locally. It may cost a little more, but then you will probably have cleaner power coming out of that than the utility company.
                              What makes you think such a thing, particularly acquiring such stuff in a used condition from an unknown source ? What do you mean by cleaner ?

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by RenewablesRock View Post

                                That's why I said it's tough. I think mine are modified. I only power a lamp and a fan on mine for testing. I've run a big screen TV and computer for short intervals just to see if it was possible. But long term seems scary on the electronics.

                                Soleadus, look on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace and maybe you can find a good, used pure sine wave inverter locally. It may cost a little more, but then you will probably have cleaner power coming out of that than the utility company.


                                I own a Xantrex 600W PSW inverter and have never had an issue with it. I believe Samlex and Go Power are also good products although not cheap.

                                One thing that scared me on the youtube video is that with a 3000Watt inverter connected to a 12volt battery can draw close to 250 amps so the wiring between the inverter and battery needs to be real big and have the proper fusing.

                                Oh and while I may get power dips and spikes from my POCO it is much cleaner then you think because I have tested it with a Fluke 435 power meter and there are no harmonics or voltage transients unless we get lightning somewhere close.[/QUOTE]
                                Last edited by SunEagle; 08-11-2018, 11:05 AM.

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