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  • diy solar configuration for cabin

    Hi! Did some research in the threads before i decided to plan my solar install. First off i am building a small cabin about 400sqft. Most appliances will be propane to include stove fridge heater and water heater so no need for huge electricity demand.

    This is what i have for my plans (6) 300watt 12v panels for 1800w total. (2) 1000 w 12v inverters tied to (2) 200ah deep cycle batts a piece for total of (4) 200ah batts with (2) 80amp 12v charge controllers tied to each of the battery banks.

    My real question is do you think this is sufficient setup. Any suggestions recommendations would be helpful.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Stop.
    There are 24V inverters and charge controllers out there, That would be a better size for your system.

    Until you define your LOADS, we have no idea if your choices are sufficient. If you are running just 3 LED lights for 4 hours, it's way overkill. If you need to power a Sat Dish, router, modem, TV, 3 computers and a bread maker, you are underpowered.

    if you are going with 2 inverters, have one be a small one and the other for large loads, and it's mostly left OFF.. The idle/standby draw of large inverters is really bad. or locate a very large inverter 4Kw with good electronics (low idle loss) and use that.
    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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    • #3
      Thanks for the input. I adjusted the plan to be 24v panels inverters and charge controllers all adjusted to 24v.

      The load will be for 1 tv 3 hrs a day @ about 79 watts. 2 cell phone chargers 3 hours a day a piece @ about 4 watts a piece. 2 laptops @ 75 watts a piece for 3 hours a day a piece. Led lights 5 max 2 on at a time at about 9watts a piece. Well pump less than 1 hour a day on off @ 2100 watts peak.

      I roughly estimate 900 watt hrs day and 1000 watt hrs night for load.

      Thats the load that will be drawn daily.

      Thanks. Input is always appreciated. A quick question also can i leave the batteries at 12v in series each bank?
      Last edited by izzygnc; 04-15-2017, 10:42 AM. Reason: update estimated watt hours day night

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by izzygnc View Post
        Hi! Did some research in the threads before i decided to plan my solar install. First off i am building a small cabin about 400sqft. Most appliances will be propane to include stove fridge heater and water heater so no need for huge electricity demand.

        This is what i have for my plans (6) 300watt 12v panels for 1800w total. (2) 1000 w 12v inverters tied to (2) 200ah deep cycle batts a piece for total of (4) 200ah batts with (2) 80amp 12v charge controllers tied to each of the battery banks.
        1800 watts is a MONSTER of a Off-Grid System and is not a 12 volt application. Get out of that 12 volt box you are trapped in. You would have to buy two very expensive 80 Amp Charge Controllers to operate at 12 volts.That is just plain crazy talk.

        At a minimum requires 24 volts and that is not smart money either because it requires an expensive 80 Amp Charge Controller. So toss your plans in the garbage .

        Use Grid Tied panels, they cost 1/2 to 1/4 of 12 volt battery panels. 300 watt panels are not 12 volt battery panels. They are grid tied panels. With 6 of them you wire them 3S2P. Done that way, you will not need any expensive combiners or fuses. Just saved you a ton of money.

        You will need a 40 Amp MPPT charger for a 48 volt Battery. A Morningstar MS-MPPT-45 is a perfect fit for you. At 48 volts will allow you to grow to 2400 watts. Just saved you another $900.

        With 1800 watts of panels on a 48 volt battery requires a minimum of 300 AH up to 450 AH battery DO NOT USE 12 volt batteries. You will use 6-Volt batteries of the right capacity. Something like USB US L16 XC a 6 volt 385 AH battery. You would need 8 of them to make 48 volts @ 385 AH.

        With those batteries you can use up to a 3000 watt Inverter, but I recommend an Inverter no larger than panel wattage. A single 1500 would be a perfect fit.

        Partner you plan just plain suks and extremely dangerous because you are stuck inside a 12 volt box. Your way will attack your wallet and possible kill you.
        Last edited by Sunking; 04-15-2017, 10:45 PM.
        MSEE, PE

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        • #5
          Originally posted by izzygnc View Post
          I roughly estimate 900 watt hrs day and 1000 watt hrs night for load.

          Thats the load that will be drawn daily.

          Thanks. Input is always appreciated. A quick question also can i leave the batteries at 12v in series each bank?
          Cripes sake just caught this. Let me save you another $2000. Hell No you cannot use 12 volt batteries.

          Real simple:

          24 Volt Battery System:
          • Panel Wattage = 1000 Watts. Use 4 x 250 watt GT panel wired 2S2P. DO NOT USE A PRIME Number of panels like 3, 5, or 7.
          • Charge Controller = Same Morningstar MS-MPPT-45. Will allow you to grow to 1200 watts. Still a Monster of a system.
          • Battery = 24 volt 420 AH. 4 x US Battery US-L16HC XC2 or Trojan L16P wired in series.
          • Inverter = 1000 Watt Pro Sine Wave like a Samlex PST-1000-24.

          Last edited by Sunking; 04-15-2017, 10:47 PM.
          MSEE, PE

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sunking View Post
            Cripes sake just caught this. Let me save you another $2000. Hell No you cannot use 12 volt batteries.

            Real simple:

            24 Volt Battery System:
            • Panel Wattage = 1000 Watts. Use 4 x 250 watt GT panel wired 2S2P. DO NOT USE A PRIME Number of panels like 3, 5, or 7.
            • Charge Controller = Same Morningstar MS-MPPT-45. Will allow you to grow to 1200 watts. Still a Monster of a system.
            • Battery = 24 volt 420 AH. 4 x US Battery US-L16HC XC2 or Trojan L16P wired in series.
            • Inverter = 1000 Watt Pro Sine Wave like a Samlex PST-1000-24.
            Hi Sunking

            Any reason you recommend the L16P over other trojan batteries?

            This is what I have available locally, would you recommend any of these?

            http://batteryworld.co.ke/trojan-6-volts-series/

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            • #7
              I learned a lot by talking [to my neighbors who are already off-grid']. Some of the lessons brought out by locals will repeat those of online forum experts.

              4400w, Midnite Classic 150 charge-controller.

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              • #8
                Hey guys! Well ive tried to take everyones suggestions and other discussions into consideration and changed my solar plan to:

                4 24v 320w solar panels
                4 6v 230ah duracel silgc batts wired in series
                1 24v 600w wind turbine for backup since we have a lot of wind here
                1 80a charge controller
                1 1000w pure sine wave inverter
                1 300w pure sine wave inverter

                General load calculations is load watt hrs per day 900 watt hrs per night 1200

                Thinking of adding additional 4 batts

                Your thoughts on these mods to the plan.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by izzygnc View Post
                  Hey guys! Well ive tried to take everyones suggestions and other discussions into consideration and changed my solar plan to:

                  4 24v 320w solar panels
                  4 6v 230ah duracel silgc batts wired in series
                  1 24v 600w wind turbine for backup since we have a lot of wind here
                  1 80a charge controller
                  1 1000w pure sine wave inverter
                  1 300w pure sine wave inverter

                  General load calculations is load watt hrs per day 900 watt hrs per night 1200

                  Thinking of adding additional 4 batts

                  Your thoughts on these mods to the plan.
                  In case you get no wind or sun (which can happen) I would make sure your battery system can safely provide 2100 watt hours for the day (which that 24v 230Ah will not) or at least have another power source (generator) to overcome the loss of RE not charging that system.

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