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Rough cost for basic solar setup for garage

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  • Rough cost for basic solar setup for garage

    very new to solar power so apologies in advance as I keep finding conflicting information online.

    Basically I have a garage separate from my house, in fact it's down the road from my actual house. So it's not viable for me to run an extension lead to it, as it will have to cross a public road and will just get damaged. All I want power in there for is to run two photography style lights 135w each for a couple hours twice a week max.
    The garage roof itself is perfect as it's already south facing on a slope and is not blocked by any buildings so definitely gets as much sun as possible for England.

    As as previously stated I know very little about any of this so just want a rough idea of cost before I go any further with it, just to see whether it's actually a viable option or if there's better alternatives.

    thanks for any help!!

  • #2
    I think most people will agree that is a really bad (expensive) application for stand-alone solar if you only need a small amount of power for two hours a week. I would just park my truck outside and hook up a simple 12VDC-110VAC inverter to power a few lights inside if it were me.
    Dave W. Gilbert AZ
    6.63kW grid-tie owner

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    • #3
      Hello Vinent96 and welcome to Solar Panel Talk

      Based on personal experience and input from other members it can cost about $1500 for each kWh the system can safely produce in a day.

      But that is for every day cycling and if you have identified your actual watt hour usage.

      Identifying the cost of a solar/battery system for a load used only a few hours a week gets much harder. You can spend less and under-size it or spend too much and oversize it.

      IMO I agree with azdave. It may not be practical to go with a solar/battery system for your needs. Using an inverter that can be run from a battery (charged by other means) may be the cheapest way to run your loads.

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      • #4
        Get a cost estimate for a trenched power cable from the house to the garage. Buried cables across public roadways are allowed, just follow the local codes. I think that would be a good starting point before spending any money. Amortize the cost and you will find that it is most likely (affordable).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by citabria View Post
          Get a cost estimate for a trenched power cable from the house to the garage. Buried cables across public roadways are allowed, just follow the local codes. I think that would be a good starting point before spending any money. Amortize the cost and you will find that it is most likely (affordable).
          you can also find out if you can get virtual net metering or meter aggregation for two meters owned by the same person.
          Often a small fee for the second meter but still one bill and if you do a grid tie solar on either one, it offsets the total usage.
          OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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          • #6
            If using an inverter plugged to a car/truck isn't ideal, you could also get a portable power station and charge it up before you go to the garage. Are you set on those 135w lights or are you open to using more efficient LED's? LED shop lights aren't too expensive. I bought a few 40w 4ft units for $15/ea and they provide around 4000 lumens apiece. The less wattage you pull the longer it'll last obviously.

            Another option is to buy the battery powered shop lights. Most of the major tool MFG's have LED shop lights now that work with their ~20v batteries. A couple spare batteries will keep you going for quite awhile.

            Solar is do-able but will be more expensive than the options above and you'll need much more equipment in order to power ~270w of lights using up to 800wh/day.

            Also, some of the nicer power stations have built in charge controllers to allow you to plug in a panel directly to recharge. Give you flexibility to use and recharge anywhere so long as you use a compatible panel that doesn't go over the input wattage of the controller.
            Last edited by SPFycool; 04-04-2019, 10:41 AM.

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            • #7
              option 1 Small inverter generator $1000

              option 2 bare bones PWM based system:
              2ea 100W PV panels $300
              1ea PWM 20A charge controller $100
              1ea efficient 300 - 500w 12V mod sine wave inverter $80
              2ea 6V 200ah golf cart batteries $200
              handful fuses, wires, lugs $80

              option 3 higher output MPPT system
              1ea 250-300w panel $300
              1ea MPPT 30A charge controller $300 (Prostar) or $200 (Sunsaver MPPT)
              1ea efficient 300 - 500w 12V mod sine wave inverter $80
              or
              1 ea Morningstar Suresine 300w pure sine controller $300
              2ea 6V 200ah golf cart batteries $200
              handful fuses, wires, lugs $80


              And, there are photographic use LED lighting systems, that consume about half the power of incandescent rigs
              many lights mentioned/listed here http://www.screenlightandgrip.com/ht...rClean%20Audio

              "as much sun as england gets" is too general. Some areas are brighter, some in eternal fog.

              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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