Author Topic: New to solar and this board  (Read 893 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline 556Phenom

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
New to solar and this board
« on: January 14, 2016, 11:41:18 AM »
I've been looking all over for an answer to a question. Tired of getting condescending replies, so after finding this site and reading a few posts, I noticed there are some decent folks here, so decided to create an acct and ask away.

I bought a kit that contained 8 250watt monocrystalline panels, a MidNite Classic MPPT Charge Controller-200, a  MidNite Solar Combiner Box, 2 MidNite Solar 12A Circuit Breakers, and 4 200ah batteries. Problem is that the kit didn't come with an inverter. I've spent some time looking at different inverters that Amazon sells, but there are a range of reviews, and a ton of them are from electrical engineers delving too deeply into technical jargon that's way over my head. They assume everyone has taken them apart and knows what each individual component on the circuit board is and does.

Never having had a solar system, I'm not familiar with the different brands of inverters, but I'm looking for a 24v, 5k watt inverter. It's for an off-grid system that I intend on using to power a cabin type building out on our farm. TV, PC, wall-mounted AC/heater, small fridge etc...

Any help on which brands aren't total junk, is greatly appreciated.


Offline rossw

  • Senior Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 785
  • Karma: +27/-0
  • Grumpy-old-Unix-Admin
Re: New to solar and this board
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 02:40:25 PM »
Hi, and welcome to the forum.

Tired of getting condescending replies

There's a lot of it about, unfortunately.

Quote
and 4 200ah batteries.

I'll make a potentially dangerous assumption and assume they're lead-acid.

Quote
Problem is that the kit didn't come with an inverter.
...
I'm looking for a 24v, 5k watt inverter. It's for an off-grid system that I intend on using to power a cabin type building out on our farm. TV, PC, wall-mounted AC/heater, small fridge etc... on which brands aren't total junk, is greatly appreciated.

You haven't told us where you are (even a country) - which is probably important :)
Some of us run 50Hz/240V, I'm guessing (again, a dangerous thing!) that you're in the USA so 120V/60Hz ?

Things you might like to consider and add to your post include if you will be there all the time, want power constantly on/available or if it's just a "weekender", if you want an inverter that will go into "power-down" mode and periodically wake up to check for a load, if you know the difference between MSW (semi-square-wave, can be pretty hard on equipment) or PSW (pure-sine-wave, like the grid delivers - better but more expensive), if you want (or need) to be able to monitor and/or control it remotely etc.

Cheers,
RossW

Offline bj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 643
  • Karma: +18/-0
  • Lamont, Alberta, Canada
Re: New to solar and this board
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 02:57:04 PM »
   Welcome.
   Mostly just an echo of Ross's comments.  Most of the time, too much
information is better than not enough.
"Even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while"
bj

Offline WooferHound

  • Technowhiz
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 617
  • Karma: +28/-3
  • Huntsville Alabama USA
    • My personal webpage
Re: New to solar and this board
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 04:43:32 PM »
That's a nice setup . . . I would add more batteries to help get you through the bad weather
----- W o o f e r h o u n d -----
My Renewable Energy Projects

Offline 556Phenom

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New to solar and this board
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2016, 05:52:17 PM »
Hi again. Thanks for all the replies. I live in the burbs north of Houston TX, but our farm is a couple hours away.

The batteries are UB-4D, 12v 200Ah, AGM. I'm looking for a pure sine wave inverter. The charge controller has remote access that I can use over the net to check up on the status of my system. Right now it's a weekend system, but in the near future it will have to be a full time system. I'd like an inverter that could go into a sleep/power down mode, that periodically wakes to check on things.

Hope this helps a bit more. If you need any additional info, please, just let me know, and I'll get what I can.

Thanks again

Offline Wolvenar

  • Senior Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 1396
  • Karma: +31/-0
  • Mr. Murphys pawn
    • Click here if you dont want to see your internet slowed by big ISPs
Re: New to solar and this board
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2016, 07:08:53 AM »
Welcome to the forum.

I am not the best here to help you with inverter advice, however I did notice something that may be of concern that no one has commented on yet.

Quote
wall-mounted AC/heater

These normally take more energy than the rest of them combined. If you plan to use this as the dump load, it would be great.

Even if you do have this well in hand I'll post the following for anyone reading this.
If you plan to use it as the main heat source thats is another story.
Unless you are going to invest a large amount into your system it's just not likely going to happen.
First of all, most of the time the heat is needed is when the sun is not out, second, this will drain batteries VERY fast.
Remember to take into account how deep you can actually cycle whetever battery chemistry you are using before they are being damaged.
Also the small fridge also takes the next significant amount, but is very doable. I know this because I have done so myself in the past.

Have you looked at any of the online solar system calculators yet?
They can help to give a basic understanding of what your solar/battery needs would be to match your loads.
These have come and gone like many things online, but here is one I just found with a bit of google searching.
http://www.advancepower.net/advcalc.htm

Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
Just to abuse what I make. (and run this site)

Offline 556Phenom

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: New to solar and this board
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2016, 12:46:05 AM »
Thanks for the heads-up. I had completely forgotten something. My system is able to go hybrid by installing a small wind turbine. I'm not looking for something that's the price of a car, but rather something like these:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sunforce-400-Watt-12-Volt-Wind-Turbine-44444/100658295

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/nature-power-wind-turbine-12-volt-400-watt?a=1015427

http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-44444-12-Volt-400-Watt-Generator/dp/B000C1Z2VE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453187226&sr=8-1&keywords=sunforce+wind+turbine

It completely slipped my mind, but out on our farm we get quite a bit of wind most of the year(other than the unbearably hot and still summers) so I had planned on making a hybrid system because it's not always sunny. Ultimately I intend on having a dozen or more 200Ah batteries, a few more panels, and a couple wind turbines to round out my system.

Still trying to find a good brand of inverter online, but I've seen so many reviews saying X and Y about the same brand of inverter. Goin to need one in about 2 weeks. Ughn,

Offline bj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 643
  • Karma: +18/-0
  • Lamont, Alberta, Canada
Re: New to solar and this board
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2016, 07:04:50 AM »
  Since nobody has jumped in on the inverter subject-----
  Oztules, and several others have been experimenting, and modifying Powerjacks.  Lots of
excellent info posted by Oztules.
  If that isn't something you want to do,  Outback seems to me to be a good one.
  If and when I buy, that is probably what it will be.
  Not cheap though.
 
"Even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while"
bj