Discussion in 'Off grid power' started by JAC, Jan 1, 2019.
Good points and you like some others here really know your stuff.
Me too Car! We really like the T-105's been using them on golf cart for 20 years only bought 2 sets, can't beat them ,imo.
I'm envious! I think I may need to switch my plan back to the 48 volt battery bank also. After digging into it and crunching some numbers I think my charge rate may be too low with my panel wiring the way it is to run my battery bank at 24 volts. I'm trying to keep the panel wiring the same as it is so I can expand into more panels down the road and still keep the same controller. It is amazing how many different ways you can wire these things and how slight changes affect the whole system. It is crucial to get everything right before I make high dollar equipment purchases.
JAC, I'm in about the same place that you are in my solar system development so I'm very interested in this thread. Like I said the 48V system cuts my amperage way down so I settled on that awhile back.
I'm going to have to wait a couple of months but I've settled on the Sol-Ark hardened system. It costs a bit more but both of us are on CPAP machines so having electricity is life or death. I figure that if I prepare for the worst case scenario that I will be prepared for anything less.
I live 20 or 25 miles from a nuclear target. If Alaska gets hit this will be one of the first spots. CME's are pretty rare but not rare enough to ignore. We don't have much lightening here but we do have volcanoes and ash clouds and ash clouds can generate lightening. None of these are highly likely. We do have regular power outages. In the last four years the power has gone out because of power lines being dug up, vehicle accidents, and earthquakes. When the power comes back on it generates a voltage spike and this system will protect me then also. The system comes with ferites to Harden the appliances
@Caribou I am picking the brain of a solar sharpie that I met a number of years ago on another forum related to off grid living. He helped me with my original design that I posted above for my 12 volt bank for my off grid cabin. There are no solar panels on that system. That system has been running for 4 years now and I use it every time I am there. I love it! All it will take then is some money and the easy part of mounting panels and wiring everything. (SARC)
I looked at the Sol Ark system and tossed it out there on some other forums for others to look at. From what I gathered it isn't anything special except for the EMP hardening. A lot of the newer inverters do much of the same thing that the SOL Ark does. I liked it but I couldn't justify $6500.00 for it. In your case that probably is a different story.
This system will not be grid tied either. I do have a whole house generator that runs on propane to use in the event that power goes out but I want something that will be more long term in case an event like that goes for more than a couple of weeks or so. I will use it to run a few lines full time that I will disconnect from the grid and once it is up may hook it to my water well full time for awhile to watch the draw on the system. If it handles that then I may add a few more lines from the grid and use it to begin cutting down on my power bill which seems to keep going up no matter what I do. After that I will double the panels and batteries. At that point the midnight kidd charge controller will be maxed out.
Just curious JAC, if you would share with us what your current average power bill is per month?
Are you making this change for economic reasons and/or prep reasons?
Considering the current state of our country and the war that is going on behind the scenes and in front of all of us between the globalists and the nationalists, our debt is past the point of no return. The Stock market is overinflated with ridiculous fluctuations and I think something has to give at some point. I wouldn't put it past someone to take everything down.
Also the electric bill here keeps going up. Because I have added more draw on the system via a hot tub, powering up outbuildings where there was no power in the past, heat lamps for chickens on real cold nights, appliance changes from propane to electric and the cost per kilowatt always going up and not down it made sense to get out the solar panels I bought a few years ago for an off grid cabin but never wired in because of the fear of theft in that area and put them to use.
I will say that I do not trust smart meters and I think people's bills are manipulated by the use of them. I have considered wiring in a meter below theirs to double check their numbers. I may in fact do that at some point.
Thank you for the reply. And there is little doubt that America's future looks rather bleak. I was just curious about your motivation and the reply was appreciated.
I am still on the fence about doing solar here. It seems a shame to waste all this free sunshine. I might do a small system to just run one or two circuits in the house so the fridge and freezer are covered maybe. Still thinking. I will say this thread is enlightening.
I was pricing circuits to break out the "important" circuits. At around $450 for the breakout panel I figure I'm better off buying more solar collection. If the grid is down my cable will be out and other than TV I really don't have any load to worry about. I need lights and they are mostly LED's with a few CFL's thrown in. The gas dryer and range are not an issue. The furnace draws a bit for the blower but if I need heat I need heat. It is -9℉ here right now.
Things I want to keep powered;
Clothes Dryer (gas)
There are a few other loads like cell, laptop, and other rechargeable loads. If I have enough power to run my necessary loads in the winter then I can run everything in the summer.
We already use little electric power. The fridge and freezer would be on my list of things to keep powered. The well pump would be too but I could run that occasionally with my generator and get by ok. For lights we can use non-electric sources. Our heat is all non-electric and we have a gas range. My computer & modem would be nice to have powered so I can post on here about how bad I have it at my house.
I have to be honest about the cost of solar. It is expensive to buy all of the equipment needed and I am still not sure if it is worth it in the end considering that you may only get 5 to 8 years tops out of flooded batteries and then have to buy them all over again. If I didn't already have the panels and the charge controller that was purchased for the off grid cabin but didn't use I probably wouldn't attempt this.
The prices are coming down for the panels though and what I paid $1 a watt is now around .80. Batteries have gone up some though and electronics for these systems are never cheap.
I'm hoping once it is complete and operating I will see enough drop in the bill to make it feel worth it.
I have candles and lanterns for light. I have the equipment and skill to pressure can everything in the freezer. I have a wood stove that, hopefully, will be installed in the spring. I am going for backup power for convenience but mostly because I have medical equipment that keeps me alive and it used electricity and I know of nothing as effective to replace it with.
Solar and wind become cost effective when you are too far out to have the grid. Just about anything is better than spending $10,000 for every 100 yards over a 20 mile stretch to get power in to your new home.
I think I would like a liquid thorium reactor in my back yard. They are free of long duration waste, don't require cooling and automatically shut down if there is a problem. I probably have enough thorium in my front yard to run a reactor for several centuries. I bet most of you do too!
This sounds pretty good, that surge rating is amazing. With the unit weight being 79 pounds, they have probably put in a heavy duty transformer, considering what it weighs against my inverter/charger and what it can do.
so I see the 48 volt model is $300 more than the 24 volt model. Figures.
More copper windings, maybe, but as has been mentioned, more volts, 48 over 24, half the amperage drawn for the same output, it's all about Ohm's Law. Same situation for running a well pump on 240 VAC, averages half the amperage of running on 120 VAC.
I have to say though that all of these electronics are very expensive. For instance my charge controller is $400 and it only handles up to 30 amps. Now If I want to jump to 60 or 90 amps it is $900.
I cant help but wonder if the prices aren't simply adjusted up because it is green energy. Other electronics go down in price pretty quickly but not this solar stuff.
Consider that I will have over $4000 invested in this system and probably closer to $5000 by the time it is wired and mounted and will pull 5kw if I'm lucky in electrical production and I'm building it myself. Really makes you question if it is worth it when you are on grid. I cant imagine hiring someone to build it for me.
If you are off grid I would think it would feel more worthwhile if you had no electricity to start with.
Quality electronics are not cheap. Cheap electronics are not quality. it sucks but it is a fact.
I agree with you that being off grid would make it more attractive. But a body can never get off grid without the investment either.
I bought a 52 inch Vizio tv 5 years ago. It cost $1200.00. That tv today costs $500.00
My charge controller was bought 4 years ago. It cost $350.00 The same charge controller today cost $400.00 The only change is now it has the capability to start a generator when needed.
My solar panels were $1 per watt 4 years ago. Today they are $.80 per watt.
Dont you think something is wrong there?
The one thing that has saved some money in our project is that we were able to pick up our solar system supplies, I understand that a lot of folks aren't close enough to suppliers to take advantage of that situation but we were able to and that ended up saving us over $200 in shipping fees. Thankfully when we picked up the solar panels at Grape Solar they also had a 60 amp Morningstar controller at their business and we bought that while we were there eliminating more shipping costs.
IMO, TV's, computers, consumer electronics in general has near constant price drops to keep the sales going. same with their planned obsolescence. Sell the same item to the same person every 3-5 years. Solar gear and stuff such as that is more of a long term investment. People buy this type stuff to use for years. Companies only get one, or maybe to shots to sell to these folks. Gotta get their money when they can.
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