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Solar and Batteries

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by phideaux, Dec 1, 2017.

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  1. Dec 1, 2017 #1

    phideaux

    phideaux

    phideaux

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    I just was wondering if anyone here has any solar panels and batteries for back up power at home.

    I have a small setup , enough to run most stuff I need in an emergency , or shtf situation.

    Here's a few pics of my battery pack, total 928 AH,
    a few inverters , and 2 , 100 watt ,solar panels.

    battery pack.jpg battery.jpg bp inverters.jpg panels.jpg panels2.jpg panels3.jpg

    Jim
     
  2. Dec 1, 2017 #2

    robin416

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    I'm still going to set up one one of these days.

    By most things are you referring to things that keep food cold or frozen?
     
  3. Dec 1, 2017 #3

    buildit

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    I have a generator and a number of vehicles with usable fuel which I keep topped off regularly.
     
  4. Dec 1, 2017 #4

    bargeahead

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    I bought the Power4Patriots set up w/2 solar panels and a faraday bag. Reminds me, I was going to post my review and pics of it on GF and forgot.
     
  5. Dec 1, 2017 #5

    phideaux

    phideaux

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    Robin,
    Depending on how fickle Mr Sun is, I may be able to run everything I have,
    except my well pump, which is 230V.
    With 928 AH from the battery pack alone...think about a 100watt light bulb turned on , would light for 928 hrs, without any charging of the batteries.

    I heat with wood, and probably would do without AC.

    For the well, I have 500lbs of Propane stored and a Generator that runs on Propane.



    I also have a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) that runs on 48VDC input and 120VAC output ,
    I have an MTV and a Golf cart , both are 48vdc and have new batteries
    Each vehicle will supply 920 AH of power.
    My battery pack(above is all 6VDC batteries hooked parallel /series for 12 vdc to the inverters which give 120VAC .
    ups.jpg

    Jim
     
  6. Dec 2, 2017 #6

    mulescj8

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    Looking forward to reading more in this section.............If I ever down size solar will be high on my list of things to do.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2017 #7

    phideaux

    phideaux

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    Solar is exciting, and can be a great asset.
    But, Diversity is truly the name of the game.

    I have that small solar arrangement for back up power, ( if the sun shines once in awhile)(5 inverters 6000 watts worth)
    I have propane/generator for power,(230 VAC)(enough to run my well 1 hr a day for 7 years)
    I store Diesel fuel, for transportation,(3 drums and adding when prices drop)
    I have firewood for heating and cooking, unlimited .

    Unfortunately, my kids , friends, and neighbors think I'm nuts,


    Maybe I am, but when SHTF... ,I'll be somewhat comfy.

    Went thru the 09 ice storm...just fine , 21 days without power.
    I was fine.


    Jim
     
  8. Dec 7, 2017 #8

    RidgeRunner

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    Can you maintain a deep freezer and a refrigerator?
     
  9. Dec 7, 2017 #9

    phideaux

    phideaux

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    For sure,
    Of course to maintain how long? thats the question.

    If grid is down, it will depend on how fickle the sun is.;)
    Those 2 panels only supply 200 watts at 15 amps to charge those batteries.

    They are not hard on watts used, once running,
    only the starting amps has to be sufficiently covered by the size of the inverter.
    A good 1500 watt inverter will start most any residential fridge or freezer.
    I go with a 2000 , and a 2500 watt inverters ...that gives plenty watts , with room to spare.




    Jim
     
  10. Dec 8, 2017 #10

    Cubbie_Blues

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    Let me know how you like them. I’ve looked at them several times. I get their freeze dried food when it’s on sale.
     
  11. Dec 10, 2017 #11

    Devinh2

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    598539D2-2C6E-473A-94B3-976C47E10147.jpeg CE8D94B4-A20D-45B8-8CC9-85013BA6C34A.jpeg F7FC5EEC-B0B2-4C70-BFCE-B4C4DC645897.jpeg I have a complete solar set up on my 5th wheel. No need for electricity, unless I need AC.
     
  12. Dec 13, 2017 #12

    mulescj8

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    What do you recommend for reading or links for basic knowledge of solar systems............set ups, pros, cons, figuring what you need.......etc
    other words SOLAR POWER FOR DUMMIES...........lol
     
  13. Dec 16, 2017 #13

    Supervisor42

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    ...And you'll find you suddenly have lots of friends:D.
    Who's got the biggest battery of them all?:lil guy:
    IMG_2932_10.JPG
    510 AH@24v 1000lbs. (that's sand around the pavers it's sitting on)
    Powers all of the creature-comforts in the house (minus the big stuff) for days thru this redneck creation:
    Bbackups2.JPG
    Instantaneous and user-transparent. Most of the time I never even notice when the power is off.
    Some of the parts have been in continuous operation since 2001. (sorry, no solar frown.gif )
    (Panic button is for fire department, if they want to spray my house and not get fried:eek:).
     
  14. Dec 16, 2017 #14

    phideaux

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    And folks...^^^^ that works like a charm..

    I've seen it action.

    Hello friend....that helped me get started , in more ways than none.:wink:

    Yall need answers ...Supervisor , usually has the answer ...concerning Solar and Batteries.



    :Xmas:
    Jim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2017
  15. Dec 16, 2017 #15

    Supervisor42

    Supervisor42

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    Phideaux is being modest.
    Here's what just his UPS can do, hooked to just one golf-cart:
     
  16. Dec 16, 2017 #16

    hiwall

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    My only solar is the about 300 watts on the roof of my RV. I only have a 750/1500 watt inverter which is fine for the 120 volt refrigerator/freezer and the small draw other items.
     
  17. Dec 17, 2017 #17

    Devinh2

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    I only researched solar for rv’s since I will be living in one when I retire next spring. Are you looking for that info, or for a house??
     
  18. Dec 17, 2017 #18

    hiwall

    hiwall

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    Solar is certainly not rocket science. A 300 watt panel will produce 300 watts of power under ideal conditions. Of course best case you only have those ideal conditions for a relatively short time even on a sunny day. That ideal time can be lengthened by installing a tracker and having movable panels. Few do this.
    Usually they consider solar producing power for about 30% of the time. This covers night, cloudy days, etc.
    To use solar, commonly you would need a battery bank, solar controller, and an inverter to get 120 or maybe even 220 volts. With the panels that is only four items besides the wire. Not very hard to figure out.
    Grid power is always cheaper than solar. Plus with the grid you have unlimited power day and night.
    Solar is for temporary use (like an RV) or for places that the grid is not available. Many or most people expect too much from solar.
    Even here in sunny Arizona solar is not practical if the grid is available. In spite of this I am considering solar at my location.
     
  19. Dec 17, 2017 #19

    Supervisor42

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    Nice to see someone brave enough to do something illogical clapslow.gif . The problem with fixed panels is the sun hits them at an angle 99% of the time.
    I have done some experimentation with solar and devised an inexpensive 2-axis tracking system that solves the problem of having to have a single mount to stay directly facing the sun thru the year. I'm not going to gum up this thread with it though.
    It helps with the efficiency (+60%) enough that solar would be a lot closer to cost-effective... someday.
    Until then, solar is ideal for when there is nothing else available.
    The sun doesn't work nights frown.gif .
     
  20. Jan 11, 2018 #20

    Ten ese

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    Crazy like a fox!

    Solar is an excellent way to stay functional in a power grid failure, IF you have a somewhat sunny climate.
     
  21. Feb 11, 2018 #21

    Supervisor42

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    I think one of the most important benefits of a setup like Phideaux's, generator--->batteries--->inverters that gets left out, is the ability to run the generator efficiently by pushing power into the batteries.
    Most generators have to run at 3600 rpm to make 60 cycles/sec AC. When we had an extended power outage I listened to the drone of generators running thru the night knowing they were pushing maybe 5% load...... for 8+ hours. This eats gas (the one thing you can't buy when the power is out)!
    I'd run power at 50% into the batteries for 2 hours, shut it off, and know I had enough to make it thru the night.
    When everything was off, it used nothing. Whenever the refrigerator kicked on, I knew I'd have plenty of ice to help my neighbor that ran out of gas.
    :rolleyes:
     
  22. Nov 5, 2019 #22

    phideaux

    phideaux

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    Reviving an old thread ..yeah it's been 2 years since I started this thread..not real long.

    Ok, I did some rearranging of my batteries after I almost lost them to a faulty NOCO genius smart charger .
    I relocated them so I can better service them .

    Remember a few weeks ago I was trying to come up with a better charging system.
    Well I decided to charge and maintain them as 4 separate banks with 4 separate smart chargers.
    Not putting all my eggs in one basket.
    I can tie them together as 1 bank , if I want to , in about 5 minutes.

    I finally decided on a charger for my need . 3amp output 6v or 12v.
    Maintains a good float voltage after full, and monitors .

    I went thru several different ones, (determined not to use NOCO again), returned a few I didn't like.

    I found that I really liked the operation of this one the best.
    But I had to buy 6 of them to get 4 that operated properly or at all. ( Yes I returned bad for refunds)
    I knew that they were hit and miss from previous research I finally got 4 good ones and am now a happy prepper.
    s-l400.jpg
    shopping.jpeg


    Here's a pic of the new battery arrangement and the chargers.
    4 banks of 2 , 6v 232 AH .
    IMG_20191105_173138210-1228x1637.jpg
    IMG_20191105_173324407-1638x1229.jpg
    IMG_20191105_173304176-1638x1229.jpg
    The inverters also.
    750w, 2500w in middle, 2000w .
    I can connect any one of the inverters to the house breaker box with one connector.
    IMG_20191105_173315785-1638x1229.jpg
    I can charge all the batteries with solar panels with one connector.

    Jim
     

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