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Old 10-01-2015, 06:12 AM   #151
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Looks good! 4 of those would be 600 watts and about 32 amps of current in direct sunlight. Since you have an MPPT controller, wire the panels in series on the roof and run the wire in to the charge controller. This will decrease your power loss in the cable since instead of running 32 amps at 12 volt in the cable (which you would need a large cable for that), you would be running 8 amps at 48 volt so you could go with a lot smaller of a cable, like 10-12 gauge stranded wire.
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:23 PM   #152
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I'm stocked! The other 2 will be here Monday or Tuesday! I need to make a Lowes run after they come in to get more wire and materials to mount them.
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:35 PM   #153
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following
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:29 PM   #154
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subscribed for this
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:13 PM   #155
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My other two panels came in yesterday! I'll mount them with pics Monday.
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:17 PM   #156
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Alright, all four panels are now installed and going. I'll post pics in a few.

I went to Lowes last night and picked up two heavy duty 1 1/2" channels, some nuts, bolts, and washers to mount the panels to. This ran me $53 instead of $150 for a prefabricated mounting system.

This morning I went to the welding supply store and got 12' of heavy duty 1/0 welding cable and 16 cable lugs to wire up the battery bank. I also picked up 30' of #4 welding cable (equal to 8 gauge) to wire the panels.

Will write details after lunch
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:24 PM   #157
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so, you couldn't have found any wire that fell off one of the company work truck?

;0
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Old 10-05-2015, 02:28 PM   #158
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All they have is solid or heavy stranded that wouldn't work. I wish it would though! Would have saved me $150!
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:15 PM   #159
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All they have is solid or heavy stranded that wouldn't work. I wish it would though! Would have saved me $150!
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:45 PM   #160
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Crapatalk isn't letting me upload pics so I'll have to download them to the notebook, upload them to the web, then I can do a writeup. Sorry for the delay.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:29 PM   #161
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so, you couldn't have found any wire that fell off one of the company work truck?

;0

Wire that works good for A/C power does not work too well for D/C power.


A/C = high voltage low current

D/C = low voltage high current
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:02 PM   #162
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I'm kicking this one back to the top. Just did a bunch of work on mine over the past couple days. Will post pics in a few.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:03 PM   #163
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Almost done!


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Old 08-16-2016, 10:36 PM   #164
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Great info, thank you for doing this
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:38 PM   #165
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Following


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Old 08-17-2016, 11:01 AM   #166
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I just realized I never showed y'all my DIY panel mount so here it is.

I started out by cutting the drop sealing rails to length then welded washers to bolts to ride in the tracks.



I then mounted the rails on the shop roof screwing them on the ridges and into rafters with 6", 3/8" lag bolts.



Next I attached the connectors to the welding leads and ran them through holes I drilled in the ridge with rubber grommets installed.



Lastly, mounted the panels, wired in series, and tied in to the charge controller.



It was asked how much a system like mine would cost. Well, retail, just for the equipment and supplies is right at $3,200. I can power my entire shop with it less my 220V welder!


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Old 08-17-2016, 11:13 AM   #167
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Thanks for bumping this thread. The wife and I have talked about doing panels on the roof of our house. I think we'd benefit more from doing radiant barrier in the attic first. We have a 2 story house and the downstairs will pretty much stay around 76 or cooler depending on the time of day. The upstairs however is a different story, it gets up to 80 before noon due to all the heat in the attic above and around the living area.
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:08 PM   #168
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That is very true! Look into installing a solar attic fan too, you can thank me later.


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Old 08-17-2016, 04:32 PM   #169
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I've been thinking about doing this, but, I'm thinking about adding 12v light strips inside my house and just running those off of it.
My wife likes to turn on every light in the house. Just to sit and watch TV or read/play on her tablet.

So I could rig up some 12v lights ( which we sell here at work) and she could run them all night if she wanted.

But I'd really like to do a complete system and reduce our energy bill.

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Old 08-18-2016, 05:15 AM   #170
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I have a 12V LED strip in my little cabin, a couple 12V fans and USB outlets. For us it is the only way we could have power to it. Add in my little inverter and we are very comfortable.

I need to add more 12V LED's to the shop and I will be good to go.


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Old 08-18-2016, 07:08 AM   #171
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I have a 12V LED strip in my little cabin, a couple 12V fans and USB outlets. For us it is the only way we could have power to it. Add in my little inverter and we are very comfortable.

I need to add more 12V LED's to the shop and I will be good to go.


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Just let me know what you want and I can put an order in for some LED lights.
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Old 08-18-2016, 12:31 PM   #172
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I'll visit with you tomorrow about it. I haven't decided on which route to go yet. We are going to test every concept in the shop that I want in the new cabin to work out bugs and make sure it is what we want. I know I'm going to need a couple more 12v squirrel cages for thermal cooling.


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Old 08-18-2016, 12:48 PM   #173
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:27 PM   #174
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I just added another 600 watts of solar to our "hobby grid". Now to plan out upgrading our battery bank to Trojan T-105's w/auto water system! 12 should take care of us.




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Old 08-19-2016, 03:39 PM   #175
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Is anyone else putting a system together? I'm in the process of designing and then installing a small system on a local business owners place to replace his backup UPS. I'll post pics as we go because this one, though small (450 watts), is going to be VERY stealth. Makes me rethink my configuration.


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Old 08-19-2016, 03:43 PM   #176
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BTW, we are in the process of starting a "Self Sustaining" consulting, architecture, and construction LLC. Until we do and I become a sponsor, all consulting and design is free to everyone!


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Old 08-25-2016, 11:16 AM   #177
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Check this one out...WOW!!!




Last edited by Brazos Hunter; 08-25-2016 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:03 PM   #178
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Who did you use to build your lake? We are looking at having a 1 to 2 acre pond dug in the Greenville area, and I'm looking for recommendations.

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Old 08-26-2016, 02:52 PM   #179
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Who did you use to build your lake? We are looking at having a 1 to 2 acre pond dug in the Greenville area, and I'm looking for recommendations.

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Unfortunately, it's not our place. I found the video on YouTube


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Old 08-27-2016, 09:34 AM   #180
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I have been looking into a system to have shipped to me. It will basically be a stand alone system at the ranch cabin. should hopefully power everything we need. we will be running propane for stove and shower. all else should be off solar. correct me if Im saying incorrectly, but running a 48V unit for the AC unit. the rest of energy stored in the banks, will be converted down to 12V and used for a majority of the indoor needs. I have been trying to do my reading and have a BIL who will be helping me. will try to post pics as we go.

We just finished the shell for the cabin, and have a little bit of roughed in plumbing done. next project is getting water to the cabin, and then the electrical is next.

the AC unit is a wall unit and a condenser that sits outside. 18K BTU is what we are using with some large fan units to help distribute. the cabin is 900 sf, and we are installing radiant barriers along the underside of the vaulted ceiling( only 14 feet at highest point) and no attic. its been fun so far, but may be looking to this thread for a little help. thanks for all the posting so far, its been helpful

Joseph
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:54 AM   #181
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Sounds like you are going to have a very comfortable camp house!


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Old 09-08-2016, 10:11 PM   #182
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http://www.backwoodssolar.com/media/...16_Catalog.pdf


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Old 09-12-2016, 07:55 AM   #183
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just started reading that catalog. BH, do they offer some onsite help or do you know?

possible that i might end up ordering from them, as they are here in the states

Joseph
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:34 PM   #184
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just started reading that catalog. BH, do they offer some onsite help or do you know?

possible that i might end up ordering from them, as they are here in the states

Joseph


They do not at this time. I'll shoot you an email tomorrow in response to your PM.


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Old 09-13-2016, 09:20 PM   #185
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E-mail sent.


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Old 09-14-2016, 05:18 AM   #186
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Can't sleep and been looking at random stuff but I started to think about putting a solar setup on the new blind I'm building. I'm calling it the Cadillac stand and just a few hours ago thought what the heck let's get some power in it haha. Been googling and researching trying to grasp the concept and conceptualizing it and it actually seems pretty simple! Low and behold I get on TBH and I find this thread. It must be a sign haha. So I'm thinking out loud and please correct me if I'm wrong bc I just learned(or at least think I did) all this about an hour ago but a kit like this Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BFCNFRM..._enr2xbCN4P2B5 combined with a 400w inverter and two 12v for my battery bank and I'd be in business to run a 24" LED tv (17.4w), charge my cell phone(5w), run a small LED light(4.5w), and maybe a small fan?



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Old 09-14-2016, 05:24 AM   #187
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Can't sleep and been looking at random stuff but I started to think about putting a solar setup on the new blind I'm building. I'm calling it the Cadillac stand and just a few hours ago thought what the heck let's get some power in it haha. Been googling and researching trying to grasp the concept and conceptualizing it and it actually seems pretty simple! Low and behold I get on TBH and I find this thread. It must be a sign haha. So I'm thinking out loud and please correct me if I'm wrong bc I just learned(or at least think I did) all this about an hour ago but a kit like this Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BFCNFRM..._enr2xbCN4P2B5 combined with a 400w inverter and two 12v for my battery bank and I'd be in business to run a 24" LED tv (17.4w), charge my cell phone(5w), run a small LED light(4.5w), and maybe a small fan?



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You will be able to run all that during the day (afternoon) after the batteries are at 100%. If you ran it all at night, depending on battery/controller/inverter, you could run critically low on reserves. If you haven't ordered this one yet, hold off, their is better out there for less $$! Renogy panels are great but way over priced IMO. You can get a great panel for $1/Watt and the PWM in the kit can be had for $30.


BTW, shoot me a PM anytime and I'll help answer questions and show you where to get what you are wanting at the best deal.

Last edited by Brazos Hunter; 09-14-2016 at 05:30 AM..
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:34 AM   #188
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You will be able to run all that during the day (afternoon) after the batteries are at 100%. If you ran it all at night, depending on battery/controller/inverter, you could run critically low on reserves. If you haven't ordered this one yet, hold off, their is better out there for less $$! Renogy panels are great but way over priced IMO. You can get a great panel for $1/Watt and the PWM in the kit can be had for $30.





BTW, shoot me a PM anytime and I'll help answer questions and show you where to get what you are wanting at the best deal.


Awesome thanks!!! I'm a newb to this stuff and I want to make sure I do it right the first time so I'm not unhappy with the final product. Is eBay the place to look for this stuff? Also should I be looking at going bigger with the panel or the battery bank?


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Old 09-14-2016, 12:23 PM   #189
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Awesome thanks!!! I'm a newb to this stuff and I want to make sure I do it right the first time so I'm not unhappy with the final product. Is eBay the place to look for this stuff? Also should I be looking at going bigger with the panel or the battery bank?


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If you know exactly what you are wanting to run, yes, eBay can be a great source to save money but you may have a problem if you ever need warrantee work. As far as the other, if your preliminary calculations found your estimates to be the minimum, on this size system, minimum double, if not triple, to ensure you are good to go! You need to remember "average sun" is just that and you may go days w/o adequate sun when running near max loads.

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Old 09-15-2016, 09:22 PM   #190
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If you know exactly what you are wanting to run, yes, eBay can be a great source to save money but you may have a problem if you ever need warrantee work. As far as the other, if your preliminary calculations found your estimates to be the minimum, on this size system, minimum double, if not triple, to ensure you are good to go! You need to remember "average sun" is just that and you may go days w/o adequate sun when running near max loads.

If I am speaking Greek, no worries, we can help you.


Life is too short, live it to its fullest!

~Michael


10-4 of I've got any questions I'll be sending you a pm! Thanks again!!!!


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Old 11-03-2016, 11:56 AM   #191
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I recently got some busted, seriously busted, solar panels.




So for fun, I wanted to see if I could get one to produce any kind of power. So after looking online, I found that shattered panels like this need to be resealed to keep the panel working and to keep the elements out. This is done with a product called Sylgard 184. The problem is that it is expensive. So I stumbled across Cell Guard which has good reviews and is cheaper. After getting the kit in, I got to work.



So here is one of the shattered panels mounted to plywood before it has been coated.



and here is the same solar panel, after it was coated.




The panel now puts out slightly more power than before, but now the panel will last for a considerable longer amount of time. Plus, you don't have tiny slivers of glass all over the place.
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Old 11-03-2016, 12:28 PM   #192
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That's awesome Dave!


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Old 11-03-2016, 12:29 PM   #193
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I'm installing a small solar system in our RV.




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Old 11-03-2016, 02:18 PM   #194
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Be careful connecting the power inverter directly to the charge controller. Typically charge controllers can't handle the power demands that an inverter of that size require.
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:52 AM   #195
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Be careful connecting the power inverter directly to the charge controller. Typically charge controllers can't handle the power demands that an inverter of that size require.





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Old 11-08-2016, 11:15 AM   #196
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Very interesting!
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Old 11-08-2016, 03:56 PM   #197
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Be careful connecting the power inverter directly to the charge controller. Typically charge controllers can't handle the power demands that an inverter of that size require.


Yeah, I added just a 12v connection to the output on the controller so I can use the air pump when needed on the RV. The controller kept cutting out when running it alone! It's now straight off the battery.


Life is too short so live each day as if it were your last! ~Michael
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:07 AM   #198
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Ok, so I'm interested in just putting together a small solar set up for the hunting blind. I want to set it up for a light, fan, heater, and able to plug in phone and Ipad.

Suggestions on what to get?
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:11 AM   #199
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oh yeah, forgot to mention that I don't want to spend a lot either. :-)
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:42 AM   #200
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A heater will require a big system, no way around it. For all the other stuff, a 12v feeder type setup COULD work.


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