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Old 11-16-2016, 11:50 AM   #201
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I was referring to one of those small 12V type heaters like for in a car...just enough to keep the cold at bay
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Old 11-16-2016, 12:03 PM   #202
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They still draw a good bit of energy and to be able to operate everything you are wanting would require @ 100+ Watts of solar with a good 200+ Ah of battery storage. Add in a charge controller and you are looking at $400ish on the low side for quality materials.
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Old 01-05-2017, 08:32 AM   #203
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I am in the middle of building a room behind my shop just for bottling Honey. It will be small in size but I will need to run several different appliances. Small refrigerator, wall a/c unit, floor heater unit(very seldom), lights, bottling tank, radio and maybe even a tv.

I have no idea where to begin. Is there a site you guys suggest I can go to to research. ?
Maybe a kit. ?



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Old 01-05-2017, 10:18 AM   #204
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:55 AM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tod View Post
I am in the middle of building a room behind my shop just for bottling Honey. It will be small in size but I will need to run several different appliances. Small refrigerator, wall a/c unit, floor heater unit(very seldom), lights, bottling tank, radio and maybe even a tv.

I have no idea where to begin. Is there a site you guys suggest I can go to to research. ?
Maybe a kit. ?



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youll need a lot of juice to run all of those things, especially the heater.

might be better to just run electricity IMO
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:16 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballgame View Post
youll need a lot of juice to run all of those things, especially the heater.

might be better to just run electricity IMO


I agree.



If you just look ar what is needed power wise to run all of that then you are looking at a system costing at least $20k. The window unit, even the smallest one you can buy (5k btu) is going to pull around 5 amps but that is at 120 volts. This means you will need a power inverter to run it. Well, 5 amps times 120 volts gives you 600 watts (this is the wattage the window unit will pull when running but may go higher when starting the compressor). 600 watts at 12 volts DC is 50 amps!! So in order to not totally drain the batteries during the day when you are running the A/C, you would need at least 50 amps, just to run the A/C. That is not even considering the power needed to run everything else or to recharge the batteries.

For example, if you went here and got these panels;
https://www.solarblvd.com/product_in...oducts_id=2868

.... in the real world, if aimed properly, you could expect about 5 amps out of each of these panels for a few hours each day. Well, to get to the 50 amps needed just to run the A/C you would need 10 of these! Once you figure in shipping you are looking at around $1500.

But in reality you would need AT LEAST double the number of panels to be able to run everything AND put some power into the batteries too. So now you are already up to $3k, just for the panels. Now you need a rather large charge controller that can handle this kind of power, rather large cables, mounting for all of the panels, a nice power inverter that can run everything you want all at the same time, and then probably the most expensive item is enough battery capacity to run all of this even after the sun goes down.

So yeah, the cost can add up VERY quick when trying to build a system that can run everything that you want.
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:39 PM   #207
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I have upgraded my tiny system some. I threw the shattered panel away and first I replaced it with a 50 watt panel. This worked good and put out a little over 3 amps through my el cheapo MPPT charge controller.



But for an emergency power backup, it was not enough to keep my batteries charged. If you figure running a fan all night, recharging handheld electronics for a family of 3, and running a couple of lights this would not quit be enough.


So I lucked out and got a deal on a 245 watt Sharp solar panel that I could not pass up. So I installed the new panel where the old shattered panel was, and moved the 50 watt panel above it(i'll get back to it in a minute).



Yes, I also ran my Christmas lights this year off of my solar setup. It was a good workout for the batteries and it showed me what kind of power draw I can have and still recharge the batteries good the next day. Power output was MUCH better with a little over 8 amps of output for about an hour each day and power output of over 5 amps for several hours each day. Not bad for a panel mounted in my garage and not even aimed right!


(I couldn't get the picture showing over 8 amps of output to load)


So now even on a cloudy day I can get 1 amp of output into the battery bank. That's not much but it is MUCH better than the 50 watt panel's 0 output!

Speaking of the 50 watt panel, I connected it up to a separate charge controller and a VERY old 50 amp/hr battery as a secondary solar setup. Because 2 is 1 and 1 is none. This way, I have a standby system just in case there are problems with the main system.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:39 AM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91cavgt View Post
I agree.







If you just look ar what is needed power wise to run all of that then you are looking at a system costing at least $20k. The window unit, even the smallest one you can buy (5k btu) is going to pull around 5 amps but that is at 120 volts. This means you will need a power inverter to run it. Well, 5 amps times 120 volts gives you 600 watts (this is the wattage the window unit will pull when running but may go higher when starting the compressor). 600 watts at 12 volts DC is 50 amps!! So in order to not totally drain the batteries during the day when you are running the A/C, you would need at least 50 amps, just to run the A/C. That is not even considering the power needed to run everything else or to recharge the batteries.



For example, if you went here and got these panels;

https://www.solarblvd.com/product_in...oducts_id=2868



.... in the real world, if aimed properly, you could expect about 5 amps out of each of these panels for a few hours each day. Well, to get to the 50 amps needed just to run the A/C you would need 10 of these! Once you figure in shipping you are looking at around $1500.



But in reality you would need AT LEAST double the number of panels to be able to run everything AND put some power into the batteries too. So now you are already up to $3k, just for the panels. Now you need a rather large charge controller that can handle this kind of power, rather large cables, mounting for all of the panels, a nice power inverter that can run everything you want all at the same time, and then probably the most expensive item is enough battery capacity to run all of this even after the sun goes down.



So yeah, the cost can add up VERY quick when trying to build a system that can run everything that you want.


Looks like I will run power. I only have 40' to run for power but I have been reading this thread off/on for a while and I thought this would be a good project to get my feet wet with solar power.

I will be building a large shop in the future and was really wanting to go with solar power but if this little one cost 20k I cannot imagine what a large shop would run.


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Old 01-07-2017, 01:45 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tod View Post
Looks like I will run power. I only have 40' to run for power but I have been reading this thread off/on for a while and I thought this would be a good project to get my feet wet with solar power.

I will be building a large shop in the future and was really wanting to go with solar power but if this little one cost 20k I cannot imagine what a large shop would run.


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The primary reason for my setup is an emergency backup. I would love to run my whole house but it is just too expensive. Maybe in 20 years that will change.
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:03 PM   #210
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Interesting discussion.
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:40 PM   #211
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I will say part of the decision of putting in solar is economics. And with recent declines in cost, the economics are looking pretty good.

In my area of central Texas, with my weather, my roof tilt, and my latitude, one watt of installed solar will generate 1.43kw-hours of AC coming out of the inverter. I pay 9.4 cents per kwh (or 0.094 $ per kwh). With this information, and knowing the cost of your instillation, it is easy to calculate the return on investment. My local company is quoting a grid-tied instillation 4kw system cost of $12,400. This works out to $3.10 per watt. So each watt of installed solar will generate 0.094 x 1.43 = or 13.4 cents of electricity each year, while costing $3.10. This yields a return on investment (ROI) of 4.3%. This is better than I could get buying a CD at the bank, but less than I could get wagering in the stock market. BUT if I take the 30% federal solar credit, my cost of installation drops to $2.17 and my ROI goes up to 6.1% That is pretty good for a risk free & tax free investment.

Last edited by NightStalker; 01-07-2017 at 02:45 PM..
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:48 PM   #212
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If you have a company put solar panels on your roof and then sell you cheaper power, you are missing out on the federal rebate (the company is claiming it). IF you have the cash up front, it is better to own the panels yourself.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:01 PM   #213
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If you have a BIG off grid load, check out the Aquion salt water battery's. The cost per 1000kwh is less than lead-acid.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:59 AM   #214
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If interested I have a NEW PV Powered inverter 5200, 240v for sale $2700. never used. New runs $3500

pm me if interested
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Old 01-21-2017, 04:21 PM   #215
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Early in this thread I mentioned the importance of using the proper size wire. Well, I thought my short wire running to my charge controller was large enough. The wire from the solar panel is 10 gauge to a foot away from the charge controller where I have it connected to push terminals so it is easy to hook the wires up to other items. From the push terminals, I was using 16 gauge wire to run the 12 inch run to the charge controller. Well, the last sunny day we had I discovered the 16 gauge wire was very warm to the touch! When wire warms up it means it is not big enough to handle the current correctly. This leads to high resistance which means power loss.

So today I did some rewiring and upgraded this 16 gauge wire to a 12 gauge wire. After a full day of running the charge controller, the new wire is ambient in temp. Success!
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