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Author Topic: Another solar system  (Read 1521 times)

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Offline maple flats

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Another solar system
« on: May 03, 2017, 08:28:15 pm »
After having some solar since 2008 and growing until I went grid tied and net metered at my sugarhouse, I have now also added a small strictly off grid system at my house. I put in 6 panels at 285 watt ea., and a 24V battery bank in the cellar (683 AH 24v bank). So far I like it. My other solar at the sugarhouse has 1480 watts with a 240 AH 48V battery bank using 6V Trojan batteries, this one uses 4 batteries at 6V 683 AH from Rolls Surrette battery. The 8-9 year old bank at the sugarhouse is still going strong and they were only rated at 7 yrs, these new ones are rated for 10 years, we'll see.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 08:32:26 pm »
Good info - thanks for posting.  With any luck in the weather department, I might have my cabin weather tight this fall and then it will be time to think about solar.  Do you run an inverter at the house or are you just DC?
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 09:10:02 pm »
We need more posts from the solar power people.... :)
persistence personified - never let up , never let down

Offline maple flats

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2017, 04:39:22 pm »
On this system I have a Outback 3500 watt 120V inverter, a 60A Morning star charge controller and I had to put in the Rapid Shut down system for the safety of emergency personnel.
On my original systems at my sugarhouse I have 1480 watts in panels, a XW MPPT 60 charge controller, a 48V 240 AH battery bank and an XW4860 inverter that is also grid tied, plus I have 4840 watts in panels, and 5000 watt Fronius inverter all net metered, this portion has no batteries, but I can use the power as needed andthe excess is sent to the grid. Then except during maple season that part sent to the grid is credited to my home account.
If anyone is getting into solar I suggest you learn more than I did before I first bought in. Learn the efficiency differences of PWM and MPPT charge controllers if you will have batteries. Also realize the with batteries you will never make money because the batteries need replacing and they are not cheap. You also want to shop arround, for example the batteries I just used were each $914 but other places sold the same 5000 series rolls batteries for over $1500 each. Most were in the middle between those extremes. Be ready to handle heavy batteries, those were about 271# each, the smaller ones that I have 8 of at the sugarhouse cost $180 each back in 2008 and weigh about 70# each
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Online Dave Shepard

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2017, 08:41:23 pm »
Everytime I look into a battery/solar backup for when the power goes off, I end up at an entirely off grid system. If I had the money, I'd do it.
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"LogRite!

Offline maple flats

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2017, 05:19:56 pm »
"If I had the money" is all in your head. We did not have a pile or pot of cash sitting there waiting for something to spend it on when we made either of our solar purchases. It is all a question of your desire. Just make a plan to set a certain amount aside every payday and study what makes a good solar system in the meantime. Then when you get the money to buy the first major component, get it. Then do the same for each until you have all the main components. At that point either determine if you can/will install it yourself or hire someone to do it. When you make that last decision you should be prepared to spend about 30-40% more than you have to date, for unforeseen incidentals. Both of my systems started as self install until it was determined I either legally or technically needed help.
If you buy components piece by piece, just be sure they can play together. For example if going off grid get a charge controller and inverter from the same manufacturer, unmatched will generally work but not at the efficiency you get when they are matched.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Online Dave Shepard

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2017, 06:45:40 pm »
.
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"LogRite!

Offline tmarch

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2017, 08:21:48 pm »
I currently have a 6000 watt grid tied system at my ranch mounted on a pole barn.  My biggest suggestion is to do a ground mount system IF you have enough room.  While mine has worked fine it's NOT the right place to put it, a ground mount can be cleaned of snow and is just easier to work on.  I'm probably going to add at least a 3000 watt off grid system to handle my load when the power goes out.  I also have a solar powered well system as a backup so at least we'll have water if the power goes out which is a real lifesaver at times.
Retired to the ranch, saw, and sell solar pumps.

Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2017, 10:16:19 pm »
I also have a solar powered well system as a backup so at least we'll have water if the power goes out which is a real lifesaver at times.

Retired to the ranch, saw, and sell solar pumps.


What kind of solar pumps are you selling?  I put in a Simple Pump and I like it.  I run it directly from solar with a linear current booster.  While that works well, the weather proof box is far from weather proof and I've had to deal with moisture problems.  I'm pumping into a tank and the cabin will be supplied with a 12 or 24vdc RV pump.

Since I have a bit of wind at times, I was also planning on installing a mini wind turbine designed around a car alternator (special rebuild).  Those are pretty cost effective from what I'm finding.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline tmarch

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2017, 11:59:56 am »
I sell Grundfos SQF and Lorentz pumps.  Mostly for ranchers to water cows.  Lots of us are too old or lazy  :) to climb windmills and the solar pumps work better anyway.
Retired to the ranch, saw, and sell solar pumps.

Offline maple flats

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2017, 05:34:43 pm »
Everytime I look into a battery/solar backup for when the power goes off, I end up at an entirely off grid system. If I had the money, I'd do it.
My first system started as an off grid system, at my sugarhouse (maple syrup), it grew from 150 watts to 300 W to 740 W to 1480 W. Then I added grid tied as I became grid tied. My grid tied portion is 4840 watts strictly grid tied and the original 1480 watts are also grid tied. However, if the grid goes down, all I have with battery back up is my 1480 watts. Right now that battery bank rated for 7 yr life is 8+ years and still going strong. That is only a 240 AH 48V bank, when it needs replacing I'll go to 400-500 AH at 48V.
My new system at my home is not grid connected but the home is. That is 1710 watts, on a 684AH 24V system, strictly for back up, but we use it routinely to reduce the elec. bill. In the short days of winter it only powers our TV, Dish box, a few lights and 2 sump pumps (I own a duplex). In summer, most of spring and fall we also power our washing machine and several more lights. Might soon set it to power the dish washer in the longest 4 months daylight wise too. Added to those, the excess from the sugarhouse is sent to our home as a credit too.
In the case of the entertainment, they are all powered thru a power strip, that is plugged into solar when possible and into grid when necessary. The other uses have a 3 way switch, turn 1 way for solar the other for grid.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline TimEastman

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 04:24:14 pm »
I sell Grundfos SQF and Lorentz pumps.  Mostly for ranchers to water cows.  Lots of us are too old or lazy  :) to climb windmills and the solar pumps work better anyway.

Tmarch you have snapped my head around with one sentence. I will be building off grid with my wife and one of the biggest concerns was water when power fails (that is if we are grid tied and btw we might not be). Not to sound profoundly stupid but it never occurred to me that solar well water pumps even existed. Looking at the websites' names you provided piqued even more questions. I'm assuming there are "packages" for an autonomous unit? (with shutoffs and disconnects?) I assume that it depends on the submersible unit but how far above ground would one be able to pump up to a tank? The installation in consideration is in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Tim

Offline tmarch

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2017, 10:05:49 pm »
Tim,
I don't know about any "kits" so to speak because there's so many variables, well depth, recharge rate, distance, etc.  The best I can do for you is design a custom system with those variables plus many others in mind.  If you want to PM me with some particulars that would help get it started.  Keep in mind that local well drillers may be more help than someone from out of the area, but I will help if I can.  I can get pumps that will lift water thousands of feet if you can afford the panels to power it. ;D
Tom
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Offline TimEastman

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2017, 03:38:40 pm »
That's great Tom, thanks for the reply. Yeah this is all on paper right now. I have to even finalize the building site on my 40 acres so at this point I don't know depth, refresh rate, none of that. I have since my previous post gone up to the websites and checked out the various SQFlex options. Seems like a good package to take a very serious look at for remote off grid wells.

Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2017, 09:16:17 am »
Tim , where are you located ?
persistence personified - never let up , never let down

Offline TimEastman

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2017, 09:59:38 am »
Just north of Grand Rapids Michigan.

Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Another solar system
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2017, 12:23:17 pm »
Thanks Tim, I am eventually going to switch over at my place if there is any water left in the hole. LOL . Here everyone is fighting over water, even stealing it....
persistence personified - never let up , never let down