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Do it yourself Solar
 Moderated by: Poacher, ghrit, -6
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 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2013 12:09 AM
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The Only Sarge
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I work on my own around here. Solar is something I took up years ago. Peckerheads running around marking Solar panels/installation up to ridiculous pricing. Here is my setup. 10 years old at least. I keep it on 7X24X365.
Powers all the lights/ceiling fans/TV's etc. in the (2)living rooms,all 4 bedrooms, study and of course all my shop power without breaking a sweat. Cut my electric bill by $150 a month. Total cost was less than $1500.
Maintenance is I wash off bird poop and water the batteries about 3-4 times a year. Thats it.
Power goes out for very long I fire up the propane generator for the refrigerators and freezers and I'm golden.
Very easy to do guys.

Mine is only 1000 watts per hour but more than enough to keep us comfortable and in power.

The inverter/charge controller and 600 amps of batteries dont take up hardly any room at all.

Simple transfer box next to the house circuit breakers and I chose which circuits to utilize by the common...I can switch back and forth if I wanted from Solar to line power but I just leave the solar on all the time.


Very easy to install. Safe and very nice to have non-line power. Inexpensive to boot!

Last edited on Sat Sep 14th, 2013 12:10 AM by The Only Sarge



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 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2013 02:30 AM
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ghrit



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Do you have a battery bank?



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 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2013 03:21 AM
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postalpaul
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👍👍👍👍👍

X2 how many batteries



 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2013 05:44 AM
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RobertMT
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How much are you paying for power? I looked into solar, I use 500 KWH per month. I figured, I would need 1,500 watts per hour capacity, to generate it. At power rate I'm charged, $0.055 per KWH, $27.50 per month, I couldn't cover interest on equipment and it's replacement cost. Even with the tax credits, I couldn't see it saving me money.

What am I missing?



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 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2013 02:13 PM
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The Only Sarge
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ghrit wrote: Do you have a battery bank?

Sure. I am off grid. See that wooden box with the radio/fan on top? It has 4 200 amp batteries in it.



____________________
The existence of flamethrowers is proof that someone, somewhere, said to himself, "I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't feel like walking over there to do it."


 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2013 02:15 PM
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The Only Sarge
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RobertMT wrote: How much are you paying for power? I looked into solar, I use 500 KWH per month. I figured, I would need 1,500 watts per hour capacity, to generate it. At power rate I'm charged, $0.055 per KWH, $27.50 per month, I couldn't cover interest on equipment and it's replacement cost. Even with the tax credits, I couldn't see it saving me money.

What am I missing?


I pay .125 cents per KwH. You probably got a quote from a solar company I would guess?
You also probably got a quote for a grid tie system versus a off grid system? Your formula....did it include some type of buy back from the power company at a fixed rate?



____________________
The existence of flamethrowers is proof that someone, somewhere, said to himself, "I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't feel like walking over there to do it."


 Posted: Sun Sep 15th, 2013 04:03 AM
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RobertMT
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I was looking at a off grid system. I was looking at property outside of the grid.

This is what I used for calculations.

500 KWH per month needed.

1,500 WPH panels @ 12 hrs per day (max average output) =
18 KWH per day X 30 days per month = 540 KWH max average output per month. Even at claimed efficiency of inverters of 95%+ and loss due to battery and wiring resistance, I figured it was sized right at minimum. This left no extra capacity for winters longer nights, but I figured reduced requirements for freezers and less well use, would allow it to work.



____________________
Fake news sites = sources of information, not censored by those currently in power.

MSM = sources of misinformation, approved by those currently in power.

It's only a conspiracy theory, if it's not true.

Citizens are armed, subjects aren't.


 Posted: Sun Sep 15th, 2013 10:40 AM
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The Only Sarge
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RobertMT wrote: I was looking at a off grid system. I was looking at property outside of the grid.

This is what I used for calculations.

500 KWH per month needed.

1,500 WPH panels @ 12 hrs per day (max average output) =
18 KWH per day X 30 days per month = 540 KWH max average output per month. Even at claimed efficiency of inverters of 95%+ and loss due to battery and wiring resistance, I figured it was sized right at minimum. This left no extra capacity for winters longer nights, but I figured reduced requirements for freezers and less well use, would allow it to work.

I do not use any solar power for anything with a compressor. The economy of building out to meet the "spikes" of a compressor starting up just throws everything out of whack.
My purpose wasn't about "saving money" per se....it was getting off the grid and managing my own power.
Few things to consider here.
1. Cost of power just keeps going up and up and I wanted to cap that ever increasing cost.
2. I wanted a more stable power source. One that I controlled. We lose power about 4-5 times a year for a day or more here.
3. The panels are under warranty for 25 years.

Did you look at 12v fridge/freezers? I helped a friend with his cabin outside Alpine, Texas. He went with propane refrigerators/freezers. All other power is solar. Including his blower fans for his heat.

Solar is under $0.80 per watt (panels) right now.



____________________
The existence of flamethrowers is proof that someone, somewhere, said to himself, "I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't feel like walking over there to do it."


 Posted: Sun Sep 15th, 2013 12:05 PM
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-6
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Those six panels all you have? What brand and output per panel? Brand and size of inverter/controller? Been seriously thinking about going solar but probably end up putting them on a trailer w/fold out panels. Will be adding panels to the top of our wee R/V asap. Any info will be appreciated-thanks and sorry for all the questions.



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Peace is that glorious moment in history
when everyone stands around -- reloading.
Crisis is the absence of preparation


 Posted: Sun Sep 15th, 2013 11:21 PM
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The Only Sarge
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-6 wrote: Those six panels all you have? What brand and output per panel? Brand and size of inverter/controller? Been seriously thinking about going solar but probably end up putting them on a trailer w/fold out panels. Will be adding panels to the top of our wee R/V asap. Any info will be appreciated-thanks and sorry for all the questions.
Happy to help any way I can to my fellow loaders -6.

2 on the left are 145w Canadian Solar 2 in the middle are 155w Kyocera and on the right are 175w panels but who made them I flat do not remember :) They put out right at 60 amps when cooking good in this S. Texas sunshine.
I have a Xantrex 80 amp controller and a Xantrex inverter.



____________________
The existence of flamethrowers is proof that someone, somewhere, said to himself, "I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't feel like walking over there to do it."


 Posted: Mon Sep 16th, 2013 01:07 AM
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ghrit



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Robert, be careful with that 500 KWh per month, it's too close to the number that dot gov and the power companies us to establish base rates. Your bill should have your consumption each month, or the power company can provide it to you on request. I have my doubts that it's close to real in your case.

Get yourself a Killawatt meter (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882715001) and measure the real numbers on all your loads. For real world sizing (1500 watts of panel is apt to be a bit short) check out the discussions here - http://www.survivalmonkey.com/forums/off-grid-living.59/



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-There are two kinds of ships: Submarines and targets


 Posted: Mon Sep 16th, 2013 05:34 AM
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RobertMT
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The baseline is 600KWH, it jumps from $.055 to $.115, in three tiers. My actual use varies from 470KWH to 530KWH, depending on time of year. The biggest difference is how much block heater is used in winter ( 4hrs day for Jan and Feb) and how much the 5,000 btu window air is used in summer (4hrs day July and Aug). It averages $55 a month and $28.50 of that is the meter fee, only $26.50 is for the power and transmission.

I have wood and gas heat, the rest is electric, including well and pump for sewage. I've been here 20+ years and it's never gone over the 600KWH.



____________________
Fake news sites = sources of information, not censored by those currently in power.

MSM = sources of misinformation, approved by those currently in power.

It's only a conspiracy theory, if it's not true.

Citizens are armed, subjects aren't.


 Posted: Thu Oct 31st, 2013 04:14 PM
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Shadow
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What about hail?  Every had any panels destroyed?



 Posted: Thu Oct 31st, 2013 06:11 PM
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Gent near Rockingham, NC is putting in a solar "farm". Probably has several hundred frames in already. Checking to see what I can buy a few from him--should be a savings.



____________________
Lk 22:35-38-if you don't have a sword then sell your cloak and buy one.
Peace is that glorious moment in history
when everyone stands around -- reloading.
Crisis is the absence of preparation


 Posted: Sun Nov 3rd, 2013 12:12 PM
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The Only Sarge
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Shadow wrote: What about hail?  Every had any panels destroyed?


No and we have had hail storms. Heck you can stand on these things. They are not "fragile" as they look for sure. 25 year warranty from the manufacturer.



____________________
The existence of flamethrowers is proof that someone, somewhere, said to himself, "I want to set those people over there on fire, but I don't feel like walking over there to do it."


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