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Thread: Got my solar power off-grid system up and running (finally)

  1. #21
    LHBA Member Timberwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StressMan79 View Post
    Edison batteries have 2 major down sides.

    1. Getting them is not easy.
    1.5 most equipment is made to run on lead acid
    2. This is bc ldac charges AND discharges @ around 2 v/cell. Charging nife cells occurs@1.7 v. Discharge happens @ 1.2.
    A. You have to make a 12v inverter operate fron 10-22v, not 11-15.
    B. You lose that delta v in efficiency. 1.2/1.7=70.6% right off the bat.
    This would be great... in ENGRISH!
    As a whole, the LHBA system (and it is a system) of building, is simplicity at it's core, longevity at it's heart and strength throughout.

    Build to your need, and....desire, and.....ability. And be secure in your decision.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/parent.j...gHomeBuilding#

  2. #22
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Peter only speaks Gibberish... You get used to it and just kinda nod your head like you understand.










    hahhhaw
    And you thought he was unteachable!

    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberwolf View Post
    This would be great... in ENGRISH!
    I, Peter (donjuedo) can't speak for Peter (stressman79), but I can provide a little overview about that battery type (you may already know).

    Thomas Edison invented a special type of battery using nickel and iron, and instead of acid, he put in potassium hydroxide, if I'm not mistaken (going from memory here). The symbol for nickel is Ni and the symbol for iron is Fe, so a nickel iron battery is often called a NiFe battery, as well as an Edison battery.

    Stressman abbreviated because as "bc" and lead acid as "ldac", so that might have thrown you off a little.

    NiFe batteries are available from ironedison.com, a US company sourced from China, IIRC. I also found a Chinese source, and the batteries look identical, except for the logo. They gave me a price quote, but I don't recall how it compared to Iron Edison pricing, mainly because I'm not ready to buy, yet.

    My first choice for a charge controller is the same Outback model Rod has, but when I scoured the manual, it looked like the low voltage setting to shutdown (to protect batteries) is not low enough to make good use of NiFe batteries, despite a distributor claim to the contrary.

    NiFe batteries can drain quite a bit lower than conventional lead acid, so in that way, store and deliver more energy than lead acid that seems the same size. Also, you can ruin a lead acid battery much more easily than a NiFe, and I'm sure I'm going to make mistakes.
    :-/


    Peter

  4. #24
    LHBA Member Little Eagle's Avatar
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    So i have a question that has been wondering through my head as i really know nothing of solar power, would i need to wire the home with with different wire for solar or can you use the same wire inside as if you were hooking to city power?

  5. #25
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    I have visited a home with 12 volt lighting built in, but that is very non-standard, and I would not recommend that.

    It's best to wire the home normally, the solar power is delivered through what's called an inverter. Quite simply, it's an electronic box that takes in 12 volts DC, like car batteries charged by solar panels, and puts out 120 volts AC, like a normal home uses. It would connect to your home's wiring near the breaker panel.

    It might look like this:

    /------ 120 volts AC <-- inverter <-- 12 volts DC <-- battery bank <-- MPPT charger <-- solar panels
    |
    switch --> home wiring
    |
    \____120 volts AC <-- power grid

    There are many options to consider, like wiring for 24 battery packs instead of 12. Both can work. Some folks use 48 volts, and that's fine, too.

    You could plan to feed the grid with your solar power during the day, and use the grid at night. That's what my brother does, so there are no batteries.
    You could go "off grid", and use batteries for power after the sun goes down. Batteries can be the most expensive part of a system.
    You could combine options, and use batteries and connect to the grid.
    You could throw in a generator to complicate things. OK, for back up, for various reasons.
    Last edited by donjuedo; 02-17-2015 at 05:59 PM. Reason: bad text graphics

  6. #26
    LHBA Member Little Eagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donjuedo View Post
    I have visited a home with 12 volt lighting built in, but that is very non-standard, and I would not recommend that.

    It's best to wire the home normally, the solar power is delivered through what's called an inverter. Quite simply, it's an electronic box that takes in 12 volts DC, like car batteries charged by solar panels, and puts out 120 volts AC, like a normal home uses. It would connect to your home's wiring near the breaker panel.

    It might look like this:

    /------ 120 volts AC <-- inverter <-- 12 volts DC <-- battery bank <-- MPPT charger <-- solar panels
    |
    switch --> home wiring
    |
    \____120 volts AC <-- power grid

    There are many options to consider, like wiring for 24 battery packs instead of 12. Both can work. Some folks use 48 volts, and that's fine, too.

    You could plan to feed the grid with your solar power during the day, and use the grid at night. That's what my brother does, so there are no batteries.
    You could go "off grid", and use batteries for power after the sun goes down. Batteries can be the most expensive part of a system.
    You could combine options, and use batteries and connect to the grid.
    You could throw in a generator to complicate things. OK, for back up, for various reasons.
    Ah ok, being a trucker i have a inverter in my truck to run my crockpot and such so i know what you mean now. Good to know i can still run the wiring normally i was unsure about that part. Thank you for the advise.

  7. #27
    LHBA Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    I wired my house like a normal house and now I'm ready to install the solar. Currently I'm planning on 12 panels on the roof (235V) and either 16 or 24 Trojan L16RE-B (6V) batteries, then either one or two Outback 3648 Inverters. I did a worksheet and figured one inverter and 16 batteries would be enough until I factored in my water pump, then it looks like I need a second inverter and 8 more batteries..

  8. #28
    LHBA Member BoFuller's Avatar
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    Actually I'm sticking with the 16 batteries and single inverter. I exchanged my one hp water pump for a 1/2 hp unit.

  9. #29
    I agree that a grid-tied solar system is cheaper in that batteries can be eliminated. You can also either sell the excess power back or have your bill reduced. But I've read that it is wise to ask your utility serving your area property where the nearest pole is and how much it will cost to bring a power line into your property.
    Like everyone else, I've been pricing everything and found that it will cost me about $7000 more to go completely off-grid compared to using a grid-tied system (assuming no charge to bring a power line in or minimal cost if the pole is right at the road by the property). I could be wrong. Of course the prices will change when I begin to build. Also, I do worry about having to replace batteries so I would buy those with the longest warranty period.
    Phil

  10. #30
    Hello Loghousenut!
    You seem to be the wisest here and I always appreciate your good advice. I can't make the class this year but hope to attend in May 1916 if the class is available.
    Amazing, my family is in support and say, "go for it." Hopefully after I take the class I can travel to someone's build site and help there for the experience because I will probably need help too. If anyone's interested, I just found a great book by Henry A. Mercer titled Ancient Carpenters' Tools. Amazon.com $17 - $20. Describes log building tools (axes, hatchets, draw knives etc.). This would help if you are looking for old tools at flea markets, antique stores, etc.
    Have a good day!
    Phil (hello NSA!)

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