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Thread: Solar system Upgrade

  1. #1
    LHBA Member Kola's Avatar
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    Solar system Upgrade

    solar.jpg

    solar1.jpg

    Still in the works, once she's done everything thing will get neatly tucked away and anchored.

    Four Panasonic 96 cell 335 watt mono-panels mounted on PT wood with adjustable tilt. (wired for 70v and approx 22 amps)
    **I used 6 awg cables to cover the span from the combiner box at the array to the cabin = 75 feet ***

    Four Battle Born lithium-ion batteries 12v 100ah wired series/parallel for 24v (using 2/0 cables) (able to keep these indoors is a huge plus!)

    Outback FM 80 MPPT (wired with 6 awg) (gage size as per OB install manual)

    Outback Inverter 24v/2500 watt (2/0 cables) (gage size as per PB install manual)

    OB 175 vdc breaker (in large J-box) for batts to inverter ( I cut out openings to mount and later found Midnight Solar makes a great box to house a lot of breakers. busses, etc)

    OB 80 amp breaker in (smaller j-box) for Battery to FM controller (as per manual)

    I still have to run 6 awg solid copper wire for all my grounds (inv, cc and batts) and my 10/2 awg feed from inverter to AC panel. I already pounded in one 5/8" copper coated ground rod along cabin and another one out at my array.

    Conduit gets trenched and buried in Spring (hopefully) and Honda 7000 EU will be hard-wired in as well.

    Overall, it's not a big system at all, BUT it should suit my demands as I am super frugal on electrical usage. We'll soon see !
    My main goal is to be able to run my pellet stove through the entire night. It's an Enviro Mini A and checkig with my Kill-O-Watt meter uses very little wattage/amps (300 to 600w) The exception is when ignitor fires up (900-1000w) but it's not hooked to a T-stat so it doesn't go on/off like that. I just set the Pelly on low and she purrs all night steady.
    Last edited by Kola; 01-15-2020 at 05:15 PM.

  2. #2
    LHBA Member Kola's Avatar
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    Attachment 4083
    simple combiner box for 4 panels, breaker and lightning arrestor as well


    Attachment 4084

    I made it easily adjustable for summer/winter tilt. They'll be sonotubed cemented in place in spring. Fo now I drove in 4 foot long 5/8' rebar and anchored it down. The large gaps I left between each panel will reduce wind loads. I've been keepig my eye on it though.
    Last edited by Kola; 01-14-2020 at 08:38 AM.

  3. #3
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    Couldn't see the photos in the second post. We are just putting up our solar at the moment also, so are interested to see!

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    Great progress!

  5. #5
    LHBA Member Kola's Avatar
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    try again: this picture loading system is finicky, basic PITA actually try again

    PV.jpg
    ^^^^^^ easy to tilt with a simple pivot set-up and 1/2"thu-bolts. I made one just by winging it and was a prototype, then made a second one and attached them.

    PV2.jpg

    below is all 4 panels, 2 per mount (don;t why image its attached like it is????) but anyway I purposely left big gaps between each panel to reduce wind loads.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Kola; 01-15-2020 at 04:53 PM.

  6. #6
    LHBA Member Kola's Avatar
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    My combiner box for solar array. It has MP4 connectors (snap in) for 4 panels ( so actually 8 altogether, four pos and four neg) You can buy combiner boxes with as many plug-ins to suit your specif solar panels. The box also came with a lightning arrestor, on/off circuit breaker, ground lug and a decent water proof box.

    PV5.jpg

    PV12.jpg

    PV55.jpg

    I've got it all connected and mounted out on my supports and I'll get a picture of it asap to post here.
    Last edited by Kola; 01-15-2020 at 05:05 PM.

  7. #7
    LHBA Member Kola's Avatar
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    Here's the Outback 175dc breaker that goes between my battery pos cable to my Outback inverter. Dam thing is HUGE about 8 inches long, 4 wide and 2 inches thick. I mounted it in that large grey J-box from first posted pics. OB install manual calls for this size breaker. 100 bucks too.

    Attachment 4092

    is it just my PC or what? Look at all the different ways my pics are attached. ?????? SMH, I need a beer.

    and it just changed...it now says "attachment" and those are the ones that don't come up.
    Last edited by Kola; 01-15-2020 at 05:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks! All the photos came up except... as you know... the last one. Your setup looks a lot like ours, only the supports we built are much beefier and overbuilt (as always.) We regularly get very high winds here and are afraid the panels will catch the wind.

  9. #9
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdart View Post
    Thanks! All the photos came up except... as you know... the last one. Your setup looks a lot like ours, only the supports we built are much beefier and overbuilt (as always.) We regularly get very high winds here and are afraid the panels will catch the wind.
    See? You're missing an opportunity. Turn those panels into wind turbine blades. Double your output!

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  10. #10
    LHBA Member mudflap's Avatar
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    sheesh, you make it look so easy, Kola!
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    "cutting trees is more important than thinking about cutting trees or planning to cut trees." ~ F. David Stanley

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