High Efficiency Solar Systems

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by Viking, Mar 18, 2009.

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  1. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

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    The solar system that I installed on our motorhome could easily be upsized for a full time low power need home or emergency power needs. For the system I installed on the motorhome I did a lot of research before coming across two great and affordable suppliers. For the solar panels and solar controllers AM Solar, Welcome to AM Solar - Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987 The solar panels they sell are 100 watt 44 cell which produces more voltage than the 36 cell types they are 21.25" W X 57.25" I installed four on the roof of the motorhome but for a home I'd use Six. The solar controller that I used in the motorhome HPV30DR will take care of six 100 watt panels and will put out a total of 30 amps for charging deep cycle batteries. The inverter/charger I installed in the motorhome is a Xantrex RS2000 I bought it from Don Rowe, Power Inverters by Xantrex, Magnum, Cobra, Samlex, Pure Sine Wave - DonRowe.com - Inverter For a home system I would use the Xantrex RS3000. Both inverters are pure sinewave, just like power grid feed, which is best for AC motors and sensitive electronics. the RS2000 supplies 120 VAC at 2000 watts with a surge capacity of 5000 watts, the RS3000 supplies 120 VAC at 3000 watts with a surge capacity of 7500 watts, both have automatic transfer switches for switching between inverter power and grid power. The batteries I use on the motorhome for the inverter are four 225 amphour 6 volt golf cart batteries tied series parallel for 12 volts 450 amphour. For a home unit I would add two to four of the same type batteries because they are a true deep cycle with very heavy plates. We take the motorhome out on the desert of Northern Nevada where we have spent up to six weeks, the only time I've had to charge the batteries with the engine or generator was when we had a very cloudy day. Even on moderately cloudy days the 44 cell solar panels will charge the batteries, we just have to be watchful of battery voltages and not use the inverter as much. A typical day out on the desert for battery/ inverter usage would be making two pots of coffee in the morning (coffee maker when making coffee uses 1000 watts) and watching up to four hours of 22" TV/DVD at night. We have used a slow cooker (uses 200 watts) up to seven hours. All interior lamps in the motorhome are 12 volt incandesent or fluorescent, I want to change over to LEDs which is a great idea for a home as well. The only problem with LED lamps is that at this time they are very spendy, the upside is that they last a very long time and use very little wattage. A 3000 watt solar powered system is minimal, it wouldn't be good for running fridges or freezers but I know that there are full sized propane refregerators available and I have our freezer in a outside shed and as long as don't have to open it up it will stay frozen for a long time especially during a cold winter which usually equals occassional power outages.
     
  2. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the links! I've sent a copy of your thread to my husband so he can check out the links and info. We are going with solar and wind this year and the amount of info is over whelming and mind boggling! This will help, so thanks again.:)
     

  3. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

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    The really great thing about AM Solar is that since the buying the initial system, two panels and a 22 amp controller, they have lowered their prices. On the other hand Don Rowe has raised prices, but his prices are considerably less than motorhome supply outlets. Pics are: 1. solar panels 2. Rocker foot mounting which I have extention bars for to place the solar panels at a 45 degree angle if we are using the motorhome in the early spring or late fall when the sun is lower in the sky. 3. Solar controller on the left, inverter/charger on the right. 4. Inverter/charger and the battery compartment. The poly battery box I bought out of Ontario, Canada because they didn't have them in stock locally and as it ended up even with expensive shipping it was less than I would have paid at a battery store in Medford, OR. 5. Is the Inverter/Charger control panel inside the motorhome. The solar control panel is also inside the motorhome.
     

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