solar panel wiring

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by cannon, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. cannon

    cannon Member

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    Say I want to wire in a solar panel to a power outlet of some sort and have the excess energy either go to the battery bank or be fed in through the battery bank depending on how much energy is needed. Is this the way typical solar panel / battery bank systems work?
     
  2. carnut1100

    carnut1100 Well-Known Member

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    generally the panel goes directly into the battery bank and the outlet draws directly on the batteries.
     

  3. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    Smaller solar panels can be wired directly to batteries if that is what you want to do,
    BUT,
    That only works with small, low output solar panels.
    If you have larger, higher output panels or several panels, you will have to use a charge controller to keep the batteries from being over charged.

    Larger solar panels usually put out 24 or 48 volts, and way too much current for the average battery to absorb easily, and you will 'Cook' the batteries connected to them without a 'Charge Controller'.

    There are three basic types of solar arrays,

    1. Solar Panels, Battery Banks, and Inverters with Charge Controllers for the battery banks.
    These systems are 'Stand Alone' and do not require connection to the common power grid.
    This type of system usually takes LOTS of storage batteries and will be ineffective if you go several days without direct sunlight.

    2. Solar Panels, Phasing Inverters so the power created by the solar panels can be used directly in the home as 110V power or sold back to the electric company via the grid hookup meter.
    When you aren't using all the electricity created by your panels, it puts that power back on the 'Grid' and turns you meter backwards.
    This is a 'Battery-Less' Grid Intertie system.

    3. A combination of all three systems...
    Solar panel array, batteries for short term supply, and a grid intertie so you can use power from the grid if the batteries get drained and you still don't have sunlight.

    I run most of my home on 4 panels (under $2,000 total).
    I'm running a battery-less grid intertie system, so when I'm not home or not using the current my array is making, it gets sold back to the 'Grid'.
    That is called 'Net Metering'.

    When the 220 volt cloths dryer is running, or the 220 volt central air conditioner is running, I have to buy power from the grid, but that cost is usually off set by the power I've already sold them, so I'm usually at the meter minimum every month.

    I have two panels on the garage roof, older panels that don't work up to spec anymore.
    I have an '83 Chevy S-10 that has been converted over to electric drive, and the solar panels on the garage roof keep it charged.
    I pay ZERO for fuel the first 40 miles of driving most days.
    Around town, running errands on days that aren't blazing hot or seriously freezing cold, it's a good vehicle to commute in. (Electric drive/not hybrid = No heat or air conditioning)
     
  4. jupiterdave

    jupiterdave Esteemed Junior Member

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    Netmetering

    I can't find anyone at my power company (FPL) to help me with net metering. Any contacts you could provide would be great!
     
  5. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    They REALLY don't want to do it, but federal law says the MUST do it...

    Try 'Home Power' Magazine,

    You can also get a hold of the Utilities Commission in your state and see if they will light a fire under someone's butt at the electric company.
    You will be surprised how fast they will get back to you when the State Utilities Commission gets on their cases!

    Find a solar installer in your area and ask them who to contact about Net Metering.

    Try this, REBATES, TAX BREAKS, ECT.
    http://dsireusa.org/
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  6. dextercath96

    dextercath96 New Member

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    Solar Power Generator for wiring

    I have a little knowledge and information in wiring a solar panel. If you want I can help you in your problem.
     
  7. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    Get a copy of "Living on12 Volt With Ample Power" great book.
     
  8. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Sail,

    Thanks for that information about that book. I found the site amplepower.com and it looks like they have teaser-information from the book on the site, but, so far, I haven't found the actual book.

    I'll have to keep looking ..
     
  9. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

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    Found "ONE" on Amazon....$75.00 !!!....
     
  10. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    This price is rediculous, go to a West Marine type store and get one there, I paid about $20.00 for mine, but that was a while back. You may find one on Ebay, keep looking.
     
  11. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

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    About five or six years ago I did a lot of research for getting solar panels for our motorhome and I came across AM Solar. At the time they were located just on the Southern border of Eugene, Oregon, about 115 miles North of us. So we drove up there and asks all kinds of questions and their answers all added up. We have installed four of their 100 watt panels on the motorhome roof, added two more 6 volt 225 amp. hr. golf cart batteries for a total of four, upgraded from their 22 amp solar controller to a 30 amp controller and installed a 2000 watt Xantrex RS2000 pure sine inverter/charger. The best thing about their solar panels is that they are 44 cell which in full sun produce over 20 volts which means that even on moderately cloudly days they produce enough voltage to charge the batteries. AM Solar has good Educational Pages on their website at: Welcome to AM Solar - Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987 They are a great outfit to do business with and they have really LOWERED their price a lot since we bought our first two panels and controller. With the 30 amp. Solar controller I can add one more 100 watt panel. This system with two or four additional 225 amp. hr. batteries, a 3000 watt Xantrex pure sine inverter and five 100 watt solar panels would be great for a back up for power outages or full time for a low electrical use homes. I bought my inverter/charger from Don Rowe who has a business out in the woods N.E. of Eugene, Oregon. at the time I saved over $500 dollars getting it from him over going to a RV parts and supply store. Power Inverters by Xantrex, Magnum, Cobra, Samlex, Pure Sine Wave - DonRowe.com - Inverter
     

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