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Old 09-29-2016, 09:16 PM   #1
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Solar blueprint

Hi all,

I've been researching for weeks and understand the basic concepts, think I am almost ready to build my electrical system, but was hoping one of you might be able to post an electrical blueprint I can look at detailing the panels, breaker, charger, monitor, batteries, inverter, et cetera so I can gain a better understanding of the finished product? I am a visual learner.

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:04 PM   #2
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Hi Tom

What Solar system are you thinking of?
And how much power? (Watts)
I too am very interested in seeing how to do this.

Can anyone recommend a good (cost effective) solar package.
Thank you
Howard.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:06 PM   #3
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I too am interested in this as I plan to add solar to my rig down the road, and probably wind power as well.
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:01 PM   #4
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Plan A:
You first determine and quantify your loads, then (and only then) can you plan the system. Your loads, and how many days of power if the sun isn't shining, determine battery capacity, which in turn determines how much PV power is needed to effectively charge them at 5 to 13% charge rate. Charge controllers are sized according to battery capacity and desired charge rate.

Plan B:
Or you can do what I did - just carpet almost the whole darn roof with as many panels as will fit. Too much is never enough! I have 2kW of panels, two 60A MPPT charge controllers, and I will eventually have eight golfcart batteries giving me about 900Ah capacity.

John
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:49 PM   #5
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Another option (kinda cheating) is to pick a manufacturer you would like to use and call there support team? Have in front of you roof dimension, or square footage available, max output required, and ask about the supports needed and let each manufacturer design there system. Ask for a specific name and number for the one your talking/provides the response cause they know the system.
Then you have a designed for free system by the one you decide to buy from.
There will be things there that you can find other places for cheaper or build the supports yourself or use a cheaper temp. Sensor than what they want to charge for? Just make sure any sensor you buy outside of there's is compatible with there controller if you buy there's? Most controllers use simple sensors but some complicate there system so you can only use there product.
I haven't done solar for my bus yet but I do a lot of solar heating and some power in my normal job.
Compatibility between component's is a big factor when trying to piece mill anything together! Especially ELECTRICAL!
12v will give you a wake up 24v will hurt especially if your sweaty and a solar system not under proper control can put you in the hospital.
Not trying to scare anyone and I ain't a sparky but I have been shocked enough by various voltage to make me respect it?
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:06 PM   #6
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Plan B, to the point I can afford it, but at least as much as Plan A calls for. Have to see what my 12v draw is going to be after I get all my 12v equipment and appliances.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:10 PM   #7
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I have a source for 305w 24v framed mono panels for $105 a piece, plus freight shipping. If I order four or five of these I'm looking at 1220-1500 total watts or (@ 8.94 max amps a piece) 35-45 amps. Figure at the low end I'd be pumping 30 amps into my batteries for every sun hour. 45.6v open circuit voltage a piece for a total of 180-230 total. Connected in parallel (remember we want 24v and not 96!!!) into a Morningstar tristar 60 amp charge controller that is rated for over 280 max OCV. One controller should be enough, no? Then tied into a 60 amp breaker and THEN into 4 Crown 430aH 6v batteries strung in series for 24v (Read 1720aH, 24v to match the panels).. All gauges oversized and the charger as close to the batteries as possible. I'd have a separate battery monitor to make sure my charging system is working correctly. Batteries connected to a 3000w modified sine inverter ... max surge over 6000w. After checking my equipment i dont see anything that really NEEDS a pure sine wave. Then I'd string a few 120v household outlets around the living space to make it feel like home.

Does this sound about right? Do I need to do more reading? I'm also going to utilize a sturdy tilt system so if I park with the panels facing south in winter I can get the most out of my money. We will be boondocking most of the time with a 4cf mini fridge and possibly even an intermittent ac so while this system might seem overkill for some it is important to me that I can work at my desktop on the road and live comfortably.

Where would the additional breakers go to be safe? This is why I was hoping to see a full diagram ... visual learner =p
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:59 PM   #8
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In rereading this I made an error on the battery bank. Four 6v 430aH batteries strung in parallel would equal 24v 430aH. Can anyone provide a better solution to increase my battery reserves? 12v instead maybe in series/parallel for a compromise? With the 24v panels it is going to be expensive to match the voltage and preserve my aH reserve with 12v conventional batteries ... or should I quadruple up on my original 6v 430aH idea for durability? I'd need ...gulp ... 16 6v batteries for the same reserve. That's over 1600lb over batteries.
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyCat67 View Post
I too am interested in this as I plan to add solar to my rig down the road, and probably wind power as well.
not to piss in your cheerios but I talked to a guy who tried wind power on his motorhome and decided against it in the long run. Said he had to get the turbine so high up in the air to work efficiently the tower he had to lug around made it more trouble than it was worth, but he travels alot so if you're staying stationary it wouldn't be such a hassle...
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughridge85 View Post
not to piss in your cheerios but I talked to a guy who tried wind power on his motorhome and decided against it in the long run. Said he had to get the turbine so high up in the air to work efficiently the tower he had to lug around made it more trouble than it was worth, but he travels alot so if you're staying stationary it wouldn't be such a hassle...

i had thought about wind too.. and then realized a lot of people are caming in areas around lots of trees... though I could imagine wind being great up in a clearing on a mountain where the high wind speeds are common even low to the ground...

-Christopher
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