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Old 10-12-2015, 02:09 AM   #21
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Why 4 inverters, VS one larger good one?
Four separate inverters also let you turn on only the ones you need. Inverters use power just sitting there, when on.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:14 AM   #22
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i would have to imagine, though, that the parasitic draw of 1 big inverter is less than 4

my inverter has load-sensing and only turns on when power is needed.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:22 AM   #23
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i would have to imagine, though, that the parasitic draw of 1 big inverter is less than 4

my inverter has load-sensing and only turns on when power is needed.
True, if you need all of them all the time. But if you can cut it down to just one or two most of the time, you will save power in the long run.

Hey, which model of inverter is that? I want to look into those. With the right design you could be running only one inverter most of the time but without the inconvenience of turning them on and off all the time.

Thanks
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:31 AM   #24
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its a tripplie aps2424
it's not pure sine wave, though.

i still would say that a small inverter and a big inverter have roughly the same draw, even when not supplying a load. the only difference being that if you have 4 small ones and they are all on, they are all also drawing whatever parasitic drain they would be as well.

and, thinking about it, if parasitic draw of your inverter is (proportionally) large enough to be worrying about, your system probably isnt going to be big enough to meet your needs.

just my .02 though, and of course im sure my goals are different from someone elses. i just know that i sized my system the way i did precisely because i didn't want to have to be on a wattage diet and count my watts used everyday. i just wanted to live and use power at will. that meant sizing things up and leaving room to easily expand. this means adaptable charge controllers that can handle a range of voltages and currents, rooftop combiner boxes, and thick cables everywhere with a breaker on every wire run for safety. so far so good, and i might even add two more 300 watt panels to bring the total up to 1800 watts. the nice thing is, at this point, that would only cost me $450 cause i can get 300 watt panels for $225 a piece
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:40 AM   #25
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its a tripplie aps2424


i might even add two more 300 watt panels to bring the total up to 1800 watts. the nice thing is, at this point, that would only cost me $450 cause i can get 300 watt panels for $225 a piece
Yeah, I'm planning for what will fit on a much smaller roof.

BTW, what are the dimensions of those 300 watt panels? Where are you getting them?

Also, check your PMs. I left you a message about buying a shuttle bus.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:43 AM   #26
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the 300 watt panels im using are about 39x78" run them lengthwise across my bus. figure 40" of length for each panel. I get them from a wholesale installer i met out here who hooks me up with good deals on panels, cc's racking, and cables

with 16' of roof you could easily run 4 panels for 1200 watts

I saw your message--the only short buses i have have the lifts in them and are triton v10 gas engines. probably not what you're looking for
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:34 AM   #27
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so do those panels have a cover over them? i see some kind of rounded plastic looking thing. If that's the case, that must wreak havoc on their output--I have 1200 watts of panels, and the highest output ive ever seen them give me is around 900 watts. if there is any dirt/debris on them, the power drops quickly--id do some testing and see how much power you're actually getting out of those panels. you might want to try and find a way to replace that cover if you can.
Yes the panels down the center do have hard acrylic covers on them strong enough to walk on. They are also in a steal frame. These panels came from work and these low performance panels work really well in scattered light. It is about the only advantage of a 20"x26" panel at 30 watts. I am sure that the power will diminished but my panels facing away from the sun will produce less. from the front the panels will look like this. /-\. 2 of the 6 panels in the series string will always be facing away from the sun. I'll be sure to report back here again when it is up and running.

I do know how to remove the panels from the housing and will for 12 of the panels down the side. The reality is that this is probably way more power then I will use anyway on the bus. We live off grid in Nicaragua and we were living on a very modest 2 x 230 watt and 2 x Trojan T105. The bus serves us as a vehicle to hall a house worth of used goods back to Nica while avoiding import tax of 30% - 100%.

This array is rated at 1860 Watts. I am expecting 1000 - 1200 Watts per hour for 6 hours. Somewhere around 7kW/hrs
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:37 AM   #28
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Im also running a midnite cc and 8x t105 batteries with a 24v inverter. its an awesome setup and it runs everything i need easily. i never worry about my power and i can even run my welder for short periods of time!
I can't tell you how excited I am to hear that you can run a welder for a short time!!! What are the specs for your welder? I would love to hall on back and be prepared an small repairs along the way.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:43 AM   #29
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do you have plans for a breaker box of some kind? how are you combining your solar panels? I used a rooftop combiner box and a dc load box with 175 amp breaker.

also, have you picked out your battery cables yet?? that's an expensive item that you don't want to skimp on.
I'll have photos a little later with the wiring I did. I couldn't bring myself to pay for a breaker box. $100+ for the box plus $15 per breaker +... adds up quick.

I dropped 9 lines of 14AWG zip wire all the way to the wheel well. Here I have each 72V line going to a 15A switch and a 4A glass Fuse. After the fuse each line stacks on a insulated Bus Bar.

This setup is roughly 10% of the cost of a breaker box.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:45 AM   #30
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cool project and I like the idea of 4 smaller systems at the farm...good thinking
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