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Old 06-05-2018, 08:36 PM   #1
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Our Power Usage

We have 1020w of solar panels. I have spent the last several weeks testing items and here's what we got. The fridge doesn't seem to be using much power when compared to the PC and server.



PC 10 hours a day.
24 hours - 1.55kwh
7 days - 10.60kwh

Server 10 hours a day.
24 hours - 2.47kwh

Washer 4x a month.
30 minute - 0.06kwh

Refrigerator will be on a timer at night.
24 hours - 0.60kwh
150w kick on
93w running

I didn't calculate lights but they will all be LED lights and the ones we have are 6w.



Thank you for the help in calculating what we need. Solar stuff will be the next purchase. We need power!
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:36 PM   #2
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Hey! Just happened to stumble across your post and I've got a question. What's the server for? I do a bunch of IT work myself, wonder why you'd have a server on the road. Pure curiosity! Thanks!
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:09 AM   #3
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It's more like a NAS, but its easier most of the time to call it a server. It houses all our movies, tv, music, and video games.

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Old 06-08-2018, 10:08 AM   #4
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Could someone please help us figure out our solar setup with the information provided int he first post?


Thank you
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:36 AM   #5
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It's more like a NAS, but its easier most of the time to call it a server. It houses all our movies, tv, music, and video games.


I love my kodi. I run a raspberry pi 3.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:25 AM   #6
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Could someone please help us figure out our solar setup with the information provided int he first post?
I'm not clear on the question.

It looks like you've done a good job getting started on your energy budget. Now you need to finish it.

How much power do you need every day (amp-hours)? Include everything you possibly can (see this and/or this for some examples).

Then you need to decide how many days you "need" your batteries to provide that amount of power.

You then know how large your battery bank needs to be.

Then you need to make a reasonable guess at the amount of solar power you can harness. This varies by location (insolation), type of panel mount (flat/tilted), time of year, etc... No doubt there is some guessing/estimating here as you cannot predict cloud cover and so forth.

OR!! The option that some folks prefer, just buy some stuff and see how it works out. It seems you have started down that path by purchasing panels already. You will need a charge controller (probably MPPT given the size of your array) and all the associated nic-nacs - cables (appropriately sized welding cable is good), circuit breakers/fuses, mounting stuff, etc...

Given the size of your array, I would assume you are going with a 24VDC battery bank so you will need one MPPT charge controller that can handle 1020 watts at 24 VDC - which happens to put you into a 40-45amp charge controller with no overhead for adding more panels. A 60 amp version might be a better choice. If you are going with at 12VDC battery bank, you will need more like an 80 amp charge controller which may end up meaning you need two networked charge controllers.

More to say but hopefully that gets the juices flowing...
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:46 PM   #7
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I'm not clear on the question.

It looks like you've done a good job getting started on your energy budget. Now you need to finish it.

How much power do you need every day (amp-hours)? Include everything you possibly can (see this and/or this for some examples).

Then you need to decide how many days you "need" your batteries to provide that amount of power.

You then know how large your battery bank needs to be.

Then you need to make a reasonable guess at the amount of solar power you can harness. This varies by location (insolation), type of panel mount (flat/tilted), time of year, etc... No doubt there is some guessing/estimating here as you cannot predict cloud cover and so forth.

OR!! The option that some folks prefer, just buy some stuff and see how it works out. It seems you have started down that path by purchasing panels already. You will need a charge controller (probably MPPT given the size of your array) and all the associated nic-nacs - cables (appropriately sized welding cable is good), circuit breakers/fuses, mounting stuff, etc...

Given the size of your array, I would assume you are going with a 24VDC battery bank so you will need one MPPT charge controller that can handle 1020 watts at 24 VDC - which happens to put you into a 40-45amp charge controller with no overhead for adding more panels. A 60 amp version might be a better choice. If you are going with at 12VDC battery bank, you will need more like an 80 amp charge controller which may end up meaning you need two networked charge controllers.

More to say but hopefully that gets the juices flowing...

Well I added up all my kwh and it was around 8. That seems low...


We only purchased panels because we needed to have the deck made so that we could install the interior ceiling. As for charge controller, we have a 60 amp MPPT.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:10 AM   #8
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Well I added up all my kwh and it was around 8. That seems low...
Definitely not low! I can't tell you if that is high or low for your equipment and usage but it a good bit of power. My calculated consumption for a fairly typical summer day is about 5 kWh. Of course, I can burn thru a lot more than that if I choose.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:33 AM   #9
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I read your two posts JDOnTheGo. Based on my numbers, but 4 255w solar panels, how many batteries do you think I should get? Should I go with 12v batteries or 6v batteries? I have another thread going currently about alternators and whether or not I should add another 12v one, or replace the current one with a 24v one.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:01 AM   #10
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how many batteries do you think I should get?
The answer depends on:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
How much power do you need every day (amp-hours)?

Then you need to decide how many days you "need" your batteries to provide that amount of power.
The scenario to consider is when there are multiple days in a row of very poor sun light.

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Should I go with 12v batteries or 6v batteries?
There are a number of good articles that discuss the issues and why 6V batteries are better for RV style use. However; you are talking about a lot of power which means a rather large lead-acid battery bank. That get's you into a number of new issues (string size, C-rate, etc.). Depending on your answers above, it is highly likely that lithium is a better way to go than lead-acid. But, then you get to start thinking about battery bank voltage (any why a higher voltage is better...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasquatters View Post
I have another thread going currently about alternators and whether or not I should add another 12v one, or replace the current one with a 24v one.
Steve, Joe, and others have given good advice on this already. Adding to that, a typical alternator is generally a pretty poor way to charge a house battery bank (due to the lack of multi-stage charging). I can see that your solar panels will be hidden/shaded when driving so that is clearly a problem. If you plan to do that much driving, I would go with a charger like Steve has suggested or, if dead set on another alternator - I'd get a good multi-stage regulator for it.
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