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solarozq

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Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #1 
I made a video which I suspect with have little appeal outside this site, but here hopefully some may like it.

 

jjackstone

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Posts: 107
Reply with quote  #2 
Great video. Love the background story. Have a few questions.

What voltage are the solar panel strings outputting into the inverter?

I'm assuming your system is grid tied since you don't mention batteries or electrical storage anywhere.

If you were to purchase electrical storage in the form of batteries, what price/kwh do you think would be reasonable economically?

Near the end of the video you talked about the cost of gimmicks. The sad part is, most people have no clue of how these systems work and need those gimmicks to make themselves feel either safe or justified about their purchase. I have so many friends that have no idea of how much electricity they use, just how high their bills have become. Most of them don't even know what a kwh is. When I try to explain it to them I tell them a kwh is like a gallon of gas. I know that is not a completely accurate comparison, but it puts usage in a language they can understand. 

Anyway, once again great video.

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JJ
solarozq

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Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #3 
When the inverter is maxed out the string voltages hovers between 370-395 VDC.
The inverter can handle 500 VDC. The string V max's are about 410 VDC. The VOC's of the strings is slightly higher than this at 510 VDC.
KWH: if you had a power load of 1000 watts (say a small electrical heater) 1 KWH would run the heater for 1 hour.
In my job as an electrical engineer I was responsible for ensuring the battery banks of UPS's were in usable condition. The do this they required replacement every few years. The service life would depend on the temperatures the batteries were subjected to, in a hot environment they failed quicker. The ideal set up is an air conditioned room.
The cost of all the hardware required to utilise battery storage is huge, add to that the requirement to change batteries every few years. Unless you live deep in the bush or miles from the nearest power source I don't think those systems should be considered. With the on going costs there might never be a pay back time.
Fred

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Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #4 
Absolute work of art Bob.

As for batteries,lots of options depending on needs.If offgrid or power outs common,like I have,batteries sure are nice.For costs,ebay et all can find used batteries.I got mine,2 years old,for 1/6th the cost of new.Someone had bought from a hospital that had a backup they replaced every 2 years,and they only ran very short term and for routine testing.For me,not having batteries doesnt make sense.Again,thats ME,for others this may not be the case,like Bobs setup.

My latest battery source is free from my nephew.He does warehouse demolition and gets car sized sealed batteries free from massive UPS systems,hence I now have a free source of batteries.Also I get all the copper wire I could ever want free.Shelving to make into panel mounts ,free but for the cost of welding wire.Teaming up with him at my desert property,his additions to the system,my used panels and paying for the solar controllers,we get a vacation property we can both use for dirt cheap.

Cheapest used panels Ive seen here in southern California USA have been 33 cents a watt.Those were pullouts from somebody upgrading from an older system of 100 watt panels to much larger ones.When i bought mine they were 1-2 dollars a watt used.I have a bunch of them awaiting deployment.

Point being,if you are mechanically inclined you can make a darn nice system for very reasonable costs.And if you have it all done professionally you can have one very very nicely done system at a good price IMO.

Now,regarding payback....whats the payback on your new car? For the price of one new car you can have one heck of an awesome system professionally installed thats going to last decades with some upkeep,may have to replace some controllers or inverters along the way,but dang,I just love the stuff.Find me an item ,any item,with better build quality and durability than a top tier solar panel,good luck,they are just superbly built quality items.

The nephew offer came my way when he did some dirt moving at my offgrid place.Like 4 days serious earth sculpting,I paid for tractor rental,he ran it,has done that since he was a child.Literally did 10,000 dollars easily of work for the 1200 we spent renting equipment.Told him in return he had unlimited lifetime access to the property.In turn,he was so excited by that that he came up with the offer to go all in with me on the solar.We are currently just gathering up the parts,then its a few days there to put it on the roof of the 40 foot cargo container thats the linchpin for all we will be doing there.Im trying to find my 7 gallon bucket loaded with solar controllers at the moment,its around here somewhere.[rolleyes] Then we pretty much have what we need.

Solar electric,dang but I love it. [biggrin] And not because Im a flaming greenie,I just like the concept...makes me feel good making my own power.

jjackstone

Registered:
Posts: 107
Reply with quote  #5 
Fred,
When are you going to show us your build in a personal thread? Pictures always welcome. I've recently seen a large number of 275 to 327 watt Sunpower panels selling between $.27 and $.35 per panel here in northern Cali. Now it is possible to buy brand new, maybe a bit lower quality panels for less than 40 cents a panel in the area also.

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JJ
Fred

Registered:
Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #6 
Cant wait John.Ive got pics of the site prep,bringing in the container,and I found my morningstar charge controllers.Now its just arrange time with nephew(s) between his jobs.[thumb]
What the heck,I can start one now and just update as things happen.[idea]
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