Home Forums Survival Off Grid Electricity

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Mouse Wizard 2 years ago.

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  • #4473

    Newbreed Prepping

    I started, well over a year ago, investing in some solar (PV) panels (2x 260 watt) and equipment. Since the initial investment I have moved and yet to set anything up. Hopefully by spring I have it setup (right now my main priority, wood stove is being installed in the new place as it gets to -35°c here).

    Some notes & thought process behind my Off-Grid Solar Setup

    • My setup was created, modeled & sized with the help of coworker who is using solar on his RV and the reseller @ locally in the city that I ordered everything from.
      Because I don’t own the house we’re in, I wanted the setup to not be tied to the grid.
    • I started with a sized the setup to only run my Well pump and some LED lights but made sure both my inverter and charge controller are sized large enough to allow expansion.
    • Purchased a 2000 watt inverter. Getting a 3000 or 4000 watt inverter might have been a better if the whole house was connected.
    • The more I can get running on DC, the better since  conversion DC to AC has NRG losses.
    • Everyone suggested I calculate my power requirements. I did not, and will be doing trial & error to start. Worst case is that I will need to add batteries and panels or suffer without….
    • The 6 volt batteries I picked had the lowest cost per Amp Hour and are not sealed. So battery box and venting is critical and the overall size for storage is larger.
    • The power distribution block allows for better load balancing/charging on the batteries and avoids having one/two batteries take the bulk of the load (reducing life span). It also reduces heat on the terminal and gives me redundancy in the event of a battery failure.
    • I went with a Pure Sine Wave inverter to avoid the potential for damage to my electronics
    • Some inverters seem to list their operating temperature at 0-40°C. Because mine will be sitting in a unheated “basement” (crawl space), I went with a Marine and RV style unit that has a detachable display panel & allows for -20ºC temperatures.
    • I also choose the Freedom Xi model because it offered the hardwire AC in and out option. This unit does not come with a battery charger, but provides the ability to run off “Shore power” and switches the AC out to battery power if/when shore power cuts out.
    • The inverter I choose unfortunately does not provide an interface port to grab stats from the unit due to proprietary firmware. Some home units (non-portable) have this interface. Also the large home style inverter units have breakers built into them unlike mine.
    • I’m still looking into if I want to setup my 2 solar panels in Series or Parallel as my controller will take both setups, but the length of my wire will dictate how much nrg loss.
    • I choose a MPPT over a PWM so that any extra voltage from my PV array gets converted to Amps and will not go to waste. However, MPPT was very costly but I can though allot more panels on it and won’t out-grow it for some time.
    • I should have spent the extra $200 on a TS-MPPT-60 charge controller as that unit comes with a network port and web interface to provide graphs & stats. That said, during an off grid situation,  the exact details and stats for input charges are going to be the least of my concerns.

    Since the initial purchase I added 2 more batteries. This brings me to 6x 235 amp hour 6 volt deep cycle batteries for my 12 volt inverter.


    Will this be enough to keep the water pump running and lights on? We will see.


  • #4490


    You will have problems with surge demand from The pump when it starts up the amp draw is higher than rated amps and with a small 2000 watt system it is probably going to trip it.



    I run 2.2 v 48 volt 8800 watt system the battery amp hours are 1400 and in 30 min the well pump can drain the system dry. I use a 3/4 horse pump motor. Without pump and pressure tank I can keep 2 big freezer chest size 2 million lumen of led lighting, fans a full sized fridge and  household electronics minus a TV and ham set running, washer dryer industrial sized for 3-5 days  no problem .

    quality parts.on solar is a must it’s a 25 plus year product if it breaks at the 5 to 10 years you won’t have even made return on investment.

    Cheap solar in a pinch better than nothing but you are buying nightmares later. Cold battery room is recipe for disaster just like too hot. Buying golf cart batteries is cheap till you have to buy 5 to 7 sets to one good set of surette rolls.



    Cheap panels  cheat you two ways first they are allowed a 10 percent production loss so 220 is 200 and can still.be sold at 220 price. The decay rate and soldering faI lure from micro stress fracture over 10 year is 20 watts per year so a 220 panel cheap in 10 years will produce near 0 and be in design specs.

    The best real world tested panels are day4 they are not  cheap they weigh a ton. They send you balanced system panels granted to be over stated wattage. No I don’t work for them but have been involved i  a few solar farms on industrial grade. Their one farm in Germany has 15 years of run Data it has lost total of 2.2 percent capacit but started 5 percent over state wattage.

    Just be wary lots of cheaters and liars in the solar game read the small print. You can buy decent panels for just over $1.25 a watt when buying a pallet, go with 315 watt panels they are now standard for.industrial installs and are more stringently montored, lower watt ones are mainly the failure to pass inspection.

    I hate to say it but a descent long lasting solar off grid for a Modern house will set you back 35k for quality you can save if you can assemble and can build racking and do wiring.





  • #4545

    James Mitchner

    Solar companies in my region are only interested in installing grid-tie systems.  When I asked about storage and running my well pump, they just got this far off look and went on talking about grid-tie.  I would at least like to have a solar pump for my well.  Haven’t got a clue as to what it would take, but water is a necessity and there is no getting around it.

  • #8434

    Mouse Wizard

    When the installer isn’t qualified for off-grid, they won’t even talk about it. Call around until you find a provider that has done multiple off-grid systems.

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