Solar setup

solar_panel_boxI finally got around to reassembling

the solar PV system that we brought with us from the old house. The power went off the other day for a couple of hours, I believe they were changing a transformer out, but still it was a wakeup call that I didn’t have any back up power.  When I took the system down before we moved I left everything as intact as I could feasibly transport it. This made putting it all back together pretty simple. Before we left I had to shut it down because the inverter kept giving me an alarm but I couldn’t figure out what it was. I found one of the Tyco connectors was cracked when I took the panels down. Since I’ve reassembled it that alarm has not occurred again. I am monitoring it to see how things go. I have not mounted the panels yet they are just leaning against the wall of the shop. I think I want to make an awning out of them or either do a ground mount.

You can view the video of the reassembly here!

If you want to put together a similar system

solar_panels_250wI have listed some of the components and there are links to my Amazon affiliate page where you can purchase them. This list isn’t comprehensive because Amazon did not have every component. The panels and batteries are best left to local purchase because shipping can be expensive. My system is about 500watts but 1kw would be better. I had an MNDC 125 left over from a job for a client that needed another component instead. I used it as a substitute for a disconnect. It isn’t exactly what it’s for but it works. A surge arrestor would be a good addition as well. The 300 watt inverter is too small to do very much with I am going to upsize mine very soon. I built this system as a 24V system because of my needs at the time. I will probably switch this to a 12v system when I get the new inverter. The Xantrex charge controller is either/or just by switching out the jumper. I think this system cost around $2000 dollars to build at the time but I got a steal on the panels and the batteries. I had it wired into a plug in the living room in case of a power outage I could plug in a lamp or whatever. I was planning on running an extension cord to the fridge if I needed it but I realized that the inverter was too small for that. I also had a motion detection flood lamp on the back deck wired to it with an LED bulb so that there would be some occasional load on the system. The batteries would normally be topped off around noon on sunny days, but 500watts of panels aren’t really enough for that. I would definitely prefer to expand to 1kW of panels.

 

Xantrex Charge Controller

Samlex 300W 24V Inverter

40A DC Breaker

MNDC125

Bus Bar

Midnite Solar-MNDC-GFP63

Shunt

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