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Solar Systems
26 September 2013, 12:07,
RE: Solar Systems
Sounds like it'll do the trick, make sure it tests out ok ie it's not a latching relay.
I'm NOT political so DON'T correct me!
26 September 2013, 12:15,
RE: Solar Systems
(26 September 2013, 12:07)Nix Wrote: Sounds like it'll do the trick, make sure it tests out ok ie it's not a latching relay.

Good point Nix,

we'll be using non latching Bosch 12v 30a relays. Circuits will be fully tested and fused before being left to automate the system on their own.

Thanks for the reminder
72 de



STATUS: Bugged-In at the Bug-Out
26 September 2013, 14:41,
RE: Solar Systems
(26 September 2013, 11:12)Nix Wrote: Hex - ok, had a quick look at your two links. My own personal opinion is that you could do much better here. Easy spending someone else's money Big Grin.For double the money, you can quadruple your pv intake (important!) and double the PWM controller ampage. The panel is MCS accredited too as a bonus. If you buy from Photonic Universe and I found they're a good supplier so no worries there.

thanks Big Grin but you have lost me at pv intake?
Winter is coming
26 September 2013, 14:57,
RE: Solar Systems
ie your original intention of a 20W panel would, at best on a good day, only be trickle charging your battery/ies at approx 1.6A so not a great deal of power going in to your set up. On a bad day, forget it, it'll be negligable. 5A controller would take a max of 60W and no more so you might just squeeze another two of those 20W panels but it'll be at maximum capacity which is never good.

With an 80W panel, you've got well over 6A on a good day, four times the amount. Also, you can add another 80W panel, no problem = 160W or 12A so not stressing out the 20A controller.

Think of it this way, you're burning a poxy 20W bulb or four times the amount (80W bulb) on a good bright day with the energy coming in.

Big difference, aye?
I'm NOT political so DON'T correct me!
26 September 2013, 15:14,
RE: Solar Systems
thanks, that makes a lot more sense Big Grin
Winter is coming
22 October 2015, 11:02,
RE: Solar Systems
Just an update re my solar set up, it's really proved it's worth. Been up for over two years now and been ultra reliable. Gas & electric bills have been significantly cut (only paid £87 for gas & electric last quarter) which, in it's context, I'm very pleased with. Having two girls in my household who like nothing better than to live in a hot bath really tests the system's capabilities. Daughter's now gone to Uni so 90% of our energy usage will probably go with her ha! Rolleyes

Due to our location ie the hills and trees around us, the winter sun is brief but we still get enough to make a difference. The LVR I fitted to the system has been a true asset, I can go out for the day and come back to a tank full of hot water without having to keep an eye on things, brilliant!

A wee note on controllers. I did splash out for a decent 60 amp PWM controller which has the useful automated function of "equalising" the battery bank once a month. This is essential as it keeps the batteries in tip top condition for a longer life. Highly recommended.

The grid tie too, has been beneficial. During any good sunny day, and we've had quite a few this summer, the hot water tank trips out, the batteries get fully charged and we can divert some excess to the house mains. Despite now having one of those new digital meters, all it does is either help with the load or stop it dead in its tracks.

When the girls went away for a few days a month back, I tried running the whole house on my back up so mains was turned off. Only issue I had was with the fridge and freezer units. They take more electric than most people realise. My 2kW inverter did the odd blip when either of those units kicked in with their brief 1kW + surge. This can be too much when added to what's already on load. These units take about 100W each when humming away to themselves - soon adds up. Might upgrade to a 3kW inverter which should cure that but it really wasn't that bad. In a bad SHTF scenario, you'd only be running one unit if any at all. Nights would test the batteries for sure, I ended up turning the freezer off as it doesn't start defrosting for probably at least 24 - 48 hours. Turn it back on the next morning and you're good. People tend to overestimate what a battery can do and don't realise that you have to treat them with respect to get the most out of them, I'm talking about what DOD you take 'em to. I try and keep mine to minimum DOD so I get maximum cycles.

For those with security alarm systems, they take minimal power but for those with cctv cameras, watch out for those night time cameras, the IR will add approx 50% to the power load.

That's it, I'm happy to answer any questions.
I'm NOT political so DON'T correct me!
22 October 2015, 17:09,
RE: Solar Systems
In a resent post i did say i was having a solar set up fitted professorially to the roof of our new place when built....then i read another post and someone said good advert for showing what you have in plain sight.....that got me thinking.....and now the rethink go,s like this...four panels...i could put on the roof ....out back and hidden ...these could be moved in at night if what would that give me NIX ?
22 October 2015, 17:30,
RE: Solar Systems
What about (if you have the space of course) NOT putting them on the roof is security or planning is an issue. you can buy or make a ground based frame to stand your panels on if TSHTF or if you are in the cash fit them on one of those tracking arrays for solar panels Expensive for ready made but I have read of inexpensive DIY versions being made for under £100
Preppers willingly embrace the benefits of modern technology, but we aint daft enough to rely upon it.
22 October 2015, 17:55,
RE: Solar Systems
Yes i have room NR but one reason for a roof mount frame...on an almost flat roof is security issues....pain in the bum to remove every night in a shtf scenario but safer for my location ...could even devise a folding rack system that i could stow away on the roof...looking at the prices on the link....i will make my own kit...easy.....will draw something up...thinking on it ...because it will be a fibre glass roof...i could make a roof on a roof type box and just drop the PVs down and just slide in and lock a door from inside that part of the garage....yes thats what i will do ...sorted.
23 October 2015, 09:31,
RE: Solar Systems
Hi SS - every installation is different and unique unto itself. Ours is seen by very few people in it's location. Matter of fact, they'd probably stand out more in the garden. Solar panels being so passive, there's nothing to indicate whether they are working or not. Those in the know could/would also assume that they are a grid tied set up and so useless when the mains is off. Most wouldn't even know what to do with them anyway. Some installs may be better off the roof, most better on the roof, entirely depends on your set up. Roof install is usually far better for accessing the sun in the first place, if ours was in the garden, I'd have to be moving it all the time to avoid shadows from trees and bushes etc. Also take into account that these panels are bigger and heavier than you may think, in a strong wind you really don't want to get caught out, trust me! Also, on the roof, they are far less prone to be stolen. One last point in SHTF, I'd imagine that most preppers would want to tucked away, initially, and not draw attention to themselves, if you are constantly in and out of the garden, well...

If I read your last post right, I'd suggest you mount your panels on the roof permanently and then have a sliding cover for them rather than the other way around? Like I said, these panels are quite heavy and sliding four in and out would not be ideal in my book. But a simple light yet effective sliding cover, easy peasy!

There are quite a few very obvious large panel arrays around here that would tempt someone but if they found and wanted mine, they'd have to get past me first.
I'm NOT political so DON'T correct me!

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