Energy set up help please

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Jaywest, May 20, 2018.

  1. Jaywest

    Jaywest Monkey


    I have just set up an off grid greenhouse aquaponics and are battling with the power. I have 1 x 100w solar panel, a small 1Kw vertical wind turbine, 4 x 130ah 12 deep cycle leisure batteries set up as a 24 v power system, all the equipment together uses 1100w and all are around 13amps each, all 220v ac. I have a 3000w LF pure sine wive power inverter and a solar charge controller big enough for the inverter. For some reason the batteries drain really quickly and or are not charged quickly enough. Do I need more batteries or more solar panels, what am I doing wrong.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated
  2. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    For starters, without even getting into the loads, those batteries, in that configuration, call for one kilowatt, which would provide a 10% charge rate. But, unless your wind turbine is maxed out all the time, I don't see that happening.

    Your loads are a bit confusing to me. I'm tired. So, it may just be me.
    Is your total draw 1100 watts, or 2860 watts (220 volts times 13 amperes)? Can you explain your loads, say by listing the components and their individual power requirements?

    How large is this aquaponics system? Must be fairly large? Mine has a total draw of less than 300 watts, all in. That is for 2 water pumps, aeration, and a meter that monitors the water 24 hours.
  3. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    Confusing math:
    the amps listed gives 2,860 watts. That should be around 135 amps of 24volts in a good inverter. If I read the post right, you have an hour of usable battery, a couple hours at full output of the wind turbine and solar panel.
  4. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    Just glancing at your numbers... @Tempstar & the others are right. 13 amps at 220 volts is a heckofa lot more than 1100 watts.

    I think this is simply a matter of you draining the batteries faster than the system can refill them.
  5. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    They make 24v 100 watt panels?

    Yep, need a couple thousand more watts input and a dozen or so more batteries...or go with less than a 3.8 hp pump!

    I'd also recommend getting rid of the Chinese inverter (who else still uses "LF" as a selling point?) and get a quality one...before something burns up.

    Also, the charge controller needs to be sized for anticipated panel output, not inverter size.
  6. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Note the numbers calculated by those above, and realize that prime charging times for solar panels are between the hours of 9AM and 3 PM, given a clear sky during that time period. Then you realize that your 100W solar panel in theory at least, will deliver 600W /hours in any given 24 hour period.

    Take that number and figure out how many watts you are using, and for how many hours that you're using it in that same 24 hour period.Taking the numbers from above, it looks like you are using 2,860 W / hours for every single hour of operation.

    You're running quite a large deficit. Not surprising that those batteries are draining so quickly. You also need to start looking at the size of your battery bank. I'd hazard a guess and say that if you continue to drain your batteries at such a rapid rate, especially if they never reach full charge to begin with, it won't be long before they're defunct.

    I rarely comment on solar issues because so many others here know way more than I do. But this is basic math.

    I'd begin by looking at places where you can reduce your electrical load and the amount of run time.
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  7. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Have had a greenhouse for a few years stuck to hydroponics, power demand is a fraction of aquaponics, pumps come on for a few minutes every couple of hours instead of all the time for fish, and not at all at night and a lot less really needed on cool cloudy day. I have 400 watts of panels and do not usually run inflation blower on solar. Use 24 v pumps and battery system so no real conversion losses. Have not heated or used supplemental lights in greenhouse yet, might if I retire and then would need more panels or give up on solar only. YMMV
  8. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Great catch. Man, I can't believe I missed that!

    Dunerunner and Seepalaces like this.
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Above have covered your problems, a redesign starting with required power and time run will be your starting point.

    I ran a home green house as yours and used timers and direct out put from the batteries. Expansion vent openings and built it for the prevailing winds and solar location.

    Just a matter of fine tuning.
    Seepalaces likes this.
  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    You need more solar.
    You can't rely on wind unless you are in west Texas or eastern NM.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  11. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  12. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    My 200 w each panels were given to me used, 72 cell or so and almost have to run 24 v, pwm doesn't really work with them old or something, work ok with mppt and the way I have them set up, batteries are used as much as a large capacitor as a storage device, as I pump water etc only in daytime.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  13. Jaywest

    Jaywest Monkey

    Thanks everyone, I will look trough all the replies and re-look and calculate everything again and get back to you.
    techsar, HK_User and Dunerunner like this.
  14. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Wow...they do make 100 watt 24 volt panels, but they cost more than what I paid for a 320 watt panel.

    I learned something new, so I guess today wasn't wasted ;)
    sec_monkey and Asia-Off-Grid like this.
  15. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I hate those wind farms, the flicker effect and the change in migratory bird patterns are more harmfull than the energy they generate.
  16. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    LOL. My question would be, "Why would they make them?"
    techsar likes this.
  17. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    See first quote...
    Asia-Off-Grid likes this.
  18. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    i DIDN'T READ SQUAT on this thread but the few last one .

    Yur needing school OP , Know math & buy a calculator . the LIES on solar are huge ( Because your math & watts DUMB)
  19. Jaywest

    Jaywest Monkey

    Hi All,

    Off grid vergin here maths and watt dumby. I had a look at my system again. Just to recap: 1 x 1KW vertical wind turbine (not enough wind) 1 x 100w solar panel 12v monocrystalline photovoltaic (not enough sun) this is UK lol. I have 4 x super deep cycle marine leisure batteries 12v capacity 120Ah (C100) CCA 800A with advance calcium technology connected up as a 24v pack (as my 3000w inverter and solar panel controller is for 24v systems).

    Now, I have only 8 gadgets plugged in not all operating at the same time but if all running at the same time the maximum watts is around 1213W. So the question is what am I doing wrong, is it not enough solar panels? or wrongly connected or what? Please help!!!!!!

    Thanks to all you geniuses out there.
  20. Jaywest

    Jaywest Monkey

    As an environmental scientist I agree and feel the same but unfortunately I dont have much of a choice at the moment as I live in England and believe me there is not much sun here and so far I have not found one dead bird in a large radius from my small wind turbine luckilly.
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