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Getting panels while the getting is good???

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by rsbhunter, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. rsbhunter

    rsbhunter Monkey+

    Okay, as most know, i bought 10 Canadian Solar CSP6-235 , 235 watt panels, and have in shipment a OutBack FlexPower FP1-2 power management system...as well as midnight6 combiner box....and i plan to go 5 strings of 2 panels in series/parallel so that at the combiner box i have 42.3 ISC, 39.5 Imp @ 73.8 VOC, 59.6 Vmp.....I am considering buying 2 more panels, which will max the lugs on the combiner box, give me 470 more watts (2820 vs 2350) and only raise the amps to 50.76 ISC/ 47.4 Imp.... Keeping me well within the capability of the FM80 charge controller.....BUT...don't know if that would be a wise use of another $600.00 dollars...This system is for a MAX 600 Sq Ft cabin, that will be used full time, year round......Chest freezer on external thermastat, 8-12 ft chest freezer ( both will be energy star 30% reduced energy use) 32" (guesstimate) led tv, laptop, modem, 3 cfls at most at once, satellite box, and small stereo...of course not all at once...plan on using timers on the freezer and frige at night....MIGHT have a small water transfer pump, that will only be used during day time to fill holding tanks (10-30 min run time)...and possibly, the luxury of a clothes washing machine...maybe!...am i building way over the top , or is this a realistic, saftey margin system, and are the extra 2 panels a smart move? Thanks again, and i hope i have the series/parallel wireing stated right..I have a tendency to flip the meanings...rsbhunter
  2. CRS762

    CRS762 Monkey

    I think those are great choices. That is the VFX3648 inverter right, 3600 watts at 48 volts. You may consider running those in strings of 3, at 30 volts each that would give you 90 volts. Your systems will startup sooner and run a little later in the evening. More panels to your combiner box also. Your system will run 52 volts DC (charge controller output) when your panel voltage goes below that they will not produce (charge controller input). 2 panels in series will produce 60 volts.
    Good luck
    BTPost likes this.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Very True, but understand that with 3 Panels in series, any shading of any one panel, will cause that string to output less Power, as you have more surface area, available for shading, in each string.... ..... YMMV.....
  4. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Thumbs up.

    I know some people say solar should be your last prep (myself included). But, I do agree with your thinking: when the bottom drops out, there won't be anymore solar panels for a long, long time.
    Nadja, rsbhunter and BTPost like this.
  5. rsbhunter

    Do you have a favorite source to grab these items from? I have been researching solar and wind power and need to get things narrowed down. Wind is a great alternative for us here in Kansas.
  6. rsbhunter

    rsbhunter Monkey+

    source for panels

    I have dealt with Solar Systems USA for my panels and my FP1-2 set up....Deal with Nathan if possible, and make sure to make known all of your expectations and needs up front....He and the company are great, but they deal through a separate warehouse...so if time is critical, check to see if if is a doable time frame for them...Also, mention that i referred you, no, i don't get anything out of it, but i did tell them that i would refer them to others....BUT, that being said, RESEARCH prices at other solar supply dealers...i have found that prices, specials, etc. can cost, or save you hundreds of dollars on panels and supplies...Heck, i spent an extra $20.00 just on my combiner box, that if i had checked, could have bought at Arizona sun and wind!!!! But, this IS a learning experience, and 99.9% has been good...(wish i had saved that 20.00$)...Listen to the guys on this site, they have nothing to gain by giving you bad advice, and they know as much about the workings of solar systems as any source iv'e found!!!! Also, look into homepower.com and suscribe to the mag...it has more info than you can believe on ALL alternate power sources...rsbhunter And THANKS for the replies guy's, i'm not made of money, but, if prices go up, on items or shipping (fuel) [kneelsuckers] i would rather bite the bullet now than cuss later...
  7. rsbhunter

    rsbhunter Monkey+

    GUIT fishN

    Well, this is my retirement plan, no Charles Schwab, no million dollar 401K plan...just SSI, IF the Govt. doesn't spend it for me before i get any...I planned on buying the panels, power center, some cabling, lugs, etc now, the land is paid for, the cabin will be built by me and family, there will be two at most, so it is to be a modest cabin....Even with the power available, i still plan on being a power scrooge, and live simply...becoming rich isn't in the cards for me, so, while i have some years before i retire, i want to amass all the non perishable, items that will be needed (and wanted) before the money becomes critical. I don't know what the future holds, but these things are here and now...Power is NOT critical in a "worst" case scenario, but then it will be pure survival....and having 1000 pounds of gold won't buy you another day of the oxygen habit, if it isn't meant to be...But i will buy as many of the items i can now, while i can...Thanks, rsbhunter
    Moatengator and larryinalabama like this.
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