New to this Forum Question about small solar system

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Bill77, Jan 23, 2018.


  1. Bill77

    Bill77 Monkey

    Hello everyone Im new and have a question about a small solar system. I built a 10x15 treehouse/deer stand in Michigan. I was hoping for some advise. What i have is 12ga stranded running 4 edison type led bulbs,2 accessory plugs running phone tablet and phone and 1 Dc tv. Power supply is a deep cycle marine type batt. Im only using this for 1-2 days at a time. What would be the best/cheapest solar system to charge the battery.

    Appreciate any and all advice...
     
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  2. Kamchuka

    Kamchuka Grease Monkey

  3. Bill77

    Bill77 Monkey

    It does most of the time. I just have zero experience with solar ie, good brands,safety etc. Ive been googling but can't find exactly my situation everything im seeing is people converting solar to Ac. I im wired for Dc only. I just dont wanna burn tbe tree house down lol
     
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  4. Kamchuka

    Kamchuka Grease Monkey

    that's just a charging unit. You can do whatever you like with the voltage leaving the battery. Charging systems, solar anyways, are separate from the inverters. looks something like this. super easy just make sure you hook the battery up last IE: panel to CC (charge controller) then CC to battery. Keoghs%20Marine%20Series%20Wiring%20Diagram%204%20x%20150w%20MPPT%20Panel%20Solar%20Kit.
     
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  5. Kamchuka

    Kamchuka Grease Monkey

    heres with an inverter. solar-diagram%20(1).
     
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  6. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    My limited experience is that if you are not going to be using it daily, be careful in choosing the controller, I built a similar setup for a greenhouse as backup, not used for days at a time, and the cheap controller fried my first set of batteries. Overcharged them as nearly as I can figure out. Went from a no name to a Morningstar controller and have had no problems since.
     
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  7. Kamchuka

    Kamchuka Grease Monkey

    I haven't heard anything bad on these renogy kits. I suppose a fella could just get the panel and separately and a decent, named, CC. I've little experience with the off brand stuff.
     
  8. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    I use several of the following in various locations as battery keepers. It's only thirty watts, but that's enough to a keep fork truck batteries topped off for use with the ranch pumps, and the tractor batteries happy.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EB3PE0I/?tag=survivalmonke-20

    And if you must have some 110 VAC, I find UPS's with dead batteries work just fine as a cheapo inverter.
     
  9. Bill77

    Bill77 Monkey

     
  10. GOG

    GOG Grumpy ol' Munky Site Supporter

    I can't help with your solar questions, but welcome from the great State of Jefferson.
     
  11. Kamchuka

    Kamchuka Grease Monkey

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  12. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member


    Yep, that above one should do the trick and not hit your wallet too hard.

    I use Renology panels for several small applications....this one is a 50w panel to keep up a 12v battery that opens/shuts an automatic chicken door (12vDC) twice a day, + a DC timer, on one of my coops where power isn't close...so it doesn't require much.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    You may have to add another panel depending on your loads. It would help to know the watts used by your stuff and the number of hours you use them to get a closer call on that, or you can just wing it and see. Check your battery voltage (with no load) after a night or a day or so without sun and you'll get an idea if you need to add more panel. A fully charged 12v battery will read in the 12.7v (AGM's a little higher) range. 75% is 12.4v and 50% is 12.2 v. You'll need a voltmeter that will read to 1/10's. Try not to let your battery get below 75% full IF you want it to last longer. Falling below 50% very often will lead to short battery life.

    Mount the panel as south facing as possible and at about a 45-50 degree angle since you'll be using this late fall/winter I assume.
     
  13. Kamchuka

    Kamchuka Grease Monkey

    TnAndy, I run those blue tops on a few things around here...great little batteries. I use two of them in my jeep/redneck razor because its my property work vehicle so it houses a little inverter and I run the stereo all day.. 20171001_125544.
     
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  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Your just a bit to late on the Cheap Solar, as Mr Pres. just slapped a 30% Tariff on Chinese Solar Panels... But stick with TnAndy, He has been in the Solar Lifestyle for a few DECADES....
     
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  15. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    They sure are ! That one in the photo is at least 10 years old. I bought a pair of them for a bulldozer, then took them out to keep when I sold the dozer (put some regular flooded cell type in it), and both of them still work great. One is on my sawmill, the other I keep for odds/ends like above.

    Looking at your pole mount there....here are mine:

    [​IMG]

    Also go 5kw on a ground mount:
    (This photo only shows 2.5kw....added that much again since photo)

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Hey man....I was wondering if ya'll got down out of a tree....any sign of a big wave from that earthquake ?
     
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  17. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Just doing some quick calculations, you would have a 260 watt hour load, each day. (Using the following as an example.)

    4 each - LED Edison lamp, 5 watts
    1 each - tablet, 10 watts
    1 each - phone, 5 watts
    1 each - DC TV, 60 watts

    20 watts x 4 hours = 80 watt hours
    10 watts x 5 hours = 50 watt hours
    5 watts x 2 hours = 10 watt hours
    60 watts x 2 hours = 120 watt hours
    260 watt hours, daily power requirement

    260 watt hours divided by 12 volts = 22 amp hours.

    Now, I will say that your battery is a 55 AH deep cycle marine battery. (If it is larger, all the better.) Considering this amount of draw each day, you should run a 100 watts panel. If an 80 AH battery, run a 150 watts panel. If a 100 AH battery, run a 185 watts panel. (This is using a 10% charge rate for each sized battery.)

    A VERY important thing here, that I haven't seen brought up is, do you have a clear view to the sky for the 5 to 6 hours of day light you hopefully have, to shine down onto this panel? ANY amount of shading can seriously hinder the power production of a solar array. If you want to test this, put a volt meter on the outputs of any solar panel that is in direct sunlight. Cover just one single cell on that panel. Then, look at the difference. So, if you have a canopy of green covering your tree house, all bets are off, regarding charging your battery.

    It's not that complicated, really. If you have no AC loads, just take the inverter out of the equation. All the inverter is doing, along with anything powered by it, is adding an additional load on your system.

    What is that, a 50-55 AH Optima Blue Top?

    Had he hadn't done it, American made panels wouldn't be able to compete.
     
    sec_monkey likes this.
  18. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    How many Kilowatts is your total solar array on your property?
     
    sec_monkey likes this.
  19. Kamchuka

    Kamchuka Grease Monkey

    TnAndy....Thanks for the pole envy! Now get out of the locker room! LMAO Nice set up. I don't need as much but I will add 600 more watts this spring (1500 total) and I'm building an entire new power pod! I scored a climbing wall for the price of tearing it down and I now have a huge amount of steel! So I will build a ten foot tall ruffly 12x12 box with concrete floor :) to house everything in one spot. genny, batteries, inverter, everything. the sugar on top will be my array standing almost 20' tall so as not to blocked by trees in fall and spring.
     
  20. Kamchuka

    Kamchuka Grease Monkey

    Heres the second one I put in just so I feel better bout myself lol 20171001_124409.
     
    Asia-Off-Grid likes this.
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