50KW DIY Solar Build

automatikdonn

Becoming Offgrid
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
123
Location
Texas
I am in-flight with building a 50kw solar system to take my house completely off the grid. (Or at least turn the power company into my backup source of energy). I plan to update this thread and post will all of the build videos.

I figured I would start a thread here to talk about it, but I am not sure if this is the appropriate location for builds that are in-progress.

There will be 30KW of Solar - I currently have 32KW worth of panels
There will be 75KW of battery - I currently have 50KW worth of batteries
There will be 48KW of inverter - I currently have 48KW of inverter

This is all going to be put together piece by piece into a system that can eliminate my power company. Follow along as I will be posting updates as the build progresses.

 
Last edited:

AntronX

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
105
Cool! I will be following your progress. Are those pipes from the oil rig? How much were they if that's not a secret?
 

AntronX

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
105
Pretty cool. Those are heavy duty pipes. You could do a east-west tracker with just one horizontal pipe and clamp solar modules to it. I love all the space you got. I'd place the array behind the solar shed so it would be less visible and plant a bunch of fruit trees everywhere. Do you have TOU plan with your utility? You could power your house with solar+battery during peak hours and with cheap grid power at night. And no need for grid tie and fees from that.
 

B-Mod

New Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
4
Where does the 50KW number come from, total planned? So right now you have 15kw in operation with 50kw of battery? How does that work for you presently. Is that a good ratio of solar to battery?
 

solardad

Solar Addict
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
399
Impressive number of inverters! What’s the intended purpose for all that power? Also 50Kw of battery storage seems a little light given you have almost 50Kw of inverter power or are you planning on adding on? Thanks
 

kromc5

Solar Addict
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
930
The pipes were so cheap in the beginning then more than doubled. Plus the property is nice and flat which will make for a nice looking installation.
 

Samsonite801

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
1,898
Are those the PIP8048MAX ? Those don't have split-phase output though, as they are intended for EU usage. Are you planning to couple them with auto-transformers or something?

EDIT: Nevermind, I watched the video and you state that you will be using the isolation transformer! :p
 
Last edited:

GLC

Solar Addict
Joined
Aug 26, 2020
Messages
773
Location
Texas
Cool! I will be following your progress. Are those pipes from the oil rig? How much were they if that's not a secret?
Three years ago when I built my fence I paid $1 per foot. Now it is $2 per foot and they are in 30 foot sections.
 

automatikdonn

Becoming Offgrid
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
123
Location
Texas
Pretty cool. Those are heavy duty pipes. You could do a east-west tracker with just one horizontal pipe and clamp solar modules to it. I love all the space you got. I'd place the array behind the solar shed so it would be less visible and plant a bunch of fruit trees everywhere. Do you have TOU plan with your utility? You could power your house with solar+battery during peak hours and with cheap grid power at night. And no need for grid tie and fees from that.
I thought about a tracker, but here in north texas we get some pretty serious winds that I would rather not have to engineer around.
I do not have a TOU plan
The space behind the shed is directly due north. I had the shed aligned North / South so I could do East / West Solar arrays.

All great questions !!
 

automatikdonn

Becoming Offgrid
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
123
Location
Texas
Where does the 50KW number come from, total planned? So right now you have 15kw in operation with 50kw of battery? How does that work for you presently. Is that a good ratio of solar to battery?
The 50KW number represents the maximum total energy my house has used over the last year. So the system output power needs to be capable of getting as close to that number as possible.

There will be 30KW of Solar - I currently have 32KW worth of panels
There will be 75KW of battery - I currently have 50KW worth of batteries
There will be 48KW of inverter - I currently have 48KW of inverter

I will make adjustments to the system to align with my goals of power company elimination (or at least turning them into my backup source of energy).

Right now my test rig that was built on Growatt ES5K's only has a 10KWh battery connected and 3K of solar. It's really just a rig to learn what not to do.
 
Last edited:

automatikdonn

Becoming Offgrid
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
123
Location
Texas
Impressive number of inverters! What’s the intended purpose for all that power? Also 50Kw of battery storage seems a little light given you have almost 50Kw of inverter power or are you planning on adding on? Thanks
I am going for full stop replacement of my power company. I want to turn them into my backup source of energy.

I'm hopeful I can get away with a 75KWh battery pack - but time will tell for sure.
 

automatikdonn

Becoming Offgrid
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
123
Location
Texas
Are those the PIP8048MAX ? Those don't have split-phase output though, as they are intended for EU usage. Are you planning to couple them with auto-transformers or something?

EDIT: Nevermind, I watched the video and you state that you will be using the isolation transformer! :p
I plan to get a 50KW unit from Larson Electronics.

 

Jordi

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
217
That is a great project. My 1kWh consumption per day seems ridiculous compared to your system. I have gas though, that helps.
How are you spending such great amount of energy? It can not just be a house.
Are you expecting to have output surplus? If yes, is it worth doing something about it?
 

automatikdonn

Becoming Offgrid
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
123
Location
Texas
That is a great project. My 1kWh consumption per day seems ridiculous compared to your system. I have gas though, that helps.
How are you spending such great amount of energy? It can not just be a house.
Are you expecting to have output surplus? If yes, is it worth doing something about it?
So the average load is not even close to 50KW. It's like 2122 on the house and 1500 on the shop. However I need to be able to use this system to provide emergency heat when the grid fails and that load is approx 40kw.
Am I overbuilding this system to meet the needs of infrequent events? Yes... But where is the fun in just grabbing the low hanging fruit.

My monthly bill is around 300 dollars average.
Is this system going to pay for itself? Probably not - but I am sick of unreliable energy sources.

Output surplus depends on the time of year - in the summer and winter months no - but in the spring and fall yes.

I also plan to get an F150 lighting when the kinks get all worked out
 

B-Mod

New Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
4
The 50KW number represents the maximum total energy my house has used over the last year. So the system output power needs to be capable of getting as close to that number as possible.

There will be 30KW of Solar - I currently have 15KW worth of panels
There will be 75KW of battery - I currently have 50KW worth of batteries
There will be 48KW of inverter - I currently have 48KW of inverter

I will make adjustments to the system to align with my goals of power company elimination (or at least turning them into my backup source of energy).

Right now my test rig that was built on Growatt ES5K's only has a 10KWh battery connected and 3K of solar. It's really just a rig to learn what not to do.
Just curious, why did you give up on the Growatt es5k's?
 

automatikdonn

Becoming Offgrid
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
123
Location
Texas
That is a great project. My 1kWh consumption per day seems ridiculous compared to your system. I have gas though, that helps.
How are you spending such great amount of energy? It can not just be a house.
Are you expecting to have output surplus? If yes, is it worth doing something about it?
I am accounting for the system degrading over time. I also am planning for the coming migration to all electric cars/trucks. So will all that power be used up front... No, but it will be in time.

With such a complex large system, I want to just get the energy needs of today and tomorrow baked in from the get go.

My current electric bill is 200-400 dollars month. I don't know if you watch the energy futures market, but they are forecasting double digit increases.

The cost of solar is aligned to the cost of electricity. So putting in a large system today is essentially buying the same energy at a known rate. That is just my myopic view of the world though.
 

automatikdonn

Becoming Offgrid
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
123
Location
Texas
Episode 2 is posted in the OP. Please let me know what everyone thinks of the shorter video format. I have been putting together longer videos, but it seems that very few actually watch more than 2 minutes.

I just want to make the content people want to see, the way they want to see it: so feedback is great if you have time.

 
Top