Finally going off grid, need a bunch of help

WPT

New Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
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1
Hey, if your looking at hydro then might be worth taking a look at the Papa pump (zero fuel water pump) may be an idea for pumped hydro or just an off-grid water supply :)
 

JoeHam

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
2,663
@Hedges
Has anyone measured the "in-rush" for charging the capacitors for a hybrid inverter? Could I hook up a temporary circuit? How often do I need to "charge" my hybrid inverter's capacitors

Just once and you’re done, unless you disconnect the batteries.

I just connect one lead then bridge the second lead for a few seconds with one of these before connecting:


Easy peasy.
 

Mia

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
112
Agreed! Get that breaker off your list. It is not reliable... either it will trip under light load, or it won’t trip at any load... don’t trust it.
Oops! Not sure how I inadvertently reposted that
 

T-486 Ashepoo

New Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
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Hi OffgridDave,

I was putting the Greenway battery packs together when hurricane Ida hit. Here is what I came up with to get basic power to my daughter and son-in-laws house. We had basic power up the morning after the hurricane. I didn't have a chance to get the batteries charged above 51 volts so there was limits on what could run. But overall, these batteries all stayed balanced and performed as I expected (hoped) for the 7 days without power.

Regards,
T-486
 

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Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
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I like the modularity, easy to separate into portable pieces!



Panels flapping in the breeze and held down by small projectiles, definitely looks temporary.
I would think rigid panels tied into rafters would withstand almost anything except a direct hit. And you'd still have the portable ones to fall back on.
 

T-486 Ashepoo

New Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
28
I like the modularity, easy to separate into portable pieces!



Panels flapping in the breeze and held down by small projectiles, definitely looks temporary.
I would think rigid panels tied into rafters would withstand almost anything except a direct hit. And you'd still have the portable ones to fall back on.
Hi Hedges, The panels are Renogy flexible 175 watt on a 3/4 inch metal conduit mount. Each weight about 5 lbs. This was put up the day after the hurricane.
 

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offgriddave

Solar Enthusiast
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Feb 14, 2020
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78
Wow that's amazing! I really like these batteries because they charge fast.

I.will try and update everyone on what I learned going into my first year here soon
 

SolarPrep

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Messages
204
OffGridDave: It sounds like you are on an interesting journey to get off grid. Just a suggestion: you are asking for advice, but before anyone can give any, you are buying other items that change the dynamics of the situation. I'd hold off and get your land bought, and verify some of the assumptions you have made.

If your plans change, or you are forced to change them for some reason, you might be able to sell some of the items that don't fit the new "reality" and then acquire others. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new adventure, and many of us have done the same. Careful planning can help assure that all the pieces work together.

Just one other comment: you have a lot of inverters. Get started with those, and use them to power discrete loads until they die. If it is too expensive to do that with all the rising costs, maybe you would be better off to sell a few and get just what you need.

Personally, I'd forgo the water turbine idea for now. Get the basics set up.

Good luck!
 

offgriddave

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 14, 2020
Messages
78
Hi, just an update that is overdue

I learned a lot but ultimately, my goal to setup the 48v failed. But all is well let me explain

On this property, there is a seasonal creek. On the other side of the creek there is flat land, perfect for solar. I have been working throwing everything to get a culvert installed. Because of some drama that I can't get into, I couldn't get it installed. I'll have to post pone installing the culvert this until late spring. Until then, I can and have been hauling cinder blocks, solar panels, cement bags over the creek but it isn't ideal.

If I had installed the culvert, I would have my 48v LV5048 setup with 18 400w panels and have my starlink setup.

But I'll have to settle with what I have setup.

I setup a 24v system with 4 230w panels. The 24v system is actually two by two 3s7p lithium ion batteries. The batteries in total are maybe a measly 300w. The panels are the cheapest Santan panels they sell, that they had accidentally sent me when I ordered the 400w ones.

I learned some amazing things!

First off, the SanTan panels each make about 10-15w each in the shade. This doesn't sound amazing, but together this is 40-60w for most of the day. Again, this doesn't sound like much... BUT I am only using 35 watts in my RV. Wuh you say?

In my 30ft RV I replaced all of the lights with LED. This took me down from 120w to 30w -- the 30w is basically the 120v to 12v transformer minimum. I also bought and use a Raspberry Pi 400 (RPI4 with the keyboard) that consumes 4 watts. I also have a 27" Acer monitor that takes 11 watts. All of that -- lights, computer, and a 3w LTE booster, keeps me about 30-40w so the 24v system works great. The RV has a cigarette lighter for plugging in devices. I found I could back feed it 12v and skip the transformer and run the lights directly from batteries.

In late September I started getting power cut offs. I tried moving the panels a bit, that gave me a few weeks.

So for backup, I have these crappy amazon battery packs. I have two small ones -- one 66wh, another 250wh. Both have AC 120v. The 250wh has pure sine wave. I charge them with my generator when it is cloudy or rainy. The part that sucks is that the 250wh takes 7 hours to charge and the 66wh 3 hours.

So I discovered another amazing thing. A long time ago I bought a Dewalt heated jacked. I had no idea these existed. Don't get one, they suck. But they comes with this amazing device -- its a dewalt batter pack to USB plus 12V regulated. I think 12v 1amp. I use it to charge my phone when everything fails. Well I bought the chines counterfeit version of the Dewalt USB adapter, and amazingly it comes with a 60w 12v regulated output. I then bought ten 150w car cigarette lighter inverters for $5, $50 total on ebay. I have about 10 dewalt batteries, mostly new. I also have about 3-4 chargers, two of them four bay. So I can charge all of my dewalt batteries in one go - about 90 minutes on the generator.

So when my solar goes down (its up today), I run off the amazon battery packs. When those go down, I run off my Dewalt packs. When I run out (about 2-3 days), I fire up the propane generator and charge everything for 90 minutes. The dewalt packs charge super fast and I only need to run the generator for about 90 minutes every two days during these storms. The solar turns on every other day when it is cloudy.

So I will make it until Spring where I can give it another shot to install the culvert and get over to the flat area for solar.

I tried hooking up the generator to the LV5048 but it does not like to charge the ebike batteries because there's a voltage spike when the generator goes from 0w to 480w. I posted in another forum about this.

I also bought the no-name chinese 300w hydro power. The stream is running a lot and I might hook it up. It requires a 30ft drop at 3" pipe to produce 300w 110v. If I get it working, I'll look to set it up. Probably to a 4-5 amp golf cart or ebike charger, I'll plug that in to charge the battery packs 24/7 and try to charge the LV5048 from that .. or just run off the hydro.

Unfortunately the LV5048 uses 60w in standby. So its a huge waste of energy given I am using only 30w in my RV.

I am waiting for a few days without rain to get everything up and running.

Anyway I learned a lot thanks for all the input. I'll post some pictures and probably create a new thread when I get some kind of victory, but for now I am happy. Dewalt battery packs with chinese USB adapters and 120v 150w small inverters saved the day!
 
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