diy solar

diy solar

Hello from NE Texas

blrmaker

New Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2023
Messages
18
Location
East Texas
Good morning fellow enthusiasts. I wanted to introduce myself and thank you all for all the information you provide. I am very new to the PV world and learned what little I know from Will Prowse videos on youtube. We purchased a complete kit from Signature solar just over a year ago and I diy’d the system on my shop last spring.



Current set up: Complete kit from Signature Solar

2@ EG4 6500 EX 48’s
24@ Solarever 455W pv oriented in 4-6 panel strings facing south on metal shop roof using Snap-n-Rack racking.
6@ EG4 Lifepower 48v batteries in the provided server rack.

EG4 6500EX-48 Set up.jpg



So currently we are living in our 42’ toyhauler camper on the side of the shop while our new home is being built. The shop is 40’X60’ with a built-in climate controlled “bedroom” and bathroom. The shop is insulated with 1 large air conditioner/heater which we do not use. The “bedroom” has a single window ac unit. In the shop we have a 50-gallon hot water heater, 1 stand up freezer, 1 refrigerator, washer and dryer (240v), and an old range (240v) which are all electric. Included at the shop also is a 5hp well pump. The toyhauler is a 50 amp service with 2 air conditioners, 12 gallon hot water heater and a refrigerator. Included at the shop also is a 5hp well pump. I wired the AC input from the inverters into a 60 amp breaker in the sub panel. Outside the main panel only has a 4 spot breaker box which feeds the well pump, shop AC condenser, a 50 amp RV outlet and a 20 amp that I ran out for garden lighting.

Story: The week before Fathers Day 2023 was hot and we had a terrible storm come through and knock out the grid for over a week in areas. In our case it was out for 3 ½ days coming back on Fathers Day afternoon. Our array/inverters ran everything all day long during the outage. We only had the original 4 batteries (20KWh), which came with the kit at the time, so the batteries would only last 3-4hrs after dark then we would fire up the onboard generator in the RV. We did over load the inverters one day when the wife had the oven, cook top, clothes dryer, going with all of the other loads such as the 3 refrigerators, 3 ac units, 2 hot water heaters and stand up freezer. Lesson learned. The surprise was when I fired up my 240v welding machine with all of the other loads and was able to weld, that seemed like a big bonus to me.

Goal: Shop will be removed from the grid once the house is complete. Shop to stay completely independent but most of the loads will be no longer needed. Unfortunately the pv array starts getting shaded around 6pm during the summer by a grove of pine trees. Probably a refrigerator, well pump, occasional welding machine, and the window unit ac is all that will be a normal daily load.

Goal: New home will have twin EG4 18K inverters (already purchased) and 4 EG4 Lifepower batteries with a Generac 27KW generator back up. I plan/hope to have the home set up to be SUBG with excess sold back to the grid. I am still working out what array I will use as adding racking to a brand new roof gives me the icks. One option I am considering is building a 30’X40’ metal farm equipment cover and racking on top of that however that would be approximately 250’ away from the home.

Thanks again for all of the information y’all provide!
 
Welcome to the forum.
Congratulations on your success, so far.

PS: EG4 doesn't offer an 18k inverter. You are probably referring to the 18kpv.
 
How did you connect the twin 18kpvs? Did you use them as independent power plants with separate backup loads? Or did you parallel them?

If you paralleled, did you need a manual transfer switch for backup loads (vs built in automatic transfer switch)?
 
How did you connect the twin 18kpvs? Did you use them as independent power plants with separate backup loads? Or did you parallel them?

If you paralleled, did you need a manual transfer switch for backup loads (vs built in automatic transfer switch)?
They are still building the house but I plan on paralleling the 18kpv’s just like detail drawing 4.5 in the latest manual.
73765299373__AF2D85DA-B9C3-44A8-B14A-F5630D3469CA.jpeg
At least thats what I gave the electrician
 
New build, very exciting.

I don't see figure labels in the manual. What's the page # or title?

There's a guy on the forum that wired them each to it's own 200a panel, but battery gets shared. That way no need for manual transfer switch. This configuration is not in the manual.
 
New build, very exciting.

I don't see figure labels in the manual. What's the page # or title?

There's a guy on the forum that wired them each to it's own 200a panel, but battery gets shared. That way no need for manual transfer switch. This configuration is not in the manual.
This is the plan as of now.
 

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Got it. If you want future flexibility could install 320/400 amp service.

I imagine you're going to have more than 1 200 amp load center. You may want to consider the setup the other guy was doing on this forum (can't find the post, i bet one of the EG4/Signature Solar crew could find it.) He's connected each 18kpv to a different 200a panel. Then you get to utilize the built in automatic transfer switch.

FYI my array is 500' away from meter/inverters. I have a lot of panels in the string to get as high string voltage as is within inverter limits, minimize power loss over the run (higher voltage, lower loss). I wouldn't worry about 250'. More of a problem for the microinverter crowd who is going to have AC voltage drop to the meter, which isn't acceptable. Rent a ride-on trencher for the conduit during the summer drought -- wet clay is no fun. While you have an open trench maybe take the opportunity to run fiber to your other structure.

If you put the panels on a non-dwelling structure you may be compliant without using any form of rapid shutdown (eg tigo/apsmart). Save a few $ and fewer things to break.
 
Beware, the busbar you have in the pic might be a brass unit, check temps under load.

What kind of firearms you got?
Looks like a nice sight in setup.
 
Beware, the busbar you have in the pic might be a brass unit, check temps under load.

What kind of firearms you got?
Looks like a nice sight in setup,
I lost all the firearms in a boating accident. The bench rest just collects dust.
I will check the buss bars next time I get the battery bank low and its in full charge mode.

Thank you.
 
I lost all the firearms in a boating accident. The bench rest just collects dust.
I will check the buss bars next time I get the battery bank low and its in full charge mode.

Thank you.
Awww... now dont tell me what they were!

I hope insurance covered them at least.
 
I lost all the firearms in a boating accident. The bench rest just collects dust.
I will check the buss bars next time I get the battery bank low and its in full charge mode.

Thank you.
The rivers and such must be absolutely full of firearms … millions and millions and millions…🤣..
Diving gear is starting to look attractive..
 
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