Looking for a blueprint or video...

Diysolar

New Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
1
Completely new to solar.... I was trying to find a blueprint or video of Will's that would meet my needs. Looking for a SHTF type set up to be able to keep a refrigerator going at the the house, run a few lights & a couple more small draw items. BUT something that could also be portable or easily integrated in & out of a cargo trailer or a stand alone camp system for my non profit with Veterans. We do a fair bit of camping. Seems like a mouthful, I know. But basically looking for a system to run limited essentials in a long term power outage at the house, but be portable for other uses. I was looking at Dokio folding 300 watt folding solar panels for weight purposes & portability... Are any of the the folding panels worthy? Would 300 watt be enough? Main power concern is for the house in long term outage. Do any of Will's video's or blueprint's address this type of system? Oh yeah trying to be budget friendly, but do understand lithium cheaper long term. Sorry for the lengthy questions, & appreciate your time & responses!
 

Rednecktek

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
1,622
Location
On a boat usually.
Well, I'll start the default answer to these questions and we can work from there. Here's you To-Do list:

1: Power audit! This will give you some important information on how big your inverter needs to be as well as how much battery capacity you'll need. There is a link in the FAQ section (I think, or someone here will post it shortly) so fill in the blanks and see what it comes up with. You'll probably need some sort of Kill-A-Watt to get accurate measurements. Are you going to be running a 12v system? 24v system? 48v system? What are the specs on your solar panels? VoC? Vmp? Being as this is a new build, throw together a wish list of what you want and estimate on the high side.

1a: Where do you live? Speccing out a system for Scotland is a LOT different numbers than Arizona due to the amount of light you actually get. Someone here can post the link to the Uber-Sun-Hours calculator site to help figure out how much you'll have to work with. That will be a box in the Power Audit form.

2: Parts list: You don't need a make & model list, just a parts list to start from for reference. You'll need an inverter, a MPPT charge controller, fuses, shunt, buck converter, batteries, wire, etc. Once you have a basic list it can be fine tuned to make & models after that.

3: Budget!: Steak is great but doesn't mean anything if your wallet says hamburger. :) Figure out what you're able to spend now vs what you'll have to cheap out on now and upgrade later.

4: Tape measure! Figure out where you're going to stick all the stuff you'll need. A dozen 3000AH batteries sounds great until you're sleeping on the floor because there's no room left for a bed. Is there a compartment that can house all this stuff? Will the server rack batteries fit? Are you going to have to make space? Physics can be pretty unforgiving.

5: Pencil out what you think you need and throw it at us so we can tell you what you've missed (because we ALL miss stuff the first go-round :) ) and help figure out which parts and pieces you're going to want to get.
 

fratermus

Solar Addict
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
333
BUT something that could also be portable or easily integrated in & out of a cargo trailer.... was looking at Dokio folding 300 watt folding solar panels for weight purposes & portability...

The flat top of a cargo trailer is a natural place to mount normal framed panels. I'd consider maximally covering the roof of the cargo trailer with large used panels. Cheaper, more durable, weatherproof, and mounted panels make power without having to be set out manually. Win-win-win. The trailer is already portable so the power system doesn't have to be.

If power went out at your residence you could run an extension cord from the inverter output to the house to power essentials like light and fans. Residential fridges can be quite power hungry so no promises there. You'll have to do the math, as others have said.

Anecdote: I have lived offgrid for the last three years on the solar panels mounted on my van. To give you an idea: 750w of panel (used from craigslist), 50A MPPT controller, and 100Ah LiFePO4 can be ~$900.
 
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