My DIY off-grid Cabin setup in Ontario Canada (24vdc-120vac)

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,589
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
NOTICE: UPDATED DECEMBER 17-18
Some images are "Interim" as some components are yet to arrive prior to final "finishing".

Good Day everyone,

After several assorted posts and some chats, I came to the quick conclusion to post my setup here all bundled up nice 'n tidy so that it could help folks on their trek into RE. There is no grid here, no phone lines, cell is so-so (to be polite) so satellite internet is here (not bad actually). I do not have 240VAC, this is a 120V system only. My Solar Panels are mounted separately from my Powerhouse which is 40' (by buried wire distance) which is independently heated and also highly insulated. The cabin is another 75' (by buried wire ;-) ) from the Powerhouse.

If you want to know more about my cabin, See Post #2

Panel Mounting: fixed ground mount @ 45 degrees.
8X Canadian Solar CS260P in 4S-2P configuration.
1540328561146.jpg 20181130_164134.jpg

Logical Diagram: (Version 4 updated December-2020)
Our Solar Diagram V4 (DEC-2020).jpg

Components in Logical Drawing: products links are blue)
Midnite Solar Classic 200 MPPT Solar Controler Midnite Solar Controllers
Midnite Solar E-Panel with 250A Main Breaker and other breakers. Midnite E-Panels
Samlex EVO-4024 Pure Sine Inverter/Charger Samlex EVO-4024
Blue Sea 9001E, 1,2, 1&2 DC Switch for FLA (Flooded Lead Acid) or LFP (LiFePO4) battery banks. BlueSea E-Series
KUERL 30V-12V Step Down Transformer kuerl LINK (30V to be able to handle Charge Voltage !)
USR-IOT (PUSR) 410-s Series RS232/485 ModBus to Ethernet Server (Samlex Modbus Interface not public) 410-S
USR-IOT (PUSR) USR-N540 is a 4-port Serial (RS232/RS485/RS422) to IP Converter. N540

Rolls Surette S-550 6V Deep Cycle solar Lead Acid battery bank. 856AH gross / 428AH useable. Rolls S6-L16 formerly S-550
2x 24V/175AH LFP Battery Assemblies (aoyoupower cells recovered from a Bodged Pre-assembled pack. SHUNBIN DISASTER)
2x 24V/280AH LFP Battery Assemblies (EVE, Commodity 280AH cells from XUBA.) GET FROM LUYUAN NOW
Each LFP Pack is equipped with;
- One Chargery BMS8T-300 and one DCC-300 Solid-State Contactor per pack
- One QNBBM-8S Active Balancer from DeliGreen

Due to my equipment & configuration, there are 2 External AC Breakers serving the Inverter (per inverter docs) :
1, Square-D QO140 40A on the L5:30 line from the generator to Inverter *Charging at 75A draws 22A+/-1A/2500W+/-100W actual.
1, Square-D QO145 45A between the Inverter to the 120VAC Powerhouse Base Panel .
A Close look at the Logical Diagram will show the different components and information related to it.

NOTE: I only use DC Breakers, all breakers supplied from Midnite Solar Inc. which are manufactured by Carling Technologies USA. They are simply the BEST there is and the prices reflect that. Of course when it comes to safety & security, compromises should not be a part of your equation.
Cheapest I could find are here:
Main Breakers in the E-Panel below. I used 175A with 3KW Inverter/Charger. 250A with my 4KW Inverter/Charger
250A https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Carlin...cuit-Breaker-250a-125vdc-1-Pole-/263891933397
175A https://www.ebay.com/itm/CARLING-TE...-125-volt-DC-DISCONNECT-BREAKER-/371525874138

The Midnite E-Panel (250A main):
1578766042440.pngActual Powerhouse Wall: (Dec.2020 interim) awaiting components.
PH-Solar gear (Dec.2020 interim).jpg


FLA Battery Bank
Battery Bank V2.jpg
LFP Battery Bank
LFP 4 Pack Bank (Dec 2020 interim).jpg

(174-1)
24V/174AH-8S 4,454 WH
Chargery BMS8T-300, DCC-300 Common Port




(174-2)
24V/174AH-8S 4,454 WH
Chargery BMS8T-300, DCC-300 Common Port




(280-1)
24V/280AH-8S 7,168 WH
Chargery BMS8T-300, DCC-300 Common Port



(280-1)
24V/280AH-8S 7,168 WH
Chargery BMS8T-300, DCC-300 Common Port


Setting
Default
My settings
NOTES
Over charge P Voltage​
3.65​
3.65​
Over charge R Voltage​
3.55​
3.55​
Over charge Current​
50​
86A / 150A​
0.5C rate for 174AH / 280AH​
Over Discharge P Voltage​
3.00​
2.65​
CUTOFF Trigger​
Over Discharge R Voltage​
2.00​
2.75​
Release @ this V.​
Over Discharge Current​
300​
175A / 250A​
1.0C Rate for 174AH / 280AH​
Low SOC cutoff​
20%​
0%​
forces cutoff @ % (faulty)​
High Temp cutoff​
50C​
70C​
Diff of Batt Temp​
10​
15C​
Diff of cell Voltage​
30mv​
200mv​
Unmatched cells drift,​
Temp Unit​
C​
C​
Key Beeper​
ON​
ON​
LCD Backlight​
10​
10min​
Cut off Delay Time​
10​
10S​
Current Calibration​
-SET-​
Temp Alarm​
ON​
ON​
Cell Empty Voltage​
2.50​
2.50​
Cell Full Voltage​
4.20?​
3.65​
Default Setting​
Enable​
Balance Parameter​
-SET- (OFF)*​
Passive is ON charge only, start at 3.40V, 30mv diff.​
Battery Capacity AH​
1​
174 | 280​
Label Value of cells​
Battery Power WH​
1000​
4554 | 7168​
FORMULA (NominalVolts * #ofCells * RatedAH) (3.2*8*280=7168)​
Low Temp cut off in Charge​
2C​
2C​
Low Temp cut off in Discharge​
-10​
-10C​

280AH 8S Block Pack*. 2x 174AH 8S Straight Packs* QNBBM-8S with BMS Harness connected. Ea. Pack.
* = Optix 10mm Acrylic Sheet used for tops with piano hinges
280AH-with QNBBM.jpg 2x-175AH-8S with QNBBM-8S.jpg BMS to Balancer wiring (sm).jpg
 
Last edited:

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,589
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
All equipment MUST BE Voltage Corrected & Calibrated (VERY IMPORTANT) see link in my signature on how to do it.
Divide Values X2 for 12V. Multiply X2 for 48V.
Absorb: 27.5 for 15 minutes (3.4375vpc) (some call this boost)
Equalize: OFF
Float 27.4V (3.425vpc)
MIn Volts: 22.0 (2.750vpc)
Max Volts: 28.7 (3.5875vpc)
Rebulk Voltage: 24.0 (3.000vpc)
End Amps: 14A (*1)
(*1): End Amps is calculated from the Highest AH Battery Pack in a Bank. IE: 200AH X 0.05 = 10A 280AH X 0.05 = 14A.
NB: Victron Forum discussion says EndAmps = TailCurrent

Coulumbic Efficiency / Battery Status Meter Efficiency for LFP = 99%.
This get's the bank charged to full with high amps (Constant Current) and then float (Constant Voltage) tops off so the cells are on average between 3.400-3.420. I am running 7/24/365 so float is used up by the Inverter + provides whatever the packs will take to top off.
* Do Not forget to adjust for Voltage Offsets between Actual Voltage @ Battery Terminal & at Solar Controller.
Battery Pack Assembly
(December 2020)
174's being "squeezed" 12psi+/- , 174's bound , 280's bound
175AH-being squeezed A.jpg 175AH-being squeezed B.jpg 175AH-Bound Pack.jpg cell-bundling.jpg

280AH Box Plan , 280AH box assembled.
280AH-Battery_Box.jpg Box Assembled (A).jpg

AC Wiring - Sub-Panels in the Powerhouse & Cabin. 120V Only.
Cabin Build Info and Pic's of Interest.
updated Dec.2020
Powerhouse AC Panel:
1608234420275.png
Cabin AC Panel:
1608234476503.png
Hyper-Efficient which also lists appliances etc used
NOTE: I designed, did the plans & blueprints and built the house myself, only contracting out the concrete forming & pour and the actual cladding of the roof in metal. Everything else, including milling my own Pine 6" patterned baseboards, casings and moldings all done by me.

My Cabin Overview:
  • 500 Sq Feet, 1 br, 2nd story loft, 9/12 pitch roof (Cathedral Ceilings)
  • FPSF Slab Foundation REF LINK: https://www.finehomebuilding.com/2010/11/11/frost-protected-shallow-foundations-2
  • Radiant Heating in floor (*it's WONDERFUL and efficient) provided by REF: https://www.radiantcompany.com/
  • Cool Roof System (saved 25-30% of Heating & Cooling costs and is incredible ! REF: http://www.houstoncoolmetalroofs.com/cool-roof-information/cool-roof-design-texas/
  • Rain Screen Siding method (used Live Edge White Cedar as my finish) REF: https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/all-about-rainscreens
  • INSULATION: (All obtained from Commercial Roofers - not available in retail land)
  • -- 4" XPS Under the FPSF Slab and out the sides (wings) 24" providing R20, double code requirement.
  • -- 5.25" High Density EPS-2 Foam between 2x6 studs R32)
  • -- 7,5" Paper Faced PolyISO between Rafters (Cathedral Ceiling, roof is 9/12 Pitch)
  • Appliances:
  • Water Pump: Grundfos SQ-5, Soft Start 120V Deep Well pump, 260' deep pushing to 50 Gal Pressure tank then 75' to Cabin. Max Wattage 1000W @ 45PSI. REF: https://us.grundfos.com/products/find-product/sq.html
  • Unique Offgrid Classic propane cook stove: REF: https://uniqueappliances.com/
  • Danby (Magic Chef same) Apartment Size Energy Star Fridge (uses 220kwh per yr)
  • EccoTemp FVI12-LP On-Demand Water Heater for Hot Water. (not suggested, get a 45 series or better brand !)
  • Takagi TH-3-m Condensing On-Demand Heater (used for Radiant Heating exclusively as I had Antifreeze in my system) (got from Radiant Supplier best deal out there)
    **NB** I run a separate Hot Water System from my Radiant System. The other option is to use one On-Demand unit for both, very possible and not hard, The Radiant Company can design it either way for you, no extra charge, it's a part of their service and I can only PRAISE Them for their amazing work, quality products & support, and I do "not" praise anyone lightly !
The efficiency is a win with the slab & hyper insulation. Winter -30C, inside 25C, Radiant only run 2 hrs within a 24 hour period to maintain 25C (floor sensor). Summer: 35C outside, 21C inside, NO AC or Fans just open windows. Slab itself never goes above 20C in summer, it regulates everything inside. Should Note, I am on the South Face of a Granite Ridge, 1200 foot fall in front of me, this property get's the heat & in a bad heatwave 40C is not a shocker. The Cabin itself is shaded by Scotch Pines & Cedars on the south & west sides and nestled into a forest nook. Solar System is mounted to the side of a 20' Sea Can 50' from Power House.

Inside the Samlex EVO-4024 Inverter/ Charger : Samlex Info
1608235771498.png

The inside of a Yiyen APC-3024 Low-Frequency Pure Sine Inverter/Charger : Yiyen Info
1608235893891.png
 
Last edited:

Craig

Watts are Watts!
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2019
Messages
2,827
Location
Hollister CA and off the grid in Idaho
Whats on the right side of the samlex is it a vent pipe with a 1 way valve or something like that.

Just got 2 Midnite solar 250's in the mail today cant wait to get them set up.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,589
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
@Craig That's is a 24V Zephyr Vent which comes from the battery box holding 8, Rolls S-550's. I am going to keep using my FLA's but changing the Bue Sea Switch to a 4 Position model allowing me to use either Bank-1, Bank-2 or both and adjusting my charging setup when I get to that point. You just can't beat the Blue Sea switches. REF: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B000K2MCR2/ref=twister_B01E512O2Q?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

@dougbert That does not work here, looked into that kind of tech and no go. The one that did work (sorta) the cost to operate it for charges would have been insane. XplorNet works just fine, streams HD Video's, I can play very heavy 3D Virtual World Software & games like WoW without a blink.
 
Last edited:

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,589
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
I see comments and have to clarify some things, which are concerning, related to wiring DC and in particular battery banks..

Wire Types between AC & DC are different. In AC you use Hard Wire or thicker twisted wire usually (not extensions cords which is flexible with more strands.) DC needs finer strands to deliver the power, it's all about how electrons flow through the copper. I've been playing with DC for decades... I would never ever recommend anyone to use thick strand copper on DC, rather, use fine strand copper meant for serious loads (you always want the wire to be able to handle the "worst case scenario) - highest loading possible".

A great many people get confused when discussing Wire Gauges and it's usually between AWG 2 or AWG 2/0 (huge difference) and unfortunately the worst Culprit in this is the Chinese Manufacturers and their Translated Documentation which is often erroneous / incorrect. The sad reality, is that further confused people and has resulted in some dangerous results for some.

100A / 24V with a 2-3Kw Inverter should be using 2/0 wire and something "fine" like high grade Welding Wire which is extremely flexible, strong, chemical & wear resistant. Consider that these wires are your "main" and get to take the worst you can throw at them, it is not an area to be a spend thrift. After much expense, experiences the only "go to" wire to use in my opinion is Royal Excelene Welding Cable, see ref's below.

Many folks "double" battery wires (thanks again to the Chinese) because it's cheaper , that doubles the points of failure & potential weaknesses and the lugs tend to be less than what should be there (too thin and poorly affixed). Yes it works but it is a cheat an can come back to bite you hard. Every connection is a potential weakness, potential resistance (in the circuit) and a potential load if something goes awry, keeping it simple, clean & tidy is the best & really only option for long term reliability & dependability.

REFS:
https://edisontechcenter.org/wires.html <- Excellent discussion / overview
https://www.bluesea.com/resources/1437 <- Good simple table with wire sizing for amps & distance on DC.
http://industrial.southwire.com/en/tile/10/spec/70300/ <-UL Listed Welding Wire
http://industrial.southwire.com/en/tile/10/spec/70305/ <- Non UL Listed Welding Wire

Always consider your own & your loved ones Personal Safety First !

Play it safe, be certain of what you are doing and follow best practices for a Long & Prosperous Future.
 

koppted

New Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2019
Messages
15
So it seems like you have a lot of 'electrical knowledge' one thing no one I've seen explain yet is the combiner. What would be the purpose of combiner vs just having your wires come straight from your pv connections directly to themselves and then finally to the inverter/charger?
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,589
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
I have enough knowledge to know
So it seems like you have a lot of 'electrical knowledge' one thing no one I've seen explain yet is the combiner. What would be the purpose of combiner vs just having your wires come straight from your pv connections directly to themselves and then finally to the inverter/charger?
I know enough to electrocute myself quickly and how to avoid it. I'm just a DIY Guy with a few decades of doing reno's, building my own home, doing automotive electrical restoration work. I would never connect PV directly to anything without going through an MC4 Fuse at minimum but a breaker is best because it's not just a safety but also a shutoff to protect you & your gear.

A Good General overall explanation of a combiner can be found here:
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,589
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
Nice setup Steve, what made you decide to go 24v instead of 48v?
The first factor was at the time, was the costs of the equipment and best value for the buck. Fortunately for me, this is fine and I still have enough elbow room to add on if need be.
 

erik.calco

Solar Badger
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
1,150
Location
USA
@Steve_S Do you have a design plan for that wooden panel mount structure? I'm looking to build something very similar.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,589
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
I referenced articles like this:
and

I had to adapt of course from my own setup. I also used only PT Lumber, galvanised marine dock hinges with galvanised bolts (to connect to Sea Can) and under the "feet" for the aluminium rails I put 2" square pieces of rubber (cut from commercial from a tire tube) and secured that with Stainless Screws.
 

erik.calco

Solar Badger
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
1,150
Location
USA
I referenced articles like this:
and

I had to adapt of course from my own setup. I also used only PT Lumber, galvanised marine dock hinges with galvanised bolts (to connect to Sea Can) and under the "feet" for the aluminium rails I put 2" square pieces of rubber (cut from commercial from a tire tube) and secured that with Stainless Screws.
Do you have anything like concrete under ground?

Are you relying on that big red metal container behind it for anything?
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,589
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
The sea can weights over 10 tonnes with it's contents. The 4x4's you see at the front are anchored with spiral helical piles.

I was going o use the Commercial-66 (which I have) but with 6x6 it was too much overkill. IF there wasn't a Sea Can, then I would have built the main frame with 6x6 and used those. They can take over 7500 Lbs pull and used for commercial / agricultural structures.

SHUNT ? It's a Zephyr Battery Vent.
 

GVSolar

Solar Addict
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Messages
383
Hi Steve. Very nicely done. I too am off-grid (30+years) and at 24v (3000w DC panels - adding another 3000 AC coupled). Transitioning to LFP from Trojan L16s. Going with BYD built units from TechDirect. Could I get a little more info (and links?) on those 200A relays you are using? Thanks and all the best.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,589
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
Hi Steve. Very nicely done. I too am off-grid (30+years) and at 24v (3000w DC panels - adding another 3000 AC coupled). Transitioning to LFP from Trojan L16s. Going with BYD built units from TechDirect. Could I get a little more info (and links?) on those 200A relays you are using? Thanks and all the best.
The relays came from Chargery with my BMS order. I'm using the BMS8T for my LFP.
 

JeepHammer

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
875
WHAT I SEE...

Proper heavy cable, wide contact surface area lug to get AMPERAGE from cable THROUGH the lug to component.
EVERY terminal end/lug is added Resistance to make convince in connections, assuming copper or at least brass, the thicker and wider the better the current passes.

EVERY AC guy I've had the discussion with about AC vs DC misses details that are important to DC,
Fine strand welding cable that's PROPERLY gauge sized (a specific circle diameter, or in proper terms, circular mils) THE FINER STRANDS PACK TIGHTER, YOU GET MORE CONDUCTOR MATERIAL IN A FLEXIBLE PACKAGE with finer stands, and the insulation is TOUGH.

Radio guys know this,
Radius bends, square corners reduce current carrying capacity.
The AC guys argue this endlessly (but won't actually test it).
Bends *Should* be at least 8x the diameter of the wire, 1/2" cable, 4" radius bends.
Besides, square corners stretch insulation, don't be hard on the insulation if you want longevity.

Never coil conductor (wire), you created inductance/impedance issues when you coil.
With 12Vdc you can coil something like heavy jumper cables and NOT be able to charge/boost the vehicle 2 feet away.
High amp and induction coils don't get along well.

I see tinned copper buss bars instead of aluminum.
Low voltage DC an aluminum don't get along well.
Besides the corrosion factor of dissimilar metals (galvanic reaction) aluminum doesn't conduct DC nearly as well as copper, this causes Resistance losses.
Throw in some corrosion, which IS going to happen with dissimilar metals, and the Resistance losses shoot to the moon.

PROPER safety and protection, and plenty of it!
Lightening arrestors, breakers in the right places, etc.
You either have protections, or you system melting down is the 'Protection'.
There is nothing in between.

Creative use of components, things working together 'Off Label'.
That means Steve did the research and through understood the capability & limitations of each component.
You don't have to have a 'Formal' education/degree to become an expert in single piece of equipment, that's a myth too often repeated.
Simply research and ask questions until you understand the function, capabilities and limitations.
Not buying 'Blind' works out for you 100% of the time, so the time invested in research is well spent.

This was NOT a collection of parts that someone struggled to put together, it was well PLANNED, researched and executed without cutting corners!
Well done Steve! (For what my thumbs up is worth at the bank (y))
 

offgriddle

"FOREVER BEGINNING"
Joined
Sep 21, 2019
Messages
1,449
Location
Oith
Good Day everyone,

After several assorted posts and some chats, I came to the quick conclusion to post my setup here all bundled up nice 'n tidy so that it could help folks on their trek into RE. There is no grid here, no phone lines, cell is so-so (to be polite) so satellite internet is here (not bad actually). I do not have 240VAC, this is a 120V system only. My Solar Panels are mounted separately from my Powerhouse which is 40' (by buried wire distance) which is independently heated and also highly insulated. The cabin is another 75' (by buried wire ;-) ) from the Powerhouse.

If your want to know more about my cabin, click link below the pics.
The LifePO4 pack I am getting has a thread of it's own here ShunBin Battery Packs: 12V/24V 100AH and up !

Panel Mounting: fixed ground mount
View attachment 1966 View attachment 1965

Logical Diagram: (Version 3 updated Jan-11-2020)
View attachment 4898

Due to my equipment & configuration, there are 2 External AC Breakers serving the Inverter (per inverter docs) :
1, Square-D QO140 40A on the L5:30 line form the generator to Inverter
1, Square-D QO145 45A between the Inverter to the 120VAC Powerhouse Base Panel .
A Close look at the Logical Diagram will show the different components and information related to it.

NOTE: I only use DC Breakers, all breakers supplied from Midnite Solar Inc. which are manufactured by Carling Technologies USA. They are simply the BEST there is and the prices reflect that. Of course when it comes to safety & security, compromises should not be a part of your equation.
Cheapest I could find are here:
Main Breakers in the E-Panel below. I used 175A with 3KW Inverter/Charger. 250A with my 4KW Inverter/Charger
250A https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Carlin...cuit-Breaker-250a-125vdc-1-Pole-/263891933397
175A https://www.ebay.com/itm/CARLING-TE...-125-volt-DC-DISCONNECT-BREAKER-/371525874138

The Midnite E-Panel (250A main):
View attachment 4899

Actual Powerhouse Wall: (old version FLA only - to be updated)
View attachment 1967

Powerhouse AC Panel:
View attachment 1970
Cabin AC Panel:
View attachment 1971

Hyper-Efficient which also lists appliances etc used
NOTE: I designed, did the plans & blueprints and built the house myself, only contracting out the concrete forming & pour and the actual cladding of the roof in metal. Everything else, including milling my own Pine 6" patterned baseboards, casings and mouldings all done by me.

My Cabin Overview:
  • 500 Sq Feet, 1 br, 2nd story loft, 9/12 pitch roof (Cathedral Ceilings)
  • FPSF Slab Foundation REF LINK: https://www.finehomebuilding.com/2010/11/11/frost-protected-shallow-foundations-2
  • Radiant Heating in floor (*it's WONDERFUL and efficient) provided by REF: https://www.radiantcompany.com/
  • Cool Roof System (saved 25-30% of Heating & Cooling costs and is incredible ! REF: http://www.houstoncoolmetalroofs.com/cool-roof-information/cool-roof-design-texas/
  • Rain Screen Siding method (used Live Edge White Cedar as my finish) REF: https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/all-about-rainscreens
  • INSULATION: (All obtained from Commercial Roofers - not available in retail land)
  • -- 4" XPS Under the FPSF Slab and out the sides (wings) 24" providing R20, double code requirement.
  • -- 5.25" High Density EPS-2 Foam between 2x6 studs R32)
  • -- 7,5" Paper Faced PolyISO between Rafters (Cathedral Ceiling, roof is 9/12 Pitch)
  • Appliances:
  • Water Pump: Grundfos SQ-5, Soft Start 120V Deep Well pump, 260' deep pushing to 50 Gal Pressure tank then 75' to Cabin. Max Wattage 1000W @ 45PSI. REF: https://us.grundfos.com/products/find-product/sq.html
  • Unique Offgrid Classic propane cook stove: REF: https://uniqueappliances.com/
  • Danby (Magic Chef same) Apartment Size Energy Star Fridge (uses 220kwh per yr)
  • EccoTemp FVI12-LP On-Demand Water Heater for Hot Water. (not suggested, get a 45 series or better brand !)
  • Takagi TH-3-m Condensing On-Demand Heater (used for Radiant Heating exclusively as I had Antifreeze in my system) (got from Radiant Supplier best deal out there)
    **NB** I run a separate Hot Water System from my Radiant System. The other option is to use one On-Demand unit for both, very possible and not hard, The Radiant Company can design it either way for you, no extra charge, it's a part of their service and I can only PRAISE Them for their amazing work, quality products & support, and I do "not" praise anyone lightly !
The efficiency is a win with the slab & hyper insulation. Winter -30C, inside 25C, Radiant only run 2 hrs within a 24 hour period to maintain 25C (floor sensor). Summer: 35C outside, 21C inside, NO AC or Fans just open windows. Slab itself never goers above 20C in summer, it regulates everything inside. Should Note, I am on the South Face of a Granite Ridge, 1200 foot fall in front of me, this property get's the heat & in a bad heatwave 40C is not a shocker. The Cabin itself is shaded by Scotch Pines & Cedars on the south & west sides and nestled into a forest nook. Solar System is mounted to the side of a 20' Sea Can 50' from Power House.

Other Pics of general interest:
The inside of a Yiyen APC-3024 Low Frequency Pure Sine Inverter/Charger : Yiyen Info
View attachment 1973

Inside the Samlex EVO-4024 Inverter/ Charger : Samlex Info
View attachment 1974
BEAUTIFUL work Steve, excellent write up and diagrams, a wealth of informationin contained in this post, thanks for sharing your hard earned experience and knowledge. Regards, Totally Off Griddle too.
 

Steve_S

Offgrid Cabineer, N.E. Ontario, Canada
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
5,589
Location
Rural NE Ontario Canada
Did my research ? Yep, Years of learning hard lessons, Yep. Having received a few ZOTS and survived them, YEP (lessons learned dept.) Having seen & experienced meltdowns (not mine thankfully) = lessons to learn and avoid repeating, Yep.

Thanks for the complimements JH & Offgriddle.

A lot of the above diagrams & documentation will evolve quickly as new packs go into place & another "Linked" Classic Controller (using the follow-me protocols) and more panels.... More info on Follow-Me linking: http://www.midnitesolar.com/pdfs/network_wiring.pdf
now to find a really good real on a Classic 200 or 200-SL as I would prefer not to drop $900 CAD on one.
 

offgriddle

"FOREVER BEGINNING"
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[IQUOTE="JeepHammer, post: 33993, member: 2226"]
WHAT I SEE...

Proper heavy cable, wide contact surface area lug to get AMPERAGE from cable THROUGH the lug to component.
EVERY terminal end/lug is added Resistance to make convince in connections, assuming copper or at least brass, the thicker and wider the better the current passes.

EVERY AC guy I've had the discussion with about AC vs DC misses details that are important to DC,
Fine strand welding cable that's PROPERLY gauge sized (a specific circle diameter, or in proper terms, circular mils) THE FINER STRANDS PACK TIGHTER, YOU GET MORE CONDUCTOR MATERIAL IN A FLEXIBLE PACKAGE with finer stands, and the insulation is TOUGH.

Radio guys know this,
Radius bends, square corners reduce current carrying capacity.
The AC guys argue this endlessly (but won't actually test it).
Bends *Should* be at least 8x the diameter of the wire, 1/2" cable, 4" radius bends.
Besides, square corners stretch insulation, don't be hard on the insulation if you want longevity.

Never coil conductor (wire), you created inductance/impedance issues when you coil.
With 12Vdc you can coil something like heavy jumper cables and NOT be able to charge/boost the vehicle 2 feet away.
High amp and induction coils don't get along well.

I see tinned copper buss bars instead of aluminum.
Low voltage DC an aluminum don't get along well.
Besides the corrosion factor of dissimilar metals (galvanic reaction) aluminum doesn't conduct DC nearly as well as copper, this causes Resistance losses.
Throw in some corrosion, which IS going to happen with dissimilar metals, and the Resistance losses shoot to the moon.

PROPER safety and protection, and plenty of it!
Lightening arrestors, breakers in the right places, etc.
You either have protections, or you system melting down is the 'Protection'.
There is nothing in between.

Creative use of components, things working together 'Off Label'.
That means Steve did the research and through understood the capability & limitations of each component.
You don't have to have a 'Formal' education/degree to become an expert in single piece of equipment, that's a myth too often repeated.
Simply research and ask questions until you understand the function, capabilities and limitations.
Not buying 'Blind' works out for you 100% of the time, so the time invested in research is well spent.

This was NOT a collection of parts that someone struggled to put together, it was well PLANNED, researched and executed without cutting corners!
Well done Steve! (For what my thumbs up is worth at the bank (y))
[/QUOTE] It's true what you said that radio guys posess all knowledge, (including knowing the origins of the universe and if life exists elsewhere, but I would have to charge you five dollars for such information), but the thing you said about aluminum not being the best conductor for DC is a timely statement. Just today I was mulling over the replacement of the three different, 14 gauge extension cords that I have "temporarily" wire nutted together, with a nice contiguous run of copper wire. I thought to myself that just getting a big ole one ought aluminum cable would save me a bundle and still deliver low loss at 24vdc. But then I thought that maybe with such low DC voltage at the source, that a whole bunch of precious current would get lost along that way in a 150' run of aluminum. And here you pipe in about aluminum conductivity and DC ... so I'm going to calculate for a copper run and bite the bullet. Thanks.
 
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