need upgrade advice

yor

New Member
I just ordered an eco worthy 200 watt solar kit with a 100 amp bat. I want 600 watt and 4 batterys eventually but cant afford all at once. would i be better off getting 2 more 100 watt panels or another 100 ah battery next. Im not much on electrity but trying to learn as i go. This will be for my shed workshop, Thanks for accepting me!
 

MisterSandals

Participation Medalist
I am not sure how expandable that kit is. Batteries for example have to be identical in almost every way, including age and size to be combined successfully (meaning so one battery does not cannibalize another).

The solar charge controller will be limited to 300w with a 12v battery (bank). If you configure your batteries to 24v, your inverter will not be compatible since its 12v only. I cannot tell what the input limits, primarily voltage is on the charge controller but being a PWM (not MPPT) its probably very limited.

20A PWM Charge Controller with 5A USB Port​

  • Battery voltage :12V/24V auto
  • Charge current: 20A
  • Working current: 5.5A
  • Usb port: 5V/2A
  • Size/Weight: 138*85*30mm /150g
  • Can be expanded 300W or 700W Solar System
For the $600+ cost of that system, it would not be hard to DIY a system of much greater capabilities.
 

MisterSandals

Participation Medalist
Here are some blueprints of DIY systems that this site's owner (Will Prowse) has put together.
The 400w version is a lot less than what you are in for but stepping up to a larger system requires
some bigger pieces that are not simple (cheap) upgrades.

Hopefully this helps, please ask if you have more questions (and watch the videos under the "more" tab):

 
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Reactions: yor

yor

New Member

I am not sure how expandable that kit is. Batteries for example have to be identical in almost every way, including age and size to be combined successfully (meaning so one battery does not cannibalize another).

The solar charge controller will be limited to 300w with a 12v battery (bank). If you configure your batteries to 24v, your inverter will not be compatible since its 12v only. I cannot tell what the input limits, primarily voltage is on the charge controller but being a PWM (not MPPT) its probably very limited.

20A PWM Charge Controller with 5A USB Port​

  • Battery voltage :12V/24V auto
  • Charge current: 20A
  • Working current: 5.5A
  • Usb port: 5V/2A
  • Size/Weight: 138*85*30mm /150g
  • Can be expanded 300W or 700W Solar System
For the $600+ cost of that system, it would not be hard to DIY a system of much greater capabilities.
Thanks a lot! I guess my best bet would be a same battery as soon as possible will be my best bet then. Since i can only go up to 300 watts, maybe ill just go with old 45 kit ive got rolling around here. You could build a fairly good diy kit but this is giving me a headache trying to learn all this. It seems weird that you can run more panels in series than parallel. Thanks for the help and info, wheres my aspirin bottle, LOL!
 

yor

New Member
Here are some blueprints of DIY systems that this site's owner (Will Prowse) has put together.
The 400w version is a lot less than what you are in for but stepping up to a larger system requires
some bigger pieces that are not simple (cheap) upgrades.

Hopefully this helps, please ask if you have more questions (and watch the videos under the "more" tab):

If i add on more do you think a mppt controller would be worth the extra expense for my little setup. Ive read they are less loss than pwm and better for for the batterys? Which way would you go? Parallel or series? Wouldnt series kill the system if on part fails?
 

MisterSandals

Participation Medalist
maybe ill just go with old 45 kit ive got rolling around here.
Not sure what this means. Is this your existing setup?

If i add on more do you think a mppt controller would be worth the extra expense for my little setup. Ive read they are less loss than pwm and better for for the batterys? Which way would you go? Parallel or series? Wouldnt series kill the system if on part fails?
You really need to figure out how much power you need (you still have not said what your intended use will be) as a first step. Then you can figure out how much solar panel, battery and matching SCC you need.
 

yor

New Member
Not sure what this means. Is this your existing setup?


You really need to figure out how much power you need (you still have not said what your intended use will be) as a first step. Then you can figure out how much solar panel, battery and matching SCC you need.
Sorrry, i meant i have an old thunderbolt magnum 3 panel 45 watt kit laying around and since i cant go over 300 watts without buying more expensive equip maybe i can just add these and try 245 watts. I dont know about power requirements. Im just a fan of rv setups and they seem to think about 600 watts aand 4 batterys seems to handle most of thier needs With just short bursts of hvy use on appliances. Another reason i want this is my gaarden is next to my shed and the deer ruin it a lot lately so want to set up some kind motion lights and have you ever seen some of those air fed jack in the box type promotions deals waving around in the air? I want to try n make something like that that will jump up and fly around when they get near n scare the c out of them, HA Ha!
 

yor

New Member
Sorrry, i meant i have an old thunderbolt magnum 3 panel 45 watt kit laying around and since i cant go over 300 watts without buying more expensive equip maybe i can just add these and try 245 watts. I dont know about power requirements. Im just a fan of rv setups and they seem to think about 600 watts aand 4 batterys seems to handle most of thier needs With just short bursts of hvy use on appliances. Another reason i want this is my gaarden is next to my shed and the deer ruin it a lot lately so want to set up some kind motion lights and have you ever seen some of those air fed jack in the box type promotions deals waving around in the air? I want to try n make something like that that will jump up and fly around when they get near n scare the c out of them, HA Ha!
 

yor

New Member
I am not sure how expandable that kit is. Batteries for example have to be identical in almost every way, including age and size to be combined successfully (meaning so one battery does not cannibalize another).

The solar charge controller will be limited to 300w with a 12v battery (bank). If you configure your batteries to 24v, your inverter will not be compatible since its 12v only. I cannot tell what the input limits, primarily voltage is on the charge controller but being a PWM (not MPPT) its probably very limited.

20A PWM Charge Controller with 5A USB Port​

  • Battery voltage :12V/24V auto
  • Charge current: 20A
  • Working current: 5.5A
  • Usb port: 5V/2A
  • Size/Weight: 138*85*30mm /150g
  • Can be expanded 300W or 700W Solar System
For the $600+ cost of that system, it would not be hard to DIY a system of much greater capabilities.
I dont understand why the batterys need to be the same or cannibalized. I thought if you just added another 12 volt and it was 100 ah it would work. ?????
 

chrisski

Solar Addict
There's a lot of info on not adding batteries later, but once a battery is used, the battery is aged. Kind of like a pro-tennis doubles star coming back decades after retiring. The partner would end up carrying the load.

This link explains why batteries can't be wired any which way in parallel SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank. Adding batteries later is kind of like wiring in method one. The batteries with the least resistance, the newer, carries the load, and kills it.

I really replied because I started off with eco-worthy. I got the bait and switch a couple of times. I ordered directly from the website for a pre-built combiner, and the order went through in stock, but I got an e-mail a couple of days later saying they would ship a smaller combiner right away or for a mere $50 extra, they would ship directly from China. I cancelled my order. I tried again with six of the 120 watt panels, and again the order went through in stock, but again I got an E-Mail saying that the panels were backordered. Again I canceled the order. Perhaps in Amazon, you won't have those problems.

The Eco-Worthy kits do not come with everything you need for a solar build. There's nothing wrong with that, just realize you will need to buy things to properly install it. The kits often come with not enough batteries, no wiring, no circuit breakers, no brackets, no mounting board, etc.. all of which add up. These solar kits that are marketed are almost all like this. Gives someone the impression, buy this kit and you'll have everything you need, but the stuff I mentioned as missing costs at least as much as the kit itself. Your kit you linked comes with a lot of stuff, but proper inverter wiring is missing, also how to mount the inverter including a power board, and also depending on the install, because the cables are prebuilt, you need to drill the wholes to the roof bigger than just sticking wires through and making the cables, which making cables is easy.

None of what I mentioned is insurmountable, but you'll need to have some money set aside for that. There's so much more that goes into this. I found I needed about a tube of Dicor Self Leveling lap sealant at $10 a tube for each panel I installed. If not getting more batteries now is a problem, then plan well.

As far as batteries, you need to measure your power usage. IMO if you use very little power, you can get buy with two batteries. With two of the batteries you mentioned, I could usually run my propane heater all night, the fan draws a lot of energy, in my 35' RV, but if the temps dropped below the 40s, the fan comes on so much, it'd drain the batteries to less than 50% which gives them many less cycles.
 

yor

New Member
There's a lot of info on not adding batteries later, but once a battery is used, the battery is aged. Kind of like a pro-tennis doubles star coming back decades after retiring. The partner would end up carrying the load.

This link explains why batteries can't be wired any which way in parallel SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank. Adding batteries later is kind of like wiring in method one. The batteries with the least resistance, the newer, carries the load, and kills it.

I really replied because I started off with eco-worthy. I got the bait and switch a couple of times. I ordered directly from the website for a pre-built combiner, and the order went through in stock, but I got an e-mail a couple of days later saying they would ship a smaller combiner right away or for a mere $50 extra, they would ship directly from China. I cancelled my order. I tried again with six of the 120 watt panels, and again the order went through in stock, but again I got an E-Mail saying that the panels were backordered. Again I canceled the order. Perhaps in Amazon, you won't have those problems.

The Eco-Worthy kits do not come with everything you need for a solar build. There's nothing wrong with that, just realize you will need to buy things to properly install it. The kits often come with not enough batteries, no wiring, no circuit breakers, no brackets, no mounting board, etc.. all of which add up. These solar kits that are marketed are almost all like this. Gives someone the impression, buy this kit and you'll have everything you need, but the stuff I mentioned as missing costs at least as much as the kit itself. Your kit you linked comes with a lot of stuff, but proper inverter wiring is missing, also how to mount the inverter including a power board, and also depending on the install, because the cables are prebuilt, you need to drill the wholes to the roof bigger than just sticking wires through and making the cables, which making cables is easy.

None of what I mentioned is insurmountable, but you'll need to have some money set aside for that. There's so much more that goes into this. I found I needed about a tube of Dicor Self Leveling lap sealant at $10 a tube for each panel I installed. If not getting more batteries now is a problem, then plan well.

As far as batteries, you need to measure your power usage. IMO if you use very little power, you can get buy with two batteries. With two of the batteries you mentioned, I could usually run my propane heater all night, the fan draws a lot of energy, in my 35' RV, but if the temps dropped below the 40s, the fan comes on so much, it'd drain the batteries to less than 50% which gives them many less cycles.
Thanks for the info! Cripes! Sounds like a big money sucking scam. Im beginning to wish i had never ordered this. I could have probably had a lectric line run out cheaper, LOL! If id known it was going to turn into a coupla thou i would never have got started. Those batterys having to be bought all the at the same time really throws a monkey wrench in everything. My budget would get me the batterys but they dont do much good without the other stuff, LOL! Thanks a lot for the heads up!
 
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chrisski

Solar Addict
Truth is it’s an extremely rare case where getting solar is cheaper than running an electric line.

It has its nitches. You can keep a generator turned off longer by putting low powered stuff like cell phone chargers. Also for places where power outages are common, and mostly to keep the generator off longer, or in my case to use the RV in places where we’re not crammed together without turning the generator on except the RV.

Spend a bit of time researching to see what you There were a few surprises in my build, including washers, lock washers, bolts, nuts costing $50 to secure the six panels to the roof.
 
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