Newbie from NW Ohio

wildman2

New Member
Howdy new to the forum first post but cruised for about a month.Still researching all the different parts and it still can be a bit confusing.I really like this site boat load of info and no one is snippy that Ive seen.
Ive done the someone else install the solar system consult and it was waaay too pricey. Figured I could do it my self for a lot less than $99,000.00. I'm a very handy kind of guy that can build almost anything,wire and remodel/rebuild a whole house top to bottom.
I'm in the process of doing an energy audit with my kill o watt gizmo. Surprised at how many KWH simple things use. Also I have the reports from the Electric company saying the KW and KWH used per month. They seem a bit high to me. But I do have a bunch of electronics in the house so I guess that comes with the territory.
I can put in a second electrical panel that's separate from the grid. Reroute the wiring for the things I want to power 24/7 for now basically emergency kinda stuff plus. no problem
At first I'm planning on doing just the higher hitting juice(KWH, AMP surge) consumption stuff and add on as funds,ambition and body allows.
Hot water heater,120v well pump ,big side by side fridge,(two freezers 1 chest 1 upright even though they don't draw as much) maybe the1100w microwave and the motor for the wood burner.I don't have a furnace in case some one was wondering.
The problem I'm having now in the planning stage is which pieces play nicey nice together, just how big do I need it for aforementioned equipment now and in the future when I'm off the grid completely,which charge controllers accept what generator brand model for battery charging on low sun days. etc etc
Sorry in advance for longish winded disjointed post.
 

JoeHam

Photon Sorcerer
Welcome to the forum.

You will likely learn that your electric bill is indeed correct. Energy conservation will be much easier than building a huge/expensive system.

Many of us have done a critical loads panel. I started small on the circuits added and solar panels added but I’m glad I went with a 48v system capable of 4kw split phase. If you go totally off grid 4kw world be woefully inadequate. My goal was to run what I need in an outage.

So far I have the sump pump, two refrigerator/freezers, garage door opener and one circuit on each level of the house.

I now have 7 circuits on the critical load panel and room to grow. My system is backed up by the grid but I have no interest in all the BS involved with selling to the grid.

You can always add more battery and panels as you grow but changing the heart (inverter) of the system is harder/more expensive.

BTW, I'm located on the mainland by the islands. Not sure if that is considered northern or northwest Ohio.
 
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GLC

Solar Enthusiast
I'm from Texas and this is my setup. I have 2 mirror setups. 4 - 305 watt panels, 40 amp MPPT controllers. They feed 12- 100 ah Battleborn batteries wired for 24 volts. One 6000 watt 220 volt inverter and one 4000 watt 120 volt inverter. It is just me and my wife but the setup will run kitchen fridge, all lighting, microwave, 220 volt well pump, bedroom ductless 110 volt ac (nigh time used) on a regular basis. I do have more circuits available for emg usage because I have 2- 10 circuit manual transfer switch boxes with other circuits attached. If I have sun everyday, it has no problem keeping up. Rethink your hot water heater, you really do not want resistance heating in your backup solar usage. Resistance heating will deplete your battery storage very quickly. Think of alternatives: hot water heater heat pumps, gas or go solar like i did. I replaced the lower heating element in our hot water heater with a dual DC heating element. I dedicated 3 solar panels in the east and 3 in the west to feed the two different elements. If the sun shines for the full day the water gets extremely hot in the evening. I still have the upper ac element installed and connected as a backup when there is less sun. The hot water heater is also on a timer clock for the ac so it comes on if needed in the morning hours and then again in the afternoon/evening hours. This setup does not go through a solar controller/ battery storage or inverter just panel to element.
 

wildman2

New Member
THX for the replies.
To joeham. I’m already in the process to reduce my usage turning things off from power strip switch. put a mechanical timer on wood burner motor hr on hr off that little 1/4 hp motor uses a bunch of kWh for how small it is.shutting lights off when not needed getting ready to change light fixtures in kitchen go from 3 bulbs dn to 1 bulb use 1 higher led equivalent since there are 9 fixtures with 3 bulbs each.or Could just use 1 bulb in existing ceiling fixtures.Plus been purchasing all energy star appliances when they need replaced.
To GLC I’m considering a dual inverter charge controller one that accepts the output from a dual fuel portable generator a 10,000 running watts to 13,000 surge like a Westinghouse. Already have a propane tank for stove and fireplace in living room I could use that Westinghouse to charge batteries and or power hot water tank when batteries get low. What exactly is that hot water heater pump. Was thinking on the 24v or a 48 volt controller/ system Have to be a single big one or 2 smaller big one. Boat load of batteries. Still in research stage.
 

GLC

Solar Enthusiast
As far as heat pump hot water heaters, I have attached a link for some info.
As far as a dual purpose inverter/charger, I just bought this one.
 

wildman2

New Member
The report from electric company has my highest kw per month at 15kw highest kWh per moth at 2400 kWh. Average daily kWh amount is from 29kwh to 89kwh . Summer is higher prolly due to 2 window ac units and a cpl fans.
 

GLC

Solar Enthusiast
I have had it about 2 months, it is a beast. I have two mirrored solar setups and was running 2-4000 Giandel 4000/8000 120 volt inverters but I needed to run my well pump at 220 so I replaced one of my Giandel with this 220 volt one. I have had the Giandel inverters for about 2 years , they are also a beast.
 

wildman2

New Member
Got a question for you about that last inverter. How do you get 240 out of it. I only see 1 l n g Wouldn’t you need 2 l’s (line). Or a high rated ac line out on it for 240 Seems odd. Do you use one line out of both inverters to power half of the boxes breakers. Just wondering.
 

GLC

Solar Enthusiast
Got a question for you about that last inverter. How do you get 240 out of it. I only see 1 l n g Wouldn’t you need 2 l’s (line). Or a high rated ac line out on it for 240 Seems odd. Do you use one line out of both inverters to power half of the boxes breakers. Just wondering.

The Giendel is only 110 volts, The Sigineer is 220 volts. It can be just used as a 110 or 220. That is why I took out one of my Giendel's and replaced it with the Sigineer so it could power my well pump which is 220. Each inverter is routed through a separate manual transfer box which has 10 circuits each. Depending on which way you trip the switches, it either feeds ac from the house or ac from the inverter. This is the model I am using:Connecticut Electric EGS107501G2KIT EmerGen EGS107501G2 Manual Transfer Switch Kit 30 Amp, 10-Circuit, 7500 Watts, For Portable Generator

The Giendel is only 110 volts, The Sigineer is 220 volts. It can be just used as a 110 or 220. That is why I took out one of my Giendel's and replaced it with the Sigineer so it could power my well pump which is 220. Each inverter is routed through a separate manual transfer box which has 10 circuits each. Depending on which way you trip the switches, it either feeds ac from the house or ac from the inverter. This is the model I am using:Connecticut Electric EGS107501G2KIT EmerGen EGS107501G2 Manual Transfer Switch Kit 30 Amp, 10-Circuit, 7500 Watts, For Portable Generator
Just fyi about the heat pump hot water heater, You can duct it into your living space to help cool your home in the summertime while it heats the water.
 

wildman2

New Member
I like that box. Didn’t know they existed. Have to bookmark it for future reference. I did see somewhere else that the heat pump water heater can be ducted to cool an area down. Be good to keep battery,inverters and charge control area/room cooler if needed. Thx again for the info.
 

wildman2

New Member
What’s the rules on posting an overhead view of my house and yard. Looked it up today on google. Looking for a good place to put the panels when I get to that stage.
 

Hedges

I See Electromagnetic Fields!
Nothing wrong with posting a picture.
Most of us try to delete anything that identifies our actual location. I crop an image in Paint. Save as a .jpg file and insert rather than pasting bit map directly, less data transmitted.

One approach to PV is start by installing a grid-tie system. That can be done for about $1/watt of hardware, if you do all the labor yourself. If the inverter does "frequency-watts", part of UL-1741-SA, you can later add a battery inverter which will play nice with it, "AC coupling".

It may be that some hybrids will be lower cost, and some are batteries optional.

Either way, you will want the battery inverter to be able to deliver whatever motor starting surge loads you might have.
Batteries themselves - that can be the largest expense.
 

wildman2

New Member
This is part of the property nearest to the house. Red lines are the area that panels can go.Behind the red lines on top of pic is about half an acre of woods,if need be mr buldozer can clear that out in a hurry.Can use the fire wood for the large lilly wood burner in the house.Wife doesn't want panels by the front of the house.Saftey of panels reason and vehicles like to go around the bend too fast in winter and end up in the yard.Multiple mailboxes have been taken out.Used my iphone's compass to see just where South was.The front right corner of house as you are looking at it in the pic is 2degrees off of due South.
Id rather not have a grid tied system seems to be a lot of hassle.This is not going to be a one time shot as far as the build out goes..It will be a expand as I go/need.
I do have a question about BMS controllers. Do you need a separate control module if batteries already have BMS in them.I'd think that it's not needed and might have some type of conflict if both were used.Yes batteries are expensive been looking up a bunch of different ones. I follow a fairly strict policy of buy once cry once.Buy junk and it will need replaced sooner than than you want.
 

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