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Thread: any recommendations for breaker box or inverter

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    Default any recommendations for breaker box or inverter

    Hi y'all. My long awaited cabin is finally taking shape and I am planning to use generator and 12 volt (for lights in winter, toaster or coffee maker and fan). Solar may come later/ Any recommendations as to what brand or sizes of both breaker boxes and inverters? Cabin is 2 story and is a little under 900 sq ft. We will not be needing much and won't have any sensitive equipment so I just wanted to get your valuable opinions or suggestions.

    Thank you!

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Honda 2000i or the new 2200i and a 6 gallon portable boat fuel tank. Will go a long way in the winter. Only LED lights! In the future probably 2500w square wave inverter, MPPT controller, whatever batteries you can afford and about 1000w of solar Mono-crystalline solar panels(Mono-SI).Just about any panel that has 4 to 6 spaces will do. Try to separate outlets and overhead circuits and upstairs and downstairs and maybe outside outlets and lights.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
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    Thank you Music Man

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    Agree on 2000 Honda, my last dry cabin had a 1000 watt honda, would run lights, tv/dvd and fan blower for heater. However it would not run a microwave or a small heater unless everything else was off. I borrowed a 2000 watt and it had no issue, Had propane heat, propane/elec fridge and one propane wall light, so I still had heat, cooking and some light even with the generator off.

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    Papabear and Music Man- I was wondering if you wired for an outdoor pug receptacle for the generator. The only ones I see connect to the round input that the smaller generators don't have. I am good with generators- it is the rest I am figuring out. Roughing in electric now. Thank you for your help.

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    You can use a standard 110vac 20a outlet. Make up a short extension cord that has a male plug on both ends. Just be aware of the shock hazard. I built a 8x12 building with the outhouse in one end and gen shack in the other and ran UG cable to cabin.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"
    2018 12' Moto Jet "River Pup"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    You can use a standard 110vac 20a outlet. Make up a short extension cord that has a male plug on both ends. Just be aware of the shock hazard. I built a 8x12 building with the outhouse in one end and gen shack in the other and ran UG cable to cabin.
    BUT!!!....... when a homeowner uses a generator at his residence, it is imperative that he is NOT still connected into the power companies grid that has been providing you your power! If you do not disconnect from the grid you are likely energizing the existing power grid and can actually create high voltages of over 7200 volts in your neighborhood. This possibility is one the Lineman’s greatest dangers.
    I would encourage folks to contact an electrician familiar with setting up a simple ‘pull the switch’ disconnect system used for generation/grid switching. Your power company can probly give you some direction on this. Please take this note as deadly serious, because it is.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!
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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    BUT!!!....... when a homeowner uses a generator at his residence, it is imperative that he is NOT still connected into the power companies grid that has been providing you your power! If you do not disconnect from the grid you are likely energizing the existing power grid and can actually create high voltages of over 7200 volts in your neighborhood. This possibility is one the Lineman’s greatest dangers.
    I would encourage folks to contact an electrician familiar with setting up a simple ‘pull the switch’ disconnect system used for generation/grid switching. Your power company can probly give you some direction on this. Please take this note as deadly serious, because it is.
    I will agree with you, but if you had read the OP he states it is for a off grid cabin.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"
    2018 12' Moto Jet "River Pup"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    I will agree with you, but if you had read the OP he states it is for a off grid cabin.
    Yes sir- we will never have a line out there. Found an electrician who is willing to come out this weekend to look things over and make sure I haven't messed up too much with electrical rough in.

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    I just made a jumper wire as listed above, with 2 male ends and a outlet outside.
    HOWEVER I was a dry cabin and OFF GRID.
    As stated above, If you are on grid, you do not want to be pushing generator power into your cabin while still connected to the grid you HAVE to disconnect from grid for the linemans/electricians safety

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBEE View Post
    Yes sir- we will never have a line out there. Found an electrician who is willing to come out this weekend to look things over and make sure I haven't messed up too much with electrical rough in.
    Sounds like a plan! Might want to think about the future solar now and think about a transfer switch. Without one you take a chance of forgetting to disconnect the solar before you fire up the gen and fry the inverter. Had a neighbor that did that.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"
    2018 12' Moto Jet "River Pup"

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    What I use from the generator to a power box is a cut off extension cord. The male end gets plunged into the generator and the cut end is fed through a romex/single hole cover plate and connected into the house wire inside a box or distribution panel.

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    Ok, when you get a chance,,,,, Google....-[Off Grid Wiring Diagrams]- this will give you some ideas of how you might like to proceed.
    If you want to keep it SIMPLE, and In-Expensive, go with a 12V system, and use AGM type Batteries,,,, and a Design Note: you need to look at the "Quantity of Batteries" just like you would look at the size of a Fuel Tank for your Boat per-say,,,,, a little tank does not get you very far,,,,, so what I'm saying here,,,,, you need to look at the "Quantity or Size and AMP-Hr's of you Battery Bank" as you would for sizing a Fuel tank for a long trip in that Boat.
    Bottom Line....... your Battery Bank, is your Fuel Tank in any Off-Grid system, now for Charging that Battery Bank, and how "Quick" can I charge it, and remember, to many Deep-Cycle Discharge's, shortens the Life of any Battery, even a Deep-Cycle Type.
    TG
    [ USMC 1st Marine Div. 7th Engineers, VietNam 69-71, Semper-Fi ]

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    Quote Originally Posted by The German View Post
    Ok, when you get a chance,,,,, Google....-[Off Grid Wiring Diagrams]- this will give you some ideas of how you might like to proceed.
    If you want to keep it SIMPLE, and In-Expensive, go with a 12V system, and use AGM type Batteries,,,, and a Design Note: you need to look at the "Quantity of Batteries" just like you would look at the size of a Fuel Tank for your Boat per-say,,,,, a little tank does not get you very far,,,,, so what I'm saying here,,,,, you need to look at the "Quantity or Size and AMP-Hr's of you Battery Bank" as you would for sizing a Fuel tank for a long trip in that Boat.
    Bottom Line....... your Battery Bank, is your Fuel Tank in any Off-Grid system, now for Charging that Battery Bank, and how "Quick" can I charge it, and remember, to many Deep-Cycle Discharge's, shortens the Life of any Battery, even a Deep-Cycle Type.
    TG
    I have been in touch with people at Renewable Energy in Anchorage and got recommendations for batteries. Lot's of options for energy and some adds up quite a bit. I have read and researched quite a bit about wiring, batteries, and such. I was hoping to find a brand/model of inverter folks are most happy with. I also didn't know what brand/model/size breaker box most people are using in their cabins. One thing I enjoy about the forums is that [people with real experience are usually open with what has worked or not for them and that means quite a bit to me. Thank you sir.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBEE View Post
    I have been in touch with people at Renewable Energy in Anchorage and got recommendations for batteries. Lot's of options for energy and some adds up quite a bit. I have read and researched quite a bit about wiring, batteries, and such. I was hoping to find a brand/model of inverter folks are most happy with. I also didn't know what brand/model/size breaker box most people are using in their cabins. One thing I enjoy about the forums is that [people with real experience are usually open with what has worked or not for them and that means quite a bit to me. Thank you sir.

    Ok then,,,,,,, sounds like you're off to a good start, ABS Alaskan in Anchorage is another source for Battery's, an Off-Grid Equipment, as well as West Marine, Order off their web-site, and "NO" freight costs, shipped to their Store.
    Now back to the "HEART" of your system, ie... the Battery's, to small of a Battery Bank, and you are running the Generator,,,, No Quiet Time and Yes, we like our "Quiet Time",,,,,,, otherwise, just run the dam Generator and forget about the battery's all together.
    So,,,, in Designing an off-grid Electrical Package, 1st thing is figuring out what your Load will be, AC & DC, and how long you would like to use that Load, with-out the Gen running,,,,,,, that will determine your Battery Bank Size.
    And as far as I'm concerned, your system needs to be inside your Dry Cabin, and using a Non-Gasing Battery Design, will allow you to install the Inverter as close as possible to the Battery Bank, as the Cable Size from the Battery Bank to the Inverter, can be Substantial, in Size and then COST,,,,, again this all depends on your AC Load requirement, it's been my experience that using Propane for Water Heating, Refrigeration/Freezer, Cooking, and Area Heating could also be Propane, and or a Wood Stove of course, Propane is the most efficient way to go for most situations, you can do 12&24VDC Refrigeration/Freezer, like the Sun-Frost Line and others,,,, but the initial Cost was always more than I could stomach.
    And if you are not doing any PhotoVoltaic Panels at this time, then your Generator needs to be up-too the Task of Charging your Battery Bank, the reason I mention this is because, not all Generators are up-too that Task,,,, ie... all Generators are not the same, in their Charging Capabilities.
    Well, I got to go mow the lawn, we'll catch-up later.
    TG
    [ USMC 1st Marine Div. 7th Engineers, VietNam 69-71, Semper-Fi ]

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    Another thing you want to think about is 12vdc or 24vdc for the battery bank. With 12vdc output you will be limited to about 1000w of solar panels with most all charge controllers.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"
    2018 12' Moto Jet "River Pup"

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    Thank y'all so much- I really appreciate the input. I will be taking an electrician in to property tomorrow to look things over and discuss options.

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