Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Whats your solar setup?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Valdez, AK
    Posts
    20

    Default Whats your solar setup?

    So right now Im wiring my cabin for 120v with a honda 2200 generator directly to the breaker box. That is plenty to power with what we are running in the cabin. No big appliances. I have about 10 Leds lights throughout the cabin on a couple different circuits and about 8 outlets as well as an on demand water pump.

    I am going a little blue in the face researching solar equipment and even popped into RES in anchorage to ask about some equipment. I was quoted about 3400 for a setup that should meet my needs according to them. The guy recommended a 1500 watt inverter from Magnum Energy. He told me I could wire that inverter directly to my breaker box and in the event my battery bank doesn't get a full charge I can just plug my 2200 into the inverter and it would charge up the batteries. DOES THAT SOUND CORRECT? I feel like it can't be that easy.

    Anyway, I am just curious to hear about what some people have in their cabins on a smaller level. I plan on splurging when it comes to getting good batteries but i have been told buy a couple folks to just get solar equipment from Amazon and call it good. That Magnum Energy inverter is like $800 and you can find 1500 watt Inverters all over amazon for under $200. I know you get what you pay for but I wanted to see If people have had luck with some more budget friendly solar equipment through an online retailer before I pull the trigger.

    Also this cabin will be a weekend cabin for us a few times over the summer and will probably sit all winter before visits.

    Im a little lost when it comes to this solar business.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member Music Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    1,360

    Default

    The high price for the magnum inverter is because it has a built in charger and the cheap ones on Amazon don't and are probably modified signwave (squarewave) . I would go with a 2000w signwave inverter and use a transfer switch to switch to generator or swap a cord from one to the other. Iota makes some very good chargers if you want an external charger. I have had trouble with squarewave inverters not liking dimmers and the microwave and motors run very slow and hot.
    I haven't been able to get any solar panels over 100w from Amazon shipped to Alaska.
    For weekend use the battery's will b e fully charged when you get there, run them until they need to be charged and transfer to the generator. When you leave the solar will top up the batteries for the next weekend in the summer. in the winter or freezing weather you want to charge them up before you leave. https://www.iotaengineering.com/power.htm
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"
    2018 12' Moto Jet "River Pup"

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tok
    Posts
    56

    Default

    Well at my cabin (only 384 sqft) which I have to take a ATV to is definitely off the road & not near a grid. so I have solar power. I have a 1500 watt inverter (modified sign wave) that ties to 570 watts of solar panels for power. I do have it hooked to a 2000 watt Honda charger which I don't need until some where in November. I have a TV (no reception) hooked to a dvd & a vcr player, lights (both inside and out) and microwave. The cabin is basically fully wired with plugs through out that run to a circuit box. I also have a couple of 12v direct plug ins. There are 3 12v marine batteries that stores the power. It has been operating since 2007. Just this weekend I plan on putting in a 1000 watt full sin wave inverter as I can't charge my dewalts and a run a few other things with the current system. I'll run it on a sperate circuit so I don't have to use it all of the time. I agree with Music man on getting a full sign wave inverter. I use the cabin year around and am up at it in the winter as well as basically live there (3 4 day/week) from April until October. Don't be afraid of it as it is simply solar panels charge controller, inverter and batteries. Just design it to the usage. I just turn the inverter on when I get there and off when I'm gone. I leave the solar panels on all the time.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Valdez, AK
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Thanks Music Man, I see you jumping on solar posts quite often and you seem to know your stuff. So when you refer to an inverter having a charger does that mean I could plug a generator into that same inverter and charge my solar batteries if the panels aren't keeping up? https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-2000Wa...gateway&sr=8-2

    This inverter for example, It is pure sine and has what appears to be an input receptacle next to the output. Would I just plug my generator into that to charge the batteries. I guess what I am looking for is solar setup with the easiest way to provide generator backup without having to wire in a transfer switch or rework my system. Right now I have a simple 10/2 power cord wired to my breaker box with a male connector that goes to my generator. That same cord will go to my inverter once the solar setup takes place..

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Valdez, AK
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John/Alaska View Post
    Well at my cabin (only 384 sqft) which I have to take a ATV to is definitely off the road & not near a grid. so I have solar power. I have a 1500 watt inverter (modified sign wave) that ties to 570 watts of solar panels for power. I do have it hooked to a 2000 watt Honda charger which I don't need until some where in November. I have a TV (no reception) hooked to a dvd & a vcr player, lights (both inside and out) and microwave. The cabin is basically fully wired with plugs through out that run to a circuit box. I also have a couple of 12v direct plug ins. There are 3 12v marine batteries that stores the power. It has been operating since 2007. Just this weekend I plan on putting in a 1000 watt full sin wave inverter as I can't charge my dewalts and a run a few other things with the current system. I'll run it on a sperate circuit so I don't have to use it all of the time. I agree with Music man on getting a full sign wave inverter. I use the cabin year around and am up at it in the winter as well as basically live there (3 4 day/week) from April until October. Don't be afraid of it as it is simply solar panels charge controller, inverter and batteries. Just design it to the usage. I just turn the inverter on when I get there and off when I'm gone. I leave the solar panels on all the time.
    Thanks John, Yeah Im still doing some research on this setup. I don't see how the gentlemen at RES could recommend a single 100 watt panel and two T105 6v batteries to provide the same amount of power for my cabin that my honda 2200 gives me. Getting a pure sine inverter is about the only decision I have made now. haha. Do you plug your generator into the inverter to charge your batteries or do you have a transfer switch and just run the cabin on generator power?

    Thanks,

  6. #6
    Member Music Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    1,360

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jinak123 View Post
    Thanks Music Man, I see you jumping on solar posts quite often and you seem to know your stuff. So when you refer to an inverter having a charger does that mean I could plug a generator into that same inverter and charge my solar batteries if the panels aren't keeping up? https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-2000Wa...gateway&sr=8-2

    This inverter for example, It is pure sine and has what appears to be an input receptacle next to the output. Would I just plug my generator into that to charge the batteries. I guess what I am looking for is solar setup with the easiest way to provide generator backup without having to wire in a transfer switch or rework my system. Right now I have a simple 10/2 power cord wired to my breaker box with a male connector that goes to my generator. That same cord will go to my inverter once the solar setup takes place..

    Thanks
    You are catching on! Yes it has a 25A charger built in. Yep! That same cord will go to my inverter once the solar setup takes place.. Don't make it more complicated by over thinking it! it is not rocket science!
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"
    2018 12' Moto Jet "River Pup"

  7. #7
    Member Music Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    1,360

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jinak123 View Post
    Thanks John, Yeah Im still doing some research on this setup. I don't see how the gentlemen at RES could recommend a single 100 watt panel and two T105 6v batteries to provide the same amount of power for my cabin that my honda 2200 gives me. Getting a pure sine inverter is about the only decision I have made now. haha. Do you plug your generator into the inverter to charge your batteries or do you have a transfer switch and just run the cabin on generator power?

    Thanks,
    A neighboring cabin has that same setup and I had to upgrade the panels as he had to run the generator daily to keep the batteries charged.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"
    2018 12' Moto Jet "River Pup"

  8. #8
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Yellowknife, NWT
    Posts
    3,380

    Default

    I'm a big fan of Outback Power and will be installing a large system at my place in the future.
    They are not cheap but quality costs.
    Their 2000 watt 12 volt unit is almost $2,000.
    It actually has the transfer switch built into the inverter/charger.
    Just firing up the genny switches it to charging mode while also powering your cabin.
    Here's a link to the installation instructions for you to look over.

    https://pdf.wholesalesolar.com/inver...077.1567785706

    Wholesale Solar down in CA has a very good selection of equipment , panels etc at very good prices.

    https://www.wholesalesolar.com/


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •