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Father-in-law's solar system


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Paul

His old inverter was just 1 kilowatt. He upgraded to 2 kilowatt as a replacement when his 1 kilowatt conked out. Actually he's planning to "expand" it someday when he has extra, the solar panels price is certainly a lot cheaper nowadays compared to when we bought ours. He also plans to add more batteries someday, currently he got 8 batteries.

 

The problem with adding batteries at a later date is, they don't mix well, new and old batteries. If you are going to change batteries, it is best to change them all at once. So, if you (he, whomever) wishes to upgrade, it's best to do so at a time when you need to replace the batteries anyway. 

 

If I can ever stay in one house long enough (we are about to move again, to a new house), I want to add some panels here to do what you do, run my internet and computers, along with one fan, 24 / 7. It's surprising as to how much power hardware uses, when left running 24 / 7 / 365. 

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^^ That's my in-law's roof with his 800 watts solar panels. His house is completely off grid and those panels are now close to 2 years operational.   The panels we bought it in local made in China

If you're asking about setting up a solar power system, I believe Paul had a thread on that somewhere.   For me, the hardest part was all the up-front work needed to ensure I had the right connector

Misty, can you post how many batteries on that system and possibly the voltage and amp hour rating of them, along with the controller and inverter size? If too much trouble, no worries. I am just happ

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The problem with adding batteries at a later date is, they don't mix well, new and old batteries. If you are going to change batteries, it is best to change them all at once. So, if you (he, whomever) wishes to upgrade, it's best to do so at a time when you need to replace the batteries anyway.

 

If I can ever stay in one house long enough (we are about to move again, to a new house), I want to add some panels here to do what you do, run my internet and computers, along with one fan, 24 / 7. It's surprising as to how much power hardware uses, when left running 24 / 7 / 365.

If you want the fan to run, you need it to be pure syne wave. Our two 100 watts is modified syne wave & it won't run the fan. We tried it a few days ago when we had brown out, it just hummed when we switched it on.

 

Only our house phone which is PLDT Telpad & WIFI that are online 24/7.

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Paul

If you want the fan to run, you need it to be pure syne wave. Our two 100 watts is modified syne wave & it won't run the fan. We tried it a few days ago when we had brown out, it just hummed when we switched it on.

 

Only our house phone which is PLDT Telpad & WIFI that are online 24/7.

 

Well, it certainly isn't "healthy" for a motor to run on a MSW inverter, they can. If they run, they will make a definite "hum" sound. Typically, they will not last as long, either, on a MSW inverter. 

 

Most UPS units produce a MSW while running. I have run fans off them before, as well. There again, not necessarily the best.

 

If I ever get accustomed to living somewhere long enough - whether here or back home in the Philippines, I will build a 3 Kilowatt array to power what I need in my home. My problem is staying somewhere long enough to do so. 

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Kuting

attachicon.gif800_watt_solar_array.jpg

 

^^ That's my in-law's roof with his 800 watts solar panels. His house is completely off grid and those panels are now close to 2 years operational. :D

 

The panels we bought it in local made in China shop. I think the panels cost 16k for the 100 watts. I think that time when we had them set up, the batteries came from Cebu, he ordered the batteries, inverter & charge controller from the guy in Cebu. We saved a lot by installing the panels ourselves. I mean we just hired somebody to make the brackets for the panels & then install them up there in the roof. Just cost us 2k to have them installed up there! lol It was just a day's work & we paid 1k each for the 2 guys. Then we had our electrician connect & set up the electrical stuffs, I think it might be 1,500 we paid him.

 

The house runs the fridge, ceiling fans, lights, laptop, tv & dvd player, .5hp water pump, toaster, & electric kettle.

That's amazing, is it in the PH? I didn't realise such is already operational in the Ph... Is it really economical, all installation and maintenance costs considered?

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Mikala

That's amazing, is it in the PH? I didn't realise such is already operational in the Ph... Is it really economical, all installation and maintenance costs considered?

 

With the high electrical rates, payback is about 5 years. With the frequent blackouts, payback is the first time a blackout happens.

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thebob

 

 

I'm unclear how one would use a cap to solve an inrush issue on the AC line. 

 

The inrush current problem is because of Power Factor. With an inductive load the wave form of the current and voltage are out of phase. The inductive current current lags the applied voltage. 

 

A parallel capacitor supplies current that isn't dependant on the mains (or inverter supply) to realign the waveforms and so reduce inrush current. This capacitive load will lead the voltage and tend to reduce the Power Factor.

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Paul

That's amazing, is it in the PH? I didn't realise such is already operational in the Ph... Is it really economical, all installation and maintenance costs considered?

 

Something I need to be very clear about here is, running an off-grid solar system is NOT cheaper than mains electric rates, EVEN at the rates of mains power in the Philippines. By the time you figure in the cost of your batteries, solar array, controller, installation costs, etc., versus the actual efficiency of the system, you will pay more per kWh for the power you produce. 

 

As has been stated, even if in a joking manner, what makes it worthwhile is the fact that the power you are producing is cleaner, more stable and more reliable than the power coming from the power points in your home. Suffering zero power cuts makes it worth it for me.

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Mikala

I have to admit that the payback in 5 years is what was calculated for a medium sized home in Hawaii with electric rates very close to what is paid in Cebu. The family that inquired about it decided against installing a grid-tied solar array since they didn't feel comfortable with possible maintenance activities.

 

To me, learning how to check and maintain lead-acid batteries is relatively easy, but then again, I'd been doing it at home, on submarines and in electric plants for 38 years.

 

Cleaning the solar arrays is no big deal. Keeping the cooling fins on the inverter clean is easy. Tightening connections (lots of earthquakes in Hawaii) is a bit scary if working around live electric circuits.

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Paul

 

 

I have to admit that the payback in 5 years is what was calculated for a medium sized home in Hawaii with electric rates very close to what is paid in Cebu. The family that inquired about it decided against installing a grid-tied solar array since they didn't feel comfortable with possible maintenance activities.

Obviously, it will depend on the size of the array necessary. But, if people want a system that will pay for itself within a reasonable amount of time, AND will serve to provide them with power during a power cut, a hybrid system would be the way to go. That is, a grid-tied system ALSO having a battery bank. That is the best of both worlds. 

 

On cloudy days, your bank will charge - from mains power. On sunny days, you are feeding power back into the grid, rather than using power that is costing you money. During power cuts, your mains drop out, yet you still have power to run your home. 

 

I am thinking misty's father-in-law should consider it, as he has the very same options available to him.

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Tinbum

If anyone needs to borrow a clamp meter with peak hold facility i have one.

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If anyone needs to borrow a clamp meter with peak hold facility i have one.

Since you have a clamp meter available, you should do a test on your fridge. See if the results matches with the rated specs sticker on/in your fridge.

 

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Paul

Since you have a clamp meter available, you should do a test on your fridge. See if the results matches with the rated specs sticker on/in your fridge.

 

Misty, you said it was something under 100 watts draw? According to the label, it is almost 150 watts.

 

The label itself, could be wrong, for any given appliance.

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Misty, you said it was something under 100 watts draw? According to the label, it is almost 150 watts.

 

The label itself, could be wrong, for any given appliance.

This is not the same fridge that I was talking about. This is our Samsung double door frost free fridge. My FIL's fridge was a single door 95 watts unit. I was just showing that as an example, if somebody tries to test their fridge. The result of clamp meter should correspond to the rated sticker stuck on your fridge unit.

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Paul

I see. Okay. Different appliances.

 

 

 

The result of clamp meter should correspond to the rated sticker stuck on your fridge unit.

 

You are correct, in that it should. However, in testing many appliances over the past six months, I have found that most are not drawing the same rated power that are stated on their labels. More often than not, they have drawn more than what was stated on the label.  

 

Very small refrigerators, for example - what we called "dorm refrigerators" in the states, often draw as much as a full sized energy efficient refrigerator. 

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You are correct, in that it should. However, in testing many appliances over the past six months, I have found that most are not drawing the same rated power that are stated on their labels. More often than not, they have drawn more than what was stated on the label.

^^ You nailed it. That's the situation & even the fridge company's representative can't explain why their fridge comes up with that result. To them, they consider it "normal", as long as the fridge turns on & gets cold, that's OK. Nevermind that your electric bills is skyrocketing over the roof caused by their substandard product.

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