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Author Topic: Off-grid battery/solar systems. Who is running one?  (Read 7408 times)

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Offline maple flats

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Re: Off-grid battery/solar systems. Who is running one?
« Reply #40 on: March 14, 2018, 02:04:43 PM »
My newest array, totally off grid was installed by a solar contractor. I asked that they be tilted for maximum energy in the winter, they mounted then slightly flatter than summer best energy. Now I have issues with snow, if tilted steeper for winter sun they would self empty better and if I need to use the snow rake it would be easier.
I could call them, but I think I'll just change it myself. I'll do that this coming early-mid fall. I will need to find a way to support the bottom edge of the array (6 panels mounted landscape 3 over 3). Then brace it, cut each diagonal brace, drill for bolting with the appropriate overlap and then lowering the lower edge and bolting the braces overlapped, of I may buy 4 aluminum angles  in a larger dimension, drill for both summer and winter settings, then remove enough of the existing ones to bolt that on for winter, and then each spring, adjust for summer. Before I go that route I'll study the production charts to decide if the summer gain would be worth the effort. If not enough difference, I'll just leave them at winter angle all of the time.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline OntarioAl

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Re: Off-grid battery/solar systems. Who is running one?
« Reply #41 on: March 15, 2018, 12:14:04 AM »
Maple Flats
I am puzzled by the angle that your panels were installed my research says to stand them up more for the winter and lay them down for the summer.
best winter angle is latitude of the installation plus 15 degrees
best summer angle is latitude minus 15 degrees
Hope this helps
Al
Al Raman

Offline John Mc

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Re: Off-grid battery/solar systems. Who is running one?
« Reply #42 on: March 15, 2018, 12:21:34 AM »
I am puzzled by the angle that your panels were installed my research says to stand them up more for the winter and lay them down for the summer.

That is correct. You want them aimed squarely at the sun at mid-day. Since the sun is lower in the winter, the panels should be standing up a bit more than what is used for summer time or for a "general-purpose" year-round setting.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Lumbergent

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Re: Off-grid battery/solar systems. Who is running one?
« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2018, 01:57:19 PM »
I started solar for my large tree house at the edge of my forest. Not knowing the difference between AC and DC the startup was painstaking.
What I did learn fast was these simple rules of thumb.
1- Make sure you have twice as many panels than your storage can handle. Living up north we have lots of rain and clouds. During the day when the batteries are fully charged and it is sunny our power comes directly from the panels and leaves the batteries bank for the evenings.
2- Amazingly Solar panels are more efficient when its cold than when its hot. A really hot day is not an efficient electric day. 
3- Solar panels are getting cheaper and more powerfull every year. So buy into panels only for your immediate needs.
4-It is not efficient to use an inverter (from DC to AC) We were hardly using power at all and our new batteries were discharging. Apparently the inverter was using enough power to discharge our power bank during rainy spells. We ended up cutting out the inverter and started running everything on DC. DC Refrigerators are more expensive but they use WAY less power. I also found out that something as insignificant as those little inverters we use for our cell phones use power if left plugged in an AC outlet even with nothing charging.
5- To run everything on DC you need to rewire everything with multistrand wires. LED lights and Cell phones run on DC. . With a propane and wood stove and a DC refrigerator we are completely off grid.

BTW up here in Quebec power comes from a gouvernment owned monopoly. They do not buy back excess power, but feeding into the grid apparently turns the electric meter backwards so it becomes sort of like a credit on your futur bills. I'm not sure how it works but I am far from that reality.
Electricity up here is extremely cheap compared to most parts of the world so going solar power is not economical. Just practical in remote places.
Futur Hobbit

Offline John Mc

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Re: Off-grid battery/solar systems. Who is running one?
« Reply #44 on: March 16, 2018, 04:01:10 PM »
Solar Panels were getting cheaper in the US until the Trump administration put a 30% import duty on them (most are made in China).
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Lumbergent

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Re: Off-grid battery/solar systems. Who is running one?
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2018, 09:54:53 AM »
Yup
Sorry about that.  
Futur Hobbit


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