Ok so you’re thinking about having a homestead, escaping from the city and starting a life living off solar, and your land. If you’re planning on building a Solar Off Grid system for your home you must first take pen to paper and outline the components that you’d like to have. One of the biggest money savers can be to add a propane generator like we got to supplement your solar charging system on days or weeks of overcast weather and clouds that can hinder full output of the solar panels. If you decide on a generator the larger generator you can purchase the less time it needs to run to “top” off the battery bank. And if you chose a generator you can spend $1000 for one of those quiet honda generators that supposedly works for 8 hours on 2-3 gallons of fuel, however — in real world conditions, you’ll go through about a gallon an hour. When you’re using gasoline in a generator it leaves residue that can gunk up and cause things to get sticky and run a foul. However from all of the reviews I’ve looked at a propane based generator will not gunk up as it burns cleanly. So we opted to get the generator auto start module that will call on the generator when demand exceeds the battery capacity or current solar generation. So here is a diagram of the solar off grid panel system I have purchased and I’ll be adding pictures as we open boxes and unveil the components that make up the system. I’ll be documenting as much as I can. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.
Some of you have asked how the system was wired, and where to buy the parts. I’ve included links below from Amazon where we bought our products mostly (except for the Solar Panels and the Nickel-Iron Batteries– we are dealers for Iron Edison) we get a small commission from Amazon if you use the below links at no additional cost to you. If you need consultation on how to setup your system or sizing your system, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org dont forget to include your phone number and the best time to reach you and your time zone. Hope this helps.
The components we are using are:
1) 9 – Suniva 285W Solar Panels for a total array of 2565 Watts x an average solar day of 4-5 hours give us 10,260 Watts to 12,825 watts of potential power available to be stored daily.
Your panels must meet or exceed your battery system capacity so that in theory your system can be 100% topped of daily.
Contact me directly and we’ll put together a system that will work for your needs.
1) The Solar Panels are combined into a “combiner box” The MidNite Solar Combiner Box MNPV6
2) The combiner box then is connected with 4/0 wire directly to the Magnum Mini Panel – MMP250-30D
The Power Panel then connects to the inverter, and then this connects to the Charge Controller that – charges and maintains / floats the batteries. to the MMPT 150 by MidNite Solar
3) MidNite MPPT 150 Charge Controller
The power panel also brings in the power directly to the Inverter / Controller by Magnum. It outputs upto 4000 watts continuously, and peaks up much higher for short term needs like starting power tools or induction type motors like an Air Conditioner or Refrigerators
4) Magnum MS-PAE 4024 (4000 watt inverter @ 24v)
The Nickel Iron Batteries are also connected to the Magnum Mini Panel
5) Nickel-Iron 1.2v Batteries x 20 = 24v Battery bank in series creating a 24v system with 500 Amp Hours of reserve time.
6) Output from the inverter is sent to a standard home / power panel. We just found the best deal on a 200 Amp service panel with breakers to make life easier. Here’s what we got:
The Inverter / Controller also has a connection that senses if the power loads are not enough, and if the batteries need to be charged OR if the power demands are greater than the batteries or solar combined cannot accommodate the system will automatically start the generator that provides additional power during high demand needs OR on overcast days when the batteries need charging and there isn’t enough sun to accommodate the charging cycle.
7) Magnum AGS – Auto Generator Start Module
We got a 500 Gallon propane tank that will be hard piped directly to this generator and then wired to the AGS – Auto Start Module here’s what we got
8) Generator: DuroMax XP10000EH Dual Fuel / Hybrid Propane and Gasoline Generator (you can only use one fuel at a time).
COMING SOON: CHECK BACK HERE TO SEE THE BLOG OF OUR ACTUAL BUILD AND SETUP OF THE ABOVE SYSTEM. (COMING SOON!)