Questions tagged [solar]

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10
votes
3answers
1k views

What's a reasonable expectation for efficiency in modern solar panels?

I recently had a solar array installed on my roof with four different sections connected to three inverters - the total array includes 56 panels for a total of 13.44 kW. However, I'm not seeing ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Do I need to upgrade to a 400A panel with solar?

I'm getting solar installed with some powerwalls. As it stands I'm going to have my entire house backed up. However, I plan to add two EV chargers in the future and I don't want these backed up. The ...
4
votes
2answers
471 views

AC can only go one direction

I'm currently sending grid power from my house to a shed, and I'm now trying to send solar power from an inverter back to the house. I'm confused because the house can power the shed (120V AC ...
4
votes
1answer
195 views

Why would a wall outlet read 12 V AC at 3 kHz?

I have an exposed wire coming out of a wall, I believe the old owners of the house had a wine fridge or some other appliance installed in the space. I went to install an outlet on this wire and ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How to identify electrical panel busbar rating

recently I got a bid from a solar company and they said I don't need to upgrade my eletrical box since it is rated at 125 amps, and for that value, I can install a 7k system based on calculation here ...
3
votes
1answer
822 views

Why does the Tesla PowerWall operate at 350v - 450v?

According to the Tesla website the new Powerwall operates at 350 to 450 volts? Why such a high voltage when most solar battery banks operate at 48V?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a type of interlock (transfer switch) that can be used for a generator OR solar panels?

For a new house, I've decided to install two breaker panels, one for critical loads like the well pump, lights, refrigerator and certain outlets, and a second for heavy and non-critical items like the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Multiple grid-tie (non-micro) inverters

This is a question that just occurred to me. Assume you have multiple grid-tie solar PV inverters connected to your home load center. What would happen if, while in operation, you were to open the ...
3
votes
3answers
157 views

Photovoltaic installation: does it make sense (or is possible at all) to get a bigger inverter than the power output of the installed panels?

We are going to install a PV in our offices. Our actual needs would be satisfied by an installation of about 4kW, so that ~16 panels of 250W. It's going to be a central-inverter, grid-connected ...
3
votes
2answers
292 views

Solar backup system, advice needed

Here in South Africa we are experiencing frequent power blackouts, as I work from home on a small property (generators not an option) this is rather disruptive to my work as a programmer. So bearing ...
3
votes
1answer
407 views

Offgrid L14-30 connector to solar generator

I have a small off-grid cabin in the woods that I recently purchased. The previous owner had a L14-30 generator connector installed on the outside of the cabin and wired it with normal 120v outlets 4 ...
3
votes
0answers
64 views

Need help on error code for a solar power inverter

I have a solar array with 2 Sunpower/Sunnyboy inverters model SPR-6000m. One of the inverters has an error that from the manual (see pic) is "Inverter Interference". The indicator lights that blink ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Subpanel and grounding for solar shed to off-grid cabin

I am building a purpose-built shed that will support solar panels and contain all of the solar equipment such as charge controller, batteries, inverter etc. All of this is off-grid. An A/C feeder ...
2
votes
5answers
17k views

What is required to connect solar panels to my home without connecting to the grid?

My household has a base power consumption of approx. 200W-300W. I am considering if it was possible to get a reasonably sized solar panel to cover its needs when the sun is up, with a seamless ...
2
votes
2answers
279 views

Options for Running High End Computer on Old Circuit

I'm preparing to build the computer of my dreams. Unfortunately, it's going to top out at 1350 Watts when running at peak performance. I live in an 80 year old bungalow and the power situation is less ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Where can I find good resources on solar thermal backup options?

The 'what if the sun don't shine' problem is the difficult issue in solar thermal. Where can I find good solid test-based resources on the options for backup and their downsides? For example: ...
2
votes
2answers
324 views

How to run Romex cable to Enphase Combiner box 3?

In designing in the solar panels, I've decided to run the wire inside of the house. So far, I am running 10/2 Romex from the attic all the way to the Enphase Combiner Box surface mounted on the ...
2
votes
1answer
879 views

Charging a battery with a solar panel

I want to light a cabin. I have the following: 75w 12V Coleman solar panel (two bare wire ends) Large car battery from a Jeep Even larger (boat?) battery - an Optima Yellowtop 34/78 50/10/2A 12V ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Solar Heating of Pool worth it? Especially after Time of Use (TOU) electric rates are introduced?

I'm thinking of getting solar heating for my pool. We're in San Diego and the cost would be about $6000. Currently, I don't heat the pool at all as it's prohibitively expensive with natural gas. I ...
2
votes
1answer
212 views

Sizing electrical wire from Solar Panels

Our home has a 200 AMP main service disconnect and a 200 AMP sub-panel inside the house. The barn is about 200 feet away with a small sub-panel and is currently fed by a an overhead 8/3 wire. I plan ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

How to ground solar transfer switch

I am installing an off-grid solar system to power some external buildings, but I want an automatic transfer switch so that outlets will be grid powered when the solar batteries are low. Can I run a ...
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Battery bank in parallel/series or series/parallel

I'm trying to help some friends who live in a remote village in Africa to get the best out of their solar installation, and I'm trying to understand whether there's an optimal way of hooking up the ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Comparing mixed orientation solar panels to non-mixed on a Brooklyn Solar install

I'm looking for advice on choosing from two solar panel proposals. I have a historic landmark brownstone in Brooklyn with a flat roof and am looking for the most power that I can fit into the roof ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Can I convert a 12 volt DC device that uses a 240v transformer, back to 12 volt?

I have a small snack bar/kitchen trailer that I need to convert partly to 12 volt. There is a 12 volt dc water pump 5.2amp and an LED strip light 12volt 5.2 amp - both of these devices currently have ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

What factors should I experiment with to improve the performance of a DIY solar hot water system?

Background: Late in the summer last year I finally commissioned a DIY solar hot water pre-heat project. Very simple, drain back, open (vented) tank, PEX coil for a heat exchanger, PEX plumbing ...
2
votes
2answers
419 views

Where does the excess electricity from my solar panels go?

When my excess electricity goes back into the grid, where does it go after it has passed through my meter? Does it go to the next closest house needing power?
2
votes
0answers
54 views

How do I make these Gama Sonic lanterns theft-proof?

Does anybody have a good idea on how to secure these solar lights? I've mounted these to some brick posts in front of my house and a few have been stolen. The first time the thieves were able to ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

"Non-Retail" House Battery

I need a ~3.5kw battery to power an emergency circuit if the power goes down. I've been quoted $13,000 to add an LG Chem 9kw to our existing system but that does not include the inverter upgrade. ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Combining a solar collector with photovoltaics

Our house has 10 solar collector panels, each 1 by 2 meters, installed around 20 years ago. By now their polycarbonate covers are breaking down due to the elements, and we've thought about the ...
1
vote
3answers
384 views

How can I economically switch between two home power sources?

We're researching low cost solar power systems, and we stumbled across a company out of Tx, offering a system that allows you to switch individual circuits between your service lines and solar. Sounds ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Sharing solar energy

Solar installers have said that our flat-ish roof isn't going to work for panel installation. Our neighbor is building a new house that will have ample electricity generated by his panels. They are ...
1
vote
2answers
642 views

What kind of inverter do I need for an inductive load?

TLDR: My shed AC unit (maximum draw 8A 120V AC) keeps tripping my 1100W inverter. It seems to have troubles occasionally when the fan turns on. It's pretty much guaranteed to have troubles when the ...
1
vote
1answer
223 views

Electrical design for large property

Need some help checking out what i'm doing and making sure everything sounds right and nothing fishy. I have a large property with no service at the moment, I am working with the electric company to ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Using solar to heat water

I am designing a compact home on a high elevation in Colorado. There will be a finished basement apartment on a concrete slab and I was thinking of spiraling PVC pipe through the slab to heat it. ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

Can I connect a normal 12 Volt 150AH C10 battery with a solar 12 volt 150AH C20 battery in series for my 24Volt solar system

I have an Exide invamaster 1500imst short tubeler normal battery of 12 volt, 150AH, C10. Now I want to connect this battery with a solar battery of 12 volt, 150AH, C20. Can I connect this normal 12 ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Spacing between solar arrays

I'm considering a solar farm in my backyard so I'm doing my initial research. Found this video. Here's a still from that video: What's the point of that 12' gap between the arrays? Seems like a waste ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Solar system with both grid tie-in and backup power without battery? [duplicate]

My wife and I have been talking for a few years now about getting some solar panels installed on our roof. We even went so far as to have a sales rep for an installer come out and talk through our ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Solar Water Heater Exchanger Removal, Glycol Removal

I have an old Reynolds Solar Hot Water Heater and would like to uninstall/remove it safely. All my solar panels were removed years ago but the tank is still here. COLD and HOT lines leading to solar ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

Making a Solar Power Battery Backup Unit

Ok, so this is a small battery backup unit. I want to just start small and see if I can get the idea working. I'll buy this 20 watt solar panel with charge control http://www.amazon.com/20W-12V-...
1
vote
5answers
123 views

Solar? Lots of room for panels, so should I ditch oil? [closed]

First post for me. Long time reader. I'm in south west Massachusetts. I just bought a new two-story home. 9ft ceilings. With garage, it is about 2,600 sq ft plus 2,000 square feet of garage space (...
1
vote
4answers
124 views

Aligning pergola rafters to the sun?

I live near Denver, Colorado (so northern hemisphere, some good snow storms in the winter, lots of baking UV in the summer) in a 1970s-built home and I'm putting a pergola over a patio in my back yard....
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Is it possible to make a heliostat with no moving parts?

I want to place a couple of mirrors outside the house to direct some sunlight to the windows, which will make it easier to cope with the soul-crushing overcast winters here in Melbourne, Australia. ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Most efficient heating system @ ~41° N

I'm researching building a home on a property I just bought. Water is plentiful but there is little or no chance of getting municipal services such as natural gas or electricity. However I have open ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

When doing a line side tap, Can ground and neutral be tap before the main panel?

The picture shows what I’m asking.
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Need help buying the right sized off-grid solar system

I'm planning on using solar power to supply electricity to a 12x24' building. This building will be located near our main house, but will have no connections to the house, electrical or otherwise. It ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Battery Backup for 240V (USA) Water Well

I have a well pump. I want to build out a battery backup (and, eventually, charge the batteries with solar and, more eventually, move to solar full time). It's 1/2 horsepower on a 240v circuit. It's a ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

What can I use redundant/spare AGM batteries for?

In my off-grid cabin I currently have a single 258 Ah (C24) Concorde PVX-2580L battery, with a 150 Ah spare (and generator) for backup situations where the main runs flat. As I frequently see the ...
1
vote
2answers
112 views

Window AC unit LCDI tripping when powered by my solar inverter

I have a small 200w solar power system consisting of a Victron 500VA inverter (900w peak) with a 100ah AGM battery. I just purchased a 5000BTU/4 amp window unit that draws a peak of 430w according to ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

energizing both elements of electric hot water heater

I'm considering using an electric hot water heater (EHWH) with upper and lower heating elements as an electric diversion load. This EHWH would be for pre-heating the water bound for the standard HWH....
1
vote
2answers
123 views

Solar powered routers and security cameras [closed]

I would like to put a web cam at the end of my driveway, but don't want to run any new wire (plus it is at least a hundred yards). I know that there are solar powered security cameras, but I don't ...