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Author Topic: Very Small Starter Solar Garage Project  (Read 2711 times)
sierrawhiskey
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« on: January 05, 2018, 12:50:08 AM »

Hi all,

First time poster.

I'm a trainee electrician and I have an ever increasing interest in solar. My parents have a 3.5Kw solar system on there house which is standard grid tied system, I understand the basics on how that works.

When i started looking into off grid systems after many hours lost on youtube, I really wanted to set a little one up in my garage to see how it all works, with the intention of growing it once i understand how it all works.

All im wanting to power at the minute is about 6-10 outside lights around my house.

I currently have:

Solar Charge Controller = Qaurora Tracer MPPT 10A
Solar Panel = 10W 12v Energy+ Poly Solar Panel
Battery = BMW AGM 12v 90Ah

Im not sure wether to go 12v bulbs off the battery or 230v lights from an inverter?

If you think 230v is a better option could you recommend an inverter. Cheaper the better really.

Ive attached a couple of photos of my setup so far below.

I understand that the panel i have will be the first thing that needs upgrading id imagine to say a 100-120w panel. I was trying to keep everything cheap at the beginning.

What do you think of what i have already got and what else would i need to get it running.

Is it ok that Ive used 6mm2 cable from the battery to the SCC.

Do I put a fuse on the battery positive between the battery and SCC? If so is it only 10a or 90a?

Ive added some images below hopefully to show my current setup

Thanks
Ste





























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biff
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 07:21:10 AM »

Good morning Sierrawhiskey,
                                 And welcome to the forum. You could start with a few led lights which are relatively inexpensive yet give out amazing light. You can map out a circuit in dc to start with.
Your 90ah battery must not be discharged below 24volts, so it may be that you could beef up your storage capacity by adding a few more batts, You have plenty of poke in the pv side of things for filling up the bank. However, your pv panels does look to be shaded and that is something that will interfere drastically with the pv panel,s output. So as a priority, you would need to cure that problem. Even a slight shade from a very thin branch will reduce your pv output to a trickle.
   There will be plenty of better informed members along shortly who will be able to advise you properly but you have got off to a decent start,  Good luck.
                                                                            Biff
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todthedog
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 08:09:06 AM »

Hello SW and welcome to the forum.
To second Biff be careful of shadows, as they pass they will drastically cut your production.







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Kidwelly South Wales
Tiff
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 08:09:34 AM »

I would use 12v led bulbs as per Biffs suggestion.

6mm cable is probably ok for the small loads you have, plenty of online calculators you can use to check voltage drop and losses for the cable run.

I would certainly put a fuse between the battery and SCC.

I started out 7 years ago with pretty much exactly what you have, a small panel, SCC and an old car battery to power some outside lights.

Be careful, its addictive and you will find your system grows over the years.

My top tip would be to think ahead, i.e 12v/24v/48v, lead acid batts or lithium. 12v is great as its cheap and simple but as the system grows you will soon wish you had gone with 24v as a minimum.
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Nickel2
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2018, 11:04:42 AM »

For starter ideas, go onto YouTube and search for 'solar shed'.
 There are dozens of garden shed/garage projects there where you can see other people's way of doing things. I started learning from the mistakes of others, mixed with my own mistakes.
Do be careful though, once you start, it is difficult to stop!
There is a wealth of knowledge and experience here, so feel free to ask any questions. Smiley
For the Epever MPPT have a look in the back of the manual to find out what type of panel at what voltage is best suited to your project.
They generally fit fuses that are rated at the specified current of the charger.
It is worth reading the little book several times until you know what your charger will do.
N2
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1.140kW mono south-facing at 49*
EpEver 4210A at 24v
New (Old) 8S7P LiFe battery, 105Ah @ 26.4V
EpEver STI1000-24-230 pure sine inverter
Of course it'll work. (It hasn't caught fire yet).
sierrawhiskey
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 05:00:03 PM »


Your 90ah battery must not be discharged below 24volts, so it may be that you could beef up your storage capacity by adding a few more batts.


Hi Biff, what do you mean by should not discharge below 24v. This is a 12v battery?

Thanks
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sierrawhiskey
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2018, 05:01:33 PM »

Hello SW and welcome to the forum.
To second Biff be careful of shadows, as they pass they will drastically cut your production.

Thanks todthedog I will be repositioning this panel higher. just 500mm higher and it never gets any shadows doh
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sierrawhiskey
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2018, 05:11:38 PM »

Quote
I would use 12v led bulbs as per Biffs suggestion.
Thanks Tiff, i think ill look up some cheap wall lights and e27 12v bulbs.

Quote
6mm cable is probably ok for the small loads you have, plenty of online calculators you can use to check voltage drop and losses for the cable run.
i worked out that the furthest light away from the battery would be 25-30 meters, cable calculators have said 50mm2 cable to get 12v at that distance  Undecided. not really practical or cheap, might have to just work on lights around the garage for now and leave my front door light as mains 230v.

Quote
I would certainly put a fuse between the battery and SCC.
Would this fuse be 10A as thats the rating of the SCC?

Quote
My top tip would be to think ahead, i.e 12v/24v/48v, lead acid batts or lithium. 12v is great as its cheap and simple but as the system grows you will soon wish you had gone with 24v as a minimum.
what are the benefits of a 24v system compared to 12v? would i need to get an identical battery to make it 24v?

Thanks
SW
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JohnS
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2018, 05:30:41 PM »


Thanks Tiff, i think ill look up some cheap wall lights and e27 12v bulbs.

what are the benefits of a 24v system compared to 12v? would i need to get an identical battery to make it 24v?

Thanks
SW

I don't think that you can get E27 12v lamps.  The danger of sticking a 12v lamp in a holder wired up to 230v is too great to risk.

The advantage of 24v or 48v batteries is that you double or quadruple the voltage and half or quarter the voltage drop, for the same wattage load, on long cable runs as the drop is proportional to the current as well as the distance.

John
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Mostie
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2018, 06:19:54 PM »


Thanks Tiff, i think ill look up some cheap wall lights and e27 12v bulbs.

what are the benefits of a 24v system compared to 12v? would i need to get an identical battery to make it 24v?

Thanks
SW

I don't think that you can get E27 12v lamps.  The danger of sticking a 12v lamp in a holder wired up to 230v is too great to risk.



John

oh yes you can ....

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daylight-Fitting-Volt-20V-Building-Lighting/dp/B009FWYYYM/ref=pd_sbs_201_2/259-4370315-2255904?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=8CB00J08RBJSHS6YFS5D

and I have the bayonet version in the shed, comes with a warning about not sticking it into 240v blah blah ..... whistlie
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biff
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2018, 06:26:04 PM »

Sorry S.W.
            I meant 12.4. when your Batts are charged they sit up above 13v so you try to take only 10 or 12 per cent not the 50 per cent that they talk about.
        Biff
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JohnS
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2018, 09:48:25 PM »


Thanks Tiff, i think ill look up some cheap wall lights and e27 12v bulbs.

what are the benefits of a 24v system compared to 12v? would i need to get an identical battery to make it 24v?

Thanks
SW

I don't think that you can get E27 12v lamps.  The danger of sticking a 12v lamp in a holder wired up to 230v is too great to risk.



John

oh yes you can ....

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daylight-Fitting-Volt-20V-Building-Lighting/dp/B009FWYYYM/ref=pd_sbs_201_2/259-4370315-2255904?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=8CB00J08RBJSHS6YFS5D

and I have the bayonet version in the shed, comes with a warning about not sticking it into 240v blah blah ..... whistlie

Fair enough, Mostie.

I carefully allowed a bit of doubt by saying ' I don't think
.....' instead of can't.

Just as well.

John
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2.1kWp solar PV  PHEV West London
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