DIY Solar panel setup on a budget

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by Mathuisella, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. aXis

    aXis Member

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    Cool. I managed to decode the modbus registers on my EPSolar Tracer and so have rolled my own reporting.
     
  2. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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  3. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    cheap... dont know if i would trust it, but would be decent to use a old grid tie panel with a 12 volt battery.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  4. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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    haha! you were wrong :p

    yes, seems OK for small hobby stuff, or if you're on a tight budget and just need something to cover you for a short while.
    or camping ETC.
     
  5. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Yea, quick edit there haha



    On a good note, will be moving over the next few weeks.

    One of the requirements is good undercover storage for 1600ah of batteries, and a nice flat east/west roof with low trees around it :)
     
  6. toopy28

    toopy28 Member

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    not sure how much it cost as I didn't watch the video, but a 15A victron mppt that supports a max of 75V on the panel side is only ~$110
     
  7. clonex

    clonex Member

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    anyone on here got any DIY camping setups?
     
  8. aXis

    aXis Member

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    It sounds silly, but I thought I'd give USB battery packs + USB LED's as a light source next time I went camping.

    I made a 3D printed docking station to hold 4 of them, and then used an arduino as a MPPT controller to adjust their charging rate from a 12W panel. Yet to give it a real try in the field, and now half of my powerpacks have gone missing to top up phones etc.
     
  9. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Yep

    2 x 185 watt panels converted into 1 folding panel with some hardware from bunnings, on 20 meters of thick cable.

    30 amp MPPT charge controller from Jaycar.

    120AH AGM.

    4 channel UHF remote controlled lighting system, with a bunch of LED downlights (the halogen retrofits) on twin strand wire. The controller also has 2 cigarette lighter ports, 1 to drive the camping fridge, 1 for a phone charger unit. There are also some dc outputs that run to the water pump thats controlled on the kitchenette, and a little radio unit from ebay that has a USB port, and a small class D amp module that runs the speakers.
     
  10. NuZo

    NuZo Member

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    Hey Mate,

    What do you mean by DIY?

    I have a fairly generic solar setup - 120w folding panelscharges the 120ah battery which runs the fridge etc.

    All portable so I can move it in and out of the car when I get to camp.

    Love it.

    Cheers,

    Nuzo
     
  11. clonex

    clonex Member

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  12. XeKToReX

    XeKToReX Member

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    I posted about mine on the last page.

    http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showpost.php?p=17380862&postcount=1860

    Love it, but it's a little hard to manage, I've been working on a rebuild that's going to be a lot easier to manage:

    http://i.imgur.com/KkiJwSC.png

    Keen to reduce the width, add handles, plus make a slide out tray for the batteries to make them easier to remove. I have a Philips 12V 1080p screen that I got from work that I want to integrate into the lid somehow too.

    Most of this will be reusing parts from the first one, one of the other issues I had with "gen 1" was that a lot of things were hanging out of the sides so when we loaded it into the ute, a couple of things broke. Recess all the things!
     
  13. 1shot1kill

    1shot1kill Member

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    So this means that I really won't have any problem running a chest freezer at the shack.

     
  14. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    Have a chest freezer at work with a KWH meter hooked up to it. You're right they don't use much energy.
    It seems your biggest problem is not the battery's ESR but their self-discharge (leakage). Hopefully one day Redflow's redox battery will be affordable.
     
  15. Juggs

    Juggs Member

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    we use to have a camper trailer with two waeco fridge freezers
    had 3 batteries and 2 panels plus charging circuits fromt he 4x4 in the end i gave up and just bought a honda generator for when we wernt driving for a few days

    was more hassle then it was worth
     
  16. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Yes! starting to get my shit sorted again.

    Got the battery bank sorted, bought some more connectors today to get the bank wired up properly, gonna put out a 250 watt panel out the back yard to keep the pack charged and happy, and going to start working out how to get the panels on the roof. Its old asbestos tiles on this house :(

    Still, i will find a way!

    Owners are quite happy, as long as no damage is done to the tiles from a safety standpoint, which i understand totally. Will be working with a hose to wet them down, and face mask.
     
  17. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    You love your solar.....yet the second impossible house :confused:
     
  18. rainwulf

    rainwulf Member

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    Yea.. fuck. but at least this house has got awesome solar coverage.

    I WILL DO THIS. 12 240 watt panels to go on the road. 3kw!

    over 100 amps of DC current into the pack. Average use is 16 amps.

    That should help keep AGL away.

    Will be powering the file server, esxi server, nas, network switch, access point, phone chargers, overhead LED lights and garden lights. All little shitty things.
     
  19. Recharge

    Recharge Member

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    Click to view full size!


    rewired and re organised my controller setup yesterday to make it neater and add in some switches if I need to disconnect.

    on the down side, discovered two (edit, now four half my bank gah) of my batteries are cactus, after a full days charging I disconnected them all this arvo and let them sit for a while, 4 of them fell to 12.4v after a few hours :upset:

    I shouldn't be surprised, I got them stupidly cheap four years ago.
    a whopping $60ea @ 38Ah each.
    I'm starting to think they may have been out of warranty old stock now heh.

    oh well, shit happens.
    see how the other 6 go over night.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  20. clonex

    clonex Member

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    what sort of batteries and i assume a freezer would suck some serious juice?
     

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