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Off grid system Patagonia cabin.


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Hello, I’m about to start building a 1000 sqft house here in southern Chile. Nearest city is Puerto Varas. I’ve be living in a on grid rented house for sometime so I have a good idea of our electric usage/needs. We max out at about 150kwh per month. (Pellet stove is about half of that.) We mirror Portland/Eugene Oregon in most ways that relate to solar, weather, cloud cover, temp, (seasonal depression 😂)
Our latitude is 41degrees south...
Here they sell “solar kits” Axpert vm lll 5kwh all in one with it has a 80amp MPPT. 12- 340watt and 8- 200amp 12v gel batteries. Along with connecting cables.(see picture below) That system is $6,300 usd out the door. I would have a 3000w gas powered generator as a backup charger.
What are your thoughts, I’m looking for a fairly straight forward system that doesn’t require a lot a daily thought or repair.
1: Will this system recharge the batteries (ever so slowly) on cloudy days at the same time the batteries power my house? Or is it one or the other?
2: On very sunny days/hours will the panels power my house and simultaneously recharge the batteries with any extra power? Or is it one or the other?
3: Will a 3kw generator recharge the batteries at a rate of at least 2.5kwh? Or do I not understand generator ratings potential?

Appreciate any advice can give! Here is a picture of the kit.

41843C5B-4AB4-4227-8280-75B137508270.jpeg

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10 hours ago, Patagonia off grid said:

and 8- 200amp 12v gel batteries.

Presumably you mean 200 Ah battery modules. Battery capacity is measured in amp·hours, not amps.

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1: Will this system recharge the batteries (ever so slowly) on cloudy days at the same time the batteries power my house? Or is it one or the other?

It depends if you have more solar power than load power. If so, the battery will be charged with what's left after supplying the loads. If PV power is less than the load power, the battery has to make up the difference.

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2: On very sunny days/hours will the panels power my house and simultaneously recharge the batteries with any extra power? Or is it one or the other?

This seems like the same question, with the same answer, except on a very sunny day, it's more likely (but not certain) that PV power will exceed load power.

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3: Will a 3kw generator recharge the batteries at a rate of at least 2.5kwh?

The rate of battery charge (power) is in watts or kilowatts; 2.5 kWh is a measure of energy. Again, it depends on how close to the maximum generator power your load is. If your load power is well under the generator maximum, then you can set the inverter to charge the battery at a high rate. Unfortunately, you can't tell the inverter to limit the AC-in power to a certain level, as would be good when using a generator. So the best you can do is to guess a maximum load power, set the inverter to use most of the rest of its capacity to charge the battery, and try very hard not to exceed your load goal. If you do, the generator will slow down and the inverter will likely disconnect it.

Be aware that Voltronic Power inverters (such as the Axpert VM III in this kit) are quite picky about generator waveform quality. It's something to do with locking frequency with the AC-in waveform. It's best if you can afford a generator that is the type with a built-in inverter.

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On 2019/09/23 at 11:57 PM, Coulomb said:

Be aware that Voltronic Power inverters (such as the Axpert VM III in this kit) are quite picky about generator waveform quality. It's something to do with locking frequency with the AC-in waveform. It's best if you can afford a generator that is the type with a built-in inverter

Thank you for taking the time, very clear and helpful. If you find yourself on this over here in Patagonia send me a message and save you a home brew... 🍻

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