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CheckIn of DIY Solar Noob


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Morning all.

Was pointed to the forum in looking for Solar backup battery units or DIY builds i could do.

My balcony gets this Sun from midday till sunset. North Facing and hot at times but enjoyable. I would like to either DIY or know of kits that i could easily use with this direct light in mind.

Not concerned if its not possible to implement into my DB as i am in a complex at the moment. Though would like to know about that bit should I move on and want to.

Glad to be here. Want to use this natural source.

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Hi and welcome


The first question would be what you want to power with the solar backup kit?

  • A router and notebook
  • Or the fridge/freezer, some lights, computers, TV
  • Or the the hole apartment?

The easiest would be to sum the power usage (watts) of all these devices and for how long you want to power them. This will give you the battery size you need. 

Then we can look at the solar you need to power that battery.

Something like the Flexopower (just add solar) could be an option, or you can assemble your own everything.

 

These recent threads can also be useful

 

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3 hours ago, Louisvdw said:

Hi and welcome


The first question would be what you want to power with the solar backup kit?

  • A router and notebook
  • Or the fridge/freezer, some lights, computers, TV
  • Or the the hole apartment?

The easiest would be to sum the power usage (watts) of all these devices and for how long you want to power them. This will give you the battery size you need. 

Then we can look at the solar you need to power that battery.

Something like the Flexopower (just add solar) could be an option, or you can assemble your own everything.

Thank you checking on me. :)

My needs now. Only me in this space so,

A Router, Notebook(s), Pi, Microserver and TV
Recharging of Powerbank and rechargeable batteries if possible
1 or 2 reading Lights

Would be nice to but not immediate goal but if they could be added on later
Fridge, Microwave and Kettle

6 to 8 hours of battery time would help for work use. If batteries can be added on later that would be a nice option.

Flexpower looks great. Would that box run a fridge, TV and laptop at the same time? Will check on that product.

If any DIY project for the basic items i listed is possible, point me there too please. Would not mind learning about what it takes and needs to put something together.

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21 minutes ago, dwpzn said:

A Router, Notebook(s), Pi, Microserver and TV

These will put you in the 300w-500W range. You could try and do a DC only power bank. The TV might be an issue there and perhaps you microserver. All the rest already work on DC so a 24V battery can run them easily. So you will need a Solar panel, a charge controller and a 24V battery for that. (Something like a Victron SmartSolar 75/15 can work great with the bluetooth control/setup on your phone)

If you want to look at the TV, Fridge etc. then you will need an inverter to get it to 220V AC power. The Flexopower has an inverter in already and at 400W it should be able to power the fridge/TV for at least an hour.

If you want to go bigger then, bigger batteries, bigger charger, larger charge controller and solar is required.

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On 2020/08/03 at 1:56 PM, Louisvdw said:

These will put you in the 300w-500W range. You could try and do a DC only power bank. The TV might be an issue there and perhaps you microserver. All the rest already work on DC so a 24V battery can run them easily. So you will need a Solar panel, a charge controller and a 24V battery for that. (Something like a Victron SmartSolar 75/15 can work great with the bluetooth control/setup on your phone)

If you want to look at the TV, Fridge etc. then you will need an inverter to get it to 220V AC power. The Flexopower has an inverter in already and at 400W it should be able to power the fridge/TV for at least an hour.

If you want to go bigger then, bigger batteries, bigger charger, larger charge controller and solar is required.

Hi Louis.

Thanks for the info on the Solar items required. One last item i wanted to check.

My brother donated the Inverter and battery :) I wanted to check if this inverter I could still use with solar batteries? He was able to use his TV and router with this 800w inverter.

I looked at the Victron SmartSolar and I intend to check with that company on the bits to put together. Would you recommend any solar panels and batteries from them?

Will use your suggestions as my guide in choosing the panels and batteries to go with the SmartSolar device charge controller.

Thank you again, keep safe.

Inverter.JPG

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1 hour ago, dwpzn said:

use with solar batteries

I assume you mean Lithium batteries. (They're not specific to solar only)? 
This inverter is a bit basic, but should work well for what you want to do. If that battery is still fine I would stick to it until you need to replace it. If you do need to replace it Lithium battery will be better as it has longer lifespan (but more expensive up front).

Now if that inverter has an option where you can disable the charger, then it will work fine. The SmartSolar will do the charging and the nice thing about the SmartSolar is that you can change the battery type and charge settings, so it will do your Lead Acid now or Lithium in future. 

1 hour ago, dwpzn said:

Would you recommend any solar panels and batteries from them

Victron batteries are nice, but expensive. 

For solar panels I would go with a good Type A manufacturer. Those panels are large, so make sure you have space for the panel you select (72 cells are normally about 1m x 2m while 60 cell panels are around 1m x 1.7m). Art Solar is a local manufacturer with good reviews. I have their panels on my roof.
With the SmartSolar 75/10 you can go up to about 300W panel. With the 75/15 up to 440W.

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