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Need some advice please


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I am new to the forum and thank you for the acceptance.


I am currently working on a project/got involved to assist a shelter that helps/assist woman and children that are getting out of abusive relationship or that have ended up on the street as the only way to get out of such relationships. 20 Wendy houses have been made available for living quarters with no electricity. I am planning to provide and install a solar system that will provide lights and hopefully in future a bit more like charging station/entertainment area with a inverter.

Please note I am not asking for anything no donations nothing just some advice for someone who is handy to do stuff but who does not necessarily have the knowledge to do this the correct way.


This is what I have at this point in time

4x HRL12330W batteries

1x Ecco 40A PWM charge controller

2x 100w Enersol panels

15x 6w 12v LEDS lights.

4x 10w LED Spotlights


I have connected everything  4 batteries in parallel  2 solar panels in parallel 1.fan with temp switch to try and keep battery box cool/ Fuses and trip switches have been bought and will be installed (Google was my friend as to how to do the connections position of fuses/trips)

The question is this will those 2 panels be able to charge the batteries enough and yes I know that it will depend on the usage but for now it will only power 15x 6w led`s and 4x 10w spotlights



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15 minutes ago, DooDaa said:

15x 6w 12v LEDS lights.
4x 10w LED Spotlights

Also need to know how long these lights will be on for. That we can do it properly.

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Nothing is cast in stone and I will gladly make any changes if it will make the system works better. Since I am funding everything I hope to get away with what I have but I am willing to spend more if really need be. The lights The 6w LEDs will probably be on for 6-8 hours a day. They will provide much needed light for the kids to be able to do homework read etc. Currently candles and lanterns are used and according to me that is just to big hazard.

The 10w LED spotlights will be on from sundown until morning.  Already installed with a 12v day night switch waiting to be connected.


I am in Pretoria





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Cool. Hold on for the infamous TTT pictures on what he sees.

And if I was you, for lights, I would most definitely stay on 12v, with a modified sine wave inverter to make 220v, then you are no limited to length of the 12v wires.

If we know where you are, speaking most definitely out of turn, someone may have spare parts lying around for your project here. Long shot, I know.

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If you have 2 days backup power, run batteries over those 2 days down to 50% DOD, below is the calcs.

This also means if there is enough sun every day, 5.5 hours full sin, you go down to 25% DOD each day.

Note1: You need 1 more 100w panel.
Note2: Max inverter for THIS load is 250w max. Why pure sine wave? Some LED's flicker with modified sine wave, making it problematic to study at.


DooDaa - 2.jpg

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The above is JUST for the lights.

If you want to power more daytime, you could go bigger inverter and more panels BUT the users must be made very aware of how to use that if there is no sun.

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Thanx TTT


If all the LED`s are 12v can I connect them strait onto the PWM`s load output. I have connected 8 LED`s like this just for a test and it no flickering etc.

The inverter I thought was only to provide 220v. I see your calculations are based on 6 batteries I only have 4

I will order another panel asap. I might be able to get my hands on another set of 4 of the same batteries but for now I want what I have to work the best it can.

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12v direct on controller is perfect. Only problem comes in with the distance you can go 12v from source. 220v AC lifts that distance quite nicely. But if it works, you cannot do it better than direct on the controller for day/night.

You controller can handle 40amps, if there are enough panels, so you should not go too much over 400ah batteries, like in doubling them.

As Plonskter said, unless you get the batts dirt cheap, rather look at less batteries, higher ah, real deep cycle ones, for those will not last long.

Before you buy anything, lets first bed down the ideas.

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OK so it is set for now I will just add another panel and connect everything and see how it goes.......

I know some education will be needed towards the usage but I am sure that I have over calculated the usage. Bottom line those kids (and moms) need the lights and to be safe using it.

I will definitely consider to build another system in a few months time and will ask for some advice when the time comes. I would like to see a system that can run all the lights and provide enough power for some entertainment like a TV and radio and a much needed PC for the kids to assist with the schoolwork.and like I said a charging station for phones and other devices.


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Get the lowest powered devices you can get for TV's. Even old laptop or some such. like 12v TV's.

Your biggest enemy will be battery usage at nigh. If they are drained, all goes off.

So an option it to keep in the back of your mind, split the TV system fom lights. TV goes off, but lights till continue.

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