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System Examples

#1 - STARTER SOLAR POWER SYSTEM - PRODUCES ABOUT 0.25 - 1.0 USABLE KILOWATT-HOURS ON A SUNNY DAY


Minimum solar power for a small cabin, motor home, boat, or weekend retreat.  A very conserving person can start with 60 to 125 watts of solar to power a few 12 volt lights and stereo. Closer to 250 watts of solar allows more lights, a 12 volt TV, 12 volt water pressure system and a small modified wave inverter for some power tools. Northern winter weather requires backup charging with a generator. Use one or two pairs of 6 volt deep cycle golf cart batteries  to make a 12 volt battery bank.


SOLAR: 60-280 watts - Smaller 60W or 90W modules; up to two 145W modules
MOUNT/RACKING- Roof, Ground, or Pole
CHARGE CONTROL: 12-35 Amp PWM Controller
BATTERIES: 2 or 4 Trojan T-105s & cables
HARDWARE: QO DC Breaker Box or Midnite Inverter Disconnect, solar & inverter fuses and connecting wires, as needed
INVERTER/CHARGER: None; or a mid-range inverter like the Magnum 1512, 1500W, 12V Modified Wave Inverter with RC50 Digital Display Remote


Approximate cost of a system this size is $1200 - $4800.


Recommended Generator: Honda EU3000 AC generator




#2 CONSERVING COTTAGE PRODUCES ABOUT 1.5 TO 3 USABLE KILOWATT-HOURS ON A SUNNY DAY


This cottage power system runs high efficiency lighting, TV, stereo, & DC water pumping. The AC power inverter runs color TV, DVD player and/or satellite receiver, stereo; and limited use of vacuum, sewing machine, hand held power tools, computer, blender, DC powered deep well pump. An AC generator is used for large appliances like clothes washer, AC deep well pump and it gives extra charge to the battery at the same time. Battery can be 12 volt but should be 24 volt if expansion is intended. If you have high end electronics that are sensitive to modified wave inverters make sure to choose a sinewave option.


SOLAR: 375 - 750 watts. Three 250W solar modules with post mount would lean toward the higher side of the price range below.
MOUNT/RACKING: Ground, Roof, or Pole
CHARGE CONTROL: 30A or 60A MPPT Controller with temperature sensor
METERS: TriMetric Battery Meter, optional but recommended
HARDWARE: Midnite inverter disconnect, solar and inverter fuses, and connecting wires, as needed, Midnite Solar lightning protection
BATTERIES: 12V or 24V battery bank consisting of (6) T105s or up to (8) L-16RE-Bs, cables and venting
INVERTER/CHARGER: Magnum 2212, 2200W 12V modified wave inverter (for non-sensitive equipment) with RC50 Remote Digital Display or Magnum 2812 (2800W, 12V) or Magnum 4024 (4000W, 24V) Sinewave Inverter (for homes with sensitive electronics).


Approximate cost of a system this size is $4000 to $9000.


Recommended generator: Honda EU3000




#3 - CONSERVING SMALL FAMILY HOME PRODUCES ABOUT 4-6 USABLE KILOWATT-HOURS ON A SUNNY DAY


Year round home for 1 to 3 people. Provides 120 volt AC power for lighting, vacuum, washer, kitchen appliances & microwave. DC or 120 volt AC well pump, color TV, VCR, satellite receiver, stereo, computer, and hand-held power tools. There can be enough power for a small DC refrigerator or Energy Star AC Fridge in southern climates. In northern winters, the generator supplements battery charging while using high load appliances, such as a washing machine. We would recommend that this system should be set up with either a 24V or 48V battery bank. An automatic generator start for battery charging should be considered.


SOLAR: 1000-1500 Watts. Six 250W or larger solar modules
MOUNT/ RACKING: Ground, Roof, or Pole
POWERCENTER: Magnum Mini-Panel system (240V) with 4000W, 24V sinewave inverter, 60-80 amp MPPT charge controller, RC50 Remote Digital Display (or ARC50, if you want to use auto-generator start), string combiner, lightning protection and all cabling.
METERS: Trimetric Battery Meter
BATTERIES: Eight to sixeen Trojan L-16RE-Bs or DEKA L16s & cables


Approximate cost of a system this size is $8500 to $15000.


Recommended Generator: Honda EU7000is or larger




#4 - ACTIVE FAMILY SOLAR HOME - PRODUCES ABOUT 6-10 KILOWATT-HOURS ON A SUNNY DAY


More power suitable for a family of 3 or 4, or home office. This covers all of example #3 plus power for a high efficiency (Energy Star) AC refrigerator or energy efficient chest freezer, and extensive computer or TV use. Washing machine and 120 volt well pump run from inverter AC, but uses generator backup if weather remains overcast. 48 volt battery is recommended especially if future expansion is planned. Systems of this size typically utilize industrial class batteries.


SOLAR: 2000-3000 WATTS: Six to twelve 250W or larger solar modules
MOUNT / RACKING: Ground, Roof, or Pole
POWERCENTER: Magnum Mini-Panel system with 4400W, 48V sinewave invertter, 60-80 Amp MPPT charge controller, RC50 Remote (or ARC50, if you want auto-gen start), string combiner, lightning protection and cabling.
METER: Trimetric Battery Meter
BATTERIES: 8-16 Trojan or Deka L16s or Rolls/Surrettes or HuP Solar One and cables


Approximate cost of a system this size is $13,000 to $25,000.


Recommended Generator: Honda EU7000is




#5 - LARGE HOME / SMALL BUSINESS - PRODUCES ABOUT 12-18 USABLE KILOWATT-HOURS ON A SUNNY DAY


This system can run a small home business with office and computers all day, work bench and shop tools. Plus all the usual residential power described in Example #4. Battery voltage of 48 is recommended. Includes automatic generator start as batteries or loads require. A 48v battery bankrequires 6-volt batteries in multiples of 8. This example is simplified by factory assembled equipment.


SOLAR: 3000-4000 Watts = 250W or any of the larger 60-cell modules
MOUNTS / RACK: Ground, Roof, or Pole
POWERCENTER: Magnum Panel or an integrated power system with 1 or 2 inverters and MPPT charge controllers, lightning protection, meters, cabling.
BATTERIES: Surrette 4KS21PS or Solar One HuPs


Approximate cost of a system of this size is $28,000 to $40,000


Recommended Generator: Honda EU7000is or larger




#6 - HIGHER POWER SYSTEM - PRODUCES ABOUT 16-24 USABLE KILOWATT-HOURS ON A SUNNY DAY


Quality plus higher power for a very large family home and business, cottage industry, art studio, or shop. Backwoods Solar, when owned by the Willey's, eventually upgraded to 3000 watts of solar to relieve their sun-less winter power shortage and reduce generator running time. Resulting summer surplus allows a small window air conditioner during peak sun hours. True sine wave 7,000+ watts of AC power with both 120 and 240volts AC. Battery voltage of 48 volt is recommended.


SOLAR: 4000-6000 Watts - 250W or any of the larger 60-cell modules
MOUNTS / RACK: Ground, Roof, or Pole
POWERCENTER: Magnum Panel or an integrated power system with 1 or 2 inverters and MPPT charge controllers, lightning protection, meters, cabling
BATTERIES: Surrette 4KS25PS or Solar One HuPs


Approximate cost of a system this size is $45,000 - 53,000+


Recommended Generator: Honda EU7000is or larger