Your Questions About Solar Energy Generators For Sale

Joseph asks…

I need information resources for a hybrid solar/wind system?

I am building a small cabin (500sf) where grid power is not available. I need information not a salesman’s pitch. Anybody have any experience?? Thanks!

admin answers:

Your hybrid system would have to depend on the location where you are building your cabin. If sun is abundant all year around, solar powered system is advisable. Solar cells are not so expensive now as before. If the wind in the area is normal, there are inexpensive designs for a wind powered system. Both system has to store the power in battery banks.

Both system may easily be used in tandem storing energy to a single battery bank provided that your storage (battery banks) has enough capacity. Too much capacity would also mean higher cost. So the battery bank should just be enough to last until the next charging time (or cycle) normally every day.

Check your planned power requirement and match it with the system you might need.

For emergency cases, you must have a small engine driven generator set for lights and whatever emergency equipment you might have, just in case your batteries run out of power.

For suppliers of these system(s), you should check first for any local distributors and manufacturers closest to your cabin. It would make a difference at maintenance ( or other after sales services).

Jenny asks…

I wanna use golf cart batteries but which one?

I found this system on the internet

and i know its already grid tied but still i wanna add in some batteries for emergency situations and people keep suggesting golf cart batteries. What voltage of golf cart batteries should i purchase? they keep saying that the voltage used by the solar panels, the batteries and the inverters must be the same but i dunno how to determine the voltage used by the solar panels in the link above.

admin answers:

Hey Stefan, actually, you can build up a, “hybrid,” solar/battery/grid tie system like you’ve described here with parts off the shelf, but I don’t think you’ll find that package already made up at Whole Sale Solar. You could give them a call and tell them what you want to do, they should be able to give you a quote on what parts are necessary and what the price would be.

First of all, all golf cart batteries are 6 volt, but the best one is made by Trojan. They are made in California, the model no. Is Trojan T-105. Each one holds 220 amp hours at 6 volts, has 3 cells, and weighs 80 pounds. We only have 4 of them in our hybrid system, really just enough to keep the basic loads in our home running overnight during power outages until the solar array comes back up in the morning. There are other golf cart battery makers, like Interstate for example, but you’ll get the best longevity from a Trojan. Our home has been powered by the wind and sun for 11 years now, we’ve been through lots of batteries in our day, trust me, the Trojan will hold up best. Look in the phone book for a place that sells and services golf carts, they go through batteries by the truckload, that’s where we found ours. There is a great book at the library on battery charging, I’ll list it below.

Our system uses a 1.4 kw solar array made up of Kyocera 120 panels, and has a Southwest Windpower H-40 900 watt wind turbine. The array and turbine all charge our 24 volt battery bank (using 4 golf cart batteries wired in series) through separate charge controllers. The solar array uses a Xantrex digital C-60 controller, and the wind turbine has its own, like most genny’s do. The heart to the system is the Xantrex SW-4024 sine wave inverter. It can stand alone, using battery power to feed AC power to your home, like ours did for years, or tie with the grid and parallel feed, like we have it doing now. The inverter has multiple connections, output, grid connection, generator, battery, and so on. It is programmable to sell/buy from the grid, and automatically switch to stand alone to keep your house running if the grid goes down, as long as your batteries have power. Since you’ll be charging them from the solar panels, this will work fine.

There are probably other inverters today that can do this same thing, but you have to have one labeled, “Utility Interactive.” A utility tie, or, “Grid Tie,” inverter only works with the grid, and a stand alone or, “independent inverter,” only works with the batteries and your loads, but an interactive inverter can do both simultaneously. I’ll warn you that they are not cheap, last time I checked that inverter was a little over $2,000 USD. This is why most of the grid tie systems do not use them, by listing a less expensive grid tie inverter, and then leaving the batteries off the parts list, they can reduce the total system cost by over 30%. It’s up to you what you are willing to pay for.

What I would do first is spend some time educating yourself on all of this. There is a great magazine that gets into the nuts and bolts of this stuff, and has lots of advertisements from vendors like Wholesale where you can shop for prices and kits. Also consider taking the time to get to one of the energy fairs listed in the back of the mag, we did 12 years ago, and this is where it got us today. The magazine liked some of our system so much they ran an article on our place several years ago. If you subscribe, you can check out articles and write ups on lots of peoples homes that work like ours. In the end, you might decide not to get involved at all, and that’s fine, but at least you will be well informed. Good luck Stefan, and take care, Rudydoo

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