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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Just pulled my solar array apart
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# Posted: 16 Aug 2022 20:18 - Edited by: gcrank1

Last winter I bought 2x 100ah lfp bats.
Also disconnected the solar for the winter and took the 2 old lead acid bats home. We only get in occasionally in winter and sledding in our stuff and a fully charged 30ish # lfp was no big deal.
I had intended to re-do the array this year but never even hooked it up! Each lfp lasts so long (about 3x as long as the LA did), quite a few days/nights with our moderate usage and when low it is easy to swap out with the other and do a 2-2.5 hr recharge at home on the power supply.
So today I pulled apart 2 of the 3 series wired pairs of panels to get into the new shed inside storage. I left the third pair 'just in case' and because Id already done a better 2x4 framing for them. Maybe someday I'll actually wire em back up!
Paid for, sitting in reserve , they just arent all that important anymore.

# Posted: 17 Aug 2022 10:52

If you have all the solar equipment already, what's the down side to leaving it hooked up and having charged batteries when you arrive, without hauling and hook up?

# Posted: 17 Aug 2022 12:33 - Edited by: gcrank1

Maybe someday, not this year.
The whole 'array' thing has been a patchwork, slowly improving since the mess the prev owner/builder died and left.... Ive re-worked it now maybe 3 times and had it hooked to my ice shanty/toolshed/powerhouse. I had to tear it all mostly apart to move the shanty to get the prebuilt mini-barn moved in 2wks ago. Now the whole thing needs to be properly positioned and finally 'more than temporary' ground framing built, etc.
The solar positioning is poor at best, sunup to 1pm at a SE orientation, with now a 100' run to the cabin so I have to invert there to 120vac And properly wire and run that underground. LOTs of work! All stuff my wife Hates me messing with, btw..... No surprise, she has different priorities.
Our elec power requirements are modest and a 100ah lfp has run us a week before 'hitting the lower knee', not even bottom. I leave the one battery there hooked up inside the cabin now, only have to flip the inv. switch when we need elec. We typically are there for a day, do a few overnights, only once 2 nights/3 days thus far. With our frequent back and forths it is No Prob bringing a fully charged swapper when needed and tossing the low one in to bring home. We also have the nice little Champion 2000w inv/gen that I can run the power supply on and charge an lfp Fully in only 2 to 2.5hrs If needed.
what this lfp experiment has shown me is that Solar just isnt necessary for us to have the elec we need.

# Posted: 17 Aug 2022 14:50 - Edited by: gcrank1

I wrote all that to essentially say that it is Far easier to swap out the lfp bats after about 6 or 7 days of use (which takes us a lot longer than a week with 'occasional' use) than to rebuild the solar
But, so you dont think Ive gone entirely to the dark-side', Im not entirely solar-less. I have a small 'maintenance' type panel in the new shed hooked to a small LA, that to a small msw inv, to an led bulb in a chix-coop reflector over the bench. Cant get more basic than that unless the led was 12v.

# Posted: 4 Sep 2022 15:12 - Edited by: gcrank1

Last week, since the shed is now in place and I had a little unsupervised time, I set up a series pair of panels leaning on the shed's east wall. Supervisor hasnt commented on them yet......maybe as long as she doesnt see me messing about with them Im ok?
Got a wall spot inside for the scc, need to drill for the array to scc cables, place my old 100Ah 'marine' battery and wire it all up. The LA bats have over-wintered before if fully charged and just maintained by the solar.
Then eventually I can set the scc parameters for LFP.
A bit at a time and it gets done

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