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# Posted: 8 Dec 2019 09:15

I am about to begin on my solar for my 16x36 cabin. I am not sure what to do with the solar set up. The cabin will only be used a few weekends a month, maybe a little more during hunting season.

I plan on running 110 wiring, have a few lights, fans, small fridge, water pump, tv, the occasional laptop and charging phones.

I also plan on using my generator for AC or charging batteries?

I purchased the harbor freight solar kit, and a Juniper 2000W/4000W inverter.

My question is, do I hook up the battery bank to the inverter, then the inverter to the circuit breaker?

How do I connect the generator? and be able to switch between the two?

Lastly how many and what size batteries would you recommend?

Appreciate any help you all can give me. I am in over my head on this one. Thanks

# Posted: 8 Dec 2019 11:12 - Edited by: Nobadays

Started this journey a couple of years ago.... there are no real "short" answers. No short cuts either. To put together an off-grid cabin solar electric system will require some education and planning unless you can just hire someone to do it for you.

Here is a good place to start on your journey,

Edit... this is another resource and there are recommended components for several sizes of systems, follow links to DIY Solar Blueprints.

If you look under "resources" on the first link you will find a solar calculator, this will be one of your first steps... after you read up on solar electric, look at diagrams and just generally get an idea how it all works... you need to get a good handle on what your demands will be before you can size the components of your system.

Sorry... but take heart you will learn a lot if you follow through!

# Posted: 8 Dec 2019 13:06

Lots to learn as Nobadays said and very few shortcuts. Read, investigate, make a schematic, tear it apart, make a new one etc.

A few more specific pieces of advice:
* start from the "how much power do I need" side and then build your system out accordingly to handle that power draw, but make it expandable as your needs might increase
* here's a useful starting point schematic:
... this is from "creeky" who posts here quite a bit
* speaking of creeky, don't discount the idea of buying a premade kit / hiring someone to do this for you, it can be almost as cost effective as DIY (I didn't go this route because of access issues to my property)
* once you've built out a full schematic, see if you can find someone local to at least run it by if you're not going to have a pro design it for you. I had a guy who does mostly grid tie systems look at mine but he's still in the biz enough that he gave me some great pointers
* ask SPECIFIC questions here and you'll generally get thoughful, detailed answers... it can be hard to answer the more general "what should I do" questions, but if you have a specific grounding question or something that is often the kind of thing that will get answered quickly.

-- Bass

(PS you're welcome to look at my final schematic for ideas with the HUGE caveat that I'm not a pro, there are probably things on this schematic that I ended up doing differently, and if you build it based on this and it explodes it's NOT MY FAULT )

# Posted: 8 Dec 2019 15:31

Metsfan.... Another note... i know you have already purchased an inverter, but... that inverter (Jupiter 2000W/4000W) is a Square Sine Wave inverter. Things with motors (fridge), florescent lights and things with transformers don't like that kind of power. Delicate electronics can also be affected. Noise on radios/tv is not uncommon. Sure, motors, transformers and florescent lights will work on a square sine wave inverter (sometimes referred to as modified sine wave) but they will not run long before overheating/failing.

If you start with load calculations as suggested and work your way up to what you really need, you will likely re-think what you currently have in mind.

# Posted: 8 Dec 2019 17:03

#1. do as suggested... calculate what amount of power capacity you need. That lets the size of the array and all the rest of the equipment. Don't be in a hurry, haste makes waste as my Dad always used to say. He was right.

#2. If you can return the things you already have and save that money to put towards what #1 shows would best service your needs.

# Posted: 8 Dec 2019 18:55 - Edited by: SCSJeff


Since nobody answered your specific questions yet, I'll let you know what I did...

Yes, battery bank to Inverter (be sure to fuse that connection as close to battery as possible).

I have a 30 Amp RV Auto Transfer switch from Amazon (around $100-$150). The output goes to the main panel in the cabin. Input 1 is the Inverter and Input 2 is the Generator (or vise versa, can't remember). When the Generator comes on, the transfer switch has a 30 second delay and then automatically switches over to the Generator. Inverter will still be on drawing power from the batteries, but mine will go into a "sleep" mode and is not a big deal.

In theory, the inverter has it's own breaker and the generator also has it's own breaker and that should be all you need. However, I did install separate circuit breakers to protect the wiring (IE: 15A breaker, since the genny won't trip until 20A)

# Posted: 10 Dec 2019 08:09

Metsfan didn't supply enough info about the system..but I can tell you a single HF solar kit is not enough to run that inverter for any length of time with any battery size unless your ok with a few days of battery recovery. There are many solar calculators online that all you have to do is plug in your specific numbers.

Being that your name is Mets fan I would assume your in MY or the northeast? If that's the case your looking at 4hr(per day)or less of useable solar light average for the year. We are not in the ideal place for solar. You add non ideal panel aiming and or trees and your really not getting much sun. Since your place is weekends and seasonal you can make up for not much sun with a bigger battery bank. But the calculators will tell you all that.

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