Building a solar electric system
My entry into solar energy came as a direct result of
my interest in wind energy. I started building a wind
generator and purchased batteries so there would be something for it to
charge. Then I ended up getting some solar panels because
the wind generator wasn't finished. Learning more about how not to ruin
batteries led me to purchase a charge controller. Then I had to
get an inverter to be able to use all this energy. In the mean while I
had to get a tower for the wind machine, install it, get the right kind
charge controller for it, get a diversion load for it, and so it seems
to go on forever. It's a fun, if rather involved, hobby.
The 24 volt battery bank. Wieghing in at over 3000 lbs. These are lead cadmium telco UPS batteries. They are not meant to cycle
more than 15% from full charge.
The PV combiner box and solar boost 3048 charge controller. These carry 48volts from the PV panels.
The Main disconnect box - 175 amps at 24 volts DC, and the 2.5Kw 24vdc/120vac inverter. This begins the 120 volt AC side
of the system.
Here is the overall view of the system. The PV panels are outside the building on the left side.
The wiring enters the combiner box and is fused with a 10 amp fuse per panel pair.
A single pair (plus ground) leaves the combiner box and goes to the charge controller.
48 volts from the PV panels is converted to 24 volts and sent to the batteries via a 35 amp dual disconnect switch.
The charge controller makes use of a temperature sensor connected to a battery terminal.
Note that all wiring except for the shielded 2/0 guage wiring to the large Disconnect box and the
system ground is in conduit.