Solar setup...do amps matter? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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emt1581
03-11-2012, 21:46
When hooking up our new oven last year we had to have a new breaker installed because the one we were going to use was only 30amps I believe and the oven needed more.

The main thing to take away that I learned was that if you use a 40 or 50 amp load on a 30amp breaker you are going to fry either the line, appliance, or breaker and could potentially start a fire.

Now that I'm looking to get going with a solar setup (small), I'm looking at inverters and I'm curious what Amps have to do with anything? I mean I know that the wattage I'll need can be estimated by multiplying the Amps and the volts my appliances/lights will draw.

But do I have to worry about the inverter being able to handle ANYTHING other than the watts drawn on it?? Do Amps matter?

As with my oven lesson I don't want to break/fry anything or start any fires.

Thanks!!

-Emt1581

cowboy1964
03-11-2012, 22:10
Can you be more specific about what kind of solar setup we are talking about here? Are you wanting to tie it back into the grid?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid-tie_inverter

emt1581
03-11-2012, 22:13
Solar can't generate enough power for Amps to even become a factor. As long as you match breakers and wire gauge to max anticipated Amperage you're fine (that applies to all electrical circuits - there's nothing special about solar).

What kind of solar wattage are we talking about here?

My plan is to start with 45watts worth of panels and then tie it into 1 or 2 deep cycle marine batteries, then run everything through a 750 watt or if need be maybe a 1200 watt inverter then run a few outlets off of it to various areas of the house.

EDIT: I just didn't want to plug my microwave or flat screen into an outlet connected to the setup/inverter only to fry something or start a fire.

Thanks

-Emt1581

Carry16
03-11-2012, 23:06
For starters, I would encourage you to consider the lowest end deep cycle batteries to be golf cart batteries (usually 6v) available at Sam's Club etc. Do no buy "deep cycle" trolling motor batteries or any other falsely advertised deep cycle batteries they will die way too quickly....trust me:whistling:

The 45 watt panel you will be using will be lucky to provide enough of a charge to your batteries to make up for the loss in your charge controller and inverter - without you using any power. I won't bore you with the reasons, we've been through it before.:upeyes:

Amps are as important as watts which are as important as volts and hertz (CPS) and the waveform generated. :wavey:

Off the top of my head I would guess a large microwave needs 12 or so amps, or maybe 1500 watts.

If you are looking to provide emergency power to some household devices I would suggest you get an inverter which can produce close to 20 amps continuous. That would easily handle a freezer OR refrigerator OR a gas furnace OR something else.

To provide any meaningful amount of power I would guess you need at a very minimum, six 6v golf cart batteries.

It will take your 45 watt HF solar panel a LONG, LONG, LONG time to recharge those batteries. :rofl:



My plan is to start with ....-Emt1581

LASTRESORT20
03-11-2012, 23:19
I have 2 full size 12 VOLT "Deep Cycle" Batteries back to back (can add more)....3 inverters 140.... 500.... & 800...I can run a small color TV with cable...charge/run many small electronics and a few other things...I like it....... For back - up I have 200Watt Solar Panels....works for me.

emt1581
03-12-2012, 04:43
For starters, I would encourage you to consider the lowest end deep cycle batteries to be golf cart batteries (usually 6v) available at Sam's Club etc. Do no buy "deep cycle" trolling motor batteries or any other falsely advertised deep cycle batteries they will die way too quickly....trust me:whistling:

The 45 watt panel you will be using will be lucky to provide enough of a charge to your batteries to make up for the loss in your charge controller and inverter - without you using any power. I won't bore you with the reasons, we've been through it before.:upeyes:

Amps are as important as watts which are as important as volts and hertz (CPS) and the waveform generated. :wavey:

Off the top of my head I would guess a large microwave needs 12 or so amps, or maybe 1500 watts.

If you are looking to provide emergency power to some household devices I would suggest you get an inverter which can produce close to 20 amps continuous. That would easily handle a freezer OR refrigerator OR a gas furnace OR something else.

To provide any meaningful amount of power I would guess you need at a very minimum, six 6v golf cart batteries.

It will take your 45 watt HF solar panel a LONG, LONG, LONG time to recharge those batteries. :rofl:

If what you say is true, how is this guy making his appliances work??

As the thread asks....please comment...

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1407772

-Emt1581

Big Bird
03-12-2012, 07:03
If you try to run 40-50 Amps on a 30 Amp breaker you won't fry anything. The breaker will trip. That's what they are supposed to do.

Also, most home ciircuits that require 30 Amps (electric dryer, electric oven etc) use 220 volt not 110.

If you look at the setup in the video and look at the supply lines he has plugged into the appliance you will see he is using common extension cord. Its not going to carry a lot of amps period. It will melt. Mine gets hot when I use a circular saw for a while.

Braken
03-12-2012, 07:19
What will fry things is if you run 40 or 50 amp breaker on wire that is rated for 30 amp. Now you are in trouble.

DC current takes much larger wire gauge per foot distance you wish to send it to.

quake
03-12-2012, 08:08
If you try to run 40-50 Amps on a 30 Amp breaker you won't fry anything. The breaker will trip. That's what they are supposed to do.

Also, most home ciircuits that require 30 Amps (electric dryer, electric oven etc) use 220 volt not 110...
This. A few hours of reading or even watching old episodes of "Hometime" or such (seriously) would be a very good idea before pursuing any further.

PEC-Memphis
03-12-2012, 08:45
When hooking up our new oven last year we had to have a new breaker installed because the one we were going to use was only 30amps I believe and the oven needed more.

Provided that the wiring was sized properly for the 30A breaker - I hope you changed more that the breaker. Increasing the breaker rating greater than the rating for the branch circuit conductor is an excellent way to start a fire.

kirgi08
03-12-2012, 11:53
Gas or wood for cooking here.We got a ton of gas and 22 cords of wood after this years non-winter.'08.

kirgi08
03-12-2012, 11:54
I don't trust solar beyond battery charging.'08.

PEC-Memphis
03-12-2012, 12:30
DC current takes much larger wire gauge per foot distance you wish to send it to.

Not really. Going from 120V (or 240V) to 12V will increase the current (and the required wire size) for the same power (watts).

If power factor is unity, and RMS voltage is used, AC & DC current (and therefore conductor size) will be the same for a given voltage.

kirgi08
03-12-2012, 12:45
DC loses in translation.'08.

emt1581
03-12-2012, 15:24
Maybe I should start another non-HF kit thread but let's say we more than double the price...

Even if not a kit, because I haven't seen any others except northern tools, what 45+ watt panel, charge controller and inverter would you suggest for under or around $350 shipped??

Only thing I won't do is solder. Other than that I'm fine with running wires, connecting, etc...

Thanks!

-Emt1581

emt1581
03-12-2012, 18:49
How about this one?

Amazon.com: HQRP KIT (85W Monocrystalline Solar Panel 85 Watt Power 12V DC, Solar 10A Charge Power Controller / Regulator 12V / 24V 10 Amp) + HQRP UV Chain / UV Radiation Health Tester: Automotive@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-vjG08lhL.@@AMEPARAM@@51-vjG08lhL

or this one?

Amazon.com: HQRP KIT (85 Watt Solar Panel 85W Power 12V Monocrystalline 12 Volt, Solar 10A Charge Power Controller / Regulator 12V / 24V 10 Amp) + HQRP UV Chain / UV Radiation Health Tester: Automotive@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51W3%2B7tGaHL.@@AMEPARAM@@51W3%2B7tGaHL

What is the difference between the two??

-Emt1581

BORNGEARHEAD
03-13-2012, 05:21
110 watt panel

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-V-110W-MONOCRYSTALLINE-SOLAR-PANEL-V-OC-21-V-V-MP-17-V-12V-ABOVE-100-W-WATT-/130621463693?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e69a55c8d

Sunforce 30 amp digital controller

Amazon.com: Sunforce 60032 30 Amp Digital Charge Controller: Automotive@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rmNsmwKLL.@@AMEPARAM@@41rmNsmwKLL

emt1581
03-13-2012, 05:35
Cool thanks...110V...that's a bit of power right there no?

Think that's suck up enough rays to charge a couple battieries? I was thinking 45 was enough...then 85...now we're up to 110?

Thanks

-Emt1581

ImpeachObama
03-13-2012, 06:04
Tagged.

Bolster
03-13-2012, 09:31
110 watt panel

Cool thanks...110V...that's a bit of power right there no?

You know that watts aren't the same as volts (the link is to a 12V unit), but sticking with watts, what can, say, 100 continuous watts run (taking the battery storage out of the equation for the moment)?

Lots of folks say you start with your energy needs, then calculate backwards from there...

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/resources/images/video/wattage_calculator/wattage_calclulator.html

A page down here...

http://www.northerntool.com/catalog/buyersguides/generators/

Or...

http://www.donrowe.com/inverters/usage_chart.html

On 100 continuous watts you could continuously run a coffee grinder, or a laptop, or a couple of clock radios...obviously you could run larger items for shorter amounts (due to the battery storage) but it's not a bad idea to calculate what you want the system to do, before determining how big it should be. That calculation should be in 'watt hours' or 'kWh' so you're factoring in time as well.

If all you're running are lights, then yeah, 100w would light you up pretty good, if using LED lights.

The people who have to master this art are the sailors. They can't go over their budget or they're out of juice, and the marine suppliers makes all kinds of very efficient electrical items for just these minimal-watt purposes.

This is the reason I think I'll just stick to DC, and purchase efficient DC items to go along with it. Then I can use these same items in my car or when camping.

ImpeachObama
03-13-2012, 18:23
I don't have a bunch of time as i'm working on taxes right now, but real quick. A 45 watt panel is a waste of time. 85 watts might get you to 3-4.5 amps. You need amperage. That's good for trickle charger a battery, that's it; not supplying current for real usage of something useful.

On my van, I have four Sharp 130 watt panels (520 watts total) that give me UP to 30 amps of current. This goes to a really nice and expensive controller (can't remember the name) that was maybe $500 and then to four large batteries made for deep cycling and solar use. I will post the brand when I have time. They are probably about 7" x 14" x?h each. I run a 600 watt inverter and a 2000 watt inverter (true sinewave or modified sinewave I can't remember-whatever gives you the cleaner energy source so you can use delicate electronics if need be).
I have a really nice 12v frig/freezer combo and can run a nice battery charger from the inverter to condition of car battery in a car that isn't used much. We have some 12v cooking gear as well that we use. I have a charger on board that I can plug the van/batteries into a wall socket and charge at night if I needed to.