Off-Grid Solar and Wind-Generated Power
Topic: Charge Controllers and Inverters
Shown above is approximately 800 watts of solar energy producing in excess of 60amps to a 12v battery bank. The unit has a protection circuit that cuts the current when over the 60amp cap (for this controller).
Seen below is another of three 150volt 60amp Charge Controllers by Morningstar
Technologies that are in operation in our Springfield Ohio location.
These particular controllers are fanless (so they make no sounds).
The MPPT Charge Controllers (TriStar) have been working flawlessly for about 8 or 9 years now.
The controller's faceplate allows for easier monitoring, however the cost is over $100.00 for just the faceplate alone. This price hinders the ability to obtain faceplates for each of the controllers here, which forces the need to swap to different controllers from time to time.
*Note added this date, Friday April 6, 2018: Wind is
here and the
sun also. Today this controller went into "fault" mode to
amount of amps coming in to maintain the 14.4volt absorption
There were over 60amps coming in but the limit on most of the
controllers in here is 60amps. In solar panels alone, there
are 2,800 watts coming into this particular charge controller.
The wind generator also comes into this controller though it's not my
The photo above shows the true amount of allowable amps into the system
via this particluar controller. The reason there are so
many more panels on the mppt controllers is to compensate for the
winter's lack of sun. The trade-off is that during the summer
months 12-16 of the panels need to be turned off (depending on how much
wind might be producing electricity). Ideally, there would
be some manner in which a diversion control can be set to allow the
excess energy do something. At present there isn't a diversion
controller installed yet.
Also found in our Springfield Ohio location are controllers for
the micro-battery banks.
The controller below is a 15amp
The battery bank and solar array, as well as the load applied, is
a maintenance-free system. Even days without sun, the
battery bank rarely will dip down below 12.3 with the load on.
The Vanner Pure Sine Wave Inverter is not the largest here,
worked flawlessly for about 7 years. This Inverter is
Below are seen the largest inverter in operation. In
applications and appliances the aim has been to obtain devices that do
not require an inverter (12v items connected directly to the 12v source
without the need of an inverter). Inverters waste energy in a
of ways, for instance to run a 20v item requires that the 12v battery
supply be dragged all the way up to 110v then back down to 20v which is
loss. More often than not there is a 12v alternative to the
appliances and devices.
The inverter seen below has a max of 6000watts and a nominal
3000watts. It has a fan but it's not obnoxious and barely
This particular unit has the ability to run direct AC current
backfeed one of the circuits for domestic use, an allows for the
creation of one's own pseudo-grid. There is no grid-tie connections
made back to the monopoly.
All solar panel arrays, along with the wind generator, come
through fused panels
such as the one seen below.
There are also quick-disconnects between all legs of the
Cabling is seen here as it enters one of the Quick
Disconnects; one set
is doubled up to allow more amperage through.
This is the main wall that handles 3 battery banks, including the
largest of 5 that are presently within this building.
Below is seen an item-specific charge controller which has
battery bank and solar arrays. This particular bank of batteries
never requires service as the lights it supplies power to are not
consuming enough amps to ever draw the battery bank below 12.2v
(usually requiring several days without sun).
The newest micro-system is seen in the photo
battery bank that it handles presently is used only by the fans within
the firewood stove, and a small water pump.
The fuse box is not quite installed yet. This
will handle 8 of the 18 cameras within this building. This
will be the first installation of fuses ever. In other words, I've
gone about a decade without ever having utilized fuses or
breakers whatsoever and without incident.
This small item-specific inverter powers the server of which
presently reading this. The server is a
Macbook Pro running Linux.
The charge controller by Morningstar
producing good amps on a moderately
The following is for sale to anyone that is local in the
Springfield Ohio area (I don't ship).
The 2,000watt nominal (4k peak) is in all honesty a noisy inverter and
is for sale for $10.00.
Handy man special, it works if you can live with the noisy fan.
This concludes Charge Controllers and Inverters