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Parrothead

Helping others who are doing without.

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Parrothead

Well, this little project is getting closer to becoming a reality. Someone recently contacted me, after reading this thread. They have donated 10 PWM charge controllers for this project. I have a number of panels already available. Next is to secure the deep cycle batteries. 

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Oz Jon

Wow! Paul,

 

You've really been doing your homework on solar systems! - Lol!

 

This reads like a very worthwhile and admirable project.

 

Just curious about the "Kid" controller though. Looks like a nice product, but ......

It doesn't claim to be an MTTP controller and it has a lot of manual mode settings (as you would expect from a basic PWM controller).

Can it be "set-up and forget"  so that the user doesn't need to ever change the settings?

I guess that would be essential in this application for technically unsophisticated users?

 

Cheers

 

ps. On second reading of the specs, it looks like the "Kid" is quite "smart" (ie. has a microcontroller in it) to be able to do all the many different modes it offers.

Edited by Oz Jon
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Parrothead

 

 

ps. On second reading of the specs, it looks like the "Kid" is quite "smart" (ie. has a microcontroller in it) to be able to do all the many different modes it offers.

 

Yep. The "Kid" is a true MPPT controller. It is a solid controller, for sure. The "Brat", shown on the previous page, is a PWM controller. The units recently donated, are PWM technology, as well. Those are 10 ampere charge controllers, with low voltage disconnect. Perfect for "set and forget" systems, running sealed batteries.

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Oz Jon

Yep. The "Kid" is a true MPPT controller. It is a solid controller, for sure. The "Brat", shown on the previous page, is a PWM controller. The units recently donated, are PWM technology, as well. Those are 10 ampere charge controllers, with low voltage disconnect. Perfect for "set and forget" systems, running sealed batteries.

Right!

 

Well, as you indicate, a controller with current and voltage limits, plus the all important "low voltage load disconnect" is sufficient to make a quite adequate  "set-and-forget" system.  MPPT capability is very nice "icing-on-the-cake".

 

A great project Paul!

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Parrothead

This project is moving slowly. BUT, at least it is moving forward. 

 

We have received the 10 controllers that were donated. They will work perfect for this project.

 

Next, I need to work on getting the panels sorted. I will save the batteries for last, due to them needing to be as "fresh" (new) as possible. I don't want to buy them, then just let them sit around waiting for panels and installation hardware.

 

After purchasing the batteries, we will begin installing the systems. Panels have not dropped any lower in price, to date. Still at $1.00 USD per watt. But, still very reasonably priced. $1,000 US, all in, for the panels.

 

The batteries will run $1.35 per kWh of storage. So, at $67.50 per 50 AH battery, $675 all in. I may be able to negotiate that down just a bit, in fact. Either way, for less than $2,000 US, we will have all of the major components for the 10 systems. 

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mollydooker

Hmmmmm ...and can your neighbours afford that in one hit ?? ...

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Parrothead
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, mollydooker said:

Hmmmmm ...and can your neighbours afford that in one hit ?? ...

 

I have decided that I will shoulder all costs. I changed my mind about this, some time back.

 

The expenses listed above, were just to show that, for (estimated, probably less than) $2,500 USD, 10 solar systems, each of which will provide lighting and cell phone charging for 10 families, can be installed to make a small difference in peoples' lives.

 

I mean, $250 US is SFA, to give a family some lights to see by at night, and a bit of power to charge their phones? 

 

Edited by Parrothead
Lowered total, after performing some calculations.
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Oz Jon
Posted (edited)

Just curious ....

 

Looking on Google Earth it appears that your neighbors may have steel roofs?

At least the ones near the road do?

 

Do you plan to mount the panels on roofs or on a ground based frame?

 

Cheers

Edited by Oz Jon
typo
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Parrothead
48 minutes ago, Oz Jon said:

Looking on Google Earth it appears that your neighbors may have steel roofs?

At least the ones near the road do?

 

When I say "neighbors", I don't mean those directly adjacent to us. I am talking about various families between the farm and highway, often farther off the road and having no service drops run to their homes.

 

52 minutes ago, Oz Jon said:

Do you plan to mount the panels on roofs or on a ground based frame?

 

Most likely, they will be roof mounts. Lots of cows in the area, that could easily damage a ground mounted solar panel.

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