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Wiring solar system

 
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I’m new to this. I need to wire my system. This is what I have.
12 - 260 watt panels they came with change inverters , but don’t think I need them, I’m running power from panels to 100amp change controller.
Charge controller to 2- banks of 4 12volt 200ah battery wired to 48 volts. Batteries wired to 10,000 watt 48volt inverter.
Inverter wired to my shop 120volt breaker panel.

Second question to get most battery charging power from my 12 panels to my battery bank to I wire in seres or in parallel?
Hope someone can guide me on this.
Thanks thanks
I can add photos of parts if needed.
 
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Wire then in series up to the maximum input voltage of your charge controller, then parallel those groups.

If the max voltage on the panels is 36v and the input limit on your charge controller is 150v. Then I would have 4 in series giving you 144v into the controller.

I would need the specs on the solar panels and the charge controller to give you the numbers for your install.
 
Jeff Bosch
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Inverter wired to my shop 120volt breaker panel.



What does your inverter output?

It would be better if this was 240 split phase.
 
Eric Storz
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Jeff Bosch wrote:

Inverter wired to my shop 120volt breaker panel.



What does your inverter output?

It would be better if this was 240 split phase.


Jeff, the inverter is 10,000 to 120volt only. Not running any 240 voltage.
My charge controller has a 100 amp max
461B5F62-F68D-4156-9917-E23933E9517E.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 461B5F62-F68D-4156-9917-E23933E9517E.jpeg]
 
Eric Storz
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Eric Storz wrote:

Jeff Bosch wrote:

Inverter wired to my shop 120volt breaker panel.



What does your inverter output?

It would be better if this was 240 split phase.


Jeff, the inverter is 10,000 to 120volt only. Not running any 240 voltage.
My charge controller has a 100 amp max

12BD9568-A6B3-46E7-8208-DB91DE9A6591.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 12BD9568-A6B3-46E7-8208-DB91DE9A6591.jpeg]
 
Eric Storz
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Jeff, the inverter is 10,000 watt 48volt output is 120volt no split. Not running any 240volt items..
Here is photo of back of panels. Also photos of the inverter box’s that came with panels.
Thanks for your help!!
3DDD34B5-1798-4DD3-AD89-24C1ABD62DF2.jpeg
Back of solar panels
Back of solar panels
B8E6445E-1376-4991-A3DE-A8410D9D6A53.jpeg
Charge controllers that came with panels one for each panel
Charge controllers that came with panels one for each panel
 
Jeff Bosch
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Eric Storz wrote:Jeff, the inverter is 10,000 watt 48volt output is 120volt no split. Not running any 240volt items..
Here is photo of back of panels. Also photos of the inverter box’s that came with panels.
Thanks for your help!!



Those inverters that came with the panels are for putting together a grid-tied system.

Because you gave the specs for your battery bank I am guessing that you want to do an off-grid system.

What module is the charge controller and 10k inverter?
 
Eric Storz
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Yes, we are completely off grid. Here is photos of my inverter and my charge controller. Also batteries I have.
I have 8 batteries will be wired in two sets of 4 to make 2 large batteries 48 volts each.
I do really appreciate all your help.
Thanks Eric
950D6A64-EC1C-46EC-AEF2-A3D946476200.png
Inverter
Inverter
E320D068-0EBF-4882-A86A-1E3CE7D80BD6.png
Charge controller
Charge controller
99D7E025-1559-4DB5-AD85-520D0837C4A6.png
Batteries I’m useing
Batteries I’m useing
 
Jeff Bosch
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Both of the charge controllers and inverter don't have manufacture names, which raises concerns.

Looking on ebay, I found one that looked similar and the description said

2. It is high quality compatible MPPT + PWM Solar Controllers ,not 100% Ture MPPT


You will be able to use more power from your solar panels if you got a true MPPT controller.

That charge controller can only handle 2 panels in series and parallel the 6 groups with wires that can handle 60+ amps.

Because the both don't list the manufacture, I would be careful with both of them. I wouldn't be surprise if they aren't able to handle the power that they claim.
 
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Eric, my advice would be to stop immediately until you can find out the specifications of the components you bought.  I'm sorry to say this, but I looks like all the electronics are bottom-rung junk that you got scammed on.  The panels look good though.  I think those are keepers.

With a charge controller, you need to know the maximal voltage it can handle besides the maximal amperage.  Without specifications we can't give you any valid advice.  Charge controllers have greatly varying capacities, which is closely related to their price.  I am very suspicious that your controller is a fake MPPT, that you should approach with caution.  I also suspect your inverter might be a cheapo square-wave unit, that is likely to burn out the motors of your refrigerators and freezers?

You need to be careful about wiring panels, and you must be sure to include cold-temperature compensation in your design.  Typically the voltage of a panel goes up as the temperature goes down.  At freezing, a panel's voltage is typically 1.12X times higher than the nameplate, which is measured at room temperature.  The conversion factor goes up to 1.25X at -40 degrees.

Basic budget MPPT controllers start out with a 100V limit, such as Epever's Tracer4210AN.  The price goes up as the capacity goes up.  Epever makes higher grade models like the Tracer8420AN and the 10420AN.  I myself am using Midnight200 controllers.

For my own system, I have four panels wired in series for ~130VDC, which feeds into my Midnight200, which feeds the battery.  I have them hooked up to a quality Conext SW4024 inverter.

Get those specifications first, and then we can give you better advice.
 
Michael Qulek
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Jeff Bosch wrote:

If the max voltage on the panels is 36v and the input limit on your charge controller is 150v. Then I would have 4 in series giving you 144v into the controller.



This is really bad advice.  No way should four panels be wired in series for a 150V controller.  The voltage of the panels goes up as the temperature goes down.  At freezing, the conversion factor is 1.12X.  On a frosty morning, the voltage of 4 in series bumps up to 144V X 1.12X = 161V.

If you really want an accurate voltage reading, you should plug your panel specs into a string calculator like this one....
https://www.midnitesolar.com/sizingTool/index.php

Here is what I see for four of those panels wired in series, Midnight says 163V....
string-calculator.JPG
[Thumbnail for string-calculator.JPG]
 
Eric Storz
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Sounds good, will see what I can find out.
I’m in golden valley AZ temperature here has hit 30 degrees once in last 3 years where I’m at.
I’m heading on vacation Saturday, will find information that I can before we leave. Will be back in AZ end of February. Get back to you soon. Thanks
 
pollinator
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Battery
Max Capacity =  8 * 12v * 200AH = 2 * 48V * 200AH = 48V * 400AH = 20,000WHr
Depth of Discharge = 75% so only 15,000WHr is actually usable
Discharge Rate = 10,000W(inverter) aka 0.5C this will reduce the capacity to 12,000WHr from 20,000WHr
Charge Rate = 3000W (Solar Panel Array) aka 0.15C, this will not affect the capacity
Estimated Daily Input = Solar Array * Hours = 3000W * 5hrs = 15,000WHr/day
Estimated Daily Output/Usage = ???

Charge Controller
Needed Output Capability = 3000W = 50V * 60A
Need Input Capability = 3000W
Needed String Amount = 2
Needed per String Capability = 6 panels  * safety factor = 6  x 37.5V x safety factor = 225V x safety factor = 300V

Assumed Max Output capability = 12V * 100A = 1,200W
Assumed Max Input capability = 1,200W
Assumed String Amount  = 1 (due to the picture only having a single input for solar)
Assumed Single String Size = 1,200W = 141V x 8.5A (this is probably rated for a total of only 4 solar panels vs the 12 solar panels that you have)

Unless more info is given I recommend getting a better charge controller. Can you provide the model number or manufactors link to the product, this will limit my assumptions?

Recommendations
This would be perfect and it only requires a single string https://unboundsolar.com/3611145/morningstar/charge-controllers/tristar-ts-mppt-60-600v-48-db-tr-gfpd

If you could return/sell your inverter, charge controller, micro-inverter and then add a few dollar. I recommend getting this all-in-one due to how easy it would be to setup, pass inspection and it still gives you lots of room to add different battery banks and solar panels in the future if things change.   https://unboundsolar.com/2650000/sol-ark/solar-inverters-electrical/sol-ark-12k-120v-240v-208v-solar-hybrid-inverter
 
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As mentioned above get rid of the charge controller. It is a brand that has called itself "mppt" not an mppt charger. You can spot it from the very thin connection screws, the lack of programming buttons, the small size, and the presence of load control screws. You see them quite a bit, it's just a low end pwm charger. That charge controller is meant to have solar panels that operate at the same voltage as the battery bank feed into it. If you were to try to hook it up you would probably connect two panels together in series to form 72 volts open voltage(roughly 56 under load) then hook two of those in parallel then feed them into a pv combiner then to the charge controller, repeat for the other strings.That is as it was done 20 years ago and we don't do it that way since true MPPT chargers came on the scene 15 years ago... If you do choose to put any of that gear into your setup make sure it's in a shed away from the house as it often fails catastrophically...
 
Eric Storz
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David , what change controller would you recommend that I can run all 12 panels to? I’m running a 48volt system.
Thanks Eric
 
David Baillie
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Eric Storz wrote:David , what change controller would you recommend that I can run all 12 panels to? I’m running a 48volt system.
Thanks Eric


I like the midnite solar classic, the outback FM series and the Schneider mppt units. All three of those are good 20 year units. Since that inverter is not great either I would suggest you look at one of the all in one units like the growatt or the srne inverters. They have an mppt charger and inverter all in one at a decent price. I would assume they are 5 to 10 year equipment with no possibility of repair though.
 
Michael Qulek
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Getting back to the solar panels, it's a good idea to de-rate output to some extent to compensate for real-world conditions.  Remember that panels are NOT tested with real sunlight.  They are tested in an artificial test chamber exposed to light at exactly 1000W per square meter.  The real sun only approximates this.  I like to de-rate to 85% because that has been what I've been measuring for panels I've tested. 1.175X is the reciprical of 85%.

But, back to the math.  Assuming you wire up all the panels, and they are bulk charging at 50V, the output is going to be... [(12panels X 260W)/50Vcharging] X 85% = 53A.  So, you should pick a controller that can handle 60A.  As David mentions above, Midnight, Outback, and Schneider all make quality controllers in the amperage range.  I myself am using Midnight.

The max voltage of your controller decides how many panels you can put in series.  Go back to the string calculator I mentioned above to get exact numbers, but I could suggest 3 in series for the 150V controllers, and four for the 200+ controllers.  Know that if you have more than two parallel strings of panels coming into your controller, each string should be fused/breakered for safety.  It's a code requirement!  A "combiner box" makes this easy.  it's a box ~ 12" X 9" which contains breakers for protecting each string.  So, depending on what controller you buy, you'd have four strings of three panels in series(written as 3S4P), or three strings of four panels in series (written as 4S3P).

BTW, a more budget-oriented economy brand is Epever, which makes a range of different controllers.  A Tracer 6420AN can handle the panel combinations I mentioned above.  It runs ~350$.  It most likely doesn't have the more advanced safety features that the above brands have.  Remember, you get what you pay for.

Of course, all of this needs wiring together, so we should talk a bit about wire gauge and safety.  Copper wire is expensive, but you don't want to go cheap here because overheated wire starts fires.  For your panels strings to the combiner, 10 gauge copper is fine.  From the controller to the batteries you want 4-6 gauge (I use 4).  It's a good idea here to go large because you might want to expand later.  You won't have to rip out wire later if you go bigger now.  Finally, from the batteries to the inverter, you want BIG wire.  I'm using 000 wire for my 24V system, and 0000 wire for my 48V.  0000 is EXPENSIVE, so you want to space your batteries close to the inverter so the copper costs are minimized.  Once the inverter outputs to the main electrical panel, you want to run 8 gauge or so to the main panel, and then regular 14-12 gauge wire for your household sockets.
 
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I have a 100v/50amp Victron Charger controller. I am very happy with it. Easy to set up. Works with blue tooth. Requires a free app to use it.  I have an old Iphone 5s that i use with it.

We also have a midnight classic. It works great. I don't really like using the screen to adjust the parameters. With my Victron its real easy to adjust parameters

https://www.modernoutpost.com/product/bluesolar-mppt-150-60-by-victron/


might work for you.
 
David Baillie
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jordan barton wrote:I have a 100v/50amp Victron Charger controller. I am very happy with it. Easy to set up. Works with blue tooth. Requires a free app to use it.  I have an old Iphone 5s that i use with it.

We also have a midnight classic. It works great. I don't really like using the screen to adjust the parameters. With my Victron its real easy to adjust parameters

https://www.modernoutpost.com/product/bluesolar-mppt-150-60-by-victron/


might work for you.

Victrons are great user friendly units. You do have to be careful though as most of their gear is not certified for Canada Or the US. They do make a few inverters and charge controllers that are.
 
Jeff Bosch
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Since you said you are in Arizona, I will give links for Northern Arizona Wind & Solar (I have heard of them but haven't used them personally).

If you want the bluetooth Victron I would suggest the 250/70 - Panels would be in 6s2p configuration.
https://www.solar-electric.com/victron=energy-smartsolar-mppt-250-70-charge-controller.html

MidNite Solar Classic 200 MPPT Charge Controller - Panels would be in 4s3p configuration.
https://www.solar-electric.com/misocl200mpc.html

EPEVER 80A MPPT Solar Charge Controller PV 150V - Panels would be in 3s4p configuration.
https://a.co/d/i0tXrYR
 
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