Living Off Grid - Operating Our Solar Power System - Part 2
A In Part 1 we looked at the different components of a solar power system and what their purpose is.
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#1 Aug 12, 2012
"By managing a few things myself I can extend the life of my batteries and backup generator and keep the fuel costs for the geneBy managing a few things myself I can extend the life of my batteries and backup generator and keep the fuel costs for the generator down."
Ed, I recognize the set up as a Xantrex XW series system or now Schneider. The experience I have had with these systems is the failure of the ones designing the system to understand the overall interconnection of the components and HOW they interact.The Xantrex with the SPC (system display) and the AGM (automaic generator module) can be programmed to do just what you are doing manually. You can program test times into the AGM to exercise the genset on a regular basis as well as set partucular set points for the generator to come on if the battery pack(s) get below defined discharge points. In several communications with Xantrex technical support,it seems a common mistake is to undersize the generator for the system. When the inverter/charger goes into charge mode, it will take the A.C. from the generator set to charge the batteries AND run the home and appurtances,(outdoor lighting, well pump, booster pump ect.) If you would like, you can get a gateway that could be connected to the internet and viewed from a smart phone anywhere you have cell service. For bulk charging the battery pack you could have up to 100A of charging going to the inverter/charger AND still require 100A to power the home. In that particular instance you would need somewhere in the neighborhood of a 50KW genset, instead of the typical 10 to 12KW that is often specified.
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