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Solar Project for the Barn; Input Needed!
This is a discussion on Solar Project for the Barn; Input Needed! within the Alternative Energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro etc) forums, part of the Off-Grid Lifestyle category; All I need in the barn is a couple of outlets to charge up some battery powered tools, low voltage led overhead interior lights and ...
All I need in the barn is a couple of outlets to charge up some battery powered tools, low voltage led overhead interior lights and low voltage led lights at the front entrance.
OH...One more thing...
maybe an electric chair for convicted tyrants/demtards!
Last edited by Slippy; 02-08-2020 at 10:56 AM.
LOL that electric chair is a must!! Wire it to the gen!!
Originally Posted by Slippy
Battery chargers for the tools run on AC, and draw a lot of juice.
One we use, plugged in to the big system here in the cabin, draws 2.75Amps per hour. It takes 3-4hrs for each battery. To figure out the size of system you need - you'll have to first guess how often you'll need to charge them, and start from there. Dont worry much about the lights; as long as you stick to LED, the draw will be nominal - and your system will have to be big enough for the chargers that the lights wont make much difference.
If I may ask... do you want to charge them in the barn for convenience - or is it a 'backup' system incase no power in the house?
1ST... we need to know the amperage of the devices you want to power and how much they will be used..
IE... how many amps will you need?
if you will need 300 amps per day then build your set up to be 3-4 times that to account for cloudy days
you need to have enough batteries to run the system for 4 days and enough panels to charge the batteries in one day.....
newpowa has some great prices on solar panel... I have a code to get a discount you can use
batteries cold clime use gel not flooded
some people hook all panels to one controller..others use several controllers connecting several panels to different batteries
DO NOT charge or draw load from just one battery.... connect charge to + on one battery and - on a different one the other end of the batteries
Thanks MountainGirl, great info!
Originally Posted by MountainGirl
On the battery powered tools, I would like to be able to charge some tools for convenience but mainly as a back up. If that is a deal killer for my 1st Solar Power System than no worries.
Mainly I want to have some light in the barn to get some projects done that I now have to do in my carport/garage shop especially in the winter when we lose sunlight early.
Slippy, you are a prepper. Why not start a solar electric system for your barn that you can expand and improve so that it can also become an effective backup to your generators. Here I have a small gas generator, a small diesel generator, and a solar system. 3 independent means of supplying power is good!
Nothing is a deal killer whatsoever It's just a matter of figuring out what makes the most sense!
Originally Posted by Slippy
Unless you have a fair sized solar system in the barn - it makes more sense to charge the tool batts in the house.
If you want to be able to also charge them up in the barn... you sure can put in a system to do just that.
has a good suggestion - about expanding. What you might maybe could do is - Lights First.
Get a panel - 100w would do - and mount it so that you could add more panels down the road if you want.
Get a charge controller
Wire in a blocking diode
(Or, get a Solar Kit from some place that has all that plug&play ready for you)
Get a 12V deep cycle battery.
Buy the 12V LED shop lights that you like, wire them in where you want them, wire a switch near the door or wherever, wire everything together!
Bada bing bada boom, let there be light!
Then..now or later.. add more panels, add more batteries
Run another wire from your battery bank to an Inverter for AC things, wire from there to the AC wall outlets, plug in to your heart's desire!
Ok - there's a bit more to this last part, and different configurations/components, (you'll want a meter to keep an eye on things, a combiner box to hook the panels together, heavy cables to combine your batteries, fuses, shut-off switches, etc)
I just wanted to show you how you can do all this later (or now) for your tool battery chargers, if you want!
FYI: My Chalet AC system has one 100w panel, one battery, a 300w Inverter, a cheapy meter, and a special plug running through the wall so I can charge up the batt with my car, if needed. My only load is a Crane radio that pulls 8watts LOL that I let run all night, I like music while I sleep. So far, the batt dropped to 90% only once when I forgot to brush the snow off the panel for a few days.
150 Watt Panels are pretty inexpensive
get a 105 amp hour deep cell gel batter
controllers are affordable
Agree. Mine's an Interstate AGM deep-cycle. Spendy but worth it up here remote. Sealed because it's inside the Chalet and that's a no-no for lead acid.
Originally Posted by Maine-Marine
Plus, I like the no maintenance part too.
Yep, do the math, you can't fool physics
Originally Posted by MountainGirl
I killed 8 Trojan T-105's trying to do that, basically. The first bank of 4 (2 in series for 12v, and a second string in parallel) inside two years at the BOL, and the next bank of 4 I got over the learning curve a bit, and got about 4 years use out of that bank. Who knew that a little 12" 72w oscillating fan running 24 hours a day needed almost 2 kilowatts a day?!? (lol). Drawing too much too often, taking them below 50% charge too much, took years off their life.
A battery bank is only as good as the worst battery in it (the worst one drags the others down to it's level), so adding new batteries to a bank with older ones usually isn't recommended. I guess I am basing this more on an off-grid home type solution and not so much on a barn/garage. But still, my suggestion would be to live within the constraints of the size system that you buy/build to get the max life, or be prepared to replace the batteries a lot more frequently.