Practical inexpensive solar

BestFavorites

Solar Components

Quality Scalable Starter

 As a starting point you should determine the watts of the items you are going to run off your solar system. Once you know that then you need to get the battery cables big enough to handle that load (with a buffer). You will then also need an inline fuse and a breaker to protect the cables, I usually set the fuse at 125% of cable max and I set my breaker at the cable max.  Here is a simple cable chart that I rely on, remember watts/volts = amps.

For me the key is to have a scalable system with enough battery power to run all I need all night and then be able to recharge the battery(s) to 100% the next day.

Here are all the components needed with pricing on an Amazon wish list This list will make it easy for you to see the total cost and quick to order any of the items I have suggested in the video.

Voltage

12 volts to start but all components can be added to a 24 or 48 volt system later if desired - all flexible so no money is wasted.  12 volts is the most inexpensive way to add batteries or panels - all others are close to double the costs when growth is desired. I also like 12 volts because itís safe and it doesnít require multiple solar panels to start out (the panels must send in higher volts than the battery voltage so higher voltages usually mean multiple panels in series). 12 volts is de facto standard on most yachts today and it meets the wattage requirements I have with no problem.

Panels

Two smaller (easier to move & carry) 100 watt panels will give 200 w and cost right around half of a 240w panel. You could start out with just one panel but itís hard to recharge batteries to 100% running even a 12v fridge over multiple days of no sun with those watts so Iím suggesting two as start.  

This will allow you to add another one or two or as many as you need once you determine how much power you require. When you add panels they need to be the same volts and amps (or very close) so this way you can add in 100 watt increments (cheap and light).  The controller I use lets me connect up to three of the 100w panels to it (max 290w at 12v).

Here is a link to this item
Here are all the components needed.

Controller 

Victron 100/20 will take up to 290 watts of solar.  Can be used in 12, 24 or 48 volt systems. Offers the ability to monitor via Bluetooth - easy to test if panel is getting most sun while you look at blue tooth results.  Can be connected to cerbo later if you want to monitor via internet.

Here is a link to this item
Here are all the components needed.

Batteries 

100ah Ö allows for up to 4 in parallel/series.  You start with one and then you can see what you need. I had a 200ah battery and needed a little more power. The manufacturer told me if I added a 100ah battery to this one it could void the warranty on both batteries due to how they would interact.  I didnít need another 200ah I only needed the 100ah so I recommend starting with this so you can add what you need instead of being compelled to add more at higher cost when you donít even really need it.  Stay flexible is my motto, here is a video I did on this subject  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jb-zEG4WEQ&t=5s

Here is a link to this item on Amazon
Here is a 5% discount from Ampere Time
Here are all the components needed.

12 volt outlets

USB outlet with cigarette adapter to allow for charging phones and running a fridge if you so desire.  This will also give you a volt meter so you can see how much voltage is in the battery.

Here is a link to this item
Here are all the components needed.

Cables from the panel to the controller and from the controller to the battery

Inverter 

The above will get you into solar power and let you run a 12 volt fridge, charge your tablet and phones, and run an internet hotspot on USB.  When you want to start running appliances or any other 110 device I recommend this very efficient inverter and if you only have one battery I would add another one at this point. 

Here is a link to this item
Here are all the components needed.

Internet and voice backup

This is a lifesaver in a power loss or a disaster situation. 



USB chargable motion lights





More music ...