Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Road to Solar, Chapter 4

So in the past couple of week...I think a week, though it seems like much longer...I've received a few more packages in the mail!  It feels like Christmas all over again!

So let's take a look at few items.

The above photo was from a couple of shipments.  The pair of items in the upper left come from Mouser Electronics.  This is a combiner block and a weatherproof box to house it.  Solar panel wires will go into one end of it to be combined into a pair of heavy wires coming out.  Those wires go to the next item to the upper right, which came from We Go Solar.  That is a Morningstar Tristar MPPT 45-amp charge controller.  This device takes the power from the charge controller and uses it to charge the batteries connected to the system.  Morningstar makes 30-amp and 60-amp charge controllers in this series but the 45-amp unit is sized closer to what I'm expecting from the panels I plan to install.

The bottom of the photo shows a Bogart Engineering TM-2030 monitor and shunt.  In the system I plan to install, all the negative cables will be attached to the shunt and the monitor as well.  It then measures the current going into and out of the batteries and allows the user to track performance of the system.  One can select a number of different things to display: amps in, amps out, battery voltage or percent of charge.  This monitor will be very handy!

And as Columbo says, oh, just one more thing...(for today)...

This is the last link in the chain of my solar system, a GoPower 1500-watt pure sine wave inverter, ordered from Amazon.  It will take the 12-volt power from the batteries and convert it to regular household AC power.  While a number of items in an RV are 12-volt powered, such as the water pump and lights, some of the items we prefer to bring to our seasonal site, such as the TV and satellite receiver, require 120-volt power.  This GoPower inverter, like the charge controller, is sized for our needs.  One can buy bigger or smaller inverters as well.  I chose it after a lot of research, including seeing some videos of the internal parts on YouTube, where it appeared to use some heavy-duty materials inside.

In a couple of days Carla and I plan to head into Regina and visit SaskBattery.  They have a sale this weekend that includes 220 amp-hour 6V batteries and 235-watt solar panels.  That's the last of the major parts I need for this system.  Hopefully I can do a write-up on those items next week!

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