Solar on a Budget... or am I chasing a unicorn?

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GeorgiaPeachie

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We have a small solar setup on our garage roof that charges car batteries, 3 can be done at a time. Carrying in a car battery and using an inverter with it is an easy way to use things when the power goes out. Solar set up was about $300. And then we bought the car batteries. And good to use when the propane runs out, but that'll be awhile. The generac runs on propane.
We have a Generac and then a backup, both on propane. Running out of propane would not be good, but we, like you, have a solar backup.
 

GeorgiaPeachie

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My daughter's finance works for a company that sells and installs off grid solar systems. Yesterday I talked with the owner (also my daughters boyfriends cousin) what I need for a generator at my pump house. He's doing some research and will put together a bid for what he thinks will work. He's willing to make the 275 mile trip to our place to evaluate our system and offer suggestions, when I offered to let him hunt elk on our property. Plus he wants to trade beef for any equipment that I decide to buy.
Sweet Arctic! That is the way to ditch the government and still get what you need!
 

DrJenner

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My daughter's finance works for a company that sells and installs off grid solar systems. Yesterday I talked with the owner (also my daughters boyfriends cousin) what I need for a generator at my pump house. He's doing some research and will put together a bid for what he thinks will work. He's willing to make the 275 mile trip to our place to evaluate our system and offer suggestions, when I offered to let him hunt elk on our property. Plus he wants to trade beef for any equipment that I decide to buy.
Will he come out to my place!!
LOL in all seriousness, we just got a bid for batteries - not even the solar system - $45k just for BATTERIES!
 

Arcticdude

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Will he come out to my place!!
LOL in all seriousness, we just got a bid for batteries - not even the solar system - $45k just for BATTERIES!
Is that for lithium batteries? I went with lead acid batteries. I think my battery bank cost around $6,500.
My whole system cost around $65,000+.
Im going to add a wind generator soon.
 

DrJenner

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Is that for lithium batteries? I went with lead acid batteries. I think my battery bank cost around $6,500.
My whole system cost around $65,000+.
Im going to add a wind generator soon.
yeah it was for lithium batteries. We want to add a wind generator as well.
Will be living in our RV for awhile while we build outbuildings, and then figure out what we are going to build to live in later.
 

tmttactical

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Lead acid batteries do require more maintenance but the big plus is they are maintainable. Fresh electrolyte can be added / changed out. Water can be distilled. With proper maintenance, lead acid batteries can last a very long time. It is just that most people do not want to deal with the battery maintenance.
 

backandbeyond

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I wish lithium or some other such technology were cost effective, but for now I'm sticking with AGMs. Dang things weigh a ton though.
Don't let those sealed ones get hot, like in a tin shed in summer. I have killed a few that way, they hate heat, they can outgass but it's impossible to top them back up.

Batteries are sort of like tooth brushes in that they wear out, bloody expensive too considering how often a backup system gets used.
 

DrHenley

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Most are inside in the A/C. That's the plus about AGMs, they have some kind of recombination of the gas and never outgas unless they get really hot, so they are completely safe indoors. Amazing how clean the terminals are after several years without that acidic gas.
I have one AGM in a car. Kind of hard to keep that one cool in this Georgia heat, but it has lasted three years and still going strong, which kind of surprised me. I have accidentally run it down a couple of times. Once by leaving an inverter plugged into the cigarette lighter, and once by leaving the lights on.
I had an AGM in my truck but I killed that one pretty quickly LOL. The warranty replacement got added to the indoor battery bank and I put a Bosch SLA battery in the truck.
 

Graynomad

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I built a new system a few years ago and decided to stick with flooded, maintenance is not my strong point so maybe not a good choice in that regard, but so far so good. Always AGM in a vehicle for me.

I just can't get enthused about lithium batteries, I know they have a lot of good points but even though I'm an electronics engineer I don't like having critical systems reliant on electronics any more than necessary, and lithium does.
 

Arcticdude

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Lead acid batteries do require more maintenance but the big plus is they are maintainable. Fresh electrolyte can be added / changed out. Water can be distilled. With proper maintenance, lead acid batteries can last a very long time. It is just that most people do not want to deal with the battery maintenance.
We add distilled water to our batteries once a month. No big deal. We also have a hygrometer to check the electrolyte strength a couple times a year.
 

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