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My Solar Power Setup

by TexasPrepper2 • 439,305 views This is my Solar / Wind Power setup. Build your own solar power setup. The video is a little long, but I had to cover a lot of important information. I have a huge list...

Terminal ends can be mad cheaply  from copper pipe.
+EmmittBrownBTTF1 Yep... next time I'll probably do that...
+Mehmet Yıldırım Ignoring  that your link is spam, its political assertions are dead wrong. power company's through the American Legislative Exchange Council have pushed legislation to charge home owners for installing Solar. Sure coal and oil based energy sources will rise in price, that is why white house policy is to encourage solar and wind power. Learn more about Earth 4 Enery here Greenpower Science has a great series on DIY solar - FOR FREE.  MuddyMuddyMuddman shows how to build a wind turbine from junk. FOR FREE.
Why is it just for back up? Am I missing something... Do you have another solar system running full time? If not, could this not be saving you large sums of money off of your electric bill? Why not use it all the time? You could tweak it till it is perfect & get off the grid!
"It will power the house, it will power the barn...." IT WILL ELECTROCUTE ANYONE THAT IS WORKING ON THE POWER SYSTEM TOO! You MUST disconnect from the mains before hooking anything electrical to your system. You WILL kill someone.
+Steven Feil I discussed that in the video... I not only disconnect the mains... I pull the meter. That way I know there is no way I'm going to hurt anyone. Thanks for the comment.
OK, must not have been obvious as I watched the whole video.
That inverter you mentioned ..... i been looking at one on e-bay 12 volt split phase, 3000/9000 watt $289. 
Look up East Penn Manufacturing (DEKA) Im a mechanic for them. There sight will tell you all you want to know about battery's.  
+Jimmy Moore They sure make good batteries !
But since i now see you put this up 4 years ago you might have found one.   :)
i have the same brand of battery just a different size.
Dude. You have OVER KILL and that is FANTASTIC!!!
You confess that you're not an electrician. Well, I am. A Texas licenced electrician with super high tech chem plant process control training and all that. I am really grateful for all the time and energy saving information I get from good down to Earth people like you who have already been there and done it. Thanks for the great video!
'Preciate the kind words... and confirmation that I'm not crazy :)
Here is what I put together for my barn. Great video. Thanks for your information.
Nice setup... you're on your way !
I like the insurance references! I use the same idea to explain owning firearms to my in laws from CA. They still don't understand us Texans but agree Texas is a nicer place to live.
+TexasPrepper2 Since I no longer live in the USA i no longer need to "Prep", but I do need to survive here in Chile which is in essence the same thing as prepping, but they have always done these things as it is the farming life. One of the reasons I feel so safe here is that there is no mass population that is not prepared here. Everyone is prepared for disaster and the economy is irrelevant where I live, as far as eating and living, because it is the farm life here. The amazing thing is the high cost of Solar power here. I am in the process of getting quotes here and in the USA (hello engineer775) for solar power. I am very committed to solar but I may need to step into it slower than I had hoped. Thanks for the vid as it seems this has been your approach as well. Jim
I know this is an old video but back feeding your panel through your outlet could be quite dangerous to linemen and is illegal unless you have a disconnect switch with an interlock which would prevent back feeding the grid.
You have probably made some major changes to your system by now. But, to address a few things mentioned here:  1. Solar panels and battery banks should be fine through an EMP. It is your electronics that needs to be protected. Solar controllers, electronic radios, computers, walkie-talkies, etc. OBXSOLWIND even stated that in a recent video of his that I viewed. I subscribe to his channel as well. Great guy. 2. You can wire panels through different controllers. You can then connect both controllers to your batteries, simultaneously, to charge your batteries. But, like I said, you have probably already researched this and know it by now.  3. I know you weren't interested in this. But, your battery bank, being 12vdc @ 1,700AH, would need an array to provide about 170 amps continuously, to charge the battery bank, in the event you lose both your mains power and generator. If my figures are correct, with system losses, this would be about a 3,200 watts array. Pretty large, but would fit on your barn roof. Just something to keep in mind. I am curious as to what changes you have made in your system since you posted this video. Would you share them with us, please? Thanks!
First of all OBXSOLWIND Rocks ! Great guy with great vids. He even responded to my request to review what I've done here, and give me his recommendations. Next, yes... I've made a few changes... and yes... I need to do an update on them. I still have the 120w panels I show in this vid, and they are STILL not on the roof :(  Maybe when it gets cooler I'll get it done. I have heard that EMP could affect the panels, specifically the resistors... but it's really just a guess.. so little is known about exactly what an EMP would do. I really appreciate your comments, and suggestions. Keep watching ! alan
+TexasPrepper2 No worries. Actually, what you are talking about is diodes in the junction box of the panels. If that is a concern to you, buy some spare diodes. You would still be free to use the panels at that point, with the security of  knowing the diodes are replaceable. Just a thought there.  Anyway, thanks, and I hope you do an updated video soon. I look forward to it.
Maybe you can help me with this, I am new to the whole "solar system". I'm building a small cabin, 16x16 on some secluded family land. The main thing I am going to be powering is a small TV, and window unit AC. This is mainly my hunting spot, but will be a BO location. What would you recommend as far as power to run my AC, during the summer in south texas for 18 hours?
I live on the Tx Gulf Coast in Chambers county. We have a small camp house, and I'm set on solar. The wattage is 450, 5000 BTU window a/c. I emailed a company out of Houston to help me out, so maybe they'll point me in the right direction tomorrow.
+Justin Sanders 450w (~500W) x 18h = 9000whr for a/c 150w x 18h = 2700whr for tv total = 9000 + 2700 = 11700whr/day. Battery should be twice this (50% DOD) Battery should be 22000w or 2 batteries bigger than this array. 12battsx170ah = 2040ah.x 12v = 24000w enough power for a day. To recharge in 6 to 8 hrs. need 12000w/6 = 2000w charging so need about 3000w of solar panels. Cost about $3000 panels and $2000 batts = $5000 if you find good deals. A/C got $$$$.
Liked your solar video! Because I have been planning to get back to TX & planning out my own solar system I came across the inverter that you need for your well pump... IF you still need it...after all, it is one of your older videos. These people sell the complete setup to run a well pump - the "Trick" will be to get them to sell you only the inverter you want or get them to tell you where they got it. I do so enjoy your videos . Oh, almost forgot, that company also has a 100 Ah Lithium Deep Cycle Battery.- REALLY pricey, but light weight & can sit on a shelf for a long time and hold charge without having to put it on a trickle charger...Too pricey for me @ the moment, so I'll just stick to my VMax $259 ea solar batteries for now.
my gaming pc would drain this setup in 30 minutes
Most telecomm companies will have batteries in a warehouse (as you said Verizon did) somewhere in case they need to swap one out.  They usually only know to replace them after an accident.  In some cases they have the batteries monitored and know in advance when a battery is beginning to fail.  Have you considered remote monitoring?
You're not stupid, that's a sweet setup ;) Thanks for the vid!
Volts x Amps = Watts.. so. 12v x 170AH = 2040 Watt Hours x 10 = 20, 400 Watt Hours!!! That's a fair amount of juice.. So if you only get 160 Watts an hour from your panels, it would take 127 hours to charge. The problem might be if you want more power from your inverter, since it's only 12v the AMPS will be very high.
Sun Electronics in Miami, Florida has everything on solar. Occasionally they have items on sale. 
I recommend you contact Ben Rosenberg of Northern Arizona Wind and Solar at:1-928-526-5845. He can guide you very wisely on what you need for your inverters and how to link everything together.
What a sweet set up. I'll look into seeing if I can find those batteries. Question: shouldn't your battery system be set about 4.5 to 5 feet off the ground just in case of flooding? This is what I would do. Plus, I would encase the batteries to protect them from the elements and outside mishaps. Just food for thought.
I'm on a hill... no chance of flooding. I have a rubber mat over the batteries now to protect them from contact with anything metal... that could be bad :(
Hi There! Something everybody should know. UPS (the bigger ones) can generate 220vac. The drawback for some is that they generally require 48vdc in. Simply rearrange your batteries in an emergency, hook up the ups and you'll have power to your well pump. Haven't hooked up to my well yet, but positive it will work in an emergency. I saw some similar batteries on craigslist recently. A little more though. Thanks for sharing your video.
In your video you state you don't know how long that battery bank would run your house...well 1700Ah @ 12V is a GREAT battery bank.  20.4kW/h of juice, running them down to a safe 50%, that 1100W inverter should run for over 9 hours at full power. If you only need 500W and in an emergency take the battery bank down to 80% DOD (depth of discharge) which those batteries should do just fine, you're looking at over 32 hours of run time.  
cell phone tower batteries we can buy them for 4.00 a piece. that is at a year old
Thank you for sharing your video about solar battery.. I really need to find one like this now..
Do You Have Your Battery Guys Info? I Would Love to Get Some of Those for What You Paid :)
I lost his contact info... but last time I emailed him he said he wasn't getting any more...  :(
What are the hazards of this system? (like electrical fires)
+TexasPrepper2 Just how many fuses are necessary? I have a 5000 watt continuous /10,000 watt peak inverter (it has 8 fuses built-in that look like the ones that are used in the car fuse box) and the seller recommended a 500 AMP ANL Fuse from Battery to Inverter...was not believing that I needed anything more but that 500 AMP in-line fuse.  Please let me know if that is not correct. Oh, Yeah, I did get extras in case of an EMP incident!
+Anita V. Moore A 500w fuse sounds about right for a 5K inverter,,, but I'm NO expert. Make sure you check with someone that IS a pro and follow THEIR advice... 
You're a texas prepper?????? lol :D! Ok just kidding. Nice video though. I just need money for the items. Also, can you make a tutorial on this video?
wow, those panels are expensive, there is a local company here that sells them for less than a $ a watt.
I saw your comment reply about safety concerns in my comment. Very happy you turned breaker off. You mentioned you removed your meter. Your meter should have had a seal on it. Utility companies typically have problem with this. They are concerned with people stealing power. Hence the seal. Suggest you tell them what you did and also that you get a manual transfer switch. This switch will disconnect you from them and connect your solar to your house. K Coop
You can use both inverters in parallel don't waste money on another inverter
nunez jon c it is my name
I will put on my gmail  acount the recipe how I did get rid of my electric bill whit the help of the solar panel and wind generator if you will visit my channel you will find lots of interesting things
If those are 12 volt batteries 170 ah and wired for volts then 1700 amp hour bank?  You need at least a 85 amp charge controller to keep them alive.
Why not get a grid tie inverter so you can reduce your power bills and take advantage of your system.
I built a small system so we have minimal service but we haven't paid an electric bill for over 4 years. I learned how to do it all on youtube doing tutorials watching videos like yours. You sound exactly, I said exactly like Barron Metts in Paris, Tx
He must be a great guy! :)
Those are some huge batteries! how much each?
Found them used... about 80 bucks each. They are about 400 new.... can't get any more though....
What do you need to test a solar panel,nice video by the way!
I just used a cheap volt meter to test them... sat them in the sun, hooked up the leads, and it read about 16-17v. That doesn't test the efficiency... but it's the only way I know to test them
Look at norther tool company thay have a 5000 wat inverter there just saying and lookong at all the videos on youtube and I have some ideas about powering a big ac un sorry for the miss spelled words
Thank you for sharing this I really envy your solar set up... I will be starting mine too..
on your charge controller, on the dump side get a grid tie inveter so u can make use of your solar and wind. and yea I cant find a 220v inveter that is 60hz.
I FOUND ONE !It comes in several different wattages... up to 2500w.I haven't bought one yet, but the reviews are great.Here it is:
woow, all is looking real good.. 
So if you don't really use your solar energy power you just display them for people to see YouTube . I don't get the idea not taking advantage of your solar system energy so do you plug your remote control vibrators to charged them it don't take that much power ..
Your loud breathing was so annoying and distracting I had to turn it off after 3 min. You might consider remaking this video and use a more appropriate microphone.
It has about 350,000 + views... and you are the only one that finds my "breathing" annoying.When I STOP breathing...... that's when I'll be annoyed :) Did that make you feel better? I cannot believe I bothered reading the whole comment. Thanks for wasting my time with your bitterness.
how much do those batteries use? okay you just answered. i have a friend who is a dsl installer for at&t, so I will see if he can get me a dozen batteries. That's a whole lot better than marine batteries I've been using.
Make sure you are discharging those batteries on the house load every year minimum.  Send me the battery information along with how many amps your house pulls and I will look up what the manufacture suggests for the length you run this load test.  This will keep you batteries health and hopefully prolong there lives.  I am a electrical engineer and where I work I work with these types of batteries but in the 480 VDC range.
This is for backup only, so I rarely use it for anything.Are you saying that I should discharge the batts from time to time? I've done that in the past, but it's been a while. I don't have it running anything in the house, but I COULD discharge by running things in my barn. The batts will be reaching their "lifespan" in a couple of years. If this could help to lengthen that, then I need to do it.Thanks for the info
Wow, I am seeing huge decreases in prices from the videos I am seeing in 2011.  As of 2014, Renogy has two 250 watt Monocrystalline solar panels for $479.  So you'd have a nice 500 watt set up to charge solar.  I've been researching to see if it would be possible to power a small 5000 BTU wall unit air conditioner off of something like this.  Unlimited cold air for free was my goal with only the up front costs.  Seems like used is the way to go if you can find it.  A 500 watt set up would be great if you owned land far away and needed a power source just to power a small camper or something of that nature.  Or for $1,000 you could have 4 panels and 1,000 watts.
Are the batteries connected in parallel or series ? If it's series, you can't just add the amp/hr to get your total current
Sir, is it possible to install a voltage amplifier to your system? Please advise. Thank you.
I'm not familiar with a "voltage amplifier".Sorry, I can't help you with that.
Commercial Solar Panels are Expensive. If you want to power your house cheaply Simply Go to Google and Search for: Top DIY Solar Panels Research By John Sommer Choose the first result. It has the plans and explanation there.
screen in that metal building and turn that into a big Faraday cage. If you park your gas cars in it they are protected as well.
I had looked on Amazon before but did not see this...
You may have your well pump covered by using your 'standby' inverter. Connect the ac neutrals together then would be 240v from hot to hot. You may have to split the battery bank in two, 5 batts for each inverter if the ac output is tied to ground. Call xantrex and ask them. I have seen 120/240 systems with dual inverters to get the split phase power we have in the US.
Well... I have looked a lot for invertors. On ebay they have what you want but its "grid tie". Its same thing but you can leave it always on to save maybe a little in electric but if grid fails you're always on the ready! This battery backup grid tie is best way to go and if you get some more panels you'll love it! Get enough panels and register with elec co they will pay you in fact! Harbor freight controler had bad reviews so check out TX co I found called Coleman Air and Wind they got nice American made stuff... good luck!
Would be nice to make the whole barn a faraday cage. get a car in there too!
oh, and your turbine needs more blades,9,11 blade prop. also you may want to think about going to 24v 48v too. Nice work.
Great , got a lot new ideas, thanks
Have good your job my friend?
It's not about being cheaper than the grid, it's about when there IS NO GRID
Franklin L G da Silva Shared on Google+ · 1 year ago
Confira este vídeo no YouTube:
Texas Prepper, you need to test your equipment on a regular basis to know what you can do and not do in case of an emergency.  
You sound like someone is chasing you, got boring after one minute.
Rather than tamper with a working system I would separate the batteries and have 2 independent battery banks. Don't say Tx because that state is more like 5 states it is that big. Around Dallas they have wind farms and they are kicking.
An 1100 watt inverter is enough to run most things  But not an air conditioner or electric dryer
+David Chandler Yep, would probably need a 3K or so to run a window A/C... I don't know of any inverter that would run a dryer... Dryers (elect) use a huge amount of power.
The electric dryer I just got rid of took 5700 watts.As for a window ac unit about 10000 BTU  takes about 850 watts, My 5000 BTU  AC uses about 415 or so . So it depends on how big of a unit .
You got a nice deal on those batteries i'm jealous the battery cost is the one thing keeping me from making a 1-3 KW system.
How much does that whole setup cost? How often do the batteries have to be replaced?
Awesome setup. But for God's sakes, build a proper containment rack for that monster. That's a lot of weight ready to slip and slide if there is a minor earthquake or some kind of disturbance. You can redhead bolts into the concrete. Use old fire hose to insulate and absorb stresses. The energy stored there is enormous. I welded 3/8" plate with 2 of them wired in series once when we were in a real bind.
Hey Texas,    It appears you and me have a lot in common. We are about to buy our first house this summer and I want to do all this stuff you are doing. Thanks for all your videos.
I envy your solar my man... you're doing good I see.
Should soldier each connection so it will carry the voltage under a high load with out heating up the battery bank
Just watched your video.  Please Please don't back feed the house from an outlet.  When people do this, and forget to open their "main" they kill Power Linemen.  Also the exposed end you put in the plug is a danger to anyone around.   SAFETY FRIST !!
Great video , If anyone else is uncover the best secrets for solar power try Banfan Genie Solar Power (do a google search)? Ive heard some incredible things about it and my co-worker got excellent results with it - saved a ton of cash 
Yeah why not? I haven't been ripped off today so far. I'll check it out/
Good system.  Yeh it ain't the biggest in the county, but if it meets your needs it's a good solution. To develop more knowledge I'd recommend you use the system to power the barn routinely so that you increase your knowledge and ability to run the system long-term.
Nice setup! Might need to resort to an engine powered generator for the well though.
There is a 12v/240ac inverter on ebay now. Seller is happy_iquana_inc , item number is 380869920037 . It is Xantrex PROsine 1800I 12VDC 230VAC Hardwire w/Transfer Switch Power Inverter . This would be great for your pump because of the built-in transfer switch. Nothing to connect during outage just press the button to switch to battery powered inverter. It could be left on standby and then would switch automatically if grid goes out. The transfer switch is really nice to have.
This inverter has 2900W surge capability for starting motors, compressors and pumps. I run whole house (fridge, freezer, microwave, 2 pcs) from one of these 120vac versions. I am acquiring similar batteries as yours, 10 170ah but will make it split 24v with 12v 'upper 5" and 12v 'lower 5'. If you did that you could run both 1100w inverters for 2200w and then put a 24v/240vac inverter across the whole bank for the pump. Charge from your present solar charger at 24v. Either 12v or 24v 240ac pump inverter would work.
+dechase13 VERY interesting idea... I'll give it some thought. Make a vid of yours when you get it done, and let me know about it
One of the comments needs to be thought about very carefully. The comment was about shutting off the power at the main before connecting your system into a receptacle. As you may only be putting out 120 volts, you are producing thousands of volts on the utility line. You are able to cause a fatality of someone who checked the line and you plug in while he is working to restore power. What you are doing is illegal as well. I suggest you buy and read the National Electrical Code. You especially need to read article 690. You have numerous NEC violations. If you cause a problem on the utility company lines, your lawyer will not even come close to helping you! Nice attempt, but your system is very dangerous!
As a rule, this setup is only used for powering things in the barn. I have only used this to backfeed the house ONE time. In that case, I not only threw the breaker... I PULLED THE METER. I don't think there was any way for power to be back-fed to the utility lines. Thanks for your concern, but I am very careful. It is for emergencies only... not something I use regularly. thanks again.
Loving this video, you're hilarious, and great set up!
improper practice for stacking, no containment rack, youtubers imitate this at your own risk, maybe it's time to talk about safety
Why do you only have a 20 amp charge controller for a 1700 AH bank?
The size of the charge controller is determined by the size of your solar array. I only have (4) 43 watt panels up on the roof. 43 X 4= 172 watts. Divide that by 12 (volts) and you get only 14 amps... So... a 20 amp controller is sufficient.
That is some serious amperage in parallel you have exposed there... Hopefully there's no curious toddlers or slow buddies around in your garage that test to see what happens when they jam a wrench across that Might want to secure that issue with a plywood cover panel or something. I wish I could find a deal on batteries like those! I'm rigging up a similar low budget backup but all 100 watt panels, only $130 delivered these days. Price keeps dropping too.
You have enough batteries to run the entire house as long as they are kept fully charged. Batteries are always more important than solar panels. If you don't have the batteries, you don't have the backup power.
up here in Canada we pay 12-20cents per kw during the day and only 5 cents at night. They charge batteries at night on the mains voltage and use battery during the day...
That is very cool.  Peak and off-peak is another good reason to invest in a system.
Very nice setup. If my math is correct your battery back that is 12v @ 170Ah each would come out to 20,400 Wh in total across those 10 batteries. 1 AGM battery cost $277.53 including tax for a 1200w @ 100 Ah @ 12v
If you have multiple batteries, they should all have the same amp hour (ah) output (don't mix batteries with different ah ratings).  Example, a 12v system would be wired in parallel; same voltage (12v) but increased amp hours.  In this case, multiply the number of batteries by the amp hour output of one (which should be the same AH rating for all).  So, ten 12v batteries, each one with 170ah capability is:  10 x 170 = 1,700 amp hours capability total, a much more meaningful rating that attempting to use watts as a measure.  
Sweet set up. If you use that for emergency only, you must make really good money at work ha
Willie Sung Shared on Google+ · 1 year ago
wasim wahla Shared on Google+ · 1 year ago
Here is 12/24v dc to 240v av transformers. so far i seen one with 8000W, buy 2 of them and double load power. w w w dot dhgate dot com directly from factory.
Yea, but remember, taking a battery down below 50% is a no no. I would say I have 3 days at best... still... better than nothing in an emergency. I have a gen that could charge batts back up if needed. thanks for your comment
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