Author Topic: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...  (Read 453145 times)

0 Members and 4 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline old_guy

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 83
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1425 on: January 23, 2018, 08:31:15 AM »
Just saw that the U.S. will be imposing a 30% tariff on imported solar panels.  I saw mention that the tariff begins in June, 2018, but have also seen that it begins immediately.  It continues for four years.  First year, 30%.  2nd year 25%.  3rd year 20%.  4th year 15%.

Offline Dave Sparks

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
  • Offgrid Solar
    • Offgrid Solar
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1426 on: January 26, 2018, 07:48:29 AM »
If you buy solar panels that are made outside of China, like the USA, there is no Tariff ;)
Some of the absolute best panels in the world are made outside China.  Sunpower, Mission, Prism, Panasonic USA, and quite a few others.
Some US companies Like Suniva are gone because they could not compete with Chinese sponsored dumping into this market.

I won't even go into what a hassle it is to troubleshoot a bad solar panel that should have lasted over 25 years. Not to mention that Chinese companies often go out of business by changing their name so warranty is a joke.

Trying not to sound opinionated :P
"we go where the power lines don't"

Offline old_guy

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 83
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1427 on: January 26, 2018, 12:35:17 PM »
So it is only Chinese panels?  I read that it was any not manufactured in the U.S., but did not do enough checking to verify.

American manufacturers should be able to compete in a fair marketplace, but no one can compete against government supported dumping.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.  Thank you for he info.

Offline Dave Sparks

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
  • Offgrid Solar
    • Offgrid Solar
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1428 on: January 26, 2018, 01:04:38 PM »
Not to mention our government giving a 30% tax credit for a US install of panels from a country that is playing dirty. Pretty crazy!
Tariffs are usually never good things so hopefully this will go the right way.

Suniva filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2017 and has since awaited a decision from the Section 201 trade case before determining its going concern value, according to sister publication Debtwire. Suniva previously merged with Chinese producer Shungfeng International Clean Energy in October 2015, but nevertheless blamed its insolvency on “steep price competition” from Chinese solar imports, according to a Debtwire report.

SolarWorld filed for insolvency proceedings in Bonn, Germany, in May 2017, while its US operations remained unscathed. In a response to Trump’s ruling this week, SolarWorld USA CEO Juergen Stein thanked Trump and said, “we are still reviewing these remedies, and are hopeful they will be enough to address the import surge and to rebuild solar manufacturing in the US.”
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 02:25:22 PM by Dave Sparks »
"we go where the power lines don't"

Offline azgreg

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 170
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1429 on: January 26, 2018, 03:53:47 PM »
It's my understanding that the tariffs are on all imported solar panels not just the ones from China. I also read somewhere that the thin-film type panels are exempt from tariffs.

Offline Dave Sparks

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
  • Offgrid Solar
    • Offgrid Solar
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1430 on: January 28, 2018, 08:14:49 AM »
The Trump administration issued a decision on a high-profile trade case, imposing 30% tariffs on imported crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules and cells. The first 2.5 GW of cell imports of every year are excluded, according to the press release, which offered no details on whether or not some countries are exempt from the tariffs. Implementation starts in 15 days.

The tariffs will decline in 5% increments over a four-year span, ending at 15% by 2022. The decision draws from one of the three separate recommendations issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission last year in a rare Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 proceeding, and excludes a floor price and quotas recommended by two United States-based solar manufacturers last year.

According to GTM Research, a 30% tariff pencils out to roughly $0.10-$0.15/watt, which could reduce utility-scale solar installations by 9%. Trump's decision will likely mean the demise of the petitioners, Suniva and SolarWorld. Both companies told Utility Dive that without their proposed duties, which are markedly higher than the final decision, they would likely fold.  However, these tariffs would benefit domestic thin film manufacturer First Solar, who came out in support of tariffs last year.
"we go where the power lines don't"

Offline Beavers

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
  • Location: Nebraska
    • 12x16 House Project
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1431 on: January 29, 2018, 05:56:28 AM »
I'm in the very early stages of figuring out a small off grid system for my cabin.  Just like always money is tight d*

I would like to start small and build the system so it can be added onto in the future.  My question is what parts of the system should I invest in first?  I'm thinking a good charge controller and inverter?  Then adding additional batteries and panels down the road.  Any other tips for building an easily expandable system?

I'm still working on calculating all my loads...but it won't be a lot.  Planning on propane for the fridge and no washer or dryer right now.  So mainly looking at lights, microwave, fans in the summer, stereo (no TV), and charging laptops/phones.

Offline Beavers

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
  • Location: Nebraska
    • 12x16 House Project
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1432 on: January 29, 2018, 05:58:31 AM »
If you buy solar panels that are made outside of China, like the USA, there is no Tariff ;)

I read that even US built panels use Chinese made cells, so even "US panels" would still be subject to the tariff.  Is that correct?

Offline OlJarhead

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,754
    • Team SEWA
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1433 on: January 29, 2018, 06:53:59 AM »
I'm in the very early stages of figuring out a small off grid system for my cabin.  Just like always money is tight d*

I would like to start small and build the system so it can be added onto in the future.  My question is what parts of the system should I invest in first?  I'm thinking a good charge controller and inverter?  Then adding additional batteries and panels down the road.  Any other tips for building an easily expandable system?

I'm still working on calculating all my loads...but it won't be a lot.  Planning on propane for the fridge and no washer or dryer right now.  So mainly looking at lights, microwave, fans in the summer, stereo (no TV), and charging laptops/phones.

Batteries should be added in the first year or so of the originals at most.  So bear that in mind.

To me a good charge controller and Inverter/charger are a good start.  I found they were the things I upgraded fairly quickly.

You can start small on panels depending on what you are doing but know that you may not be able to find the same panels later so may end up with two charge controllers and arrays.

I stated with 3 205w 12v panels, a PCM controller, 2500 watt modified sine wave inverter and 55amp 12v charger with 6 batteries.  Today I have those panels plus 6 305 watt 24v panels, a Morningstar MPPT controller, Outback Flexmax controller, 4000watt pure sign wave inverter charger and 24w to 12v converter as well as a 6kw genset with Magnum Research Auto Gen Start switch....and 12 batteries instead of 6!!!

Offline Dave Sparks

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
  • Offgrid Solar
    • Offgrid Solar
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1434 on: January 29, 2018, 07:36:24 AM »
I read that even US built panels use Chinese made cells, so even "US panels" would still be subject to the tariff.  Is that correct?

No, that is not true! US made panels are mostly made here.  Many times US cells are sent to china to keep the price low and claim that they are mostly made here. This has been going on long before the current president made more changes. It is convoluted! I would not worry about it either and ignore all the hype.

Is your cabin going to be anything more than a place where you spend very little time?

I would stick with one brand of equipment to make it easy and informative for you and other users of the power system.

Here is a link of a large system but is has all the data that one would need. The percentage of charge, temp, voltage, loads and if there was a generator hook up it would show also. Outback and Schneider are similar and can get out to the web and be monitored anywhere in the world.

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOgnmWeNVSyRaxa_K8_EBtE6L5rOuvpNgiU1ATXyTlrJbmVEfZp00mNowopQbi0Hw/photo/AF1QipN1R-2MwZW5Dz7_hi8e1Q66QSYgqgp1e7FUoP2-?key=Y0dDeTlVbmV5ZmhJV3B6Z3ZKNjZ6ZmU5WnhCUkV3
"we go where the power lines don't"

Offline Beavers

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
  • Location: Nebraska
    • 12x16 House Project
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1435 on: January 29, 2018, 07:58:16 AM »
Thanks for the info guys.

We will eventually be living full time in the cabin. 

I've been looking at backwoods solar and northern Arizona wind and sun.  Any other good recommendations for online sources?

Offline Dave Sparks

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
  • Offgrid Solar
    • Offgrid Solar
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1436 on: January 30, 2018, 07:05:50 AM »
Allow me to quote a system! Take a look at my website on the left! I offer all the offgrid support and that is not just the power!
"we go where the power lines don't"

Offline MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,634
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1437 on: January 30, 2018, 10:09:32 AM »
I would personally trust Dave to design a system for myself. He knows solar. FYI, he encourages clients to learn as much as they can and perform installations if they can.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Beavers

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
  • Location: Nebraska
    • 12x16 House Project
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1438 on: January 30, 2018, 01:57:16 PM »
Sorry Dave I didn't know you were a solar designer.  I'm more of a DIY type of person. I've got a lot of reading yet to do, but I am really enjoying learning about solar.

Offline Dave Sparks

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
  • Offgrid Solar
    • Offgrid Solar
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1439 on: February 02, 2018, 03:35:00 PM »
No need to be sorry!  Thanks Don for the kind words!  I basically charge a fee for the design and a fee for the equipment at excellent wholesale prices from my 2 suppliers. If you buy the equipment you get the installation advice for handyman skill level DIY. We have been Offgrid for 26 years now. I would not know how to write a check to a Utility ;)
"we go where the power lines don't"

Offline Mike 870

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 413
    • 50 Acres & a Cabin
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1440 on: March 04, 2018, 05:44:17 AM »
Hey Beavers,

I made a video on designing a small entry level system it might be of help.  It's kind of targeted towards the Casita Group I participate in (but they banned it, goes against Renogy kit group think) but regardless I think its helpful.  There is one small error that is not really discussed in the video but it's the pinned comment.  I should have posted it here first I was basically begging for tech editors 2 weeks ago when I was building it.  *edit, I was just able to sweet talk my way into unbanning it.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 07:05:19 AM by Mike 870 »

Offline MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,634
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1441 on: March 04, 2018, 01:25:07 PM »
  [cool]  We have a Brat on our trailer. It hangs,well is bolted with security head machine screws, to the rear by the spare tire.I painted it to match the trailer so it is very unobtrusive. Works like a champ!  I'm sure Amazon sells a lot of those Renogy kits though.   :(
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Mike 870

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 413
    • 50 Acres & a Cabin
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1442 on: March 04, 2018, 03:39:24 PM »
Glad to to hear you like your Brat, that has always been one that intrigued me.  I would love to be able to go out and buy one of everything.

Offline Beavers

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
  • Location: Nebraska
    • 12x16 House Project
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1443 on: March 19, 2018, 06:35:03 AM »
Am I reading this chart right?  I have an 1800 watt continuous rated generator. Should I be ok running the 55 amp charger with this generator?


Offline Redoverfarm

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,747
  • Applachian Mtns, West Virginia
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1444 on: March 19, 2018, 06:42:48 AM »
Maybe someone else will chime in but my answer would be NO.  I have a 3000 watt Honda and it only has a 30 amp breaker.

Offline MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,634
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1445 on: March 19, 2018, 07:05:13 AM »
I have an Iota DLS-55.
I have a Honda EU2000i.
They get along okay. The maximum inrush current is a rather brief spike. That does not seem to be a bother; yes the Honda feels it but never sounds too unhappy. When charging the Honda might run at full throttle for a while but I don't usually let the batteries get under 1/3 full so the charger doesn't usually pump maximum amps anyhow.  That has been my experience.

Iota does make a charger that has better PF (Power factor = efficiency), no inrush to speak of at all. I haven't looked lately but IIRC they introduced it a few years ago ... might only have been a 24 volt model... at the time I was looking for 24 volt so that is what I remember. Many chargers have a poor PF because most manufacturers believe you are going to plug into mains power, not a generator.  Better PF can be expensive though.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Beavers

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
  • Location: Nebraska
    • 12x16 House Project
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1446 on: March 19, 2018, 08:19:19 AM »
Thanks Don. 
I just got a Ryobi inverter generator. I can't believe how quiet it is compared to my bigger Champion generator. I really like the Bluetooth and app for it. Its nice to be able to see the load, fuel level and turn off the generator remotely. [cool]

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-Bluetooth-2-300-Watt-Super-Quiet-Gasoline-Powered-Digital-Inverter-Generator-RYI2300BTA/300347426

Offline Dave Sparks

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
  • Offgrid Solar
    • Offgrid Solar
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1447 on: March 20, 2018, 01:11:57 PM »
Maybe someone else will chime in but my answer would be NO.  I have a 3000 watt Honda and it only has a 30 amp breaker.

John, I think you are mixing the AC amps and the charger DC amps. As Don said it will be fine and nice that the bluetooth is adding value and modernizing the venerable Honda.

 If it would start it, and output 240Vac, and run from propane I could sell dozens of them ;)
"we go where the power lines don't"

Offline Beavers

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
  • Location: Nebraska
    • 12x16 House Project
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1448 on: March 20, 2018, 03:45:29 PM »
Quote from: Dave Sparks
 If it would start it, and output 240Vac, and run from propane I could sell dozens of them ;)
[/quote

That would be a nice generator!

Offline Beavers

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
  • Location: Nebraska
    • 12x16 House Project
Re: OFF GRID POWER; various thoughts on...
« Reply #1449 on: May 08, 2018, 01:26:12 PM »


Anyone see any potential problems with my wiring? Where do I ground this?