Solar panels to generate electricity

gicamuci

Member
Apr 15, 2014
50
15
8
Forgot to say we have 2 fans running 24/7 and 6 others that we run occasionally. A second smaller fridge for drinks also running 24/7. The A/Cs and water heater are not on the solar system. The well pump I can choose how it is powered, but usually it runs on Edenorte.
 

gicamuci

Member
Apr 15, 2014
50
15
8
That is a significant system. Who installed it? Prices and technology have changed since I was involved more than 20 years ago. What is the price per watt on the panels these days?
Everything was installed by a dominican electrician.
No idea about pricing these days.
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
675
67
48
Forgot to say we have 2 fans running 24/7 and 6 others that we run occasionally. A second smaller fridge for drinks also running 24/7. The A/Cs and water heater are not on the solar system. The well pump I can choose how it is powered, but usually it runs on Edenorte.
Hot water, what a luxury.
 

reilleyp

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2006
974
466
83
Let's just crunch the numbers.

Panels - 10 - 100 w panel for a 100 w system. I see larger watt panels are the norm in the market today. and we were paying $3 a watt and selling around $5. I think today, now I see them more like $1.50 to $2 a watt so I would image they are around $3 a watt in the DR today. These are quality panels and not the amorphous materials which have a shorter lifespan. The one we use had a 10 year guarentee and I measured the output of panels 20 years after installation and were still producing electricity at the original rating.

$3000 for the panels

mounting stucture using materials from Aldom, Dominican aluminum in Santiago.

$500

Atleast 12 deep cycle batteries which - Trojan 225 amp hr at around $100 each in the DR

$1,200

Inverter size depends but probably looking at 4000-6000 watts depending on frig and washer sizes

$1,500 - $2,000 for high quality. There are people making inverters in the DR for probably half of that.

Connectors and wires

$300

This is DIY at about $6,500 to $7,000

Installation

$1,000- $1,500 for trained qualified electrictions.

Profit from. the company you are purchasing system.

The takes it up to atleast $10,000.

If I buy amorphous panels or prices have gone down further than I was aware of, a Dominican Inverter and go cheap on the batteries, not sure what the price would be.

The system would produce around 6000 watt hours a day with 1000 watts of panels with approximately 6 hrs a day of good sunlight. This varies somewhat during the winter and summer months and extended cloudy days can impact production but that is why you over design the system by having a bigger battery.

Battery bank will hold 2700 amp hrs (doing math in my head) and we liked to only use 50% on a daily basis and preferably less. Batteries last longer. You could design the system with 6 deep cycles and bring the cost down considerably but usage and storage capacity would be much lower.

Let's make sure where using the information to come to different conclusions.
Panels in the DR are inexpensive. I did a quick search and found 410 watt panels for 8000 pesos, which would be about 34 cents per watt. They do not have a high tariff like in the US. There is no sense in arguing about the cost until everyone knows all the variables. Do it yourself vs having someone else install it for example. Also, do you plan to live there 12 months per year? If not, is there someone there to watch your system and make sure the cheap batteries have enough clean water put in them occasionally? If not, you may want to use a more expensive lithium battery that you can drain down below 50% and not worry about water levels. For example;

BYD, BYD-B-PLUS-H-2.56, BYD BATTERY 2.56KWH LITHIUM IRON​

Is the racking good quality to prevent Hurricane George, or Ladrone Jorge from removing the panels? Is your local grid a steady and "clean" source of power? Some of the higher quality inverters will not function if the Hz and volts are not within a certain range. Some electrical grids cannot offer that in the DR, so you need to test your local source of power to make sure that your inverter will not shut off even when the power is on. SMA inverters shut down outside of 59.3 and 60.5 Hz. If your power is unstable or off for 14 hours per day, you may just want to go off grid.

You can buy cheaper inverters, but they will also cook your more sensitive appliances and electronics.

I think solar power is great. I have a system in the DR for 10 years, and it is working fine. Before you install it, you should put a lot of thought and research, to make sure it works well for you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zoey_kat and Tom F.

JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
7,651
4,932
113
If not, you may want to use a more expensive lithium battery that you can drain down below 50% and not worry about water levels. For example;

BYD, BYD-B-PLUS-H-2.56, BYD BATTERY 2.56KWH LITHIUM IRON​

Do you know of a local source for these batteries?
 

reilleyp

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2006
974
466
83
Do you know of a local source for these batteries?
I do not. I have not even looked. They are modular, and come in sections, so my plan was to ship one down, and if it survived I would ship a few more. Let me check with my local solar guy. Maybe he knows a source.
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
28,900
3,554
113
Panels in the DR are inexpensive. I did a quick search and found 410 watt panels for 8000 pesos, which would be about 34 cents per watt. They do not have a high tariff like in the US. There is no sense in arguing about the cost until everyone knows all the variables. Do it yourself vs having someone else install it for example. Also, do you plan to live there 12 months per year? If not, is there someone there to watch your system and make sure the cheap batteries have enough clean water put in them occasionally? If not, you may want to use a more expensive lithium battery that you can drain down below 50% and not worry about water levels. For example;

BYD, BYD-B-PLUS-H-2.56, BYD BATTERY 2.56KWH LITHIUM IRON​

Is the racking good quality to prevent Hurricane George, or Ladrone Jorge from removing the panels? Is your local grid a steady and "clean" source of power? Some of the higher quality inverters will not function if the Hz and volts are not within a certain range. Some electrical grids cannot offer that in the DR, so you need to test your local source of power to make sure that your inverter will not shut off even when the power is on. SMA inverters shut down outside of 59.3 and 60.5 Hz. If your power is unstable or off for 14 hours per day, you may just want to go off grid.

You can buy cheaper inverters, but they will also cook your more sensitive appliances and electronics.

I think solar power is great. I have a system in the DR for 10 years, and it is working fine. Before you install it, you should put a lot of thought and research, to make sure it works well for you.


These ??

 

reilleyp

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2006
974
466
83
These ??

Yes. Do they have a location in the DR? or ship there?
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
28,900
3,554
113
I don't know - just googled it
but
Sure - you can ship anything..... use a mudanza to avoid customs interference.

Just search mudanzas here.....
Name your Mudanza , I think
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
28,900
3,554
113
Well........... after hearing about LK's success...
I have decided to plan for some old age....

Going to a mtce free system..... public power to recharge batteries as necessary
Had the electrician here today.... quote tomorrow....

My planta is giving me problems just now - bad solenoid.......

At least when I lie on my deathbed..... I will have light - before darkness

Thanks for the tip LK
 
  • Like
Reactions: chico bill

chico bill

Dogs Better than People
May 6, 2016
10,273
4,209
113

Well........... after hearing about LK's success...
I have decided to plan for some old age....

Going to a mtce free system..... public power to recharge batteries as necessary
Had the electrician here today.... quote tomorrow....

My planta is giving me problems just now - bad solenoid.......

At least when I lie on my deathbed..... I will have light - before darkness

Thanks for the tip LK
Is that like Bill Murray in Caddyshack talking about his death bed?

 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
28,900
3,554
113
So - back to battery banks and street power charging....

I am finally finished !! WHEW!!
It ain't cheap - but I was a looong way from the power source.
Needed 4 posts and yards of wire, then a transformer.

I am now wondering...
Two options

1/ leave the street power on all the time
the inverters will cut back the charge when the batteries are full

2/ Start street power at night and turn off in the morning
or
Install a timer for the 'On-Off' times

I don't want to program the inverters..... if there is an easier way - like a timer
Basically, your batteries rarely will go down.
 

JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
7,651
4,932
113
WW, FWIW, I have my extractor fans in my building using these little guys. They have a battery inside so you program it and forget about it.
The battery inside is only for preventing loss of the programming you enter, although it's very simple to do.
They can be set up to turn things off and on as many times as you want (within reason) and you can program it by day.
Oh, and they are stupid cheap.

I've got them plugged into those cheap refrigerator voltage protectors that cut the power for a few seconds if there's a surge or drop.

If it were me, I'd figure out how long it takes the batteries to charge on average and set the timer for half an hour longer. The rest of the time you're off the grid. Off the grid = less opportunity for power surges to screw something up.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: AlterEgo

DR Solar

Bronze
Nov 21, 2016
1,626
365
83
Biggest and most expensive grid power use is charging batteries.
We started with 35W. panels years ago. We upgraded over the years and now have mostly 450W panels. Enough solar to charge our batteries that last all night. During the day running all of the house, charging batteries, pool pump and 1 AC when desired.
Imho, upgrading is important. It's worked well for us.
As we replace systems for those upgrades, we donate equipment that is still very usable to those that will extend the usable life.
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
28,900
3,554
113
Big battery bank solves most problems
and - Yes - enough panels to charge them

Cloudy days, late night guests mess up the plan a bit
 

DR Solar

Bronze
Nov 21, 2016
1,626
365
83
You have street power - right ?
and planta

Like mine

Late ? like 10 maybe 10:30
We have access to street power IF last resort. We have generator as needed.
Don't know what you are referring to with your last line.
We have not connected to street nor had to use generator for months other then manually using generator for maintenance running.