Solar panels to generate electricity

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
28,585
3,362
113
I have 20 panels and 24 batteries. Fans. Large frig. Freezer. 2 large air conditioners. Casita with small frig. Barbecue with small frig. washer. dryer. dishwasher. lights throughout my property all night long. Water pump.

Initially, I was only solar. Eventually, when Jamao because 24 hour luz, I connected to street power. Since batteries are so expensive, to give them a longer life, I now have a system whereby I am solar. When the batteries drop to 60%, street power kicks in. When they are at 100%, automatically, we revert to solar.

My pool pump is also solar, but on a separate system.

I love my system. It is seamless. And I never worry about when or if the electricity will run out. I never know when we are on street power or solar power unless, I go look. And I rarely do.
After reading this, I took LK's advice and installed street power to charge my batteries.

Installation was costly b/c I need 2,000ft of wire and 3 poles to connect to the nearest transformer + a transformer on my property.

All in now and the relief is HUGE - never a worry..... Thank you Lindsey !!

I have no idea what the monthly is - no meter yet,,, after many months !
 
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JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
7,165
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After reading this, I took LK's advice and installed street power to charge my batteries.

Installation was costly b/c I need 2,000ft of wire and 3 poles to connect to the nearest transformer + a transformer on my property.

All in now and the relief is HUGE - never a worry..... Thank you Lindsey !!

I have no idea what the monthly is - no meter yet,,, after many months !
That's what I did at my farm as well. The problem was never the primary lines, it was the secondary lines and transformers where everyone was connecting.
My engineer who designed my installation told me it would be the end of my electrical issues and he was right; I also discovered there were hardly ever any electrical outages. They were all caused on the secondary circuit.
I went from a nightmare of brownouts and damaged electronics (including the control on my generator and my auto transfer switch) to a simple "Yes or No, there is electricity".
 
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windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
39,477
4,350
113
Glad that you have back up to the normal power grid now. That makes sense when you can have enough panels and the $$$ for the best system.
 

DR Solar

Bronze
Nov 21, 2016
1,626
365
83
We found that are biggest electric bills came with charging batteries from the grid. We only charge using solar, or at times the generator because it needs a service run use. Generator provides the charger at a max of 8kw and can take 2 hours to fully charge.
Being shorter days, our batteries don't get us through the full night so inverter switches over to the grid, or starts the generator if grid is out and only the generator charges. House is on grid early AM so Power requirements are low and we average about 4kw a day.
As days get longer, grid times will go away.
Imho: don't charge batteries using the grid.
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
39,477
4,350
113
We found that are biggest electric bills came with charging batteries from the grid. We only charge using solar, or at times the generator because it needs a service run use. Generator provides the charger at a max of 8kw and can take 2 hours to fully charge.
Being shorter days, our batteries don't get us through the full night so inverter switches over to the grid, or starts the generator if grid is out and only the generator charges. House is on grid early AM so Power requirements are low and we average about 4kw a day.
As days get longer, grid times will go away.
Imho: don't charge batteries using the grid.
At what percentage level of charge do you stop using battery power?

Charging batteries from even 50% state of charge to full in two hours could really stress wet cell lead acid batteries.
 

zeferus

Member
Feb 22, 2022
56
42
18
Canada
We ended up replacing our Trojan batteries with US Batteries, industrial size. One batter equals 2 of the trojans. Bought 18, the equivalent of 36 regular ones. So far we are very pleased with energy enough to function 24 hours. We have 3 refrigerators and a freezer, in addition to all the fans, lights, and electronics needed for a largish house and casita. The pool pump is also solar, but we have a backup electric pool pump, too, which we have been using because our water turned green when we had all those rains a few weeks ago. The only thing connected to street power is the bedroom air conditioners.

Time will tell if this is a good buy. I understand that several large businesses and factories in Santiago and Moca are using these batteries. Have seen photos.

But so far, so good.
Thanks for sharing our experience. How are those batteries holding up? Would you buy them again or would you buy Trojan Red batteries?
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
28,585
3,362
113
My street power is always on... I don't think I have the system to charge batteries when drop to 50-60% or so.
They stay at 100% until needed.
 

Drperson

Well-known member
Sep 19, 2008
853
154
63
We found that are biggest electric bills came with charging batteries from the grid. We only charge using solar, or at times the generator because it needs a service run use. Generator provides the charger at a max of 8kw and can take 2 hours to fully charge.
Being shorter days, our batteries don't get us through the full night so inverter switches over to the grid, or starts the generator if grid is out and only the generator charges. House is on grid early AM so Power requirements are low and we average about 4kw a day.
As days get longer, grid times will go away.
Imho: don't charge batteries using the grid.
we disconected our inerter and saved alot of money in electricity
 
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JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
7,165
4,509
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we disconected our inerter and saved alot of money in electricity
I've thought about doing that more than once. I live on a 24/7 circuit and I sometimes wonder why I leave it connected.