Solar panels to generate electricity

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
30,247
4,330
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:North Coast,Santo Domingo,SW Coast,Covid
Jan 7, 2016
12,059
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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
42,455
6,128
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
42,455
6,128
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

Active member
Feb 22, 2022
105
63
28
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
30,247
4,330
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
1,097
303
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.
we disconected our inerter and saved alot of money in electricity
 
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JD Jones

Moderator:North Coast,Santo Domingo,SW Coast,Covid
Jan 7, 2016
12,059
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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.
 

chico bill

Dogs Better than People
May 6, 2016
12,707
6,447
113
Costs vary.... but about $300US each

Battery bank.... another matter

I have 16 panels and 8 large batteries
Similar usage to you

I 'top up' with my generator morning and night

Lots of people here to offer help
What does topping up with generator consist of William?
What are you approximate annual costs for generator in fuel, maintenance and amortization of the purchase/install - say based on a 15-year genset life.
 

reilleyp

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2006
1,215
684
113
This is a great time to go solar. When I first came here 15 years ago, panels were around $1 per watt. Last year I bought some at 40 cents per watt. For various reasons, the market has collapsed, so they are dumping panels at a very low price. I see panels now online here selling for 19 cents per watt. Years ago the panels were only 200 watts each. Now they are 600 watts or more, although they are a little larger in physical size. You can top off a lot of batteries very quietly and without the expense of buying gas for the generator.
 
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windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
42,455
6,128
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This is a great time to go solar. When I first came here 15 years ago, panels were around $1 per watt. Last year I bought some at 40 cents per watt. For various reasons, the market has collapsed, so they are dumping panels at a very low price. I see panels now online here selling for 19 cents per watt. Years ago the panels were only 200 watts each. Now they are 600 watts or more, although they are a little larger in physical size. You can top off a lot of batteries very quietly and without the expense of buying gas for the generator.
Any links for those selling panels already in the DR at a price of 19 cents per watt? .19 X 600 = $114 per panel?
 
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reilleyp

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2006
1,215
684
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Here is the link, but I know nothing about the company selling the panels, so do your own due diligence;

 
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