The ideal solar operated house?

Yourmaninvegas

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2016
3,292
2,589
113
-
Here is a link to a company that claims to sell Lithium invertor batteries in the DR


Scroll down to find:

Distributors in Dominican Republic

Critical Power International LLC (southern)

www.CriticalPowerInternational.com

786-499-6825

franklin.guerrero@criticalpowerinternational.com
They do not sell directly to end users such as myself.
I have sent a email to Mr. Guerrero and requested that he provide me with information to distributors of the Lithium ion batteries that sell to the end user here in 🇩🇴
IVega & Asociados (northern)

www.vega.com.do

809-581-7887
I have sent a email to Vega and requested that he provide me with information to distributors of the Lithium ion batteries that sell to the end user here in 🇩🇴 .

I will let you know what I find out if I get a response.
 
Aug 21, 2007
3,149
2,184
113
We began with our system purely solar. However, we learned that when there are periods of rain for days and days, the solar was not adequate. Power in Jamao was intermittent at that time. Now, it is "24 hours." Haha. Thus, we changed our system up by using solar, but when the batteries were at 65%, switching to street power. That way, the batteries supposedly last longer than it you keep draining them, then charging them by the sun.

I am NO EXPERT! I am just writing about our system and and our experience. Each person must design what they want and what works best for them.

We did investigate lithium batteries and decided not to go that route, even though we are friends with the owner of Crown Batteries. Our first set of batteries was trojan. They lasted about 3 years. The second set that we now have are commercial batteries. I posted about them when we bought them and everyone on this board shot me down as making a bad purchase. Good enough. However, since buying them I took note that, yes, most larger facilities and factories are in fact using these batteries, and for us, they have required less top offs of water than the trojans and seem to work better. As far as lasting longer, only time will tell. They are almost 2 years old now.

We do have our system serviced twice a year, which includes cleaning the panels, the battery cables, and the system in general.

That is my experience. I am 100% happy with our system. Our air-conditioners are the only household appliances not connected to the solar system. They run solely off street power. Otherwise we run 3 refrigerators, a chest freezer, a dishwasher, washing machine and dryer off the batteries. Our pool pump is also solar but has separate panels.

We rely on our installer and our maintenance man who are much more knowledgeable than us.

And we do not own a generator and have never needed one.
 

Yourmaninvegas

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2016
3,292
2,589
113
-
We began with our system purely solar. However, we learned that when there are periods of rain for days and days, the solar was not adequate. Power in Jamao was intermittent at that time. Now, it is "24 hours." Haha. Thus, we changed our system up by using solar, but when the batteries were at 65%, switching to street power. That way, the batteries supposedly last longer than it you keep draining them, then charging them by the sun.
Absolute correct. Switching to street power before 50% drain maximizes the battery life of flooded lead acid.
We did investigate lithium batteries and decided not to go that route, even though we are friends with the owner of Crown Batteries.
Contact information for Crown Batteries please.
Our first set of batteries was trojan. They lasted about 3 years. The second set that we now have are commercial batteries. I posted about them when we bought them and everyone on this board shot me down as making a bad purchase.
Yep, what did they know⁉️
Good enough. However, since buying them I took note that, yes, most larger facilities and factories are in fact using these batteries, and for us, they have required less top offs of water than the trojans and seem to work better. As far as lasting longer, only time will tell. They are almost 2 years old now.

We do have our system serviced twice a year, which includes cleaning the panels, the battery cables, and the system in general.

That is my experience. I am 100% happy with our system. Our air-conditioners are the only household appliances not connected to the solar system. They run solely off street power. Otherwise we run 3 refrigerators, a chest freezer, a dishwasher, washing machine and dryer off the batteries. Our pool pump is also solar but has separate panels.

We rely on our installer and our maintenance man who are much more knowledgeable than us.

And we do not own a generator and have never needed one.
And that is how you go hard in the paint and get things done in the 🇩🇴
Big BOOYAO for @LindseyKaufman
 
Aug 21, 2007
3,149
2,184
113
Absolute correct. Switching to street power before 50% drain maximizes the battery life of flooded lead acid.

Contact information for Crown Batteries please.

Yep, what did they know⁉️

And that is how you go hard in the paint and get things done in the 🇩🇴
Big BOOYAO for @LindseyKaufman

https://www.crownbattery.com/products

There is a dealer here in the DR, but I was not too impressed with him. I only know him from a donation of batteries that Crown made to my non-profit.

Let me see if I can dig up the rep in New York. I wrote to my friends asking for the contact info. Will message it to you when they respond.
 

william webster

Platinum
Jan 16, 2009
30,247
4,330
113
I am still looking for a source.
Lots of talk up in here.
No actual location where they can be bought.

My guess is the both the cost and lack of knowledge.
People don't understand that you can get 5 to 10 time more recharge cycles out of lithium iron technology compared to flooded lead acid.
You can also pull charge down to 20% for my usable amp hours per equivalent flooded lead acid battery.
They don't need to be recharged fully after each discharge cycle in order to maintain the storage qualities.
And they are lighter. Something that is important for mobile application.

What's the biggest obstacle in getting such a product?

The cost of shipping.
Shipping,
I doubt a MIA or NYC mudanza would be that $$$.... weight isn't a factor to them
 

ese tipo

Newbie
Apr 12, 2019
97
58
28
Lithium batteries still remain the "big ticket" item in off grid systems for a number of reasons. In no particular order, the elements in Lithium Iron Phosphate (Lifepo4) makes for one of the safest versatile chemistries you'll find.Not being susceptible to thermal runaway as stand alone lithium batteries you'll not have a mushroom cloud should there be a fault condition,You don't have the "blood diamond" scenario cause it does not rely on scarce materials IE: Cobalt etc.and it's materials are abundant comparably.

One of the reasons for the initial high cost is supply and demand ( duh right? ) very few if any cars rely on Lifepo4 simply because lithium batteries are much more energy dense as compared to lifepo4. Less weight, more capacity, longer travels, and speed! Good times are a coming for Lifepo4 though.Auto manufacturer's are investing heavily in solid state battery R&D ( no electrolyte needed hence lighter, safer ).And believe it or not, the latest energy bill passed in the US will most certainly make an impact on supply as they will now be subsidizing American made renewables as the scales are tipped in Chinas favor as there are currently no co's in the us manufacturing lithium cells and very few solar panels Also the cap on tax credits for auto makers will now be lifted. It's currently at 200,000 units sold, after that no tax credit so it should make EV cars more within reach.So mr Musk again will be rolling in it some more.

Now as far as Lifepo4 goes, yes they are the title holder.NowI, as well as others on the board highly recommend them,but it can't be stressed enough: Make sure your charging system is programmed for lithium.Makes no sense in investing in lithium only to have incorrect charging parameters, you'd be throwing money out the window as it were.So in closing yes Lithium is the creme de la creme at the moment but if you can wait a little longer prices will drop significantly, they have been doing so for quite some time now.
 

reilleyp

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2006
1,252
710
113
Certainly it is not in the cost of the batteries as lithium have many times the number of recharge cycles than flooded lead acid batteries making them more cost effective over the long term.
Be careful if buying LiFePo4 batteries on Alibaba or Aliexpress or anywhere else. Some claim to be 420 Ah but they are nowhere near that, maybe only half. They also arrive with poor quality workmanship and leaking. The come with a guarantee but it costs hundreds of dollars to return them to China. They also took months to arrive. Look up the complaints online. Also look up the Youtube videos that show people testing them. I did my own testing with a batch of improperly labeled batteries and they only had about half the Ah. Will they last thousands of cycles? Time will tell, but the company names change before the batteries even arrive so if they do not last as long as they claim, who will I file a complaint against?
Right now I am going totally off grid with SMA Sunny Island and Sunny Boys with wind turbines to charge when there is no sun. I have a good supply of wind all day, but the cheap wind turbines have the same problem, which is that they do not produce anywhere near what they advertise on Ebay or elsewhere. My system is not up and running yet but I should have a report for you around February.
I think LiFePo4 is the way to go, but right now it is expensive and I cannot tell you who can supply them in the DR. They will probably steer you toward a Rolls battery which is top of the line quality but also expensive.
I worked with this guy from Santiago for the panels; Darlin Panel Solares 829-333-1125. I asked for the 545 watt panels, he said he had them, Canadian Solar (they are all made in China, or at least the wafers are made in China and then assembled elsewhere) He gave me a good price of around 40 cents per watt (USD), I told him where they needed to go, made arrangements to have them delivered in two days, he showed up with the correct items, I gave him cash and he was on his way. After so many f'ed up Dominican deals, it was refreshing to have something go so smoothly.
 

gicamuci

Member
Apr 15, 2014
54
18
8
Lindsey may I ask what make and model is your inverter ?
I have one that does the same thing as yours, switching to grid when batteries are getting low, but mine is switching at 50% or even less and it doesn't have any setting where I can change that voltage.
About the Dyno batteries, I followed your advice and also switched to 16 of them after 3 years of a Trojan set.
Almost a year now with Dyno and I am really happy with them.
Thanks :)
Alex
 

reilleyp

Well-known member
Dec 12, 2006
1,252
710
113
Lindsey may I ask what make and model is your inverter ?
I have one that does the same thing as yours, switching to grid when batteries are getting low, but mine is switching at 50% or even less and it doesn't have any setting where I can change that voltage.
About the Dyno batteries, I followed your advice and also switched to 16 of them after 3 years of a Trojan set.
Almost a year now with Dyno and I am really happy with them.
Thanks :)
Alex
Your system may be operating properly. I do not know what kind of batteries you own, but some of them should not be discharged below 50%.
 

Yourmaninvegas

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2016
3,292
2,589
113
-
Lindsey may I ask what make and model is your inverter ?
I have one that does the same thing as yours, switching to grid when batteries are getting low, but mine is switching at 50% or even less and it doesn't have any setting where I can change that voltage.
About the Dyno batteries, I followed your advice and also switched to 16 of them after 3 years of a Trojan set.
Almost a year now with Dyno and I am really happy with them.

Thanks :)
Alex

Discharging of AGM or Flooded lead Acid batteries should not be lower than 50% for good life.
For the longest life possible no more than 70%
Lithium batteries should not be discharged more than 20% for maximum life.
But you can take them to zero and still bring them back to life.
 

Falkland

New member
Aug 3, 2022
3
4
3
Edinburgh
I am interested in hearing about what the ideas of knowledgeable people that live in the DR have about a new construction operated by solar.
The house has not been designed but..It is a second home for us and would have about 1500 square feet of living space. It will be designed as a "modern" style, totally enclosed property, with access to the grid in Juan Dolio.

I know very little about the workings of a solar house and even less about building and operation of one in the DR.
Where do we begin??
Fire away. :)
Hello
I live in Villa Magante on the north coast. My home is totally powered by solar. Any house can be easily converted to solar. I have 9 solar panels on my roof and 16 storage batteries and 1 inverter. With that I operate my lights, tv, refrigerator, pool pump and anything else I choose to plug in. Never have I ever been without power. My recommendation would be to speak with one of the many solar companies that there are on the island. The initial cost of all of the equipment isn't cheap, but the savings in the long run more than make up for it. Grid power in the DR is dirty and expensive. Solar just the opposite. Hope this helps. Leigh
 

JD Jones

Moderator:North Coast,Santo Domingo,SW Coast,Covid
Jan 7, 2016
12,597
8,876
113
Hello
I live in Villa Magante on the north coast. My home is totally powered by solar. Any house can be easily converted to solar. I have 9 solar panels on my roof and 16 storage batteries and 1 inverter. With that I operate my lights, tv, refrigerator, pool pump and anything else I choose to plug in. Never have I ever been without power. My recommendation would be to speak with one of the many solar companies that there are on the island. The initial cost of all of the equipment isn't cheap, but the savings in the long run more than make up for it. Grid power in the DR is dirty and expensive. Solar just the opposite. Hope this helps. Leigh
Hi Leigh, may I ask why brand of Inverter you have? I assume it's 220v?

I've always loved that area. No houses crammed wall to wall with their neighbors. When I used to drive through there, I never heard blasting stereos.
I could easily get used to living in a place like that.
 
Last edited: