DIY Solar Panel System: Components, Cost & Savings
Okay, I’m, going to take you through a complete walkthrough of every component down to the wire of what I’m using on this system to help you possibly decide what you’d, want to use on your system. I’ll also include all the links to where you can buy these components below this video.
So please make sure you check out the description box below to get the links and get more information on each of these items. What we have here are four grape solar, 220 watt solar panels. These are twelve volts and what I’ve done is I connected two sets, so I’
Ve got these two right here, connected together by connecting the positive and negative on one leg together. That turns this into a 24 volt system, and then I have these two over here set up in the same way.
So let’s. Take a look at the back here so back here. Hopefully you can see through the kind of upside-down V there. You can see two wires connected with a yellow wire nut. One of those wires has a red piece of tape on it.
I put red on every one of my positive wires, so that is a positive wire connected to a negative wire that makes this into a 24 volt system. So I’ve connected two of the four wires from these four panels.
Together. That means I have to open wires those two other wires, the other positive and the other negative come down, and they go directly into the back of the charge controllers at my battery bank. So here’s, a set of panels here that goes to one charge controller, and now this set of panels go, there goes to another charge controller, let’s, go, take a look at the charge controller.
Actually, before we look at the charge controller, let’s. Take a look at this wire. I’ve, got about a 55 foot, run from my solar panels to my charge controller, and so I decided to go heavy-duty on the wire.
This is six gauge braided wire, so this is more than ample. This actually is over over the specs on how large of a wire that I want. The reason why I went from 12 volt to 24 volts is because it keeps the amps down while increasing the voltage.
What that means to me is that I can use actually smaller wire than if I use a 12 volt system. So I’m saving quite a bit of money by converting to a 24 volt system in the cost of buying wire. I did some calling around before about the wiring, because I know it could be expensive.
What I found is that this wire here costs half as much at an electrical supply store than it did at Home Depot, so check out your local supplies and compare it to Home Depot. But for me I saved a lot of money by going through an electrical supply house.
I just walked in as a retail customer, but the lengths that I needed about 455 foot lengths of 6 gauge multi-strand wiring okay here are my two charge controllers. This charge controller goes off those first two solar panels.
This charge controller is off the second pair of solar panels. Below here you can see. I’ve got 35 watt fuses. These are Stinger fuses. Again, I’ll. Have the link below you always want to have a fuse in between devices, so between my solar panels and my charge controller, I have a 35 amp fuse on both of these again, you can see it’s on my positive wire here here.
I’ve got red wire here I’ve, got the heavier gauge with the red tape. I really really like these DZ mm P 500 charge controllers. As you can see right now, they’re. Both the battery bank is full and they’re floating at 28 volts, which is exactly where I want them to be so there’s enough power coming in from the solar panels to charge the batteries, but the batteries don’t need to be charged because they’re already.
Full these charge controllers take care of that from the charge controllers. I have my wiring going into the batteries. Let’s. Take a look at that. Okay, so I go from the charge controllers right here.
Oh to my batteries. What I have here are 12 batteries. These are 6 volt golf car batteries, 215 amp hours. They are ray vac ultra Pro batteries that I purchased at batteries plus I have this set up in three banks of 24 volts, so I have my power coming in from the charge controllers.
The positive comes over to this here and then the negative comes over to here watch my other video on wiring to understand how I have this wired, then I go from the battery bank over here to my SEM lex 1500 watt, pure sine-wave DC to AC inverter And between the batteries and the inverter, I have a 200 amp fuse and to understand why I bought this specific inverter and why I have pure sine-wave instead of modified sine-wave watch, my inverter video from here I go to powering my house.
This is what the front of the similac inverter looks like right now. If I wanted to run my house on solar just turn it on and we’re up and running this pure sine wave inverter takes 1500 continuous watts and up to 3000 watts surge from these outlets.
Here I go to my cables. Let’s. Take a look at those. These are three prong extension cables. I bought male ends, and so I actually have male hands on both sides of the cables each of them goes into a kilowatt meter.
This way, I can monitor my use, and I can know exactly how much power I’m, taking out of the batteries in a 24 hour period. I know that these batteries will store over 15,000 watts so by using these kilowatt meters, I can know exactly how much I’m taking per day and how much I still have in the batteries.
If there is no solar power from here these connecting to outlet that you would hook up to your circuit breaker panel, now of course everything right here is in test mode – have nothing professionally wired yet, so my last step would be to get a transfer box hooked Up by a certified electrician into my circuit panel, and so when I want to go from off-grid to solar – and I’d – only do that when there is no grid power, then I would go to the transfer box flip the switch and then plug These into the transfer box outlets and then monitor the use throughout the house, but by doing it this way I can actually power my entire house, at least everything that I want to run in my house safely, because I’m going through the transfer Box into my circuit breaker panel, and then I can select what items I want to run in the house.
Of course, the air conditioning would not be one of those really a solar panel system is pretty straightforward. You only really need four main elements. You need solar panels, you need charge controllers, you need the batteries and you need the inverter other than that.
You got wiring and fuses now, in addition to that, I do have a 24 volt battery tender and I’ve got this hooked up again to look at the wiring diagram watch my video on wiring and this trickle charges and maintains the batteries all at a nice flow level.
Typically, I have the battery bank being charged by the battery tender because I keep these two charge controllers in my Faraday cage again. The reason why I have this is when we don’t have grid power.
One of the causes of that may be in electrical magnetic pulse, whether it’s, man-made or solar made. So to protect my charge controllers, I’ll, have these in the Faraday cage. If this burns up in an EMP that’s, fine, but I don’t want these to burn up.
Another reason why I have two of these is because it’s, a backup. Actually, I could split this system into two different systems and be able to run it here and it another location have all the components that I need to do that, in addition to a second inverter, I’ve, also purchased all the extra cabling and Items that I would need to make it work in two locations.
At the same time, I also have a BLS battery life saver, which will extend these ten-year batteries to 30 year battery life by making sure that they’re evenly charged and there is no buildup inside of the cells again.
For all these items, look below this video in the description box for more information and additional reviews. Okay, so now let’s. Take a look at what the entire system cost me. Okay, here’s, the list of all the items I’ve used in my solar panel system.
My goal was to keep the cost to five thousand dollars or less so this is what I have. I have my four solar panels from grape solar now keep in mind. I bought these things a year ago and I asked for a discount on everything I bought.
So since I bought a bunch of batteries, 12 batteries plus my niece, bought two all batteries, plus my sister bought six batteries. I asked for a discount. I asked for a discount on the controllers. I asked for a discount on the on the inverter.
I asked for a discount on everything I could possibly get a discount on so that was a year ago I asked for a discount, I bought in quantity, so these prices may not reflect what they are today, but let’s.
Give you an idea of what I paid a year ago, so I have my solar panels here for a total of seventeen hundred and forty dollars buy to be Zeke. Mppt controllers. I have twelve six volt batteries. I’ve got my one pure sine wave inverter my battery tender to charge up the batteries.
When I don’t have the solar panels hooked up, which is the majority of the time my battery saver dissipator to extend life the batteries? I used a premade 24 inch starter to switch battery cables. They’re four and a half dollars each because it cost me less to have those pre-made.
I just off the shelf at a local automotive store, then for me to buy the ends and make the cables. Then I have my four different lengths of six gauge multi strand, copper wire at sixty feet. Each I built the battery box that you saw and have kosis, underneath it make sure you get coasters that can take a lot of weight.
I used half inch plywood or there abouts, then as the miscellaneous items. So this is whatever they added up to be, and the grand total is four thousand six hundred and forty two dollars. So I’m very happy with that.
Sometimes a controller will cost that much depending on the controllers. You get so by getting just what I needed. I was able to save a lot of money. Now there are some items on the controllers that I’d love to have, but I wasn’t willing to spend.
You know two thousand five thousand dollars for a charge controller, so there are some things I don’t have on there, but I have exactly what I want. I have what I need. I actually have a redundant dual system.
I have enough battery power here to store five days worth of power. If I limit my daily use to what I need to be and that’s, five days of stored power in the batteries without any solar charging at all.
So I hope this has given you an idea of what the components are, that you need to build a solar panel system, giving an idea of using the components that I’ve used what it might cost you and then you can do the math And if you want a larger or smaller system, again, look at the bottom in the description box below this video for all the links to the best pricing that I could find for these items.
So when you go shopping, you can save as much money as possible. If you have any questions or comments, if you built a solar panel system in the past, if you have any any recommendations, please make comments below I’d love to have them.
If you have a video response, I’d. Love to see it, we’re here to learn and to share there’s, a lot of interest in people being able to be off-grid for whatever reason, so they have control over their power and we would love to get your input.
This is LDS prepper, reminding you if you are prepared, you shall fear. In addition, if you want to completely build the solar panel system and understand all the reasons why about the different devices that I have, please take a look at my other videos in this video series for the DIY solar panel system.