Going Off-Grid: DIY Simple Inverted System (Video)
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How do we get our typical household 120 VAC current from a 12-volt battery? Let’s take a look at a simple inverted system that provides that function.
1. Solar Panel
We have replaced the small 12-volt trickle charger solar panel with a 72.5 watt First Solar FS-272 monocrystalline solar panel. Its MPP voltage is 67.9 and MPP amps are 1.07. We will focus on solar panel technology in more detail later.
2. Solar Charge Controller
This is a new addition to our example configuration – Renogy Rover 20A MPPT Charge Controller.
- Maximum PowerPoint Tracking (MPPT)
- Nominal System Voltage: 12V/24V Auto Recognition
- Rated Battery Current: 20A
- Maximum Solar Input Voltage: 100 VDC
- Maximum Solar Input Power: 12V @ 260W; 24V @ 520W
Renogy is a solar equipment manufacturer in the sweet spot of smaller systems. This charge controller has many additional features I didn’t cover in the video. I really like their products.
We are using the same 12-volt deep cycle marine battery as in the last video. Deep cycle batteries, though using the same lead acid technology, are different from car batteries. Deep cycle batteries can be discharged more deeply and more often than a car battery. Car batteries can put out more power for shorter periods of time (cold cranking amps). We will cover batteries in more detail in a later episode.
Cobra CPI-2575 2500 Watt 12 Volt DC to 120 Volt AC Power Inverter is another addition to our example configuration. Since we didn’t have power on-site while building our home, this inverter provided ALL of our power needs for months before we put in our whole house off-grid system. It ran everything from coffee machines to saws to air compressors with absolutely no problems whatsoever. I’ve also been very happy with Bestek Inverters. We will cover other types of inverters in more detail further into the series.
Instead of the 12-volt DC fan, we now have a standard household 120-volt AC power drill.
The diagram for this configuration is slightly larger than the previous system but still fairly straightforward: