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Thread: Cleanest way to set up a dual option PV or "on-grid" tiny home

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    65

    Cleanest way to set up a dual option PV or "on-grid" tiny home

    Hello,

    Im involved with a tiny home project and they want to be able to feed the home from the grid or from a solar electric system.

    The Home will have a small AC panel with perhaps a dryer cord (or RV cord) that can be plugged in to light up the circuits.

    There will also be an inverter, CC, and Solar panels on board that can power said panel if the home is not near grid power.

    What is the cleanest way to feed the same panel from dual sources? I suppose we'd also like the grid to be able to charge batteries, so would the grid input just go into the inverter, and everything AC runs through the inverter?

    Seems like there are lots of different ways to tackle this, I just want to find the way that seems cleanest and most logical.

    thanks for any suggestions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX, USA
    Posts
    9,434
    Quote Originally Posted by bbartmasse r View Post
    Hello,

    Im involved with a tiny home project and they want to be able to feed the home from the grid or from a solar electric system.

    The Home will have a small AC panel with perhaps a dryer cord (or RV cord) that can be plugged in to light up the circuits.

    There will also be an inverter, CC, and Solar panels on board that can power said panel if the home is not near grid power.

    What is the cleanest way to feed the same panel from dual sources? I suppose we'd also like the grid to be able to charge batteries, so would the grid input just go into the inverter, and everything AC runs through the inverter?

    Seems like there are lots of different ways to tackle this, I just want to find the way that seems cleanest and most logical.

    thanks for any suggestions
    In a word: Outback. They cut their teeth on this kind of stuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    65
    Thanks, I'm familiar with Outback. Mainly wondering about the how to handle the dual sources at the panel. Or again, perhaps the grid should just input into the inverter, so it can feed the panel and maintain the battery.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Cherry Valley NY, Seattle, WA
    Posts
    4,315
    Quote Originally Posted by bbartmasse r View Post
    perhaps the grid should just input into the inverter, so it can feed the panel and maintain the battery.
    That's what I would do if you have an inverter with charger build in (most off grid inverters do) . When AC is applied to it it will transfer and charge/maintain the batteries. That said, I would be careful about getting one of those "typical" off grid inverters for such a small place - they have pretty high standby current. I would get a morningstar suresin and keep the fridge and pump on direct dc. In that case, you could get one of those real efficient iota chargers to which could charge/maintain off the grid.

    One final tip: keep noise in mind when you buy your components. Some components have noisy fans which can drive certain people crazy. The Schneider mppt 60 150 doesn't have a fan, nor does the morningstar inverter I mentioned.
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

    "You can't generalize"

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