Five years ago the design concept was much more modest then today and believing that we were retiring soon at the age of 55 we began purchasing supplies for the house. Our first major purchase was the solar system. I researched manyy brands but decided to go with Outback as that is the system that was being used in the Earthships and all the reviews were positive. I used there design tools with the anticipated load and I bought the entire solar system.
The components included:
– (20) Kyocera 180 watt panels.
– Outback FX60 charge controller.
– Outback 3600 watt 24 volt inverter.
– Flexware mounting system.
– Flex 500 AC and DC panels.
– Hub Mate.
– Various breakers, etc.
Now that the design has been finalized and the electrical load needed by my wife added to the system, I have concluded that the 24 volt inverter and FX60 charge controller we had purchased will not be adequate! The good news is that we will probably use those parts on the garage/shop but the bad news is we have to buy a new system. Recent research has revealed new configurations from Outback that should make the installation a little easier and less costly.
We now will be going with a 48 volt system and FX80 charge controller.
All lighting will be low voltage (48vdc) LEDs. I have not found 48vdc pumps yet but did find a 48v to 24vdc converter from Solar Concepts that may have to be used to solve that problem. The refrigerator will be 48vdc as well. 120vac power will be provided from the inverter for devices that can not be purchased in a DC version.