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Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:03 am
by PrairieLEAF
Hello,

Pardon if this has been discussed before. I wasn't able to find any matching threads.

I am wondering if anyone has set up level 1, off-grid solar charging without using batteries in the charging system. Can an inverter and EVSE safely shut down and restart with interruptions in sunlight?

I am not looking for portability--the LEAF is at home during nearly all daytime hours in sunny Colorado on a property with unobstructed dawn-to-dusk sun.

Thank you,

Eric

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:57 am
by webeleafowners
Hi Éric. Interesting question and sorry don’t know. I’ll be following this though.

It would maybe smooth things out a tad though if you added a couple AGM31 batteries. The sun could go behind a cloud for 10 or 20 minutes and the AGM’s would kick in. We use something like this as a backup systym for our fridge in case of a power outage.

Here is a shot. Bad camera angle and you can only see one battery. Good for a few days of outage if just running the fridge and a few LED lights through the house.

Image

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:11 am
by goldbrick
I'm installing a grid-tie system, hopefully this year before the full tax credits expire. If you're with Excel it's a pretty easy process to sell the power back to them.

You could probably rig up an L1 system but what do you do with the power when you're not charging? The power output from panels varies a LOT during the day and during the seasons. Trying to match that up to charging times seems like a lot more work than just using the grid as a giant buffer.

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:30 am
by PrairieLEAF
Thanks for the replies.

An option I had in mind for the power when not charging is a grid-tie inverter that plugs into an outlet, making sure that it has anti-island protection to not endanger utility workers during outages.

Like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1000W-Solar-Gr ... QzE9jF42NA

Without a reverse-spinning meter, we might not have as much power bill savings but the power could offset whatever's being used in the house at the time, or be used elsewhere.

I'm hoping to deal with the utility and county as little as possible.

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:36 am
by rmay635703
Toyota uses a small NIMH battery buffer in their solar charging Prius if that is any help

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:57 pm
by webeleafowners
PrairieLEAF wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:30 am
Thanks for the replies.

An option I had in mind for the power when not charging is a grid-tie inverter that plugs into an outlet, making sure that it has anti-island protection to not endanger utility workers during outages.

Like this
How exactly does that work. How would it sync.

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:06 pm
by PrairieLEAF
That's interesting that the solar Prius uses a buffering battery. Maybe including a battery is the best way.
webeleafowners wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:57 pm
How exactly does that work. How would it sync.
They monitor the waveform at the grid end and then match the phase with the AC they produce, just at slightly higher voltage. It's kind of a smaller version of the inverters used in grid-tied solar installations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid-tie_inverter

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:28 am
by PrairieLEAF
I'm now leaning toward a small, grid-tied homemade solar array. The grid-tie inverter on Ebay is available in 240v output and 36v input. The garage where the LEAF charges has 240v and 120v outlets next to each other. Maybe I should just keep the solar and grid-tie inverter plugged into the garage and keep plugging the LEAF EVSE into the garage as well.

I'm thinking about putting the panels on a painted wooden frame (like my Dad just made) on top of the shipping container that's already here, next to the garage. Then it would be out of reach of destructive goats, and the container is easy to tie down to.

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:10 am
by Oilpan4
PrairieLEAF wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:30 am
Thanks for the replies.

An option I had in mind for the power when not charging is a grid-tie inverter that plugs into an outlet, making sure that it has anti-island protection to not endanger utility workers during outages.

Like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1000W-Solar-Gr ... QzE9jF42NA

Without a reverse-spinning meter, we might not have as much power bill savings but the power could offset whatever's being used in the house at the time, or be used elsewhere.

I'm hoping to deal with the utility and county as little as possible.
Those inverters are garbage. Do not buy anything like that.

Re: Level 1 solar charging w/o batteries?

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:35 pm
by PrairieLEAF
Oilpan4 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:10 am
Those inverters are garbage. Do not buy anything like that.
Thanks. The more YouTube videos I watch about them, the less I want one.

I think I will abandon solar for now. I learned that our utility has 30 MW of nearby solar farms and over 3,000 rooftop connections. Me messing with a few panels probably isn't worth it.