In this article I'll show you how to untether from the grid, and avoid a smelly, noisy, fuel consuming generator except in extreme weather conditions. It can be pricey for a good system, but you'll have minimal ongoing expenses, unlike fuel and maintenance on a generator. The less power you consume, the less power you will need to generate, keeping the system costs down. It's important to start with conservation.
Steve Spence | Green-Trust.org
Living off-grid brings some unique challenges to your lifestyle. You need to be aware of your total power consumption, and the power consumption of your appliances. You also need to be aware of the amount of time you run each appliance, as a small consumer left on 24 hours a day can consume more than a power hungry devices used briefly.
There are many ways to mount solar panels. Some of these methods may include fixed on your roof, fixed on the ground, fixed on pole mounts, or pole mounted tracking arrays. Mounting your panels on the roof makes sense from a security, stealth and convenience standpoint, and can lower roof temperatures in hot climates, but is inconvenient in snow country. Panel angle should be adjusted seasonally for best collection.
So, you have mounted the panels on the roof or on a yard mount. You'll want to connect them in parallel (unless using the MPPT controller, (It's panel and controller specific, so check the data sheets for both), keeping array voltage below 100v is usually best) connecting positive to positive (red), negative to negative (black), and bring the wires inside to the charge controller (remember, series adds voltage, parallel adds amps). Don't forget your fused disconnect between the panels and the charge controller.
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