I'm planning a similar setup using a pre-configured OutBack Power FLEXpower TWO (for ease of installation and electrical inspector approval) with 2x3648 and 2xFM80 (for future expansion) and the X240 Transformer,
Which BP panels are you using?
I was thinking of a pole mounted tracker or building a similar ground based setup, in the back of the property so it could not be seen from the surrounding area or from the road. I have to replace the leech field and want to do the underground wiring while I have have the area excavated and open.
What battery bank configuration would you suggest?
Any help would be appreciated. This is a complete gut rehab of the property so I will be installing new electrical panels/wiring/etc and it will be grid tied to take advantage of the state and power company incentives. (Although I am not sure that the batteries will be part of the power companies incentives) My total allowable system size is 5kw without having to go with additional inspections or approvals.
Hi Al, welcome to the forum!
Great system choice, too.
I picked up a pallet of BP 220's, but also have a few BP 230's laying around. A friend will be using half that pallet for another project.
Run the $ numbers on a tracker, yes it will provide more efficiency through increased solar hours, but with the cheap prices of panels, it may be easier to simply add more fixed panels instead. Mechanical things require additional maintenance, eventually break down, and scream "solar" like a billboard. But in some locations, they are still the better way. It depends on your circumstances.
Batteries. Most DIY installations use AGM gel batteries because they are less hazardous to work with. They are generally considered "5 yr" batteries but can last longer with good care and proper sizing. My favorites here are size L16h, and Rolls Surette as a manufacturer.
Most preppers are lured to the wet cell batteries because they see the 7 or 10 year life, or to forklift batteries with a 20 year life. I plan on using wet cells. *CAUTION* Wet cells outgas hydrogen. They must go in a well ventilated explosion hazard rated environment. The best way I can explain this... If you would be unconfortable leaving an open natural gas jet spewing gas 24/7 in the location the batteries will sit, then the location is wrong for wet cells. Hydrogen gas is more explosive than natural gas.
Down south we can use ventilated enclosures outside, up north there are temperature factors to deal with. Where are you located?
Normally the power company gives incentives for grid tie systems only, no batteries. Grid tie systems are designed to shut down when the grid drops out for safety of the utility company workers. While the GVFX inverters will grid tie, they will also run stand alone, but not at the same time. Each mode is set up and wired differently. Some folks install the system grid tie without batteries, collect the rebates, then convert them to grid fed stand alone. Because you are rewiring the house, this would work well. The how-to is TMI for posting here, though.
Sounds like you need a knowledgeable local electrician to hold your hand.