Off Grid Home Forums Technical Discussion Solar power – help/advice needed please Re: Solar power – help/advice needed please


Hi, elnav, My main house system is twin DR2424s com linked for my well pump and in a special split shed add on vented with a separate compartment for 8-L16Ss below, also vented and weather sealed. The exterior wall is uninsulated to warm the insulated attached shed, and has 5/8″ fire rock on the outside of the wall in the compartments. On the inside is the 220 standard 100 amp circuit breaker box and 1/2″ drywall. I used two 5/8 x 96″ ground rods, one for the box and one for the batteries, then used a 6 gauge wire to link them for potential equalization. They are just over 4′ apart and should have been at least 6′ apart. The phone line comes in 2′ away. Originally I had regular dial up and the computer right under the circuit breaker box. It slowed the computer down and put a buzz in the phone. I got an EMI meter and it read unhealthful 1′ and closer. I moved the computer across the room, went to DSL and the filters keep the buzz out from my phone line and the phone line to the satellite TV. Originally, I stapled thick aluminum foil to the wall, which was really tacky. If I would have known, I would have put the thick foil on the wall under the rock!!! THAT wasn’t in the Independent Home or the Solar Living Source Book!

When I added on another system in the garage I used a Puresine 1000 for my guitars and a selectable MSW for use with the Staber washer and power tools and lights. I still lined the inside of its cab with thick Al foil. However, the MSW, when on, still interferes with my amps, with both inverters on, because of gaps at the hinges and under and over the compartment. The EMI/RFI escapes easily through any gap.

In my Earthship I use a Puresine 180 which gives no noise to my smaller amps and guitars out there unless I am using the CFLs and a single coil guitar, which I don’t do, even in the garage with its CFLs. If I’m playing with the lights on I only use humbucker guitars.

If I would have known, and the prices were like today, the original system would have been an SW2440 with step up transformer. Back then the two DR2424s w/o cover piece were 2K. The price of the SW2440 w/transformer was close to 5K. Now, it is down to around 3K while the new designation 2424s are about 2.5K a pair.

Idle current usage was also a concern. The Trace/Xantrec with the search mode is low power use at idle (.1A) and so is the original MSW inverter I had in the garage. A UPG1300/6000 mounted vertically, which wore it out after 8 years, now replaced with an 800/2500 w/remote switch (higher idle than the UPG’s .09A). I had left the UPG1300 on all the time because of its low idle, it was $100, now up to $300, and mount the inverters with cooling fans horizontally!!!