Solar Generator System for your HOMESTEAD // Homesteading VLOG

hey everybody welcome back to our channel thanks for tuning in today we'd like to talk about our off-grid solar system and the power generation system that we have to power our house here in this uh remote area uh as you can see i have six solar panels behind me i didn't construct this uh this uh setup like this uh i did come out here just kind of gave it a once over i got to understand the system and kind of so that i can come out here and break it down for you guys so what we have here is six panels that generate um 1800 watts of power and that's 1800 watts per hour that it can generate on its peak generating um power that it can do on say a bright sunny day unlike today today uh being that it's cloudy like this we're only bringing in probably about 150 watts of uh power per hour which is not too much not even enough to power most laptops these days but it does cover the lights that we have in the house being that there are only 9 watt leds they're all wired in series here and they are facing the south uh direction of our property so in the winter we do get all the sunlight coming in here because it's low and then in the summer they do have to get adjusted so that they can meet the sunshine that is hitting the panels a little higher i do have the controller inside that i'll probably get to maybe this spring or summer that can track the sun however from what i'm gathering from the professionals who made these panels they do not recommend the tracking anymore with the cost of solar panels they just recommend to get the extra solar panels because you're only in reality going to generate an extra 10 to 15 percent with the tracker so that being said this does uh on the bright sunny days it does put out the power that it needs we've been seeing 13 1400 watts per hour on optimal days and the only thing that we have to do maintenance wise with this right now is come out here when the snow does fall quite a bit it accumulates on the panels and then prevents the sun from coming in so i just come out here with a with a broom that i attached a 10-foot piece of emt to it and so i can brush off the solar panels when it is a nice bright sunny day and uh the panels get to heat up a little bit i don't even have to come here uh the sun will just melt it right off and take care of themselves but uh as for now we're still working with it and uh understanding the system but for now we haven't really needed to um use the generators much this has seemed to be doing well for us and we're quite happy we'll see how it generates in the summer some people say that the solar panels work better in the winter than they do in the summer so we'll probably do an update later down into the year letting you know how the system works in the winter i suppose of the summer and go from there so yeah if you have any questions on the solar panels here that you think i've met missed leave a comment down in the uh in the comments section that's right after you subscribe and hit the bell uh so what we're gonna do now is head over to the generator building and show you the generators that we need to turn on just in case these panels don't put enough power out on a cloudy day like it is today so let's head over there all right so we're back here in the generator room i have two generators in the generator room that i do use for backup power just in case the solar panels don't work or they don't gener generate enough power for the day or say a couple days go by and it's all been cloudy and the batteries just need a good boost we do have uh a kubota diesel generator here um this one uh obviously is diesel just as mentioned however it provides uh 240 volts back to the house if needed and this thing will really produce some power another reason we do have this is say you're in the shop and you're in need for a welder you have a 220 volt connection right on the unit itself so i can pull out this cord and connect up my welder or anything else that would require 220 and just run that out to the yard and go from there but the cord that we have connected here now runs back over to this switch into the top and this here is our honda gasoline generator and it only puts out [Music] 120 volts however this one puts out about 3 000 watts of power and this one is many more so typically we don't run this one we just use this one because the most we're going to be running that needs uh anywhere close to 3000 watts would be a say like a blender or a coffee maker uh a electric uh kettle but now that we have wood burning we don't use it at all and uh our washer we also turn this on just so it's not such a drain on the system this one is a lot uh more efficient just because on the front of it here you can go on to full blast or um you can put it onto economy economy mode which will uh kind of slow down the use of the gasoline not put out uh the full 3000 watts that's required uh if you don't need it uh say you're putting the draw on it it will kick up into a higher gear for that brief second to use it and then it'll cut back down so this one is what we've been using the most it takes about 15 liters of gas to fill it up and out of that 15 liters we will get about i would say nine hours of run time on it if we need it that long um typically we haven't used it for more than i would say six hours and that was for a complete charge from uh from empty uh right through to the equalization part which uh your batteries are full at that point but being that you need to run an equalization uh charge on it which i'll get to when we're inside uh the generator is required to run so from both these generators i have a cord running back to this box and now what we have at this box here is a transfer switch that uh the previous owner uh jimmy rigged here so it is safe it works perfectly fine however it's not an actual um transfer switch it's just a double throw switch which still locks the same way i would say so what you have on the front here is you got the honda at the bottom and then the kubota at top so depending on what generator is running so say i fire up the honda all i have to do is come out here flip the switch down to honda and now the house is getting powered by the uh honda generator at 120 and both of these are fed off of the uh cable here and that runs right back to the house into the um the heart of the solar system uh that i'll show you in a second as well and then inside the house also the jimmy rigged a little light switch that you can just flip um in the down position and they'll cut this uh generator out when the time comes so that you don't have to come all the way outside just to uh turn the key to the off position the only thing you have to remember is once you turn it off out there just to turn it back into the on position so that when you do come back out here that the generator fires right back up with no issues and if i wanted to run the kubota for whatever reason i just need to flip this over and it runs the rest one thing i did also notice that the kubota does that the honda doesn't is power all the lighting in the generator room and in the shop so in order for me to get that extra power into the shop and in this generator room um i do have to fire up the uh kubota diesel ener generator um not much to it really um seems to be working out great uh the other day i had to go fill out or fill up some 55 liter drums just to have fuel storage here so one thing you're going to be looking at if you're getting into this type of situation is fuel stabilizers for both the gasoline and the diesel the diesel should last a lot longer than the gasoline does gasoline will run out at max probably about a year even with the fuel stabilizers where i've heard guys get up to three years with the diesel so that's one thing to keep in mind when you do uh have systems like this with both diesel and gasoline so if you are looking at a backup generator do keep that in mind also with the diesel generator there's a little bit more maintenance i got to change the fuel filters on there i'm going to do oil changes on the unit itself it does produce a lot more noise so you don't run it running say at night when you're trying to sleep because i don't know for those that can't sleep it might be an annoyance but we don't have neighbors i'm talking about myself so yeah other than that i think i've covered everything here again if you feel that i've missed something leave a comment in the section and we'll get back to you other than that uh let's go inside and take a look at the uh the system inside that we have the control displays the inverters the batteries um i'll show you the switch that i was talking about this that's at the back door that you literally is a light switch and you just flick it on so let's head over outside and i'll meet you inside all right now that we're inside uh this is the switch that i was telling you guys about that shuts off the generator uh this one will only do the gasoline and not the kubota so the kubota i think that you don't run it as often i guess the guy figured that you didn't need it but a nice little feature here uh makes our life a lot easier the only thing that is required is to make sure that's an up position for when you go to fire it up because it's not nice when you go out there and it's in the down position and you're thinking why is it not firing it up so one thing you just got to realize with this thing keep in the up position and you're good to go so let's check out the controller here on the main level and then we'll go downstairs and this is our controller that we can kind of view the status of the system see what it's doing how much power we have left how much power is coming in from either the solar system or the generator um like you can also kind of scroll through the meters here and look at your ac meters coming in dc uh what your hurts are and then also if you go into timers here you can see uh how long it takes to charge the batteries um you can go over to see the last day it was equalized which was done yesterday and also the last day was on absorb so you can kind of control the whole system from this little panel here it's pretty straightforward to operate you just have to uh read the manual because there's so many different little settings in here and different little monitors that you can put on the system that this one doesn't have so when i was actually going through the system the very first time i was trying to get a couple readings on here and realizing i don't have the instruments on the system to actually give me the readings i'm looking for so it's something that i might want to put in down the road it's not really necessary right now this gives me plenty of information and is very user friendly now let's head downstairs and check out the rest of the system or where everything comes back to and i can kind of let you know how all that comes together so let's head down down [Music] so [Music] all right now we're downstairs and uh this is the heart and soul of the system the batteries are next to me over here which i will show you after i run through this system the batteries themselves are six volt um interstate deep cycle uh 232 amp hour batteries uh flooded they're not a gel or lithium or any of that other it's just a standard flooded battery and over on this side of the board we have a tech cable that comes in from the outside that goes to the controller which then in turn goes through your overload system here and to your inverter and from your inverter it will send out or will take in a dc signal and send out an ac signal on this tech cable here going back to a 100 amp panel just like you would have in any other residential area now this controller here i can also control the exhaust fan for when i do the equalization on the batteries because they do create a very heavy chemical smell that is not too pleasant to smell so that that'll vent it outside also if this controller here tells me how much power i'm bringing in from the solar system so being that it's cloudy outside today i'm bringing in between 35 and 42 watts uh it's telling me that the batteries are 70 percent at the mo actually 7 68 so it fluctuates depending on the draw and how much the power is coming in right so it's not always a steady uh steady charge in there during the day so as you're using it it's bringing it in so it'll fluctuate a little bit like that uh the over current device here is pretty self-explanatory just uh make sure that you're not having too much power running through the system and this here is the inverter so this will take your dc signal from here and invert it into an ac signal which will go back to your panel and these here are the lines from the transfer switch for the generator so no matter which way i flip that switch be it the the diesel or the gasoline they come in on the same line and hook up to the one point here and then this inverter knows how to uh transfer that over into the panel or what this will also in turn do is uh send power back through and charge the batteries so you can run it either way so if i'm running the blender upstairs being that the signal the power from the generator is coming right to here it'll send it back there so that i can get my 1000 watts on demand for a blender or 1500 watts for a electric boiler that being said when i don't need that power uh this will send the power into the batteries and upstairs that little controller it will tell me what state the charge is in and this would be the line for the controller obviously going back into the inverter now we're going to go over here just quickly talk about the batteries and uh the vent fan that i was just explaining to you that vents out the chemical gases um other than that uh this is uh there's a couple things that i see i could i would like to do better like maybe put proper connectors on here but in the scheme of things uh it's very well done and i really can't complain um i understand like when you're out in these remote areas people do do their own electrical but i'm glad to come and see something that's decently safe in the house and i don't have to worry about what's done in behind the walls or anything like that so that is one thing to know when you do buy properties like this that are remote there are no uh inspectors out in these areas uh no one's really coming to check on what you're doing so uh it's important to um make sure that it's done correctly when the uh at the time of purchase because you don't know who's done it even in the city uh you have people that will jimmy rig things and then they're burning down their house so that was a really nice sight to see so now we'll just uh head over here to the batteries and uh i think we'll wrap it up from there all right now uh that we're just over from the uh panel and the main system over here underneath this uh box or this cover here are the batteries and this was the uh fan that i was uh telling you guys about that exhaust the fumes from these uh from this container here so uh when we open this up here are the batteries we have six of them um like i was saying they're interstate 232 amp hour batteries um fully um filled with uh the battery acid they're 63 pounds so they do have a little bit of weight to them um and they're a six volt battery not your uh 12 volt battery but the way they're wired is uh it's wired in a 24 volt system so depending on how these jumpers are done which again are very well well done they use the proper nuts and bolts on this um nothing looks corroded it's very well maintained so that's not something nice to see but uh from what i gather they're about two years old so they should be lasting us for a very long time so there's nothing really special to this uh the lines from here is your what's this your positive or negative and your positives over there um they're going back to the panel and uh yeah that's about it and then your vent pipe comes directly in there so when this does bubble this lid is closed and um everything's getting vented out here and or sorry outside and we're good to go um and that's something that needs to be done uh every 60 days so when we took this place over it was i think 125.

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Uh so it was due for a little equalization anyways uh that's our solar system or our power system for this off-grid home if there's anything that uh you'd like us to touch on or kind of elaborate on or anything anything that you'd really like to leave in the comments just do so and we'll get back to you as soon as we can so thanks for coming to check out the video and hopefully hopefully you got some good information from this and we'll chat to you later take care

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