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Old 01-22-2021, 11:35 PM   #1
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Solar install...Anybody Use Wellspring ?

They are in fabulous Shipshewana, IN. They've done quite a few and are fairly reasonably priced. 1500w panels, 4000w inverter and 17kwh battery bank for about $15k, all in.
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacjetlag View Post
They are in fabulous Shipshewana, IN. They've done quite a few and are fairly reasonably priced. 1500w panels, 4000w inverter and 17kwh battery bank for about $15k, all in.
Don’t know anything about them but thats the best priced and best spec’d system I’ve seen from a comercial “professional” installer.

I would just add that you should check the equipment list, research the products a bit, and pay a little more for higher quality components (inverter, controllers, maybe even panels) if necessary.

That price may reflect cost cutting on their end to be more competitive. You could also post the equipment list here and get some feedback from experienced users.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:09 AM   #3
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That sounds like a great deal. The devil is in the details. What mfr are they using for batteries, controllers, inverter, etc.? 12 volt, 24 volt, 48 volt? for a system of that size it could be any of the above.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:04 PM   #4
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Having had a 30’ Bay Star with a system close to that, I would say it would have to be residential panels, so that of course would be higher voltage but it could charge a 12v system with the right charge controllers and inverter.

I had 1575w (5 315w LG panels) 2 victron controllers, and a 24/ 3000 Victron inverter charging a big Nissan Leaf battery bank. The charger max’d out at 28v so only the panels could top off the batteries to their 32.8v full charge.

Also 3kw in plenty to run an AC so not sure why you’d want a 4kw inverter in a coach like that. I very often found myself using the elec water heater just to use up excess power.

Also paying for 17kwh of battery power is overkill (by about twice) but more power is nice. One of the downsides I found with enough solar to run an AC was that I tended to park in the sun, which kind of defeated the purpose. But with that much battery, you could just make sure you’re at full charge by mid morning (which you would be with that much solar) and then park in the shade and enjoy your 17kwh.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:13 PM   #5
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R.Wold....just the guy I'm looking for. Similar size system and Newmar.

Yes, we are talking about residential panels as an option vs. smaller 210w RV panels on the estimate. I'm trying to format the estimate so you guys can see what I'm looking at.

The 4 batteries are 24v 170AH from Big Battery (17.4 KWH.....34 cents per WH !)
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:22 PM   #6
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8 ea SOL2505 210 Watt Monocrystalline 36 cell Solar Panel 269.51 2,156.13

8 ea SOL2519 set of 4 RV mount brackets 23.33 186.67

1 ea MAG4518 MS 4024PAE Inverter/Charger 2,013.92

1 ea MAG4500 200 amp fuse block assembly 48.75

1 ea MAG4528 ME-ARC50 Advanced Remote 266.25

1 ea SOL2568A Midnite 200 Classic controller 782.6923 782.69

1 ea MID5025 MNBABYBOX 40.3333 40.33

1 ea MID5012 30AMP Dinrail DC Breaker 15.2777 15.28
1 ea MID5067 80 A DC Breaker din rail 52.20

4 ea SOL2531 MC4 male or female connector's 3.75 15.00 ea

SOL2532 MC Y Connectors 15.00 15.01 HG5526 50 Amp Transfer Switch 175.00 175.00

1 ea CHG6001 Iota DLS-55 12 volt 55 Amp Converter/charger 186.73

1 ea ELEC1199 Electrical Misc parts 550.00

1 ea Install/Labor 4 Installation Labor ( RV ) 2,000.00 2,000.00

1 ea Ind. Sales Tax Ind. Sales Tax 7.00 % 455.28

Includes warranty, tech support and instructions for system use.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:24 PM   #7
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Well it’s good they are using a Magnum inverter. Not sure about the solar controller. I’d ask about it - why they chose it, benefits, etc and do a little research.

Here’s the roof of my Bay Star. I had a sixth panel from my last coach (a 30’ Class C with more free room up top) but never got around to making room for it. I didn’t really miss it either. 1575 was enough. The plan was to mount the panel a couple inches higher and go over the kitchen vent. 8 smaller panels will give them a little more room to get creative about placing the panels.

Second pic is the battery bank. Unless things have really changed your battery bank won’t fit in your current 12v battery location. I sacrificed my only pass-thru compartment for the batteries. There was room for a spare tire behind the batteries accessible from the other side. So storage always had to be somewhat strategic.

Third pic is the inverter and controllers in front of the battery bank.Short runs for the battery cables. This used up the drivers side of the pass through. I used the original 800w inverter as a junction box and retained my original converter (right next to the orig inverter) to run the 12v stuff off the new inverter.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:32 PM   #8
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So, yeah, it's a 24v system. The batteries were a screamin' deal. $5759 for 4 of them with free shipping. Will Prowse says these are pretty good.
++++

My plan ( hope? ) all along was to be able to run 2 A/Cs , if needed. Tow vehicle might be an EV.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:40 PM   #9
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Thanks for those pics....terrific proof that it can be done on almost the same exact platform !

+++++

The battery location might possibly be up between the frame rails. Big Battery says that's fine, just don't mount them upside down on the BMS. To get the same WH's would take 14 Battle Borns....lots mo' money.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:57 PM   #10
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Any thoughts about whether or not having an Autoformer hardwired in would be a good idea?

Also considering Micro Air easy starts, since the budget is under control.

Several bids came in above $20k on this system. The Quartzite solar guys (not open year round) were about the same price as Wellspring.
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:08 PM   #11
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Any thoughts on using Victron vs Midnite? I had a Midnite Kid and it performed well. The thing Victron brings is total system integration and monitoring capability since everything they offer (inverter, solar controllers, battery monitors, etc ) all communicate with each other. Add in a Cerbo GX and you have total system control/ monitoring from one place.
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:20 PM   #12
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Thread drift alert......But, a valid question. Is Victron vs. Magnum vs. Midnite kind of a Ford vs. Chevy vs. Mopar dilemma ? Does the electricity really care?

+++++

I'm just looking for function, convenience and reliability. Cost effective...also a good thing.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:35 PM   #13
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Thread drift alert......But, a valid question. Is Victron vs. Magnum vs. Midnite kind of a Ford vs. Chevy vs. Mopar dilemma ? Does the electricity really care?

+++++

I'm just looking for function, convenience and reliability. Cost effective...also a good thing.
Sort of like which oil do you use discussions Hardware wise they are all good and do the job well. I donít think you can go wrong with any of the major players.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:51 PM   #14
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My math (which might be incorrect) comes up with 16,320 watts for 4 batteries at 24 volts and 170 amphour.... But are these lithium ion or another chemistry? It's hard to utilize 100% of even lithium batteries, the battery control system will usually cut you off around that last 5-10%, but that's still a VERY impressive amount of power storage.

I'd be very curious about the rest of the system - brand and models of the inverter and controller.

With 1500 watts of solar, your daily capture is likely to top out at about 9kw (6 hours at max production) so if those are lithium, you should be able to charge at max rates for as long as the sun is on the panels.... But still take more than a day's charge to fully fill that battery bank, no way it could do it by mid-morning if they were empty.

On the output side, while you can certainly run an air conditioner off that inverter, there are heat concerns for the inverter (which will lower the efficiency) and even assuming zero losses.... That's 1 air conditioner (13.5btu) running at 12 amps (1440 watts) and you get a max of 11 hours with no other power users and a drained battery. There's a decent chance the solar could provide much of that power during the day, at the expense of most of the charging potential.

Now if your air conditioner was something like a minisplit running at just 800 watts, there's a better power balance. I'm certainly impressed by the specs of your system, any room on your roof for another 3 panels to double your capture? That'd solve the math for your charge time AND your air conditioner, at least for one AC unit.
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