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#91 - Emergency Power System Changes?

Last week I started setting up an emergency power source for my radios so that I could operate during our frequent power outages here in Hawaii. I connected 6 6-volt 225Ah Titan T-105 deep cycle golf cart batteries in series and parallel to create a 12-volt battery bank that would give me 675Ah of power to start with. I planned on adding additional batteries onto the system over the next few months to increase its capacity.

These batteries are recharged by 4 100-amp 12-volt solar panels feeding into a 40amp MMPT Solar Charge Controller.

For the past two days, I have been contemplating making a change to my emergency power source for my radios. Currently, the system is set up with 6 6-volt batteries connected in series and parallel to create a 12-volt battery bank which is recharged via 4 100 watt 12-volt solar panels.

I am considering changing my system over to a 24-volt system as I add the second set of 6 6-volt batteries onto the system. Each group of four batteries would be linked together in series increasing the voltage of the group of batteries to 24-volts. Those groups of batteries would then be connected in parallel increasing the overall amps of the battery bank.

I would also have to connect the four 12-volt solar panels together in the same way. Two panels would be connected in series to increase the voltage to 24-volts, then the two sets of panels would be connected in parallel to increase the amps of the entire solar panel system.

One benefit of a 24-volt system is that it allows me to use half the amps for the same amount of wattage, which means I can use smaller diameter wiring with less loss. A large part of the expense of setting up a solar and battery bank system is in the cost of the copper wiring, which I would be saving by being able to go with smaller diameter wire.

Luckily the MPPT Solar Charge Controller, and the rest of the equipment that I have purchased for the system is able to handle either a 12-volt or 24-volt system.

The charge controller that I have can also handle an additional 4 solar panels which I will be adding to the system shortly, either in the 12-volt or 24-volt configuration.

I will be deciding over the next few days which way to go with the system for sure, but the way my research is leading right now I am going to be much better off with a 24-volt system than a 12-volt system.

The only new piece of equipment that I would need, if I decided to use one, would be a power inverter. I currently have a 12-volt power inverter that I rarely ever use. With increasing the system to a 24-volt system it would allow me to add on a 24-volt power inverter which is much more efficient than its 12-volt version. I am looking at a 24-volt 3,000 watt DC to AC pure sine wave inverter but I have not decided if I will add it onto my system or not yet.

Thats all I have for now, as I get everything figured out and get the system completed I will do an update.

Until Next Time

Aloha & 73


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