Finally getting solar for charging my Mustang...

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This sounds fantastic; congrats!

Just wanted to chime in and say that your 20kWh of AGM is really 10kWh at best, since you can't/should drain it below 30-40% (even for deep cycle ones), and the internal resistance of AGM means you can't really pull a lot of power because the voltage will sag too much. I know LiFePo4 sounds really expensive right now, but I think you'll be happier with a smaller LiFePo4 bank now than a "large" AGM one.

But, everyone's needs are different, and I'm sure you'll be very happy with your setup either way :)
Oh, absolutely we're well aware that AGM = 50% of rated, at best. We had to compromise somewhere. The LiFePO4 that were available through our contractor/vendor just weren't affordable, not even 10 kWh of capacity was affordable at this time. We opted to go with the higher cost permanently installed options (panels, inverter, etc) and lower cost batteries. The inverter and battery charger is capable of handling both AGM and LiFePO4, so in a few years we'll likely replace the AGM batteries.
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Congrats to OP on the upgrade.

I’ve been on solar for 5 years so far. Had 26 panels at 265 watts each. Added 10 more this year because we were running out of credits over last winter. Usage has gone way up as the kids have gotten older and we’ve added more devices.
this year we added 10 more panels bringing the total to a 9.5 KW system. I want to get even more but right now it doesn’t make financial sense. My utility company gives me 4.2¢/kwh for off peak on a VTOU plan. Then they don’t use my solar credits against my off peak usage. So I’m overproducing peak usage and getting really cheap off peak usage.
I’d have to figure out how much to charge the cars during the day and how many credits to save for winter or else lose my peak solar credits on my annual reset. Plus setting it up against a trade off of 4.2¢/kwh means the break even point is DECADES away.
Batteries aren’t practical for me as I love too far north and can go weeks without sun and having the panels covered by snow.
 
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Congrats to OP on the upgrade.

I’ve been on solar for 5 years so far. Had 26 panels at 265 watts each. Added 10 more this year because we were running out of credits over last winter. Usage has gone way up as the kids have gotten older and we’ve added more devices.
this year we added 10 more panels bringing the total to a 9.5 KW system. I want to get even more but right now it doesn’t make financial sense. My utility company gives me 4.2¢/kwh for off peak on a VTOU plan. Then they don’t use my solar credits against my off peak usage. So I’m overproducing peak usage and getting really cheap off peak usage.
I’d have to figure out how much to charge the cars during the day and how many credits to save for winter or else lose my peak solar credits on my annual reset. Plus setting it up against a trade off of 4.2¢/kwh means the break even point is DECADES away.
Batteries aren’t practical for me as I love too far north and can go weeks without sun and having the panels covered by snow.
We designed our system so that we can program it to draw from our batteries during peak and charge the batteries from the panels (or, if necessary from the grid) during off-peak. I think that kind of system can be used pretty much anywhere, but I don't fully understand your agreement, so perhaps not in your case...?
 

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New to the group ( ordered the Mach E today) We live off grid in Hawaii with a 6.1 KW solar system. Doing the research now on best solution for charging. There are "smart chargers" that use software to scale back the draw of voltage when a cloud goes over etc> Our batteries are usually fully charged by 10am ( Hawaii being practically on the equator) so I've got another 6 hours where that energy is going nowhere. Finally it can charge an EV :)
 

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The crew is installing our solar system today. I will likely add additional panels and batteries over the next few years.
I've been wanting to do this for about 20 years and have finally saved up enough to afford both the electric car and the electric power plant.
We will have about 7 hours of usable Arizona sun per day (winter and summer both, see attached image).
The attached image, taken from the roof, facing south shows:
  • The path of the Sun during the summer solstice (top, orange line).
  • The path of the Sun during the winter solstice (bottom, green line).
  • The path of the Sun during the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (central, blue line).
  • The analemma for the hours between 06:00 and 19:00.
    • The analemma is the curve that connects the location of the Sun for a constant time throughout the year. That is, if I were to take a photo every day at precisely 12:00, from the same spot and looking the same direction as when I took the photo in this image, the Sun would fall on that on the line labeled "12:00". You may have seen these in various astronomy photography albums.
    • This is useful to know what time of day the Sun may be eclipsed by a tree or other obstruction. At 15:00 time the roof is unshaded in the summer but shaded in the winter.
Specs:
  • 8.2 kW of panels
  • 20 kWh of battery backup (AGM, not LiFePO4, but costs are ridiculous for LiFePO4)
  • 12 kW hybrid inverter with 2 AC outputs (one back to the grid and one to protected circuits), and includes a generator input

Anyway, I'm a geek about this stuff and am pretty darn excited.

271446224_1758589887664396_1825149832991744210_n.jpg
Good move! Next bev & your set to charge @ home TEE HEE….. HEE…We have 6.6kW system x 4 yrs w/ pool ac & now mme 4 and all good. But fight Calif PUC new proposed solar regs. I see you’re in Az but don’t let your utility co take away your solar investment or environmental contribution. If you enjoy driving ev is great what ever you decide the next 3-5yrs will have more choices if you can wait.
 

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The crew is installing our solar system today. I will likely add additional panels and batteries over the next few years.
I've been wanting to do this for about 20 years and have finally saved up enough to afford both the electric car and the electric power plant.
We will have about 7 hours of usable Arizona sun per day (winter and summer both, see attached image).
The attached image, taken from the roof, facing south shows:
  • The path of the Sun during the summer solstice (top, orange line).
  • The path of the Sun during the winter solstice (bottom, green line).
  • The path of the Sun during the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (central, blue line).
  • The analemma for the hours between 06:00 and 19:00.
    • The analemma is the curve that connects the location of the Sun for a constant time throughout the year. That is, if I were to take a photo every day at precisely 12:00, from the same spot and looking the same direction as when I took the photo in this image, the Sun would fall on that on the line labeled "12:00". You may have seen these in various astronomy photography albums.
    • This is useful to know what time of day the Sun may be eclipsed by a tree or other obstruction. At 15:00 time the roof is unshaded in the summer but shaded in the winter.
Specs:
  • 8.2 kW of panels
  • 20 kWh of battery backup (AGM, not LiFePO4, but costs are ridiculous for LiFePO4)
  • 12 kW hybrid inverter with 2 AC outputs (one back to the grid and one to protected circuits), and includes a generator input

Anyway, I'm a geek about this stuff and am pretty darn excited.

271446224_1758589887664396_1825149832991744210_n.jpg
Sounds like you have the Sol Ark 12k.
 

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I have had a system on the house since 2012. We were over-producing so much after my dad passed that I bought my Fusion Energi. Still was over-producing on annual basis. even after my brother bought his Fusion Energi we were over-producing. I have to get a bead on how it is after a few months with the MME. 🤷‍♂️🐩

I guess I should look into storage batteries too. 🤪🐩
Ford Fusion Energi has a 9kWh (or smaller, depending on the year). Mach-E has a 91kWh battery. Your electricity usage will climb 10 fold.
 

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New to the group ( ordered the Mach E today) We live off grid in Hawaii with a 6.1 KW solar system. Doing the research now on best solution for charging. There are "smart chargers" that use software to scale back the draw of voltage when a cloud goes over etc> Our batteries are usually fully charged by 10am ( Hawaii being practically on the equator) so I've got another 6 hours where that energy is going nowhere. Finally it can charge an EV :)
Of course one of the challenges here is that you drive a car during the day, not overnight. When you're getting peak solar, you may be on the road. They key is whether your batteries can take enough charge to charge your car and power the house overnight.

The idea of charging batteries during day and using them overnight is exactly what the F-150 Lightning can do. Power the house during the day when electricity is expensive, then connect to the grid overnight and charge the truck back up. Again though, if you're using the truck this doesn't work.
 

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Congrats! I've been using solar for almost 4 years now. While my 7kw system doesn't turn my bill to zero, it's made an impact on the electric spend. I have SoCal Edison with a tiered plan and charge my car after 10pm when the rate is 7cents per kwh so cost isn't an issue.
 
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Sounds like you have the Sol Ark 12k.
Yessir! This thing is a beast! I'm used to tiny inverters and charge controllers, so when I saw the box, I couldn't quite figure out what I was looking at. Haha! 🤣
 
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Of course one of the challenges here is that you drive a car during the day, not overnight. When you're getting peak solar, you may be on the road. They key is whether your batteries can take enough charge to charge your car and power the house overnight.

The idea of charging batteries during day and using them overnight is exactly what the F-150 Lightning can do. Power the house during the day when electricity is expensive, then connect to the grid overnight and charge the truck back up. Again though, if you're using the truck this doesn't work.
The F150 (or any battery system) will often be around during the peak usage between about 17:00 and 21:00, so pulling from the battery during these times dramatically flattens the individual duck curve, which is key to helping power companies lower their minimum required generation...Of course for the original post on this subthread, that's not relevant because they're already off-grid. Being off-grid means they won't be able to charge the EV during the night like a grid-tie system would allow, unless they get a very large battery system.
 

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Ford Fusion Energi has a 9kWh (or smaller, depending on the year). Mach-E has a 91kWh battery. Your electricity usage will climb 10 fold.
Heh, not really. Work is within 1-way range of the Fusion. Seems to me that I will maybe triple the amount of vehicle electricity used (discounting my brother’s usage). That might finally put me even with PG&E on an annual basis. 😊🐩

Then again, since my mom passed I may be over-producing again. 🤷‍♂️🐩
 

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Sounds like you have the Sol Ark 12k.
It’s a Sun Power system w/18? panels. Have LA DWP and solar agreement is some different than w/Edison. If I remember correctly we bank extra generation then can use if if short during anytime during the yr. no buy out if any left in bank. I think I was told by sun power that the DWP wanted residential systems to only generate something close to homes requirement. All I will say is that it has been a good investment. Just pay transmission fee and monthly payment for system (to own ).more people should look into it b/c it’s the future and could save $ in the long run.
 
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It’s a Sun Power system w/18? panels. Have LA DWP and solar agreement is some different than w/Edison. If I remember correctly we bank extra generation then can use if if short during anytime during the yr. no buy out if any left in bank. I think I was told by sun power that the DWP wanted residential systems to only generate something close to homes requirement. All I will say is that it has been a good investment. Just pay transmission fee and monthly payment for system (to own ).more people should look into it b/c it’s the future and could save $ in the long run.
I designed the system myself and then the installation company redesigned it to meet my budget, the shade calculations, and the permitting requirements. So it's custom and not off-the-shelf.

We will have 24 340-watt panels. Each panel will have a small controller and data logger attached to it and that will be monitored separately to disconnect that panel if it's too heavily shaded or not operating properly. I will be able tap into that monitoring equipment to evaluate how every panel is doing.

We started with a 125% plan, but ended up dropping down to an affordable number of panels. I expect I will be adding panels as we save up more money and as we move to all BEVs and etc.
 

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Yessir! This thing is a beast! I'm used to tiny inverters and charge controllers, so when I saw the box, I couldn't quite figure out what I was looking at. Haha! 🤣
I have the Sol Ark 12k. It is pretty awesome. I could tell by your description exactly what it is. I do not have my solar connected to it. I had solar installed with micro-inverters before my battery. I am AC-coupled. My solar is landed on a sub-panel. I moved most of my house to the sub-panel, and the Load portion of the 12k feeds my panel from the battery.

You will like it. Lots to play around with.
 
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