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Wiring a small remote off the grid cottage for Solar and Generator back up

Wiring a small remote off the grid cottage for Solar and Generator back up

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  #1  
Old 09-24-14, 12:34 PM
Jeffrey Dies's Avatar
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Question Wiring a small remote off the grid cottage for Solar and Generator back up

HELP!
I'm a new DIY'er and am in the process of wiring my new cottage for Solar power with a back up generator that I hope will charge the batteries on low sun days while I use the generator for power tools.

So, I'm feeling stuck on what to do next... I've searched the web endlessly for answers! We use the cottage on weekends and maybe one or two weeks in the summer we're up there for 7 or 8 days in a row. We do use the cottage year round.

I've got the cottage wired with 14/3 for electrical outlets, haven't yet wired the lights and switches though. I don't want to work with a circuit breaker and am not worried about code as there aren't any inspections being done. (we're really that remote)

I've got about 13 electrical outlets 6 lights and a ceiling fan. I've got 2 40W solar panels w/ charge controllers, 4 deep cycle marine batteries, 3000W inverter from Canadian Tire and a gas powered 3000W Champion generator. I also need to get a battery charge and connect it to the system as the generator doesn't have a built in charger.

My question is: How do I connect the Solar Panel and Generator together to allow me to run the cottage off of either power source, not at the same time? I know it can be done as a guy up near me has done it to his place...

I'm at a loss right now and any help is GREATLY appreciated! Thanks in advance! JMD
 
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  #2  
Old 09-24-14, 01:49 PM
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I've got the cottage wired with 14/3 for electrical outlets,
Do you mean 14-2, black, white, ground? No reason to run 14-3. A multiwire circuit implied by a 14-3 wouldn't work if you have 120v only.

To switch between solar and generator you need a transfer switch or transfer panel.

You could also do two separately derives systems using one for solar and one for the generator. Each would have its own breaker box and branch circuit wiring that are isolated from each other.
 
  #3  
Old 09-24-14, 11:21 PM
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What I would do to switch between solar and generator is wire a DPDT relay with a 120V coil, wired to the generator side. When the generator is on the load will automatically switch to the generator.

Note: You should've used #12 as #14 is only safe for up to 15A. (1800VA)
 
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Old 09-25-14, 07:20 AM
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Some type of a transfer switch is needed, but the challenge I see is having the generator not only provide power, but also charge the batteries on days when there is low sunlight.

with a back up generator that I hope will charge the batteries on low sun days while I use the generator for power tools.
 
  #5  
Old 09-25-14, 02:32 PM
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Some type of a transfer switch is needed, but the challenge I see is having the generator not only provide power, but also charge the batteries on days when there is low sunlight.

How about an inverter-charger?
 
  #6  
Old 09-25-14, 06:07 PM
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Thank you! Yes... 14 - 2
 
  #7  
Old 09-25-14, 06:10 PM
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Ya, the inverter I bought doesnt have a built in charger.. it's a 3000W. yet the 1000W inverter does have a charger built in
 
  #8  
Old 09-25-14, 10:16 PM
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Since you used 14-2, you will need to provide a fuse or circuit breaker of 15 amps or less after the generator and inverter inlets. What I would do if I was you is purchase a good quality inverter-charger. You can then wire your generator into the utility side of the inverter, then wire a small 2 space panel onto the load side of your inverter with a 15A gfci breaker.
 
  #9  
Old 10-14-14, 02:34 AM
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Since you used 14-2, you will need to provide a fuse or circuit breaker of 15 amps or less after the generator and inverter inlets. What I would do if I was you is purchase a good quality inverter-charger. You can then wire your generator into the utility side of the inverter, then wire a small 2 space panel onto the load side of your inverter with a 15A gfci breaker.

Ok now I am trying to get built in inverter charger.. I hope it works well..
 
  #10  
Old 10-15-14, 12:30 AM
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Since you used 14-2, you will need to provide a fuse or circuit breaker of 15 amps or less after the generator and inverter inlets. What I would do if I was you is purchase a good quality inverter-charger along with solar kits. You can then wire your generator into the utility side of the inverter, then wire a small 2 space panel onto the load side of your inverter with a 15A gfci breaker.

Ok now I am trying to get built in inverter charger.. I hope it works well..
Got the inverter charger and my fingers are crossed now..
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-15-14 at 07:16 AM. Reason: Formatting
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