Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system

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skalos

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Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« on: 12 May 2017, 08:05 pm »
Hello All,

I don't see discussions regarding off-grid solar or anyone that is using off-grid solar to power their system.  If I am missing something, please direct me to the discussions.

I am considering off-grid Solar.  This means my system will be run from batteries and a pure sine-wave inverter.

If I have batteries dedicated to my system and have a pure  sine-wave inverter:

1.  Is the quality of the inverter going to give me 120v that is as good or better than my power company (PG&E)?

2. Can I get enough power from the batteries fast enough to power my 2 channel amp, Tube or SS and 2 SS sub-woofer amps.

I am thinking these systems will be getting used more and more as time passes.

Best,

Steven

mikeeastman

Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #1 on: 12 May 2017, 09:37 pm »
Hi Steve,

I live off the grid and power my system off my inverter, I have 2 dedicated circuits that I wired direct to my inverter. From what I can tell my power is much cleaner that most on the grid power. Originally my system was powered off batteries and I used my solar system to charge them. With the right inverter you'll have no problem power most any amp. I was a off the grid contractor for 20 yrs so you can PM me if you have any question on solar.

   Mike

Speedskater

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Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #2 on: 12 May 2017, 11:57 pm »
Over on the HAM radio operators forums, I see lots of complaints about the noise and interference generated by solar power systems.
And most of the system manufactures & installers don't know much about problems like this.

* * * * * * * * * * *
Problems like this:
After an on-site visit and testing by an FCC Enforcement Agent of the ~S9
interference cause to my station by a Solar City solar array located 2
houses away, the FCC issued Solar City a Notice of Violation.

mikeeastman

Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #3 on: 13 May 2017, 12:35 am »
I think you are referring to grid tie systems which are somewhat different.

richidoo

Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #4 on: 13 May 2017, 01:04 am »
Inverter is not a superior source of AC. Since most audio equipment actually needs DC, might as well avoid the inverter and just regulate to the voltage you need.

I have long thought about having an all battery powered system. Most solid state components can run on 12V or even less. You can regulate the 12VDC power input to whatever specific voltages various circuits need. There are 12-24V audio tubes from the 1960s intended for car use. Quality car stereo amps only need 12-14VDC. Or, with +/- 24VDC, from four 12V batteries, you can power a 40W commercial power amp. If you need more headroom, you could use active crossover and power each driver with separate 40W amp. A nice amp for this kind of use is Neurochrome Modulus-86, with which you can make a custom amp with as many channels as needed.

Optima red top car batteries are extremely quiet, and extremely low impedance (fast, high current capability,) comparable to a power supply from the best amplifiers.

mikeeastman

Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #5 on: 13 May 2017, 01:24 am »
 I agree that batteries would be the best way to go unfortunately for myself none of my present system can be run off batteries. As far as the quality of my AC all I know is I can pause the system and turn the vol all the way up and lay my ear on my tweeter and it's dead quiet. I've tried several devices that are suppose to improve the AC, a couple by Audio Magic and another that I don't remember the brand and they all had no effect.

JLM

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Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #6 on: 15 May 2017, 11:35 am »
My limited understanding is that much of the source of power aberrations in homes is internal to the house (appliances, fans, compressors, etc.) versus "dirty" power from the utility or other customers.  But I've heard the effects from other customers (before and after nearby old/small factories shut down after 11PM).  Personally I've tried power conditioners in a older home that had ratty wiring (where two of us could barely hear a difference) and a 100% battery powered system (save for the CD spinner) in a new home with close to ideal wiring and couldn't hear a difference (neither could other AC members with their systems in their homes).  Note that my integrated amp was 7 wpc.  So to answer your first question: it probably depends more on what loads are in the house versus from other customers.

Are you considering an off-grid system just to power your music playback system?  If so, if you're doing it to get clean power why not just recharge your batteries using utility power?  I'm not an electrical engineer but it would take a considerable number of batteries to power a conventional audio system with two subwoofers.  To address your second question:  speed should not be an issue but you'll need to have enough batteries to power the system and could be limited to shorter than you'd like listening sessions between charges.

As mikeeastman I'm sure can attest, any whole house off-grid system gets expensive and have significant design/convenience trade-offs to consider in terms of huge batteries, 12 volt appliances, furnace, etc. and worries about running out of power.  I have a grid-locked solar array here in southern Michigan that only made financial sense thanks to an incentive program that was pushed by our state utility board.  With that incentive and the federal energy credit we receive more money back than we pay in annually and expect an 8 year payback.  But being grid-locked, when the utility goes down, so does our array, thus I added a whole house stand-by generator after our portable died.  A quick calculation of battery cost to go off grid convinced me that it wasn't financially feasible (tripled or more the cost for an existing home). 

If you go off grid, it's because you're an environmentalist (but only if you use non-battery power storage IMO), isolationist, tinkerer, or just plain nuts.  Current battery technology creates a bigger environmental impact in production/disposal than you'd ever save in fossil fuel damage.  The unfortunate truth is, until enough renewable sources are connected to the grid (with more intelligent grid management) to eliminate the need for a utility power plant, all these alternate source are window dressing in terms of helping the environment.  Due to the need to protect from brown-outs/black-outs utilities must produce enough to cover expected peak demands 24/7 and except for natural gas fired turbines utility power plants are too big to start up or shut down on a daily basis.  But I do like solar more than wind because it's more predictable and tracks closer to peak demand (late afternoon/early evening air conditioning loads).

Rocket_Ronny

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Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #7 on: 15 May 2017, 02:20 pm »
I would just go with car audio gear. I have Pioneers stage 4 deck into a Mosconi 4 channel amp in the truck and it's awesome. Mosconi even makes a pure class A amp. Or, just go all out with the David Berning designed Millbert.
http://milbert.com/bam235ab

Rocket Ronny

Randy

Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #8 on: 15 May 2017, 03:34 pm »
I agree that batteries would be the best way to go unfortunately for myself none of my present system can be run off batteries. As far as the quality of my AC all I know is I can pause the system and turn the vol all the way up and lay my ear on my tweeter and it's dead quiet. I've tried several devices that are suppose to improve the AC, a couple by Audio Magic and another that I don't remember the brand and they all had no effect.

Most of the line grunge won't be heard until it's affecting the music being played.

skalos

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Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #9 on: 15 May 2017, 07:53 pm »
Wow.

Thanks for all the input. 

I might go solar for the whole house eventually.  However, for now, I am considering charging batteries with  small solar or PG&E, then go from battery to pure sine-wave inverter to 120v A/C, and finally to my system.

I don't want to mess with my equipment's power supplies so 120v A/C is the way to go.

Does anyone have any insight into who manufactures the quality pure sine-wave inverters for this purpose?  Also, if I use a good quality inverter, do I need power conditioning before my system?  Lastly, How many amp hours to I need in a battery system to run it for say 10 hours?

Thank again,

Steven






Rocket_Ronny

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Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #10 on: 15 May 2017, 08:18 pm »
I just bought an Inergy Kodiak. It's new on the market but is probably the best all around portable solution. I bought it for the RV and emergency backup. But hey, it could also be an audio upgrade.

https://www.inergysolar.com/product/kodiak/

It's costly, but has a high battery cycle count and can be replaced, if the company is still around at that time. I think it will be as this should be a hot seller, even though it's costly. Price will rise to 2 grand soon.

Rocket Ronny

mikeeastman

Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #11 on: 15 May 2017, 09:55 pm »
Jim, I agree with most of what you said except on the size of a battery it would take to run a audio system. Based on my bedroom system which runs on a battery the draw is between 8 - 15 amps at a higher vol than I normally listen to, a 86 Amphr battery with a good charger ( i recommend the Ctek 7002 ) that can be connected and left on at all times, you can get at least 6-7hrs of playing time and if you used two chargers at once  you could get 15-20 hrs. my bedroom system consist of two classD amps ( mains and sub ),  Dac  and Mac mini. Now to run a whole house you are looking at 1000- 2000 Amphr battery bank.

 Steve, I would suggest that you get a good AGM battery ( i Like the Sun Xtender brand of AGM batteries they are designed for off the grid and have very low impedance) and a Ctek charger. I won’t bother going with an inverter unless you were going to do the whole house. Any of the smaller inverters designed for off the grid aren’t that good and the good bigger ones are going to cost much more and you shouldn’t need the 40 - 50 amps that they put out to run most audio system. Also if you really  get into a battery system I would look at PI Audio Battery Buss. It can give other voltages as well as improving the quality of the battery power.

Randy,  I also listen to my system, which is very revealing with a very black background with those devices and there was no change.

skalos

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Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #12 on: 16 May 2017, 02:56 am »
All good food for thought.

If I don't use an inverter, how do I power all my 120v A/C gear?  If there is a decent 1500 watt inverter, any brands to look at?

Steven

mikeeastman

Re: Off-Grid Solar for 2 channel system
« Reply #13 on: 16 May 2017, 03:26 am »
If you already have 120v gear you might look into a  pure sine wave ups they have the battery built in and will work if the power goes out. It would be the cheapest way to go and should give you the same or better results, depending on the quality of the built in inverter, which you would have to research.