Amy Beaudet's posts

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Nov 18, 2014 02:07 pm

#31 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: 24 volt panels to charge 12 volt battries

Hello friend bit old thread but have you made the right change? I do have similar query so can you help me out..

Fritz, let us know the specs of your panel, and we can figure out what charge controller you need to make it work.

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Solar Queen

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Nov 18, 2014 02:05 pm

#32 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Shell SQ-175 solar panel

Those Shells haven't been available for a very long time.  You could replace it with an altE branded 200W 24V panel.  We'd just need to double check what you have your Shell connected to to make sure the extra 25W doesn't over power it.  Take a look here, and give us a call to confirm it will work for your system.

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Solar Queen

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Nov 18, 2014 01:58 pm

#33 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Small Wind Power > Re: Small Hydro project
You may want to treat it more like a wind turbine than a solar panel.  I'm thinking using something like the Solar Converters turbine controller would work for you. You'd also want to get a dump load to burn off the extra power when the battery is full.  This controller will manage that for you.

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Solar Queen

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Nov 18, 2014 01:53 pm

#34 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Water Pumping > Re: Battery bank for swimming pool
You almost had it right, just made a slight mistake at the end.  First, let's include the inverter, you divide the watt hours by the inverter efficiency.  Let's guess 94%.  37500WH / .94 = 39,893WH / 24v Battery bank = 1662ah.

Your mistake came with calculating the voltage.  You are  now figuring a 24V 1662ah battery bank, so if you figure using 12V 250ah batteries, that's 1662ah / 250ah batteries = 6.6 parallel strings, round up to 7.  24V battery bank / 12V batteries = 2 in series.  7 strings of 2 = 14 batteries. 

However, I recommend you don't do 7 strings in parallel, that can lead to uneven charge/discharge cycles, shortening the life of the bank, so if you did a 48V system, 39,893Wh / 48V = 831ah 48V battery bank.  831ah / 250ah batteries = 3.3 strings, round up to 4.    48V battery bank / 12V batteries = 4 in series.  4 x 4 = 16 batteries.

Hope that helped.

altE store
Solar Queen

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Nov 18, 2014 01:28 pm

#35 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Swimming Pool Pump
That's an AC pump.  You would need to use the panels with a charge controller to charge a battery bank, then use an inverter to convert the DC power to AC for the pump.

You may be better off installing a grid-tied system that just makes the amount of power that the pump uses, therefore off-setting the power used by the pump, saving you money on your electric bill.

altE Store
Solar Queen

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Nov 18, 2014 01:13 pm

#36 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: what single panel and inverter to power 2 fountain pumps at 110v?
It's not as simple as connecting an inverter to a panel.  Inverters have to run off batteries, so you would need to connect the panels to a charge controller to a battery to an inverter.  If you want to run 2 pumps at 97W each during the day, that's 97W x 2 x 8 hours = 1552 watt hours.  You didn't say where you are, but if we assume 5 sun hours a day, and 67% efficiency for the system, you'd need 463W of solar, so 2 of those panels would do the trick.  However, you'd also need an MPPT charge controller that can take the 20V down to 12V battery bank, so you may be better off with two 24V panels in parallel for a 24V 145ah battery bank (for 1 day, 50% depth of discharge).  We've got 305W Canadian Solars that would give you plenty of power.  Then you can use a PWM charge controller like the Morningstar ProStar 30.  You could use a Samlex PST-300-24 inverter. 

It may be easier, and less expensive, to switch over to DC pumps that can run PV direct.

altE Store
Solar Queen

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Nov 18, 2014 12:38 pm

#37 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Using marine battery
CCA have nothing to do with sizing an off-grid battery, that is the cold crank amps to start an engine.You need to select based on amp hours (ah).

With the 2 Concorde batteries you had, I assume you wired them in series to get 12V 450ah.

You need to know what loads you are powering to determine the size of the battery bank needed. How much power does it draw, and for how many hours a day.From that, you can figure out what you need for batteries.You can use the loads calculator to help. , then go to the off-grid calculator to use that number to size the batteries

Let's also figure out how much power you are making with your panels.270W x 3 = 810W x 6 sun hours x.67 inefficiencies = 3256wh made a day. 3256Wh /12V=271 amp hours. 271ah x 2 = 542 ah 12V battery bank to hold the power you make.

Hope that helps.

altE Store
Solar Queen


Posted by Amy Beaudet on May 24, 2012 06:03 pm

#38 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Re: sensor problem?
Try disconnecting the sensor wires from the DTC and measure the resistance with an ohm meter.  Compare it with the readings you see on the last page of this manual, .  At 77F, you should see 10k ohms.  At 140F, you should see 2,489 ohms.  All of the temperature readings are listed in the doc.   That should give you a starting point to see if the sensor is reading correctly.

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Apr 16, 2012 11:04 am

#39 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Re: Legionnaires' disease with SHW system
The bacteria that causes Legionnaire's disease grows best between 70°F and 110°F. Generally, you want to keep your storage tank at about 120°F, so I'd suggest turning yours up just a bit more. "Research has shown that at 158°F legionella bacteria is killed in seconds, at 140°F over 90% of the bacteria is killed after two minutes, whilst at 122°F it would take two hours to achieve the same level of elimination."

Home Power Magazine addressed this question a few years back, saying there is no known case related to solar hot water.

Amy Beaudet
Solar Thermal Queen
AltE Store

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Jan 24, 2012 01:48 pm

#40 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Heating - Solar Thermal > Re: Drainback DX pump sucking air

1. You do not have enough water in the system.  Rather than filling the tank to within 1/2" of the top, you should open up the relief valve in it, and fill it until water is coming out of the valve, to make sure it is completely filled. Then close the valve.

2. Each panel generally holds about a gallon of water, so you would have 3 gallons total in them.  With 76 feet of 3/4" pipe, at 0.02227 gallons per foot (assuming type K), that's 1.7 gallons in the tank.  So that's about 5 gallons between collectors and pipes.

3. (OK, you didn't have a #3, but I'm adding it).  You want to make sure the pump is never, ever dry. It should be installed well below the drainback tank, so even when the pump turns off and all of the water rushes back in, it doesn't have a chance to ever add air into the pump and potentially create an air lock.

Hope this helps.

AltE Store
Solar Thermal Queen

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Oct 21, 2011 10:15 am

#41 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: 80 gallon solar hot water tank &other stuff for sale.
Well, you guys missed out on a great deal.  I ended up buying the tank from Andy to use up in Maine.  Stay tuned for stories on that project!

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Apr 1, 2010 02:12 pm

#42 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Solar Thermal Hot Water and Cold Air Return Heat Exchanger
Solar thermal can provide up to half of your space heating if designed correctly.  I have a simpler set-up at my house, where I am using solar water heating with a fan coil heater.  A thermostat is connected to the second relay on my differential temperature controller (Heliodyne Delta-T Pro), and if the storage tank is hot enough, and the thermostat is calling for heat, the relay turns on the fan and pumps to blow hot air into my living room.  It works amazingly well!  I'm putting data together later today showing the results. 

A bit more design work is needed to integrate it into an existing heating system like yours, be it forced hot air or radiant floors.  You need to get the timing right to have the original heat source turn off when you are sourcing from the solar, to make sure you don't inadvertently heat the solar with your furnace.  You would set up a primary and secondary loop, where the solar would provide the heat until it runs out, then your backup heat would take over.

Sizing the solar system depends on a lot of variables, like how tight of an envelope you have in the house (is it well insulated, good windows, etc?)and where you are located.  My house is in New England, so we get long, cold winters.  The house is 760 sqft, one story, fairly well insulated with new windows.  I used four 4'x8' collectors, 128sqft, or about 20% of the footprint.  I used a 120 gallon storage tank (1:1 ratio sqft of collectors to gallons of water), but 2 would be better (unless it was being used for concrete radiant floors, in which case the floor can act as storage).  I haven't received my latest electric bill since turning it on last month to supplement my electric heat, but I suspect it is easily providing half my heat.  If you want to see details and pix of my system, you can check it out at

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Nov 28, 2009 04:49 pm

#43 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: UL Listing for solar pool pump?
The panels are on a shed built for them.  They are completely independent of the house, and the grid.  It is a straight PV powered pump.

I did get another bit of info, the inspector didn't like the color coding of the wires INSIDE the pump. He wanted the homeowner to rewire the pump to change the colors of the pump.  Not the wires the homeowner used, the colors of the wire the pump manufacturer used.

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Nov 23, 2009 07:19 pm

#44 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > UL Listing for solar pool pump?
I just had a customer call saying the electrical inspector in Hawaii is saying the solar pool pump has to be UL listed.  Are people here familiar enough with rules to know if this has any basis?  If it is outside and not connected to a dwelling, would it still need to be UL Listed?  What if the panels are installed on the roof?  I know the authority having local jurisdiction is always right, but any thoughts on how to change his mind?

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Posted by Amy Beaudet on Nov 17, 2009 05:02 pm

#45 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Solar Charger for Golf Cart
For anyone looking for a charge controller to charge a 36V golf cart battery bank with a 12V solar panel, we carry one now. You can see it at

It is also available in bigger and smaller sizes.

Amy Beaudet
AltE Store

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Oct 12, 2009 05:54 pm

#46 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Heliodyne DHW Closed Loop AC Powered System Question
I'm building my own UPS with solar panels and batteries so it can run as long as there's sunny days to recharge it.

Posted by Amy Beaudet on Oct 8, 2009 06:33 pm

#47 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Heliodyne DHW Closed Loop AC Powered System Question
Having the glycol sit there in the sun for a day or two isn't a problem.  When it becomes a problem is if the pump died, and you never noticed, because your backup heater kicked in, and it sat there for a month or more baking.  Then it can become acidic.

I am personally putting my system on a UPS because I'm using it for space heating as well, and if the power goes out, I'll be without heat (my backup heat is electric baseboard). 

So it depends on the motivation.  If it's just to protect the system, you're fine, if it's to have hot water when the power's out, UPS.

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