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DIY – Home Solar Power Part #4 “Safety First Update”

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Just an update to show that even though it’s good to have a solar backup system, it can also be dangerous if adequate safeguards are not in place. I’m on my 3rd inverter after my 2000 Watt (Continuous) Pure Sine wave inverter “burned” out on me when I plugged in a 1600 Watt household iron (it was the Shark brand iron). I thought it was 1500 Watts when making the video. Anyway, you would think that a 2000 Watt inverter could handle it,,, well no it didn’t. It didn’t even trip the overload protection in the inverter. Just literally burned out.
Link to my updated system schematic is below:

(Expanded System)

Direct downloads

(Initial System)


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22 Comments on "DIY – Home Solar Power Part #4 “Safety First Update”"

  1. jason mares says:

    Do you have a email?

  2. Guy Fiola says:

    Nice new inverter. Thanks for sharing.
    I wanted to let you know I just bought a disconnect switch like yours from a local auto parts. I showed as 300 Amp. but it just didn't seem heavy enough, so with some research I found it was made by Dorman and I emailed them the part # and description.
    They replied (as I thought) the switch is rated at 100 amps. continuous not the 300 amps listed on the package. This is for your FWI, and may not affect anything if you don't draw a lot of current.

  3. juanjose0771 says:

    is it possible to get that diagram , it would be very helpfull, I have everything , just need a little push, I can send you my email..thanks

  4. Is it possible to get that schematic? I know you've put a lot of work into it, I was just kinda wanting to "piggyback" off of your design. I'm totally new to this, but am very interested in getting a back up system set up. Also, are you able to use your system while charging at the same time? Like I said, I'm totally new to this, so forgive me if I sound stupid. Thanks a heap!

  5. rhandsom says:

    I answer yes to your question, when MPPT's do a DC to DC conversion via their internal circuitry, they will utilize the higher voltage to decrease the higher voltage coming in and increase the amps going out, however Power (watts) stays the same, watts in = watts out. My MPPT controllers max out at 15 Amps each (I have 2). So "potentially" I could have 25 to 30 amps going to my batteries. The highest I've seen is around 20 or so (+ or -).

  6. I took the time to watch your three videos when I finally realized you said I'm and engineer by trade,no wonder I got lost after the first video.

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  8. pv107 says:

    Damn! Optima battery bank!

  9. plonkster says:

    Commenting a year later 🙂 I don't think resistive loads, such as an iron, has such huge surge requirements like inductive loads (electric motors), so I doubt it was a surge problem. It is not clear what kind of inverter that is, but from what I could determine there are several of these 2000W (or more) inverters from China/Taiwan that simply can't deliver what's promised (there is a video here about the PowerJack, for example).

  10. Felton Rolle says:

    Addition to the fuse I added a small floor fan that blows across my inverter when charging, especially from the grid! Since, I've not blown any fuse! Nice system, good luck!!

  11. rhandsom says:

    Thanks for your comments.

  12. firemanB15 says:

    hello, this is excellent, I can spend the diagram you have printed? Thank you.

  13. I just wanted to take the time to say thanks for the videos.  I'm currently getting my toes wet in solar power systems by building my own little solar charger and I've really enjoyed watching your videos.  Thanks again.

  14. butch kern says:

    that ac lite switch is not good for dc current it will arc and weld it self closed….turn it off a few times under current cycles down to zero 60 times a second allowing the use of a short throw switch. dc current stays constant..requiring more space between contact points to stop current flow…. strain reliefs when wires exit any elect. box. safety first?

  15. Thanks your #1 – #4 videos has been the most informative I've seen so far. Plain and simple. I would like to start playing with solar panels just for running lights and later PC's, TV and Charging laptops and cellphones. And then going off grid completely. 

  16. Russell Kwok says:

    HI rhandsom,

    Thanks for a very clean and clear introduction of the solar powered system. There is one questions in my head, do you know how can make the solar and AC power in the same time.

    solar plane is connected to charger, and charging battery bank, then an inverter is output 220V to home electronics. however, if the battery capacity is running low, say 30%, then the system switch back to AC 220V automatically. and I don't want AC 220 to charge up battery, I only want solar plane to charge up the battery.

    do you think this would be do-able?

    thanks for your time, coz I am planning to see if it's work…

  17. Bonnie Flory says:

    Using a AC switch to switch DC is a really bad idea, they are not made to handle any DC current and could put your place on fire.
    There are many nice video on you-tube that put AC switches and AC breakers on fire when disconnecting DC loads.
    Only use DC rated equipment for DC current and DC voltages.

    Looks like your fuse for your inverter is overrated also, for the load the inverter can handle and the size of your wires that are used.

  18. thank you for this video.. it pointed out a lot of faults I did until now..

  19. Bro thanks alot for this video. but the link for the photos is showing not valid… Hep if you can :)

  20. Walker says:

    Any reason why your your bank and inverter loop is so long? Great video..

  21. Walker says:

    Got it,eh.thanks for reply eh..go trump.."it's not what your country can do for you,eh,sorry,eh.its what you can do for Trump doubt about it,we'll move south before he put's up a northern wall.???????

  22. joel mori says:

    nice and very helpful video….

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