Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Solar Ruminations - Some Assembly Required
Miscellaneous Components of My Solar Power System
On the table:
12 Volt DC Outlet
Cable Lug Crimper
200 Amp Slow Trip Fuse
63 Amp DC Breaker
Cotek 1500 Watt Inverter
Midnite Solar Combiner Box
Morningstar Solar Charge Controller
Bottle of Lugs
6AWG Wire for to Connect Solar Panels to Combiner Box
2AWG Wires for Connecting Battery Bank to Inverter, Fuse, Shunt, and Bus Bars
Trimetric Battery Monitor Mounted on Wall
I don’t like clutter. Clutter cries out to me that there are chores that need to be done. I find it distracting to the process of writing to have a messy work area. I am the type of person who washes dishes immediately after eating, and the pots and pans will usually be washed and placed in the drying rack before I even sit down at the table to eat what was cooked in them. My motto is “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
Perhaps you can imagine how eager I am to complete the solar auxiliary power system for my bus/motorhome. There is a limited amount of space in a motorhome. I have one table (shown in the image above. It serves as my dining table, my office space, and work area for various projects. Everything looks nice and neat in the photo above, but while I am in the midst of a project all the components, plus a lot of tools, are stacked on one of the benches near the table, and on the floor leading to the entryway.
Work In Progress
Every time I see the components and tools in my bus I am reminded of the work that remains in order to complete the upgrade and redesign of my solar power system. Blessedly, I have made much progress in this regard in the past few days. Now all of the components shown in the photo at the top of the page, and more not shown, are installed.
The image above shows where my wires for the solar panels which will be mounted on top of my bus are gathered together inside. Four positive wires go to one bus bar and four negative wires go to the other bus bar. The breaker provides a means to cut the power from the panels. Two wires run from this box to the Solar Charge Controller that is mounted beside it.
Combiner Box and Charge Controller
The Charge Controller takes the power coming from the solar panels and makes sure it is delivered to the battery bank at a voltage and amperage that the batteries can handle. It also makes sure the batteries do not get overcharged.
My 12 volt battery bank consists of three 153 Amp Hour batteries for a combined 459 Amp Hours of stored electricity. They are mounted under my bed in the bus just behind the rear axle. Together they weigh nearly 300 pounds. After the power is stored in the batteries it flows out to all the 12 volt devices in my bus. It also sends power to the Cotek Inverter which changes the 12 volt DC power to 110 volt AC power. This allows me to run a number of AC devices from my battery bank.
It has been satisfying to get this equipment wired up and put into service. I have certainly seen the grace of God throughout this project. Today, just as I completed the wiring for my battery bank and had wired up the two batteries I had on hand, ten minutes later a delivery truck pulled up with the third and final battery. As soon as I had the batteries connected, the Trimetric battery monitor began functioning. I can tell that it will be a very useful tool to keep tabs on the charge status of my power system. It reports how much power is being drawn from the batteries as well as how much power is flowing into them to replenish the power being used. It shows the percentage full for the entire battery bank, and gives readings for volts, amps, and watts. It can be used to monitor how much electricity a single appliance is consuming. It is a very useful component of the system.
In the photo above the display is showing that my battery bank is 28.7 Amp Hours from being full. That is not bad for a 459 Amp Hour battery bank. I am very pleased to have gotten all of these components installed. They are no longer crowding my work space. I have reclaimed my table for writing as well as for dining. Yahweh has been gracious in giving me the understanding to know how to put this system together, and to provide all that is needed to accomplish it.
I want to share a testimony about the Father’s provision. One thing I had struggled with was the design for the mount for my panels. I wanted them to track with the sun’s motion throughout the day as panels produce far more electricity when they stay facing the sun. I thought to ask a brother in Christ from Idaho to give me some ideas about how to create what I needed. Jeff does a lot of fabrication, and is a do-it-yourself type of individual. He came up with a very nice design for the motion tracking panel mount and then went the extra mile by volunteering to fabricate it for me.
Yahweh’s grace is evident when He directs His people to some task. Even as He went before Moses and Israel in the wilderness, providing all they needed day by day, so too have I found the Father going before me. When I began this project I did not know how much of a task it would be. It has turned out to be a more complex labor than I imagined. I am not complaining, for I like to tackle projects like this. It is awesome to observe Yahweh guiding and providing all along the way.
There has been much more to purchase than I imagined. All of the components shown in this post represent a significant outlay of money. Just purchasing two new batteries at $470 each (shipping included) was substantial. The other components, wiring, and accessories add up to about another $1,000.00. I still have to purchase the electronics and linear actuators to enable the panels to track with the sun which will be a further outlay of about $400 dollars.
As regular readers of this blog know, years ago Yahweh called me to a complete dependence upon Him for all my material needs. He has told me to come to Him with my needs, rather than telling men and women my needs. Yahweh is quite able and willing to move upon the hearts of His people to get each member of the body of Christ to supply what is needed by the other members. Some supply spiritual needs while some supply material needs (I Corinthians 9:11), and we are blessed when we are able to do both, for the Lord has told us that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Throughout this project I have not been delayed even once due to a lack of financial provision. It has taken me some time to work out the design, and determine which components I needed. Every time I have been ready to take the next step, Yahweh has sent the provision to do so.
About 10 days ago my daughter and I went to the Georgia National Fair together as I enjoy looking at the exhibits and she enjoys the rides. She met up with some friends and told me I could take her car whenever I was ready to leave. We arrived in the morning and I planned to take advantage of having her car by picking up a few needed items for my project at Home Depot. I was thinking about the next steps in completing this project and realized I had a number of expensive items to purchase. I committed the matter to the Father and was at rest. When I left the fairgrounds and turned on my daughter’s car, the clock on the dash read 2:35. Yahweh has often used the numbers 23 and 5 in combination to signify to me His grace (5) for provision (23) - as in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want (lack for any necessary thing).”
I often see the clock when it reads 5:23, or 2:35, and I think of Yahweh’s grace for provision. When I see these numbers I am reminded of God’s faithfulness, but I don’t always have a sense that I should anticipate an immediate release of His funds. On other occasions there is a witness, and I have a sense of anticipation. When I saw this number that day it was one of those occasions when a strong witness attended it. My response was to immediately begin speaking out loud to the Father and thanking Him for His faithful provision and great grace.
When I arrived home I found that a brother in Christ from Guatemala had sent a financial gift for $820. In the next 24 hours I received additional gifts from other individuals of $50, $150, and $250 dollars. At the very moment when I was ready to order some further components for this solar power system, the Father moved upon the hearts of His people to supply what was needed.
There have certainly been times in my life when I have had pressing needs and the Father has delayed in order to test and purify my faith. Such experiences are very beneficial in our lives. Yet there are other times when Yahweh puts the world’s just-in-time delivery system to shame. I ordered the last battery to complete my system ten days ago. It arrived today just at the moment I had completed the wiring for the battery bank and was ready to install it. That is a pretty amazing manifestation of divine logistics.
When I look at the larger picture of the calamitous days coming to American and the nations I have confidence that Yahweh will also have a just-in-time provision for those who walk with Him. He will tell us what to do, and provide the wherewithal to accomplish it. There is rest to be found in Yahweh. He is a good Father who cares for His sons and daughters.
“But seek first His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you...”
The sons and daughters of God do not need to lay up money for a rainy day. Yahweh is the God of rainy days. His mercies are new every morning. In fact, hoarding money for a day of calamity is one of the surest ways to lose it. Just after speaking the words above, Yahshua said the following.
“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.”
Keeping your money in the bank is like putting it in a purse with holes. Yahweh says the surest way to have money when you need it is to give to others when they are in need. The ways of God are foreign to humanity. Do you want to be provided for in a day of calamity? Give freely to the poor and needy in the day of your prosperity! Yahweh has promised that He will repay.
He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; The glory of Yahweh will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and Yahweh will answer; You will cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”
One who is gracious to a poor man lends to Yahweh, and He will repay him for his good deed.
Wonderful are the ways of God. When we live as givers rather than selfish consumers, Yahweh gives abundantly to supply our needs.
"Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
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Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
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Montezuma, GA 31063