Cyclone 4006 Off Grid Build Help

Eric_C

Member
Hello All,

I have been following solar installs and tech for off grid for a few years and finally get to build my own system. Pretty hyped :) But I am not an electrical engineer or veteran diy'er, so I could use any and all help for this project.

My wife and I have a 2022 Cyclone 4006 toy hauler, and would like to take it to private off grid locations so we have a need for both 120v and 240v legs to occasionally support a well pump, mini split, small welder, etc. Not all at once, or even at one location. Weight is not an issue.

I am inclined to build the 'power wall' system by David Poz on youtube:

. Pic attached. The reason I like this is first, it is diy friendly, he explains everything in detail, two, I have the room, three, I can plug in to a 240v circuit.

Base components for solar:

48v Growatt 5kw ES Inverter and autotransformer https://www.signaturesolar.com/products/5kw-es-transformer-kit
(10) 440W 72Split-Cell Silver Mono Solar Panels (I am going to set them on the ground with a kickstand at each off grid location. Have a protective sleeve for each panel and protect them for transport. Plenty of room on the tow vehicle and garage of the toy hauler to store them. I can also reduce the number of panels if to cumbersome, not needed in the summer months, etc. As tech gets better, may mount new and/or better adhesive panels on the roof and switch these to a permanent house situation.)
(4) SOK 100Ah 12V LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Batteries configured 48v (option to upgrade to 8 if needed)

To integrate it into the RV, I am looking at removing the generator leg from the auto transfer switch PD52 (pic attached) and replacing it with the 120v 50a load leg from the power wall. I suppose I should put a manual disconnect/switch here to remove the solar when plugged into shore power. In his build, he has a plug receptacle to attach generator power to support charging the batteries, again I could probably add a manual disconnect/switch? Or is there an automatic switch for shore/gen/solar?

My thought is to use the solar 120v 50a circuit to take the place of the generator input, use the PD52 auto switch for when we plug into shore power, and manually switch to the generator only when the batteries need it.

I am hoping to keep the lead acid 12v system in place, which would have 2 battery systems, one DC and the solar for AC, and use all the 120v AC wiring as is.

Thanks in advance for any advice, tips, or critiques,
Eric
 

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taskswap

Active Member
Looks like you've done some good initial research. A couple of things you may want to add to your evaluation:

1. I can't find the listed "standby current" for the Growatt but I seem to recall seeing some reviews by Will Prowse (also a good Youtube source) that measured it at the high end, like 100W. That's high for the range of products out there - 2.4kWh/day wasted. For a stationary house-oriented install that might be no big deal but it might be worth looking at all of the "all in one" product options available. (I have nothing against David Poz, he's a great source too, but Will Prowse does do more technical (with actual measurements) reviews in a lot of cases. That data is helpful.)

2. I don't know what well pump you have but you might want to do some math on the load there too. My last pump was 1.5hp and rated at 2500W to run it and 5000W to start it. We were averaging just under 2kWh per day for that. Nothing the above system couldn't handle on its own... but if I'm not mistaken about that standby current, and you add a few more things like a 120VAC fridge and whatnot, you might find you're maxing out your system there. Just a thought.

3. I totally get the desire to have the panels be portable but if I can just be a devil's advocate... buy one panel and haul it around while doing some errands some weekend. See how you like hauling it in and out a lot. These things are really awkward and heavy. At 50lbs apiece (give or take) you're going to be setting up and taking down 500lbs of panels all the time, and the ones I've dealt with aren't exactly "friendly" for this (sharp edges, no handles, etc.). Maybe consider putting a "base setup" of permanent panels on your RV roof and only carrying around your "extras" as needed? (What you planned for the future... just do that now...)

This is just one data point but FWIW I am not personally a fan of the adhesive/flexible style panels. I've owned both now, and the flexible ones are just way less rugged. Very opinionated, I know. Just my 2c. Out of 15 or so panels of various types and sizes I've owned now, the only one that ever failed was that type. Not exactly statistically relevant but I'm gun shy on them now.
 

Eric_C

Member
Thanks for your reply!

Regarding 1, I had not considered standby current as something to evaluate. I have watched Will Prowse for years too and will follow up on that.

2, this would be a somewhat of a backup system for a well pump, welder, or mini-split. I will definitely calculate the loads when I get more information from the manufacturers. Your information is very helpful to keep me on the right track, thanks. We also are planning on using the onboard generator to top of the batteries or supply extra energy when needed.

3, tbh that company only sells those panels in packs of 10, so I ended up buying 10 for the same price as 6 from another vendor. I will test them here at the house before deciding how many we really need to take on the road. I hear you on the effort, I have installed residential solar myself, and am mounting 15 of them in a couple weeks on a two story. Time will tell if set up just becomes my new 'workout', or gets old real quick!

And if the panels get swapped out for a better roof mounted system I can recycle them into a residential application. I have seen way to many roof penetration leaks to start mounting things on the roof right away.
 
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