I just built a 600 sq ft off-grid cabin. I’m now working on how I will go about powering the structure. The plan is to run electrical wiring like a normal residential building. Outlets, switches, lights. The goal is to be able to run LED lights, a ceiling fan, a 48" TV, and a small on-demand water pump for a toilet, shower, bathroom, and kitchen sinks. The fridge, stove, and water heater will be run with propane. My thought is to utilize the AC200MAX. I’m thinking of hardwiring an RV shore power cable directly into the electrical panel. This will allow me to directly connect the AC200MAX into the electrical panel to run all the outlets, lights, ceiling fan, etc. I will also be installing solar panels to charge the AC200MAX during the day. This will also allow me to quickly disconnect the power station so I can take it with me when I’m not staying at the cabin. I would like to know if this is a possibility or would there be issues with setting up a power station this way? Let me know your thoughts!
Sorry but face the facts, with a 2000 watt inverter at full drain plus 20-25% overhead, you will be out of power in 45 to 50 minutes. You need more batteries and small gas generator to survive in the cabin on normal or cloud days. That is what I have done in my remote building. Sorry, and good luck.
Why a gas generator, simple to charge up the AC200Max and batteries and then turn off the generator. When the sun goes down, your solar panels will not help.
I am doing something similar to this in my house where I let the Bluetti AC200Max power several circuits through a manual transfer switch more or less permanently. I got roof top solar on my garage using both the standard PV input plus I am also using a DC enhancer to use the charging port for additional 500W PV input. @hey is right, you need additional battery for buffering more energy. I am using the AC200Max plus 2x B230’s. If I had a totally off-grid cabin I would likely use the AC200Max with 2x B300, which gives you an extra 2kWh of energy. The Max with 2.2kW power and 4.8kW surge rating should be a good choice I think.
There are 3 considerations:
Power, can you supply enough energy at a time?
Energy, do you have enough energy to last the night?
Recharge, can you recharge the energy you used during the night during the day while you are also using power at the same time.
The AC200Max would have plenty of power for your use, at 2200w, but at only 2kwh, probably not enough energy unless you are really conservative, more than you want to. Based on your description, you will probably use around 400w when you are up and about, maybe 100w when you are sleeping. So the AC200Max will only last around 4hrs active, or maybe 12-14hr sleeping. If you add a B230, then you will likely last 4hr active time and 12-14hr sleep time which is ok if you are conservative. If you add 2xB230 then you will be fine.
The other question is input. Say you have 8 active hours and then 16 passive ones, you will use 400w x 8 + 16 x 100w = 4.8kwh x 1.2 = 5.7kwh per day. Out of the box, you can charge this at 900w using solar. You can estimate for say equivalent of 4hr max rate charging a day (you can do 5hr equivalent max charge on a great sunny day in the summer, but maybe only 1 on a cloudy day) so you can only fill 3.6kwh. Which would be marginal. You will probably want to get the DC enhancer which will give you another 500w of solar input. Together, you can charge at 1400wh, or around 5.6kwh on a good day, just enough for your use.
If can certainly be done, add 2xB230. This won’t be like a grid system where you can use as much power as you want without caring. As long as you manage power, and conserve if you have to, it will be just fine.
What is your setup for your remote building?
we are currently powering a 500sq ft off grid cabin with the AC300 & 4 B300s - the cabin is wired normally inside, but the outside electric panel has a TT-30 RV style plug that we can use with a generator to power everything. So, assuming similar capabilities to the AC300 (just smaller wattage & surge output), it should be doable. (sorry, i haven’t researched the AC200 as much).
Now, is it a good setup? depends on what you’re trying to run. Add up all your loads and figure out your kwh usage - will the max batteries you can hook up be enough to last you through the night? through several cloudy days? Will you have enough solar input to charge up fully during the day? Remember that the batteries officially only have 90% of the reported capacity available, and then there’s a pretty decent overhead to the AC output (~70w/h is what I’ve calculated out). We decided we’d rather go with the ease of the AC300 rather than have to buy a bunch of individual parts, so we’re going to make sure to adjust our energy consumption accordingly, but I am expecting the occasional day where we run out of power waiting for the sun to come up, because we can’t add endless battery power to the setup. So far, we think it’s a good fit for us, and we like the ease of setup, remote monitoring capabilities, & quiet (we were previously powering things off a gas generator, definitely a mood killer when you’re trying to enjoy nature!).
I have a question. I’m having trouble finding some info on whether or not PV arrays in series that are hooked up to a solar generator (like the AC200/MAX or AC300) should have a DC disconnect. Usually, if I find some information on PV arrays and DC disconnects, the consensus is that it’s better to have a DC disconnect. However, the arrays in question are usually hooked up to a grid-tied system or a typical solar power setup with separate charge controllers, inverters, battery banks, etc. I cannot find anything that applies directly to solar generators. It seems as though solar generators are in a world of their own, sort of. I’m just curious, what do you do for a PV DC disconnect?
You do not need a disconnect on the solar panels, but it is easier to turn the solar panels off with a disconnect. Here is the one I use on my solar panels. 30 amp version.
I was also looking for a better way to connect/disconnect the PV for my relatives who are older. I ended up buying this (more expensive, but elder people have no problem switching it and you won’t need to solder it into the wire; it was plug-n-play for them):
I’m just going to point out that running LED lights, a pump (on-demand), and a TV will NOT put a 2000W system at “full load”. It should run that stuff for a long period of time given your fridge will be on propane. I’m fully on board with adding extra batteries for more Wh and a gas gen for emergency charging (I’m doing the exact same thing); but an LED light bulb literally uses almost no wattage as well as an LED TV that won’t be on 24/7 so they shouldn’t come close to draining your power in an hour or even several hours. You can also use the ECO setting for periods when 4 hours has passed with no draw. As with everything…it’s all about trial and error for your personal use.