#MyAC300afterAyear - My Off-grid Backyard Pond, Hydroponics, and much more

**#MyAC300afterAyear **
**Delivered the week of July 15th 2022. **
My Off-grid Backyard Pond, Hydroponics, and much more.

I have researched Solar Power for the past 15 yrs and the concept has fascinated me as an option to provide independence as backup in case of emergencies and eliminating the need to obtain and store volatile fuels for generators. In addition, it protects all our perishable food during these emergencies. However, Lead-Acid Batteries were impractical, expensive, lasted only a few years before needing replaced, and were not all that safe. Then the much safer LiFePO4 batteries made a big splash and started becoming more affordable and I started planning. I looked at several of the major All in One systems and I was partial to the Bluetti Systems, since their battery chemistries were LiFePO4 (unlike some competitors) so, I dabbled by getting the Bluetti EB55 and a couple small 100w panels and boom, I was powering all my portable items (Laptops, Tablets, Phones, etc.) and that’s when I said to myself, I think I can power my entire backyard+ with a larger system. I decided to stick with Bluetti and picked out the AC300 and waited until it went on sale (which it soon did and then made the plunge into solar. In the meantime, I started mapping out the practicality of trying to put larger panels mounted in my backyard, so that I could run my pond pumps, fountains, Hydroponics, Lights, Fans, in fact the entire backyard. I am very strapped for space and did NOT want the panels on the roof of the house. So, I decided to build a new “Cover” for my Patio.

My One-year Journey to the Present
Fig 1: My Paper Napkin moment of mapping out Panels (could I do it?).

I fine tuned my plans (which I always find important instead of “winging it”) ALSO, it’s very important to save all your receipts in one folder (Physical or digital copy) and make a spreadsheet for everything that qualifies for the 30% Tax deduction. You will need it, if audited.

               **Panel Selection:**

I looked for panels that maintained a VOC < 150 V and provided 1200 watts. Renogy offered a 450W x3 that was enough under the 150V Max and since Bluetti has TWO PV inputs, I ordered six panels to give me a max of 2400W Pv Input.

Figure 2: Top View


Figure 3: Side View


Figure 4: One of several delivered damaged 450W panel’s (expect and plan for this damage to happen):

Figure 5 (Photos x4): The Solar Panel Frame

Those silver pistons are electric actuators, so I can “Raise the Roof” in the Fall (about 35 deg) and lower it in late spring (about 15 deg). They are hooked up to the AC300 DC Output.

Figure 6: Panels Up (Photos x6)

An Aerial Image:

Figure 7: AC 300 Setup and Running

                **Experiences in the past year:**

First Week:
So, the week following the installation and having everything working, we had a solid 7 days in the row of lightning like I have never seen before (and I lived in the Tampa area for 2 decades). I have installed several PV Solar Isolation switches that give me a sense of well-being during storms that I can easily isolate the AC300 system from the Panels. However, on a sunny day with several small clouds, one bolt hit in my neighbor’s back yard, and I all I saw was an orange flash and smoke out of the corner of my eye! The AC300 and the Panels were fine, but it blew out 3 of my 9 security cameras and tripped both GFCI outlets that were plugged into the AC300 and connected to the pond pumps. I recommend both of those items, the switch protects the AC300 system (as long as you turn them off), and the GFCI protects you from getting shocked/killed etc e.g. if there is a short (especially if around water).
One Month in:
So, about a month and a half later, we had a hurricane stop by. We had 75mph+ winds and quite a few higher gusts, and the panels didn’t even budge. We had some big branches and yucca plants snapped, and we lost power for about 36 hours. All we did was run an extension cord to the Freezer (in the garage) and the Fridge in the kitchen and several fans. We never worried for a second about losing our food (several thousand dollars of Seafood/Meat). We didn’t even need to use our gasoline generator.

Here is the storm video:


Besides acting as a backup during a power outage, here is what I have the AC300 and batteries powering daily:
• 200W Pond pump, 24/7
• 50W Pond Aerators 24/7
• Pond Fountain Once in a while
• Outdoor Ceiling Fans (x2) Once in a while
• Pond lights and Various Canopy lights: Evenings
• Outdoor Speakers & Projector
• Hydroponic Air Pumps (x2) 24/7 about 40W
• Hydroponic Water Pumps x3 15 minutes 6x/day 60-100Watts
• CPAP (Nights)
• Router+ Yo-link device router and many other portable electronics (24/7)
• Re-Charge batteries when there are Opportunity Loads, Including Lawn Mower/weed eater/blower/ lots of power tools etc.
o So yes, I have a solar powered Lawn Mower and power tools.
Typical daily usage 300W-500W/hr.

Here are several photos of the items above:

             **How this system all adds up $$**

Our Electric Company (TECO) has gone UP OVER 60% in cost since 2020 and 30% since last year, that is NOT the reason I went down the Solar Path, although the panels have helped buffer the cost increases. I have included a screenshot of the Excel Spreadsheet how our bill has been affected and how the Solar has helped, Note, over the past 3 years TECO added 4 additional NEW charges (based on usage) on top of Rate increases. Sneaky ways to get MORE money. Yeah, rates may only go up 10-15% but the charges make you bill go up twice that!
By assuming I am only using 252 kWh/month of Solar, I have shown the cost savings, below (and that doesn’t include future rate/price increases!). The amount of kW used are conservative, I could easily be saving more when considering higher usage.

              **Now, Future & Reflection**

So, as you can see, Bluetti and their products, especially the AC300 have helped me step into the Solar arena and provides me with the peace of mind in times of emergency and to run my backyard pond pumps, hydroponics, and more without using extra grid power. Only several times have I needed to use grid power as a passthrough after several excessively cloudy days. And even then, the Grid easily supplies power without need to set anything on the AC300. Currently, thanks to a big Prime Day sale, I am setting up an additional set of AC300 + 2 batteries that will run my Bedroom Window AC Unit, at night. Due to space constraints, I am adding just 2x 550W Panels on my metal Corrugated Roof canopy to charge up the batteries. What is nice is that my current AC300 DC Out plugs into the extra set of PV inputs on the new system to supply 200W of extra power, when needed. If you are planning to step into solar, Bluetti has several systems and the AC300 seems to be the sweet spot for me (Power and price). For some of us, The DIY/Preparer, Solar becomes a hobby, a somewhat addictive hobby with the need (want) to expand. I am sure someday that my house will be self-sufficient 100% off grid, and I won’t need grid electric power at all.

Thank you for reading my Post,

Updated: Here are the two isolation PV MC4 switches that some have requested almost at half the price I paid at the time: Amazon.com

(The green tape is there in the photo due to recent repainting that I did).

Here is the recent purchase of another AC300 (1 yr later-now) with 2 additional B300’s to run my Bedroom AC unit every night! With the sale on the AC300+battery and an additional 30% off when I make the claim on Fed Taxes, WELL WORTH IT!

And yes, Bluetti Bucks from the original AC300 + 4 batteries purchase helped pay for that EB3a that we use for my wife’s side business during tent sales (along with the EB55).
Thank you for those with the kind words about my setup @Derceto and @Thorn and @BLUETTI


@wtytke This is absolutely amazing!!! :+1: :+1:
Your design drawings and build process were very professional. :star_struck:
Thank you for participating in this sharing event before the deadline!


That sort of DIY is quite glorious!
Thanks for sharing so much details. Lots of good ideas there and I’ll certainly reuse some for my own hydroponics.

Two questions please:

  • what’s the ref/model of those actuators and how did you plug them in? Looking for some good ones for my diy solar tracker.
  • what DC pumps do you recommend? Bought a 24V one that gave up quickly (<200hrs uptime) as they seem to need regular maintenance

Oh also, you mention sweet spot being AC300.
What’s your take on AC500? Its batteries alone have much stronger DC in (500W mppt) … asking since you seem familiar with daisy-chaining the 24v of one unit into another.
+prepping hobby here btw :sweat_smile::+1:t2:

Oh and one « last » thing again, takes an off-grid nut to spot one :

These tri fuel generators are awesome as they run on biogas too (8500W max, so 3x AC300).

Waiting for my home biogas digester to feed the generator, a match made in heaven for my permaculture, and your existing hydroponics / homegrown food:


The actuators are from Recoil and I purchased them from Amazon, right now they are unavailable but you can buy them from the Recoil company They stand by their product too, I had one that leaked and got water in it and they replaced it. I bought an extra one just in case.

As for Pumps, I wanted DC since they use less power, however my pond uses the big ones 5000gal/hr from tetra and the stream and fountain use a 3500gal/hr pumps, although I think you were asking about the Hydroponics stuff specifically. Here is that info:
25W air pump: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09XXZ8TRV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
25W pump: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B099DPPJL9/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
35W Water Pump: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B097HF98WF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1
60W Water Pump: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086QJPQ6X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
100W Water Pump: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086QJQK8N/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I run the Air Pumps continuously and the Water Pumps 6x a day for about 15 minutes. Add that to the 200W Pond pump and 50W Air stone pump that runs 24/7.
I prefer the AC and suffer the loss of energy conversion of AC vs DC because I have them all plugged into GFCI’s that trip if there is a short and I won’t fry myself in the water of the hydroponics and the pond.
I highly recommend them since they have saved my Pond pumps during that close lightning strike I mentioned above:


I will reply to you other question in a moment

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As for the 24Volt Daisy Chaining I am doing that now, until I get the new panels. We had 4 days of clouds here, Actually using grid to charge. The 500W input is not a concern, I will get enough from the 2 dc input PV arrays. The AC500 will require me to get the B300s’s (more pricey) OR at least two of the AC500 to B300 cable adapters (@ $108 a piece.) It would be nice to have but I wouldn’t generate enough power to run 5000W (atm). Also, I just bought 2 more of the AC300/B300 packages so now I have 3 AC300’s and 6 batteries. (I am just keeping one of the AC300’s as a backup or future expansion (if I get HOA approval to place panels on the side of the house in the future). SO theoretically I will have the capability to run up to 9000 Watts, if needed (strategically distributed, of course).

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I like that generator idea (I have essentially unlimited access to oil, since I work in the industry) but make sure those generators are pure sinewave, (square wave/simulated sinewave will not work with solar generators).

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Thanks, very valuable info there. Again, great setup!

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Very detailed and impressive results I am 14 days in with my ac300 with a single battery and two 350 panels exceeding expectations already.


Note: I will apply much better cable management after I install the 2 new panels. (embarrassed on how chaotic it looks at the moment!)
Also note: I am not a vampire (it’s still daylight), I just strategically took a photo without me in the mirror in the last photo…

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Imagine the marketing effect: the undead’s favorite all-in-one brand.
Count Wtyke’s testimony: “Bluetti charges during daylight so I can safely enjoy electricity as I leave my coffin during nighttime”

Thanks for the update @wtytke ! Really looks so cool. What’s your next step after the panels and cable management?
Aha, you’re likely to win an AC500 today :sunglasses::fire:

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To finally RELAX!

Actually, preparing (focusing) on rotating my Aquaponics plants and get ready for fall items, soon. The Tomatoes and Eggplants are on their last leg, but the okra is starting to go crazy! Ready to plant beans and maybe take a shot to try pumpkins for November - it may be tough in FL with all the aphids. Just trying different things atm.

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Ah oui :heart_eyes: alors là la classe :heart_eyes: nous sommes ridicules à côté de vous :blush::joy:

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Hello Everybody,
I wanted to thank Bluetti for the AC500 that I received yesterday for the AC300afterAyear contest. I am just waiting for the B300 Adapter Cables that I ordered to hook the AC500 in place of my AC300.
Below are the unboxing photos.
Note: I still haven’t unboxed the extra AC300 that I ordered last month during the great July sale. So here are the side by side comparisons.
Picked up from the AC500 UPS store:

Box size difference between AC300 vs AC500 (smaller)

Opened-keep the box for warranty situations

Cables included

AC300 compared to AC500

Again, Thank you


Wow, there’s beauty in this world!
Happy for you, congrats!
Should have mine soon too :muscle:t2::+1:t2:


Thanks for sharing the unboxing and comparison pics between AC500 & AC300!
Have fun with your new AC500! :metal: :metal:


@wtytke WOW! WHat a stellar setup you got there! I love the use of the actuators and might be sending you a message and picking your brain for some insight when I’m ready to finish up my project. Thanks for sharing all this!!

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wow man what a setup, how is your experience mixing B300 and B300S with AC500?