I am wanting to set up a small-ish solar system on my property to eventually be off-grid one day. This is my initial foray into solar and will likely want to do something a lot larger in the next 3-5 years. The charge controller is the brain the system (imo) so I wanted what I read to be the best brand. That is why I came to this forum for help.
I have "settled on" the following based upon my perceived (and future unperceived) needs as to power consumption/storage. I will keep the following "generic" as to brand seeing that this is a Victron-sponsored forum.
1) 4 x 200W (12V) panels that will be wired in series
2) 2 x 200 A-hr (12V) LiFePO4 batteries
3) 3000W-4000W (12V) inverter
4) Right-sized Victron Charge Controller
Here are my observations/questions:
A) I now need to know if I am picking the correct MPTT charge controller. I used the "calculator" that Victron provides and it lead me to the SmartSolar 150/60 (MC4). I do believe that this is correct. Am I? ;-) I will have ~800W of power and the 150/60 handles up to 880. The 60A output confuses me because I believe that my panels will generate a max of 11.7A being in series in optimal conditions.
B) I am also concerned about using the correct MC4 cables to connect the solar array to the Victron. I believe that they standardly come in 12/10/8 AWG. Looking at the spec sheet for the 150/60, it looks like the MC4 connections (footnoted) are limited to 30A that I believe would put me in a 10AWG cable? Am I correct?
C) My next question would be what gauge of wire would I want to connect the charge controller to the battery with? Once again - I believe the spec sheet states AWG2 wire. Looking at the charge controller pictures (alone without any other reference to size), and the real estate available for the wiring, it does not look like a beefy AWG2 wire would fit, that is why I am asking. Is AWG2 the correct wire size?
I have been all over the web looking to learn solar energy system design and integration ;-) I have a fair understanding of electrical (Ohm's Law and the basics), however, I do not do this for a living or am I specialized in it. I do not want to buy a "kit" or have to work with a dedicated dealer. I am just trying to build this on my own, getting it right the first time, without the markup of buying from one source.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!