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Sol-ark 12k with Fortress eFlex 5.4 System

Sol-ark 12k with Fortress eFlex 5.4 System: Lithium Batteries and Hybrid Solar – So, this solar array. It’s on four posts. It’s a single post mount, and I had something going on with this panel. This panel was broken, so we’re waiting on a replacement. We’re going to go ahead and leave it there for now. There’s one of our clamps if you want to close up on that. And this is the Sinclair design, single post sky rack. These are 72 cell modules, the long ones, but you can also do this with 60 cell modules.

Sol-ark 12k with Fortress eFlex 5.4 System: Lithium Batteries and Hybrid Solar

Hybrid Solar System Overview

I’m just going to take you on a walk around. You can see, just how simple the Sinclair design’s ground mount is. It goes together very quickly, with very durable, beefy steel. I’ll show you that, right there, what we’re dealing with a little mud on there. It’ll wash off these panels are 385 watts Axotech panels. They’re wired in series strings of seven. There are some panel clips, in case you want to see how we do our solar wire management. I always try to keep our connectors underneath the drip lines, and these panels are in strings of seven.

Sol-ark 12k with Fortress eFlex 5.4 System

Solar Grid

There are four groups of seven, and then they’re paralleled, and they go back to the solar converter into two parallel groups. So, these are our parallel connectors. Those are called Y connectors, and then, here’s our disconnect for our two solar strings. So, you take those two solar strings that are both operating at around 9 amps. You combine them series to seven panels, and then you combine two strings, and then they are going back. They’re going all the way back to the house, and those are IMO disconnects.

DC Disconneced

We’re using high voltage DC disconnects. You can see where we’ve got our solar wire going in there through a weather head. I’m just gonna walk the trench path with you guys, and show you where we went from a lot of time. People are asking questions, how far can you go on a solar system. There’s a nice garden the homeowner has. So, let’s just take a look at the trench path. I think we’re around 200 feet coming in, and I can show you the voltages, and the amperages, and what the operating characteristics of this system are.

In House Sol-Ark System

But, first, I’ll take you to where we bring our solar array wires into the house. So, here we have our disconnect, our point of connection for the grid. You can’t see it, but there’s a 200 amp panel on the backside of this meter base, and we installed a critical load subpanel on the other side of this window. We moved all the circuits from the main panel to the critical load panel that we want to be backed up when the power is out. We fed a 50 amp circuit capable of back-feeding, 30 amps to the panel through this disconnect for the utility, and then underneath the house, in this beautiful crawl space, it goes all the way to the other side of the house where our solar mech room is.


Sol-ark 12k with Fortress eFlex – So, I’ll take you there now. So, in here, amongst these rustic settings, we have our Sol-ark system with our 2 batteries. These are fortress eFlex 5.4. These batteries are brand new batteries. These are the lithium Ferro phosphate batteries from the fortress. They’re paralleled, each one of them is a 48 volts battery with about 105 amp-hours in it. Down below, that’s the transfer switch that we use as a bypass on every system, in case something was to happen with the Sol-ark. The customer would be able to bypass the Sol-ark and instantly have grid power passing back through to all their loads.

eFlex Sola-Ark System

Transfer Switch

So, these are lithium Ferro phosphate batteries. They’ve got a little over 200 amp hour, or 10kw of lithium. The cool thing about these batteries is, when they’re full, when they’re empty, you’re not going to hurt them by charging them and discharging them deeply, or charging them hard as long as you follow the manufacturer’s specs. They hang up on the wall, they don’t put any gases into the house. They have wi-fi monitoring. They have closed-loop communication. So,  you can actually see, I’m gonna try to show you these lights real quick.

Sol-Ark 12K 120/240/208V 48V [All-In-One]

Sol-Ark 12K 120/240/208V 48V [All-In-One]
Sol-Ark 12K 120/240/208V 48V [All-In-One]
MSRP Price: $7,400.00
Your Price: $6,850.00
The Sol-Ark 12k is a great choice stackable solar/hybrid inverter! It’s an all-in-one, pre-wired inverter with built-in charge controllers and many other built-in features fitted as standard. It is flexible, efficient, and affordable.


You can actually see this state of charge on the battery. There’s also a button right there. You can turn the battery ON and OFF. And then we also have RS485 closed-loop communication between the batteries which are daisy-chained together and the inverter. So, it can see the battery, and this is kind of the holy grail of battery backup. With lithium-ion is having your whole system talk to each other. This is the solar converter. If you guys have not seen these yet or heard about them, it’s a great inverter.

state of charge on the battery

RS485 closed-loop

It’s got access to the breakers from the AC side and DC breakers. It’s also got a solar PV disconnect on the underside of the unit. So, it’s basically all in one. Although, we do install the transfer switch which I showed you earlier. But this thing is awesome, it can take a high voltage DC 48 volt battery, and takes the grid power. It’s got tons of functionality, you can program this thing, however, you want make it do a lot of different things. I’ve got the customer off the grid. Right now, we’re just making sure that it’s all working right. But, you press that button, and you got beaucoup’s information.

Sol-Ark Inverter

So, I can look at the customer’s load in this column right here. Look at what the solar’s doing, and then as far as programmability goes, I can come in here, and I can actually. There’s my BMS lithium battery, I can actually see my battery, and if I hit the charge button, I can set my battery voltage for all my parameters, my charging parameters, and it’s just really cool.

Final Words Sol-ark 12k with Fortress eFlex 5.4 System

Another cool thing is that we have a new window lithium battery info, can actually see what the battery is doing. So, if you see that number 2 right there, those are my two e-flexes that have been paralleled, and I can see that they’re full. And this is just kind of oscillating between 99 and 100 percent, and this customer is running off-grid right now. If you see that saw, this if you notice, but I have the grid breaker off. I’m just running them, just to make sure everything is going to run the way we want it to function.

So, here’s the old main panel. You can see, we’ve got the back feed breaker snapped into the bottom of the breaker. Now, bottom the breaker panel, it’s a 50 amp breaker because of pass-through but the max back feed is not going to exceed 120 rule. And then here is our critical load’s sub-panel. We’ve got our critical load sub-panel, all labeled up. This panel is supplied by solar, got the main feed marked out, and then we’re sub feeding a couple of different a barn down here with some freezers in it.  And then, we’re pretty much running everything in the house.

So, here’s that critical load panel setup, ideally, you get your critical load panel right next to your main. But we just couldn’t do it in this room. I know the lighting’s bad but ideally, it would have been going right there. But we weren’t able to do that.

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