A brief overview of my parents' DIY 1.6kW emergency backup solar system. In this video we're running a 5,000BTU window a/c unit. The window unit draws about 500-600 watts.
This project started out small with only four 100W solar panels. We knew we would increase capacity over time so we purchased a charge controller that would support different configurations as we added to the system. The primary purpose for the system is emergency power. However, it has been used almost daily for the last several months. In the winter months, it powered small space heaters. In the summer months is has been powering the window air conditioner allowing them to use central air for only an hour or two a day, if at all. Here in St. Louis they get a solid eight hours of the a/c running on solar. For a load test, they were able to run two units simultaneously as well.
We also ran a successful test to determine if the batteries alone would power the refrigerator overnight without dropping to more than 20% depth of discharge.
This has been a fun hobby/project for the family and we learned quite a bit in the process. :)
About the system:
Sixteen 100W Renogy solar panels
Morningstar TriStar TS-MPPT-60 charge controller
Four VMAX SLR125 125Ah deep cycle AGM solar batteries
Microsolar 3000W/6000W 24V pure sine wave inverter
Wall outlets were installed throughout the house that connect directly to the power inverter.
The panels and batteries are 12V wired in series/parallel to increase voltage to 24V and storage capacity to 250Ah.