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Hi Jim
You need to do some planning
I have a 5Kw inverter for my solar system - I think they are now about $1500
http://www.goodwe.com/
I have one of these - seems to be a very nice solid object with lots of features that I'm not using

What do you want to do?
Where is the power coming from?
What eats the power?

An average New Zealand home eats about 20 kWh per day - so on average less than 1 Kw continuous

200 amp at 240v is about 48 KW - I would be very surprised if you could draw that much!

Plan it out - do a daily plan thinking about what is switched on and when - and if they need to be on at the same time

Then see how much you need
 

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Hi Jim
That was your monthly usage

You need to get down and dirty and into your usage by the hour to see what you actually need!

On a monthly basis you used a maximum of just over 2 Kw continuous - but that does NOT tell you what you need

Get a piece of paper or a spreadsheet and walk around your house looking at what's on and writing down the usage at that time

Lay it out and think about it

Maybe you can lock certain high power usage items out - and only use them at certain times so they don't get used at the same time as some of the other high power devices

Charging the car
Electric cloths dryer
Electric Hobb
Electric heating

If you want to use an inverter with it's limited output you need to understand what you are doing

OR you can use a grid tie system like the one I have where the solar inverter just feeds the system and the grid is there to cope with any large power calls
 

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My inverter was about $2000 - 5Kw
But I have seen them for about $1500 - and that's NZD so about $1100 USD
So I would say that $15,000 is about a factor of 10 too high!
 

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That why you need to sit down and do your "plan"

You will need the input power - solar?
The battery
The Grid

You need to "Game it" - try lots of possibilities on paper - or spreadsheets!

I'm using a simple system - the solar panels feed the inverter and it makes AC - which it delivers to my house
I'm also connected to the grid
Basically I use power as I want - if I'm using more than Solar then it comes from the grid
Less then the surplus goes to the grid (and they only pay a pittance)
This is all automatic

The next stage would be a battery - a charger and an inverter - so that instead of dumping to the grid it would charge the battery - and instead of drawing from the grid it would draw from the battery
I could also take advantage of different night/day power charges

At this stage you need something with a bit more smarts - and you will need to tell it what to do

Get your paper and try some options - it's a lot cheaper than buying anything - and until you know what you CAN do
 
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