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I have almost no knowledge in electronics. For the past few days, I have been learning what I believe to be all the basics required for assembling sort of a DIY solar battery project, using solar panels, a solar charge controller, a 12V LiFePO4 battery and a 12V 220V converter.

I think I made the necessary calculations to pick the correct solar charge controller and the sizing of the cables. That being said, I am not a professional, and since all I've learned are the basics, I'm not safe from the Dunning-Kruger effect. So, before I start wiring stuff and potentially burn down my house (or worse), I was thinking it might be a good idea to ask.

Would it be on topic to ask whether or not I picked the right charge controller and wire sizes, based on the calculations I made?

I'll probably have another question about how to proceed to connect the solar charge controller along with the battery, the inverter, and a socket charger, based on what I initially intended to do too (to know whether or not what I had in mind was the correct approach). I would be asking 2 separates questions if both are on topic (or none if both are off topic).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Entirely achievable question or question set. If you ask questions on it you are welcome to advise me (A reply to this comment would achieve that.) I may be able to help directly an can provide some other sites that can help. There are quite a few on web sites that cover this area - including this one (often superb) . I'm temporarily jumping a small ocean tomorrow so may not see anything for a day or two. Or may. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon Mod
    Nov 9, 2023 at 3:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ For what it's worth, I triple checked everything I planned to do before doing it, and everything seems to be working fine, so I guess I won't need to ask questions after all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Clockwork
    Nov 25, 2023 at 19:38

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Would it be on topic to ask whether or not I picked the right charge controller and wire sizes, based on the calculations I made?

Design questions are fine, shopping questions are not fine. Please keep it to a design question, use block diagrams and make sure you link datasheets (make sure the product you buy has documentation, we can't answer questions on undocumented products, a retail page is not sufficient). Screenshots of hand calcs drawings are hard to read. We can check calculations, make sure the question is well documented, if equations are used latex is preferable.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, is there a risk that my question(s) might look like an advertisement if I put "too many" documentation links (even if I am not affiliated in any way)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Clockwork
    Nov 8, 2023 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be sure, are the cables I use to connect the devices between each others also supposed to have a datasheet? Sorry if it sounds naive, this is the first time I purchase these kind of stuff. \$\endgroup\$
    – Clockwork
    Nov 8, 2023 at 19:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ No, you need adequate documentation for each part so someone on the internet can tell what it is. Wires AWG and resistance (if necessary) are sufficient. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike Mod
    Nov 8, 2023 at 20:37
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It is on-topic to ask about existing design choices and determine what, if anything, is sub-optimal in your circuit. However, it sounds like this may be less of a circuit design and more of an assembly of off-the-shelf devices, which ventures into the grey area between electronics engineering and DIY. Just be sure to focus on the electrical aspects.

I would recommend breaking different points into separate questions even though they are about the same project. The main objective of the Q&A is to ask a single question that can be definitively answered, making it easy for readers to identify the problem you're addressing and for everyone to evaluate answers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ To be a bit more specific, one question would be about the relationships between two pairs of devices (solar panels to charge controller, charge controller to battery, battery to converter), in order to make sure the wires ain't going to melt and the charge controller isn't going to blow up because of miscalculation. The other question might verge on the off-topic, because I don't know if it's possible to have the converter connected to the battery while the battery itself is connected to the charge controller to receive current from the panels, so I intended to show what I intended to do. \$\endgroup\$
    – Clockwork
    Nov 8, 2023 at 19:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ When you break a problem down into smaller chunks, such as selecting wire gauge, you will discover that there are already a lot of questions on the site about how to select wire gauge (sometimes called "ampacity") for a given current. There are also a lot of questions asking about battery selection for solar applications, and so on. You may want to browse some of those first as they may change what you were planning on asking. \$\endgroup\$
    – JYelton
    Nov 8, 2023 at 22:11

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