Greetings from new user (pics inside)

_OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
Hello everybody,

OS from Norway here. Last year we inherited a 40 year old cabin from my father in law and we are in the process of upgrading. First thing we installed was a small scale solar electric system.

Here is a picture of the 80W BP Solar panel on the wall of the tool shed:

solar.jpg

The "technical room" with Victron Energy 1200VA inverter, Trimetric 2020 battery monitor, 2x Concorde Sun Xtender PVX-2580L batteries, cheap solar controller (I will replace the solar controller with a SunSaver MPPT soon) and 2kW generator.

battery1.jpg

The cabin:

cabin.jpg


Best Regards,
OS
«13

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,902Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    That 80W panel is not going to do much except to trickle charge the batteries. You will be getting the bulk of the recharging from the generator.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)
    mike90045 wrote: »
    That 80W panel is not going to do much except to trickle charge the batteries. You will be getting the bulk of the recharging from the generator.

    I have used the system for about a year now without using the generator. We use the cabin only every three weekends or so and use the power only for TV and lights.

    That said I am considering buying one more panel or sell this one and buy a larger one. My dealer has a Kyocera 85W panel on sale now but I am not sure if I can use it together with the 80W BP Solar panel I have.

    Regards,
    OS
  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    It is a simple matter of "doing the math" Add up all the expected loads (amp/hrs) (Kw/hrs) over some sample time frame. Since you use the cabin only every few weekends, your charging system could be a bit smaller than average, though your batteries might be larger. Factor in charging/inverter efficiencies etc, and average expected sun, plus some reserve, and that will give you a base line number. If you are only using the cabin as seldom as you do, I would think that you could draw down the batteries to ~50% without worrying about it. Down only 20-25% would be better.

    Remember that when you have 24/7 power available, loads will increase with time. Consider those numbers as well.

    One thing I have noticed on this site, is that people on this site bring their own experience to the forum. As such, few have lived in primitive cabins for very long. Most tend to live in more substantial houses, with the corresponding (though low by average) loads. So when one suggests that "you won't be able to do much with X watts of panel or battery" that may not relate to your situation very well.

    We lived for years with no power, drawing water from the lake with buckets, using Kerosene lamps etc. Our first solar installation was one ~60 watt panel, coupled to 2 t-105 golf cart batteries. I built this system to power the fridge ignitor, one reading light, and the radio. It worked famously, and we got 12 years out of the original batteries. As time went on, we realized the luxury of having 24/7 power. Inverter, CFLs, laptop charger, internet modem, water pump etc. We upgraded our system for all those things, and it feels like we live in a "real house". Even at that, we still only run ~200 watts of panel. Tiny by most comparisons.

    So do the math, plan to expand, and avoid the "ready, fire, aim" syndrome

    Good luck,

    Tony
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    The first thing I noticed about the first picture is that you've got a huge shadow that either just cleared the panel or is about to obscure it, and judging by the shadow the panel is casting, you're very near solar noon. You're losing ALOT of your potential. As soon as that shadow hits one of the columns of cells, output drops to nil until it clears the opposite column. Can you relocate it to a more suitable spot? If so, you may not need the second panel.
    _OS_ wrote: »

    That said I am considering buying one more panel or sell this one and buy a larger one. My dealer has a Kyocera 85W panel on sale now but I am not sure if I can use it together with the 80W BP Solar panel I have.

    OS

    You can determine how well mismatched panels wired parallel will work together by multiplying the lowest Vmp of each panel by the Imp of each panel and add the result together, for example, if the BP 80 watt panel (using easy math and standard test conditions):

    Vmp = 20 and Imp = 4 then 20v X 4A = 80watts

    and the Kyocera specs are:

    Vmp = 17 and Imp = 5 then 17v X 5A = 85watts

    What happens is that the 17v Kyocera will drag the 20v BP down to 17v and power will be:

    (17v X 4A) + (17v X 5A) = 153 watts.

    You lose 12 watts on the BP panel.

    Cheers,

    Bad Apple
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    i agree you will need more to properly charge those batteries. i see they are sealed and as such they may be gels or agms. should they be agms they would lose their power less quickly and charge more efficiently, but in a case like yours you should not be below 3% of your battery capacity for a charge rate, which i estimate your batteries to be around 400ah. .03x400=12 amps for a 3% charge rate. normally most will have a charge rate between 5% and 13%, but situations like yours that can build the power up over a longer period of time can go slightly lower. too low though won't work as it begins to act more like a maintenance or float type charge and not allowing much in the way of a bulk charge to them. a rough extimate of your present charge rate with estimated capacities is 4 amps/ 400ah = 1% rate of charge. that is good for float charging.
    my advice is keep the pv you presently have and add around another 8 amps or so of pv to it. something like this may work out, http://store.solar-electric.com/kyso130wa12v.html , otherwise you will need to add 2 pvs in keeping with using a non-mppt type controller.
    speaking of controllers i don't know what you are using for one and what its limits are so you may need to consider if another controller is needed to accomodate the extra pvs. if you need another controller then consider an mppt type and some of them do have the ability for voltage downconversion in the case of using 24v pvs into a 12v battery system. that woud leave you with a 12v stragler if another isn't placed in series with it of the same current rating to make it 24v, but 24v pv systems and mppt may be projecting too far with possibilities for you.

    edit to add: after looking at the pics more closely and reading between the pics. (hitting head)
    1> good catch BA on the shadowing as this will lessen the available charge time he is capable of. some tree trimming is in order.
    2> i see the batteries are the big concordes and these are 255ah each so 3% of 510ah is 15.3 amps minimumly needed and more would be better due to shading and available sunshine in your area. the sunsaver mppt is a good choice and get the bts for it.
    edit to add: if you think you may get more pv than the max of the sunsaver you have 2 options: 1 get more than 1 of them or 2 get a larger rated controller that is mppt like the xw60 or the mx60.
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Hi all and thanks for the feedback.

    The shadow in the first picture is from a big pine tree that I am considering cutting the top of (about 4 feet is enough).

    The batteries are Concorde and are specified for at most 1% self discharge per month which is one of the reasons I bought them. I have done the math but I might be missing something here. My calculations: 1% of 510Ah is 5.1Ah per month and roughly 0.2Ah per day. Even in the darkest months of the year (November to January) my current panel delivers more than that. Also in these months we do not use the cabin.

    I will visit my cabin the coming weekend and will report back. When I left last week the Trimetric showed a capacity of 94% left in the batteries and it was at mid day last Friday charging at 4.5A. We have had mostly sunny days since that.

    Here is the expected power from an 80W panel in my part of our country. These numbers are an average collected by a research institute over several years and places:

    80W panel: Jan:49Ah, Feb:117Ah, Mar:173Ah, Apr:227Ah, May:246Ah, Jun:205Ah, Jul:171Ah, Aug:163Ah. Sep:125Ah, Oct:91, Nov:31Ah, Dec:33Ah

    Regards,
    Ole
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,902Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)
    _OS_ wrote: »
    I will visit my cabin the coming weekend and will report back. When I left last week the Trimetric showed a capacity of 94% left in the batteries and it was at mid day last Friday charging at 4.5A. We have had mostly sunny days since that

    Lets hope the batteries are full - that's a LOT of battery to charge from a small panel.

    Here is the expected power from an 80W panel in my part of our country. These numbers are an average collected by a research institute over several years and places:

    But that cannot take into account your trees and roofline that shades your panel. One small area of shade can shut down a panels production.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Lets hope the batteries are full - that's a LOT of battery to charge from a small panel.


    But that cannot take into account your trees and roofline that shades your panel. One small area of shade can shut down a panels production.

    That is correct, the numbers are taken in open land without anything shading for the sun.

    I will move the panel a few cm down and cut the top of the tree. And as I said in another thread buy one more panel.

    Regards,
    Ole
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Posts: 705Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Thanks for taking time to send in pictures, always good to see other peoples set ups, the more the better IMHO.
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    This weekend I visited my cabin again. The Trimetric battery monitor showed 100% charged and that it occurred 3 days ago so my panel is charging fine for my use.

    The plan this weekend was to install a stove and a fridge, both propane-driven. I hope it is ok to post a few off-topic pictures.

    I began to remove the pine panel on the wall behind where I want to place the stove and fridge. My idea was to get more space in front of the two. This is what I found behind the panels:

    wall.jpg

    The 45 degree beam looked like it's vital for the strength of the cabin. It’s time to call my father in law (which is not easy since the cabin is so far out in the woods that I have no mobile phone coverage). I have to wait until the day after so I fired up the old stove outside. This is at 8:30 in the afternoon and you can see the sun is still shining:

    outside.jpg


    I called my in-law and he believed it was ok to remove it:

    saw.jpg


    The final result after adding a few smaller "beams" and reinstalling the pine panels on the other side:

    stove.jpg

    Thanks for reading!

    Regards,
    Ole
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,902Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)
    _OS_ wrote: »
    The 45 degree beam looked like it's vital for the strength of the cabin.

    I think you were right, and whomever thought it was OK to remove, was WRONG. It was a lot of trouble to add it in the original construction, if it was not really needed.

    That (was) a brace to keep the entire structure from leaning to the side. When it's wood, it functions in both Compression and Tension. Now that's it's gone, you should use a pair of steel cables, in an X configuration, to prevent leaning either direction.


    more info:
    http://www.contractorreferral.com/glossary/index.php?letter=W&limit_index=300
    Wind Brace. A diagonal structural member whose function is to stabilize a frame against lateral forces.

    http://www.answers.com/topic/diagonal-brace-1

    http://nisee.berkeley.edu/elibrary/getpkg?id=GoddenD50-69
    Unavoidable in this solution is the appearance of the heavy X-bracing crossing window areas.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,886Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    You would really need to look/inspect the overall cabin structure to determine if that cross member adds to the overall rigidity of the Cabin or not...

    If you want to return the shear resistance to that wall... You could pull the paneling (I assume that this is not plywood vernier), and add a 1/2" or 3/4" piece or two of plywood underneath with lots of nails (and you can even put glue under the framing/plywood connection). (I know you are metric--but I don't know standard metric plywood definitions...). And add the paneling back on top for looks.

    Even though, adding this structure back in won't necessarly help overall... This is only adding shear strength in one axis (left-right). It does not help in the other (front-rear) unless there is already some other buried structure elsewhere.

    You can add shear walls (nailed plywood) for roughly 1/4 the total exterior wall length in each wall section and that will do a pretty good job of wind/earthquake proofing a wooden structure. (plywood can be added to the exterior or interior wall and repaneled/covered after it is done).

    I notice that the interior shot of the walls where the battery system is--there appears to be no diagonal bracing or plywood shear wall. The shear component resistance of the exterior planks is not great--so the walls could "rack" (think of a rectangle becoming a parallelogram if you anchor the base and push sideways on the top) if exposed to wind/quakes.

    But I would guess that this is overkill for a small cabin in the woods of Norway. It appears that you may not even have a solid foundation (concrete wall/footings buried below the frost line). Building could be knocked off foundation if subjected to a strong lateral force--regardless of internal bracing.

    If you are concerned--perhaps you can invite a structural engineer or builder up for a nice weekend visit to "consult".

    You have such a nice looking interior--I would be a bit more concerned about staining behind/above the propane fridge/stove with soot/combustion by-products/food/grease against "raw wood" or even issues with fire... Perhaps some sheet metal, tile, or "sheetrock" (or whatever you use there for fire proofing) around/under the fridge/stove area would take care of two problems at once (ease of cleaning and fire resistance).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Thanks for the answers! It was my father in-law that built this cabin and he believed I could remove the beam but after reading your posts I am not so sure but maybe this additional information can "help me": One thing that is not shown in the picture is that the 45 degree beam is also nailed to a vertical beam behind the first panel to the right of the opening I made. Also the wall I modified is an extra wall inside the cabin made there to make a division between the kitchen and the living room. It is only about six feet from the main wall which I believe also have cross braces. Please see the picture below that is taken from another angle (pardon the mess :-)

    Bill: you write "If you want to return the shear resistance to that wall..." Do you mean to add a new "beam" and put the old paneling back in place?

    The cabin stands on concrete feats that extend about five feet down in the ground.

    The battery system is in the tool shed (behind the open door in the first picture with the solar panel on the wall) which is of a much "cheaper" structure. I guess that is why there are no "cross bars".

    kitchen.jpg
  • westbranchwestbranch Posts: 5,087Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Ole, hilsen fra Canada,...

    I concur with the others about the purpose for the diagonal 2"x4" or what ever the metric equivalent is.

    Its purpose was lateral strength, but I am suspicious as to the reason it was installed away from the outside wall.
    Normally it would have started at the lower 'plate' (above the floor) and proceeded up to the 'plate' at the top of the wall thus forming a double triangle within the wall panel... very stable in one direction.

    Is there another angle brace on the opposite side of the house? If so that is the other half of 2 triangles for lateral stability...

    Nice (modern) Hytte.

    Ha det

    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,886Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)
    _OS_ wrote: »
    Bill: you write "If you want to return the shear resistance to that wall..." Do you mean to add a new "beam" and put the old paneling back in place?

    _OS_

    What I was trying to say was you can replace what the "beam" was doing by removing the paneling, nailing up plywood sheet(s) in the wall section, and then put the paneling back on top of the plywood sheet(s) to make it look nice again.

    The plywood, with lots of nails into the "2x4" (2"x4" US term for standard structural lumber) underneath will make the wall very strong against the top shifting sideways with respect to the base/bottom of the wall. It will make the ceiling of your kitchen much "stiffer" to "left and right" movement. If the ceiling is strong and well attached to the roof--then the whole center of the building will be stiffer and better able to resist "left to right" forces. This one wall, however, only provides "shear" (left-right) strength (in one direction). If you have weakness in the other direction--other walls/structure would have to be worked on too.

    Of course, how much this will help (or is needed) depends a lot on your foundation ties (in the US, and especially in earthquake country like California--we have to bolt the base of the home to the foundation so that the home is not thrown off of the foundation--in areas with strong winds (tornadoes/hurricanes), the foundation ties for newer buildings are carried up through the side walls and into the ceiling/rafter/roof area to prevent the sides and the roof from being blown off...

    Much of this is "newer" building code requirements based on natural disasters (and large fires) that have happened in the 20th century.

    Since your's is a single story "home/cabin"--these are generally much safer in earthquakes because there is very little weight up high (like a 2nd and 3rd story).

    If you want to see what a weak 1st story (ground floor) looks like in a multistory building--look up "Soft Story".

    Here is a link with some pictures of a Soft Story and explanations. You can see the upper structure came though pretty much OK--only the first floor with the poor bracing was flattened.

    And a nice page with links that describes other common structural issues in earthquake country.

    I will leave it to use to figure if quakes are an issue where you live or vacation (www.jordskjelv.no in Norwegian). I would be (somewhat) more concerned about the foundation than this one interior wall (from what little I can see).

    Still looks like a lovely place to spend some quality time! I would not loose sleep over this one cross brace.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    os,
    i concur with the father-in-law that it doesn't matter. i say this because it has a breakfast nook above it. the real supports will be in either wall to the sides of the nook. if in doubt, you can diagonally put a smaller board like the back planks or metal bracing placed diagonally as has already been suggested. i think for a floor to ceiling wall i would've been more concerned of taking a diagonal out.
    i like that pine and is there a finish on the would out of curiousity as it all looks like it was built yesterday?
  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    This is a classic "let in brace" to resist lateral loads and wracking of the wall. You can replicate it's function by using a piece of plywood to carry the lateral load, or even another cross brace. In small wood frame construction the same general lateral brace can be achieved by 1 4x8 panel on the corners and every 20' (I don't really remember) of wall. You can also achieve the same stability with the rigidity of the floor or roof diaphram above. In a small cabin, I don't think I would worry about it. The house is not going to fall down without it, but it may start do wrack out of plumb (slowly) depending on the loading (wind, snow etc) I used to work for a bush camp that had ~50 simple frame buildings, all sided with shiplap siding. No diagonal, no plywood, no ridged roof deck. Over 100 years we had several buildings significantly out of plumb, but none that was un safe. We rewracked some just with a come a long and a chain.

    Not something I would worry about,

    Tony
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)
    niel wrote: »
    os,
    i concur with the father-in-law that it doesn't matter. i say this because it has a breakfast nook above it. the real supports will be in either wall to the sides of the nook. if in doubt, you can diagonally put a smaller board like the back planks or metal bracing placed diagonally as has already been suggested. i think for a floor to ceiling wall i would've been more concerned of taking a diagonal out.
    i like that pine and is there a finish on the would out of curiousity as it all looks like it was built yesterday?

    Hi Niel,

    The pine panels are of a very common type used here in Norway. There is no special finish and they are not painted. The cabin was built in 1969-71 and the walls have not been treated since then.

    The only wood my father in-law bought back then was the pine panels and the panels on the floor. Everything else, the beams and the planks on the outside walls he sawed himself at a local sawmill!

    Ole
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    very nice os. pine here seems to dull after so many years, but yours has the look of having been done very recently.:D
    btw, sorry about the wrong spelling of wood, but it was prnounced the same.:cry:
  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Upon second look at the pics, I took a bit more look at the fridge. Be carfeful if you are going to push the fridge back tight into the nook. Make sure that it has free air over the coils. Propane fridges work because of natural convection drawing air up from the bottom, passing it over the coils, and releasing the heat into the air. If you block the top exit path you will reduce the efficiency of the fridge, and risk damaging the cooling unit due to overheating. The Dometic site shows a number of baffling (no pun intended) schemes to help with venting. You can also add fans to assist with air movement, but then you have to add in the parasitic energy costs,

    Tony
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,902Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    From the photos, I can't tell what the original configuration of the cabin was. Was that diagonal beam in a whole wall, or was there a "pass thru" window in the wall beforehand ?

    Really, a person skilled in structural work should look at it.

    Generally, wood is not installed unless is serves a purpose.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Thanks for all the replies!

    I am going on holiday tomorrow and will shut down the server while I am gone so the pictures in the thread above will not display.

    EDIT: I just found out about google photos and have embedded them in the posts above. I do not know if this will work out but you can view the whole album here:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/osaether/Cabin

    There you will also find a map so you can see where my cabin is. I have also included a couple of pictures of Muskoxes that live not far from my cabin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muskox)

    Ole
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Drove to my cabin this afternoon (3 hours roundtrip) and installed the SunSaver controller. It was late when I installed it but the Trimetric showed +0.1A. I sold my old controller for a little bit more than I gave for the SunSaver!

    mppt1.jpg

    And I know the cables from/between my batteries are too long and I have ordered new, shorter #00 cables.

    mppt2.jpg

    Sorry about the bug on top of the controller (I hope the MPPT firmware is bugfree)!

    Ole
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    the cc looks good there.
    i guess with that dead bug there that mppt now may have to stand for Multi Purpose Pest Terminators:p:D.
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Cleaned up the wiring a bit last weekend:

    mppt4.jpg

    mppt3.jpg
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Hello everybody! It's been a while since posting here but here comes a short status report.

    I visited my cabin this weekend for the first time in three months. I was very curious of the charge state of the batteries since the SunSaver MPPT draws 50mA 24hrs a day compared to my old controller that used zero at night and only a few mA when the sun was shining.

    I came up Saturday at noon after 30 min cross-country skiing from where I parked the car. The sun was shining and the temperature -10 C (14F). Here is a picture I took on the way:

    snow.jpg

    There was less snow than last year but it took me two hours this morning to remove most of the snow from the roof. Before:

    hytta0.jpg

    After:

    hytta1.jpg

    The Trimetric battery monitor showed a charge state of 93% which means that the system has lost 42Ah since my previous visit 90 days ago. In a similar "experiment" last year the battery was full.

    I have e-mailed Morningstar about the current consumption of 35mA and they said it is the same day and night. Probably because the firmware needs to keep track of the amp hour used. Since I do not use the 12V outputs when I am not in my cabin I am thinking about adding a relay that shuts down the SunSaver at night. The relay and control circuit must use significantly less than the SunSaver for this to be of any help. Any ideas?

    OS
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,902Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Too bad we can't see a photo of the Solar Panel. Was it completely buried in snow? I can't see how a small drain of 35mA (24 hrs= .84 AH) is not replenished even with a little sunlight. 42Ah / .84 = 50 days of no charge.

    Did you make a battery voltage check ?

    What are the chances the Trimetric looses it calib at very low currents ?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Posts: 1,959Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    The Charger Controller is using about 11 watt/hours a day .. That's not your issue

    Either your panels a buried in snow or you have other loads ... even sun one day a week with your system would keep the battery's fully charge

    Also the Trimetric is not very precise especially at low currents and has only fixed programed values to determine the charge efficiency of the battery, which changes with age and temperature. Its OK for a general state of charge, but 7% difference is 2-3X lower than what in best conditions it can estimate for the battery SOC
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Thanks for the reply. My panel is not covered in snow but keep in mind that at this time of year we only have a couple of hours sun each day and the sun is very low in the sky and there are quite a few pine trees making shadows.
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Please see my reply to mike.
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