Greetings from new user (pics inside)

2

Comments

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

    Find your phantom load.

    On another note. I designed my system specifically so that some of the panels are mounted vertically on the wall, so that when I go away for extended periods in the winter, there is almost no chance for them to be covered with snow. While they are not at the optimal angle fro harvest, the fact that they get some sun, keeps the batteries at float while I am away.

    I have the panels mounted on hinges, so I can adjust to the proper angle when I am home.

    Tony

    PS. Your bush looks alot like mine! http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=4368 Go to posts # 1&2
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Please remember that my cabin is at aprox 62.5N which is more than 1 degree further north than Anchorage, Alaska.
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Hi Tony,

    I have checked and double checked and there is no phantom load. The only devices connected to the batteries while I am away are the Trimetric and the SunSaver. That said I have no trouble understanding the 42Ah loss. It was expected because there is almost no sun at this time of year. What I am considering is to use another controller in the darkest months, November-January and use the SunSaver in the other months.

    I am also considering buying one more panel of the same type because they have them on sale now. With another panel I am sure the batteries will be fully charged during these months.

    My panel is mounted almost vertically during winter and is is not covered with snow at any time.

    Very nice place you have there! Do you have any pictures of your solar electric system?

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

    The Trimetric is a load ... I would power off that as its serves no purpose when your not there. If your curious at the battery SOC, use a DVM for the one or two visits in the winter
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Thanks, I will consider that. The trimetric uses 16mA when the display is off. It also measure it's own consumption so the figures I read should be approx correct. I have e-mailed Bogart about what accuracy to expect for such long periods and small currents.
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Would it be acceptable to bypass the CC in the winter, and wire panels directly to the battery ? (blocking diode needed) 1 hour of weak sun per day, can't overcharge too much
    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)

    Hi Mike, that is a good idea that I will consider!
  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    On sober second thoughts, I'm not sure I would worry about the recorded ~40ah " missing from the battery. I would rely more on the voltage and the SG of the cells. I know that the Tri-metric can be a bit quirky when you are dealing with small loads both on the charge as well as the discharge side. If after a number of months you are that close I wouldn't worry about it. Turning off the meter will save a tiny little bit, as well as the controller. Depending on how often you get there in the winter 63N isn't going to give you long enough days, coupled with cold batteries so that I wouldn't worry about over charging them. On the other hand, if you can't get back until sometime in March, that same 63N coupled with cold temps, and reflection off the snow you might risk over charging. Just the meter alone would account for ~50ah over 90 days.

    If it were me, I would kill the Trimetric, check the panel output the next time you are there with a DVM or the Trimetric, check the SC relative to what the meter says,,, and then figure out what to worry about.

    Adding a second panel is never a bad idea IMHO!


    Tony

    PS Your days must be getting noticeably longer. Our day is almost 3 hours longer
  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    One more note,

    Going back to your earlier post #7, you provide calcs from your panel in November, December and January, total ~113 ah total!

    Add the meter draw of ~75 ah for the 90 days, plus the controller draw of ~82 ah for a total of 157 ah. Given that you might have gotten ~113. 113-157=44! Pretty close to what your meter reveals.

    Clearly 1 more panel or killing the meter or the controller would be a good idea in the winter while you are away.

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

    I have today made up my mind and purchase one more 80W BP Solar panel. It is more expensive than many other brands available here but then I will get two identical panels.

    So now the question arises whether to wire in series or parallel? The SunSaver MPPT can handle both. Accordning to the efficiency graph in the data sheet of the SS it is better to wire them in parallel. I e-mailed Morningstar tech support about this and got this answer:
    Hello Ole,

    Yes, a parallel, 12V nominal/17Vmp, solar panel configuration will provide the best efficiency for charging a 12V nominal battery configuration.

    This in addition to that I have fairly short cable run to the controller calls for a parallel connection. The batteries can be very cold compared to the panels and that calls for a series connection but I guess this is why Vmp is 17.x Volts on most panels in the first place. They are made to handle this temperature difference.

    I hope I can wire them together at the panel end and use the same cable run to my controller.

    Any comments on this?

    Thanks!

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

    Wiring the panels to feed the same home run is fine, as long as the wire size is adequate. I wired mine using Anderson polarized connectors so that I can move the panels around as I need. One set of mine move through out the year. I also agree that parallel would be the way to go.

    Tony
  • BrockBrock Posts: 630Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Are you sure you have the Trimetric set correctly? I don't remember what the default is on the %, but it is user adjustable. I would be willing to bet the battery is full and the meter has wandered off over time. Is it set to auto reset on a full charge? Did the bank come up to full charge while you were there?
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Brock,

    Remember Ole is North of 62N. Makes for VERY short days in Nov, Dec, Jan, even it it is clear.

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

    Yes, I am pretty sure is set correctly. I charged for 4 hours before I left in November and then reset the Trimetric to 100%. And as Tony said there is very little sun here at this time of year so the 42Ah loss was as expected.
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    The new 80W panel arrived last week and I "transported" it to my cabin last weekend. I had to go cross-country skiing for about an hour with the panel mounted on a ski pulk. The temperature was about -10C (14F) and heavy wind so I did not even try to mount it. I have to move my other panel a bit to the right as well to make room for the new panel (see pic above). I will return as soon as the temperature rises a bit and mount it. I ordered a adjustable mounting bracket for the new panel of the same type that I have on my existing. This bracket has positions for winter, all-year and summer.

    I have also ordered the Sunsaver MPPT Remote Display from Maverick solar. Hopefully this will arrive in time for my next visit (I was a bit worried about this order since Maverick did not respond to many of my e-mails).

    Ole

    PS: The Trimetric showed 100% this time and days since charged 1.1.
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    ole,
    can we see new pics when you are done?
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Yes I will take more pictures when I am done.
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    I visited my cabin again last week. It was cold and the sun was shining from a clear sky. The Trimetric showed a charge current of 6.3A! This is the highest current I have seen in my system (still only one 80W panel). I guess this is the result of the MPPT controller working. With my old controller I got a little bit over 5A on days like these.

    I regret that I ordered the Morningstar remote display now that I have my wireless remote display almost up and running. I will drive to my cabin again tomorrow afternoon and test it.

    It is still too much snow and too cold to install the new 80W panel. Last week it when I was there the temp was -11C in the morning and +3C mid day.

    OS
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)
    _OS_ wrote: »
    I visited my cabin again last week. It was cold and the sun was shining from a clear sky. The Trimetric showed a charge current of 6.3A!

    If there are no loads, where is the current going ? Boiling batteries ? Or was that a peak charge current reading ? What's your water usage in the batteries ?
    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 ,

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

    my thought too, how is that much power being used with no loads on to allow the controller to send that much to the battery?:confused: a few ma from meters or the controller even ongoing will not result in the necessity of full bore mppt bulk recharge action unless the site went without sun for awhile. please clarify the circumstances.
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)
    mike90045 wrote: »
    If there are no loads, where is the current going ? Boiling batteries ? Or was that a peak charge current reading ? What's your water usage in the batteries ?

    This was a peak reading at about 1PM and the batteries where 80% full at the time. I have two Concorde 305Ah (100 hour rating) AGM batteries and use no water.

    Do you mean this is an error? What's wrong with charging these big batteries with 6A? I often use my Victron charger to charge them at 50A and there are still much to go on according to Concorde.

    OS
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,883Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    I think the other believed you went to your cabin and immediately checked the charge controller (without using any other power)--and found it charging with (its) maximum current. Their worry is that the charge controller may be pumping maximum charge current into the batteries and charging them over >100% capacity--and damaging the battery bank.

    I believe you put a load on the battery (over night use--or there was no charging for several months and the batteries where down to 80% state of charge?) and you saw your maximum current from the charge controller going into the partially discharged batteries..

    They just wanted to make sure that the charge controller was behaving properly and the batteries really need the maximum charge rate from the controller.

    -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)

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the reply. Yes I was discharging the batteries down to about 75% the weekend before.

    The reason I wrote the message abobve was to telle you that I am glad the MPPT is working and putting more amp hours into my batteries than the cheap CC I used to have before.

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

    thanks for the clarification as we were starting to worry. glad it's working good for you.:D
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Right, I was not ware you had consumed any power, and that when you hiked in, you saw it at >6A.
    Mike
    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)

    I and my family spent the Easter Holiday in the mountains and I finally managed to mount the new 80W panel. The panel (BP Solar 380J) has the same electrical specifications as my old one (BP Solar 380S) but came with a junction box instead of pre-wired connections. As you can see in the picture they are not completely level but I will fix that when the snow is gone.

    The first sunny day after I mounted them my SunSaver MPPT charged at 11.6A peak at 1PM and a total of 30Ah that day! Battery charge state around 60%

    2xbp80.jpg
  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    "Battery charge state around 60%"

    ole,
    does this mean you went from 25% soc to 60% soc? i interpreted the 25% from your statement of "Yes I was discharging the batteries down to about 75% the weekend before." and i am not sure i am interpreting you right.
    remember these both mean a dead battery-100% dod, 0% soc
    and these both mean a full battery-0% dod, 100% soc

    in any case i'm glad to see you getting a higher charge into the batteries.
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Hi Neil,

    The reason I wrote that was to let you know that my batteries was not fully charged.

    When we arrived last Monday my batteries where fully charged and the Trimetric showed 100%. After two days I installed the new panel and the morning after the Trimetric showed 60%. This was a sunny day and at five in the afternoon the same day the Trimetric showed 65%. I have a 600Ah bank which means that the panels have charged 30Ah that day.

    When I wrote 75% above I meant SOC.

    This said I have never discharged my batteries more than 50%.

    Ole
  • dwhdwh Posts: 1,341Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)

    Ole,

    Forget the solar for a moment - I just wanted to say; That is one nice cabin. And the woods around it are beautiful. I wish I had one just like it. :D
  • _OS__OS_ Posts: 204Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Greetings from new user (pics inside)
    dwh wrote: »
    Ole,

    Forget the solar for a moment - I just wanted to say; That is one nice cabin. And the woods around it are beautiful. I wish I had one just like it. :D

    Yes it is nice but there is so much work to be done such that my kids can bring their friends with them; there is no water, no shower and the t**let is in the tool shed.

    It was built by my father-in-law in 1970. He did not have much money then and made most of the woodwork himself.

    Please note that the solar panels are mounted on the tool shed. Picture of the cabin at the beginning of this thread.
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