Off Grid - System setup - Radian GS8048, 25kw generator, two(2) Bergey 7.5kw turbines 48V setup

PowerWazePowerWaze Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
I started this journey four months ago as we have purchased 30 acres and i have done countless hours of research and feel i have made some good choices on equipment.  There are city services at the road, but the cost to get them back to our build site was significant which further pushed me toward the off grid solution.  We have put in a septic system, well,roof, lake water collection system and off-grid power source.  I can not find anyone that is seasoned in the renewable industry in my area that can check over the components i have purchased and make the final hookups only electricians so i am trying to do this on my own.

The Load:
For now the load we will have is a 50AMP travel trailer that pulls 1500kwh during the peek summer months here in the Dallas Area.
We are building a "Barndominum" that will be very energy efficient with spray foam and we will heat with wood during the winter months. We will be staying in the Trailer until the building is done.  If we have guest i will want to run both structures and need to be able to handle the loads for both of them.  We also have a 1000 gallon propane tank on site to supply gas to the stove, clothes dryer, on demand water heater etc. in the future building. We will also have septic pumps, well pumps and water pumps that will take loads from time to time.

Equimpment:
I scored two Bergey 7.5kw turbines with 100ft towers off craigslist still on pallets, CHEEP. I just received my Outback Radian FPR - 8048
so i have 8000w of inverter power coming out of this awesome setup.  It inlcudes two 80amp charge controllers that will be used for Solar down the road. This is easily stackable so i can add to it if I find the loads are too much and the generator is kicking on too much.  I recently found a 25kw propane powered generator that i can use to take on additional loads and charge the battery bank to capacity.  My goal is to used this as little as possible and in the beginning for a fail safe to make sure we have power.

My questions are:
I am looking for batteries now. I have found used two year old UPS12-490MR batteries at 12v 139.2 AH rating ($80each).  The same person has 2011 Sprinter S12V500F 12v 135ah($45each).  I purchased the ACT Chrome battery tester  https://www.amazon.com/CHROME-Intelligent-Battery-ACT-Meters/dp/B00RDFLHTI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476283336&sr=8-1&keywords=act+battery+tester
that will give you an accurate AH rating for the battery.  If it is charged and the AH are less than 65% of the rating they state that the battery needs to be replaced.  I used https://www.altestore.com/store/calculators/off_grid_calculator/ to calculate the size of the battery set and it is telling me that i need approx. 5000ah at 48v.  WOW... that is alot of batteries.

Do i need this much with having the Generator?
Would you recommend used batteries if they test fine?
Is the Generator too big?  What is the most power that will be sent to the battery bank when the loads are low and the extra power is 
going to the battery bank.

What am i missing?  What problems do you foresee?

Thanks,

Robb


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Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,909 ✭✭✭✭
    Whoa back on those batteries, to reduce problems  you should be looking at 2v batteries ie 2 x 24 = 48Volts.  and before you dig for them there are a lot of calculations to be done to design a well balanced system.

    Others will jump in soon as this is a BIG job and needs to be well thought out..

    go to go ... Appointmnt @ 9:30...
     
    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, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • PowerWazePowerWaze Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited October 2016 #3
    Thanks Westbranch.  I know the 2v is the way to go i am just having a hard time coughing up the money.  I have priced the Trojans, Aquion, Absolyte and get scared every time i see the quote.  I am trying to save on the 13-15k price tag for the batteries and if there is a way that i can use batteries at half/quarter of the cost i feel i would be well ahead.  Aquion i am in love with being Saltwater and all, but they quote for them is near 50k and would take 4 pallet stacks.
    I also feel that since batteries and energy storage is the shortfall for the renewable energy industry that a major development in their technology is forthcoming that will drop the price significantly in the next 3-5 years.  Hopefully before the battery bank is toast is my goal.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,829 ✭✭✭✭

    Hello Robb.  welcome to the Forum.

    In general,  particularly for a large,  first-time Off-Grid power system,  we suggest that one START with a vetted paper design,  BEFORE ANY hardware is purchased,  at all.

    Please,  PLEASE do NOT buy ANY more items for this system at this time,  particularly batteries (or PVs,  or ANYTHING else).

    Most UPS batteries are not well-suited to frequent discharge/charge cycles.  Parallel strings of batteries are a very bad design.  Ideally,  on would use a single string of batteries at the lowest available voltage of individual batteries  --  2 V,  for Lead Acid batteries.


    Off grid power is very expensive to produce and store.  So,  conservation is extremely important.  Also knowing all of the loads on the system,  the number of hours per day that these occur,  and the time of day,  is the crucial and essential starting point.

    Measure or carefully estimate all of your loads,  and when they need to be powered.
    Plan,  plan,  plan,  discuss here,  plan, plan some more.   Discuss some more,  and so on.

    Seems that you are trying to start in the middle or end of the process,  without a clear plan,  not to be too judgmental about it.

    FWIW,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,829 ✭✭✭✭

    And,  Robb,

    Will add that,  there is an Energy Use & Conservation Topic on this Forum.  Here is a Link to the discussion of Mini-Split A/C systems (aka Ductless A/C) from that topic:
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/23007/mini-split-update-for-offgrid/p1

    You may well be familiar with these,  but there are some models that have very good efficiency numbers,  and generally they also have low Surge demands on starting.

    After considering the cost of a large battery bank,  and other factors resulting from your careful paper design,  you may wish to look again at the cost of extending Grid power onto your property.   Even with large A/C loads,   Grid power is considerably less expensive than would be off-grid power,  with  at few exceptions   ...and so on.

    Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,306 ✭✭✭✭
    Since we have no firm idea of what your loads will be, just the 50 Kwh per day for the trailer, we wll have a hard time giving you a firm number. 50 kwh a day is a huge load in it's self though! I use perhps 12-15kwh in the summer in a 16x60 mobile home.

    I trust you did some measurement of available wind in your area? If you have no wind you have no power without the genny running. Wind is not completely reliable in the best of cases. I understand that wind is generally pretty good in Texas.

    If spec'ing out a solar energy battery system, with a single day's autonomy (pretty much what I have in the summer) with fork lift batteries, generally the cheapest high capacity battery since value is important to you. we would add the 50 kwh and add the maximum the battery could be drawn down which would be 75-80% you would be looking at a battery capacity of @62 Kwh, these are the cheapest forklift batteries I know of, the company over rates the capacity of these batteries by 20-25%, you should be looking at the 20 hour rate;

    http://gbindustrialbattery.com/Forklift_Battery_Sizes_and_Specifications_Zone15.html

    62,000 ÷ 48 volt = @1300 amps

    So you would be okay with the 1608 amp hour (their ratings) at about $8500, don't let them drop it on your toe though! it's about 4000 lbs.

    Please note as this is your first time out, many people ruin their first battery set, by under estimating loads, and you have another building yet, which might use less energy that your first, you might see if they have a used/rebuilt battery, at about 50% of the cost. These are delivered prices, but you will want some place to set the battery.....
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • PowerWazePowerWaze Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited October 2016 #7
    Thank you Vic you will not offend me, i know i am jummping in feet first.  In a perfect world i would love to plan out every aspect of this system to make sure everything is very well planned out, but i do not have that luxury. Running two businesses, developing this property and trying to be Dad has my time spoken for.  I am hoping to minimize my exposure to collateral damage/cost due to lack of overall knowledge with help from the experts here to prevent the BIG NO NO's

    I need to be on the property using this system in the next 3-4 weeks.  We will run on strait generator until the system is fully up.
    The use of the AC will be minimized and our energy usage will be transferred to propane while we are in the winter months. 
    This will give me time to work the kinks out before the spring/summer AC loads hit.

    My loads will change all the time.  I may have 6 friends of my daughter staying a Saturday night and all have their phones and devices on and tvs running, curiling irons, etc  I have to meet those loads.  

    The Outback Radian system will turn on the Generator set and service the loads when there is a certain demand or DOD level reached on the battery bank.  It will feed the loads and the rest will be directed to the battery bank for charging.  Once the Bank is charged the generator is turned off.  This is the catch all if you will, that i was looking for when picking equipment.  So if there is not enough wind or solar to charge the batteries this will supplement. Over time i can add on to the Solar to minimize the use of the Generator with the hopes of not having to use it at all.   With this system it really doesn't matter what my exact loads are, i have a backup.  

    Is this failed logic?  If so why????

    I refuse grid power at this point.  The local coop wants 15k to get power back to the build site including transformer. They do not offer interconnect to the Grid.  I can't push power back into the grid.
  • PowerWazePowerWaze Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Photowhit,

    The 50k watt hours load is based off of a very inefficient camper trailer electric bill with my wife running the ac at 68 deg and everything switched to electric.  I could get it down to 5-600 kwh if we were really frugal with power and used propane for the hot water and fridge.  

    Hopefully we will not be in the trailer as of the spring, we may kill each other or the kids first. LOL  The house will be extremely efficient and will not need nearly as much power to run it due to spray foam and passive design.  Both the camper and building will be rarely ran at the same time if ever.  If needed i can run the Onan 5.5k on board the Trailer for temporary power for guests if i do not think the system can handle the additional load.

    Bergey wind power the manufacturer of the Turbines did a wind study of my area including predominate wind direction for proper placement of the two of them with their 100ft towers.  The wind turbines should generate approx 1000 kwh a month on average each. Winter higher and summer lower, which will nicely counter the solar.

    I like the forklift battery idea.  They are really heavy.....  I purchased two of each of the 140ah batteries a guy sells locally sells used.  
    I have them on a charge now to get them to full.  I will test them with my battery checker as soon as the get full to see if they have the right AH rating or if they have been depleted too far to be able to be used.



  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,829 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016 #9

    OK Robb,

    Thanks for the reply.]
    Still,  in retrospect,  $15 K might seem inexpensive,  compared to a large off-grid system.   As you know,   batteries are the most expensive part of most of these systems,  and batteries have a finite life.   Most batteries have a long memory of just how well,  or poorly they have been treated.

    You may well have relatively inexpensive LP gas.   Often,  LP is not very efficient fuel for generators.   Especially ones that run at 1800 RPM,  as your 25 kW one probably does.   It is great in that it stores very well in the tank,  and is delivered, happily by your supplier.

    If at all possible,  would suggest that you AVOID parallel battery strings.  Without you knowing  a lot about your loads,  and when they will occur,  sizing the battery and PV array seems difficult (to me),  especially given your time horizon.  It is not uncommon to need to order batteries,  and wait for them to be built and delivered.

    Photowhit's suggestion about a Forklift battery seems sound,  to me.   Possibly a used one might be a good starter battery for you,  also as Photowhit mentioned.   These batteries (and all Flooded batteries)  do need attention,  when they need it.

    While inverter/chargers and associated gadgets are improving with every passing month/year,  still,  having these systems determine State Of Charge (SOC),  is not perfect.   Generally,  they should be able to know fairly reliably when a battery is relatively fully-charged (especially for Flooded batteries).

    Good Luck,     Please let us know how you are doing.    Vic


    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,829 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016 #10

    Hello Robb,

    Well,  to me,  this proposal is 20 strings of 12 V batteries in parallel.

    Can you imagine ALL of those interconnects?
    Can you imagine the probability that each of those battery strings will be charged equally,  or discharged with each string sharing current well?
    Can you imagine what would happen should one battery become shorted?
    Can you imagine ...   and so on.  There are a number of other issues,  as well.

    Each of those 48 V strings will need a circuit breaker to help protect against high fault currents in case a battery or string does short,  and to try to help diagnose the myriad of issues that trying to get these strings balanced,  and kept in balance.

    Did not look at your previous links to the two different batteries,  but assume that both are UPS AGM (or SLA) batteries.   If so,  these batteries really are generally not designed for frequent/daily Cyclic use.   Usually, they are designed to sit on Float charge for about 99.99% of their life.

    The off-grid systems in use here are all single-stringers.   Personally would not run even two strings of batteries,  let alone 20 !!! !! !  So,  I am definitely the wrong person to ask.

    The cost of a reliable,  quality battery is a real issue for off-grid systems ...   Will you please look,  again,  at the cost of having the Grid extended to your property verses rolling your own??

    You can sell what you now have,  and be rewarded,  every week,   with a number of FREE hours to do things other than manage your power system.

    FWIW,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • PowerWazePowerWaze Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited October 2016 #11
    Vic, extending the Grid to the house is $15,000 from the local coop that was the first quote i got for the property.  I have to grant easement onto my property and let them come and go as they please. I am certainly not a fan of either of those.  They said they will have to put a 900ft trench down the middle of my driveway and i will have move the road material before they arrive and put it back when they are done.  Really not an option.   I am also not off grid if i do this which is the Whole point for this project to be Energy Independent.

    "You said"  You can sell what you now have,  and be rewarded,  every week,   with a number of FREE hours to do things other than manage your power system."   What do you mean by this?  

    In my previous post in this string i stated that that it is very hard to interconnect to the Coop grid as they have told me.  They will not provide any credits or rebates for power produced more than i consume.  Extra power sent to them is a GIFT.  If the grid goes down they have to have access to my property to shut off all generators, solar and wind.  The will not let you run off grid while the grid is down due to fear of back feeding the lines.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,829 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016 #12
    PowetWaze said:
    Vic, extending the Grid to the house is $15,000 from the local coop that was the first quote i got for the property.  I have to grant easement onto my property and let them come and go as they please. I am certainly not a fan of either of those.  They said they will have to put a 900ft trench down the middle of my driveway and i will have move the road material before they arrive and put it back when they are done.  Really not an option.   I am also not off grid if i do this which is the Whole point for this project to be Energy Independent.

    "You said"  You can sell what you now have,  and be rewarded,  every week,   with a number of FREE hours to do things other than manage your power system."   What do you mean by this?  

    In my previous post in this string i stated that that it is very hard to interconnect to the Coop grid as they have told me.  They will not provide any credits or rebates for power produced more than i consume.  Extra power sent to them is a GIFT.  If the grid goes down they have to have access to my property to shut off all generators, solar and wind.  The will not let you run off grid while the grid is down due to fear of back feeding the lines.

    OK,  Robb,

    My statement about selling what you now have,  was a reference to selling all of the Renewable Energy (RE) hardware that you have,  as a way to help fund the extension of Grid power (which you really do not want to do).

    I did not detect one of your primary goals for this power system  --  being independent of the Grid ...   sorry.

    YES,  I did understand that there is NO interconnect ability to the Co-Op Grid system ...   was just trying to say,  that quite often Grid power with no interconnection is still far less expensive than is off-grid.  BUT,  if you want to be completely independent of the Grid,  with essentially little or no consideration of the cost of Grid power,  verses producing your own,  then many of my comments do not apply.

    It is unclear just what power contribution the Wind turbines will contribute to your needs ...   you will know this much better than any of the rest of us.

    EDIT,   >no one,  that I know,  is aware of just how much battery Capacity that you really need,  here is a link to a new Forklift (FLA)  battery:
    http://gbindustrialbattery.com/Forklift_Battery_Sizes_and_Specifications_Zone15.html

    Look at the largest 48 V battery,  the 24-85-27,   about 4,300 Lbs of battery ..

    Here is another Link to a Surrette Battery,  also FLA:
    https://www.solar-electric.com/suca2k.html|
    A 48 V bank would need 24ea to these  --  about 5,000 Lbs of battery...

    Of course,  what battery Capacity that you really need is still undetermined ... <

    Wish you all the best.   Good Luck,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,306 ✭✭✭✭
    It is the rare case when you have more than a couple, maybe 3 strings of batteries, to maintain an even charge to each string,

    Numerous issues with multiple strings, more than 2 strings should not be setup as you have diagramed, but should be individually hooked up to a positive and negative bus bar. with fuses or breakers at the positive side. when one battery has an issue, a sulfated cell, the other batteries will try to "charge" it. This will draw down the other strings. With so many strings even if you realize you had a problem, it will be difficult to track down.

    We are all waiting on the next best battery, great inverter, charge controller, they will come along, but even after they arrive it will be years to see how they work in a real system. Lithium Phosphate Batteries may last 30+ years, if so they are almost cost effective when compared to Forklift batteries that are likely to last 15 years and may last 20+. They have some properties that are appealing, and others that are not so endearing...

    Have you quit waiting on the next best computer? I did long ago...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • PowerWazePowerWaze Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    Good News.  I just tracked down a local supplier in our area that has used forklift batteries that he said are 85-90% good.  12v @1000ah each.  He has eight of them.  I could run 4 x12v to get a 48v string to provide two strings for a total of 2000ah @48v.

    I have also gotten in contact with Mike Renner and he a member of the North Texas renewable energy association.  He is currently living off grid with solar and wind using a Bergey Turbine.  He has offered a tour of his property and to assist in the configuration of the system.  Thank you for your help and input thus far it is greatly appreciated.  

    I will keep everyone updated as this project progresses.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,306 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016 #15
    You do run a risk with used batteries of any type, and having 4 with different back grounds and making a single string could present issues. Fork lift do require a bit more attention, equalizing regularly is a must!

    I do like the idea. Also the batteries are likely tested to 85-90% of original capacity, it would be a good starter/learning set. I would hope they would last 4-5 years and count anything more a bonus. Forklift batteries typically last 5-7 years in warehouses conditions with daily discharges to 20-30% of capacity.

    It's always good to see what others have done, an up and running system will give you some insight into the realities.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 873 ✭✭✭
    Wow, some interesting and some scary stuff in this thread.  One scary thing, after having to deal with plumbing problems this summer, is that there are no couplers/unions in any of the plumbing depicted.  IMO you need to be able to remove things from service without having to cut and splice all the time.  Just my experience.

    And really pay attention to the battery comments.  2v cell fork lift batteries in series, not multiple parallel 12volts.  I look after my 6x8volt batteries (24 cells), and find that enough to deal with.

    Ralph
  • PowerWazePowerWaze Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited October 2016 #17
    Ralph, thank you for pointing out the plumbing issues.  I could not agree more.  I actually had a plumber put this together for me and since this picture, I have put in unions for the pressure tank, pump and UV system.

    We have all this equipment setup in a 12x24 insulated Windslow storage building.  One side will be the plumbing and the other the electrical equipment inverters, batteries etc..  I plan on putting a 2x6 boarder around the plumbing equipment with a roofing membrane inside of it on the floor and a floor drain.  I am also putting up a partition wall in the event that something explodes on plumbing there is not a chance and any water will be sprayed on the electrical equipment.  Electrical plugs are GFI and the building, AC breaker panel and wiring grounded outside.

    I have two 5000 gallon (10,000) total water storage.  When the building gets completed it will collect rain water as well which will be directed to the tanks.  Calculations for roof size and our area will yield a total 100,000 gallons of water collection annualy from rain alone. We will have source water from a Well, a 3 acre lake we can pull from and planed water catchment system once the building is completed.

    I have a manifold under the building that will enable me to select source water from the lake or well  or tanks at this point. It can be used to fill the tanks or be used to chose a water source to send to the filtration center.  Once we finish testing the plumbing i will "burn the lines" sanitize with bleach prior to sending drinking water through them.

    Batteries:
    He has quoted me a price of $250 per battery at this point.  I would be into the batteries for $2000 for two strings.  I feel that this would be a great starter set as many has pointed out.  A local battery recycler pays $.40 per pound so when the time comes i can get half of my money back.

    I have a tractor with forks to unload the battery into the building with a roller system devised to get the batteries from the entrance to their final destination.  I am reinforcing the floor with additional 1" plywood and 2x6's.  Once in place there will be a vented enclosure around them to exhaust the gases outside.


  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,306 ✭✭✭✭
    Sounds pretty reasonable, please check the battery recycler, often steel case batteries get a lower price, harder to deal with...
    If they are 1000 ah at 12 volts (6 hour rate), you could make a profit taking them directly to recycler! they should be near 1000lbs each!

    2 strings of used batteries will up the odds of having issues, but might be a better situation. If you have issues with a cell, you can make the best of the rest...

    I would guess these are long skinny and tall, easiest to handle by lifting from the case, might look into getting a "lifter bar", or have someone make you one from bar stock and chain, be sure they know what you are using it for before having them weld it up!
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,976 admin
    Also note, as Photowhit pointed out, our rules of thumbs/guidelines are based on 20 Hour Discharge Rates. Many forklift (and other) batteries are rated differently--6 Hour discharge is a common one for forklift. Your batteries at 20 Hours will "look bigger"--So see if you can figure out the 20 Hour discharge rate for your batteries (sometimes it is just a rough estimate--Even battery mfg. appear to get the conversion "wrong" at times in their data sheets).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,407 ✭✭✭✭
    Is that the building in the pix? If so a 12x 24 building really does not need a vent outside. When doing an EQ just crack a window or open the door and you will be fine. Good Luck
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • WaterWheelWaterWheel Registered Users Posts: 243 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2016 #21
    Powetwize,     First let me say I know and somewhat agree with your goals.       While I'm not the most knowledgeable person on this site I can tell you that the 25 KWH generator is seriously overkill since you plan to have a large battery bank to even out the loads.     While I would need to know the actual battery bank size to suggest a generator size (to assure proper battery charging rate) it would probably be less than a 10 kwh generator.      Running an oversize generator will be wasteful of your fuel not to mention more expensive to maintain.

    Next,     Yes I know your family loves AC in Dallas in a poorly insulated trailer but 1500 kwhs a month is a high number.     If you're even considering going off grid your family must work with you to lower the energy usage.      Living off grid sometimes means holding off on washing clothes ect if power production is down for a few days.      Compromises are needed when living off grid. 

    Since Berkley estimates that one of those wind towers will average 1000 kwhs /month considering the cost and maintence for each tower I'd only use one and sell the other.       Use  the money for a solar setup to compliment the turbine.

    I realize you're ready to run building up your energy production the next 3-4 weeks but I suspect you're about to end up with an overpriced system that you may be less than satisfied with.      Like others have already said I'd suggest that you stop buying stuff and plan the system on paper in detail.     Keep in mind NEC requirements for your area (2011 or 2014).     If a building inspector shows up and doesn't think you're up to code things could go bad.     

    There are several very knowledgeable guys here who would probably be willing to give you plenty of help but,,, first you need to give them a firm number about what your loads are and how many days of bad weather you want the batteries to last before the generator kicks on.

    With one modern fairly energy efficient home (73 degree AC setting) using propane heating, cooking, and clothes drying and one occasionally used very inefficient trailer shooting for 30 kwhs/day of energy usage should be more than enough and you can kick the generator on if the AC is running strong in the trailer with little wind for the turbine that day.     (My less than well insulated 35 yr old 2000 sq/ft home uses about 20 kwhs/day on August 92 degree days with 3 people doing laundry, running the well pump to water the garden,  ect.).   With the generator I suspect you only need about 2 days worth of battery reserve; especially with about 3500 watts in panels (with your 2 charge controllers you can add more panels later if needed) to help when the turbine isn't producing much.      I'll let the more knowledgeable guys here calculate the battery bank size  for you.   

    Slow down, learn, and plan.    PPPMPPP   (Poor Pre-Planning Makes for Piss Poor Performance)

    Final thought,     Your proposed battery bank using 40 12v batteries means you've got 240 cells to monitor (or 480 cells if you use the 2nd battery set you mentioned on the diagram).     Not only does a bank like that have a lot of potential failure points but checking the SGs (a monthly task) would take several hours and a bottle of Advil to deal with the back ache from leaning over and checking 240 cells not to mention watering them.      You really want the forklift battery or a bunch of large 2v batteries so you only have 24 cells to monitor.

    I suspect that roughly a 1000 amp/hr 48v battery bank will be more than sufficient if your family makes some effort to conserve energy.

        

    Conext XW6848 with PDP, SCP, 80/600 controller, and conext battery monitor

    18 SW280 panels on Schletter ground mount

    48v 790 amp/hr Crown battery bank

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,364 ✭✭✭✭
    NO !!!!!
    OMG   massive parallel banks of batteries.   Consider a pair of 24V forklift batteries (more flexible than a giant 48V battery)

    So, you have already had a lot of stuff thrown at you.  Here's my 5 cents

    Wind power - if you don't have to tie your hat on when you go outside, don't bother with wind, unless you have a cherry picker and can get to the top to grease them 2x a year,

    Generator - look at the honda eu7000 inverter.   has 240 output and can be used for charging the battery via the Radian
    http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/models/eu7000is
     yes, it's gasoline, but much better than lightly loading a giant diesel genset,  And oil changes will cost less.  And you can get propane kits for it,

    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 ,

  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 873 ✭✭✭
    I live using a 3000gal cistern tank for most of the summer/fall with well for drinking.  Unless you're irrigating gardens or orchards do you really need so much storage capacity?  I'd be thinking stagnation could be a problem.  Depends on when you get your rains, year round or just one season.

    Ralph
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,407 ✭✭✭✭
    Ralph Day said:
    I live using a 3000gal cistern tank for most of the summer/fall with well for drinking.  Unless you're irrigating gardens or orchards do you really need so much storage capacity?  I'd be thinking stagnation could be a problem.  Depends on when you get your rains, year round or just one season.

    Ralph
    Agree Ralph. We have 16,000 gallons and only about 3,000 for the 3 humans for 6 months, the rest is for the garden/small orchard and 3,000 for wildfire reserve. This is all from rainfall and we have filled up in bad years with only 15 inches of rain. Had alot of bad years lately. Last night on the news Cal Fire was fighting a wildfire up at Lake Tahoe in the rain. That was a first for me to see that.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 543 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016 #25
    Posted this awhile back.

    I have two 1,700 gallon Norwesco underground cistern water storage tanks plumbed with 1/2 horse Grunfos pumps to supply our 500 gallon pressure tank also plumbed with a hydrant. Tank manhole riser lids also have removable suction access caps.

    When the pressure tank calls for it the tanks run at the same time (faster pressurization) or, can be set up to run independently (redundancy) controlled by the 220v breaker settings.

    Never Have had problems keeping the water fresh despite never letting the tanks get below 2/3 full for fire protection. 
    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF House Construction, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • PowerWazePowerWaze Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    I am looking at 24 2v 48v at 3000ah Taico Sealed AGM batteries. Price is 13,400 strait from the manufacturer.

    Best option i have found so far.

    http://taicopower.com/products/gel-battery/

    What do u guys think?
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 543 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016 #27
    As someone who actually built and has over 12 years experience with a large off grid system, I suggest using FLA batteries.

    As pointed out batteries are one of the most important parts of your system to include a well engineered standby genset.  I have been reluctant to use AGM and more advanced technologies because of cost, our remote location and "operating forgiveness". Just my opinion.

    I use Trojan batteries and, so far have been happy with them.

    If you search my User, you can read through my experiences over the years with our system, helped by the many fine and knowledgeable folks here on this informative site.

    Judicious planning, knowing your lifestyle loads plus 30% and installing top of the line hardware is my counsel.
    Off grid is a great lifestyle provided one does his homework beforehand and understands the tradeoffs. 



    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF House Construction, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,306 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016 #28
    PowetWaze said:
    I am looking at 24 2v 48v at 3000ah Taico Sealed AGM batteries. Price is 13,400 strait from the manufacturer.

    Best option i have found so far.
    Find out and let us know the charging rate they can maintain and cycling characteristics.

    It does look like a reasonable value, 6-8 years life isn't bad, I would worry a bit as most of the uses described are typically in float, Telecommunications, and UPS typically want a high capacity battery, but they won't be drawn down very often...

    AGM are less forgiving than flooded batteries, if you make a mistake they can die a quick death.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,407 ✭✭✭✭
    Since it seems you don't know what your energy requirement is, a logical decision can't be made.
    I think you could find 24 (2V) 1,100AH Surrettes,US battery or even the rediculous Trojan 2V and for $7,500 have a really nice offgrid battery system that could take you a whole 30 minutes a month to take care of.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • WaterWheelWaterWheel Registered Users Posts: 243 ✭✭✭
    Considering that your primary load will be a single energy efficient home and a part time trailer I suspect that a 3000 amp/hr 48v battery bank would not do much cycling.      I think Dave's suggestion for a smaller battery bank is  the smart choice.

    Conext XW6848 with PDP, SCP, 80/600 controller, and conext battery monitor

    18 SW280 panels on Schletter ground mount

    48v 790 amp/hr Crown battery bank

  • just startingjust starting Registered Users Posts: 171 ✭✭
    You should watch some videos on battery banks. The people here have more solar knowledge than I will ever have. That being said I make between 3-5kw per day. I have over 10 k invested. It's smooth running I check every day all day. I also jumped in and bought 3k worth of components we did use and 3k we did not

    1500 w PV- xantrex 60-150 mppt -894 ah agm- Rd2824 magnum MSW inverter- 250 E panel-  chest freezer to fridge- Samlex PST 1524 - fl Samsung wf5200 washer Ryobi 2200 watt gen-80 w panel with morningstar sunguard 4.5- 2 gc2- for water pump 5.5 GPM 60 psi - 24v 5.5 gmp 60psi water pump-Marey 4.3 GPM on demand waterheater - mama bear Fisher wood burning stove, 30" fridgarair oven ,fridegaire dishwasher with the heayer disconnected and 168 degree water.
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