New 2.kw Magna 4448 PAE system advice for a new guy

mrkelleysaidmrkelleysaid Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭

Hi sorry if I was not supposed to start a thread never know... Anyway just a quick thank you have read much and found everyone here with knowledge to be AWESOME. REALLY!  So many forums I go too are just rude and nasty to DIY, and nasty when asking a question as if wow your stupid.. No kidding that's why we ask so THANK YOU all for your patience and offers of help..

That said...

I am finishing a 28x44 home our LAST home finally owned in the Great North woods of NH..40K for utility which I hate anyway so.. a year research we have this set-up idea..a system in three phases meaning TIME  in beginning use Magna 4448PAE with their wire panel somewhat prewired I will adjust a bit to add fuses ??? ( fire worry nut)

The controller thinking of, outback 80 or Midnight 150 leaning midnight. Starting with 200watt panels 9 three series strings to combiner with a shut down, two strings of 225Ah 6v batts AGM maybe??? 8 each with??? thinking fused on terminal (1) to inverter. AC house loads figured at 13K for thee days so understand until built complete will use the Perkins 8Kw gen a lot yes?? too much?? House R 38 walls R64 roof as large window wall (view I / we worked our whole life for ) Thinking AGM as I was attacked by a heroin addict I revived as a military flight paramedic three yrs ago working civilian PT when home and L arm not too useful, broke neck but on feet again etc.....oh yeah old--ha ha--- but we are finishing the "garage shell" house inside ourselves and about done.. So as we get older don't want the wife to have to fiddle with the batts if I am well gone, lazy, asleep etc.

OK sorry back on the rail...

I built a Metal shed/ addition 6"off the house attached kinda by doorway with cement board inside so it will heat winter from house but safe from fire..Heating with Masonry heater/cook oven tempcast kit building it now, propane hot water.

QUESTION...Fridge wow energy guides say one thing but reading you all found LG etc which are better than guide??? thoughts as its the one big load.. otherwise all led and switched outlets for phantoms and dish network for TV and Hughes for phone and internet.

The Hughes must run 24/7 phone for help, the dish I shutdown now at our grid house (selling soon I hope) I can shut it down 2 3 4 days no problem as it has a ID card so it will re assign on its own, only issue the company calls3rd day to check I just say all is well...

So questions.. Am I on right track with 48 ... Controller recommend Morningstar outback80 or Midnite 150?? lastly the new shutdown rule.. our town has NO codes but house is built to NEC putting my past residential wiring-AC DC training from 40yrs ago to work..  I think if I put obvious shutdown at combiner (post mount 30 feet away) and two mote inside for batt to Inverter and gen to Inverter I comply with an exterior plaque/map at front door.. sadly if there is a fire by the time they get here top o mountain yet town road all will  be too far gone to matter.

So rambled a bit will accept any all advice as to fuses...GFCI breakers....fridge ideas...Well pump 140' Dc or AC  just we need to do this its all we got and own it after a life of mortgage and home repairs.. ha ha broke but content  thanks all for reading my novel be well

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,837 admin

    Hi sorry if I was not supposed to start a thread never know...

    We always suggest that you start your own thread to discuss your setup... That way all Q&A will be directed to your issues--And not mixed with others'.

    I am finishing a 28x44 home our LAST home finally owned in the Great North woods of NH..40K for utility which I hate anyway so.. a year research we have this set-up idea..a system in three phases meaning TIME  in beginning use Magna 4448PAE with their wire panel somewhat prewired I will adjust a bit to add fuses ??? ( fire worry nut)

    Always a good idea to use fuses/breakers to protect your wiring and against fire (fuses/breakers are to protect your wiring from overheating, and not to protect the loads). You might think about using breakers for everything. They do not cost that much more than good quality fuse holders+fuse+spares. Plus the breakers make for handy on/off switches when needed (servicing, shutting down unneeded loads for vacations, debugging, etc.).

    The controller thinking of, outback 80 or Midnight 150 leaning midnight.

    Either is a good choice--Look through the documentation and feedback. See what is of interest to you (Internet connection, battery monitor+shunt, integrated with inverter family, etc.--Each has its own draws.).

    Starting with 200watt panels 9 three series strings to combiner with a shut down, two strings of 225Ah 6v batts AGM maybe??? 8 each with???

    If this is your first journey into off grid power--You might want to look at 6 volt ~220 AH "golf cart" flooded cell batteries. They are 1/2 the price of good quality AGM. Also, with sealed batteries, you can measure the specific gravity of each cell/battery (this helps you understand the charging/discharging environment of your system)--Sealed/AGM batteries are a bit more difficult to "understand". And most people tend to kill their first bank or two.

    With a new home, it is difficult to guess what your loads will be... A 4.4 kWatt AC inverter needs a minimum of ~440 AH @ 48 volt battery bank minimum (if you really plan on >4 kWatt loads and ~8 kWatt surge current). It is a very capable system.

    I also like to talk about a "balanced system". The loads drive the sizing of the battery bank, and the battery bank + loads + amount of sun + seasonal usage drives the solar array. If you are full time off grid (>9 months of occupation), then I would suggest a 10% to 13% solar charging current for your battery bank (5% can work for weekend/seasonal cabins--Or if you really like managing day to day loads). So, with a 450 AH @ 48 volt battery bank, your suggested solar array may be:

    • 450 AH * 59 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+controller deratings * 0.10 rate of charge = 3,448 Watt array nominal
    • 450 AH * 59 volts charging * 1/0.77 panel+controller deratings * 0.13 rate of charge = 4,482 Watt array "cost effective" maximum
    9 * 200 Watt = 1,800 Watts is about 1/2 of what I would suggest for your battery bank. Could you make it work (with out using a lot of genset time), I am not sure. You will be managing your loads/battery charge/genset--And I would suggest that you charge during the day and use loads at night (i.e., do not "steal" solar charging current for batteries with day time loads--You really want a 5% to 10% minimum rate of charge for the battery bank.

    So--What would a 3,448 Watt array supply power wise?

    http://www.solarelectricityhandbook.com/solar-irradiance.html

    Burlington VT
    Average Solar Insolation figures

    Measured in kWh/m2/day onto a solar panel set at a 46° angle from vertical:
    (For best year-round performance)
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
    3.08
     
    4.00
     
    4.49
     
    4.51
     
    4.50
     
    4.72
     
    Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    4.89
     
    4.77
     
    4.33
     
    3.41
     
    2.46
     
    2.40
     

    Toss the bottom 3 months, gives you October as your "break even" month:

    • 3,448 Watt array * 0.52 off grid system eff * 3.41 hours of sun October = 6,114 Watt*Hours = 6.1 kWH per month

    thinking fused on terminal (1) to inverter. AC house loads figured at 13K for thee days so understand until built complete will use the Perkins 8Kw gen a lot yes?? too much??

    If you are thinking 13 kWH per three days, or 4.3 kWH per day--That is a reasonable expectation for a very conservation minded off grid home with "near normal" electric existence (LED lighting, Energy Star Fridge, washer, propane drier, well pump, TV, laptop computer, etc.).

    Sizing a battery bank for that (2 days of storage, 50% maximum discharge):

    • 4,300 WH per day * 1/0.85 inverter eff * 2 days storage * 1/0.50 maximum discharge * 1/48 volt battery bank = 422 AH @ 48 volt battery bank

    House R 38 walls R64 roof as large window wall (view I / we worked our whole life for ) Thinking AGM as I was attacked by a heroin addict I revived as a military flight paramedic three yrs ago working civilian PT when home and L arm not too useful, broke neck but on feet again etc.....oh yeah old--ha ha--- but we are finishing the "garage shell" house inside ourselves and about done.. So as we get older don't want the wife to have to fiddle with the batts if I am well gone, lazy, asleep etc.

    At lest for the first bank, I suggest flooded cell golf cart batteries. You can also go with L16 or other larger batteries to get a single string of batteries (suggest as "ideal"). 2-3 parallel strings of batteries is my suggested limit (more parallel batteries, more cells and wiring to take care of).

    Setting up an off grid house for our "later years" in life--Really make sure you wife (education/understanding of off grid power system) / nearby support structure (friends, off grid support company, etc.) are there for her. Changing out a battery bank every 3-8 years may not be fun as the years roll on by.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,837 admin

    QUESTION...Fridge wow energy guides say one thing but reading you all found LG etc which are better than guide??? thoughts as its the one big load.. otherwise all led and switched outlets for phantoms and dish network for TV and Hughes for phone and internet.

    The LG and other "linear compressor/inverter powered" refrigerators are great because they do not have large starting surge current--But once you are on a 4kW AC inverter (>1,200 Watt), then you really do not need the low surge current of the "new" refrigerators. Pick your fridge on price and overall efficiency). The energy star labels tend to be for warm weather--If your kitchen/pantry is cool during the winter, the refrigerator can use less than the label.

    The Hughes must run 24/7 phone for help, the dish I shutdown now at our grid house (selling soon I hope) I can shut it down 2 3 4 days no problem as it has a ID card so it will re assign on its own, only issue the company calls3rd day to check I just say all is well...

    Yea--There are some reports that some satellite systems require a call to the Sat company to "reset" the system after a period of no-power (possibly every few months).

    So questions.. Am I on right track with 48 ... Controller recommend Morningstar outback80 or Midnite 150?? lastly the new shutdown rule.. our town has NO codes but house is built to NEC putting my past residential wiring-AC DC training from 40yrs ago to work..  I think if I put obvious shutdown at combiner (post mount 30 feet away) and two mote inside for batt to Inverter and gen to Inverter I comply with an exterior plaque/map at front door.. sadly if there is a fire by the time they get here top o mountain yet town road all will  be too far gone to matter.

    So rambled a bit will accept any all advice as to fuses...GFCI breakers....fridge ideas...Well pump 140' Dc or AC  just we need to do this its all we got and own it after a life of mortgage and home repairs.. ha ha broke but content  thanks all for reading my novel be well

    I am not in the business--So I cannot really address remote shutdowns. Cutting off the battery bank is not something easy (heavy breaker or something with remote shutdown). But, is a good idea. Many of the Solar Remote shutdowns have been geared towards shutting down the solar array (i.e., if there is sun, the panels are powered and a danger to fire folks).

    Size the system first, then we can talk details of design//installation.

    The 8 kWatt genset is a bit on the large size, but that is one of the smaller diesel versions... Depending on your experiences of starting a diesel in winter--You might want to think about a smaller (possibly gasoline) genset to run during winter when topping off the battery bank:

    440 AH * 0.10 rate of charge * 1/0.80 charger eff * 58 volts charging = 3,190 Watt (approximate minimum charger load)

    Run the genset at 80% of capacity (typical non-commercial derating):
    • 3,190 Watts * 1/0.80 genset derating = 3,988 minimum recommended genset
    You can go as high as 20-25% rate of charge--So your 8 kWatt genset with an approriate battery charge (or inverter charger), can make good use of the larger Perkins.

    For winter charging--You probably would start the genset around 50% state of charge and shutdown around 80-85% state of charge--And fully charge (>90% state of charge) roughly once per week.

    Anyway--First pass of my suggestions.

    Good luck!
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mrkelleysaidmrkelleysaid Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    I appreciate the extensive response it has given me tons of info and aided the continuing research. Yes younger daughter who will eventually get the home so help is not an issue. The gen ive looked at runs diesel at 1800rpm ( i have diesel experience). we will store 200+ gals and can rotate stock. The Perkins  and or onan are the way to go Perkins is most cost friendly 5Kish less if I pick up.

    I was looking at Aquion alas the recent news well that idea is shot...Will go with the flooded for the learning curve. Have a local friend who is a solar installer PT for 20yrs he has offered help. Anyway My calculations are similiar to yours with Batt 400ish (for three days) Ah on Batteries. My question is would a 225 Ah batt (cost) work for a year or three to learn . I would assume more GEN charging but am I missing the NEED for 400Ah other than the standard 3 day need. If i decrease the Ah I am just limiting time and of course total output.

    I would not be affecting the supply at all just limiting the time on station Again THANK You for taking so much time and consideration in responding....Truely appreciate your advice and will be heeding it.

  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 188 ✭✭
    I have been seeing some 6.5 kw slow spin genarator around , 8 kw seems large. 
  • mrkelleysaidmrkelleysaid Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    I found a 3 cyl perkins, in Maine Marine they have a large amount. May consider an air cooled but never been a fan. I guess its a champion gas for disposable gas, or $$ diesel for ..evr. I used to run a deadheaded JD tractor at 2200 12hrs every day 365 for a pond PTO pump. Ran for well still is 22yrs (not my farm anymore) one rebuild and of course reg maint. I was just thinking about the MERC- auto gen start...I wonder if there is a delay for glow plugs hmm
    Thnaks well
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 188 ✭✭
    Central Maine diesel has a Perkins 2 cylinder water cooled unit on there site . 
     It looks sweet , I mostly use kabobs and yanmar equipment and have dealers I work with but what ever 
      I have a few champion genarator that are treating me very good . 
      My 4500watt must have 500 hours on it now , starts on the first pull doesn't burn oil , and it runs a21/2hp compresses all day with   Lights Radio 2 15 amp saw , if every thing runs at once it sometimes pops the breaker . 
     I  abandoned  My place when the snow started to fly . 
     We locked the doors  and left in november and haven't been back , it's to hard to get to in the snow . 
     I'm framed up ,roofed and have some siding on , it's just been my self and one son working on it for about 12 weeks over the last 2 summers . Our story's are very  similar . Wish you luck 
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,545 ✭✭✭✭
    @mrkelleysaid

    Using a smaller bank, eg 225ah instead of 450ah isn't just a question of days of autonomy (i.e. total power used), there's also a question of the *rate* at which the power is used.

    Say your well pump is drawing (eg) 15a at 48v plus another 5a for fridge etc for 20a total. This would be about 10% of capacity (C/10) on the smaller bank or C/20 on the larger one. The apparent capacity of the bank will be lower at C/10, and the voltage sag will be worse (so more amps needed to supply the wattage). If the bank was already drawn down, you might find yourself hitting low voltage cut-off on the inverter.

    That said, starting with a small bank means you focus more sharply on conservation, which helps you better understand the trade-offs in living off-grid.

    I have a 4kw Onan 1800rpm diesel that came with the cabin. It's probably >30 years old and still runs fine, but if I was to replace it I would go for something a bit bigger for full-rate charging. I don't think 8kw is too big.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,837 admin
    edited March 19 #9
    By the way--MrKelleySaid, what does "deadheaded" mean in this context (deadheaded JD tractor)?

    -Bill "just curious" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 188 ✭✭
    Dead head is a old type of motor configuration vintage 1940s I think 
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 188 ✭✭
      Estra. it seems to me that the fuel consumption  almost doubles going from 6000 to 8000 at half load .
      4000 watts seems like a lot of power to use at half load .
     Ive used 10 hp an21 hp diesels and the sweet spot seems to be 3/4 load  sail boat .
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,860 ✭✭✭✭
    A ''deadhead'' up here is used to describe a trip with no load tp pay for the travel expense to get to the load or an empty truck headed home after delivery... or a log that is almost totally submerged with just one end bob-ing in and out of / up and down into the water, so only visible when it bobs up...  deadly at night and high speed....

    so possibly the tractor went to work and broke down and was left in the field??  never made the return trip home?
     
    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
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,545 ✭✭✭✭
    @wellbuilt

    Yes, 75% is about right. Much more than that sustained can get the alternator pretty hot. In my case charging could be 50-60a at ~60vdc (~30aac) which is just about the limit for my old diesel. It would be nice to have some more capacity to charge 12v bank (~9 aac) and other loads as well. 8kw at 75% would give me around 50aac.

    The 4kw works - it just takes some fiddling with limiting loads etc and a bit longer to charge.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • mrkelleysaidmrkelleysaid Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    Hi all WOW time flies when your building your own home..but...We are here Cannot thank all of you enough for these and other ideas and detailed responses. ALSO must say the folks at NAWS are AWESOME  Luis and Jason have beeen beyond super.. So ESTRAGON Deadheaded is what we do with a tractor leave it running alone for hmm ever running pumps etc actually cheaper than a generator.

    So as said our mtn home is up livable etc NOW solar its on a truck somewhere in America headed to the Great North Woods of NH this would mean I will soon be overwhelmed with the LACK of knowledge I have.
    Idid go with the larger batteries hope to add a second and third string within 6-8 mos...and 6 more panals
    talk soon or rather i will be listening soon... Off to build a battery box.
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 188 ✭✭
    You have pulled ahead of me . 
     I'm hanging sheet rock now  165 12' sheet plus 30 4x12 5/8 in the garage ,I have some of my solar equipment and will get the rest before  Christmas . 
     But will have to waste till spring to buy battery's . 
     I'm just running a genarator till spring . 
     I'm going to need  another year or 2 to be done .
  • WaterWheelWaterWheel Registered Users Posts: 239 ✭✭✭
    Keep in mind that the more strings you add the harder it is to get balanced charging, especially when mixing old and new batteries.       It's also a good idea to add any additional battery strings before the 1st set is less than a year old and less than 6 months is better.

    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

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