Inverter Charger Question Schneider 4024

joelcs2001joelcs2001 Posts: 5Registered Users ✭✭
HI

First time here!
I am planing to buy a Schneider 4024 with 4 agm batteries.  Because I live in an apartment I don't have where to put solar panels.  I am planing to use this as a backup in case of a power outage. My plan is to use a small generator during day and use the inverter/batteries during the night.  The generator I have is a 110v 3000w inverter.
The question is
Since the schneider have an input of 220v, Can I recharge my battery bank using the 110v generator and the charger function in the inverter?

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 1,642Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    Yes it can use either grid or generator to charge the batteries, if both are available, a transfer switch would be needed ahead of the AC input.
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • joelcs2001joelcs2001 Posts: 5Registered Users ✭✭
    mcgivor said:
    Yes it can use either grid or generator to charge the batteries, if both are available, a transfer switch would be needed ahead of the AC input.
    Thanks for your reply!

     You are right but since my generator is only 110v, I just want to know if the charger function of the Schneider is going to work and hence, charge my battery bank
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,351Super Moderators admin
    Do you have the exact model name/number for the inverter? I would check the documentation closely--Not all 120/240 VAC inverters will charge from a 120 VAC source (not saying McGivor is wrong--But I just want to make sure).

    Also--What AGM batteries are you planning on using for your system... In theory, you should be looking at 4x 800 AH @ 12 volt AGM batteries for a good match to inverter size vs battery bank capacity. That is a roughly 4x 500 lb batteries (2,000 lbs total).

    Also, while AGM batteries are "sealed" and very clean batteries--When they get near end of life (or if they are abused by overcharging), they will vent hydrogen+oxygen+sulfuric acid (electrolyte) mist.

    Also, you need to do significant wiring changes to the main panel in the apartment. Is this an "investment" that you want to make (if you are not the owner, will the owner allow)?

    I guess you may be in Puerto Rico--So I understand your desires for more reliable power given that much of the island still has major issues with poor/failing utility power.

    However--Would a smaller system (just powering some LED lighting, radio, TV, laptop computer, cell phone charging) be better--Try to stay down towards a 300 Watt inverter... Plus maybe using a second smaller genset (eu1000i or eu2000i) that will be a bit more fuel efficient. Since you cannot do solar, I am not sure a large 4,000 watt battery backup system+large(r) genset is going to save you much on fuel consumption.

    If you have larger loads (>~300 Watts for a small system, such as refrigerator), run the eu2000i genset) and recharge the small battery bank (a ~400 AH @ 12 volt battery bank would be a nice fit). And fire up the eu3000i for larger loads (cooking, air conditioning, etc.).

    If you need to run AC overnight and don't want to run the eu3000i overnight--Still need to understand how much power your A/C takes (average watts * hours per night of operation) to make sure your battery bank is large enough for the load (ideally, you want to discharge the battery bank by ~50% for longer battery life).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 1,642Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    @BB said
     Do you have the exact model name/number for the inverter? I would check the documentation closely--Not all 120/240 VAC inverters will charge from a 120 VAC source (not saying McGivor is wrong--But I just want to make sure).

    My comment didn't include generator voltage, to be honest, I'm not sure wether a 120V input will work as an input to charge, I'm single phase 230V and have no problems with generator input. 
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • joelcs2001joelcs2001 Posts: 5Registered Users ✭✭
    BB. said:
    Do you have the exact model name/number for the inverter? I would check the documentation closely--Not all 120/240 VAC inverters will charge from a 120 VAC source (not saying McGivor is wrong--But I just want to make sure).

    Also--What AGM batteries are you planning on using for your system... In theory, you should be looking at 4x 800 AH @ 12 volt AGM batteries for a good match to inverter size vs battery bank capacity. That is a roughly 4x 500 lb batteries (2,000 lbs total).

    Also, while AGM batteries are "sealed" and very clean batteries--When they get near end of life (or if they are abused by overcharging), they will vent hydrogen+oxygen+sulfuric acid (electrolyte) mist.

    Also, you need to do significant wiring changes to the main panel in the apartment. Is this an "investment" that you want to make (if you are not the owner, will the owner allow)?

    I guess you may be in Puerto Rico--So I understand your desires for more reliable power given that much of the island still has major issues with poor/failing utility power.

    However--Would a smaller system (just powering some LED lighting, radio, TV, laptop computer, cell phone charging) be better--Try to stay down towards a 300 Watt inverter... Plus maybe using a second smaller genset (eu1000i or eu2000i) that will be a bit more fuel efficient. Since you cannot do solar, I am not sure a large 4,000 watt battery backup system+large(r) genset is going to save you much on fuel consumption.

    If you have larger loads (>~300 Watts for a small system, such as refrigerator), run the eu2000i genset) and recharge the small battery bank (a ~400 AH @ 12 volt battery bank would be a nice fit). And fire up the eu3000i for larger loads (cooking, air conditioning, etc.).

    If you need to run AC overnight and don't want to run the eu3000i overnight--Still need to understand how much power your A/C takes (average watts * hours per night of operation) to make sure your battery bank is large enough for the load (ideally, you want to discharge the battery bank by ~50% for longer battery life).

    -Bill

    HI Bill, thanks for your reply!

    Yes, I am In Puerto RIco.
    Huricane Maria hit us hard, I was about 6 months without power! So I am preparing just in case

    I haven't purchase any of the components because I want to make sure its going to meet my needs.

    I was thinking about 4 deka 8g8d batteries and the Schnider Inverter (probably the 4024, or the 2kw model)

    This is going to be used only for lights, refrigerator and maybe a TV in the night. Also, during the day, If I have still power on the batteries I will used it for the same and also to power a water pump intermittently,  but I will power up the generator to continue to power those mentioned and "recharge my battery bank"

    The apartment is mine so I will not have any problem rewiring

    I just want to know what to buy before spending that considerable amount of money.

    Thanks and have a nice day!

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,631Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Yes you can use a 120v genset with the CSW4024 split phase 120/240V output.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mcgivormcgivor Posts: 1,642Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    Your situation is delicate, the Schneider SW  inverter charger is, in itself, a very versatile unit with all its options, but one thing that has to be realized is its self consumption, without search mode,  it actually consumes about 1Kw  per day, just being on. In an offgrid  application where a generator is not part of the regular charging regime, these losses are accepted, due to solar accounting for the deficit. However if a generator is the prime source of charging, the inefficiencies of the generator must come into question . The internal combustion engine is not a very efficient device, generally around  20-30%, the rest disapated as heat, there are electrical losses to consider as well, but these are minor, compared to the internal combustion engine itself. Using grid power would be far cheaper, if available, but it is unclear, to me at least, if grid is available, for part/most of the time. But in my opinion attempting to use a generator to actually save over grid, is a lost cause, pity you can't install some PV, it would change the entire picture. Not being negative, just pointing out some observations.
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,351Super Moderators admin
    http://www.mkbattery.com/images/8G8D.pdf

    AGM 225 AH @ 12 volt GEL batteries... 4x (2 series x 2 parallel) for 450 AH @ 24 volt battery bank.

    Get some charging information (voltage, current) for the GEL batteries. There can be an issue with GEL if they are over charged (too much voltage/too much current) where they can develop internal gas pockets next to the plates--That can dramatically reduce their capacity. I am not a battery engineer, so I cannot answer specifically if the Deka GEL batteries are susceptible or not.

    http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/0139.pdf

    GEL (and AGM) batteries have much higher surge capabilities than flooded cell lead acid--But I tend to use our FLA rules of thumbs as they usually give us a reliable (over the long term) and cost effective battery bank.

    Also, you may want to try ~220 AH @ 6 volt "golf cart" flooded cell batteries first (would be 4x series x 2 parallel strings for 8 batteries total)... Many people "murder" their first set of batteries and starting with a less expensive "training set" is not a bad idea (of course, you need a hydrometer to measure specific gravity of flood cell batteries--And get an AC/DC Current Clamp DMM so you can monitor charging/discharging voltages, current sharing between strings, and handy tool to understand and debug your system).

    Generally, Flooded Cell Lead Acid batteries are the most forgiving. AGM are more picky. And GEL tend to be the ones that you have to be most careful of (over charging).

    For an idea of what you can expect from the battery bank... Ideally, we suggest 2 days of "storage" and 50% maximum discharge (longer battery life). At a C/20 (20 hour discharge rate--450AH/20 hours=22.5 amps for 20 hours from 100% full to 0% dead):
    • 450 AH * 1/20 discharge rate * 24 volt battery bank * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 459 Watts average load (for example 5 hours per day for two days to 50% discharge)

    The amount of "stored energy" roughly would be:

    • 450 AH * 24 volts * 1/2 days * 0.50 max discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 2,295 Watt*Hours per day storage (for two days of no-charging)

    If you have a refrigerator that is reasonably efficient, it takes ~1,500 WH per day (hot weather/hot climates, refrigerators take more energy per day to run). That leaves (subtracted from 2,295 WH daily storage=) 795 WH for lights, water pump, TV... Doable. Especially if you only run the loads overnight and run the genset to keep the loads running and battery bank charging during the day.

    A very good place to start is measuring your loads... A Kill-a-Watt type meter is very helpful. Plug in each device for a couple days to figure out your average daily load (fridge, lights, TV, water pump, etc.). For example, a Fridge. Say you run for 52 hours and read 2.4 kWHs (2,400 WH) on the meter:

    • 2,400 Watt*Hours * 1/52 hours run time * 24 hours per day = 1,108 WH per day (1.1 kWH per day)
    You do this for each load.

    Regarding the battery bank, just to give you an idea the peak Watts your proposed battery bank can output (using conservative Flooded Cell numbers):
    • 450 Amp*Hours * 24 Volts * 1/20 hour discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 459 Watts average output
    • 450 Amp*Hours * 24 Volts * 1/8 hour discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 1,148 Watt peak average load (~10 hours to 50% discharged)
    • 450 Amp*Hours * 24 Volts * 1/5 hour discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 1,836 Watt max load (minutes to an hour)
    • 450 Amp*Hours * 24 Volts * 1/2.5 hour discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 3,672 Watt max surge load (seconds to minutes)
    A maximum of ~2,000 Watt AC inverter for that size battery bank would be a "good match" (assuming flooded cell batteries). If you had very high surge loads (say a deep well pump), perhaps a larger AC inverter + GEL or AGM (or LiFePO4) bank would be appropriate).

    Note that battery charging is a significant load on your genset too... You probably would be looking at 5% to 10% rate of charge. If you recharge every 2nd day (when power goes out), at 10% rate of charge, your genset will need to supply, roughly:
    • 450 AH * 28.2 volts charging * 1/0.90 charger efficiency * 0.10 rate of charge = 1,410 Watts charging (50% to 100% charge @ 10% rate will take ~5 hours bulk+2-4 hours absorb~7-9 hours to charge).
    That would be ~450 AH * 0.10 rate of charge = 45 amps charging (at 24 volts)

    Some equipment I suggested:

    https://www.solar-electric.com/kiacpomome.html (Kill-a-Watt meter)
    https://www.solar-electric.com/kiacpomome.html (hydrometer for flooded cell lead acid batteries--or glass hydrometer from local battery store)
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07546L9RT (inexpensive AC/DC Current Clamp DMM)
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019CY4FB4 (mid-price AC/DC Current Clamp DMM)

    Anyway, some things to think about. The first meter you should get is a Kill-a-Watt (or similar brand) meter. And start measuring your planned battery+genset loads. Note the Kill-a-Watt type meter is only good for 120 VAC loads (if you have 240 VAC loads, a different mete would be required).

    Note that things that take a lot of power (microwave, water pump) don't take as much energy as loads that run for many hours per day... For example a 1,100 Watt microwave that runs 10 minutes a day vs a refrigerator that runs 120 Watts * 24 hours per day (50% duty cycle--On/Off cycle):
    • 1,100 Watt Microwave * 10 minutes a day / 60 minutes per hour = 183 Watt*Hours per day
    • 120 Watt refrigerator * 24 hours per day * 0.50 duty cycle = 1,440 WH per day (1.44 kWH per day)
    Yes, you need a large inverter for the Microwave (>1,100 Watts) and a large battery bank to supply the high current for a few minutes at time. But the "small load" that runs 24 hours per day needs a large battery bank because it takes energy over 24 hours per day, vs the 10 minutes of the microwave.

    A start....

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • joelcs2001joelcs2001 Posts: 5Registered Users ✭✭
    mcgivor said:
    Your situation is delicate, the Schneider SW  inverter charger is, in itself, a very versatile unit with all its options, but one thing that has to be realized is its self consumption, without search mode,  it actually consumes about 1Kw  per day, just being on. In an offgrid  application where a generator is not part of the regular charging regime, these losses are accepted, due to solar accounting for the deficit. However if a generator is the prime source of charging, the inefficiencies of the generator must come into question . The internal combustion engine is not a very efficient device, generally around  20-30%, the rest disapated as heat, there are electrical losses to consider as well, but these are minor, compared to the internal combustion engine itself. Using grid power would be far cheaper, if available, but it is unclear, to me at least, if grid is available, for part/most of the time. But in my opinion attempting to use a generator to actually save over grid, is a lost cause, pity you can't install some PV, it would change the entire picture. Not being negative, just pointing out some observations.
    Mcgivor, thanks for your response!
    Actually, the system is going to be used for backup when grid power is not available. (we are taking about hurricane season, in case another hurricane hit us again)  Also, its going to be powering critical loads like illumination, refrigerator and small appliances like tv or charging phones.  
    The system will be turned off and periodically turned on to recharge/maintain the batteries.

    Thanks!
  • joelcs2001joelcs2001 Posts: 5Registered Users ✭✭

    BB. said:
    http://www.mkbattery.com/images/8G8D.pdf

    AGM 225 AH @ 12 volt GEL batteries... 4x (2 series x 2 parallel) for 450 AH @ 24 volt battery bank.

    Get some charging information (voltage, current) for the GEL batteries. There can be an issue with GEL if they are over charged (too much voltage/too much current) where they can develop internal gas pockets next to the plates--That can dramatically reduce their capacity. I am not a battery engineer, so I cannot answer specifically if the Deka GEL batteries are susceptible or not.

    http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/0139.pdf

    GEL (and AGM) batteries have much higher surge capabilities than flooded cell lead acid--But I tend to use our FLA rules of thumbs as they usually give us a reliable (over the long term) and cost effective battery bank.

    Also, you may want to try ~220 AH @ 6 volt "golf cart" flooded cell batteries first (would be 4x series x 2 parallel strings for 8 batteries total)... Many people "murder" their first set of batteries and starting with a less expensive "training set" is not a bad idea (of course, you need a hydrometer to measure specific gravity of flood cell batteries--And get an AC/DC Current Clamp DMM so you can monitor charging/discharging voltages, current sharing between strings, and handy tool to understand and debug your system).

    Generally, Flooded Cell Lead Acid batteries are the most forgiving. AGM are more picky. And GEL tend to be the ones that you have to be most careful of (over charging).

    For an idea of what you can expect from the battery bank... Ideally, we suggest 2 days of "storage" and 50% maximum discharge (longer battery life). At a C/20 (20 hour discharge rate--450AH/20 hours=22.5 amps for 20 hours from 100% full to 0% dead):
    • 450 AH * 1/20 discharge rate * 24 volt battery bank * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 459 Watts average load (for example 5 hours per day for two days to 50% discharge)

    The amount of "stored energy" roughly would be:

    • 450 AH * 24 volts * 1/2 days * 0.50 max discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 2,295 Watt*Hours per day storage (for two days of no-charging)

    If you have a refrigerator that is reasonably efficient, it takes ~1,500 WH per day (hot weather/hot climates, refrigerators take more energy per day to run). That leaves (subtracted from 2,295 WH daily storage=) 795 WH for lights, water pump, TV... Doable. Especially if you only run the loads overnight and run the genset to keep the loads running and battery bank charging during the day.

    A very good place to start is measuring your loads... A Kill-a-Watt type meter is very helpful. Plug in each device for a couple days to figure out your average daily load (fridge, lights, TV, water pump, etc.). For example, a Fridge. Say you run for 52 hours and read 2.4 kWHs (2,400 WH) on the meter:

    • 2,400 Watt*Hours * 1/52 hours run time * 24 hours per day = 1,108 WH per day (1.1 kWH per day)
    You do this for each load.

    Regarding the battery bank, just to give you an idea the peak Watts your proposed battery bank can output (using conservative Flooded Cell numbers):
    • 450 Amp*Hours * 24 Volts * 1/20 hour discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 459 Watts average output
    • 450 Amp*Hours * 24 Volts * 1/8 hour discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 1,148 Watt peak average load (~10 hours to 50% discharged)
    • 450 Amp*Hours * 24 Volts * 1/5 hour discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 1,836 Watt max load (minutes to an hour)
    • 450 Amp*Hours * 24 Volts * 1/2.5 hour discharge * 0.85 AC inverter eff = 3,672 Watt max surge load (seconds to minutes)
    A maximum of ~2,000 Watt AC inverter for that size battery bank would be a "good match" (assuming flooded cell batteries). If you had very high surge loads (say a deep well pump), perhaps a larger AC inverter + GEL or AGM (or LiFePO4) bank would be appropriate).

    Note that battery charging is a significant load on your genset too... You probably would be looking at 5% to 10% rate of charge. If you recharge every 2nd day (when power goes out), at 10% rate of charge, your genset will need to supply, roughly:
    • 450 AH * 28.2 volts charging * 1/0.90 charger efficiency * 0.10 rate of charge = 1,410 Watts charging (50% to 100% charge @ 10% rate will take ~5 hours bulk+2-4 hours absorb~7-9 hours to charge).
    That would be ~450 AH * 0.10 rate of charge = 45 amps charging (at 24 volts)

    Some equipment I suggested:

    https://www.solar-electric.com/kiacpomome.html (Kill-a-Watt meter)
    https://www.solar-electric.com/kiacpomome.html (hydrometer for flooded cell lead acid batteries--or glass hydrometer from local battery store)
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07546L9RT (inexpensive AC/DC Current Clamp DMM)
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019CY4FB4 (mid-price AC/DC Current Clamp DMM)

    Anyway, some things to think about. The first meter you should get is a Kill-a-Watt (or similar brand) meter. And start measuring your planned battery+genset loads. Note the Kill-a-Watt type meter is only good for 120 VAC loads (if you have 240 VAC loads, a different mete would be required).

    Note that things that take a lot of power (microwave, water pump) don't take as much energy as loads that run for many hours per day... For example a 1,100 Watt microwave that runs 10 minutes a day vs a refrigerator that runs 120 Watts * 24 hours per day (50% duty cycle--On/Off cycle):
    • 1,100 Watt Microwave * 10 minutes a day / 60 minutes per hour = 183 Watt*Hours per day
    • 120 Watt refrigerator * 24 hours per day * 0.50 duty cycle = 1,440 WH per day (1.44 kWH per day)
    Yes, you need a large inverter for the Microwave (>1,100 Watts) and a large battery bank to supply the high current for a few minutes at time. But the "small load" that runs 24 hours per day needs a large battery bank because it takes energy over 24 hours per day, vs the 10 minutes of the microwave.

    A start....

    -Bill
    Bill

    I can't use flooded batteries because they are going to be stored internally in the apartment.  From what I have read, I can use agm or gel batteries.
    Regarding the consumption, I really understand what you are saying but in my case, the system is only to be used for critical loads, refrigerator, a fan, some lights and a tv.  Also, the only one that is going to be on 24h is the refrigerator.

    I will do the math.
    Also, its not final that I will use 4 batteries.  If needed, in the short future I can add another banks until I reach the needed capacity!

    Really appreciate your help!


  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,351Super Moderators admin
    That is fine if you use agm or gel... The above calculations will work very well for them (fla batteries have less surge capacity).

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Posts: 877Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭


    The system will be turned off and periodically turned on to recharge/maintain the batteries.

    Thanks!
    AGM batteries have very low self discharge so they are a good fit for this plan. Be positive there are absolutely no loads on them.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

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