Electrician trying to help friend !

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Comments

  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !
    TnAndy wrote: »
    Hmmm.....reckon they cut the panel lead end connectors off and crimped a connector on the extensions ?

    Be intesting to see your sketch and some photos.

    Starting to sound like a horror story in the making....ahahaaaaaa

    If they actually did that, they have voided the warranty on the panels.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,511 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !
    Note: In every illustration in the install manual pictures a power distribution box along with the inverter. There isn't one ! Just an inverter and some wiring.

    Could this be the E-panels Midnight sells ?? Keeps all the wires handy, and a simpler connection to the inverter ? In my photos, the inverter sits right on top of the midnight epanel.


    And you do want to get the Xantrex SCP. It makes things a lot easier, and you will want to call Xantrex, to get the latest firmware (and a way to install it) for the inverter, I belive they have resolved some issues on voltage setpoints for selling to grid.
    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 Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    i think we still need to get a handle on the details he can provide us like; the pv make and model along with the 4 specs ggunn mentioned, how they are wired (aka, how many in series and how many series groups paralleled), how many charge controllers are present and how many connected, how many of what batteries with their specs and how wired (aka, how many seriesed and how many series groups are paralleled), all wire gauges, fuses/circuit breakers and if in combiners, etc etc etc. we need more info to elaborate too far or too accurately on anything. pics are good too and you may be called upon by some here to take more to answer specfic questions they may have. many times there isn't just one answer to a problem either.

    i empathize with les on his dilemma and we will do our best to help with the info we're given with some answers that we collective can muster for him. our recommendations may not always be on the mark as we aren't infallible, especially trying to do this over the net. have patience and keep reading up on things yourself to get as familiar with everything as you can. you are going to gain a bit of an education as well as try to help les get his system operational and it may take some time. alternatively if les can't wait there is the option of getting another solar outfit to come in and look it over, but you don't always know just how good they are even if certified by pa.
  • THENEXTVETTETHENEXTVETTE Registered Users Posts: 14
    Electrician trying to help friend !

    Here it is guys !

    The solar panels are evergreen ES-A 200 FA2 Volts 22.50 Amps 12.00
    There are 6 in series then the groups of 5 are tied togther before they are wired to the charge controller. 10GA CU between panels then to the innerconnection then 6GA copper to the charge controller. 6GA CU to the battery bank. the batts are eight 12 v gel 100ah rate @210 amp hrs. 4 hooked in series and 2 banks of four in parallel. Those feed the XW6048 the 6048 feeds a small subpanel in the house on 6 ga cu wire from the AC OUT side of the converter via 30 A DP breaker. the AC IN (Grid) side is fed with 12ga CU to charge batteries. THE INVERTER IS NOT SET UP TO SELL ! just feed sm panel with critical loads. at max usage the inverter sends out 1.37 KW.

    FIX

    6 pv's in series would create 135 v which is under the rating of 150 for the controller.

    So with that said I need to hook up the new charge controller to 3 strings of 6 PV's in series and the other 2 strings of 6 to the existing controller and feed them both to the battery bank.

    The AC IN (Grid) side I am figuring this. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Connect a 30A DP breaker to the main panel via 6 GA CU wire to the in AC IN and use the Control panel to adjust the out put of the inverter to around 5000 to 5500 watts due to the max of 6k that can be produced.

    At that point I can adjust the Set points for the battery charge levels for generation/sell so that if the power does go out the battrey bank still has power to power critical loads for a period of a few hours, i understand "period" is variable due to the loading of the fridge/freezer/furnace and their run times.

    Any pointers on set points for the inverter on sell, inverter sell off, inverter reserve, inverter battery max discharge interrupt voltages.

    Many thanks again Folks !
    Bernie
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,511 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !
    6 pv's in series would create 135 v which is under the rating of 150 for the controller.

    I just want to verify, what is the Voc label on the panels ?

    And the V power max?
    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 ,

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    Just to help out, the actual specs on the Evergreen ES-A 200 panels:
    Voc 22.6, Vmp 18.1, Imp 11.05, Isc 11.8

    A string of six would be:
    Voc 135.6 (safely below the controller's 150 Max unless it gets very cold) and Vmp 108.6

    Five such strings in parallel would bring the Imp to 55.25 and Isc to 59. You could probably expect 48 Amps of charge current out of the controller.

    My opinion; the gel batteries are unsuitable for this application and should be replaced. The panels would support 480 Amp hours of battery. The XW 6048 would prefer at least 600 Amp hours, which would work from that array.

    Shutting up now. Back to the experts. :p
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    it looks like there could be a bit of a shading issue going on with the worst yet to come on the winter solstice. i see a wire and there is also the shed shading the bottom of the 2nd pole array.

    i question that only #12 wire is going to the grid as that current limits to 20a.

    the choice of the batteries being gels can be a problem as these are very voltage and current sensitive. too much of either can be damaging. going to larger system can overload the batteries on current if the original designers did not account for it and we are assuming they did account for it in their original design in the first place.

    this is why we encourage everyone to know what it is they've got and at least some rudimentary knowledge of solar. it is hard for us to second guess what was done (we do try though) as we weren't involved in the design and are dealing with an owner who knows nothing and you inexperienced in the field. have those batteries been getting charged? either by solar or the charger in the inverter and were they setup properly? these are just a few questions that come to mind that may or may not be easily answerable. you could identify the battery make and model and talk over with the manufacturer what the requirements are for the batteries. determining if that's being met is another.
  • THENEXTVETTETHENEXTVETTE Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    The gel cells are " DEKA SOLAR" batteries. Would you go with AGM or just straight lead acid.

    And cariboo you are correct on your panel info !

    they are deka 8g4d/t975

    I agree with the 12 ga not being the corect gauge and the breaker at only 20a. is not sufficant to sell.

    Neil, the batteries are fully charged during the day and they maybe at 90 % in the morning ,before sun up, pending on how much his well pump runs.

    With the grid feed off the batt will run the sub panel for a few days, he ran for 3 1/2 days last winter during a huge snow storm we had.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    At the '20 hour rate' the battery bank is about 336 Amp hours total (unless I did the math wrong) which is hardly sufficient. It would be easy to cook that bank accidentally.

    Personally I like FLA's for starting out unless there are concerns specific to the needs of AGM's.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    oh oh. at 22.6voc and 6 in series this could put the pvs over 150v when the temps go below 0 degrees f and even at that it will be more than 3.5 v over the 150v max at 0 degrees f. at -22 degrees f (-30 c) (worst case scenario) the pvs will exhibit a voltage of about 158.72voc. the only way to utilize 6 is to go with a controller capable of going higher than 150v. example is midnite classic. the options here are to use either a classic 200 to totally allow operations that high or the classic 150 that would simply and safely stop operating above 150v.

    i don't think you should actually do anything until the whole original design is known and understood by you as to how it's supposed to operate and that involves being totally familiar with every aspect and component of the installed system.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,981 ✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    AGM is a Superior battery to flooded in every measurable way, they cost 2x for a reason. Unless your going to have someone doing weekly checks on the battery water levels use AGM, Flooded if the customer will check the batteries, GELL is not a proper battery for this GT install as GELL is best for low discharge rates.

    The problem is you only have 200ah for a 6kw system and that is undersized by 3X. Its a common mistake we see, people cheap out on the battery's and latter have all sorts of issues.

    Your system requires 600ah for reliable, safe and long term reliable performance. There is no way around this, usually we tell people this and they disappear never to post again.

    Fail to do this, best case, system under-performs, worst case, you have a fire caused by over heating the battery's from AC ripple current
  • THENEXTVETTETHENEXTVETTE Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    Neil, could we go with 5 in a string, 3 strings to a controller with a total of 112.5v being delivered ? is that a safer bet ?

    Guppy, The inverter has a temp sensor on the batteries closest to the center of the bank, will that be a good indicator of the charge issue temp, if it keeps cycling the sensor ?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    nv,
    5 pvs in series is safe for you.

    sg,
    here is what he said on the battery bank and he indicates paralleling battery strings too, but it isn't clear how it is.
    "6GA CU to the battery bank. the batts are eight 12 v gel 100ah rate @210 amp hrs. 4 hooked in series and 2 banks of four in parallel."
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,981 ✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    Your not running at your 6kw yet, so you wouldn't see this. Once you start selling to the grid you will see a whole different set of issues.

    The battery's may over heat, or possibly just not provided the filtering needed and your sell wattage will vary wildly and hunt also your charge controllers won't track correctly with the huge ac ripple on the battery voltage. This is not an optional thing to address

    Neil

    6 AWG is insanely underrated, that's only good for 50 amps, where the inverter can pull 150 amps ( I talking about the battery interconnection and feed to the XW inverter ) ... another thing that must be fixed. He has ( 2 ) 100ah 48v strings in parallel
  • THENEXTVETTETHENEXTVETTE Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    Neil ,yes you have it right

    4 12 v batteries hooked is series to get the nominal 48v

    2 banks of 4 12v batteries in parallel with each other. then the invertor is connected at the common tie point for the two banks feeding the 48 v

    Guppy, I see your point about the battery issues, better to fix it now then find out later.

    The solar charge converter is connected to the batt with 6ga, the invertor is connecter to the batteries with a huge CU wire set. bigger than 4/0 i think were in the C/M range of measuring.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,511 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !
    GEL is a Superior battery to flooded in every measurable way, they cost 2x for a reason. .....

    ?? Are we talking GEL or AGM. I understood that AGM was very good, but that GEL could develop voids under high current loads, and they don't heal.
    AGM is great in every way, except for overcharge and venting. ??
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,981 ✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    I am talking about AGM, which I believe GELL is just another term the OP used for the battery's at the installation.

    With proper voltage regulation, its near impossible to over charge AGM as the ones I have used and looked at can handle C1 rates and even with generators for charging, you will be limited to C6 or higher even with the XW at its 100 amp maximum
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    sg,
    he has gel batteries and not agms. they are both vrla batteries, but gel and agm are not the same thing.
    http://www.mkbattery.com/gel_specs.php?model=8G4D+%28T975%29
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,981 ✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !

    Thanks Niel ..

    Here is a good write up on the differences.

    http://www.batterystuff.com/tutorial_battery_gel_agm.html

    My personal experience is with flooded and AGM. In the OP's case, GELL are absoulty the wrong battery then, they not high amp discharge capable were as AGM's are and in a GT mode, with the ripple current AGM's are the best choice
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Electrician trying to help friend !
    Just to help out, the actual specs on the Evergreen ES-A 200 panels:
    Voc 22.6, Vmp 18.1, Imp 11.05, Isc 11.8

    A string of six would be:
    Voc 135.6 (safely below the controller's 150 Max unless it gets very cold) and Vmp 108.6

    FWIW, strings of six reach 150V at 15.4 degrees F. Strings of five are good down to -113.1 degrees F.
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