Midnite Classic Follow Me question

H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Solar Expert Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
Can 2 Midnite Classics charge the same battery pack in Follow me mode using different panels on each controller? Array 1 with x panels on controller one set as Master in follow me mode, while array 2 with y panels (different panels) on controller 2 as slave also in follow me mode.

It is so hard to match up panels after the fact and now I really want to be able to run air conditioning more and more and have my eye on batteries in the 2000 AH range (at the 8 hour rate) in a 48 volt single string. These things are monsters and take 5 pallets at around 8600 pounds total including pallets.

Thanks for helping!

Skip
12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    That is pretty much the normal way of doing it: one battery bank, two arrays, two controllers. The Master controller is used to judge the charging stage and tells the slave controller what stage to be operating in. Pretty much functions as one big controller.

    If the loads become too much for the two together to maintain Absorb or Float both will drop back to Bulk.
  • H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Solar Expert Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    So it doesn't matter too much if the panels are different brands / sizes / amperage on the different controllers?
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question
    H2SO4_guy wrote: »
    So it doesn't matter too much if the panels are different brands / sizes / amperage on the different controllers?

    Nope. Controllers in general base their function on the output, not the input. You can connect controllers of different sizes/types so long as they agree the battery bank is 'X' Volts. Sometimes they'll "argue" over set points and Voltage levels, but the "Follow Me" function of the MidNite controllers eliminates those discrepancies.
  • H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Solar Expert Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    Thanks Coot, I have learned so much from you, I really appreciate your wisdom and hands-on experience. This answer is not in the book as such being a new feature. Couldn't find a good answer, but now it seems that as long as we are thinking in arrays it becomes a piece of cake!
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    Skip
    How are your salvage batteries treating you? It sounds like you can still get more if you are talking about more. Are your thoughts still that it makes more sence going this rout. I will be back in MO in aug. and trying to install everything. I still am leanning to installing 16 sams club batts but have thought about used/reconditioned forktruck. I had talked to you once and just wonder what your views are now that you have been playing awhile.
    gww
  • H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Solar Expert Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    My salvage batteries are doing pretty well, however, I did get a bank of 24 450 AH 2 volt cells that I didn't realize are from 1986. While they do work, and are usefull for some things, they can't go too long under too high of a load. I did break down and buy some brand new 2nd's in 210 AH in a size called 8D and they are about 130 pounds each. They are very good and I paid $380 for 4 of them (Normally $279.99 each in 1st quality) They are cosmetically challenged, but I love ugly but work great!!!

    My current challenge is to run a heat pump in cool mode for air conditioning. It is pretty efficient, but I want more..... Looking at a pallet (or 2) of 2nd quality panels to add more power to the formula. I think I can get around 70 or 75 cents per watt delivered to Kansas city including shipping, but I am looking into options.

    We can talk again if you like, but I don't have your number anymore.

    Skip
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    I paid like $0.88 to $0.90 for the last 12 mx 235 watt panels I bought with shipping to Mo included in the price. This was off ebay. They where selling pallots of 25 for $0.70. I haven't used them yet so I can't tell you about them. That puts shipping to my house at about $0.08 to $0.10. I have a invoice somewhere but haven't looked.

    I will pm you my number but probly won't be in much shape to talk much till july 31st. I am about to go on super overtime for my last month of work before I retire.

    I like you don't mind ugly but I don't know enough about good or bad batteries to have the guts to take the chance. I have bought some pretty ugly cars that I got millions of miles out of so looks only bother me on what my wife drives.

    Good luck
    gww
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    Hi Skip, at 2000Ah at 8 hour(sure that's not 6 hour) rate your likely 3000Ah at 48V your going to need a pretty large array!

    I guess your getting these free or cheap? Might be cheaper in the long run to buy a new 48V 800Ah battery(20 hour rate)

    I'm 'lucky' I need to clean up and live at the cabin for the next heat wave, Wed - Monday. at least it has A/C, I'm off grid now at home, but since being laid-off I'm waiting for the A/C from the cabin, once I sell it or the solar system there.

    ...the third Missouri Solar guy...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    Whit
    I checked your fork truck battery site. gb: 48 volt 800 ah = $5000. I kind of want to try it but keep thinking with 16 sams club or a used/reconditioned forktruck I would only have $1600 to $2400 in it when I ruin my first bank.

    Cheers
    gww
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    I was more worried about Skip having a bad experience, with such a large battery bank, and if they are older batteries perhaps needing more charging capacity, before you get to the 5-13% of capacity, 3000 Ah battery at 48v needing 7200watt - 18,720watt array and that's at panel rating! You can realistically multiply those numbers by 1.25 (3000x48=144,000 x.13 = 18,720 watt array 144,000 x .05= 7200watt array)
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    Whit
    I hope I have it right and am not speaking out of line for skip but here goes. I believe he is coming from the fact that panels are cheep and last a very long time (30 years).

    Batteries are very expensive and start dying the minute you buy them.

    Bad batteries take lots of power to charge but if bought at scrap prices you don't have much to lose.

    He mentioned below of buying one or more pallots panels. Say 6000 watts per pallot.

    The panels will last even if you go through very cheap batteries. So cheep batteries allow for more panels.

    I was just curious what your thoughts might be?

    gww
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question
    gww1 wrote: »
    I was just curious what your thoughts might be?

    I went back and reread and found where he says about adding a ...pallet or 2 of panels....

    I'm certainly "of the mind" that panels are cheap, and am 'over paneled for my smallish 800Ah 24V forklift battery, but as my fellow Missouri folks know we get our heat with sun, and I expect to run 'air' off solar during the day and top off my batteries and have enough reserve to run at least the bedroom unit over night, likely run a mini split on low in the main room (Kitchen/dining/family room @15x27) as well depending on duty time on the bedroom unit.

    I have a small place with poor insulation now, 16x60 modular/mobile home in the sun most of the day. I suspect he has a larger place, I'll have @6500watt array by next summer (maybe this summer late) and a $2500 newish battery(1 1/2 years at the cabin) I suspect it will run with out problems for 10 years and perhaps as long as 20 (with some electronics replaced). Total investment is very low, I did the math once, here with out tax credit and it was somewhere around $10,000 total, not sure I'd want to fight with batteries for a nominal price difference.

    I could have had a 'rebuilt' battery of the same size delivered for about 1/2 the cost, they call them light duty batteries with about(minimum) 80% capacity. My experience is once a battery reaches 80% capacity they take a lot more work, more water and near death. I don't have experience with a fork lift battery of this age. Perhaps they can be expected to last 5-7 years, but perhaps he's getting them cheaper, or knows they come from a warehouse who replaces their batteries every 2 years, or off a maintenance supplier who does something similar...

    I really want to setup a system and check on it monthly, watch minimally in-between and expect it to work...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    Whit
    I really want to setup a system and check on it monthly, watch minimally in-between and expect it to work...

    Which is really why I was thinking about the gb 800 ah fork lift.

    I am kind of tight and a certain part of my body near the rear really tightens up on $5000 plus.

    I have never really had anything installed for referance and still have $5000 to $7000 to go on trenching, wire, towers, etc etc...

    This is not counting batteries.

    I don't really know and have never seen anyone with solar or wind.

    I have been reading and trying to learn and soon will make a decission and just do it.

    Right now my decission is 16 sams club batteries but the are not bought yet.

    Thank you for your opinion above or below, you know the one already given.

    Skip I hope I didn't misrepresent your position.

    Thanks
    gww

    Ps skip is the one that has the building in a building that was putting the mini-split inside the big building for the small building. I have no luck trying to search this site cause I can't remember the key words to bring what I want up.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question
    gww1 wrote: »
    I have been reading and trying to learn and soon will make a decission and just do it.
    Right now my decission is 16 sams club batteries but the are not bought yet.

    In addition to your need to keep the costs down, the regulars often say that a cheap first set of batteries, with the idea of replacing them in a year or two, is not a bad idea.
    Most people kill their first set of batteries before they get their system settings, maintenance routines and lifestyle all lined up properly. So, better to murder cheap batteries than expensive ones.

    Think very long and hard about spending a lot of money on towers for wind, since very few people have good luck with small (<2000W) wind turbines, and those who do do not use unreliable and underdesigned equipment that is flooding the market.
    If you are serious about wind, money spent on a tall tower will get a good return, but only if you have the wind necessary in the first place. At least put up an anemometer on a pole and record a year's worth of readings to see what you might really get from wind.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    Inetdog
    I built the 500 watt turbines, I actually expect nothing out of them as I am in a wind zone 2. I figure my putting them up is an exersize in futility however I really enjoyed the building of them and just the ideal of being able to build them.

    Solar was not even on my radar when I started goofing around. I have lots of room where I live and am going to try to cobb something together as cheeply as I can knowing that time will tell whether I can end up with an optimal set up for my area.

    I have had a lot of fun and some heart ache and very little power for the ones I have already had up. I check the wind every day and then go out and watch for when it might turn and if it turns run out and look at the amp meter.

    I wont tell anybody that this makes sence but I am kind of hooked.

    I hope the solar works cause the wind probly wont very well. Staring at solar just isn't as fun though.

    Your advice was good.
    gww

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  • northernernortherner Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question
    inetdog wrote: »
    In addition to your need to keep the costs down, the regulars often say that a cheap first set of batteries, with the idea of replacing them in a year or two, is not a bad idea.
    Most people kill their first set of batteries before they get their system settings, maintenance routines and lifestyle all lined up properly. So, better to murder cheap batteries than expensive ones.

    If you're patient, there will likely be better batteries available soon. A company in the US is about to begin production (this year late 2013) of a sodium ion based battery, that will be much more cost effective than lead acid batteries. The sodium ion battery will give much longer cycle life (potentially could last a lifetime) with no worries about leaving the battery in a partial state of charge for long periods. This battery can also be discharged 100% with no significant long term effects. This battery has already been proven with independent testing. Here is a link to their site:

    http://www.aquionenergy.com/
  • H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Solar Expert Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    I did just put in an order for 7000 watts of B grade panels. There is a 2.99% financing deal for a year on credit cards now and it was the deciding factor. 75 cents per watt including financing, shipping, mounting hardware, and labor to mount them. This does not include wire, conduit, or breakers. I plan to use an existing east and west facing roof for a static array. It didn't seem to be worth the extra money to build another south facing roof. I'll take the hit in efficiency and get what I get. That should run more air conditioning!

    Skip
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • gww1gww1 Solar Expert Posts: 963 ✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question

    Ohhhhh, air conditioner goodddd.
    gww
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Midnite Classic Follow Me question
    northerner wrote: »
    If you're patient, there will likely be better batteries available soon. A company in the US is about to begin production (this year late 2013) of a sodium ion based battery, that will be much more cost effective than lead acid batteries. The sodium ion battery will give much longer cycle life (potentially could last a lifetime) with no worries about leaving the battery in a partial state of charge for long periods. This battery can also be discharged 100% with no significant long term effects. This battery has already been proven with independent testing. Here is a link to their site:

    http://www.aquionenergy.com/

    I notice they avoid the question of voltage, since their 'building block' stack appears to have 7 units, I suspect it will be interesting...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
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