Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work

Here's progress of my latest Design and Frame Work. The AGM battery works as the counter weight to hold the panels down from wind sheer, just as previous versions. Last version of my generators were fixed @ 25* tilt. Now with a simple fix of some ABS 2" I.D pipe, and some U-Bolts the generators are now adjustable from 0* to 90* for better seasonal conditions.
Comments or suggestions are always welcome.
These generators are made for 200watts per hour to run happy for 8 hours with minimal depth of discharge within 56% discharge, or a translation of 44% D.O.D. I use these generators for my jobsites and camping trips, so far I'm not a huge consumer of power.

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Comments

  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work

    Frame work 100% complete! Moving forward with wirng in shunts, PWM, and meters.
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  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work

    Made additional adjustments to the system frame work. Tilt of panels works perfect.
    Down side was that the charge controller had compatibility issues with the shunts/ammeters, so I removed the shunts from the common side before and after the controller. The battery gauge works great, so does the KVA monitor from the inverter so I will have to work, with what I got.
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  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work

    It looks good. Nice work.
    Down side was that the charge controller had compatibility issues with the shunts/ammeters, so I removed the shunts from the common side before and after the controller.

    Shunts shouldn't cause any problems. They probably have less resistance than surrounding cabling. What kind of problem was that?
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    Shunts shouldn't cause any problems. They probably have less resistance than surrounding cabling. What kind of problem was that?

    So I think there was a few problems with the hardwired conductors from the charge controller, supposedly 12AWG according to sunforce, however when I measured conductor size, the conductor was almost closer to 14AWG. The controller directions state that positive and common must all be the same length, obviously the shunt changes that characteristic slightly. The charge controller worked fine and when comparing volts from the charge controller, VS the volt meter on the inverter the accuracy was marginal +/-1%.

    I literally had one shunt prior to the controller on common side so I could measure load. So it was the USE-2 10AWG common side, then shunt, then the skimpped out conductor from controller, I cut out as much of the controller hardwire as possible to reduce voltage drop. @ float charge the ammeter was reading 10 amps, when it was in charge mode it was reading 6~7 amps. Worst part it was a volt and amp meter, So I butt spliced the volt positive to the 10AWG positive. Worst part about the incedence was that the volt meter was reading 7.865V, when hooking it up to my meter it was reading 17.86V before the controller. The meter is rated to operate between 4.5V and 30V, and the amp portion of the meter can read up to 200amps from a .75mA shunt. Could of just been faulty digital meters from china.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work
    I literally had one shunt prior to the controller on common side so I could measure load. So it was the USE-2 10AWG common side, then shunt, then the skimpped out conductor from controller, I cut out as much of the controller hardwire as possible to reduce voltage drop. @ float charge the ammeter was reading 10 amps, when it was in charge mode it was reading 6~7 amps. Worst part it was a volt and amp meter, So I butt spliced the volt positive to the 10AWG positive. Worst part about the incedence was that the volt meter was reading 7.865V, when hooking it up to my meter it was reading 17.86V before the controller. The meter is rated to operate between 4.5V and 30V, and the amp portion of the meter can read up to 200amps from a .75mA shunt. Could of just been faulty digital meters from china.

    17.86V on the PV side looks good while in float. 7.87V on battery side cannot be right - may be a bad connection between the meter and the shunt, or somewhere within the meter.

    Bad amp measurements could be simply a result of low precision. 5% of 200A is 10A. When you measure 8A +/- 10A, you can get all kinds of number. It is also possible that controller switching confuses the meter. The meter might've been designed for realtively steady current.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    Bad amp measurements could be simply a result of low precision. 5% of 200A is 10A. When you measure 8A +/- 10A, you can get all kinds of number. It is also possible that controller switching confuses the meter. The meter might've been designed for realtively steady current.

    I personally think that it is just chinese junk. Neither digital meter was very accurate. Being that they where digital, and not analog ammeters the refresh on the digital could of been on the fritz using them so close to the controllers. have a friend in the auto industry that told me that I don't have enough wire run separated from the controller. Literally my longest run to the controller is 5', and from controller to battery is under 12".
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work
    These generators are made for 200watts per hour...
    "Watts per hour" makes no sense.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work
    I personally think that it is just chinese junk. Neither digital meter was very accurate. Being that they where digital, and not analog ammeters the refresh on the digital could of been on the fritz using them so close to the controllers. have a friend in the auto industry that told me that I don't have enough wire run separated from the controller. Literally my longest run to the controller is 5', and from controller to battery is under 12".

    I don't think the short wire runs could be a problem. If you're afraid of RF noises, you can try putting a small capacitor accross the shunt.
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work
    ggunn wrote: »
    "Watts per hour" makes no sense.
    I should clarify (200watts CONTINUOUSLY). It's in relation to amp hours. Battery can drive 1amp an hour as a constant in relation to 1Ah. Based on my batteries capacity the one I have can discharge 125 amps in 1 hour give or take 10% of the final depth of discharge.So lets say I have a 200 watt light bulb. At the AC end it takes 1.68 amps (as a constant) to drive that bulb for 1hour. While on the DC end it takes 17.30 amps (constant)of my 125 Ah battery. Leaving the battery (12.5 which is never used)+(17.30 which is 16.2IMP + Inverter loss (+/- voltage at depth) =29.8 amps less from a full battery. An amp is a constant to 1 hour use. So inverter can consistently deliver 200watts "continuously" for one full hour. If I said watt hours would it of made any difference? Or do we need to get that technical?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,883 admin
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work

    Watt Hours or Watts*Hours is OK... Watts per Hour is technically "acceleration"--20 Watts per Hour--After one hour 20 watt load. After 2 hours 40 watt load (i.e., increase in watts with respect to time).

    And yes, there is a difference between Inverter driving 200 watts vs a 16.7 amp load at 12 volts...

    I=P/v
    I=200 watts * 1/0.85 inv. eff. * 1/10.5 volts = 22.4 amps
    I=200 watts * 1/0.85 inv. eff. * 1/14.5 volts = 16.2 amps

    A 16.7 amp load * 20 hours = 501 Amp*Hours at 20 hour rate. Whatever the battery voltage is.

    A 200 watt constant AC load needs to be converted for the Inverter losses, and the current at whatever the battery bus voltage is at that point in time.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SolarPoweredSolarPowered Solar Expert Posts: 626 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Generator Version 2.0 Adjustable Tilt Frame Work
    BB. wrote: »
    Watt Hours or Watts*Hours is OK... Watts per Hour is technically "acceleration"--20 Watts per Hour--After one hour 20 watt load. After 2 hours 40 watt load (i.e., increase in watts with respect to time).

    I will make sure in the future to use more clarity.
    BB. wrote: »
    And yes, there is a difference between Inverter driving 200 watts vs a 16.7 amp load at 12 volts...

    I=P/v
    I=200 watts * 1/0.85 inv. eff. * 1/10.5 volts = 22.4 amps
    I=200 watts * 1/0.85 inv. eff. * 1/14.5 volts = 16.2 amps

    A 16.7 amp load * 20 hours = 501 Amp*Hours at 20 hour rate. Whatever the battery voltage is.

    A 200 watt constant AC load needs to be converted for the Inverter losses, and the current at whatever the battery bus voltage is at that point in time.

    -Bill

    Correct, but there is also high temperature Voltage loss from High resistance batteries that don't tend to be to friendly on conductor ater about a 10amp draw. The inverter is connected to 17" long 4AWG conductor with 80AMP AGU fuse. The inverter will only operate between 15V and 11V so I lose out on discharging maybe 3% more of the batteries last 10% capacity, puts me more in the realm of 13% of unused capacity.

    Sunforce inverter efficiency is .90% not .85%

    Drawing 200 watts for 5 minutes puts my generator more in the realm of 17.3amps as an average discharge of amps. I wanted to up size the conductor, but the bussing wasn't to friendly with 1AWG, sunforce also recommends no more than using 4AWG. Thought I should follow the recommendation, to suffice warranty.
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