Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help

rafusecarafuseca Registered Users Posts: 12
Hi everyone, we have a remote cabin in northern Maine with a small off-grid solar system (self installed) consisting of two 120 watt Kyocera panels (with intentions of expanding, someday), Xantrex C60 charge controller and a Xantrex DR2412 invert/charger. We keep an eye on a Midnight Solar battery capacity meter through-out the day and start up a portable generator as needed to recharge the battery bank (through the DR2412) if the panels aren’t producing enough juice.
This past June we made a lot of upgrades by replacing the temporarily item with quality permanent products. Our intent is to do it right and leave in place year-round. Prior to this June the panels were on a mobile cart (wheeled inside when not in use) and the batteries removed every winter to safeguard against freezing:

-We mounted the solar panels on a cedar pole approx 30’ above ground, installed a Midnite Solar combiner box, lightning arrester, and ground wire/rod. Everything is encased 1.5” pvc conduit (buried) to the attached garage. Total distance from the combiner box to the PVGFCI is approx 70’ and I used #1 AWG welding wire. Wire-calculators estimated #4 but I used #1, it was a better deal and thought it wouldn’t hurt incase someday I upgrade to higher capacity panels. I should only have +/- .25% line loss but somehow I’m only receiving 2-4 amps at the C60 charge controller and fear I may have a loose connection at a combiner box.-

-The old battery bank of 6ea marine 12v deep cycle batteries was replaced with 10ea AGM 6v golf cart batteries, wired in parallel series, we now have a new 12v 960 amp bank. The battery box is now insulated with 2” foam board and all wires replaced with 4/0. The wire was bought in bulk and we cut to length, used a hydraulic crimper in the lugs and used shrink tape.

The panels and batteries are there full time now and hope they make it through the winter. We leave the C60 charge controller on full time and only turn on the DR2412 inverter when we are there.

We ran out of time and didn’t get to wiring up the AGS to the generator but hope to start into that this fall when we go up for hunting season.

On the DR2412 inverter controls, can anyone help me out with settings? For BATTERY TYPE SELECTOR, I set this to #5 (AGM/GEL CELL) or should I keep this at #7 (DEEP CYCLE LEAD ACID)? I attached a picture of the battery data for bulk and float charge rates. To me it would seem logical to just double the float/bulk math for the 6v batteries but want to make sure I’m doing it right. Any suggestions for the BATTERY CHARGE RATE POTENTIOMETER and OVER DISCHARGE PROTECTION settings? I have the BATTERY CAPACITY POTENTIOMETER cranked to 1K. Ultimately I want to be sure that I have everything safe and maximize the life of the system.

Thanks for your help, Chris
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Comments

  • TiminatorTiminator Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help

    I have a similar set-up in my hunting cabin in Ohio. Same inverter-charger, 2 DM 145W Panels and Outback FX60 controller, but just two Power Sonic AGM batteries (so far). I have my Xantrex on the #4 setting for my AGM's. Power Sonic provided pretty good information on these batteries on their site and that matched the #4 AGM setting better than the #5 for mine. I don't think you should be using the #7, but most of the guys on here know way more than me.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,380 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help

    Crimping large welding cable (super fine wires) needs a hydraulic crimper and the proper crimp terminals. The screw terminals in the UL rated charge controllers will not work well with the super fine welding wire, they are designed for coarse strands.

    This is what I suspect, or you were sold an end of the cable spool with a splice in the wire. I've gotten burned on large wire buys before, without running a TDR test, finding broken wires, cable twisted together as it was respooled and so on.
    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: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help

    Ten 6 Volt batteries on a 12 Volt system? That would be five parallel battery sets. That's asking for trouble.
  • rafusecarafuseca Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help

    Cariboocoot: How is that asking for trouble? they're wired in parallel series?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    rafuseca wrote: »
    Cariboocoot: How is that asking for trouble? they're wired in parallel series?

    Current sharing issues. Low Voltage systems will suffer more from the effects of slightly different resistance amounts found in each string. More strings = more differences = greater likelihood of problems.

    With that many strings you have to use bus bars/common point connections so that the wiring resistance in each string is as close to the same as possible. Take a look at the Smart Gauge diagrams here: http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html
  • rafusecarafuseca Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    mike95490 wrote: »
    Crimping large welding cable (super fine wires) needs a hydraulic crimper and the proper crimp terminals. The screw terminals in the UL rated charge controllers will not work well with the super fine welding wire, they are designed for coarse strands.

    This is what I suspect, or you were sold an end of the cable spool with a splice in the wire. I've gotten burned on large wire buys before, without running a TDR test, finding broken wires, cable twisted together as it was respooled and so on.

    Mike95490: Thanks for thelp, I'm with you on the manufaturer sneaking a splice in. Before we laid the #1 wire in the conduit, I did a continuity check and unwound the spool to inspect for splices (i knew the wire had to be a good deal for a reason...). everything was good. I'm thinking my problem may lie where I I have the panels wired into the combiner box and will recheck this fall. The C60 is UL tested at #6 but will accept as far down as #2. I shaved a few of the strands from the #1 wire (You're right the strands are very fine) until I could get a decent fit and torqued them down. everything else has hydraulic-crimped lugs.

    For the C60 pot-meters, is 16.8 a good bulk and 15.5 a good float setting? if I use the information from the battery and multiply by 2, bulk would be 13.8-14.6 and float would be 13.4-13.6 but this doesnt seem logical to the available 12v pot settings.
  • rafusecarafuseca Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    Timinator wrote: »
    I have a similar set-up in my hunting cabin in Ohio. Same inverter-charger, 2 DM 145W Panels and Outback FX60 controller, but just two Power Sonic AGM batteries (so far). I have my Xantrex on the #4 setting for my AGM's. Power Sonic provided pretty good information on these batteries on their site and that matched the #4 AGM setting better than the #5 for mine. I don't think you should be using the #7, but most of the guys on here know way more than me.

    Thanks for the help Timinator, unfortunately the only information on the Duracell battery pamphlet is the same as whats on the battery (pictured) "Charge/Absorbtion/Equalize between 6.9-7.3 v..." and "Float/Standby between 6.7-6.8 v..."

    I do have the Dr2412 Battery Type Selector set to 5 for AGM/Gel and hope I have it right
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    rafuseca wrote: »
    For the C60 pot-meters, is 16.8 a good bulk and 15.5 a good float setting? if I use the information from the battery and multiply by 2, bulk would be 13.8-14.6 and float would be 13.4-13.6 but this doesnt seem logical to the available 12v pot settings.

    Those are pretty high Voltages.
    Normal 'Bulk' (actually Absorb - Xantrex terminology is different) for a 12 Volt system is 14.2 to 14.8 Volts, depending on the particular batteries. Float is usually 13.2, with a max around 13.8. AGM batteries run at lower Voltages than flooded cells, and it is important that high Voltages are not used as it could boil what little electrolyte they have and pop the vent seals. Then the battery can be ruined.
  • rafusecarafuseca Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    Current sharing issues. Low Voltage systems will suffer more from the effects of slightly different resistance amounts found in each string. More strings = more differences = greater likelihood of problems.

    With that many strings you have to use bus bars/common point connections so that the wiring resistance in each string is as close to the same as possible. Take a look at the Smart Gauge diagrams here: http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html

    Cariboocoot, the link you sent is quite the eye opener and thankful. This isn't a very large bank and went with 4/0 interconnecting cables. This would make that much of a difference? Here is a pic of what I didAttachment not found.
  • rafusecarafuseca Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    Those are pretty high Voltages.
    Normal 'Bulk' (actually Absorb - Xantrex terminology is different) for a 12 Volt system is 14.2 to 14.8 Volts, depending on the particular batteries. Float is usually 13.2, with a max around 13.8. AGM batteries run at lower Voltages than flooded cells, and it is important that high Voltages are not used as it could boil what little electrolyte they have and pop the vent seals. Then the battery can be ruined.

    Cariboocoot: I need to take a knee and drink some water. The C60 settings I cited were from the wrong Zantrex diagram. I'm certain I have the pot set to 14.8 for Bulk and 13.5 for Float. You think i should lower them? Really appreciat your help, Chris
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    rafuseca wrote: »
    Cariboocoot: I need to take a knee and drink some water. The C60 settings I cited were from the wrong Zantrex diagram. I'm certain I have the pot set to 14.8 for Bulk and 13.5 for Float. You think i should lower them? Really appreciat your help, Chris

    I think the batteries should have some info from the manufacturer regarding maximum charging Voltage. If not, AGM default is 14.4 max not 14.8. Only a few tenths but it can make a difference between blowing the valve and not. It's better to start low and raise it two-tenths than to start high and risk damaging the battery right away.
  • rafusecarafuseca Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    I think the batteries should have some info from the manufacturer regarding maximum charging Voltage. If not, AGM default is 14.4 max not 14.8. Only a few tenths but it can make a difference between blowing the valve and not. It's better to start low and raise it two-tenths than to start high and risk damaging the battery right away.

    Thanks Cariboocoot, I'll make the changes. if I use the information from the battery and multiply by 2, bulk would be 13.8-14.6 and float would be 13.4-13.6
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,517 admin
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    rafuseca wrote: »
    Cariboocoot, the link you sent is quite the eye opener and thankful. This isn't a very large bank and went with 4/0 interconnecting cables. This would make that much of a difference? Here is a pic of what I didAttachment not found.

    That is the "ladder" method. The battery closest to the inverter+charger+etc... Has the lowest resistance, so it will "experience" more current in and out that the battery set at the end...

    The quickest fix would be to move the positive lead from the Inverter/Charger to the right hand battery + terminal. That would "balance" the battery loading better.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • TiminatorTiminator Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    rafuseca wrote: »
    Thanks for the help Timinator, unfortunately the only information on the Duracell battery pamphlet is the same as whats on the battery (pictured) "Charge/Absorbtion/Equalize between 6.9-7.3 v..." and "Float/Standby between 6.7-6.8 v..."

    I do have the Dr2412 Battery Type Selector set to 5 for AGM/Gel and hope I have it right

    Here's what my AGM batteries say, they shouldn't be too different.

    Cycle Applications: Limit initial current to 25A. Charge until battery voltage
    (under charge) reaches 7.20 to 7.50 volts at 68°F (20°C). Hold at 7.20 to 7.50
    volts until current drops to under 2.1A. Battery is fully charged under these
    conditions, and charger should be disconnected or switched to “float” voltage.
    “Float” or “Stand-By” Service: Hold battery across constant voltage source of
    6.75 to 6.90 volts continuously. When held at this voltage, the battery will seek its
    own current level and maintain itself in a fully charged condition.
  • rafusecarafuseca Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Xantrex DR2412 and C60 help
    BB. wrote: »
    That is the "ladder" method. The battery closest to the inverter+charger+etc... Has the lowest resistance, so it will "experience" more current in and out that the battery set at the end...

    The quickest fix would be to move the positive lead from the Inverter/Charger to the right hand battery + terminal. That would "balance" the battery loading better.

    -Bill

    Bill good point! I'll move the positive cable going to the DC disconnect to the positive terminal of the top-right battery
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