Battery issue ?

GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
Last two times I've noticed all the fuses popped on my battery bank causing "Inlet Low Voltage" on Inverter.  

Replaced them with 10 amp fuses and was good for a few weeks then did it again.  All fuses blown.  Most batteries are from 2008-2009 era.   

Is it time to replace the battery bank or too much charging ???
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Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,020 admin
    Lower battery voltage will cause the inverter to pull more current (power=voltage*current -- Drop the input voltage, need more current to supply the same AC loads).

    What is your system design? Battery AH/Voltage, series/parallel connections, where are fuses, size of AC inverter, size of AC loads.

    If not AC loads, but DC loads (such as lighting), depending on the load, low battery voltage usually causes the current to fall... But many loads (DC motors driving pumps, LEDs with electronic ballasts, computer running on DC input, etc.) will draw more current as the voltage falls.

    Older batteries are going to run lower output voltage... Old wiring (corrosion, poor connections) can cause voltage drop too.

    The batteries may be old, but still have capacity--You may have to look at your wiring+loads to figure out how to get more useful life form the batteries.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    9 - 120ah deep cycle SLA's in parallel battery bank, MorningStar charge controller 60 amp, Sunforce 2500/4000 inverter.

    Fuses are on + battery posts 10amp. 

    Load end is in house, multiple 110 circuits, mostly lights, computers, clocks, a de-humidifier, solar water heater pumps and such.



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  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016 #4
    Might disconnect for a while and do load tests on you batteries! One bad battery will bring them all down.

    Specifically, I would disconnect from the load, but leave the batteries connected for a night, then disconnect each battery and individually load test each one.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,363 ✭✭✭✭✭
    9x 120A = 1080Ah bank.  Should have about 100A to properly charge and bubble it.  

    10A fuses for each battery seems light, and even with loads spread over 9 batteries, I'd think a 25A fuse would be a more suitable size if you are unable/unwilling to step up to a 24V system with lower current density.

    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 ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,020 admin
    If you have one or two (for example) parallel batteries failing, that puts a lot more current draw on other batteries...

    And, interestingly, it is the "good battery with low resistance" connection that will blow the fuse first.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,386 ✭✭✭✭
    If you are going to run 9 batteries in parallel, use a clamp on ammeter to check amp balance.   Use wire lengths to balance them.  Then 25A would be about right.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    Every few months I check the water levels and add where necessary.   It's gone years without blowing the fuses.  Took out a bad battery a month ago.  Started at 15 of them.  
    I load test them all the time and most only draw 1-3 amps each. Figured if it drew more than 10, it's going bad.  
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  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    Thinking of getting some deep cycle AGM batts.   How many would I need for a max load of 2.5kw and a 40 amp input from array ?
    8 AGMs ?
    Tired of PM ing the SLA's
    Nature's Design & Green Energy on FaceBook : Stop by and "Like" us anytime.. Many up-to-date articles about Renewables every day.
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  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,020 admin
    What voltage battery bank?

    AGMs can certainly output high currents, both sustained and surge current.

    But, the other sizing is how many Watt*Hours per day of usage, days of storage, and maximum discharge... Our standard works out to 2 days of storage and 50% maximum discharge. For flooded cell Lead Acid batteries, this also (usually) gives you a large enough battery bank to supply sustained and surge current.

    Even though, you can dump a lot of current into AGM and even (partially charged) lead acid batteries--It seems that as the batteries get full, if there is too much charging current, you can pull the battery out of regulation (i.e., reported 72+ volts on a 48 volt battery bank).

    A good maximum load and charging current for Flooded Cell is (roughly):
    • 400 AH @ 12 volts (per 1kWatt of load and solar array)
    • 200 AH @ 24 volts (per 1kW)
    • 100 AH @ 48 volts (per 1kW)
    Not a hard limit--But it seems to work well as a starting point for your system design.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Even though, you can dump a lot of current into AGM and even (partially charged) lead acid batteries--It seems that as the batteries get full, if there is too much charging current, you can pull the battery out of regulation (i.e., reported 72+ volts on a 48 volt battery bank).

    Question for Bill.
    Been a fly on the wall and reading this, could you please explain the above, re.if there is too much charging current,  you can pull the battery out of regulation  (i.e. reported 72+volts on a 48 volt  battery bank)
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    My vote would be for a 24 volt system. Nine parallel 12 volt batteries? The cables should be 4/0s in my opinion. More so with parallel than serial.

    Is connection corrosion a possible issue?
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,020 admin
    edited November 2016 #13
    People tend to look at solar charge controllers as having a "regulated" voltage output. And they do--But it has a "very slow" response time...

    A computer 5volt power supply will hold the voltage to 5v +/- 0.25 volts over all conditions (and if it is >5.25v many will "throw a crowbar" on the output (monitoring circuit will short circuit the output if output voltage is exceeded).

    Some (few, many, almost all?) MPPT type solar charge controllers appear to have a much longer response to battery voltage. And some will have periods of time where they do not regulate the output voltage at all--For example, during a MPPT sweep (trying to find Vmp and Imp for Pmp operating conditions)--The charge controller will dump the maximum energy from the array into the battery bank for a few seconds while it varies the Vmp and logging Imp (create a little log) to find V*I=P -- During this time, if the battery is near fully charged, the battery literately cannot absorb all of the charging current without having its input voltage "dragged" much higher than normal.

    We had one person here with a Schneider (Xantrex) XW installation with large array and (relatively small) AGM battery bank. And it was throwing an error message that the battery voltage was >72 volts (on a 48 volt battery bank) and shutting down.

    For flooded cell batteries--They can accept higher charging voltage and current by converting that into hydrogen and oxygen gasses (electrolysis). AGM batteries (at least Concorde/Lifeline batteries) seem to accept very little "excess current" when charged and having high input voltage--So while the can accept very high current when charging a less than full battery--Once full, they (appear) to have very little ability to "eat" excess energy from an MPPT charge controller and will accept very little current--On the order of 1-2 amps for one poster her. Here is a thread talking about corrective equalization behaviour for Concorde AGMs:

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/8457/sulfated-lifeline-concorde-agm-batteries

    So--If you have a "small" battery bank and a "large solar array"--The charge controller does not react fast enough to "accurately" regulate its own output voltage. (this can be seen with a car alternator--Don't Do This--If you have a running car and disconnect the car's battery, many alternators will over voltage the car's DC and fry the sensitive components (burn out lights, fry computers, etc.).

    The battery is what regulates the short term battery bus voltage. The "charge controller" is what regulates the "long term" battery voltage (i.e., holding 13.6 volts float, 14.7 volts absorb charging, etc.). A solar charge controller will not be able to (accurately) regulate its own output voltage without the battery there to "buffer" the charging current.

    There are a ton of different charge controllers out there--Outback (as far as I recall) was known (years ago) for unregulated voltage output during the few seconds MPPT scans (would take battery voltage >> absorb set point).

    I do not have any experience with MPPT charge controllers (of any brand)--So newer/different brands of charge controllers may behave differently (better or worse). The rules of thumbs, generally, keep us out of trouble. If there is a specific needs for very large array/very small battery bank--Further research (talking with manufacturers/experimenting, etc.) would be recommended.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2016 #14
    Oh, my bad,  12v battery bank.

    Usually draws between 200-800 watts consistent during daylight hours 4-16 hours depending on sun/clouds/night.

    How many AGM's  (Duration 27 DC) Farm & Fleet for instance caught my eye....Deep Cycle
    Nature's Design & Green Energy on FaceBook : Stop by and "Like" us anytime.. Many up-to-date articles about Renewables every day.
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  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    Thinking of getting some deep cycle AGM batts.   How many would I need for a max load of 2.5kw and a 40 amp input from array ?
    8 AGMs ?
    Tired of PM ing the SLA's
    I hear you on the flooded lead acids. What is SLA?

    I am going to move from FLA to AGM when another battery dies. Half of my clothes have been destroyed by battery acid...for one thing. Finally bought a battery apron. This board almost has a bona fide love affair with the lead acid lady. They can have her.

    Too bad AGMs usually costs so much!
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    SLA = starved lead acid =  AGM
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • AguarancherAguarancher Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭✭
    SLA = sealed lead acid
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,363 ✭✭✭✭✭
    me too:
    SLA  = Sealed Lead Acid Also called Maintenance Free, , with shorter plates and less capacity (but more fluid / plate ratio),  They hope the battery lasts long enough to reach the end of the warranty before it runs out of water.  Sometimes, you can pop the caps off and add water anyway.
    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 ,

  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    B.B.  
    Any idea what I need to get in AGM's  ?
    Nature's Design & Green Energy on FaceBook : Stop by and "Like" us anytime.. Many up-to-date articles about Renewables every day.
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  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    PM'd the bank today.  They are FLA's since I've got to check water levels every 3 months.  A few needed topping off, yet pass a load test afterwards.   All fuses intact after a week.  
    I still need to know what's the equivalent in AGM's      Now: 9 FLA's about 100ah each  900ah 12v in parallel.  AGM's needed ?
    Nature's Design & Green Energy on FaceBook : Stop by and "Like" us anytime.. Many up-to-date articles about Renewables every day.
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  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If they are good, you may have other problems. No reason to replace good batteries unless your loads are growing.

    There would be some reluctance to suggest an AGM solution. I and many here don't like multiple strings of batteries.  Some places sell larger AGM's but they tend to be very expensive and even with 3 strings it would be hard to reach 900ah. Have you considered going to a 24volt system?
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    Yes, and can't do it.  Just bought 1k worth of inverters.  
    Nature's Design & Green Energy on FaceBook : Stop by and "Like" us anytime.. Many up-to-date articles about Renewables every day.
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  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, and can't do it.  Just bought 1k worth of inverters.  

    Is that all?

    6 of these will be slightly more than 900ah at 12volts for @$2500
    https://www.solar-electric.com/concorde-sunxtender-pvx-3050t.html

    4of these will run @$2400for 810ah @12 volts
    https://www.solar-electric.com/concorde-sunxtender-pvx-4050ht.html

    These 2 year old "new old stock" AGM's would be 780ah possibly of batteries in 3 strings, I think Softdown bought 10 of them.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC260-12-Deep-Cycle-AGM-Battery-Group-8D-/262712391966?

    were in discussion here;
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/351298/is-this-battery-price-too-good-to-be-true/p1



    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 866 ✭✭✭✭
    Photowhit said:
    If they are good, you may have other problems. No reason to replace good batteries unless your loads are growing.

    There would be some reluctance to suggest an AGM solution. I and many here don't like multiple strings of batteries.  Some places sell larger AGM's but they tend to be very expensive and even with 3 strings it would be hard to reach 900ah. Have you considered going to a 24volt system?

    AGM's are a great solution for people who just don't do the maintenance, or for remote/unattended locations. They are not the answer for every application by a long shot. Note that I do not claim that AGM's are "better" or even equal except when their unique characteristics are needed.

    But just as importantly, all AGM's not created equally - so when someone reports good/bad results - find out what they are using. "My brand of TV broke in 6 months, so all TV's are crap."  I am very opinionated, but I know by my own experience that there are very few AGM's that will perform in the same league as a good flooded battery. So, select wisely.

    The common limitation in cell size for AGM's is 1,100 to 1,200 ah @ 2v.  
    So a 57 KWH battery bank is basic with a single string, but I am quite comfortable at 2,000 ah at 48v also with higher quality AGM's.

    For PV systems, 2v, 900 ah and 2v 1200 ah batteries are huge sellers for me. Cheap? No. Capable of providing a long service life? Yes.

    Building a 1000 ah to 2000 ah 12v battery bank really is not rare, BUT it requires very special considerations if you expect it to have a reasonable service life. Jump to 24v or 48v when it makes sense!





    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    Photowhit said:
    Yes, and can't do it.  Just bought 1k worth of inverters.  

    Is that all?

    6 of these will be slightly more than 900ah at 12volts for @$2500
    https://www.solar-electric.com/concorde-sunxtender-pvx-3050t.html

    4of these will run @$2400for 810ah @12 volts
    https://www.solar-electric.com/concorde-sunxtender-pvx-4050ht.html

    These 2 year old "new old stock" AGM's would be 780ah possibly of batteries in 3 strings, I think Softdown bought 10 of them.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC260-12-Deep-Cycle-AGM-Battery-Group-8D-/262712391966?

    were in discussion here;
    http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/351298/is-this-battery-price-too-good-to-be-true/p1



    That Ebay listing for the AGMs ended a couple weeks ago.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016 #26
    That Ebay listing for the AGMs ended a couple weeks ago.
    I know, just letting him know the expense and what people are willing to spend for even old batteries. He should still be able to call it up and view the original listing.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016 #27
    Photowhit said:
    That Ebay listing for the AGMs ended a couple weeks ago.
    I know, just letting him know the expense and what people are willing to spend for even old batteries. He should still be able to call it up and view the original listing.
    The miles are more important than the years *with properly cared for* batteries. My 8Ds are much maligned around here....yet I still use four made in 2011.

    I am ecstatic with that "old" battery purchase. They are all sitting over 12.8 volts in a 45F room. Was planning to sell for awhile....

    You do your best to keep me on my toes...
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 866 ✭✭✭✭
    I like the 8D performance/life cycle profile from Concorde and Fullriver because I know an awful lot about them. The 8D is right behind the L16 in terms of sheer performance, longevity, self discharge characteristics. There are some others that I do not hold in such high regard.

    Be aware that a nice high standing voltage can fool you. Do a basic capacity test to see how they hold up under a sustained load. That battery is designed to reliably deliver 25 amps for 578 minutes. If you have cycled them a few times, I will forecast a runtime of 480-500 minutes at 25 amps. Not bad for 1/3 of the normal price.

    If you like "aged out" batteries, PM me about (36) DC160-12 that I can get for an even better ratio of cost/KWH.

    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
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