# How does power pass through when batteries are at 100%?

Registered Users Posts: 2
edited April 2017 #1
Hi all,

In a DC-coupled system, say batteries are at 100%. PV continues to produce more than the loads are consuming. How does that power go from the PV to the loads? Is it somehow passed through directly from the PV through the controller to the inverter -- and in the process skipping the batteries? Or does the inverter draw from the batteries while the controller keeps charging them -- in effecting doing micro cycles of discharge/recharge back to 100%?

Thanks.

--Valentin

Lead Acid batteries will take a bit of current (typically somewhere around 0.01% to 1.0% of the battery capacity rating) in current if you are floating them.

When you have daytime loads, the charge controller holds them at ~13.6 volts or so (12 volt float value). And the inverter draws a 120 Hz sine squared waveform (basically, the inverter draws current for each + and - cycle of your 60 Hz AC power) from the battery bank.

If the controller holds the voltage at 13.6 to 13.8 volts (float), the battery acts like a giant electrolytic capacitor. It does not really micro cycle because the voltage cycles around 13.6 to >12.7 volts.

If the charge controller was set to (for example) 12.7 volts float, then the battery would micro cycle down to 12.4 and and back to 12.7 volts (micro cycling--numbers are sort of made up--I have not put a volt meter on a large DC battery bank while running heavy AC loads)...

Most AC inverters do not have very much power/energy storage on the front end (big capacitors are expensive)--They use the battery bank to supply all "meaningful" current (including the 120 Hz pulses).

Anyway, that is the expectations.

-Bill
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
• Registered Users Posts: 2
BB. said:
Lead Acid batteries will take a bit of current (typically somewhere around 0.01% to 1.0% of the battery capacity rating) in current if you are floating them.

When you have daytime loads, the charge controller holds them at ~13.6 volts or so (12 volt float value). And the inverter draws a 120 Hz sine squared waveform (basically, the inverter draws current for each + and - cycle of your 60 Hz AC power) from the battery bank.

If the controller holds the voltage at 13.6 to 13.8 volts (float), the battery acts like a giant electrolytic capacitor. It does not really micro cycle because the voltage cycles around 13.6 to >12.7 volts.

If the charge controller was set to (for example) 12.7 volts float, then the battery would micro cycle down to 12.4 and and back to 12.7 volts (micro cycling--numbers are sort of made up--I have not put a volt meter on a large DC battery bank while running heavy AC loads)...

Most AC inverters do not have very much power/energy storage on the front end (big capacitors are expensive)--They use the battery bank to supply all "meaningful" current (including the 120 Hz pulses).

Anyway, that is the expectations.

-Bill
Thanks, Bill. Does it work (broadly) like that for AGM batteries?