LED T8 tube replacement and power factor

fredkfredk Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
I have existing T8 fluorescent lighting in my off grid workshop... and am looking to replace it with LED... the existing ballasts are electronic and 
are power factor corrected and show in the high .9s when running... I tried some costco led replacement lamps (non-bypass type) in one of my fixtures and was surprised at how poor the power factor got... in the .7 range for that fixture... what kind of power factor am I looking at if I would go to bypass type LED tubes?  I have 14 ballasts to bypass so I want to make sure i am not wasting my money/time?
I know I could save energy in going to LED tubes... but I am offgrid and seem to have power to spare... and power factor is great with the old T8s

BTW I am new to this forum and want to say thanks to the posters...  I sure appreciate the wealth of info that can be gleaned here, very much appreciated... 
offgrid workshop-- XW6848 Pro, 3.4KW (10x340W Sunpower ) Schneider MPPT 60-150, 20KWH 58V leaf lithium
 

Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,074 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The power factor being lower will only have an effect on the inverters capacity as the generation source, not the current/wattage  taken from the batteries, as long as the inverter has a much higher capacity than the fixtures combined it may be better to leave as is.

    The rational behind the direct LED  replacements retaining the ballasts is to keep compliance with UL, or other depending on location, certification. Removing the ballast will void the certification because the wiring integral to the fixture would need to be changed, this would mean that the fixtures would need to be re certified. This may seem trivial to the average person but insurance investigators will look at it differently in the case of a claim if fire is involved. This statement is based on direct consultation with both UL and CSA when undergoing a large scale replacement program I was responsible for, take it for what it's worth.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,298 ✭✭✭✭
    Lower power factor will cause some reduction in inverter efficiency.    But not enough to offset the big gain you get from going to good LEDs.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yea.... just buy the whole fixture with LED's  from costco and not have to worry about it. Pretty cheap when on sale.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • fredkfredk Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    I hadn't considered that I would be affecting my insurance by  voiding the certification on my fixtures... good advice... we do live in the middle of the forest... 
    re the power factor... I am trying to setup a micro grid on the output side of my xwpro and I have 6 x 340 watt panels doing DC charging, which covers me most of the days... but we do get long periods of overcast here ( west coast of BC ) and I have 4 panels hooked up to a apsystems QS1 1200 watt microinverter ... that am planning on using to do ac coupled charging... in tests, I don't like the way the xwpro sounds when I bring the microinverter online... in really gets loud with a harsh buzz, the power factor on the inverter output drops to around .1 during the time the microninverter is starting up... as soon as it starts delivering power the power factor snaps back to 1.0... this is what is driving me to assess all my loads and look at doing some form of power factor management ... starting with trying to compensate the microinverter during startup and low light conditions...
    thanks for all your comments... think I will start waiting for a sale on light fixtures ...
    cheers  
    offgrid workshop-- XW6848 Pro, 3.4KW (10x340W Sunpower ) Schneider MPPT 60-150, 20KWH 58V leaf lithium
     
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The sound you hear is the charger, right this is normal for AC coupling as the frequency locks.
    Try limiting it's charge rate in AC settings from 60A to a lower value like 30A and the charger max percentage. 
     You do not need to bang it with 140 amps DC just because you can? Equipment/batteries last much longer if used in a more conservative approach, I think!

     It does take time to get this configured properly. Good Luck
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • fredkfredk Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    hmmm... what you say makes sense... but my AC settings only gives me control of AC1 (grid... not connected) and AC2 (gen not connected) am I missing something?  I am running 1.02b5
    offgrid workshop-- XW6848 Pro, 3.4KW (10x340W Sunpower ) Schneider MPPT 60-150, 20KWH 58V leaf lithium
     
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 5 #8
    I don't know Schneider stuff, but you should definitely be able to limit current (as you might have to, for example, if using a smaller generator to charge)
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • fredkfredk Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
    the xwpro definitely has limits on the grid and generator inputs... but they are not connected at all in my offgrid scenario...
    this inverter has the AC Coupling feature which allows it to couple to microinverters on the Load side of the inverter and use the power to charge the battery... the only charging limiter I'm aware of (and I could be missing something) is the configuration of the charger itself in the inverter... which I do have now limited... the microinverter i'm using is able to completely shutoff charging when the inverter raises the load frequency to 62hz... 
    I'm new to the xw series of inverters... I have been using the SW4048 for 2 years offgrid and it has been rock solid... but not nearly as many bells and whistles to configure... definitely a learning curve for me....
    cheers

    offgrid workshop-- XW6848 Pro, 3.4KW (10x340W Sunpower ) Schneider MPPT 60-150, 20KWH 58V leaf lithium
     
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭✭
    With a power factor of .9 I'd look at these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DMRZTDC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

    6500K is a nice accurate light spectrum. 
    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
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think limiting charge current would do it.  On my Outbacks, I reduce that setting when charging with a small genny.

    In my case, I reduce the AC2 input as well, just in case someone runs a big load when the little genny runs, but that wouldn't apply in your case.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 6 #12
    LED is definitely more efficient than fluorescent but very few people realize that fluorescent bulbs grow weaker over time. They might be at 25% light output prior to complete failure. The ends almost always/always darken prior to failure. 
    The issue I have with normally configured LED bulbs is they are not readily available in small output. So I still use  9-13 watt compact fluorescent's at times - when all I seek is enough light to make something look "occupied". 
    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
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 6 #13
    FWIW, I used these 1w 12vdc leds as nightlights in the hallway and bathroom.  With the shield, it lights up the lower wall and floor surprisingly well.

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/Hardware/page.aspx?p=72190&cat=3,43349,72177

    In the workshop, I'm considering 12v led strip lighting to supplement/replace strip fluorescent.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    FWIW, I used these 1w 12vdc leds as nightlights in the hallway and bathroom.  With the shield, it lights up the lower wall and floor surprisingly well.

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/Hardware/page.aspx?p=72190&cat=3,43349,72177

    In the workshop, I'm considering 12v led strip lighting to supplement/replace strip fluorescent.
    One way to get it done. Some feel that very dark conditions augment a proper nights sleep. I'm feeling somewhat satisfied with motion detector lights powered by 4 D cell batteries. They actually lasts quite a while and the light is pretty strong. I do it to discourage certain "night life" and to help my dogs navigate to investigate said night life. Me? A flash light works when needed.

    The problem I have investigating all "bumps in the night" is problems falling asleep after walking around with a "means for defense". One time a neighbors wolf dog (reputed to be "90% wolf"? was chewing on the alpaca's. Wolves are adept fence climbers. Crime and vandalism  seemed to peak after the $40 reimbursement for vet medicine. Fortunately the county booted the breeder who, no doubt, was pretty illegal. Those things looked to be 100% wolf. 

    Next time around? Maybe  - no neighbors at all? Problems there as well. 
    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
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    We have actual wolves around here.  Haven't heard them lately, but in past years I've seen them within a few feet of the cabin.  Bears also.  Something ate my lettuce crop on the deck this year, but I think it was a groundhog.

    I put red colour inserts over the nightlights, which helps preserve darkness where it's wanted, and also preserves night vision.  Nearest human neighbour is >1mi away by boat, so anything that goes bump in the night outside here isn't likely human  :#
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭✭
    "Something ate my lettuce crop on the deck this year, but I think it was a groundhog." That somehow sounds more humorous than ominous. 
    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
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yup.  As long as it was the groundhog I saw munching other leafy stuff in the general vicinity of the crime scene.  I blocked the path a month or two ago with a hunk of plywood held up with a plant pot.  The lettuce is regrowing, lending support to the groundhog as culprit theory.

    Mind you, I've also seen a  bear on the same deck in years past.  Berries are scarce this year, and a 62 yr old woman was killed by a bear when she went outside to check on her dogs not far from here in the last couple weeks.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 7 #18
    62 sounds so old. Yet I'll be 61 this month.  :smile:
    Jeepers

    Grizzly bear - I'd almost bet. 
    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
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,405 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    62 sounds so old. Yet I'll be 61 this month.  :smile:
    Jeepers

    Sept 12 I'll be 61. Lots of September birthdays. We're a product of cold winters and boozy holidays.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 250 ✭✭✭
    These are the  T8 18" tubes I am using. They have gone up in $$ since I bought them 3 years ago  (tariffs? ). They rotate 90* which is very helpful. These also interfere with the frequency of WMUM, actual turns off the channel. Very good and very bright lights, not suitable to me to use on a sloped ceiling, as the LED light is too directly focused. I never gave any thought to an issue of removing the ballast. My whole house still has the double T8 fixtures from Skylab, good benefit from NASA.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JINP28E/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭✭
    $16/bulb mail order for four 18" bulbs = ouch in my book.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 7 #22
    I just installed 12vdc led strip lighting under a kitchen upper ~3' long. The strip itself ran ~$CAD7-8/ft, mounting base and diffuser adds ~$4-5.  Nice, but yeah, pretty spendy compared to fluorescent.

    Hopefully it will outlive me though.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 250 ✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    $16/bulb mail order for four 18" bulbs = ouch in my book.
    Did you look beyond Amazon/ They are convenient but not always the cheapest, and they count on you doing a quick click, of which I am guilty of also?
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,414 ✭✭✭✭
    solorone said:
    softdown said:
    $16/bulb mail order for four 18" bulbs = ouch in my book.
    Did you look beyond Amazon/ They are convenient but not always the cheapest, and they count on you doing a quick click, of which I am guilty of also?
    Ebay is often cheaper. I used to believe that Amazon was much safer but there are plenty of sketchy sellers there as well. Still safer though. I just paid more on Amazon because I feared the cheaper Ebay alarm might have an older NiMh battery. 

    Costco/Sams are usually cheaper than Amazon in my experience. Amazon.is.just.so.damned.convenient. 
    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
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