IN THE DARK

4District94District9 Registered Users Posts: 3
Hello, I'm a new owner of an off the grid home. However, I dont have experience with solar systems. I do have electrical experience but in the aviation community. Basically the same with different colors,ya.
  
I have several issues but first I would like to address getting a reliable battery charger set up correct via Generator.
The previous owner ran 120v from the generator(25kva) to a power receptacle in order to use a 48v battery charger. I dont know enough yet but I would think if you own an inverter with charger(Magnum MS-4448-PAE built in you would run the power to this circuit instead of using a separate charger.
Which is better, separate charger or inverter/charger?
I need to know where the wires go.
I have the 120v from the generator.
Now I just need to know where to put them.

Thank you in advance 
Cheers!
James

Comments

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think you need a 240vac genset to get the full charging power out of this Magnum. I am not a magnum user and this may be why the previous owner used a separate 48v charger.

    I think you need to buy a 120/240 vac  Genset to get both legs of 120vac to get the full 60adc out of the magnum.

    As for which is better, it is often faster to get the batteries charged and run loads with a separate charger as the loads will not reduce charging current. The genset has to be able to handle both also.

    Cheers to you ! Naval aviation here from 2 generations. 





    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • MichaelKMichaelK Registered Users Posts: 193 ✭✭✭
    There are several different inverters that can accept power directly from the generator to charge the batteries, Magnum, Outback, and Schneider are examples.  I have a Schneider, that has a dedicated AC2in circuit just for the generator, and that's what I prefer for battery charging.  If you have the Magnum, then look through this manual that's attached.  All the companies include installation/operation manuals.  You just have to download them. 
    Keep in mind though, that a lot of the raw wiring doesn't go straight into the inverter.  There is usually a power center like this one, designed to go with the inverter to handle all the diverse DC/AC wiring and associated breakers.

    System 1) 15 Renogy 300w + 4 250W Astronergy panels,  Midnight 200 CC, 8 Trojan L16 bat., Schneider XW6848 NA inverter, AC-Delco 6000w gen.
    System 2) 8 YingLi 250W panels, Midnight 200CC, three 8V Rolls batteries, Schneider Conext 4024 inverter (workshop)
  • 4District94District9 Registered Users Posts: 3
    Thank you both for the input and manuals.

    Here is what I have for a gen and the stats. Seem mighty large to me and without some handy work I dont think it would fit the "Auto Start" bill.
    Gen Type:  Multiquip 25000 Watt, 3 phase (3 lines of 120 each) 2 lines to house (240V) and 1 lines to batteries. Isuzu diesel 
  • 4District94District9 Registered Users Posts: 3
    The magnum inverter is naked. I do not have separate breakout Boxes.
    It looks exactly like the pic.
    I wasn't able to find the installation manual that shows where you hook up the 120v for charging from the generator. I assume its wired in on the side of the inverter where AC1 in/out & AC2 in/out are located. Once wired with power for the generator what and where are the settings that start the charger.
    Mine looks to have wire located in AC1 & AC2 so now I'm confused unless there is another place to wire the power other than the side AC panel. 

    I live in AZ so cold weather has never been a thought. All the systems for the house have worked all year or right up till now. We currently have snow on the ground and I have no battery charger or way to charge my Batts being the clouds are out and the panels were covered with snow.. Im glad I just bought gas for the Gen but I'm not a fan of running it all day and it not being directlywired to the inverter charger.

    Thanks again for the help.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Go clear the snow off the solar panels. A good first step. 

     Most people and all inspectors would want to see a power distribution panel to wire this safely to the inverter. Magnum sells one just for this!

    People who know about the deserts also know it can get very cold. Get some firewood!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • MichaelKMichaelK Registered Users Posts: 193 ✭✭✭

    I wasn't able to find the installation manual that shows where you hook up the 120v for charging from the generator. I assume its wired in on the side of the inverter where AC1 in/out & AC2 in/out are located. Once wired with power for the generator what and where are the settings that start the charger.

    Everything you need to know is on pages 19-21 of the manual I attached in post #3

    System 1) 15 Renogy 300w + 4 250W Astronergy panels,  Midnight 200 CC, 8 Trojan L16 bat., Schneider XW6848 NA inverter, AC-Delco 6000w gen.
    System 2) 8 YingLi 250W panels, Midnight 200CC, three 8V Rolls batteries, Schneider Conext 4024 inverter (workshop)
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 581 ✭✭✭✭
    This is a every day Occurrence , every morning before coffee I clear my panels. 
     I have a 35’ painters pole with a Foam squeegee. 
      Most of the snow blows off the roof , I get 1 or 2 inches ever night .
      If I get feet of snow I just clean the 6 panels on the right .
      I have a old magnum inverter charger in my sail boat , my ac1 go’s the shore power plug 
     ac2 would be for Genarator  
       I hooked the Genarator to my shore power plug so it would be the AC 1 
      I had dip switch’s on the inside of the inverter for settings by battery type , mine was for Gel cell battery’s .
      I have a breaker on the genarator and the inverter has a breaker of fuse I don’t remember . 
       But a breaker box is a good idea .this was set up in the 90s . 
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭✭✭
    More than a good idea to have a power distribution panel. It would be required in a code compliant power system. Also a PDP can be required in selling a home, even offgrid.

    Nice set-up for clearing. Really nice natural wood on the house! I wish I was like you, I can't do anything before coffee  ;)  All it takes is skipping this one day and it all goes to ice! I use a plastic rake but I can reach most of it!   cheers ! 



    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭
    If you had the space I'd say put the panels on the ground. Certainly easier to clear them off. While I know that people have had good results with trackers, they are mechanically the worst way to support panels (one pole in the center). A better way (ya, I know nobody does this) would be to have an alt-azimuth setup where the panels can rotate east to west on the ground plane and up and down on the vertical plane. Far better resistance to wind loads. All of your large telescopes use this arrangement.
    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Outback Flexmax 80 MPPT charge controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 28th year.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Definitely alot of maintenance, two squirts of grease every 6 months. The new HZLA I use does not even need grease.
    Pole mounted solar has been the mainstay offgrid my entire 29 years in the business. Not really sure what you are talking about Jim.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭
    Just that mechanically the cantilevered center support has to be REALLY strong to resist wind loads compared to something supported from both ends. Not saying that your setup can't work, but the alt azimuth arrangement would be lighter and stronger. That's all.
    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Outback Flexmax 80 MPPT charge controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 28th year.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I disagree the models I use from Wattsun are time tested. Mine and customers have been tracking close to 20 years. Strong is an understatement of this design. Hurricane tested and built to last full time offgrid! We do stay for the winter😉
    Show me a picture of your idea? Any design can be made to be strong with proper engineering. It does not not need to track or move either.  Pole mounts are the basis of virtual tracking also. I do that alot in places where it is prudent!

    They are not saying good things about telescopes in Arecibo these days. Talk about engineering failures.

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭


    When I looked for alt azimuth telescope mountings all I could find were images of actual telescope mounts....

    And ironically the video link above.

    My point is simply that from a mechanical standpoint holding a big flat panel (solar panels, sheet of plywood or other object) by it's center requires a lot more force than if you were to support it by its ends, not that the tracker won't or can't work.

    The school I work at has a relatively large tracker that was donated by some company or other. It failed shortly after installation. As for Arecibo, that antenna didn't move at all (until it collapsed).
    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Outback Flexmax 80 MPPT charge controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 28th year.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have better things to do than rehash this, you can't find it because it is not done ;)   We could start a different thread right? 

    For the OP here living in Arizona (that often requires long hours of sun to power cooling or pumping loads) there is nothing better than tracking or virtual tracking of the sun. The method below is how most all commercial solar that tracks is implemented. This is very small scale 5kw per array.  It is not about the harvest or total power but much more about long hours of sun with meaningful output for offgrid.
    Even for the grid-tie tracking is no long worth it  (panel costs) unless you have to back-up the loads with battery power.




    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mountainmanmountainman Registered Users Posts: 439 ✭✭
    Off topic but this single wood post 6x8
    6ft deep in cement.
     Survived 137 mph winds from hurricane florence in 2018.

    2kw array 6 345 q cells  make sky blue 60 cc
     6 230ah GC @36 volts 
    18 amp accusense charger. 3650 champion 
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