So Glad I Found This Forum :)

ntwkdsnrntwkdsnr Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 4
Hi Folks,

Yes, I'm so glad that I found this forum.  I recently bought an off grid home in Southern California. It is 2400sq. ft. It was previously used as a weekend/vacation home.  Now we are living in it full time.  Our energy needs are not that great, however both of us work from home and consistent power is crucial.  I'm a pretty technical person and I kinda knew what I was getting into.

The original system is over 10 year old and I knew I would have to upgrade components.  Currently it's a 48v system with (2) 5500 W inverters. The batteries are old flooded lead acid 6v Trojan batteries. I'm hoping the batteries are not 10 years old also.  The solar array is only 2000W.

The first upgrade was getting rid of the acid batteries and going with LiFePO. I purchased (12) 12v 100Amp Hour batteries but have not cut over yet.

So, I may be hitting you folks up with questions in the near future. This type of configuration has been such a learning experience!

Thanks,
Ed

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ntwkdsnr said:
    The first upgrade was getting rid of the acid batteries and going with LiFePO. I purchased (12) 12v 100Amp Hour batteries but have not cut over yet.
    Please don't buy anything until you figure out your needs. It can be expensive lesson to replace things you just bought.

    Are you already living in the new place?
    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.
  • ntwkdsnrntwkdsnr Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 4
    Photowhit,

    Yes, been here full time now almost a month.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sounds like the inverters are old xantrex SW's? Not a great plan to parallel that many batteries. Guessing you have 3 strings of 4? Who makes the new batts please? The old 6volt batteries were what model? 

    Going offgrid successfully, can be one of the hardest things a person can do. Good Luck!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • ntwkdsnrntwkdsnr Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 4
    Dave,
    Yes the inverters are Xantrex SW series. The existing batteries are Trojan L16RE-B 6v models. there is a string of 8.  The new batteries are Battleborn BB10012.  The Trojan batteries may be more than 5 years old. It was hard to get an answer out of the original owner.  I wanted to use newer technology and add capacity.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As long as you can monitor state of charge, and the BMS will protect the batteries from too much charge current or discharge current, you should be ok.  You had a 400ah flooded and now 300ah. The 400ah really was only 200ah as LA should not go below 50%.

    The problem with the Xantrex SW in my opinion was that it was before the XW was made, which is a graphically based networked power system. I think you can get Soc from battelborn so that should help. Nice to see a picture of the system like below. The heat is on in CA.  Stay cool! At least only you can cause the power to go out.  Alot of other people in this state are not as lucky!  Good Luck


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

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Reading date codes on Trojan batteries;

    Negative Terminal- Shipping Date. This code indicates the month and year when the battery was shipped out of our factory. LETTER stands for the month, A to L (A=January, B=February, C=March, and so on); NUMBER is the last digit of the year.

    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.
  • ntwkdsnrntwkdsnr Registered Users, Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 4
    Thanks Photowhit,

    Great info. All of my batteries are stamped B3.   Feb, 2013 perhaps?
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,650 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ntwkdsnr said:
    Thanks Photowhit,

    Great info. All of my batteries are stamped B3.   Feb, 2013 perhaps?
    Likely, that would put them near or at the end of their life span for L-16 Trojans, though some have gone 10-12 years. 
    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.
  • SurfpathSurfpath Solar Expert Posts: 439 ✭✭✭
    Hi and welcome.
    I have the same battery, and with an average of 30% DOD (basically cycling them from 100% to 70%)  in warm conditions they lasted a little over 8 years. Several in this forum have had shorter life spans. So B3 means they may not have long to go. 
    I recently renewed my bank with basically the same model, it has a different name, something like SPRE…
    Outback Flexpower 1 (FM80, VFX3048E-230v, Mate, FlexNetDC) 2,730watts of "Grid-type" PV, 370 AmpHrs Trojan RE-B's, Honda 2000 watt genny, 100% off grid.
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