MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions

AlanRTAlanRT Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
Hi All,

One of our customers has a small solar system with three 167 watt panels, an MX60, and 8 2200 FLA 215 AH batteries in a 24 volt configuration with a Trace DR inverter. The customer has an old 24 volt AIR-X wind turbine she would like us to add to the system. My understanding is that the AIR-X contains it's own internal regulator / tracker / load controller.

Assuming we connect the AIR-X directly to the batteries (as indicated in the AIR-X manual), how will this affect the MX-60? Do we need to change any of the settings in the MX-60 to compensate / accommodate this addition on the MX-60's load side? I'm worried the AIR-X will trick the MX-60 into misreading the battery state.

Also, we wouldn't want the MX-60's output fooling the AIR-X and causing it to clamp off or shut down. AIR-X says that it needs an accurate battery sense in order to operate correctly. Its output is adjustable from 27.2 to 34 volts.

The AIR-X manual shows a diagram of an optional load diversion configuration. How important is this?

This will be our first wind generator install and our first hybrid system. Any input would be very welcome, and I'm hoping this topic might help others in the future.

I also asked this question over at the Outback Forum.
_________________
Alan Thompson
Todos Santos Technologies
Water - Solar - Satellite
Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

530 903 4257
http://www.todossantostechnologies.com

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions

    1) Thanks for the link to the manual for your unit, that simplifies trying to locate one.

    2) Just how windy is the proposed install location, barely or very windy ??

    3) If not a really windy location, I think the internal regulator will be fine, but I'm not an expert, and do not own a wind genny. I belive AirX sells a shutdown switch, to stop the blades in storm conditions, I would install that.
    I believe that setting the AirX internal regulator to the float voltage, will allow the MX60 to still charge.

    IF there is extended wind, it may tend to gas batteries a bit, (these are flooded cells ? ) and you just need to add more distilled water, and set the charge voltage back down a bit.
    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 ,

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions

    from memory, the Air-X units make around 20-30 real watts most of the time ... so just connect it to the battery bank.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions

    The owner's manual (link above) manual says the AIR-X unit is capable of between 400 W and 550 W output... that's up to ~22 A for a "24 V" system... Combined with a hot 500 W array, total daytime bulk charging current should in the 30 A to 35 A range, or 7% to 8% of the 430 Ah battery bank capacity... not bad... WADR, I don't like the "connect it directly to the batteries" idea -- especially if the batteries are ~full and the loads are light.

    I posted a bit more analysis over on the OutBack forum. But, wind ain't my thing... :roll:

    Good luck!
    Jim / crewzer
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions

    Air-X doesn't put out anything close to 400-500 watts ...

    http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy03osti/34756.pdf

    Page #16 says it all ... Manufacture claims 550 watts peak, Nrel measured is just over 160 watts peak ... and unless is a gail or higher less than 50 watts

    I stand by the just connect to the battery
  • AlanRTAlanRT Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions
    WADR, I don't like the "connect it directly to the batteries" idea -- especially if the batteries are ~full and the loads are light.
    That's probably where the load dump option shown in the diagram comes in handy.
    Maybe the MX-60 could be used to trigger a relay to simply connect a diversion load? At what point would you start dumping?

    It feels a little weird to me to accommodate the notion of "throwing away" electricity in a small off-grid system, but I suppose if we could use the additional power to heat water it would not be so bad.

    This could get complicated with the two energy source set points possibly affecting each other, plus the need to set a value to start dumping. Some first assumptions...

    Air-X
    - 28.2 volts (factory default, adjustable from 27.2 to 34) When battery voltage rises above the set point, the turbine shuts down until the battery voltage falls to 25.5 volts.

    MX-60
    - Bulk Volts: 31 (recommended by US Battery)
    - Float: 26 (recommended by US Battery)
    - Dump: 28.2 ???

    Trace DR Inverter Charger (customer has a backup generator)
    - Bulk 30.8 ?

    Any other settings to optimize the MX?

    What could happen during the MX's EQ cycle?

    Note to Self: The turbine may be running at night or during a storm when the MX is snoozing...
  • AlanRTAlanRT Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions
    I stand by the just connect to the battery
    I like the idea of just connecting to the batteries and will go that route if it doesn't foul up the MX-60. If solar panels were that simple...

    Otherwise, I have a small Xantrex or Tri-star CC I could throw in there if needed, but it doesn't look like AIR-X recommends that.
  • AlanRTAlanRT Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions

    Mike90045, it doesn't look like from the range of the AIR-X regulator I can get down to the float voltage.
    2) Just how windy is the proposed install location, barely or very windy ??
    Not real windy all the time but they set up on a hill about two miles from the ocean so the location is more or less ideal for here in southern Baja. Wind speeds average 11 to 14 Mph in So. Baja
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions

    Sorry Creezer Ive had one ot these Air X power output is a joke unless in a gail and sold it on. The chances of a brilliant sunny day and gail force winds at the same time dont occur very often and if they did it wouldnt take long b4 the batteries were fully charged and both the airx and mx would regulate accordingly. SG is right just hook up to battery and let it trickle charge the best it can. It makes a better noise generator than a power plant.
  • AlanRTAlanRT Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions

    Even 150 watts seems like a pretty good deal considering the the turbine could be cranking that out on some days around the clock, at night, and especially during stormy weather when the PV array is disabled.

    I'm thinking this could be a pretty cost-effective addition to a lot of systems around here...
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions

    As I indicated, I'm not a wind guy... I'm just going by the specs. I agree that the cited report isn't encouraging, but report text (and the related figure) like this sure would concern me:

    "Figure 4 depicts a scatter plot of 10-minute average, and the 1-sec maximum and 1-sec minimum in each 10-minute data point vs. the 10-minute average wind speed at the air density of the test site. Note that the maximum 1-sec (instantaneous) power output of this turbine is close to 750 W while the maximum 10-minute average power output is only 240 W. Please note that these instantaneous power readings should not be used to predict energy production."

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions
    AlanRT wrote: »
    Mike90045, it doesn't look like from the range of the AIR-X regulator I can get down to the float voltage.

    Sorry, then set it for bulk, and forget it till a big storm is forecast, then you may want to switch it off with the manual switch, keep it from over-speed. (though it is supposed to be protected from that) If your batteries get low, switch it back on in a storm, but don't expect 300W out of it. We've flown several at Burning Man, and when it's windy, they crank for a while, but the wind never stays high enough to do much with them. Your battery bank is SO BIG, and the AirX is small in comparison. (Alternative Energy Zone camp, Black Rock City, NV. USA) http://www.ae-zone.org/
    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 ,

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: MX60 Solar Electric / AIR-X Hybrid System Configuration Questions

    i always though solar and wind go well together. as to the air x i knew somebody that had one in ohio and he said he usually got around 3-4amps from his. i don't remember how high his was mounted as per height above surrounding terrain. he also reported to me that when it exceeds its limits on wind speed, even if a brief gust, that it would cut out for awhile and then reset. this means that during constant winds it will be fine if not exceeding the 28 or 30mph limit(forget exactly what it is). so it could have 14mph steady winds and 32mph gusts every 5 minutes and you'll reap nadda.
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