Trying to make the most of what I have!

EtebariEtebari Registered Users Posts: 8
I am looking for suggestions on what I can do to improve my current system. From what I can tell, I might need another charge controller to help with battery charging.
Xantrex XW-MPPT60-150
6 Phono PV Panels PS230P-20/U, currently wired 2 three panel strings, easy to change.
Xantrex Freedom 458 2500
6 Trojan L-16RE-2V batteries in series (12 Volt system) 1110 Ahrs
Total watt hours/day=2569
5.46 peak sun hours/day, from PVWatts tool
Honda 6500 eu generator

Any helpful criticism appreciated. I'm still learning.

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,153 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trying to make the most of what I have!

    Welcome, can you be a bit more specific as to what you want to add? # panels make, model?
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • EtebariEtebari Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Trying to make the most of what I have!

    From what I can tell, the inverter is maxed out at 60A and the batteries appear to be being charged at about 5%. After reading some other articles on this site, I am wondering if these tall batteries are being charged enough. I don't think I can squeeze any more amperage out of the charger if I understand correctly how things work.
  • SolaRevolutionSolaRevolution Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trying to make the most of what I have!
    Etebari wrote: »
    I am looking for suggestions on what I can do to improve my current system. From what I can tell, I might need another charge controller to help with battery charging.
    Xantrex XW-MPPT60-150
    6 Phono PV Panels PS230P-20/U, currently wired 2 three panel strings, easy to change.
    Xantrex Freedom 458 2500
    6 Trojan L-16RE-2V batteries in series (12 Volt system) 1110 Ahrs
    Total watt hours/day=2569
    5.46 peak sun hours/day, from PVWatts tool
    Honda 6500 eu generator

    Any helpful criticism appreciated. I'm still learning.


    It looks like a nicely sized system. (definately get another 60 amp MPPT CC)
    Your charging capabilities are in the 10% range. Your batteries will like that.
    Assuming "Total watt hours/day=2569" is talking about your daily loads, your array should be able to meet your needs even in weather that is not ideal.

    If your loads are all low Wattage your generator is a little on the large side for optimal fuel efficiency. The best efficiency of fuel is usually when the generator is 50-80% loaded. You may want to plan out how to coordinate your generator run time (if required) with your heavy loads. (ie, pump water, do laundry, run a space heater...)
  • SolaRevolutionSolaRevolution Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trying to make the most of what I have!
    Etebari wrote: »
    From what I can tell, the inverter is maxed out at 60A and the batteries appear to be being charged at about 5%. After reading some other articles on this site, I am wondering if these tall batteries are being charged enough. I don't think I can squeeze any more amperage out of the charger if I understand correctly how things work.

    The spec sheet says the Xantrex Freedom 458 2500 has a 130 Amp charger. (11.7% of battery rating)
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Trying to make the most of what I have!
    From what I can tell, the inverter is maxed out at 60A and the batteries appear to be being charged at about 5%.
    I think he is talking about the charge controller and not the inverter. He would need to run the generator every few days to get a good bulk charge on these batteries with the limit of 60A on his charge controller. The array could peak out around 100 amps ant 13.8 volts so splitting the array into two single strings into another 60 amp charge controller would maximize his array charging needing the generator less to keep the bank topped off.
  • EtebariEtebari Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Trying to make the most of what I have!

    Thanks for the comments. Yes the Xantrex Freedom 458 2500 Inverter is perfect for charging with the 130 amp charger. Splitting the PV Panels into two separate charge controllers does appear to me to be a good solution to get a 11% charge rate. The system handles MW and vacuum well, but hates toasters. Thats when I need the generator. The Honda does have the idle on it and will run about 14 hours without heavy loads. I run it while remodeling the cabin. Running saws, etc. This is a great Forum to learn and interact.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trying to make the most of what I have!

    Hi Etebari,

    Several things,

    You mentioned the concern enough charge for tall batteries. The main concern regarding tall batteries (like 6V L-16s) is Stratification. Mixing is the thing that overcomes stratification. Mixing occurs at the later part of Absorbtion, and during EQ. Charge RATE is not really a factor compared to the two items above.

    Opinions differ regarding what is the ideal maximum charge rate for a given battery. If one can get into Float almost every day, and has the capability to deliver high rate charge (C/10) on occasion, from a generator for example, then things should be good IMHO.

    Speaking of opinions, I believe that the 2V L-16s like you have could be considered less tall than 6 V versions, as each cell has a 3+ times larger footprint -- many more parallel paths up through the plates for the electrolyte to circulate. Opinions may well differ on this, too.

    But MORE PV is always good, and fun, too. Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • SolaRevolutionSolaRevolution Solar Expert Posts: 407 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trying to make the most of what I have!
    Vic wrote: »
    Speaking of opinions, I believe that the 2V L-16s like you have could be considered less tall than 6 V versions, as each cell has a 3+ times larger footprint -- many more parallel paths up through the plates for the electrolyte to circulate. Opinions may well differ on this, too.

    I was thinking about that too. Are the 2 volt L16s really one large 2 volt cell or are they 3 seperate parallel cells.
    The Rolls/Surette S-1380 2v battery has one filler hole so it seems they would be one cell.
    The Trojan L16RE-2V has 3 filler holes. (At least they do in every pic I can find. - even the spec sheet) Does this indicate 3 seperate cells? Do you only fill one? How many auto filler ports or recombiner caps do you use? What about taking SG readings?

    I'm not so sure if they have the advantages of larger cells. (Different than the advantage of higher AH ratings?)

    Alex
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,636 admin
    Re: Trying to make the most of what I have!

    Dave Sparks a year or so ago had one of his famous "in theory vs in fact" questions... And he said that the Trojan's were, in fact, three separate 2 volt cells in parallel (separate filler/electrolyte chambers).

    About the only advantage with the Trojans is that you don't have to wire up/maintain the parallel wiring connections... But you still have 3x cells to water over a "true" 2 volt cell.

    -Bill "in my humble opinion" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Trying to make the most of what I have!

    The only 2V L-16s I've seen have a single filler, but I did not look inside, and am sure that it would be almost impossible to SEE if the 2 volters were divided, however, it would seem prudent to make the case without dividers, as one could get a bit more lead inside the case without them, and as noted one would want the plates of one battery to share the same electrolyte. If the dividers were left in the case, seems that they would need to be modified, so that they were shorter than normal to allow some circulation. If the cells were separate, with dividers, then they would be three cells in parallel, a no-no to me.
    ... and so on.
    All conjecture on my part. Guess one should ask the manufacturers of these type L-16s to see. Vic

    EDIT: Sorry Bill just read your post. Just seems to me that no manufacturer would make the 2 V batts with dividers, and separate cells. I had thought that the three vent wells were a quick way to get the batt to market without investing in changing the mold, or building a new one, but was just a guess. VB
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
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