Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti

KeithWHareKeithWHare Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭✭
Two years ago, I helped install a solar electric system at a clinic east of Port au Prince Haiti. (The clinic is supported by an Ohio-based non-profit called Healing Art Missions -- healingartmissions.org). For more details of this system, see the following thread: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?9127-Off-Grid-system-in-Haiti

The system has been working fairly well, but power requirements are increasing, so we are looking at expanding the system. Today, a colleague who is Haiti at the moment spent the day checking for availability and pricing of a variety of parts and reported to me that the following Kyocera PV panels are available at a place called Maximes in Petion Ville:
  • KC140w 24v @ $455.63
  • KC175w 24v 5.4A @ $546.80
  • KC235w 24v @ $646.25.

I'm trying to find specifications, so I can figure out the best way to integrate these with our existing twelve existing Kyocera KC130 panels (three strings of four panels). So far, I haven't found specifications that match these part numbers. The possibilities are that they were written down incorrectly at the store, that Paul transcribed them incorrectly, or that I just haven't looked in the correct place.

Any guesses as to what the real part numbers might be?

Keith
edit: tweaked the URL of the original stream.

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti

    I wrote a nice, detailed response which promptly disappeared when Xplornet jammed and everything had to be rebooted! :grr

    Shortened version:
    You can find a lot of panel specs here: http://www.solar-electric.com/hiposopa.html
    The Kyocera 140's (KD140SX, KD140GX) all have the same specs. They aren't "24 Volt" panels.
    The Kyocera 175's seem to be discontinued.
    The Kyocera 235's (KD235GX) are "24 Volt-ish" panels.

    The KD130's are Vmp compatible with the KD140's (17.7), and the Imp is very close as well.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti

    you might want to recap what you have and how it's all arranged. need to know how many of the pvs in what arrangement, ie series/parallel. what controllers you are using and the input/output voltages you went with. what batteries you have, what their capacity and voltage per battery is and their configuration series/parallel.

    after that tell us how much you plan to up the pv capacity to and what the extra draw is that prompted you to want more pv.
  • KeithWHareKeithWHare Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti

    The quick recap of the system is:

    12 Kyocera KC130 panels, three strings of four panels each, so nominally 48volts, 1560 watts into an Outback FM60.

    The battery bank is 12 Trojan T105 6 volt 225 AMP hour batteries, in three strings of four each, for a nominal 24 volt, 675 AMP hour battery.

    The inverter is a Magnum Energy MS4024 sine wave inverter. This was the inverter we were able to get in Port au Prince when we built the system, so we used a 24 volt battery bank, which is now a limiting factor. (The MS4024 is mounted on a Midnite Solar e-panel I took down in my checked luggage. The e-panel made it look like I knew what I was doing.)

    The increased loads are:
    1. There is power so it is being used
    2. There is now a 24/7 cholera clinic for which lights all night are useful
    3. We just drilled a well inside the clinic compound, and need to power a pump, probably a Grundfos 6SQF2 or 6SQF3. Current guess is we will use 500 gallons of water a day, but that will increase.
    4. We are looking at creating a surgery room, which means controlling air flow, which means an air conditioner, probably a 120 volt mini-split of some brand

    With the battery bank at 24 volts, the FM60 is pretty much at it's 60 amp limit, so I'm thinking of swapping it out for a Midnite Solar Classic 150, reconfiguring the pv panels into three strings of 6 panels each, and hoping that by the time we kill the battery bank, we can get bigger batteries.

    Keith
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti

    You are trying to grow your system and it sounds like you realize that you are outgrowing your system voltage also.

    Maybe you should stick with your FM60, reconfigure your batteries for 48 volts, and look for a 48 volt inverter. The FM60 can handle much more power with 48 volt batteries.

    As for reconfiguring the panels into strings of 6, that should work OK at standard temperatures. I don't know how cold it can get in Haiti, but 6 cold panels might get dangerously close to the 150 volt limit of the FM60. Strings of 5 panels would be a safer course.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti

    I'll add another option. Since your new power needs seem to be significantly higher than the existing system's ability and you're already looking at new panels, controller, batteries (mixing new with old is a bad idea), and inverter ...
    Maybe the solution here is to build an all-new secondary system to handle the bigger loads. That would add an element of redundancy just in case something goes wrong. Perhaps re-wire so the 24 Volt system handles just lights and low-power loads and have a 48 Volt system for A/C and other power-hungry things - with generator back-up.
    The Grundfos can be powered directly from solar, and that may also be an option you want to consider. Again, if something goes wrong with one system you have back-up power.
  • KeithWHareKeithWHare Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti

    vtmaps -- I don't have definitive weather history, but on the trips I've made in January and February, I've seen the temperature get down into the low 60s. Performance degradation because of high temperatures is a bigger issue than too much power at low temperature.

    Cariboocoot -- One of the things I like about the specs on the Grundfos SQF pumps is the ability to use either AC or DC directly from a PV panels. So,yes, dedicated panels just for the pump is an option. I've thought about having two separate systems, but the batteries take up a lot of space.

    The surgery room may provide a good excuse to swap out the inverter and turn the system into a 48 volt system, with new batteries.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti

    i think i favor cariboocoot's opinion and opt for another whole system to handle this new set of loads. this also affords some ability to have other items still operational in light of a failure on one of the systems. simply put, a failure won't take out everything.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti
    KeithWHare wrote: »
    I don't have definitive weather history, but on the trips I've made in January and February, I've seen the temperature get down into the low 60s. Performance degradation because of high temperatures is a bigger issue than too much power at low temperature.

    It has nothing to do with power... its all about voltage. Typically, destruction of the charge controller occurs early in the morning before there is any power production... the controller may even be in night time sleep mode.

    You need to know the record cold temperature at the site. Then you need to subtract a few degrees more because radiational cooling (on clear nights) may cool the panels below the air temperature. I think the Kyocera panels have a Voc of about 22 volts. A string of 6 would be 132 volts at standard warm conditions. I think that is too close to the 150 Vmax of your outback controller. You should be very conservative in designing this aspect of your system.

    By the way, the Midnite controllers have a feature they cal 'hyperVoc'. It means that when you exceed Vmax they stop working, but they are not destroyed until you reach Vmax + Vbattery.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti
    vtmaps wrote: »
    Then you need to subtract a few degrees more because radiational cooling (on clear nights) may cool the panels below the air temperature.

    That is not possible. What is commonly known as "wind chill" (and up here we know wind chill!) has no effect on inanimate objects: they can not be cooled below ambient because there is no thermal difference between the object and the air to allow any heat transfer.

    And if the physics of this has changed it's time for me to leave the planet.

    Otherwise this is the scenario: Voc will rise wit cold temps. At worst, a Voc of 22 will go up to 28.6, so a string of six panels would have a Voc of 171.6 which is higher than most charge controllers can handle. But that is Great White North conditions, not everywhere; most places will have a cold temp effect factor of only 1.1 to 1.2.

    The way controllers handle over-Voltage varies. Like vtMaps said, the MidNite Classic have hyper-Voc ability; able to take their rated maximum (150, 200, or 250) plus battery system Voltage. They do not continue to operate, but shut down unharmed until Voltage drops below acceptable levels. Other controllers do not have this and will either shut down (and need to be manually restarted) or fry, depending on the particular unit and Voltages involved.

    On the whole, this is probably not a problem in Haiti: http://www.climatetemp.info/haiti/
    (Average # of days with frost: zero)

    Now, in Baffin Bay Canada it's another story!
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti
    That is not possible. What is commonly known as "wind chill" (and up here we know wind chill!) has no effect on inanimate objects: they can not be cooled below ambient because there is no thermal difference between the object and the air to allow any heat transfer.

    That is certainly correct, but that is not what I was writing about. I was writing about radiational cooling. I am sure you have seen the effect: The air temperature got down to 34 ° F on a clear night and there was frost and ice on your car windshield, solar panels, and any other surface exposed to the clear sky.
    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Kyocera PV Panels in Haiti

    "Radiational cooling" refers to the ability of an object with heat to lose that heat to the surrounding environment and the speed at which this happens. Once again this is dependent on the difference in energy levels. Certainly moving air aids this as it exchanges the air that is saturated with heat picked up from the object with "fresh" lower-temperature air. Otherwise millions of VW beetles would have seized. :p

    Don't confused frost forming with temperature dropping below ambient. Water does not always freeze at 32F; it depends also on the exact make-up of the water, the relative humidity of the air, and the barometric pressure. A couple of degrees one way or the other won't make much difference. Very often the discrepancy lies in the actual temperature of the surface vs. the air; the air can warm up much faster than the greater mass of a windshield or panel.
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