using outback power 2524T inverter

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castilloj
castilloj Solar Expert Posts: 208
Hello guys, at one of our campus . We Have 3 outback inverters hooked up for 3 phase. But our batteries have gone Kaput. We would like to separate the inverters and use them at different locations instead of a central location. We have a birthing center that when we need to we run a generator for a breathing machine and some lights. I would like to use one 2524t inverter with 4 trojan gel 6v batteries. Is it possible to wire up this inverter With a plug for AC in and an outlet for AC out?
Thanks

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  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: using outback power 2524T inverter
    castilloj wrote: »
    Hello guys, at one of our campus . We Have 3 outback inverters hooked up for 3 phase. But our batteries have gone Kaput. We would like to separate the inverters and use them at different locations instead of a central location. We have a birthing center that when we need to we run a generator for a breathing machine and some lights. I would like to use one 2524t inverter with 4 trojan gel 6v batteries. Is it possible to wire up this inverter With a plug for AC in and an outlet for AC out?
    Thanks

    Yes. It is not difficult to substitute a cord and plug for hard-wire input or to put a single outlet on the AC OUT. Some will say circuit protection is an issue, but most generators have breakers on their output and the inverter will fault before a breaker will trip so it really doesn't matter.

    I don't like the gel battery idea much though. AGM's would be better.
  • castilloj
    castilloj Solar Expert Posts: 208
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    Re: using outback power 2524T inverter

    Are the agm batteries more money?
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: using outback power 2524T inverter
    castilloj wrote: »
    Are the agm batteries more money?

    Not necessarily more than gels, and more suited to RE applications. They are more expensive than FLA's, but with shipping maybe not (AGM's being sealed aren't considered dangerous to ship unlike flooded cells).

    Look in to what you can get and the cost per Watt hour (that's Amp hour * Volts as you can have two 6's or one 12 et cetera).
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,501 admin
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    Re: using outback power 2524T inverter

    GEL batteries have one major issue for solar (and some other applications)--They only accept (typically) C/20 rate of charge--That is a 5% rate of charge and very slow to recover a battery bank. You only have sun ~5-8 hours a day, and don't want to run the genset for 10-20 hours to recharge a depleted battery bank. Too high of rate of charge runs the risk of generating gas bubbles in the GEL--Which are permanent and reduce battery capacity.

    Deep Cycle Battery FAQ
    Gelled electrolyte

    Gelled batteries, or "Gel Cells" contain acid that has been "gelled" by the addition of Silica Gel, turning the acid into a solid mass that looks like gooey Jell-O. The advantage of these batteries is that it is impossible to spill acid even if they are broken. However, there are several disadvantages. One is that they must be charged at a slower rate (C/20) to prevent excess gas from damaging the cells. They cannot be fast charged on a conventional automotive charger or they may be permanently damaged. This is not usually a problem with solar electric systems, but if an auxiliary generator or inverter bulk charger is used, current must be limited to the manufacturers specifications. Most better inverters commonly used in solar electric systems can be set to limit charging current to the batteries.
    Some other disadvantages of gel cells is that they must be charged at a lower voltage (2/10th's less) than flooded or AGM batteries. If overcharged, voids can develop in the gel which will never heal, causing a loss in battery capacity. In hot climates, water loss can be enough over 2-4 years to cause premature battery death. It is for this and other reasons that we no longer sell any of the gelled cells except for replacement use. The newer AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries have all the advantages (and then some) of gelled, with none of the disadvantages.

    AGM, or Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries

    A newer type of sealed battery uses "Absorbed Glass Mats", or AGM between the plates. This is a very fine fiber Boron-Silicate glass mat. These type of batteries have all the advantages of gelled, but can take much more abuse. We sell the Concorde (and Lifeline, made by Concorde) AGM batteries. These are also called "starved electrolyte", as the mat is about 95% saturated rather than fully soaked. That also means that they will not leak acid even if broken.

    AGM's are around 2x more expensive that flooded cell and, even though AGM's are almost the ideal lead acid battery (clean, fast charge, high rate of discharge, no water needed, etc.), they may not last as long (cycle life) as a good quality flooded cell battery.

    As always, I like to work backwards--Tell us about the load (peak watts, average watts*hours per day of operation, is this off grid or just emergency backup/afternoon outages, etc.). That defines the battery and inverter, which then defines the chargers (AC/Solar), etc...

    Obviously, for critical needs--having another backup source (genset, etc.) and clear/easy/possibly automatic transfer for non-technical personnel to operate. I would suggest a battery monitor for the battery bank (if >75% state of charge, everything OK; if 50-75% state of charge--reduce load, start the genset next morning--or evening; less than 50% state of charge, start the genset, ask for technical help to see if everything is OK or note/get battery bank recharged back towards 80-90% state of charge "soon").

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SolaRevolution
    SolaRevolution Solar Expert Posts: 410 ✭✭
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    Re: using outback power 2524T inverter

    One, of many, nice things about the Outback inverters for this application is how they can be programmed from the "mate" and then the mate can be removed.

    You can pre-program the maximum current the inverter/charger will draw from an AC source, the battery charge rate, the low voltage disconnect setting, etc. When you remove the mate, no one can mess with the settings.

    Alex