For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,608 admin
I am posting the following for "Semsoblue"--Still learning the forum software -Bill:
I'm new here, but i've read through several of the posts, and got a lot
of good info from your responses. My family and I are setting up housing
in a remote jungle area in Peru. We work with a non-profit here. The
village where we will live has electricity 6am-1pm, and again from
6pm-11pm. I am wanting to set up a small 12v system to run fans and 12v
lights, and a tv. I've used several calculators, and if we use 12v, 1amp
fans, the recommended battery size is a little under 200ah. But I would
like to double that, incase the 12v fans give out. I'd use an inverter
under 1000w. I have 2 main questions.

1, we're wanting to use a charger rather than panels, since we'd have
electricity 12 hours a day. We'll also have a generator. I've looked at
some victron inverter/chargers, and some generic peruvian made ones.
Victron is out of my price range, and I've heard bad things about the
peruvian made ones. Would it be advisable to use a charger (like iota
DLS-240-55), and a seperate small inverter? I'd have my folks bring one
down when they visit. Any product recommendations?

2, I found a Trojan dealer here in Lima, and they carry several flooded
batteries (12v-27TMX or 6v-L16G-AC). It's cheaper if I buy 4 of the 12v
batteries, but 2 of the L16s are not too far out of reach. Would you
recommend one over the other? Would a charger function as well with the 4
100ah batteries wired in parallel vs the 2 6v 400ah batteries wired in
series?

I appreciate any advice you might have. I'd also be glad to post this on the forum, but haven't found that button yet :)

Thanks,
Trent
Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    interesting that bb is posting this for you. never the less you can go separate charger and inverter and iota is good. you would want about a 10% charge rate compared to the capacity. if 400ah capacity then 40a charge, but the charger can be in that neighborhood like for use with the 45a iota for about 11% charge rate as they don't list a 40a charger and the 30a iota would only deliver 30a for a charge rate of 7.5%. the seriesed l16 batteries are the better way to go as paralleling too many batteries can present problems.

    you can still add solar to this later if you so choose to.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru
    BB. wrote: »
    I am posting the following for "Semsoblue"--Still learning the forum software -Bill:

    we're wanting to use a charger rather than panels, since we'd have
    electricity 12 hours a day. We'll also have a generator.
    <snip>
    Would it be advisable to use a charger (like iota DLS-240-55)

    Iota is rugged and cheap. Do careful research to make sure your particular generator can handle it. The Iota has a huge inrush current that bogs down some generators. After the inrush, it has a low power factor which may push some generators beyond their limits.

    You should not have problems with the Iota when powering it from the grid.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    As you have a Trojan dealer, ask if he also carries the 6Volt ~ 220 Ahr GC2 / Golf Cart batteries. Up here they run the same price as a car battery, but you need 2 for 12Volts...
    They will probably be a better fit as the usual pattern is for your first set of batteries to be 'murdered' by over or under charging and deep discharging.
    Recommend using LED lights if available, much less draw on the batteries.
     
    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
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    before you consider the gc2s i have to point out that you generally don't want to drain any lead acid battery down below 50% or you could shorten the life of the battery too far. if the loads take 200ah then you need a 400ah battery to supply it. this does not consider for anything extra such as autonomy or emergency without running risk of shortening the life of the battery. even draining off 80% of capacity can kill the batteries.
  • semsobluesemsoblue Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    Thanks for the input, and thanks Bill for posting for me. I know these are questions you guys have seen time and again, and westbranch makes a wise point about the propensity of rookies to get it wrong the first time around. I'm trying to avoid that, and your advice is helpful. As far as system load, if we can run dc fans, we should not exceed 120ah. But I'm aware that the initial setup cost might make me overly optimistic about our needs. The calculators I've used recommended 175ah, which factored in 1 day of autonomy, 80% efficiency of inverter, and discharge limit to 60% of battery capacity. But, if the dc fans fail, then our load would easily double, so my decision was either 400 or 600ah of batteries.

    The charger would be running anytime the electricity is on (6am-1pm, and 6pm-11pm). Does anyone see a potential problem with that? Niel, what size generator do you think I'd need to handle the inrush of the iota 45? I'd be getting the 220 version.

    Thanks guys.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    i'm not familiar with the program that determined the battery ah capacity for you. we don't know if they accounted for not running the batteries down below 50%.

    some of the others have run iotas from gennies and they would be better qualified to say what may work for you as the power factor of the iotas may require a much larger genny than initially thought needed.
  • semsobluesemsoblue Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    Part of what complicates this for me is the segmenting of usage/charging:
    GRID DAY: 6am-noon--Grid power, charging
    BATTERY DAY: noon-6pm--battery power
    GRID NIGHT: 6pm-Midnight--Grid power, charging
    BATTERY NIGHT: Midnight-6am--battery power

    Load estimates running AC fans:
    BATTERY DAY: 2070Wh (3-60w fans for 6hrs, 3-5w (12v) bulbs for 6hrs, 1-150w TV/DVD for 6hrs)
    BATTERY NIGHT: 1410Wh (3-60w fans for 6hrs, 3-5w (12v)bulbs for 2hrs, 1-150w TV/DVD for 2hrs)

    Load estimates running 12v fans would be considerably less. (I'm testing an 8-in here in the house using a 12v power supply, and it is drawing 1 amp) But to be on the safe side, I could factor in 3 amps per fan (using 3 "endless breeze" fans). Only the TV/DVD would be powered through an inverter.

    BATTERY DAY: 1638Wh (3-36w (12v) fans for 6hrs, 3-5w (12v) bulbs for 6hrs, 1-150w TV/DVD for 2hrs)
    BATTERY NIGHT: 978Wh (3-36w (12v)fans for 6hrs, 3-5w (12v)bulbs for 2hrs, 1-150w TV/DVD for 2hrs)

    I'd like to get a good, small pure sine inverter, <1000watts that would hopefully be more efficient. Recommendations welcome. I understand that would affect my actual draw on the batteries, so to be conservative, would it be wise to assume 20% loss in efficiency in either scenario?

    What size battery bank would you recommend?
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
     
    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
  • semsobluesemsoblue Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    Thanks westbranch. I forgot to mention that everything is 220 down here.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    Check with NAWS they do have 220V models available in some models, probably special order.
     
    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
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    Trent , I would do the Iota route , but 75 amp unit min or the DSL 90 .. When you read bulk / float/ equek ;) and the rest to revive your battery, 55 and less is way to small & has no options . I have one of these conditioners : http://www.ebay.com/itm/IOTA-CONTROLLER-FOR-DLS-SERIES-BATTERY-CHARGER-NEW-/320545150396?pt=US_Power_Tools_Batteries_Chargers&hash=item4aa1fad5bc

    THE IQ4 SMART CONTROLLER OFFERS AUTOMATIC CHARGING CONTROL FOR DLS BATTERY CHARGERS PROVIDING LONGER AND SAFER USE OF YOUR SYSTEM'S BATTERY..
    On the 55dls nada working on 4 I have , the 75 & 90 it works great. the only problem I see is your switching of grid off might reset the IQ4 .. I don't know that because Im on grid using four 55's , one 90 and a bunch of 75's .. as for the power they consume , that I don't know either , but the 55 is just so-so compared to better 75/90 units . the 55 unit you can adjust the voltage only , but if pushing 14V+ .0001 the fan is always running , the 75 plus you can adjust & set a temp start for the fan.. Just more user friendly for a few bucks now.

    VT

    http://www.solar-electric.com/ioen12vo90am.html

    NAWS only is 15 $ for the IQ4 , give them a call .. I know they do 230 volt units , I work them in Europe also.

    VT
  • jcheiljcheil Solar Expert Posts: 722 ✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru
    CDN_VT wrote: »
    Trent , I would do the Iota route , but 75 amp unit min or the DSL 90 .. When you read bulk / float/ equek ;) and the rest to revive your battery, 55 and less is way to small & has no options . I have one of these conditioners : http://www.ebay.com/itm/IOTA-CONTROLLER-FOR-DLS-SERIES-BATTERY-CHARGER-NEW-/320545150396?pt=US_Power_Tools_Batteries_Chargers&hash=item4aa1fad5bc

    THE IQ4 SMART CONTROLLER OFFERS AUTOMATIC CHARGING CONTROL FOR DLS BATTERY CHARGERS PROVIDING LONGER AND SAFER USE OF YOUR SYSTEM'S BATTERY..
    On the 55dls nada working on 4 I have , the 75 & 90 it works great. the only problem I see is your switching of grid off might reset the IQ4 .. I don't know that because Im on grid using four 55's , one 90 and a bunch of 75's .. as for the power they consume , that I don't know either , but the 55 is just so-so compared to better 75/90 units . the 55 unit you can adjust the voltage only , but if pushing 14V+ .0001 the fan is always running , the 75 plus you can adjust & set a temp start for the fan.. Just more user friendly for a few bucks now.

    VT

    http://www.solar-electric.com/ioen12vo90am.html

    NAWS only is 15 $ for the IQ4 , give them a call .. I know they do 230 volt units , I work them in Europe also.

    VT

    You can adjust the voltage on ALL of the IOTA chargers. However, only a few models have external access to it without removing the cover. If you open the cover on all of their models you will find the adjustment somewhere on the main board.
    Off-Grid in Central Florida since 2005, Full-Time since June 2014 | 12 X Sovello 205w panels, 9 X ToPoint 220w panels, 36x ToPoint 225w panels (12,525 watts total) | Custom built single-axis ground mounts | Complete FP2 Outback System: 3 x FM80, 2 x VFX3648, X240 Transformer, FLEXnet-DC, Mate-3, Hub-10, FW500 AC/DC | 24 x Trojan L16RE-B Batteries 1110ah @ 48v | Honda EU7000is Generator and a pile of "other" Generators | Home-Made PVC solar hot water collector | Custom data logging software http://www.somewhatcrookedcamp.com/monitormate.html
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    True Jeheil , the 55 is a yellow sticker beside the jack ,for voltage adjusting , smaller units you need to open . All I was trying to get across was that for a few bucks more , he could get a better Iota. I have used these since 1999 for work , & the 75 is what I would call the best bang for the buck. again if your really thinking of pushing 75 amps out & using them (NOT CHARGING ) you need to supply the 75 with 20 amps @ 120 volt ac minimum , 90 amp get's 30 amp supply..
    JFYI

    VT
  • jcheiljcheil Solar Expert Posts: 722 ✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru
    CDN_VT wrote: »
    True Jeheil , the 55 is a yellow sticker beside the jack ,for voltage adjusting , smaller units you need to open . All I was trying to get across was that for a few bucks more , he could get a better Iota. I have used these since 1999 for work , & the 75 is what I would call the best bang for the buck. again if your really thinking of pushing 75 amps out & using them (NOT CHARGING ) you need to supply the 75 with 20 amps @ 120 volt ac minimum , 90 amp get's 30 amp supply..
    JFYI

    VT

    I agree 100% with you. They may have their annoying EXCESS inrush and do have a crappy .62 power factor, BUT I tell you what, they ALWAYS put out at LEAST what they are rated for; and for hours and hours on end even with the most horrible generator voltage swings and wacky frequency changes. You can put the worst 80-140vac into it and get MAX DC out of it reliability. So you just have to size your generator a bit larger than what you think you would need based on the nameplates. My DLS-27-40 (24v) states 20amp generator supply but when running on my champion 3500/4000 which can produce 29amps it really starts to max it out because of the poor power factor that bings it up to 30a-35a for a second or two (sometimes trips the gnenerator breaker even if some other loads are on the generator also)

    So my champion 3500/4000 is pretty much dedicated to charging the DLS-27-40 and the DLS-27-15 and with both of them running on that 3500/4000 I don't think I could turn on a single light bold without popping the generator breaker. So for me those 2 chargers and that one generator are a perfect match for maximum charging at 24v for my battery bank. And they are not all that loud either, However, YMMY :)

    And as for IQ4, I have one but never use it. Sure maybe if there were 2 days of storms I might when running the genny for 48hrs straight But most of us here do a variant of what I do. I adjust my high voltage point (JACK IN) to the become my equalization voltage point at say 30.3v that means when the JACK is OUT it will be my BULK voltage of 29.7 volts. The IQ module (should you use it) will use those numbers, thinking the are the "bulk/float" even though we have make them the "eq/bulk". The goal being to put the power back in a fast as possible without overheating. And since I generally only need to run the genny about once every 4-6 weeks (sometimes longer), it gives me a short eq and a nice bulk. you just need to manually turn it off when you reach your bulk "full" stage (i.e. time or temp).

    So you can kinda do a lot with them for less than the inverter/chargers, but they are 8-10x the price and have way better features. YMMY
    Off-Grid in Central Florida since 2005, Full-Time since June 2014 | 12 X Sovello 205w panels, 9 X ToPoint 220w panels, 36x ToPoint 225w panels (12,525 watts total) | Custom built single-axis ground mounts | Complete FP2 Outback System: 3 x FM80, 2 x VFX3648, X240 Transformer, FLEXnet-DC, Mate-3, Hub-10, FW500 AC/DC | 24 x Trojan L16RE-B Batteries 1110ah @ 48v | Honda EU7000is Generator and a pile of "other" Generators | Home-Made PVC solar hot water collector | Custom data logging software http://www.somewhatcrookedcamp.com/monitormate.html
  • semsobluesemsoblue Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    Thanks for the info on the IOTA charger. If I use AGM batteries, would the charger need to be adjusted differently? The IOTA website seems to talk mostly about charging flooded batteries, but does mention that you can contact their tech support for advice on charging AGM, which I've done. But I figure you all have some input on using the IOTA with AGM, and using AGMs in general. So, Pros/Cons of using AGMs, and feasibility of still using the IOTA to charge? Thanks!
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: For "Semsoblue": remote jungle area in Peru

    sorry for my delay in getting back to you as i've got medical problems that have arisen. the battery capacity would be your max load x2 as a minimum. if at any time your max load is 2070wh then you need to up that to at least 4140wh. divide that by the bank voltage for the minimum battery bank ah capacity. if you need to account for say an extended rolling blackout then double it again or learn to conserve what you have.
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