New to this forum, Oklahoma

Hello - I am new this forum and would like to show everyone my solar rig:

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I am having a bad RFI problem with this rig producing so much RFI that it is bleeding into my CB base station. I recently bought 10 ferrite cores and installed them. On the NEG side of the solar charge controller wires...the ferrite cores buzz, crack, and pop when the converter is on (I put three cores on the black wires). I put two 1/2" cores onto the battery cables and they also conducted (buzzing) on the NEG side. Are they actually working? You can actually "feel" the current passing through the core. I even squeezed them a little and they hummed. The CB RFI bleedthrough noise did go down a I need more ferrite cores? Or do I need to dump my Tracer Solar CHarge controller and go with a Midnite Kid? Thanks. -Chris (USAF-ret)


  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,220 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: New to this forum, Oklahoma

    Welcome. It looks like youve had a lot of fun kitting your system out. I assume this is a grid backup SHTF type of thing.

    Before we get into the controller, however, lets talk about the design. On the upside youve used good sized cables, and the wiring management is pretty tidy with use of trunking, logical layout etc.

    Its unfortunate but true, that there are more pictures of installations done "creatively" like yours, than there are of those done according to best practice. Its important that people dont copy what youve done here because theres several safety issues that need attending to. See annotations in pic.

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    It is tremendously important that people understand how dangerous battery systems are. There are tens of kilowatt hours of stored energy in them, which if shorted can generate thousands, tens of thousands of amps. It takes much less than that to start a fire, or cause an thermal runaway or hydrogen explosion.

    The best place to see good system design is probably midnites video tutorial series, where in particular Ryans system is shown in some detail. While thats a bigger system the same rules apply. Building a safe system doesnt actually cost much more than one using parts and practise cobbled from the automotive/marine world.

    After that bit of a grilling (first post and all, sorry man), thanks for sharing your work. My intention is most certainly not to put you right off the whole idea, and hopefully if you stick around the forum here, you will learn heaps, and be able to incrementally upgrade your system. Look at it this way its an excuse to work on it some more!
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,989 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: New to this forum, Oklahoma

    I guess you've turned off the charge controller or used the CB at night and found it not to have problems, and have pointed to the charging of the batteries creating the problem?

    This appears to be a garage, that is a auto mirror on the right? and I'm okay with the batteries since they are shelved so nothing can drop on the connectors, I'm guessing the shelf above is removable? We do tend to discourage hooking batteries up by 'laddering' them. Batteries hooked up in this manner draw down the batteries unevenly due to the extra resistance in the wire to 'get to' the farther batteries. We also discourage parallel strings of batteries due this same type of problem.

    We have some avid Ham radio people here who have figured out many ways to reduce the RFI, as I recall twisting the DC wires helps to mitigate the situation, others will be along that have actually had to deal with the situation.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former, 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
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