Newbie ready to go off grid

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  • mike95490mike95490 ✭✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 8,416 ✭✭✭✭✭
    >  We are only "out there" on weekends, so the Yeti 3000 has all week to recharge on solar. 

    And that means that for 3 days, it's sulfating the undercharged battery, effectively walking the capacity down.  How much per week, depends on how deeply you discharge the battery.  (unless the yeti has a Li battery )
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • PorschephanaticPorschephanatic ✭✭ Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭
    edited January 11 #123
    Yes, Sir. Li battery. We only ran it down to 81% (indicated) SOC over a 2 day period one weekend. I am still fascinated by my wife's Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. It's over 4 years old, and she routinely runs it down to 0% (indicated) and it shuts off, then recharges it overnight  and DEEP cycles it again, (over and over and over again).  ;)    Does 0% mean 0%, or is it really maybe 40%, 30%, SOC? I don't know how it takes such abuse. We have a Campbell-Hausfeld 12 volt LA jump starter / power supply / 75 watt 120v inverter that is well over 10 years old, and it still works reasonably well powering a radio, a laptop,  and my computerized telescope, (and charging my wife's phone, LOL!) all night. Maybe the charger for that is "smart" and "refreshes" the battery?  Our DeWalt 20v MAX 2 AH and 5 AH Li tool batteries hold a charge for a long time,  but do not like to charge when they are cold. I'm getting quite an education on batteries!   B)
  • softdownsoftdown ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,572 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 12 #124
    Yes, Sir. Li battery. We only ran it down to 81% (indicated) SOC over a 2 day period one weekend. I am still fascinated by my wife's Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. It's over 4 years old, and she routinely runs it down to 0% (indicated) and it shuts off, then recharges it overnight  and DEEP cycles it again, (over and over and over again).  ;)    Does 0% mean 0%, or is it really maybe 40%, 30%, SOC? I don't know how it takes such abuse. We have a Campbell-Hausfeld 12 volt LA jump starter / power supply / 75 watt 120v inverter that is well over 10 years old, and it still works reasonably well powering radios, a laptop, and my computerized telescope all night. Maybe the charger for that is "smart" and "refreshes" the battery?  Our DeWalt 20v MAX 2 AH and 5 AH Li tool batteries hold a charge for a long time,  but do not like to charge when they are cold. I'm getting quite an education on batteries!   B)
    My lithium tool batteries are not happy when cold. I have wondered if using them when cold may damage their delicate senses. My lithium jump start batteries are so sorry when cold that I am returning them. Seems like cold weather is an achilles heel for lithium. Apparently sparking some activity helps activate their ions. 

    Li batteries may be made of an array of materials. The most common tool battery composition is lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide.

    I feel misled by Elon Musk when he stated that lithium batteries are largely made of aluminum, cobalt and graphite. He was referring to the latest high density performance lithium batteries of course. 

    [deleted... stop fishing for flame wars. -Bill B. moderator]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_in_lithium-ion_batteries#Lithium_nickel_manganese_cobalt_oxide
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • PorschephanaticPorschephanatic ✭✭ Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭
    It still seems, based on the battery threads that I have been perusing, that the Li batteries may be the way to go when we buy our "big" system for new home, because of their longevity, ease of maintenance, and quicker charge times. I will probably do what my brother-in-law did, store the batteries in the basement, where the temperatures will remain reasonably steady throughout the year.  :)
  • softdownsoftdown ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,572 ✭✭✭✭
    Their future looks bright though the road has some bumps so far.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Do your "paper design(s)" first before buying hardware...

    Integrating charge controllers, BMS, and loads can have some issues (and depending on if you want "push button automatic" or are going out to check each cell with a hand meter a few times a month--And possibly manually balance cells (manual balancing should not be a common event).

    Also--I am very leary of putting any high power/storage system in a home or basement... Especially Lithium based.

    Lithium battery fires can release some very nasty chemicals--Hydrofluoric acid being my major concern (very small amounts can lead to long term health effects and death). Let alone the issue that the standard fire fighting technique is dumping water and waiting until the battery has burned itself out.

    Yes, I may be over dramatizing the Lithium issues... Your mileage may vary.

    -Bill "no battery expert here" B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PorschephanaticPorschephanatic ✭✭ Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭
    My brother-in-law bought AGM (type 2?) Are they safer than lithium in his basement?   :#  His basement has some venting.
  • softdownsoftdown ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,572 ✭✭✭✭
    My brother-in-law bought AGM (type 2?) Are they safer than lithium in his basement?   :#  His basement has some venting.
    AGM costs more but offers low self discharge and no maintenance whatsoever. I think they are as safe as anything else. I believe they also charge a bit more efficiently?

    Of course battery quality varies..
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Any battery stores energy with its internal chemicals and materials. Put it in CO2 or under water, and they will continue to heat/possibly combust (some Li Ion chemistries).

    Gasoline... In a sealed can, nothing can set it off.

    With off grid systems in general, you have lots of fuel somewhere for the genset (fuel lines, fuel pump, hot engine/electrical). And a large battery bank. Any and all of those can start/sustain fires pretty nicely.

    I suggest being conservative (following code, use fire "proof" materials under the batteries & electronics, and fire proof wall material (sheetrock, cement backer board, etc.). Mounting on raw plywood makes things easy, but easy to light off if something overheats/drops flaming plastic.

    Installing the genset+fuel in one outbuilding, and the battery+panels+electronics in another--Sort of limits your losses if something "goes wrong".

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PorschephanaticPorschephanatic ✭✭ Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭
         This is all starting to make more sense.
         I now remember reading threads about maintaining battery temperature in remote outbuildings. He has his batteries sitting directly on concrete with the closest combustible materials being the joists and flooring overhead. Ease of maintenance and safety may be why he and his installer may have chosen AGM?  I'll have to study AGM threads more thoroughly.
         What is the most likely thing to "go wrong" with Li batteries? Over Temperature? Faults with CC's? Over current/charge? Wood stoves in the winter up here associated with off-grid living malfunctioning?
          I have probably developed severe misconceptions regarding battery technology, (my wife's aforementioned cell phone battery). The Li chemistry must be vastly different and prohibitively expensive for off-grid energy storage. Lay on the black dash in August? No sweat! Lay in her SUV overnight at 5 degrees above zero F with 0% SOC (indicated). Easy breezy. Just bring it inside the house, plug in the charger, and wait for a short while, and it is suddenly "alive" again. It has endured this for 4+ years, LOL!     :D    I don't know yet how our new YETI 3000 will perform in the long run, but it has been exceptional so far.
          Thank you all for being patient with us newbies.
  • EstragonEstragon ✭✭✭✭✭ Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have Samsung note 3 and found that once the battery started going, it went downhill pretty fast.  Fortunately, changing the battery is easy.  Bought a couple of replacements, so should be good for a few more years.  My guess is the internal solid state memory will be what prompts replacement rather than battery problem.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • stmoloudstmoloud ✭✭ Registered Users Posts: 111 ✭✭
    Chose not to upgrade when prompted. Otherwise you will get a lot of bloat ware which will cause you to want to get a faster model when your current one slows down to a snail's pace
    760W panel array, 4 x 6v 220 ah Crown batteries, Tristar TS-45 PWM controller,  no name 600 PSW inverter. 
  • softdownsoftdown ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,572 ✭✭✭✭
    Yep - Apple, Samsung and Microsoft pull that to get new sales. Disgusting. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon ✭✭✭✭✭ Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The memory thing isn't so much bloatware slowing things down (though I've certainly had that issue with the likes of Windows).  It's that the solid state memory degrades over time with repeated writes, and eventually runs out of good space to deal with it.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
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