Please help, Very confused

12357

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,612 admin
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    You may be one of the first people here to get the new Xantrex TC2 series chargers... Reading through the user manual (PDF download) shows a very flexible charger. I like you can get the 40 amp (12 volt) charger and program the maximum DC charging current to much less--allows it to be used on smaller gensets as a backup up charger for power outages.

    What your battery bank temperature--if it swings hot or cold a lot--get the remote battery temperature sensor.

    Regarding what to do with the charger:
    Float mode When the ready and charging indicator LEDs
    both illuminate, all batteries are fully charged and ready for
    use. If you selected the three-stage charging mode, the
    Truecharge™ 2 Battery Charger is in float mode and will
    maintain the batteries’ charge.

    Standby mode Or Rest mode. If you selected the two-stage
    charging mode, the ready indicator LED shows the charger is
    now in rest mode and is continuously checking battery
    voltage.

    With either charging mode, the Truecharge™ 2 Battery
    Charger will begin a charging cycle 21 days after the last
    completed cycle, or when the minimum battery terminal
    voltage drops to below 12.5V (12V chargers) or 25V (24V
    chargers) for 15 minutes.

    Leaving the charger on will probably prevent any charging by your solar panels--so it will be your choice.

    Yes, you can leave it plugged in and do nothing (if in 3-stage charging mode)... Leave AC power turned off (if solar powered charging). Or disconnect from DC power (removes power from charger's status LEDs/panel).

    It appears that you need to manually turn on the equalize function--be careful with attached DC loads--equalize voltage appears to be 16.0 volts... Very high and may turn off/negatively affect many DC loads (15.5 seems to be the assumed maximum for many DC loads).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    So is it set it and forget it basically?
    No part of this is forget it..

    You will need to monitor the water level in the batteries and the state of charge ... adjust your usage if you start to draw the batteries down too much.

    It appears to me that you are loosing power through all of this. I presume you have the charger pluged into the grid? The battery charger has loses, the batteries have big loses and then there are losses at the inverter. I'm guessing that your loosing ~30% going this route.

    Something else has me confused; you say your 220v loads are still on the grid and that the inverter is powering the 110v loads, do you have two breaker boxes or, are you running extension cords all around the house?
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    audredger wrote: »
    No part of this is forget it..

    You will need to monitor the water level in the batteries and the state of charge ... adjust your usage if you start to draw the batteries down too much.

    It appears to me that you are loosing power through all of this. I presume you have the charger pluged into the grid? The battery charger has loses, the batteries have big loses and then there are losses at the inverter. I'm guessing that your loosing ~30% going this route.

    Something else has me confused; you say your 220v loads are still on the grid and that the inverter is powering the 110v loads, do you have two breaker boxes or, are you running extension cords all around the house?

    I have 2 breaker boxes. One that is 100% solar and the other 100% grid. THe solar system I started is 110v and is 100% on the solar breaker box.

    I just returned from picking up 2-6v [email protected] hr. crowns model cr-395. I disconnected all the deep cycles and layed them to the side. NOW, if I understand correctly I need to go pos to neg and neg to pos to make the 12v right? then how do I connect it to the inverter? Do I take the POS from either battery and the neg from the other even though they are connected to the other batteries opposite? Hope that is not a confising question. Thanx
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    if I understand correctly I need to go pos to neg and neg to pos to make the 12v right?
    I really hope you didn't try to connect with two jumpers or HOLY smokes, are you still alive? Just use one very heavy jumper from the NEG of 1st battery terminal to the Pos terminal of the 2nd. Then hook neg inverter cable to the still empty neg battery terminal of 2nd battery and POS inverter wire to empty POS terminal of 1st battery.
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    mikeo wrote: »
    I really hope you didn't try to connect with two jumpers or HOLY smokes, are you still alive? Just use one very heavy jumper from the NEG of 1st battery terminal to the Pos terminal of the 2nd. Then hook neg inverter cable to the still empty neg battery terminal of 2nd battery and POS inverter wire to empty POS terminal of 1st battery.

    LOL still alive as I wasnt going to attempt it till I understand it.. Gonna tell the wife to follow your instructions..... I will ledt you know if she's still alive in just a sec..................LOL Just a joke! Thanx and going downstairs to hook it up. BRB as this ONE battery running the house isnt cutting it.
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    mikeo wrote: »
    I really hope you didn't try to connect with two jumpers or HOLY smokes, are you still alive? Just use one very heavy jumper from the NEG of 1st battery terminal to the Pos terminal of the 2nd. Then hook neg inverter cable to the still empty neg battery terminal of 2nd battery and POS inverter wire to empty POS terminal of 1st battery.

    also when I hook up the solar im doing the SAME thing I did for the inverter right? so in otherwords, the solar will be connected to the SAME posts that the inverter is hooked up to? Thanx
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    also when I hook up the solar im doing the SAME thing I did for the inverter right? so in otherwords, the solar will be connected to the SAME posts that the inverter is hooked up to? Thanx
    That's correct. I hope you are using the appropriate fused disconnects, 1 for the inverter and another for the charge controller. A 60 amp DC rated fuse could be used to the charge controller, but you probably need a 250 amp breaker for the inverter depending on its surge capacity. I would usually run a heavy Pos lead from battery Pos to the 250 amp breaker terminal, add the charge controller fuse holder wire to the same terminal on the breaker.
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    I have 2 breaker boxes. One that is 100% solar and the other 100% grid. THe solar system I started is 110v and is 100% on the solar breaker box.
    Cool, Just had to ask so I could sheep tonight ... LOL
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Charge controllers

    ok right now I use a sunforce 30amp digital charge controller on 3 solar panels (120w each) I have 3 more on the way and need to know do I just put the new 3 on another sunforce 30amp like the one I already have hooked up or is there a charge controller that handles more then 30amps? In total I will eventually have 10 panels.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    There are many charge controllers that will handle more than 30 Amps. How much do you want to spend?

    Sometimes using multiple small controllers can be advantageous, especially if panel can't all be oriented in the 'ideal' direction. Or if the panels are of significantly different spec.

    Otherwise, going up to an MPPT controller is a good idea with larger arrays. Check out some of the choices available from our host NAWS: http://store.solar-electric.com/chco.html
    Morningstar, Outback, and Xantrex all have units capable of 60 Amps.
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    There are many charge controllers that will handle more than 30 Amps. How much do you want to spend?

    Sometimes using multiple small controllers can be advantageous, especially if panel can't all be oriented in the 'ideal' direction. Or if the panels are of significantly different spec.

    Otherwise, going up to an MPPT controller is a good idea with larger arrays. Check out some of the choices available from our host NAWS: http://store.solar-electric.com/chco.html
    Morningstar, Outback, and Xantrex all have units capable of 60 Amps.

    All my panels are going to be the same in every way. I only buy one brand/model because I get the 120w panel for 299 delivered. (hope I am not paying alot..)
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    There are many charge controllers that will handle more than 30 Amps. How much do you want to spend?

    Sometimes using multiple small controllers can be advantageous, especially if panel can't all be oriented in the 'ideal' direction. Or if the panels are of significantly different spec.

    Otherwise, going up to an MPPT controller is a good idea with larger arrays. Check out some of the choices available from our host NAWS: http://store.solar-electric.com/chco.html
    Morningstar, Outback, and Xantrex all have units capable of 60 Amps.

    OK so since im a pretty poor guy, BUT dont want the cheapest as we always know cheap isnt always good... What is reasonable? Thanx
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    VanDeusen wrote: »
    OK so since im a pretty poor guy, BUT dont want the cheapest as we always know cheap isnt always good... What is reasonable? Thanx

    Don't ask me, I live in Canada; nothing is reasonable here! :p

    Plan out your eventual system and see what fits your needs/budget. You're the only one who can determine that.
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    If you can wait a month or two, there is a new controller that is coming out. One of our members is testing it now. Looks to be hands down the best. Otherwise all three that Marc mentioned are good and it gets to be a choice of color!
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    Oops, with 10 100 watt panels on a 12 volt system you are looking at 100 amps! You are going to need two controllers!
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    VanDeusen wrote: »
    my average usage per day (when the elec. co meter was running everything) is 28 kw per day. Now that the only thing on the electric company is 220v appliances and a outlet for the charger it is 7kw a day which would be 210kw per month. Our elec. co charges .11 per kw.

    Why do you think 11 cents a kw is so high? You are going to spend many more bucks to avoid your electric co.
  • RoloRolo Registered Users Posts: 11
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    Buy the best controller you can afford. If you have to wait a couple of months then do so. You could always ask on here if anyone is upgrading. Maybe they're looking to get rid of there old one.

    Doug
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    So lets run some more numbers; 7 KWh a day, 2 days backup, 4.1 hrs of sun / day (Erie PA), 48 volt battery bank 50% discharge

    19 120watt panels @~ $3.00 / watt = $6,840
    1 Charge Controller @~ $529
    24 CR395 Batteries @~ $285 (less the four you allready have) = $5,700
    Outback 3648 Inverter @~ $2,000
    Sub Total = $15,069

    Still need to add; wire, PV combiners, fuses, breaker panels, PV racks ect.

    And, every 5 or so years you will need another ~ $7,000 worth of batteries.

    11 cents a KWh is not bad ... 9 cents base line then 12 cents here ... I would be connected if they were reasonable about bringing me the wire.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,060 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    11 cents per kilowatt is what VanDuesen rate is. He thinks electric co is charging him too much.
    My electric co. Pennpower which is a division of First Energy has a message on the bill that I would have to be able to pay below 9.44 cents if I wanted an alternate supplier.
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    As I stated, I would connect if the power co was more reasonable in bringing me the wire. Would do a grid connect with battery backup. $0.66 to $0.77 a day is cheap! One wonders how they can do it for 0.11 / KWh considering line losses and infrastructure upkeep...

    Battery costs alone put me at $.059 / KWh. ($7,000 every 5 years)
    $0.421 / KWh if the batterys last 7 years
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just got a combiner... Help please!

    ok so I just got in the MNVPV6 (COMBINER) AND just need to make sure I understand what I am doing. THe combiner IS NOT a breaker box correct? It is a way to combine the solar panels right? To my understanding instead of cutting the wires and running the solar panels pos to pos for 6 of them and have a big mess you would use the combiner to neatly connect all of them together, This is providing you have at least a 60amp controller right? If I am correct, then I would run the solar panels to the conbiner then take the pos and neg from the combiner and run it to the controller then to the batteries right?


    I have NOT started to hook up the combiner yet because I want to make sure that I am correct. If I also understand it, then each solar panel will have a 15a breaker between the solar panel and the controller to help save the controller?

    Thanx in advance.
  • JamesJames Solar Expert Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused

    The meter was not damaged?
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    THe combiner IS NOT a breaker box correct?
    Yes it is a breaker / fuse box. The "hat track" at the top is a DIN rail. you mount either breakers or fuse holders to this rail. The pos + from the panels goes to the bottom of the breaker/ fuse and a comb goes into the tops of the breaker/fuse. The neg - from the panels go to the bus bar.

    Then a pos + wire connects to the comb and a neg - wire to the bus bar the, these go to the charge controller.

    Before you connect, what charge controller did you get? What are the specs on your panels? Are you going to run any of your panels in series of all in parallel?
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    audredger wrote: »
    Yes it is a breaker / fuse box. The "hat track" at the top is a DIN rail. you mount either breakers or fuse holders to this rail. The pos + from the panels goes to the bottom of the breaker/ fuse and a comb goes into the tops of the breaker/fuse. The neg - from the panels go to the bus bar.

    Then a pos + wire connects to the comb and a neg - wire to the bus bar the, these go to the charge controller.

    Before you connect, what charge controller did you get? What are the specs on your panels? Are you going to run any of your panels in series of all in parallel?

    I need to stay with 12v so That would mean that I would have to remain with parallel right? I currently have 4-120w solar panels 3 of which are hooked up to a sunforce 30amp controller BUT I just ordered the Morningstar TriStar TS 60 PWM Charge Controller Solar
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    I need to stay with 12v so That would mean that I would have to remain with parallel right?
    Parallel will probably be correct but, not because of the 12 v. What is the Vpmax of your panels?
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,261 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    audredger wrote: »
    As I stated, I would connect if the power co was more reasonable in bringing me the wire. Would do a grid connect with battery backup. $0.66 to $0.77 a day is cheap! One wonders how they can do it for 0.11 / KWh considering line losses and infrastructure upkeep...

    Tax breaks, tax breaks, tax payer funded bailouts, free right-of-ways, environmental avoidance (let the taxpayers clean up the mess). Oh and tax breaks
    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 ,

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Tax breaks, tax breaks, tax payer funded bailouts, free right-of-ways, environmental avoidance (let the taxpayers clean up the mess). Oh and tax breaks

    And in the case of BC Hydro, selling power to 'sucker' California utilities for 10 times its worth. :p
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    audredger wrote: »
    Parallel will probably be correct but, not because of the 12 v. What is the Vpmax of your panels?

    7.6 I deo believe. If you are asking what is the max it puts out.
  • audredgeraudredger Solar Expert Posts: 272 ✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    7.6 I deo believe. If you are asking what is the max it puts out.
    7.6 would be the amprage ... looking for the operating voltage should be ~ 15 v
  • VanDeusenVanDeusen Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Please help, Very confused
    audredger wrote: »
    7.6 would be the amprage ... looking for the operating voltage should be ~ 15 v
    YES, i believe thats right
Sign In or Register to comment.