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Announcements & News => SHOW US YOURS.... (pics of installed systems) => Topic started by: eabadger on March 31, 2017, 08:23:54 AM



Title: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on March 31, 2017, 08:23:54 AM
Hi, Just started the seasonal tilting ground mount, we have loads of land so ground mount seemed best, we were going to fit trackers but even homemade will have a cost and extra things to go wrong.
basic idea is 3 concrete embedded scaffold poles with 1.7m showing above ground, these will be front and rear braced again with scaff poles, i was going to use Biff's excellent idea of the modified scaffold swivals, but we have used some other stuff at work, so i decided to give it a go.
the joints and swivels arrived but 3 parts were wrongly picked so am currently waiting for the correct parts, plan is to install 12 x 270w panels approximately 1660 x 990.
the tilting idea may or may not bear fruit, but like most things i have done it will be a learning experience, our current array is on the solar shed and the angle is far to low, so only the midsummer sun gives us full output, but due to lack of knowledge when i fitted them 6+ years ago they have no rear ventilation and loose power, plan is to change all this when we have the new array finished.

when the missing parts arrive i will start making the unistrut frame.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: biff on March 31, 2017, 11:24:50 AM
Neat Steve,
           Very nice indeed. I had a friend who used to supply me with scaffold pole, Planks and all sorts. he became agents for those fittings about 6 years ago and was on to me to buy a load off him.
 That T coupling was costing me 14 euros each and I stuck with the ordinary scaffolding fittings. However, I discovered that i could make a very nice tilting tower out of that type new couplings and a few scaffold tubes. Strong enough to carry a 600watt Y/S wind turbine.
   The only problem was, The vibrations from the W/T was slackening the allen keys and also boring into the steel scaffold tube, so It had to be used in conjunction with the ordinary scaffold cliips, fine for tilting but not for locking into place.
It is perfect for your situation and will leave a very classy job,
I look forward to seeing the progress.
                                    Biff


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: todthedog on March 31, 2017, 11:41:15 AM
Cracking Steve, Did you import the tubes? Looking forward to seeing future posts.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on March 31, 2017, 01:00:42 PM
post lady had just delivered the missing bits  :D
so this afternoon i plan to get them and the ground plates fitted, so building can carry on!!
still no news on getting pv delivered so looks like a trip to Poiters in near future.
weather has been good and we are looking forward to not relying on the red diesel so much.
plan is next trip to uk get two Heatpumps, one just for dhw and second to add to underfloor heating if we get excess solar or wind.
after the array is finished plan is to redo solar shed roof array, then fit the 13mt windturbine tower, how big a bit of concrete will that need?

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: biff on March 31, 2017, 04:07:02 PM
    "How big a bit of concrete will the W/T need"
            That depends on wheither it is a guyed tower or a stand alone one/ tilting one.
 Then you take into consideration the weight of the turnip but Paul has recently done the base for a 6kw Proven which he bolted to Scotland,and lavished it with 8mtrs of concrete :genuflect
 I have a 2 kw turnip the anchors have half a meter min each one has the full mtr. the base of the actual turbine is only 600mmsq x 300mm deep.
If you can spare the room,Go for the guyed tower, it lowers and raises safer in rough weather.
The guys also act as vibration dampers and distribute the noise and vibration while braking over a greater area.
It is all important to make sure that the geometry for the anchors and the base of the tower is correct. This makes lowering and raising an easy choir.
Mine goes up and down in minutes with the touch of a button. There was one time it came down a bit quicker than I intended  sh*tfan: but I have forgiven myself for that.
 At the same time, I have already renewed the 8 guys every 2 years (3 times) :'( and I guess with the stand alone tower,,that would be a saving.
                                                              Biff


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on March 31, 2017, 06:27:09 PM
wind turbine tower is an ex airport 13mt lamp post, i couldnt move it in one piece so i cut it up, but by luck the diameter was same as mains gas pipe, so my mate the gas pipe welder flanged it all up so it will bolt back together square.
our topsoil is about 12" deep you then hit a shale type layer that is like granite, i was going for a 1,5mt cube? the the 3 or 4 guys, i have a homemade piggot turbine and a factory one i acquired.
i was going to get local farmer to lift it with the manitou, will i need to drop it in the wind? it is on a short mast at teh moment and i just brake it if things get hairy.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on March 31, 2017, 06:35:34 PM
the tubes i had already, bought them over 7 years ago to access building  the new roof, nearly used it all now so may go an get a trailer full from uk, there is a scaffolding manufacturer in Mayenne, but i think it is lightweight stuff, will check it out one day.

anyway got the tubes cut and set out for forward and aft bracing, not screwed down the base brace supports yet, got to get some more chemfix and threaded bar.
tested the tilt and it works a treat, i will be putting lock stays on corners, not worked that out yet, but will.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on March 31, 2017, 06:49:09 PM
did not see your earlier post Biff, t pieces are 9 inc vat.
i did wonder about wear on the screws or pipe, if i notice any i will drill and tap the pipe all the way through.
i will be keeping a close eye on it once done.
pivoting in the T and then locking afterwards is plan, dont think month on month it will make a lot of difference but may do? certainly low winter sun will prefer a steeper angle and low in middle of summer.
if it make no difference i have lost nothing really and will just lock it in one place.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Sean on March 31, 2017, 06:59:27 PM
will i need to drop it in the wind? it is on a short mast at teh moment and i just brake it if things get hairy.



If it's a mechanical brake you'll likely be fine, if it's just shorting the coils you'll likely cook the stator in a proper blow


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: todthedog on April 01, 2017, 07:19:35 AM
Pay special attention to your geometry on your turbine lay out if you are using guys. Get it right and it is easy to raise and lower get it wrong, and you will be fiddling around in the wind and rain.  Biff's advice to me and really appreciated.
With the benefit of perfect hindsight I would have gone for a system that was easier to raise and lower than a tirfor, that I used, never had an accident but spent several nervous times when winds arrived much more severe than forecast.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: offthegridandy on April 01, 2017, 07:52:46 PM
Steve, Pauls' probably the expert on the size of concrete lump. It partly depends on the size of the lump on the top and swept area of blades and ground conditions.

I have a "guide line" for a 12 mtr tower (free standing) from a planning application which shows a 2.5 X 2.5 X 1  mtr deep concrete block.  The turbine on top was rated at 6 Kw (5mtr dia?) with 202Kg vertical  load and the tower is designed for 5800 Newton side thrust @ 60Mtr sec wind speed. The design has a substantial rebar set up with an anchor plate built in.

There is a firm in Cheshire called Hutchinsons who manufacture many of the 9 to 15 mtr towers that Proven and the like use.  They may advise I as they produce detailed foundation drawings for their tower designs. 

Hope that helps.

Andy


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 08, 2017, 09:36:07 AM
just measured it and tip to base is 10m, i plan to make a groundplate for the tilting part at the bottom, it was designed to tilt.
so will get a load of reinforcing mesh and tie the studs in to all this.
center section already has 3 equal distant guys attached, my only issue with the guying is my neighbor when he mows my grass, dont want to decapitate him.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: skyewright on April 08, 2017, 04:31:27 PM
my only issue with the guying is my neighbor when he mows my grass, dont want to decapitate him.
Over recent years SSE have taken to putting a 'sleeve' on the wire stays of their poles around here. Bright yellow! Looks to me very like MDPE pipe? I'm not sure if it's an 'Elfin Safety gone mad' thing to prevent people (or sheep!) accidentally walking into them, or just to stop the sheep rubbing against them ease the odd itch?!


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: going green on April 08, 2017, 06:18:18 PM
the tubes i had already, bought them over 7 years ago to access building  the new roof, nearly used it all now so may go an get a trailer full from uk, there is a scaffolding manufacturer in Mayenne, but i think it is lightweight stuff, will check it out one day.

anyway got the tubes cut and set out for forward and aft bracing, not screwed down the base brace supports yet, got to get some more chemfix and threaded bar.
tested the tilt and it works a treat, i will be putting lock stays on corners, not worked that out yet, but will.

i see the forward and aft bracing but what are you going to use for side to side movement 
or have i missed something


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 08, 2017, 07:08:00 PM
the turbine mast has three equally spaced guy wires, plus the central "lump" i am going to excavate.
must measure diameter of turbine, i got secondhand about 7 years ago and had been up a few years then.

no news on tilting solar as stalled at getting the pv, but have a rendezvous with supplier for Wednesday at 1400 so fingers crossed, end of next week all on line and much power!! 

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 08, 2017, 07:12:24 PM
sorry, re read you are talking about solar array, not sure i will need side to side bracing? the uprights are buried deep, yes they could bend but with terrain i dont see much chance of movement, i may be wrong, but who knows.
with forward and aft braces they also have a certain amount on sideways bracing, but what do other groundmounts do?

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 13, 2017, 08:21:41 AM
next stage, the panels have arrived, or rather after lots of attempts at having delivered went and collected 12 270w bosch panels.
when i saw scale of operation i understood why they were not that fussed about my small order, they literally have thousands of secondhand and new piled up, they said all bancrupt stock but i think it may be not the supplier, over here we see huge arrays being fitted to farm and industrial buildings, the company in the building goes pop, i think these are the source.
but they have got a massive amount of gridtie inverters brandnew, i was asking who would buy and they mentioned a new law that came in  this year, self consumption is now allowed, i had read this but didnt appreciate what i was then told, i need to verify, but basically anyone can plumb in pv with gridtie and self consume, any excess is fed back to grid but no fits payments made, the inverters looked really good, but no idea if i could use with my multiplus's?? any thoughts for excess in summer? i have been reading up about ac coupling, but dont fully understand.

my trailer full below, and then a sad sight, this weeks breakages, are they worth anything?
now off to trial fit :)
steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: todthedog on April 13, 2017, 12:02:00 PM
hello Steve

Self consumption has been available for ages, just not many people do it.

Our set up in France was all grid tied

1  one set of PV where the production was sold  entirely to EDF.   Separate meter straight to grid this paid for all electricity used from EDF. Rates of payment is on the EDF site.  We were getting 35cents a kWh, from memory.

2  one set of panels total auto consumption

3  wind turbine auto consumption

2 and 3 were linked to an immersun and  heated towel rail.

Details here.

http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,22046.0.html

I thought that you chaps were off grid?






Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 13, 2017, 01:50:36 PM
hi, yes totally off grid, but was looking at maximizing pv output when batteries floating in the summer, victron have an ac couple function, which i dont totally understand, but seems spot on for us with new big array.

the law changed here this year, not 100% but appears you no longer need to go through all the red tape and can self install but not self feed back in to grid, but third parties can?
from what i was told yesterday a home owner can bang a load of panels up as a grid tie non islanding inverter and away he goes.

https://www.greenunivers.com/2017/02/autoconsommation-delectricite-la-loi-du-24-fevrier-2017-complete-le-cadre-juridique-avis-dexpert-158308/

i am going to verify this, i was interested for some friends who could do it, it looks like this is part of an eu initiative
which seems to remove the high expense of certain things like mcs approval, but i may have interpreted that incorrectly?
http://www.arnaudgossement.com/archive/2016/12/05/autoconsommation-le-cadre-juridique-europeen-se-met-en-place-5883247.html

steve.

landscape or portrait for my panels? 


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 14, 2017, 07:54:48 PM
been a busy day, got a bot cold late on but sun been out most of day, went for landscape as fitted the uprights, had it tilting from vertical to horizontal and seems ok, may use gate operators to shift it up and down, luckily company i work for uses them  whistle

got half of them up, looks massive when up close.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 14, 2017, 07:58:05 PM
anyone seen about the recall in the states for some bosch PV? i got a fright thinking it maybe reason mine were cheep, but mine have grooved sides, maybe recall is due to usa wooden shingles? ground mounts not affected?

http://www.bosch-solarenergy.de/media/bosch_se_serviceorganisation/recall_notice/END-USER_FAQ_4-1-17.pdf



steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: camillitech on April 15, 2017, 07:41:31 AM
Looking good Steve, lovely frame with the scaffolding and 'Tubeclamps'  :genuflect In your application I don't think you'll have bother with them coming loose. A drop of 'Loctite' 222 on the threads will sort it. If used in high and variable load conditions the grub screw does tend to bight into the tube and they then come loose but these fittings are primarily for use on hand rails, they just happen to make one size that fits scaffolding. Methinks you will be just 'fine snd dandy'  :genuflect

Good luck, Paul


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: biff on April 15, 2017, 08:20:51 AM
That is one neat job Steve,
           I like that. Once you get the rest up and running you will be wondering why you never rushed out and got them years ago.
You will not need the geni near as much.
                                                      Biff


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 15, 2017, 09:19:27 AM
heatpump next on the list to do the dhw, looking at 10kw so 3kw power, that should save diesel as that is what we have used to heat water for last 6 years.
just got a bargain multiplus 3000/24/70 bloke here bought 24v by mistake, i got for 800 delivered with remainder of guarantee, less three weeks.
plan is to ac couple a GTI with the victrons to use pv direct when batteries full, but having read up i am missing something, anyone done it?

grey this morning with rain forecast later, will do some more this morning but missing a few part, wife back to uk Monday so will collect, the tube fitings we use some at work, i checked out what they had and thought give it a go, i was prepared to modify if screws bite in, maybe drill and tap the tube, i have modified the swivals by taking pin out and replacing with a bolt, as rivet had to much play.
got to take original pv off when this lot rigged up, fix roof and refit, we should then have about 5.5kw, which is more than our weekday consumption, without dhw.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: camillitech on April 15, 2017, 09:58:22 AM

Plan is to ac couple a GTI with the victrons to use pv direct when batteries full, but having read up i am missing something, anyone done it?



Hi Steve, do you just mean couple this 3.2kW array to a GTI? or do you mean switching between AC and DC when the batteries are full? Victron do a document about AC coupling with their inverters https://www.victronenergy.com/live/ac_coupling:start If the former then Victron say it's probably just about doable using the 'factor 1' rule. Having said that, if you use a reliable (none thermostatic) diversion then you 'should'  :cross be OK (that's what I do). The important thing with AC coupling (unless using frequency shifting) is to have good diversion control.

If you're thinking of changing from AC to DC for some reason then Scruff has done something similar to avoid parasitic losses in the inverter.

Cheers, Paul


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 15, 2017, 10:12:05 AM
hi, yes i had read the factor 1 rule and 1.1 rule?!?
does this mean gti need a load? pv rated at same as inverter, idea was two 1500w gti?
idea is to use an assistant to phase shift as in document when batts and second bank floating, we will have loads of power not being used, so use panels direct.

or just accept the loss and get victron programmable relays to start the heat pump when in float? maybe simpler, also have the RD1 relay kit to install for the morningstars, which can also do dump.

thoughts?

steve





Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 22, 2017, 08:58:30 AM
been a busy week, made an error with frame, only a few mm but time i got to last two rows it was too far to ignore so had to back track a bit  banghead:
but been sunny (but freezing) yesterday sunny and hot, got all done and fitted and went for the big reveal, would it tilt? yes, better than i ever expected, i was worried it would be too heavy, but no, works a treat, i have had two swing gate operators arrive, guys at work are skeptical as they are designed to swing not lift, so i wanted to check weight,  i can tilt the whole thing from vertical to horizontal, so less that 120kg? operators are rated at 150kg each, but as pointed out to me swinging.
so armed with eldest child i asked him to hang off the back rail, result panels swung to horizontal, so weight less than him at 74kg, the other three kids then got in on it, so we added one at a time until we swung, result lifting weight over balance a little over 68kg.

fitting operators today, back to uk next week for work so may not get panels online by then, have decided to safety chain each corner in case in high winds the tilt locks go loose.
reading up i need in my location a winter angle of 18* and summer of 68*, so some gemoetry calcs on rams now.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: kibi on April 22, 2017, 10:24:59 PM
Nice work. It'll be great to see that in motion!

 I may well have missed something, but is there any reason for wanting to go down the AC coupling route? DC would introduce lower losses and is a bit easier to control, well it'll control it's self if left to its own devices. A 70A MPPT on a 48V DC Bus would cover your array with some headroom, for example.
Another reason might be to reduce single failure points especially being off grid. AC coupling means that you are totally reliant on a Multiplus. I have doubt that a Multiplus will very reliable, but it's nice to spread the failure points if you can.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: camillitech on April 23, 2017, 07:51:30 AM
Nice work. It'll be great to see that in motion!

 DC would introduce lower losses

Not if you are 'using when producing', it's then more efficient. I use it a lot when it's more efficient, ie, if your ground mount or shed ia a long way from the battery bank and already has AC power in it or nearby. Or if you have a wind turbine, old grid tied turbines can be found much cheaper than a 3 to 6kW battery charging version. They are much more efficient than a DC coupled turbine as you can program an MPPT curve into them and your efficiency is not constrained by the battery voltage. Sure it probably has many more disadvantages than advantages, hard to interface with a poor generator wave form, possibility of 'reverse power' when operating a generator in tandem and as you mention, poorer efficiency if storing energy. However it can certainly be a useful addition, especially on larger properties with lots of sheds spread over a large area.

My house is totally 'off grid' (not even water, sewage or phone line) and is completly powered and heated by renewable energy, much of which is 'AC coupled'.

https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/an-off-grid-journey/

'Horses for courses' really but don't rule it out.

Cheers, Paul



Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: kibi on April 23, 2017, 10:45:56 AM
Thank you for the explanation Paul. That makes more sense now. I hadn't thought of some of those scenarios.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 25, 2017, 01:00:53 PM
ok, first set 1620w on line and what a difference it has made, bit more scientific with the tilt angle, i have a solar iridescence meter and optimum was 55* which was spot on what online calculator said.
highest input we have ever had was 8800w in bright sunny day, yesterday we did 10500w in slightly overcast weather, checked and new panels are running at half the temperature of the old ones even those these are now off load, so my guess at overheating may have been correct.
the gate opperators/screw rams worked on test fine, but i need to put in a small concrete base for each which will have to wait, i have chain locked the panels for high wind.
but on whole very chuffed.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Stugadget on April 25, 2017, 11:17:30 PM
One I did last year, well I did the electrics!

(https://s16.postimg.org/rn9hgxytd/C_Rocker.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/rn9hgxytd/)


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 26, 2017, 10:13:14 AM
can it tilt? if not looks at a summer angle optimization?
i see you have used the same connectors, they ok after a year? any go loose?
are bases concreted in?
any problems in wind?
and have you earthed them or relied on fact it is metal to metal? i have been asking around as we do get some big leccy storms here

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Fionn on April 26, 2017, 12:01:12 PM
If you're concerned about lightning, the best thing you could do would be to install a pole at either end of the array, slightly to the rear of the panels, a few metres from each end and maybe double in the overall height.
Run a decent sized wire between the two poles, down to the ground and bury a few metres of it bare at either end and you should be well shielded.
Obviously bonding the panels and frames together will help also.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 26, 2017, 08:43:19 PM
wierd day today, started replacing the roof on the solar shed having now stripped pv off it.
weather was lovely first thing sunny and warm, it then got cold and at 11 it snowed!!
so slating in the snow, nice!
then phone rang and youngest son had an accident at school, he and wife spent afternoon in hospital ct scan the lot.
so then the new pv produced more than i thought, i saw a pmax of 2000w!!! then an over current alarm, eek. just got response back from morningstar nothing to worry about they are designed for over sized arrays, thank goodness, but begs the question this due to temperature or are my 270w panels 330w?

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: biff on April 26, 2017, 10:25:37 PM
Yes they are Steve,
                    In the right bright sunny condition with low temperature, you will have no bother getting 30% more than the rated output,
  I used to just go by the specs on the panels but over the years,I have learned to keep and close watch on that kind of thing. I have had 2 x 165watt x 35vmp panels, supposedly rated @ 330watt output, They were used to fill a 48volt forklift batts which drove a 400watt cement mixer and all kinds of power tools, the controllers was often showing  56 volts x 8.5 amps and still on the dump load which meant that the panels were just short of putting put 500watts instead of the rated 330 watts. The mixer was 400watts and it did not even take the controller off the dump load.
I have seen other examples of this in nearly every case,where the rated wattage is always under rated., in good sunlight ,in cold weather.
                                                                    Biff
 


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: going green on April 26, 2017, 11:59:09 PM
Sorry about the removal of the image it was done so as the request of the manufacturer because of copyright infringement.

what size tube did you use O/D


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Scruff on April 27, 2017, 12:06:17 AM
but begs the question this due to temperature or are my 270w panels 330w?

+1% per 2C below 20 25C
Rated at 1000W p/m input.

MS recommend only loading their controllers to 80% rated in accordance to NEC compliance, but they themselves design them to handle 120% rated before they get grumpy.  :cross


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 27, 2017, 08:31:58 AM
morningstar said in email last night no upper limit on mppt controllers, controller will not be phased by over size, only thing he grumbeled at is i only have one temp sensor connected at moment.
maybe non mppt have an upper limit?
he reiterated going above oc voltage was a way to realise magic black stuff.
so i was releaved.

we used standard scaffold tube 48.3mm.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Scruff on April 27, 2017, 08:56:14 AM
Yurp they've got adjustable current limiting too with MSView. Best in the bizness!

PWM has no such feature but hey, that's why we draw specs.

but, but, but Steve I sent you a link to 0.04 temperature sensors that work flawlessly!

You only want one really and parallel the tails between controllers.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: biff on April 27, 2017, 10:42:13 AM
 I think you are safer to overspec,
                     Experience, not know how or intelligence has shown me that certain months and conditions will trick the arrays into producing much more that normal..March was always the month that blew all my early controllers. I have told this to the members here on many occasions and I wondered why it was that March could do what the rest of the hot summer months could not do. Trawling through reams of posts on different forums years ago, I came across this business of "Cloud shield" which is a very strange name for what actually happens but there it was,,
The winter fades into the background, the days get longer but it is still very cold with bright sunshine, there is a lot of water in the air and it rises up and forms a kind of magnifying effect on the edge of the clouds,this can hang around for weeks on end and during that time the solar arrays will produce a lot more than their controllers are capable of handling,
This weird name"Cloud Shield" has now been changed to a different name but dam,d if I can remember it,, But I do remember the Black smelly smoke each march on our early 12volt installation.
                                                              Biff


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Fionn on April 27, 2017, 12:00:09 PM
Long post on it here Biff:
http://forums.energymatters.com.au/solar-wind-gear/topic1507.html
Can be referred to as cloud edge effect, cloud lensing etc.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: biff on April 27, 2017, 01:30:14 PM
Yes Fionn,
        That is it.Thank you.
                          Biff


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on April 27, 2017, 06:37:46 PM
we will keep an eye on it, my guess is they dont know value of panels they have so they plumped for lowest spec.
Bosch stopped solar pv production a few years ago so these have been hanging around.
but we will see, 19:00 here and batteries still in absorption, had power tools on all day, deep fat fryer last night, immersion this afternoon, well chuffed.
roof on solar shed now slated ready to put original pv back on, will put a skeletal like unistrut frame over it somehow.
then got to re do the solar shed interior, fit new controllers and inverters, move all away from batteries, fit second set of batteries, load to do.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Stugadget on May 01, 2017, 11:54:19 AM


One I did last year, well I did the electrics!

Stugadget

what size tube did you use O/D

I just did the electrics more details here http://www.solar-frames.co.uk/
(https://s24.postimg.org/tlxk7gxmp/C_Rocker.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/tlxk7gxmp/)


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on May 01, 2017, 12:43:47 PM
i would love to say they nicked my design, but it would appear not, wonder if they have any proof of this 40% improvement ?
they do appear just to use same bits i got, the saftey fencing stuff and standard tube + unistrut.
did you see how it is moved?

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Mike123 on May 02, 2017, 03:53:45 PM
Could I ask how deep (and width, etc) you did the concrete for the solar mount? Considering building something similar in a sheltered position here

Thanks


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on May 02, 2017, 05:55:25 PM
deep, about 1.5m below ground level, maybe overkill, but luckily have a mini digger.
we had a good blow yesterday and all was fine, in fact when you got close to the array the wind wasnt present, i assume like lift effect on a plane wing?

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Mike123 on May 03, 2017, 04:02:55 PM
Wow 1.5m. That is deep, but I don't blame you. Me thinks I will need to have a re-think.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: skyewright on May 03, 2017, 05:54:09 PM
Wow 1.5m. That is deep, but I don't blame you. Me thinks I will need to have a re-think.
What some people do to 'boost' the footprint of a base is to drive rebar into the sides of the hole, leaving a good bit of bar to be embedded in the concrete. Usually driven in at an angle (if you had a hole big enough to drive it horizontally, you'd probably have a hole that was big enough not to need, if you see what I mean?). The effectiveness will of course depend on the nature of  the ground!

Just a thought...


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on May 03, 2017, 07:14:48 PM
the front to back size is about 1.5m as well, gives me space to bolt the supports to, i also cross braced within the concrete create a t at about 750mm, sort of peg it in place.
but when we had the blow the other day, it was as if the wind avoided the array.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on July 04, 2017, 10:13:12 AM
quick update, panels now fitted back on roof of the "solar shed" these are at fixed angle not not sure what it is, but best i could achieve, shed now totally waterproof and exto skeletal frame installed to mount the pv.
so 3 banks of approximately 1550w two tilting, the tilting ones are as i track the suns height making more power, i wont bother next year with the most flat position because it was so short a time where it was ideal, we have hit daily input of 30kw on a few days, we try and use excess power when batteries floating to get most out of pv, we now have electric kettle and air source heat pump for dhw.
i am concerned that our battery pack may be failing, one negative terminal was getting hot, i swapped lead and still the same when under high charge or big load, since a long equalization charge not so bad, so maybe hope yet, did have a bit of an incident when putting lead on, batteries had been gassing and when lead put on spark caused the hydrogen went bang! very frightening, but the cell that went bang has never been better, full sg.
so be careful is the message, very careful i was lucky very lucky and very spooked afterwards.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Scruff on July 11, 2017, 11:19:05 AM
(https://athenae25.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/hqdefault-2.jpg?w=580)

(https://zippy.gfycat.com/FearlessCavernousCoral.gif)

Mee-Meep!


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on July 11, 2017, 11:45:14 AM
that pretty much sums it up! very frightening, the cell smoked for ages, but like i say never been better! the terminal has now calmed down i assume was sulphated.
sun gone in for a few days and big storms but still holding our own, wish i had done it before this year, would have saved loads in red diesel costs.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: rogeriko on July 11, 2017, 11:01:48 PM
Terminals getting hot means either a bad connection (easily curable) or as I have discovered the lead seems to get eaten away exactly at the surface of the acid. This leaves a little thin bit of lead which heats up when passing high current and is not cooled by the acid because it is just above the surface. I have found this several times on large 2v cells


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on July 15, 2017, 09:20:34 AM
have found the issue, appears on my exide batteries the actual threaded bit is like a bronze piece interference fitted in the lead, the thing must have been loose, with me now drawing bigger "lumps" of power the problem rapidly got worse, until yesterday everything went off with low batt alarm followed by meters showing 35v!! was a sad time for all, took a while to get cell out of pack then could not get allen screw out of bronze part, had to knock a too small spanner on it, after screw out i could see the bronze part was waggling around like a loose tooth and heat are ark marks clear to eye, managed to form the lead back tight without resorting to soldering it, did read up about it but given last hydrogen "pop" wasnt keen.
the bronze part is about 18mm and lead bellow about 30mm i also cut a 22mm piece of copper pipe and made it proud of the bronze part, when lead was screwed down it press down on the lead giving a better contact, longterm looking at one new cell as these seem fine.
on tenterhooks as mo.
anyone cut one of these open to see how they are fitted? maybe some sort of expansion nutsert? with copper pipe on seemed to allow correct tightening force on screw without moving.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: going green on July 15, 2017, 05:09:55 PM
Steve you are making me jealous of your tilting porn so wish we had the space to do the same


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on July 16, 2017, 09:37:22 AM
like biff said, wish i had done it ages ago, other than issue with battery this week all has been well.
space here is much better than our old haunt of Nottinghamshire, when we first bought out here we wanted as much land as possible and were advised against it, with a strange comment at the time about land being cheaper than carpet.
a fair few years on we see what they meant, you can get poor land here for a a meter or serviced building plots for 12 msq, never seen a carpet shop.
i think the groundmount of panels is the best way if you have land, only time will tell if tilting it makes that a worthwhile difference, but diy building didnt increase costs that much over static, only real difference were the connectors that came to about 130.
our biggest issue is scaffold pole doesnt exist here, or at least we could not find any.


fitting on ground far easier than on the solar she roof.




steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: todthedog on July 17, 2017, 09:12:30 PM
Not that it will make you any happier we never found any either!!!


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on July 18, 2017, 09:56:59 AM
odd thing is, there is a local dealer for the connectors i used!!! 4 x the price though.
thinking about it, you never see scaffolding here, what do they use instead?
weather warm and humid today with lightening and possible hail forecast, getting ready to de branch the internet box.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: TT on July 19, 2017, 11:27:30 AM
Hi Steve,

After a recent lightning strike we have fitted a few of these
http://www.apc.com/shop/us/en/products/APC-ProtectNet-standalone-surge-protector-for-10-100-1000-Base-T-Ethernet-lines/P-PNET1GB
No connection to company.
Just unplug, short pigtail supplied and connect to a local earth.
Under 30. Works with gigabit connections


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on July 19, 2017, 05:32:59 PM
thanks for thinking of me, but i already have these on the network cables and an rj11 version on the adsl line, plus i have them in the consumer unit.
last near strike we had tripped the main rcd at the solar shed, when reset the adsl box would not light up and the power supply was dead, i am guessing a spike was halted by these devices and killed the psu?
the adsl was then very slow and in the end orange upgraded our live box, didnt fix issue but better box, the final fix was a new overhead cable, maybe just a dodgy connection but they fitted about 2km of wire anyway.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on July 29, 2017, 11:14:35 AM
bit of an update on the batteries getting hot and a terminal coming loose, all now ok on that terminal but another then got warm, the connecting lead got very hot, so i removed and cleaned and did notice lead when off seemed "crunchy" put all back together and still got hot, measured resistance of lead when loaded and was 10 times more than other leads, and had a .4v volt drop over it, at charge of 125a no wonder it was hot, made a new conector with 50sq cable and 10mm lugs, now all ok few.
investigated lead and when i opened up insulation the copper was very dark, without rubber covering on tug separated two halfs, old age? badly made who knows, i have fluked all leads now and tested for crunchyness and all are fine, overnight minimum voltage a good 1.5v up on normal and battery voltage on heavy load, dishwasher or heat pump not bad at all.

fingers crossed, and check your leads, my fear after the mppt dyeing when battery's disconnected and solar still on could have happened if lead had let go under charge or load.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: biff on July 29, 2017, 12:20:50 PM
Hi Steve,
       I know that you are well aware of the dangers of forklift cells etc, You had one pop the excess gas lately and it must have been a horrible experience.
The normal route that these cells take if housed in their metal tank, is straight up,skyways with the sides of the cells bursting out and spraying acid all over 360%.
 I have been in conversations with a few people that this happened to. I recall two brothers who were working on a forklift battery to replace a cell, They had the whole area flooded, with the caps removed and were unscrewing the connections when a cell blew skyways  and hit the inside of a box profile roof, 20ft above, leaving a large dent in it. One brother caught the other and pulled him outside to a barrel full of water and stuck the upper half of his body in it, The smoking lead came down all over the shed like napalm, They hired out 100s of electric forklifts. One went into their office and came out with a motor cycle helmet with the big clear full visor and said that that was what they wore after that occasions.. It was an excellent lecture and I never forgot it. They had taken all the normal precautions that day,flooding the cells and only using insulated tools , It was a job these two had done dozens of times before,but this day a cell blew right between them. The only conclusion that they could come to was that the cell had shorted internally..There was absolutely no humor involved in this conversation, it had happened some 4 years previously and they still got the jitters thinking about it. They could not understand why the whole battery did not explode in a chain reaction. I wear goggles, cap, hood and old heavy clothes when I go to top up my 60 cells. I also have a barrel full of rain water and another half cage tank full of water. One next to my large bank and the other just outside my shed door. I have a lot of respect for them ;D.
It might be possible that there is some other than normal reaction taking place inside one of your cells. I have no idea how you would find that out apart from taking voltage readings like you are doing at present. The motorcycle helmet with the full clear visor would be the only thing that could protect both the face and the head from the falling lead, It was the brothers own idea and a very good one.
                                                                        Biff
 Rogerico has massive experience in these cells and has actually rebuilt them and got them working. Perhaps if he is about he could advise us.
 


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on July 29, 2017, 12:41:07 PM
i now treat again very carefully is used to watch the battery men rebuild them at GEC and at an airport i worked at.
i think my issue was the leads and i took for granted the ready made ones would last a lifetime, how the wire broke internal is beyond me, i will post a picture, logic defies why it happened, all other leads same cross section and all fine, it is obvious looking at colour of copper that it had been hot and then the chain of hot cold on and on make the condition get worse, but what was initial cause? my guess is when it was crimped it was not perhaps right or acid has somehow got in to the sealed insulator.
whatever my lugs are now soldered and pressed as they used to be the original from excide were just pressed.
135a going in at mo and all terminals less than 26*

the hydrogen pop was awful, live with me a while, i also have water to hand and an a&e nurse/sister for a wife.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on July 29, 2017, 05:40:14 PM
 ???
not visible until i cut insulation, colour wrong as in been hot repeatedly but for how long.
result was overheated terminal and then that went loose  which exasperated issues.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: todthedog on July 30, 2017, 06:00:24 AM
Blimey! tomato:


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on July 30, 2017, 09:58:25 AM
the why has been bugging me....
they must make the leads straight? but all forklift banks i have seen have the half moon shape leads as bent out? is this to suit different cell sizes?
but to my latest theory, if made straight then bent to fit the outer wires must be under constant stress?
the bank was still working fine, but under high load or high charge this lead was getting warm, no visible sign until i cut it open, just sounded crunchy which when opened it certainly was!
my ir thermometer has come in handy, now all cells are the same as are all leads, so maybe a one off or maybe others are about to go? must order more 50/10 battery lugs in case i have to replace them all.

might be worth checking when doing watering?

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Scruff on August 15, 2017, 11:13:03 AM
the why has been bugging me....

Flat bar won't do that.  whistle


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on September 12, 2017, 05:23:02 PM
scruff, what flatbar do you use? copper?
Had another lead bite the dust, not as drastic, just under load or charge greater than 3kw the lead got hot and was crunchy, issue i have with untined copper spacers i have made is verdigris externally, all seems ok and have cleaned and vasalined, but may remake and tin?


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Scruff on September 13, 2017, 12:41:53 AM
Copper in enclosures. Aluminium in the elements. Tap it with a drill when I need to (soft metal).
 I don't vaseline my terminals I just clean them when I service them. Less mess in the long run.
CSA = L x W.

Tinning..eh never bother electroplating the stuff....maybe a potential dump load idea in there. 


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on September 13, 2017, 04:17:09 PM
what bar size did you go for? you got forklift cells?
when watering cells, the slightest drip on the copper spacers makes them verdigris, hence reason for next stripdown i think i will tin them all.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Scruff on September 13, 2017, 04:34:22 PM
Glue lined heat shrink?

75mm for 200A peak nominal load. 3mm x 25mm.
Slightly more for aluminium because it's not as good a conductor.

DC travels through the conductor. The verdigris isn't an issue as long as the contact surface is clean. Skin effect is an alternating current thing.
 
I haven't got forklifts. Golf carts, FLA starters, AGM standby, VRLA are the major share of my lead host.
I would get forklifts if my AGMs weren't free.


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: eabadger on September 13, 2017, 04:53:32 PM
is the Sq section not calculated the same as wire then?
could try heatsink but will not see what is going on so think i will tin them up.
i see peaks of 230a if wife forgets to use one thing at a time!
dishwasher and kettle or daft fancy coffee maker are favorite!

i was working at a big hotel a few years ago installing a new system, same week they paid a company to take out the UPS batteries, all gell with date stamps of less than 12 months old, i tried to buy them but was told no, they paid 20 each to get rid of them, this ups was huge, gutted.

steve


Title: Re: seasonal tilting ground mount
Post by: Scruff on September 13, 2017, 05:09:03 PM
My AGMs were discarded (I offered scrap prices) from a static inverter insurance replacement in a theatre to give 4 hours 110V lighting in emergency. They were 18kWh I split with a friend tested monthly after 3 years service. Bar the first & last in the string they're all tippy top.

CSA is calculated for insulation melting point...if you don't have any it's discretionary.  whistle
In your case 3mm x 40mm bar or 4mm x 30mm will suffice.


Transparent glue lined heat shrink (http://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/cables-wires/cable-accessories-ties-tools/heat-shrink-cold-shrink-sleeves/?applied-dimensions=4294876216,4294884759,4294674013)?