Navitron Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum

SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC => Solar Photovoltaic Systems => Topic started by: linesrg on April 24, 2017, 07:34:09 PM



Title: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 24, 2017, 07:34:09 PM
Good Evening All,

I idly sent an EM to SSE in Perth the other day enquiring as to whether I could add any more PV to my existing system. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a 'positive' response so I've now asked how much I can add given the property is single phase.

I have no real idea what or how this might be implemented. Given it won't attract FIT's (which isn't an issue) I'm assuming second hand equipment/ non-MCS approved equipment could be used - I need to keep the costs down to make it even vaguely worthwhile. It would still need installing/ signing off by an approved installer of course. A G59 application will be required?

I have a 'spare' brand new never fitted/ used SMA SB1700.

This is part of a longer term plan to install a battery storage system.

Any advice/ comments welcome.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: skyewright on April 25, 2017, 10:44:10 AM
I idly sent an EM to SSE in Perth the other day enquiring as to whether I could add any more PV to my existing system. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a 'positive' response so I've now asked how much I can add given the property is single phase.
I was amazed by their speed of response when I asked a year or two ago. Their initial response for what we could extend to was everything we could have wished for (mor ethan double our existing) & at very little cost (around £500 IIRC). Sadly when we looked at the map they sent we realised they thought we lived in the ruin on the other side of the road, very close to the pole mounted transformer. When we informed them of their error it became > £5K for an extra pole and re-routing the overhead and even then only a small increase in capacity, so the idea was dropped.
Mind you, all that was sorted out in just a few days, so that at least was good.

Hopefully your situation is much clearer & simpler & has a better outcome.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 25, 2017, 01:03:03 PM
David,

The pole with the transformer to the 11kV(?) line is only 30mtrs from where the power enters the property so hopefully this will be a positive???

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: skyewright on April 25, 2017, 03:15:16 PM
The pole with the transformer to the 11kV(?) line is only 30mtrs from where the power enters the property so hopefully this will be a positive???
And you are the only user?
If so then I think it should be plain sailing.

The 'ruin across the road' is about that distance from the single phase pole transformer and if we lived there we could have had the 10kWp total we enquired about (even though there are half a dozen other properties sharing the transformer).

A near neighbour who is the only connection to the single phase pole mounted transformer (11kV?) they had fitted when they built the house had no trouble getting permission to connect for a 10kW wind turbine.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 25, 2017, 07:18:02 PM
David,

There are a total of 4 other users within 400yds on this same 11kV line, we are the only one with any RE systems.

I actually went out last night to try and work out where I could put any more panels where the shading would be minimised at least during peak times of day. The panels already mounted are 'optimally' located and without too much thought given to expansion as I hadn't thought it would happen.

I'm not going to get my hopes up too much yet.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 26, 2017, 12:41:31 PM
Good Afternoon All,

I've just had this reply from SSE -

Thank you for your communication.

Apologies for the delay I have been getting a full answer for you.

There is no limit as to how much you can extend their system, however we do require as much information as possible should the extension go ahead.

This will include details such as:

The commissioning date
The total installed capacity of the extension
If the system is going through a different meter. If not, confirmation of which, if any, meter system will run through
Readings from the existing generation meters on the date of installation
We ordinarily advise customers to have a separate generation meter installed so we can continue to pay accurately on the existing meters, without having to do a split payment. If no separate generation meter is to be installed, then we will calculate a split based on the Total Installed Capacity fitted in excess of the existing installation.

We cannot be sure whether a G59 or G83 will need to be sent to the DNO as this is dependent on the extension size and the local DNOs guidelines. The installer will be able to advise whether or G83 or G59 will need to be sent when advising on the potential installation.

 
If I can be of any further assistance please donít hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Roy Oyston

Customer Service


I'm sure they don't really mean there is no limit?? Still let's not look a gift horse in the mouth.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: marshman on April 26, 2017, 01:37:55 PM
Richard,

I think you are speaking to the wrong people and those people have answered the wrong question.  I assume you are speaking to SSE FiTs team who I assume you registered with for FiT payments. As they say they don't mind how much capacity you have, they just need the readings and will pay the FiT as required. This is because they are not responsible for your connection, just the billing.

You need to speak to your DNO - down here it is UK Power Networks, in your case it is SSE Power Distribution. ( https://www.ssepd.co.uk/Home/ ) They are the ones that sort the physical side. As with electricity supply where the FiT team do not speak to the supply team I suspect they dont speak to the power distribution team either. As I understand it you can connect up to 16A worth and tell them afterwards, any more and you have to ask their permission first.

Roger


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 26, 2017, 01:47:37 PM
Roger,

You're quite correct. The DNO is also SSE. I have contacted Gavin A and also a local installer in order to move forwards on this.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: skyewright on April 26, 2017, 03:27:59 PM
You need to speak to your DNO - down here it is UK Power Networks, in your case it is SSE Power Distribution. ( https://www.ssepd.co.uk/Home/ ) They are the ones that sort the physical side. As with electricity supply where the FiT team do not speak to the supply team I suspect they dont speak to the power distribution team either. As I understand it you can connect up to 16A worth and tell them afterwards, any more and you have to ask their permission first.
Ah. Yes. I'd assumed that was the enquiry being made.

I found a relevant page on the SSE website which had a PDF form that I filled in and submitted by e-mail to the 'Microgeneration Connections"(?) department.

I think this is the currently equivalent page:

https://www.ssepd.co.uk/Applications/Generation/ (https://www.ssepd.co.uk/Applications/Generation/)

The "Download application form" link seems to give the same form I used.

The form asks for details you don't yet have (e.g. equipment), but I made it a 'what if' sort of enquiry and they seemed happy enough to respond.

e.g. (my responses in italics)
Proposed date of installation completion: No specific proposal yet

Installer company name: House holder budget enquiry

Generator location within premises: Connect to existing supply via GTI

Generator capacity Aggregate generator capacity to be installed, in kVA for AC machine, or,
AC power output in kW for Photovoltaic: up to 10kW max, see below

Maximum export level onto the DNO electricity network(kW): up to 10kW max, see below

Manufacturer and model type: To be decided

In "Please detail any other information you feel would be useful in support of your application." I described what we already had and said I was interested in adding more, up to a total of 10kWp, I also included a grid reference, Lat & Long, MPANS, location of meters.



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 09, 2017, 11:16:10 AM
Good Morning All,

Now I'm going down the correct route I'm making a 'budget' application for an extension to my existing system with a promised response by 22nd May, hopefully they're not going to decide I need reinforcement.

From the plan they supplied I take it 50kVA amounts to approximately a 100A supply for each of the two properties?

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 23, 2017, 08:38:45 AM
Good Morning All,

Looking at the application form for adding to my existing installation I believe I need to make my extension G59/ 3 compliant??? A quick recap I already have 3.68kW installed and want to add another 1.645kW.

Could somebody with the requisite knowledge please advise. I seem to be having a problem getting my local installer round at the moment as he seems more involved with overseeing a couple of bungalows he's on with having built............. (he has actually dropped out of the MCS approval scheme due to the drop off in work installing systems apparently).

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 28, 2017, 10:08:19 AM
Good Morning All,

I seem to have run in to something of a brick wall finding a G59/ 3 capable electrical person!!!

Err help required please................

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: skyewright on May 28, 2017, 02:31:56 PM
I seem to have run in to something of a brick wall finding a G59/ 3 capable electrical person!!!
If you are at the stage I think you are, i.e. the same stage as when I made my enquiry, then do what I did & make it very general & non-specific, e.g. "Manufacturer and model type: To be decided" (for more examples see my earlier post, above). SSE were perfectly happy to respond to that. Obviously if the initial answer make the project look feasible they'll want a full formal application later, but by that stage you'll have been getting quotes & those PV suppliers should be able to advise?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on June 02, 2017, 09:24:10 AM
Good Morning All,

I need advice from any solar PV installers on the forum pretty please.............

I made an enquiry of SolarEdge a couple of days ago and have had a response which wasn't what I was expecting and I have no reason to doubt his word.

SSE have advised my extension needs to be G59/ 3 compliant, the technical guy at SolarEdge says no it doesn't - quote.

"But let me just correct the bad info SSE have given you. In accordance with the Distribution Code for the UK any system which is 50kWp or smaller and made up of individual type tested units 16amp/3.68kW or smaller, only have to have the inverters G83/2 certified even though your application for the site itself is G59/3."

My system evolved from the pre-FIT days. I started off with a 1.28kW system consisting of 16 x 80W Chinese panels into an SMA inverter. Then, with FIT's looming, I installed another 32 x 80W BP panels into two separate inverters as 16 of these panels were on a Lorentz tracker. My 'system' is therefore three separate 1.28kW sub-systems.

Bear with me here. I want to expand the system ( even though it doesn't make an real economic sense) and am aiming to keep costs rock bottom accordingly whilst recognising that I need an accredited/ qualified person to do the final connecting up.

As I see it I have two options:-

1. I install the additional 1.645kW as another separate system with separate metering or
2. I merge the ROC/ FIT 1.28kw (currently on a G83/ 1 compliant inverter) with the 1.645kW and get a G83/ 2 compliant 3kw inverter and SSE will have to pay my ROC/ FIT's payments in proportion.

Any advice gratefully received.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on October 03, 2017, 04:54:40 PM
Good Afternoon All,

That's me back on dry land again (only 5 days ago) and I've just had a reply from SSE in connection with my application to expand my system. I only planned on expanding 1.645kW and SSE want £584.40 to allow me to do this.

I did ask them a theoretical question about how much I could expand the system by. If I have to pay such a fee I'd like to know how much extra capacity I can install before they do charge for any 'reinforcement' works but they seem incapable/ unwilling to do this.

I have attached their letter for people to see.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: dan_b on October 03, 2017, 05:25:52 PM
It seems to me that for that money, all they're going to do is send an Engineer to your property and fit a bigger DNO circuit fuse at their side of the Henley Block?

It does beg the question of actually how much more could you put down the wire if they're going to bother to charge you for someone to come out and do that?!




Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on October 13, 2017, 04:31:03 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Had a call from Moixa's office in Manchester the other afternoon. We discussed the possibility of fitting one of their battery systems. Had an EM this afternoon with them telling me when he'd been speaking with me he didn't realise they didn't have anybody local to me............

I really despair of organisations in general  banghead:

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 26, 2018, 11:56:44 AM
Good Morning All,

I've jury rigged my 7off PV panels, i.e. propped up against the steading back wall and hooked up the Growatt under controlled conditions, i.e. making sure I'm not exporting more than I'm allowed  ;D

As there isn't sufficient sun for long enough in the day that is said very much tongue in cheek.

There is little fear of the Growatt battery getting charged (currently sat at 10%) as what little sun we're getting, once it rises above the ridge, any excess energy is being diverted by the Immersun to the EHS immersions. On a positive note we've had a couple of short periods where the heating system has used the energy in the EHS during the last couple of days.

I still intend mounting the panels on the steading roof although a solution allowing me to be able to leave them connected full time has yet to be arrived at.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 28, 2018, 08:28:07 AM
Good Morning All,

That's mountings for the 7off PV panels ordered.

The inverter/ Growatt are now connected up via a DC and AC isolator with an Elster generation meter (as I had a 'spare' lying around).

I see, from doing some Googling, that the likes of an SMA Sunny Home Manager 2.0 coupled to the likes of an SMA SB3.0-1AV-40 could be programmed to limit the export from the house to circa 3.86kW/ 16A limit????  

As I understand it a Home Manager system 'Speedwire' needs to be hard wired. I knew there was a reason I ran a second CAT 5 cable from the Utility Room roof space (the first was to connect the heat pump to the router on our landing). I'd need to run another CAT5 cable from the incoming point on the far side of the outbuildings (I'll be able to secure it to the one already in place for the Immersun).

How many CT's can you have at one point? There will be:-

1. the Immersun
2. the Growatt
3. the Home Manager

Thoughts welcomed.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 01, 2018, 05:36:07 PM
Good Evening All,

Out of around 175 viewings I'd hoped somebody might have something to say positively or negatively???? :(

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: ecogeorge on February 01, 2018, 06:55:44 PM
Good Evening All,

Out of around 175 viewings I'd hoped somebody might have something to say positively or negatively???? :(

Regards

Richard
Out of my depth   whistle
You're way ahead ...................


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Stig on February 02, 2018, 08:05:36 AM

How many CT's can you have at one point? There will be:-

1. the Immersun
2. the Growatt
3. the Home Manager

Thoughts welcomed.

Regards

Richard

CT = Current Transformer?
I wouldn't imagine there would be any problem with them interacting, but I'd be inclined to leave a bit of space between them just in case (if you've enough room) - just a few mm of air would reduce any stray magnetic field considerably.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sbchapman on February 05, 2018, 12:14:14 PM
I guess it depends on the response time / sampling frequency of the control systems behind the CTs?
I'v been told PV diversion & residential BESS systesm can happily coexist, however (if I had one) I would prefer the BESS to take priority over the PV diversion as it's displacing electric kWhs rather than gas kWhs (5x the price!)
Sorry can't be of more help but look forward to any other responses .....


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on February 06, 2018, 12:01:25 AM

How many CT's can you have at one point? There will be:-

1. the Immersun
2. the Growatt
3. the Home Manager


As many as will fit !

(https://s5.postimg.org/8y4zv1vjr/CT_Clamps.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 06, 2018, 11:48:32 AM
Good Afternoon All (Well it is the afternoon here down in the Red Sea),

After some more reading I believe the Sunny Home Manager system will work with the likes of the SB3000/ 3600TL-21 series of inverters as they have the power reduction capability??? This reduces the potential overall price of implementation as I should be able to get a second hand machine off everybody's favourite commerce site.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Westie on February 06, 2018, 03:25:51 PM
Good Afternoon All (Well it is the afternoon here down in the Red Sea),

After some more reading I believe the Sunny Home Manager system will work with the likes of the SB3000/ 3600TL-21 series of inverters as they have the power reduction capability??? This reduces the potential overall price of implementation as I should be able to get a second hand machine off everybody's favourite commerce site.

Regards

Richard

Yea, it works with the -21  but not the -20 series. If your going down that route you should have used the sunny storage system rather than Growatt???

BTW. the latest generation of sunny home manager in now integrated with the smart meter, so the smart meter fits into the modular CU and that meter module also contains the home manager. It looks a bit strange as you have an ethernet cable plugged into the front of the CU, so you can't close the dust cover......   Also a  new version of Sunny Storage charger/inverter is comin out soon and will increase the charge/discharge rate to 6kw..



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on February 06, 2018, 03:41:51 PM
Good Afternoon All (Well it is the afternoon here down in the Red Sea),

After some more reading I believe the Sunny Home Manager system will work with the likes of the SB3000/ 3600TL-21 series of inverters as they have the power reduction capability??? This reduces the potential overall price of implementation as I should be able to get a second hand machine off everybody's favourite commerce site.

Regards

Richard


Growatt Shine Limit does the limitation, and if you already have a growatt battery system this is probably a better bet.

No experience of it, but it appears to use a number of pre-existing parts( Shine Link and the Growatt SP-CT, which you probably already have if you have their batter solution)

http://ginverter.com/html/2016/07/11/20160711113055143573224.html


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 07, 2018, 08:26:24 AM
Westie,

The Growatt came at a good price and I was able to get the battery transported 'free' by a fellow Land-Rover owner who brought it up North. As I'm sure most people will be aware on here shipping lithium ion batteries is a nightmare.

I need to keep the cost down so I need to buy everything UBG. Unfortunately the Sunny Home Managers, 1.0 or 2.0 don't appear to fit that category currently  :(

I'll keep my eye out for a UBG SB3000/ 3600TL-21 and bide my time. I can't see the Home Managers coming up cheap though.

sam_cat - thanks for the link to the Growatt product, I wasn't aware of it. Now to go and see what prices are like.

I do still need to challenge SSE over this £585 fee.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on February 07, 2018, 09:36:10 AM

sam_cat - thanks for the link to the Growatt product, I wasn't aware of it. Now to go and see what prices are like.




No problem,

I suggest giving Growatt a call, as you already have all/most parts that are needed.. Just not all in the 'ShineLimit' package. I bet its just software in the box ;)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on February 07, 2018, 10:37:13 AM
Doing a touch more reading on the ShineLimit option, found this:

http://ginverter.com/UpLoadFiles/20161028/Growatt%20ShineLimit.pdf

Quote
ShineLimit is composed of ShineLanBox (calculation & control), ShineRFStick-wireless transmission unit and SP-CT(measurement)

All the parts are readily available via auction sites, the ShineLan Box handles all the clever work... If your battery solution is the one that I think it is then you already have all these parts.



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 08, 2018, 06:25:17 AM
sam_cat,

Looking at the Growatt ShineBusPlus manual it looks like I may already have a parameter that would allow me to limit the output. There is a Discharge Power Limit Setting. It isn't clear whether this refers specifically to the grid output and/ or battery charging but I'm assuming the former?

I did briefly plug a cable in to the Growatt and a laptop before I came away but wasn't able to get the two devices to communicate. I do also have one of the Growatt wireless devices.

I'll need to look at this some more when I get back home on the 13th.

This is certainly going to be a cheaper option than the SMA one I was looking at.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on February 08, 2018, 09:39:08 AM
sam_cat,

Looking at the Growatt ShineBusPlus manual it looks like I may already have a parameter that would allow me to limit the output. There is a Discharge Power Limit Setting. It isn't clear whether this refers specifically to the grid output and/ or battery charging but I'm assuming the former?

I did briefly plug a cable in to the Growatt and a laptop before I came away but wasn't able to get the two devices to communicate. I do also have one of the Growatt wireless devices.

I'll need to look at this some more when I get back home on the 13th.

This is certainly going to be a cheaper option than the SMA one I was looking at.

Regards

Richard

Awesome!
Its not something I have any direct experience of, but I bumped into it on my travels (around the internet) a while ago and it seemed interesting and something that I might need in the future (planning on max solar that the property can take, roof+veranda+maybe garage so 8kw+, so need a way to limit export). Growatt when I have contacted them in the past have been quite responsive and helpful, so might be worth a call when your back and have sat down with it and had a good look.

:)

Be sure to let us all know how you get on.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on February 08, 2018, 12:24:12 PM
The Growatt BATTERY charger/inverter will not limit your export. Bit it is probably possible if you have Growatt GTIs

The SP2000 discharge limiter, is merely to limit the amount of discharge from the battery. I believe the default is 0, so you could change it to 10%, but I've learnt not to tinker too much, after "bricking" an SP2000 whilst doing a firmware update (DON'T EVER TRY TO DO A FW UPDATE!)

In normal use - obviously - if you are exporting, the SP2000 should react with about 1 minute, and start charging the battery, assuming it needs charging. But it'll only take the amount of charge it wants, so if there is still excess, then you will continue to export

I didn't know you needed -21 SB GTIs for export limitation. I'd certainly talk to SMA Germany and see if they have any suggestions for -20 GTIs. I've found them to be very helpful


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 19, 2018, 02:44:46 AM
Good Evening All,

(This sent from somewhere off the Peruvian coastline). Whilst waiting for a reply from SMA about a -20 inverter I've been looking at yet more options.

I see an Aurora PVI-3.6-TL is both G59/ 3 selectable and also has a reactive power capability to reduce output. Anybody with experience, good or bad, with these inverters?

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 07, 2018, 03:26:42 PM
Good Afternoon,

It definitely snowed here again yesterday but now a JCB has ploughed its way up the track things are kind of getting back to normal.

Following a suggestion from nowty I reset my Immersun 2 to allow an export of 300W before it diverted power (to the immersions in the EHS), I don't know why I didn't think of this myself but there you go.

The SP2000 appears to be working properly in that it was trying to charge the battery unit. The batteries are showing 46.6V and only 1% capacity. :( but then they haven't been charged since at least June to my knowledge and I don't know what success the previous owner had.

Next step is taking the cover off the battery unit and seeing how to get around the BMS and charge the batteries direct to get some power into them as I still need to test that the SP2000 is fully functional and will discharge the charged batteries.

I am still intent on replacing the SMA SB1700 inverter with an Aurora PVI-3.6-TL, just waiting for a unit at the right price.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ jj
Post by: Mike123 on March 08, 2018, 09:50:22 AM
Assuming you have some sun shine, you can fool the SP2000 into thinking you're exporting simply by turning the clamp around in the consumer unit. Then the SP2000 will charge the battery - no need to open things up and void any warranty you might have. You can leave it like that for days, and it won't discharge battery at all - obviously, since it will continue to think you're exporting all the time. The battery should become fully charged

My SP2000 will discharge down to 0% each night, then if there's ANY sun the next day it will force-charge the battery back up to 10% - even if I do not export at all


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 08, 2018, 10:34:49 AM
Mike123,

Warranty isn't an issue but that is a clever suggestion re the sensor clamp.

Now is charging the Growatt battery better use of the electricity generated than heating the water in the EHS??????

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on March 08, 2018, 11:28:56 AM
No it isn't, but it will prove to you that the battery is good

The battery should be fine, normally if there's a problem you'll know by the colour of the LED. Solid Red = BAD!, Flashing Red = VERY low battery

Also if there's an imbalanced cell you'll normally get a BMS Error on the SP2000 which = VERY BAD. Growatt would normally either replace that whole battery or take apart and charge the cell on it's own



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: dan_b on March 08, 2018, 12:31:13 PM
Late to this, but my setup has 4x CT clamps all next to eachother and they all seem to co-exist ok.

1. ImmerSUN CT
2. PowerVault CT
3. UKPN Battery Trial clamp 1
4. UKPN Battery Trial clamp 2

The first 3 are all on the same cable, the 4th one is on a different one but it's physically about 3cm away.



As I understand it a Home Manager system 'Speedwire' needs to be hard wired. I knew there was a reason I ran a second CAT 5 cable from the Utility Room roof space (the first was to connect the heat pump to the router on our landing). I'd need to run another CAT5 cable from the incoming point on the far side of the outbuildings (I'll be able to secure it to the one already in place for the Immersun).

How many CT's can you have at one point? There will be:-

1. the Immersun
2. the Growatt
3. the Home Manager

Thoughts welcomed.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sbchapman on March 08, 2018, 03:07:49 PM
Dan - which of the CTs (which inform the creation of a load) takes "priority"? i.e. does Immersun operate using all export until DHW satisfied, then PowerVault charge using all export, or do they "share" the export simultanously?

If this is the case and you wanted it the otherway around, how would you go about changing the order of operation?

(I guessing the way they operate depends on the sampling frequency but can't quite my head around how that would work)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: dan_b on March 08, 2018, 06:54:50 PM
In my system, it turns out that the PowerVault always takes priority ahead of the ImmerSUN. I donít know how but It works!   With the PowerVault charge limit of 800W I can get a situation where both devices will charge/divert at the same time, which is nice.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 08, 2018, 08:11:44 PM
Good Evening All,

I was also wondering about how the Growatt/ Immersun would interact.

If I tell the Immersun to export say 300W, then the Growatt will see this export and divert it to charging the battery. In so doing it will remove the 300W export so the Immersun should 'release' another 300W???

This would continue until the Growatt was using the maximum available power from the available panels?

At this point the Immersun would be able to 'settle' the 300W output?

There certainly seemed to be some confusion, particularly once the cloud came across causing varying output.

Thoughts????

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on March 09, 2018, 05:53:48 PM
Yes thats how it works, I have experimented with different amounts of min export on the Immersun to see if the Growatt would increase its charge rate any faster but it does not.

I found that my two Growatt work ok with the Immersun set to 250w min export. If you only have one Growatt you may get away with using 150w or 200w.

Unfortunately the Growatts dont work too well with fluctuating Sun or fluctuating house loads (like washing machines). They ramp up their charging very slowly and cut out the charging as soon as there are any disturbances, then slowly ramp up again.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 19, 2018, 02:58:08 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Whilst I haven't been monitoring the PV output via the Immersun readout all day I did see the system putting out 5623W at one point earlier this afternoon.

Given the house was using some 650W and the Immersun was diverting 2.7kW to the immersion in the EHS there was little risk of exceeding my allowed single phase limit.

I am part way through acquiring a Aurora inverter to meet my DNO specified G59/ 3 requirement.

My biggest headache is getting either of my two Windows laptop devices to 'talk' to the Growatt. The whizzo cable is assigned COM 3 on both devices but I can't get any communication going.

The SP200 charges the batteries to '5%' then the battery temperature out of range alarm comes up.

Any suggestions?

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on March 19, 2018, 06:29:19 PM
Have you got a USB to serial FTDI cable ?

Like this, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-to-Serial-Adapter-High-Quality-FTDI-CHIPSET-RS232-BT232-WIN-7-8-10-DB9-/151406431857

And not some cheap rubbish like this, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB2-0-to-Serial-RS232-RS-232-Cable-Converter-Adapter-DB9-Win-7-8-10/330722083342?hash=item4d0092820e:g:N2AAAOSw4HVWEPOQ

The former works plug and play without having to install the correct drivers, the latter might work if you have the driver and it installs properly.

I had the same issue over a year ago and Camiltech put me right on this.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: marshman on March 19, 2018, 08:34:11 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Whilst I haven't been monitoring the PV output via the Immersun readout all day I did see the system putting out 5623W at one point earlier this afternoon.

Given the house was using some 650W and the Immersun was diverting 2.7kW to the immersion in the EHS there was little risk of exceeding my allowed single phase limit.

I am part way through acquiring a Aurora inverter to meet my DNO specified G59/ 3 requirement.

My biggest headache is getting either of my two Windows laptop devices to 'talk' to the Growatt. The whizzo cable is assigned COM 3 on both devices but I can't get any communication going.

The SP200 charges the batteries to '5%' then the battery temperature out of range alarm comes up.

Any suggestions?

Regards

Richard

As Nowty says get a cable with a FTDI chipset. What version of Windoze are you using? Sometimes there are issues with Windoze and setting up a VCP (Virtual Coms Port).  Usually it is all plug and play but sometimes it gets messed up - this can happen if you have had other USB to serial interfaces connected at some point. As I recall there are 2 parts to the driver software - the USB driver and the bit to convert the USB serial to a  COM port the software can see. Not had any experience of Aurora inverters but the older SMA inverters used to require the baud rate to be set to 1200 baud or they wouldn't talk, so have you checked the port parameters? I have found the FTDI drivers when downloaded from their website and matched to the correct version of windows to work on all versions of Windows OK (XP onwards) .

Roger


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 19, 2018, 08:45:04 PM
Roger,

Thanks for the comments, I've just sent a PM to nowty. I have a cable with the FTDI chipset, I think I need to read the instructions again........

I exported 2.3kWHr today which could have gone towards charging the battery........

One laptop is running XP and the other a 64bit Windows 7 Professional.

As of 0015 I'm re-installing the FTDI lead software on the Windows 7 device again.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 20, 2018, 10:10:59 AM
Good Morning All,

Well I don't seem to be making any progress trying to communicate with the Growatt as I've been out armed with the re-loaded laptop. I've set the Shine Bus (Device Info page) to COM3, Inv Add: to 1 and Period(ms) to 495 and then press the 'Start' button and nothing happens.

This is getting very frustrating. I have no reason to suspect there is a fault with the Growatt as it seems to be working otherwise.

Err help!!!!

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on March 20, 2018, 11:49:49 AM
On the Windows device, have you checked through, Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Device Manager > Ports (COM and LPT) > Communications Port (COMx).     (where x is your Com Port number). If this is not 3 then you need to change it in the Shine Bus.

Also in Control Panel (with the UBS cable plugged in) > Hardware and Sound > Device Manager > Universal Serial Bus Controllers > USB Serial Converter.    Is this showing as working properly.

My Shine Bus has Period (ms) set to 600. Although I have just tried it as 495 like yours and it still works ok.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 20, 2018, 12:09:50 PM
nowty,

In Device Manager the d-sub cable is showing as installed on COM3.

The USB Serial Converter is showing as working.

I might try going out to 600ms.

In the meantime I have decided to tackle this from the other direction. Armed with my hot air gun it doesn't take long to eliminate the out of range error message, it cleared to give me a no AC flow error message but that is due to lack of Immersun diversion. OK so time to peel the 'gunk' off the connectors on the PCB which are pretty obviously the temperature sensors.

As you can see from the photo there are sensor points (on the PCB) adjacent to the connector. Having applied heat and eliminated the error message with a resistance of some 20k (measured with my trusty Fluke). As the battery pack cooled down again it went down to around 22k when I came in to post this and the error message hadn't returned. A best guess would be that these are 10k NTC's.

Having replaced the thermistors with 20k resistors the out of range 'problem' has gone away..

Regards

Richard


(https://s14.postimg.org/gy6wxc9tp/DSCN0763_2.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/gy6wxc9tp/)

(https://s14.postimg.org/kqzm4hji5/DSCN0768_2.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/kqzm4hji5/)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Dave Fowler on March 21, 2018, 05:56:16 PM
It looks like there's some moisture marks round the NTC plug and socket.  Could there be a problem with corrosion residue under the plastic?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on March 22, 2018, 08:25:35 AM
I would start by repairing this damaged connection:

(http://i.imgur.com/MqfkSPSh.png) (https://imgur.com/MqfkSPS)



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 22, 2018, 08:48:11 AM
sam-cat,

Having stripped the sheathing off the cable the strands are quite fine. Having reduced the size of this photo to post it probably gives a misleading 'picture'. The connection is good as I've tested them both via the onboard test points (P26/ P28 in the picture) and also the out of range alarm on the SP2000 has gone.

Regards

Richard



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on March 22, 2018, 09:11:20 AM
Have to take your word for it, but in that picture it looks bad/damaged. At the very least it now has very poor stress reduction and a slight tug looks like it would make it fail.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Tinbum on March 22, 2018, 09:15:25 AM
Have to take your word for it, but in that picture it looks bad/damaged. At the very least it now has very poor stress reduction and a slight tug looks like it would make it fail.

That is the resistor connection he has just put in to replace the temp sensor.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 22, 2018, 10:13:01 AM
sam_cat,

OK - it does need to be more durable as I intend to leave it like this for the near future. I'll now need to find out what these connectors are and order some................

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on March 22, 2018, 10:44:00 AM
sam_cat,

OK - it does need to be more durable as I intend to leave it like this for the near future. I'll now need to find out what these connectors are order some................

Regards

Richard


Looks like microlatch wire to board, but hard to tell from the pic.

Take some better pics (lots of light, rest camera on pile of books for better support) and also pull the connector out and get pics of that. Ruler for scale in some pics. We can find the connector for you (As a hobby I do a lot of DIY electronics, building amplifiers, dacs, control circuits, etching own PCBs etc....)

:)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 01, 2018, 10:04:12 PM
Good Evening All,

I still have reservations about the Growatt, it charges the battery to 5% and then 'gives up'.

There has been progress this evening in that my eldest son has persuaded his Windows 10 laptop to run the Growatt software and then loaded the FTDI cable as well and we now have communication with the Growatt as per the picture below. I need to go back and try my other two laptops but on Inv 0 rather than Inv 1 as suggested by the Growatt literature.

I now need to determine if the length of CAT 5 cable between the CT sensor and the Growatt is too long and leading to the signal being degraded. I read somewhere that paralleling twisted pairs might improve this situation (was it here????).

A good day from a solar front with 22.2kWHr produced.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Nickel2 on April 02, 2018, 09:57:32 AM
Modbus should be good for 1300M. It may be worth using specific modbus cable, or CAT5E/CAT6.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 02, 2018, 05:59:03 PM
Good Evening All,

Well the Dell notebook that I thought wouldn't communicate with the Growatt has earlier this afternoon so I'm a little confused as to why it didn't previously, I imagine I automatically set the Inv to 1 and never tried the 0 setting.

Now to try and get to the bottom of why it seems to stop charging when the battery gets to 5% as well as reset the low battery temperature function and re-connect the thermistors.

Collectively do 'we' know what the default settings for a Growatt SP200 are?

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 03, 2018, 11:15:46 AM
Hi Richard

I did try doubling up the CAT5 for the CT Clamp but accuracy did NOT improve. I do have a very long run though (70metres+). It seems accurate for high import and export, but totally inaccurate on lower values, but I need to test this more, once we get some real sunny days

The SP2000 should be plug and play, so there shouldn't be any settings you need to change unless you want Forced Discharge Mode, but if there are any settings you want me to check, then let me know

The Firmware you are showing is an early version (S/N prefixed I and T are early models). Their charging algorithm is not as good as newer models, but this is really only for winter months. ie Older firmware could allow the battery to discharge and go into red warning mode (so I was told). Whatever you do, do NOT try and upgrade the firmware. I bricked a I/T model myself. I assume your SP2000 does not have the charge LEDs behind the battery symbol, like the newer ones do?

Are you sure you are getting enough EXPORTED sun to allow the SP2000 to actually charge beyond 5%? I have 4 x SP2000's here and I have only seen exporting done on 2 or 3 days for a short period, over the last 2 weeks. I believe mine aren't getting even up to 5% charge yet


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 03, 2018, 01:26:18 PM
Mike123,

I can't be sure that the PO didn't alter any of the settings either inadvertently or intentionally. Once I get some more time to devote to this and a day where lots of sun is forecast then I'll re-visit the issue. Thanks for the offer of help.

I may need to switch the Immersun off as well as on a cloudy day it can play havoc with the export even when you deliberately select 300W Minimum Export.

My CAT 5 cable run is less than 25 metres although I didn't crop the ready bought 25mtr cable.

I bought a C15 IEC plug yesterday at Maplins (shelves half empty with their closing down sale) so I can now use my 48V battery charging unit to try charging the Growatt batteries overnight. I've still to dig out my Albright contactors so I can 'automate' this process and not keep having to change cables over. It will only be whilst I determine if the Growatt functions correctly.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 03, 2018, 03:04:53 PM
I'd be surprised if there is a fault with it. But yes I agree it would be good to switch off the immersion diversion on a nice day to prove yourself happy

Normally a faulty unit is obvious. The most common I've seen is "SS Timeout" (after about 15 minutes) which means it's trying to divert the battery to the house but the switching circuit is faulty. Otherwise all I've seen is bad batteries with BMS faults

Growatt do have software, and a USB cable -> serial, that plugs into the battery's BMS. This shows all the cell voltages and also allows you to recalibrate cells, but I don't have a copy and haven't found it online anywhere either

Bysides after I bricked a SP2000 I decided my tampering days were over :-)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 06, 2018, 05:26:49 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Well not so good actually. I've been out in the outbuildings trying to communicate with the Growatt.

I have taken a set of readings of the various settings on the Plus CMD tab and there is nothing particularly untoward I can see.

The biggest problem I have is that I seem unable to alter any setting on the Growatt, am I missing something? The instructions could be clearer.

Currently on the Parameter page there is nothing under 06. CT Setting. When I read it it comes back with a zero but indicates that 16 represents a CT and 17 the wireless option. When I try to enter 16 as a setting I get a Data Set Fail notice.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 06, 2018, 05:43:45 PM
HI Richard

I'd have to check what mine have as a setting

The software is very basic to say the least. Obviously you tick Read, to read the setting, and untick Read, to set the setting

HOWEVER I find that with the earlier firmware (which is also earlier HARDWARE also) they can be a nightmare to actual set the settings, and more often that not (can be 9 times out of 10) you will get a write FAIL. This is how I bricked the SP2000 because it started writing the new firmware, then failed whilst doing so, leaving me with nothing

How many times have you tried to write the value? Maybe try some more


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 06, 2018, 05:49:39 PM
Yes 16 is correct, going by the setup manual I have

You could also try increasing the (Timeout) Period(ms) (bottom right), it seemed to help me, but could have been my imagination

Mike


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 07, 2018, 01:16:20 PM
Mike,

Even moving the time interval out to 5000ms I was still getting 'Set Data Fail' messages after multiple attempts. I'm at a loss to understand the problem.

I don't understand why I was getting a battery out of range temperature warning as it is set to -7oC.

Another anomaly I have seen is that if I remove the mains feed to the Growatt and then connect it again after a few seconds and the battery level is less than 5% then it charges and once this 5% level is reached it then reverts to the 'No AC power flow' message.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 09, 2018, 12:47:39 PM
Hi Richard

Hmmmm... well I ran one of my old units up indoors just now. This unit was working fine with a WIRED CT Clamp. If I read 06 CT Mode, mine is also set to ZERO!!

I have also attempted to set mine to 16 but I get Data Set Fail as well

I would say it is normal for the unit to charge if battery is under 5%. No AC Power Flow (obviously) means it cannot read the CT Clamp

At this stage I think it would be wise to contact Neil at Growatt Technical on the phone. It may be that on older units CT Mode = 0 does mean cable only, or it could simply mean that the only CT Mode that was possible, was wired (and hence the unit will not accept anything written to this value).

Doesn't explain why you're not getting a reading on the CT Clamp itself though. You do have the Clamp plugged into "Sensor" rather than "LAN COM"? I fell a croppa with an SP3000 and had the Clamp plugged into the wrong port!

I've always found Neil to be very very helpful (who is on the "South" tech line below)

"You can call the Growatt UK Service Line 01865 339515 or their field technicians 075 8555 9688 (south) 07766027588 (north) for any technical and install questions"

Please let me know how it goes

Mike


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 10, 2018, 10:50:33 AM
Hi Richard

Without reading all 5 pages again, I don't recall you saying your unit gave a "No AC Power Flow" error before. So therefore if that's correct the CT Clamp must have worked in the past. You would normally get the clamp error within about 15 minutes of power-up

Is the clamp definately fixed and closed okay on the cable? Is the cable from SP2000 -> Clamp definately okay? Have you tried unplugging the clamp cable from the SP2000, just in case it's a bad connection?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 10, 2018, 05:38:15 PM
Mike,

There is, I think, a hierarchy of error messages. Having eliminated the battery temperature out of range error I was then able to get the 'Standby' and 'No AC Power Flow' messages.

I will, when I get a chance, phone Growatt.

Yes the clamp is fixed correctly. It is on the incoming tail from the DNO with the arrow pointing away from the property towards the DNO supply.

One question I would like answering is why, after temporarily removing the AC power to the SP2000 and then re-connecting the device, it will drop into charging mode. On one occasion I could 'hear' the electronics in the box working and clearly doing its job and the LED's illuminating to say power was being passed to both the battery and to the house.

Hopefully if I relay these observations to Growatt they will have some answers.

Regards

Richard



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 10, 2018, 05:48:11 PM
You get the "No AC Power Flow" when there is neither import or export occurring for a length of time. Usually it means you have enough solar to normally export, but you have an immersun running set to zero export.

If you reboot the Growatt and there is excess solar it will go into charge mode, that is normal. If the battery is very low and you have some solar (maybe not enough to export) it may go into charge mode, so sounds normal to me.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 11, 2018, 10:12:45 AM
Very good point Nowty I hadn't thought of that. I don't really see that situation in my install

But then Richard should only see this at certain times of the day. If it were dusk/dark he should start to see import (or discharge) on the SP2000 and he should start to see the amount of watts being imported on the display (via the Clamp), shouldn't he? That would then prove all is well

Completely agree about it going into charge mode if the battery is low (under 10%??) and there is some solar. I see the same

Mike


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 11, 2018, 01:32:50 PM
nowty/ Mike123,

I understand what you're both saying and agree. What this doesn't explain is the other day when the system exported 7.5kW and none went to the battery and that is the cause for concern/ worry.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 12, 2018, 11:27:40 AM
We are due some good weather next week (well "down ere" anyway)

Are you around during the day, can you check the SP2000's display to see what it thinks is being exported during a period of good sun? Can you verify that you roughly agree with what it thinks - using an Owl or other type meter, or immersion diverter

Can you say what it says it is importing at night time?

We need top 100% make sure the Clamp is actually working


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: TheFairway on April 12, 2018, 05:38:40 PM
We are due some good weather next week (well "down ere" anyway)

I'm easily pleased, I just hope for some "not quite so carp weather"


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 13, 2018, 09:25:19 AM

I understand what you're both saying and agree. What this doesn't explain is the other day when the system exported 7.5kW and none went to the battery and that is the cause for concern/ worry.


Are you sure this was exported out to the grid ?, or was it used internally, either by house loads or diverted to hot water via the immersun ?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 13, 2018, 11:18:34 AM
nowty,

Definitely exported. The export occurred once the two immersion heaters in the EHS had gotten up to temperature. The heat pump compressor was shut down so other than a maybe 500W background demand from the house the rest was definitely exported.

There was nothing about the Growatt battery status to suggest any charging had taken place as it was indicating below 5% charge.

Even setting the Immersun to export 300W as has been suggested doesnít seem to trigger charging. I donít know how stable the export needs to be for the Growatt to enable its charging mode? The Immersun will be all over the place during cloudy weather as it wrestles with maintaining both a minimum export of 300W and diverting power to an immersion heater and the house load.

The only steady state it will see will occur when the heat store immersions cut out. A further complication occurs when the EHS is providing the central heating and keeps cooling down forcing the Immersun to go back to powering an immersion to get the EHS temperature back up.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 13, 2018, 03:01:06 PM
OK, you need to look at the display as it constantly flips between info and look at the "P_Grid:" info.
Does it display correctly with the state if grid import / export ?
Are you still getting the "No AC power flow" error ?

Example, mine is showing I am exporting 25w and the status is in Standby because there is not enough export, it needs >100w of export to go into Charging mode.
(https://s5.postimg.cc/44w4ouq6f/grow_01.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Now mine is showing an export of 338w, but its still in Standby mode because it needs to see >100w of export for over a minute.
(https://s5.postimg.cc/bxmsgtofr/grow_02.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Its now been over a minute and its changed into Charging mode and will slowly ramp up the charging.
(https://s5.postimg.cc/9t2ffr28n/grow_03.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


If you are not getting correct "P_Grid:" readings, then likely that the CT Clamp is not installed correctly.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 25, 2018, 11:48:39 AM
Good Morning All,

Well that's me back at home again this morning and determined to get to the bottom of the Growatt 'challenge'.

I've got the lid off the battery pack and connected the Growatt battery pack direct to my 48V DC charger device. I wasn't sure that the latter was working but as the voltage measured went up from 47.2 to 47.5V in short order I'm assuming it is.

My intentions are to give these batteries a reasonable charge and then re-connect them to the SP2000 control unit. According to the BBC weather we should sun all day although showers are due this afternoon. I intend to switch the Immersun off if necessary so it doesn't add to the 'confusion' by continuously varying how and what it diverts.

Fingers crossed I'll have some answers by the end of the day.

Have just been out to get a photo of my Heath Robinson set-up............ batteries up to 47.7V. This is good news in so far as I wasn't absolutely sure the charger was working.

I'm also hoping that I can re-connect the thermistors as having read they are set to -7oC then I'm assuming it is simply the fact that the battery voltage being so low has been the cause of my issues to date.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 25, 2018, 03:15:08 PM
Good Afternoon All,

The charging device doesn't seem to want to go beyond 48V....... Plan B will be jury rig a charger this evening consisting of a Variac, a FWBR and a bank of capacitors and charge the batteries up that way.

Currently the Growatt is charging the batteries but it only sees a capacity of 1% so I expect things to grind to a halt once it reaches 5% as previously.

nowty - I'm not seeing the P_Grid readings you show but the batteries are showing as charging currently. The figure I see is usually somewhere in the 7 - 8W range only.

Assuming the Variac set-up works I should have the batteries up to 55V by tomorrow morning.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 26, 2018, 12:00:57 PM
Good Morning All,

Going back to nowty's question re whether the CT clamp was working or not I now have the following reply - err I'm not sure.

I have two clamps and I have just tried the other one and it doesn't make any difference I still see a reading of some 6 - 7W whichever clamp is attached. I also see the same reading when I disconnect the 25mtr extension cable!

It is unlikely both CT's are defective? Therefore the fault must exist in either the 25mtr Cat5 cable or the adaptor?? I need to try an alternate cable and adaptor.

Almost time to try contacting Neil at Growatt.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on April 26, 2018, 12:13:26 PM
Good Morning All,

Going back to nowty's question re whether the CT clamp was working or not I now have the following reply - err I'm not sure.

I have two clamps and I have just tried the other one and it doesn't make any difference I still see a reading of some 6 - 7W whichever clamp is attached. I also see the same reading when I disconnect the 25mtr extension cable!

It is unlikely both CT's are defective? Therefore the fault must exist in either the 25mtr Cat5 cable or the adaptor?? I need to try an alternate cable and adaptor.

Almost time to try contacting Neil at Growatt.

Regards

Richard

You can test it without the 25mtr cable... All you need is a kettle, knock up some cabling such that you can get the clamp around L or N... Turn the kettle on and if the clamp is the right way around is should see 2.5-3kW of faked 'generation' (reading the power backwards).

Or move the growatt nearer the location of the CT clamps... first option seems easier, have used it to test immersion diverters on the bench. :)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 26, 2018, 01:37:06 PM
I completely agree about making up a test mains lead. Shouldn't take too long. A reading as low as that indicates that it probably isn't getting a reading from the clamp, or you have the clamp plugged into the wrong socket on the SP2000 - unless your immersion diverter is working and keeping export at near 0

The clamp uses 2 wires of the CAT5 cable. The RJ45 Orange is connected to the CT Clamp's white/black wire. The RJ45 Brown is connected to the CT Clamp's black only wire

Can we see some pics of the clamps in use on the incoming mains, and the SP2000 end?



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 26, 2018, 01:42:02 PM
Obviously you might need a mains extension lead to get the kettle nearer the growatt controller.
In fact I did exactly this when I bought my second unit to ensure it worked before parting with the cash.

Except I used a sandwich toaster. wackoold


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 26, 2018, 04:15:39 PM
Good Afternoon,

I can certainly 'jury rig' something. The Variac I was using for charging the battery pack last night has wiring that can easily accommodate a CT clamp.

The cable is plugged into the sensor socket on the SP2000 so that isn't the issue. The Immersun was switched off, the sun was shining, the heat pump compressor was off so I was 100% certain I was exporting.

I can provide pictures of the cable clamp locations later tomorrow although what will be learnt from this I'm not sure. I have two Immersun CT's which are working fine.

I am coming to the conclusion that the SP2000 may well be defective, however I want to make sure.

Checking devices is all well and good if you are anywhere near where they're being sold but I take your point.

I'll revert when testing is completed.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 26, 2018, 07:53:27 PM
I had a quick go with one of my spare Growatt controllers, no battery or PV connected, just the controller plugged into a socket with the CT clamp plugged in. I stripped the insulation off an old computer lead and used it with a bench power supply putting 10 amps through 1.47 Ohm resistors to give approx a 150w load.


Obviously I get an error because there is no battery connected, but with the CT clamp just loose, P_Grid: is almost zero.
(https://s5.postimg.cc/shc91kyyf/ct01.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)



I attached the CT clamp to the live lead of my power supply giving 10 amps through a couple of resistors, approx 150w.
(https://s5.postimg.cc/89yt9agwn/ct02.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)



Now P_Grid: gives +132.2w as I expected, of course it could have been negative if I had the clamp the other way around.
(https://s5.postimg.cc/vbfef8j6v/ct03.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


So its easy to check.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 27, 2018, 08:50:16 AM
nowty,

Thanks for the proof that the methodology works. I'm currently stuck in Aberdeen with a visit to the chiropractor at 1010 and then, in theory, we should be collecting the Zoe at 1200!!!!! :) :) :)

Should manage to conduct this test later today.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on April 27, 2018, 08:59:04 AM
Its a useful test to be able to do, and should tell you something.

And remember, if you want to double the reading, loop the cable around the CT Clamp twice... For triple the reading do it 3 times. Useful if you need a larger measured current.
Not an issue if using a kettle as they pull near enough 3kw.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Stig on April 27, 2018, 09:32:15 AM
Quote
of course it could have been negative if I had the clamp the other way around.

How does that work with AC then?   ???


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on April 27, 2018, 09:52:42 AM
Quote
of course it could have been negative if I had the clamp the other way around.

How does that work with AC then?   ???

By measuring the vector multiplication of the current and voltage. You need the magnitude and phase delta for the voltage and current.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Stig on April 27, 2018, 10:13:35 AM
Quote
of course it could have been negative if I had the clamp the other way around.

How does that work with AC then?   ???

By measuring the vector multiplication of the current and voltage. You need the magnitude and phase delta for the voltage and current.

Ah, didn't realise it had a voltage probe as well.  Guess I wasn't paying attention!


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 27, 2018, 10:40:34 AM
Ah, didn't realise it had a voltage probe as well.  Guess I wasn't paying attention!

I guess it probes the voltage from simply being plugged into a mains socket.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on April 27, 2018, 11:37:51 AM
Ah, didn't realise it had a voltage probe as well.  Guess I wasn't paying attention!

I guess it probes the voltage from simply being plugged into a mains socket.

Thats my guess too, inverters (by being what they are) have a good reference point in that they are connected to the supply.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Tinbum on April 27, 2018, 03:56:16 PM
Ah, didn't realise it had a voltage probe as well.  Guess I wasn't paying attention!

I guess it probes the voltage from simply being plugged into a mains socket.

Thats my guess too, inverters (by being what they are) have a good reference point in that they are connected to the supply.

That could be interesting if you have 3 phase and it's plugged into a different phase to the one its actually measuring.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 27, 2018, 05:46:54 PM
That could be interesting if you have 3 phase and it's plugged into a different phase to the one its actually measuring.

I started to think that too, but earlier in the thread the OP says its a single phase property.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 30, 2018, 02:19:54 PM
Good Afternoon All,

OK so having carried out the simple test proposed by nowty it is clear that my SP2000 is not working properly. Now for Plan B - problem is I don't have a Plan B - so I'll now need to make one.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on April 30, 2018, 02:50:56 PM
Good Afternoon All,

OK so having carried out the simple test proposed by nowty it is clear that my SP2000 is not working properly. Now for Plan B - problem is I don't have a Plan B - so I'll now need to make one.

Regards

Richard


Ahem.....

;) :p

Sorry to hear its broken, but at least you now know where the problem lies. Sometimes diagnosing the location of the fault can be a real PITA.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 30, 2018, 03:14:59 PM
sam_cat,

My apologies it was indeed yourself.............

I've just tried contacting Growatt on the numbers provided by Mike123(?????). A nice lady answered the phone (to both the 'Southern' mobile no and the base no.) to advise that they weren't dealing with Growatt anymore?

Is nothing ever easy?

Regards

Richard



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 30, 2018, 03:24:04 PM
Oh! I'm shocked as the company details I gave to you called itself Growatt!

I have contact the distributor and asked what the tech support no is now, and will revert once I get an answer

The Growatt warranty is with the original purchaser, so they probably won't honour the 5 years warranty, but it is obviously worth asking, as they DID honour it with me

The SP2000's do come up on ebay quite often. I have 3 to sell, just need to get around to putting them on


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on April 30, 2018, 04:57:11 PM
This is what I just got back as a reply

"Neil and Jon are the two technicians for Growatt, though they both are on the road and in lofts a lot so be patient getting in touch. A text is often best.

Neil 07585 559688
Jon 07766027588"

But that is the number I gave you for Neil, wasn't it?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 30, 2018, 06:45:41 PM
Mike123,

The lady answering the phone to both no's explained something which to be honest I didn't fully understand I'll be honest.

I also contacted Midsummer Solar and spoke to a guy there, he was unfamiliar with the issue I was suffering but did send me a idiot's guide to fault finding on an SP2000.

I idly speculated on buying a new unit from them with him but he indicated that the warranty would only be valid if a qualified person fitted it, I countered with how difficult could it be to install a Growatt unit and he replied "I'd be surprised".

Let me see PV panels in, PV panels out to inverter, AC in, CT in, BMS lead in and battery in - maybe I'm missing something. It is as close to plug and play as you could hope to get surely?

I see the SP2000 manual does indicate a route to setting the CT by 'tapping' the unit but I have been unable to perfect the technique.

Whilst I was playing this afternoon the system did find itself in 'Charging' mode (even though there was no CT indication of power being exported - there was at least 2kW being exported at the time) and I was actually present when it stopped which was precisely when it hit the 6% battery full mark.

I'll try sending a text to Neil.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on May 01, 2018, 07:54:53 AM
I see the SP2000 manual does indicate a route to setting the CT by 'tapping' the unit but I have been unable to perfect the technique.

I struggled with the tapping technique to begin with (on both Growatt 1000s and a 1500s inverters).. Use a screwdriver, hold it by the pointy end and use the handle to tap. It seems to pick this up much much more readily.



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on May 01, 2018, 10:58:39 AM
I find the tapping extremely frustrating also. Neil from Growatt appears to have a hard-skinned end to his finger through tapping these units '000s of times  :)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 02, 2018, 03:30:48 PM
Good Afternoon All,

The Growatt unit has been replaced with a known working model and 'lo and behold' I now seem to have a working system. Battery has charged beyond 8% which is, in it self, a significant event.

Currently in a 'text' dialogue with Neil from Growatt. Hopefully the 'problem' with the original unit can be resolved.

I now need to get on with mounting that battery unit to the wall, changing the inverter out and getting the PV panels on the roof.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Mike123 on May 02, 2018, 03:59:22 PM
Richard

That is excellent news! Very happy for you

Mike


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 02, 2018, 04:41:35 PM
Good Afternoon All (again),

Neil at Growatt is indeed being helpful. Apparently the currently fitted CT is from an SP1000, not sure how this came about as I've only acquired 2off SP2000. I'll shortly be changing out the currently fitted CT for an SP2000 one.

Things are pointing to a problem RJ45 socket IMHO but I'll see the fault finding process through with Neil first.

Battery at 9% :)

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 03, 2018, 08:12:20 AM
Good Morning All,

Finally I've seen the Growatt do what it's supposed to. OK so it only charged up to 10% but it was discharging this back between 1800 - 1900. Hooray. I hate to think how much time has been lost over this issue.

As I was on a roll, so to speak, I fitted the Aurora PVI 3.6 inverter last night. The good news is that it is running this morning. You can never be sure with purchases off that well known internet based auction site.

I logged on to the ABB site as an 'installer' last night so should be able to gain the password to enable me to change it over to G59/3 mode. I see the inverter has only done 1538hrs

There is still some tidying up to do - the actual mains output cable has to be clipped up, the more eagle eyed will see it currently dangling from the round junction box.

In the meantime SWMBO has just phoned from Aberdeen railway station to advise the 0715 has been cancelled as a result of initially brake issues and then signals. This is the first train she has had to catch for some time so she is not amused, in the meantime I've got to go and persuade the pony to come near me so I can get a head collar on him and drag him into the stable for the vet and his flu jab...............

Now to look at dismantling the 'duff' Growatt and get at the small PCB on which the sensor RJ45 socket is mounted.

Late Addition - very embarrassing I see I've put the cover plate back on the inverter upside down!

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 04, 2018, 09:55:57 PM
Good Evening All,

Time for some Growatt surgery. I've gotten to the PCB on which the socket is mounted.

As you can see from the photo's the two pins of the RJ45 that connect to the mini-connector are very clearly marked 1 & 2. I have run a meter on them and the only two pins of the RJ45 that are connected are Pins 1 & 8.

Following one of Neil's suggestions I've cut the heatshrink on the CT sensor cable open to confirm which two cables were connected. As you can see it is the Blue and Orange and a visual inspection of the RJ45 shows that the Blue and Orange are connected to Pins 1 & 8.

Unless I'm missing something drastic here there is no way that this socket/ CT sensor combination can work. One has to assume that the wiring of the socket/ plugs changed at some point?

I'll send these photo's to Neil for his comments.

As you'll see from the one photo the CT sensor I inspected has got a crack in it which won't help it work properly either.

At some point I'll rewire this CT sensor (fingers crossed it will still work after a fashion) so that Pins 1 & 2 are connected to the RJ45 plug.

Comments welcome.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Tinbum on May 04, 2018, 10:10:53 PM
The clamp uses 2 wires of the CAT5 cable. The RJ45 Orange is connected to the CT Clamp's white/black wire. The RJ45 Brown is connected to the CT Clamp's black only wire

It was the BROWN and orange that I found to be connected as well.

edit; My RJ45 colours are also in a different order to yours. orange/white, orange, blue, blue/white, green/white, green, brown white, brown


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 04, 2018, 10:24:31 PM
Good Evening All (again),

I was going to leave any further investigation until tomorrow but...............

Only the blue wire has continuity, the orange is 'dead' at the PCB end. Having looked at the RJ45 plug pin 2 is clearly the blue/ white core. Lo and behold there is continuity to the PCB.

At some point in the life of Growatt production they clearly changed from using pins 1 and 2 to pins 1 and 8.

I now need to put this unit back together and run a simple test before trying it out for real. I now know I need to change the CT sensor wiring in order to get this particular unit working.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Tinbum on May 04, 2018, 10:31:42 PM


At some point in the life of Growatt production they clearly changed from using pins 1 and 2 to pins 1 and 8.


Mine seems to be pins 2 and 8.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 04, 2018, 11:16:18 PM
Good Evening All (Part 3)

You know how can you can't put things down once you have a grip on them?

I've re-assembled the SP2000 and changed the wiring for the CT sensor.

What is they say about don't try this at home but I accessed the CU and clipped the CT around the heat pump live feed.

As you can see the previously non-functional SP2000 looks like it may actually be functional!

I'm away to Aberdeen tomorrow morning. I wasn't going to come back as I'm heading out to the Tay for kayaking on Sunday but I can see that I'll have to get back tomorrow and carry out a full test.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Westie on May 05, 2018, 08:08:29 AM
The crack in the CT ferrite core will reduce the inductance and mess up the CT calibration.



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 05, 2018, 09:01:40 AM
Weston,

I was hoping to avoid modifying the wiring for my one remaining CT sensor but it isnít that big a deal really. Currently waiting for the chiropractor before heading back home to try the Growatt out. Itís a nice sunny day here.

Battery charged to 28% yesterday.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 05, 2018, 01:17:04 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Well the 'old' Growatt has been fitted along with the CT sensor with the modified cable and all seems well. I will change out the cracked CT sensor at some point.

I still can't fathom why, using the same sensor, you would want to change the which pins you use on the RJ45 plug.

Now to focus on getting the 7 PV panels mounted on the roof.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 06, 2018, 09:07:59 PM
Good Evening All,

Had to go back to the house today to get my son's kayak for an evening paddle and took the opportunity to check out the Growatt. The SP2000 was reporting that the battery was 100% charged which has to be good news. The bad news was that power was being exported.

I would like to have been back at the house this evening to see how long the house would be powered off the battery but it will have to wait until another day.

In attempting to monitor things from afar I find, yet again, that the Immersun servers are playing up at the weekend as I'm not able to get fully updated information via their app. Is it just me experiencing this. If not then I shall get on to SISEM and ask them why this keeps happening.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Nick1965 on May 08, 2018, 06:37:53 AM
Remind me again what all those clamps on the same incoming supply, and thus with no prioritision, achieve?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 08, 2018, 09:14:39 AM
Nick1965,

I only have two CT's on the mains in live feed. One to the Growatt SP2000 control unit and the other to the Immersun Mk.II.

The only other CT is on the inverter outputs.

I'm intrigued as to how the Growatt keeps determining the house has a demand once it starts supplying power from the battery as the two requirements are at odds with one another.

I was running around in circles last night at one point as the Immersun saw an 'export' and started heating the EHS from the Growatt supply.

For those not entirely familiar with the Growatt operation the control unit supplies DC from the battery to the inverter and then in to the house.

The Growatt CT was showing circa 150W demand which triggered it to 'do its thing' but the actual load on the house was some 450W.

Currently I'm not sure how the system can work alongside the Immersun without some conflict at certain points.

Thoughts welcome.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 08, 2018, 11:13:01 AM
Good Morning All,

I think I'm getting to the bottom of the current issue (no pun intended).

I wasn't sure that the 'loan' Growatt CT was accurate as it seemed somewhat at odds with the Immersun CT so I ran a couple of tests. The 'loan' Growatt and CT was showing an export of circa 400W yet the Immersun was set to 250W export.

I set-up my Growatt inside the house with the CT around the kitchen ring main live feed. The minim+ showed 160W and the Growatt CT showed 130W which seems near enough correlation for me.

I dragged my Growatt/ CT and installed it in place of the 'loan' Growatt/ CT and saw almost the same 400W export port figure. This suggests that the Immersun CT is out by about 150 - 200W.

I can't see how to do a 'hard' reset of the Immersun to force a re-calibration of the CT, a 'normal' reset doesn't really do a lot.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Nick1965 on May 08, 2018, 05:57:32 PM
I can't see how to do a 'hard' reset of the Immersun to force a re-calibration of the CT, a 'normal' reset doesn't really do a lot.

I think you need to go through the ImmerSUN setup sequence to recalibrate to the control sensor.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Nick1965 on May 08, 2018, 06:07:41 PM
I only have two CT's on the mains in live feed. One to the Growatt SP2000 control unit and the other to the Immersun Mk.II.

Currently I'm not sure how the system can work alongside the Immersun without some conflict at certain points.

Thoughts welcome.

I route the live feed to the ImmerSUN through the CT clamp for the battery in parallel with the building supply.  That way the battery is prioritised over the ImmerSUN since it sees the sum of export and diversion through the ImmerSUN, and the battery responds to take the load.  The ImmerSUN then backs off as required to avoid import as the battery charge rate rises.

Otherwise Iím not clear how you would force priority of one system over the other.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 08, 2018, 10:21:13 PM
Good Evening All,

I've had a reply from Immersun wrt to a 'hard' reset:-

To do a full reset of the unit please follow these steps:
1. Switch Immersun off for 30 sec.
2. Push and hold button X and Tick and then power up.
3. This should have reset the unit. You will then need to go through the setup again to configure unit as required.


Nick - I noted your post under the 'Battery charging with an Immersun T1060' about what you were doing to prioritise the CT's. My 'challenge' is the fact that the incoming mains is on the far side of the outbuildings and the CU is in the kitchen. The PV output is collected on the near side of the outbuildings (where the Immersun 'export' CT is located) then led over to the far side.

First step is to see where we are after resetting the Immersun.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 08, 2018, 11:00:50 PM
Good Evening Again,

The screen shot has just been taken so clearly the Growatt battery is discharging though the inverter which is something of a relief after much confusion last night.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on May 22, 2018, 07:40:28 AM
Good Morning All,

I'm not sure how to determine how much power I'm getting from the Growatt. The Immersun CT is giving me a figure but this is somewhat less than the Growatt unit itself shows. Overall the Immersun has proven to be within 5% of the TGM's as far as PV production goes.

In the period 7 - 20th May the Immersun shows 20.2kW 'gained' in night time 'generation'. I have no remote monitoring facility but daily observation of the 'Ed' figure from the Growatt is larger than the Immersun is showing.

I might have to run some tests on the individual battery packs to see how balanced they are given the unit was sat for at least 10months.

On a positive note the system is running quite happily and I'm able to get on with other things.

I'm still seeking a post Wk01/15 Aurora/ ABB PVI 3.6kW inverter............

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 18, 2018, 04:19:11 PM
Good Afternoon All,

The next 'upgrade' is in the process of happening i.e. I'm installing a G59/ 3 capable SMA SB3000TL-21 inverter and the Aurora is on its way out. It is now an SSE compliant install and I feel so much better for it  stir:

Now I'll need to wait for a wee hint of sun tomorrow not that the sun gets much above the horizon for very long here at this time of year.

It's currently set to 0:1 and I'll shortly be resetting it to 5:A, I suspect it may not allow me to change it as with it being a second hand unit it must have run for 10hrs.........., it would be too much to hope it would be straightforward.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 18, 2018, 05:09:08 PM
Good Afternoon All (again),

I'm sure there is a good reason why SMA feel the software needs to go into lockdown so you can't readily change the parameter settings.............

Time to start reading the manual and accept any advice from more knowledgeable forum members on the simplest way of changing the settings :)

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on December 18, 2018, 05:27:29 PM
Good Afternoon All (again),

I'm sure there is a good reason why SMA feel the software needs to go into lockdown so you can't readily change the parameter settings.............

Time to start reading the manual and accept any advice from more knowledgeable forum members on the simplest way of changing the settings :)

Regards

Richard


You need a grid guard code from SMA, just email SMA for one.

You type it into Sunny Explorer and that allows you to change anything.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 18, 2018, 06:21:17 PM
Mike,

I have just read both the inverter and the Sunny Explorer manual and was hoping this didn't need the grid guard code option but OK I'll get on with sending SMA an EM........

Ä59 + VAT - daylight robbery if you ask me. You can download the necessary code from Aurora for free!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 19, 2018, 11:22:40 AM
Good Morning All,

The good news is that we have a fairly cloudless day here and the new inverter is up and running and I have managed to establish Bluetooth communications with it.

I'm not sure what level of access I have to it but I was able to access the assorted country settings and there was a source of disappointment/ confusion somewhat akin to that with the Aurora.

If you Google both the Aurora PVI3.6 and the SMA SB3000TL-21, downloadable specifications will tell you both are G59/3 friendly however this clearly isn't the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

In the case of the Aurora you need a post December 2014 model and I have yet to find such a beast!

From the list of alterable standards on this here SB3000TL-21 I only have G59/2 and no sign of G59/3. I have 'told it' to change to G59/2 and the LCD display indicates that that is what it is currently running but I'm not convinced currently.

The display is telling me I'm running FW Pack 2.60 HP 2.52. I've been on to the SMA site and downloaded updated firmware which is FW Pack 2.81.01 HP 2.53 so am now just reading up how to carry out the upgrade - something about light the blue touch paper and retire to a safe distance?????

Well the inverter didn't like the first 4GB SD card so I tried another 2GB one, it tried reading the card and advised no firmware update was available?

I've just sent an EM to SMA UK requesting help/ advice.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on December 19, 2018, 03:41:31 PM
Hi Richard
I am sure that if a specification is not there you can manually set all the parameters.
If you don't have G59-3 just get the parameters as a list and set them in manually. The listed ones are just for ease of setting up. Unless you can get the updated firmware loaded.

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 19, 2018, 06:02:20 PM
Iain,

That is certainly a route which could be followed. I seem to be at a halfway house as I seem to be able to alter some settings. When I get the chance I'll have a look at how it is currently set and see if I can alter a setting.

I'll now need download G59/2 and G59/3 settings from somewhere........

Time for kayaking training.......

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 19, 2018, 09:17:44 PM
Good Evening All,

Found this document which I think details all the required changes:-

http://files.sma.de/dl/18559/G59-3-Paraeinst-SG-en-10W.pdf (http://files.sma.de/dl/18559/G59-3-Paraeinst-SG-en-10W.pdf)

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 20, 2018, 01:52:18 PM
Good Morning All,

If all else fails read the instructions carefully is today's guidance........

I re-read the upgrade instructions again about 30 minutes ago and a light went off. The instructions actually instruct to download the Update folder containing the two files whereas I had just downloaded both files.

This explains why the screen message was 'No Update folder found'.

I just uploaded the folder entitled 'Update' to the SD Card and tried the upgrade again and lo and behold it went through without a hitch. Further more I assume as it detected I had set it to G59/ 2 yesterday it seems to have automatically upgraded it to G59/ 3 as this is what showed when the inverter re-booted.

Better send an EM to SMA so they they can 'stand down'............

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: offthegridandy on December 20, 2018, 02:04:37 PM
well done Richard. Always RTFIB!!


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: djs63 on December 20, 2018, 02:13:30 PM
Richard, I think you mean ďthe light went ONĒ Anyway the subtle difference files versus folder is a lesson to us all! tumble:
David


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on December 20, 2018, 02:26:43 PM
And here is your G59/3 test certificate for your SMA SB3000TL-21 inverter.

http://files.sma.de/dl/18559/ZE_G59-3_SBxx00TL-21_en_10.pdf


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 20, 2018, 03:12:00 PM
Good Afternoon All,

That's me back from a 'jog' up the road and back trying to kid myself I'm not getting old - ha ha whom I kidding?????

Now to see how SSE are applying the 'Fast Track' advisory iro battery storage add-ons since I last communicated with them - I'll certainly be telling them where they can stick their previously proposed £580+ fee.

I'm also now on the look out for another circa 1.6kW of PV to add to the 1.675kW I already have on this inverter........... mind as all four inverters have been showing flashing green LED's all day I'm not getting much out of the 5.675kW I currently have installed.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 21, 2018, 09:34:20 AM
Good Morning All,

OK so I need to get these additional PV panels/ Growatt c/w battery and 'new' inverter installed 'officially'.

I have read SSE's rules and they clearly reserve the right, understandably, to inspect an install by an installer unknown to them. They have advised this will cost me the £580+.

I've downloaded SSE's energy storage fast track information - https://www.ssepd.co.uk/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=14149 (https://www.ssepd.co.uk/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=14149)

It looks like the easiest route to take is to buy an SMA Power Control Module and limit the exported power to zero. It will certainly be a cheaper option at circa £130. It just means that I'll not be exporting energy which seems stupid.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 21, 2018, 08:55:58 PM
Good Evening All,

OK so now I've read the SMA Power Control Module manual a little more closely I see I need to have some kind of 'ripple control receiver' - err some pointers would be appreciated. I've tried Googling and it really hasn't helped.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 22, 2018, 10:55:06 AM
Good Morning All,

After yet more 'research', for which read Googling, I see that RRCR (Radio Ripple Control Receivers) signals are generated by the grid operator and cause plant to shut down so this is clearly of no use to me whatsoever. It would be so much easier if SMA used a simple CT system like the Immersun or Growatt!!

I appear to be running out of options I either just run things 'under the radar' or I put my hand in the air to declare the system and the other hand in my pocket and stump up the £585.

From self-monitoring this last summer I broadly kept within the 16A at all times but I want to add a further 1.6kW of PV at some point and this will definitely take me over the 16A limit on sunny summer days.

I've produced 768kW from the additional panels so far this year (two of the panels have still to get up on the roof and are still propped up against the steading wall). As I'm not sure how much of this was used on site or exported it is very difficult to value it. If I were to assume I made full use on site that represents a saving of £117 with my current supplier.

Fitting more will make better use of the Growatt but in outright economic terms it doesn't stack up especially if you add the £585 commissioning costs. I'd be looking at around a £1200 investment for panels, mounting materials, cabling and commissioning costs for the extra circa 1.6kW. If I were to assume that doubling this PV extension doubled the return I'd be looking at making say a further £100 a year 'saving' which allowing for electrickery prices increasing at 5% means a circa 9 year payback

Prompted by a query the other day I re-worked the Powerwall2 possibility and even allowing for the same 5% year on year increase in electrickery costs I was still looking at a 12 year payback and that wasn't even factoring in battery or solar panel degradation.

There're other calls on the money currently so I think I'll keep my ear to the ground for some cheap second hand panels and just leave things as is for now. Biggest operational issue is addressing the state of the cells in the Growatt battery pack. I need to look at removing packs and conditioning them.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on December 22, 2018, 03:58:21 PM
The solar edge HD5000 I have just had installed can control the export in the manner you desire.  It needs a module hooked up to your mains that is essentially a ct clamp and rs485 to the solar edge inverter.  It monitors the export and limits the production according to your setting.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on December 22, 2018, 04:26:53 PM
Hi Richard

Will one of these link in to allow control?

https://www.cclcomponents.com/sma-solar-energy-meter?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5-u22u-z3wIVmuF3Ch1HFgfnEAQYASABEgI_TPD_BwE

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 22, 2018, 09:59:53 PM
Iain,

As I understand it this device would need using in conjunction with a Sunny Home Manager 1 which adds to the cost or you could just buy a Sunny Home Manager 2 outright at £616 and we're back to just getting SSE in for commissioning at £585.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: rogeriko on December 22, 2018, 10:08:49 PM
When you turn on your electric cooker and the heat pump and the,,,,you are using way more than 16a. So what comes in can go out, what were you saying about the radar.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on December 23, 2018, 06:41:42 AM
rogeriko,

I'd agree with you entirely. When we had our pumped electric shower it alone in simple terms (from W = IV) was 39A.

As an aside I'm actually surprised how little energy the heat pump takes. The total energy consumed in the house yesterday, according to the Immersun (usually within 4% of the 'real' figures), was 46kW or 1.92kW/ hr with a peak of 4.1kW. We had a peak reading, at 0600 this morning, of 5.3kW as the heat pump kicked in to give the DHW a blast of heat (taking advantage of the Economy 7 before it expires at 0700) and I set the washing machine and tumble drier.

The 'flying under the radar' reference refers to the fact that my DNO are unaware of what is connected............

I've just received some more 'approved' labels to stick on the various locations to make it a more 'correct' installation.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 09, 2019, 08:54:37 AM
Good Morning All,

I've taken the plunge and acquired another 1.5kW of solar panels. Theoretically this means I will now have 1.28kW + 1.28kW + 1.44kW + 1.645kW + 1.5kW = 7.145kW, but allowing for 1% deterioration per annum this more likely becomes 6.73kW.

It will be interesting to see how the Growatt behaves this year coming.

I'm still trying to get my head around the Sunny Home Manager 2.0. Take the two following paragraphs;

Using an SMA Energy Meter, the Sunny Home Manager monitors the active power that is fed into the utility grid. If the active power feed-in exceeds the prescribed limit, the Sunny Home Manager limits the PV generation of the inverters accordingly.

The Sunny Home Manager 2.0 monitors all energy flows in the home, automatically recognizes potential savings and enables the efficient use of solar energy in the home. As of April 2017, the new Sunny Home Manager 2.0 combines the functions of the Sunny Home Manager Bluetooth and the SMA Energy Meter in one device. This makes intelligent energy management even easier and less expensive.

The first paragraph is taken from the manual for the Sunny Home Manager 2.0 and tells us that the Sunny Home Manager 2.0 requires a SMA Energy Meter to monitor output to the grid.

The second paragraph which is part of the blurb surrounding the launch of the Sunny Home Manager 2.0 telling us it integrates the function of a Home Manager and an Energy Meter.

Either the Sunny Home Manager 2.0 does integrate the functions of the two previously separate devices or it doesn't and SMA's own printed words do not absolutely clarify the position.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 10, 2019, 10:16:35 PM
Good Evening All,

I'm slowly getting my head around what will be required to implement the SMA Home Energy Manager 2.0.

I'll need a new consumer unit on the far side of the outbuildings to accommodate the width of the SMA unit. Fortunately I have a fuse upstream of the DNO one and on my side of the meter so can isolate the incoming supply to carry this out.

I will then need to run (another) CAT5e/ 6 cable from there to this side of the steading en route to the router in the house. I will also need to run another CAT5e/ 6 cable out from the router in the house to the SB3000TL-21 inverter. It looks like I'll need to dig up the drive to put in some kind of conduit to run the two cables across to the Utility Room. I currently have one cable run from above the heat pump up to the router but will need to run another one.

I'm sure things could be easier.............

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 11, 2019, 09:47:13 PM
Good Evening All,

I've been out and done some measuring and reckon the cable out to the inverter needs to be 65mtrs to be on the safe side and the one to the consumer unit needs to be circa 90mtr as it has to run up in the house roof and along and down again to reach the router. I've ordered cables now. I can hardly wait to get back in the attic spaces again.

The main incoming CU only contains a 100A RCD and clearly has space to accommodate the SMA device which makes life a little easier.

The SMA Sunny Home Manager 2.0 has been ordered.

I recently bought 4off Sunclix connectors to connect the new panels.

I've ordered yet another DC isolator switch.

The PV panel roof mountings have also been ordered.

I'm back up to Lerwick again shortly so the various bits will arrive at the flat whilst I'm away. The panels will be delivered when I know I'll be home.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 20, 2019, 10:29:40 PM
Good Evening All,

I'm sure we'll get this rig moored up eventually, that's us now waiting on weather......

Still trying to get my head around various things re implementing the Sunny Home Manager 2.0.

As there may be occasions where there maybe more than 63A flowing i.e. charging EV and heat pump, washing machine, tumble drier and dishwasher all running together I've ordered a 5A output CT so that the Sunny Home Manager 2.0 can be wired accordingly.

I'm also out of ethernet sockets on my router. Currently I have:-

1. the desktop computer
2. the Immersun
3. the heat pump
4. Vonage modem

so adding the Sunny Home Manager 2.0 and SB3000TL-21 inverter exceeds the four sockets I have. Google to the rescue tells me I can adapt an old router to become a switch so that is the route I plan to follow currently.

In theory the Sunny Portal set-up could allow me to dispense with the Immersun as I understand it.

As I'm on shift until 0600 in the morning the highlight might be seeing the blood red moon in the early hours.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on January 20, 2019, 11:27:46 PM
Does your SB3000TL-21 inverter already have the webconnect data module to connect to your router ?

Otherwise its another thing to add to your shopping list.

I think the part number is SWDM-10 and about £130


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 21, 2019, 02:13:55 AM
Mike,

The blurb for the SB3000TL-21 says:-

The inverter is equipped with SMA Speedwire/Webconnect as standard.

I'm assuming this means that it is fitted with the SWDM-10 module already. I have to admit that when I carried out the software upgrade I wasn't paying any heed as to whether there was a module in place or not. It is something I intend to do as soon as I get back home with fingers crossed I don't have to spend any more money.............

Just as well this one week job is turning out to be 3 weeks plus. Currently still on standby to see the moon if the clouds stay away long enough.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on January 21, 2019, 01:09:38 PM
I think it depends upon when it was bought.

I bought a second hand SB4000TL-21 inverter and it does not have the module in.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 23, 2019, 11:36:18 AM
Mike,

I suspect you will be right. Iím currently dodging the U.K. tax man and hiding in Dundalk until Saturday.  Iíll check the inverter when I get back.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: biff on January 23, 2019, 12:45:18 PM
But Richard.
       It is not possible to hide in Dundalk. There are no trees or bushes not even a haystack. The Troika lifted everything  a few years back.
       Biff
Used to be a lively town years ago. Very.central to the Big Irish Shown bands scenes with major dance halls dotted about the area.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 23, 2019, 04:56:57 PM
Biff,

There are more exciting locations but it represents the minimum distance from Belfast airport that is the right side of the border.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 27, 2019, 05:35:37 PM
Mike,

That's me back home after a less then successful kayaking trip this afternoon having stayed at the flat in Aberdeen last night. Predictably the SWDM-10 module isn't present. Oh goody more expense.........

Cheapest I can see is Off-Grid-Europe at £116 including P&P.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on January 27, 2019, 10:50:14 PM
Predictably the SWDM-10 module isn't present. Oh goody more expense.........


I could have bet money that would be the case. stir:


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on January 28, 2019, 03:42:42 PM
Mike,

SWDM-10 now ordered. I now have all the parts ordered/ delivered to carry out this further extension to the PV. All I need is the time to fit it.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 19, 2019, 04:53:39 PM
Good Afternoon All,

That's me back onshore again and I've now moved the 6off Trina 250W UBG panels (the same as ProDave bought) from out the front of the outbuildings to inside.

I've covered the splits in the backing with 'Sticks like s**t" on 2 of the panels so far as per the attached pictures, hopefully this will hold up long term.......

Still waiting on the SWDM-10 turning up but plenty to do in the meantime.

Just about to order another two tubes of 'Sticks like s**t' to make sure I have enough.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 20, 2019, 03:25:07 PM
Good Afternoon All,

That's three panels now 'gummed up' and propped up against the steading wall along with 2off Tianwei panels still to go on the roof. I need to look more closely at one of the three UBG Trina panels as it is giving a voltage output and the inverter voltage suggests it can 'see' it but it seemingly won't connect to the grid when in circuit so I've taken it out for now.

I've now made a start on running the two Cat5e cables from the 'new' inverter and the incoming CU (in which the SMA Sunny Home Manager 2.0 will be mounted).

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 21, 2019, 09:46:19 AM
Good Morning All,

Well I completed running both Cat 5e cables as far as the outbuilding end is concerned yesterday evening. I can't go any further with them until I hire a jackhammer/ breaker and create a small trench across the 'drive'. When we had the new mains cable installed I should have installed a conduit then - hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I've ordered more tubes of 'Stick like s**t' so need to wait for them to turn up.

Today I'll look at installing the DC isolator switch and cabling for the new PV panels and also check what I need to install the Sunny Home Manager 2.0 as I can swing by Inverurie Electric Centre en route to the flat later.

I need to see if either of my sons is available this weekend to help with moving PV panels. From the photo posted yesterday I need to remove all the 80W panels and the top rail that goes with them, remount the rail lower down and then re-install the 80W panels lower down the roof leaving space for the larger panels across the top. It was quite useful that the sun came out late yesterday afternoon as it provided a very simple illustration of the existing shadow areas.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on February 21, 2019, 09:55:39 AM
Nice work.  How are you sealing the holes drilled in the roof?  I presume there are rubber grommets or something.  Do know how long it will keep a good seal?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 21, 2019, 01:46:23 PM
andrewellis,

I'm using a roofing sealant under the mounting rails and the securing screws have rubber washers as well. As to how long it will remain watertight I have no idea.

I've dug out a couple of glands for the isolating switch and found a 'Henley' block in case I need to split any supply to fit the SHM 2.0. I'm still debating whether to fit it for a supply <63A or one >63A, I have the CT for the latter.

A couple of pictures to show the SHM 2.0 installed mechanically which entailed shifting the main 100A isolator across and re-locating the feed wires across one hole to the left, fortunately as we have an 'extra' main fuse our side of the meter we can carry out this kind of work safely and don't annoy the DNO by breaking the seal on their fuse. You can also see the CAT5e cable coiled ready to attach to the SHM 2.0.

Regards

Richard

 


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: pantsmachine on February 21, 2019, 03:49:02 PM
Looks great!


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 21, 2019, 03:55:44 PM
Good Afternoon All (again),

Thatís me picked up the SWDM-10. This one came complete with two manuals covering a range of languages. The manuals weigh twice as much as the actual module....

Another piece of the jigsaw.

As raised by nowty it looks like the inverter may have been supplied with this module as it has the 32mm gland fitted which comes with module, the norm is for it to have a simple blanking plug.....

I see the comedians at Travis Perkins want £89 to hire a Stihl saw for a day and a mere £125 for the breaker - ouch.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: pantsmachine on February 21, 2019, 06:44:02 PM
Have you tried the electrical factors next ind est down from tp?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 21, 2019, 09:03:18 PM
pantsmachine,

The Electric Centre - yes I use them for quite a bit of my incidental needs. I've found them pretty helpful.

Well I've fitted the SWDM-10 module to the inverter. Pretty straight forward although the cable outlet from the module isn't perfectly aligned with the 14 pin header intended for it to fit and fitting is a bit fiddly and, contrary to what the manual indicates, it is an 'open' 14 pin header and not the latching type - I can see why they would have changed it as it would be all to easy to get things misaligned particularly as it is 'recessed'.

Ignore the comment re a module having been previously installed as there was a plain grommet fitted - I was getting confused.

As I have the lower cover off I'm going back out there to fit the DC isolation switch and cabling/ plugs to the inverter. Now done.

I noted there was an onboard flashing green LED on the module as I put the bottom cover back on suggesting it might be installed correctly - until we get it hooked up to a router I won't know for sure.

I note from the Immersun that the Growatt discharged some power circa 1800 - 2100 amounting to 4.8kWh if it is to be believed.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 22, 2019, 04:15:05 PM
Good Afternoon All,

After a slow start that's me been out and about doing more 'jury rigged' installing. Started off before lunch running another pair of 6mm2 Solar PV cable for the 'new' 1500W of UBG panels - spot the state of the art spooling equipment.

The postman delivered the 'Stick's like S**t' at lunchtime so I got straight on with doing the last three panels and then got back to running the cable. Then came the  bit where we made sure the right plugs were fitted or wire ends were secured in the switch.

We now have the 6 'new' panels plumbed in and doing their bit to save the environment (even if they have already been doing that for 4yrs previously in whichever PV farm they came from).

I noted that the inverter when starting up is telling me that 'SMA COMM A/B - NC' which I'm taking as another sign the data module is connected correctly.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on February 22, 2019, 05:54:34 PM
We now have the 6 'new' panels plumbed in and doing their bit to save the environment (even if they have already been doing that for 4yrs previously in whichever PV farm they came from).

I recall that it takes about 3 years of use for solar panels to recoup their manufacturing carbon footprint, so that means they are already carbon neutral.  :crossed


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 22, 2019, 10:29:59 PM
Good Evening All,

I haven't run out of router/ modem ports yet but only because I'm still umming and aahing over whether to terminate my BT Broadband contract and just stick with the ee mobile option. I think I need to see if we can survive on just the ee mobile option and if it doesn't work then I'll have to go back.

In anticipation of this I have ordered an 8 port switch this evening. I should end up with all four ports on the router and 4 ports on this switch being used currently.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 23, 2019, 06:13:20 PM
Good Evening All,

Nail biting stuff watching the Wales - England game......

I should have my son out to help me tomorrow so looking forward to getting these panels on the roof. Have checked all the mounting bits and I seem to have enough to do the job.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is good so fingers crossed the plan comes together.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: biff on February 23, 2019, 11:52:59 PM
Good luck tomorrow  Richard.
      It's  nice working with the son. Good memories  for the future.. It's  all good. Enjoy !
        Biff.
  England hammered us but we might make a comeback and win it yet. >:(


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 24, 2019, 08:16:40 AM
Biff,

Thanks. That's me counted out the various mountings and brackets to make sure there are enough. I've just marked out the rails and will be outside shortly to drill them.

Glorious sunny weather here but currently around 0oC. Seems a shame to have to be taking panels down to complete this job but it's only the one day's loss.

One of the 'new' UBG Trina panels is definitely a problem 'baby'. The inverter is giving me the bad earth signal. I'll need to check it out - watched SMA YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hjEnosPVl4&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hjEnosPVl4&feature=youtu.be) which gives a very simple test to carry out. I'll give it a dose of CVI (Close Visual Inspection) and replace the plugs and open up the junction box sometime later.

I don't want to wind the English rugby fans up but on the day the best team did win yesterday - I imagine there will be some very sore players on both teams this morning.

Regards

Richard

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: GeoffM on February 24, 2019, 09:49:01 AM
Richard - I've nothing to contribute to this thread but please keep i going, it's one of the better reads on the internet just now!!


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on February 24, 2019, 11:49:13 AM
One of the 'new' UBG Trina panels is definitely a problem 'baby'. The inverter is giving me the bad earth signal. I'll need to check it out - watched SMA YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hjEnosPVl4&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hjEnosPVl4&feature=youtu.be) which gives a very simple test to carry out. I'll give it a dose of CVI (Close Visual Inspection) and replace the plugs and open up the junction box sometime later.

What that video does not tell you is that depending on the readings you can estimate where the fault is. For example if you get a higher voltage (to earth) on pole +, than pole -, then the fault will be nearer the end of the string connected to the Pole + lead. If the voltage is the same on both the fault will be in the middle of the string.

Another thing you can do is turn the earth monitoring down to the minimum setting, go to Settings > Grid Monitoring > Minimum Insulation Resistance and set it at the lowest setting which on your inverter is 300kOhm. I had to do this on mine after squirrels chewed the insulation off my cables. Even after repairing them with self amalgamating tape, the inverter would occasionally complain in the rain, but stopped doing this after I reduced the monitoring setting.


(https://i.postimg.cc/0ypMxGTv/Squirrel_Damage.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on February 24, 2019, 01:08:36 PM

Glorious sunny weather here but currently around 0oC. Seems a shame to have to be taking panels down to complete this job but it's only the one day's loss.


I just reconnected mine on the ground whilst doing the rails etc to minimise loss.  I couldn't bring myself to even lose a few kwh.  It physically pained me :P


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on February 24, 2019, 01:10:11 PM
Out of curiosity how do you disconnect yours?  I have solar edge optimisers which makes it a doddle to mess around with the wiring as there isn't any voltage in the wires (well 0.5V or something like that).  Do you have to do it before sunrise or get a big blanket?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 24, 2019, 01:23:32 PM
Andrew,

I isolate the string at the disconnect switch.

Well as we broke for lunch we had managed to get No.6 of the 7 Tianwei panels mounted having removed the 18off 80W panels and the top rail. We'll shortly be going out to, hopefully, get all the large panels back up by close of play.

I intend putting the suspect panel at the end of the run so it easily accessible (still to be investigated). I'm still debating whether to rig these panels as the one string or two. I've run the extra cabling so have the choice.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Tinbum on February 25, 2019, 09:22:55 AM
Are you sure those panels are OK to be fixed on the short sides like that and there don't seem to be many clips holding the rails to the sheeting?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 25, 2019, 10:05:36 AM
Tinbum,

Honest straightforward answer would be I don't know. We are in a relatively sheltered area (that's why there is no wind turbine up) and the 5 Tianwei panels that were mounted have survived since around last April. Time will tell I guess?

I've attached a couple of pictures I wasn't able to take last night as it was near 1800 when we finished and pretty dark.

That's all 7 Tianwei and 5 off Trina panels up. I still need to look at this last Trina panel and then run it from the ground for now until I'm happy with it (or more accurately the inverter is). I'll then need to decide where to mount it where it will suffer least shading as I'm running out of roof space..........

Just about to work out how to replace the other existing panels to maximise the rails in place.

Late morning addition - that's half the old panels gone back up. Now everything has been moved across to the left there will be room to fit the one Trina panel on the left. All I need to do now is source 4off suitable Schuco clips.....

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Tinbum on February 25, 2019, 10:27:55 AM
I'd be very surprised if the manufacture said they were OK mounted like that, too much flex in them. The rails look like Schuco ? and they should have clips at <600mm spacing. Your rails are joined together aren't they, otherwise the expansion and contraction could result in panels coming loose.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 25, 2019, 04:30:00 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Well that's all the panels back in place.

I still have an issue with the one Trina panel (now sent a faulty panel message to the sellers) and also an issue having re-connected the the 2off BP380 with the other 16 and I'm now getting an offset error on the inverter which I wasn't......... I'll disconnect these 2 panels for now.

Next up will be fitting the CT to the CU as it arrived at lunchtime.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 25, 2019, 06:43:44 PM
Good Evening All,

Just stopped to get some dinner having installed the CT and wired up the SHM 2.0 as per attached pictures. Got to find one of the two screws securing the face plate to the CU amongst a pile of cr*p in the bottom of the trailer tomorrow though..........

After dinner I might jury rig the Cat 5e cable via a downstairs window to the router and see if I can get it to work with Sunny Manager.

I will fit the dust cover but I clearly need to drill a suitable hole in it to pass the Cat 5e cable through.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 25, 2019, 09:21:41 PM
Good Evening All (again),

Well that's both CAT5e cables run in to the house via a downstairs window and connected to the BT router.

The SHM 2.0 has now changed from showing a flashing red Status LED to a fixed Red LED with a flashing Amber COM LED (my documentation doesn't mention Amber!!).

I have powered the inverter down and back up again and the SWDM-10 now has an IP address and a Subnet Mask defined.

I have had one try to get things recognised through Sunny Portal without any joy.

Time for a mug of Horlicks me thinks???

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: pantsmachine on February 26, 2019, 06:54:05 AM
Looks really good, impressive set up and extreme solar intent! You should get meaningful volumes even in Dec/Jan? The panel with low resistance. How long has it been off a roof for and how stored? Might just need to be run up for a week to dry out? You could if need be seal it up in a duct taped plastic sheet with a load of salt. Will draw he moisture if any present.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on February 26, 2019, 08:29:02 AM
How come you didnít put a panel on the tracker? Or is that where the faulty one will go?

Re the horizontal mounting. I downloaded the installation (https://www.solarsupply.se/cms/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/JA-Module-Installation-Manual.pdf) sheet for my ja solar ones I did last week.  The mounting points for those panels in landscape are up to a 1/4 of the with in from each edge (low/normal levels of use)



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 26, 2019, 09:18:07 AM
Good Morning All,

Bit of a late start this morning as I was up past midnight doing battle with SHM 2.0 and SWDM-10 units.

Firstly I re-booted the SHM 2.0 which solved the 'problem' there and using the Sunny Home Manager Assistant (can't get it to download and install on this Macbook) I then discovered I need the Serial No., PIC and RID. Guess what they are on a sticker on the side of the SHM 2.0 and near impossible to read when installed. The Quick Installation Guide does mention needing these details but it isn't highlighted!!! The latest instructions show this sticker to be a separate item so I suspect mine is an older unit, SMA also provide three stickers with the SWDM-10, one to be stuck on the outside of the inverter............

Anyway armed with a head torch, my usual spectacles, a magnifying glass and a large screwdriver to lever the unit across I was able to read the necessary details, fortunately I had re-routed the earth cable from between the Main RCD and the SHM 2.0.

Sunny Portal is now up and running after a fashion so I can see that right now the PV expansion is producing a mighty 105W without having to get up off my bottom and go look at the inverter.

I have some reading to do now to work out how everything can be made to work the way I want it to.

Interestingly the green LED's on the SHM 2.0 look kind of 'yellowy' when viewed off axis.

I need to investigate this 'duff' panel as the sellers (must stop mentioning other sellers on this forum) have sent me an EM this morning, the offset problem I was getting having re-connected the two BP380 panels and look towards digging a trench across the 'drive'.

andrewellis - the bottom left hand corner of the tracker is kept clear of panels so as not to cause an obstruction to the track. Now I've moved all the 80W panels across to the left there is sufficient room on the right to fit the 'duff' panel. What I'm missing is the SchŁco brackets to do it.

Late extra - at 0936 that's the Solar ET bursting into life............, the 'offset' problem has clearly gone away of its own accord and the new panels are producing over 600W of power according to the Growatt but it is charging the battery and only allowing the 100W to the inverter....

Should be a good RE day. :) :) :)

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on February 26, 2019, 09:43:10 AM
I've got quite a few Schletter clamps spare which I don't have a use for.  I'm not sure if they are interchangeable or not.  I don't think I'm far down the road.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 26, 2019, 10:41:01 AM
andrewellis,

I did take a picture of the required clamps yesterday but clearly forgot to post it  ;D

Required clamps as per attached. Panel depth is 45mm.

Pro tem if I can get the panel 'working' I'd remove two each from the BP380 panels giving me four.

Addition - I see CCL sell them.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 26, 2019, 10:53:57 AM
Looks really good, impressive set up and extreme solar intent! You should get meaningful volumes even in Dec/Jan? The panel with low resistance. How long has it been off a roof for and how stored? Might just need to be run up for a week to dry out? You could if need be seal it up in a duct taped plastic sheet with a load of salt. Will draw he moisture if any present.
pantsmachine,

I could do these things but the panels are sold as functioning............there is no caveat emptor issue here.

I'm about to go and try this panel at both the front and rear of the string as per the sellers request then take a number of pictures as well. I'll probably try nowty's suggestion as well.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on February 26, 2019, 11:14:12 AM
I'm uploading some images. Let me know if they are of any use.
(https://i.postimg.cc/ZCGGc5pW/JPEG-image-1-B9-EF50-B7033-1.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/ZCGGc5pW)

(https://i.postimg.cc/B8S4Tvfx/JPEG-image-20322400-C5-FA-1.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/B8S4Tvfx)

(https://i.postimg.cc/T5D6dLnX/JPEG-image-233-E6-CC19838-1.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/T5D6dLnX)

(https://i.postimg.cc/wy3zrbvM/JPEG-image-9-AEE5-B2050-C2-1.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/wy3zrbvM)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 26, 2019, 03:07:27 PM
andrewellis,

It's very kind of you to offer but I don't think the clips are compatible, they are only £1 + VAT from CCL at the end of the day.

The 'gap' between the RCD and the fascia plate was upsetting my Feng shui so I cut down a fill in panel to tidy it up.

Now we have some decent'ish sun I'v measured the duff panel at 33.6V/ 3.3A against a good one at 34.0V/ 4.2A and a close inspection of the bottom edge shows suspect areas. There is an ongoing dialogue with the sellers currently.

Still trying to understand how to get the SHM 2.0 3rd green LED to light up. The instructions on how to set these things up don't appear terribly clear to me at this time. I know a part of it involves disabling the Bluetooth function on the inverter.

Tried accessing the inverter by Bluetooth to alter the Grid Monitoring settings but I suspect the fact it now has the comm module attached things aren't that simple anymore. I do hate this learning process.

On a positive note I did find the screw I dropped in the trailer last night.  :)

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: TT on February 26, 2019, 10:06:33 PM
You really should bring tails through the same hole in a metal enclosure


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 27, 2019, 06:57:33 AM
TT,

I won't dispute you on this as all I have done is copy what the 'qualified' electrician who fitted this in the first place had done..............

OK so now I need to re-visit this.

I want to re-locate the CT anyway.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on February 27, 2019, 07:04:10 AM
Hi

You really should bring tails through the same hole in a metal enclosure

Probably ideal and best accepted practice, however the wires are dropping down straight and not exerting any pressure on the side of the hole.
I would be happy with that however, just make sure there are glands or grommets in the holes to protect the cable against the metal.
Easier than trying to put tight bends in the wire and could then cause the cable to be forced against the side of the hole.
Mechanically and electrically looks fine to me, just protect the wire insulation against the side of the holes.
Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 27, 2019, 09:41:17 AM
Good Morning All,

Had to re-think the location of the CT. I had overlooked the fact that all the Solar PV goes via the outbuilding CU so a quick bit of reworking.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Tinbum on February 27, 2019, 10:34:26 AM
You really should bring tails through the same hole in a metal enclosure
I'd be more worried about the cables to the SMA home manager and also the lack of fusing.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 27, 2019, 01:16:16 PM
Tinbum,

I guess if I can get these spacers in then there should be room enough to get a fuse in? Believe me I'm all for making the wiring as safe as reasonably practical and the installation instructions do mention fitting a fuse.

MCB purchased from Screwfix this afternoon.

The SHM 2.0 is now properly registered in Sunny Portal but I'm struggling to get the inverter 'recognised' as I've messed up the passwords somewhere/ somehow. I can't see readily how to delete the half recognised inverter so I can try again.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on February 27, 2019, 04:41:45 PM
Hi
The SMA help desk were very helpful when I had problems registering my inverter. Talked me through it and all sorted very quickly.

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 27, 2019, 04:56:52 PM
Iain,

I did phone but was provisionally put off when it pointed out that the line was for professional installers and others should consult their installers or similar!

I'll try them tomorrow.

It also occurred to me last night that I had avoided running a Cat5e cable for the Growatt when I installed it (simply too much effort) but as I'm running two others currently I may as well order another with a view to accessing the data from the Growatt.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: TT on February 27, 2019, 09:50:06 PM
Hi Richard,

For the last picture you posted does it show the incoming supply to your property via the grey cut out ?

The part just before your CT?
Just wondering as it looks a strange set up


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 28, 2019, 07:15:52 AM
TT,

I assume what you refer to as the cut-out is the removable fuse? The CT is located between the 'cut-out' and the mains/ generator changeover switch. The power from the cut-out goes two ways - one is the box shown in recent pictures which is the feed to the house and off to the left is the outbuilding CU.

The basics of the system is how it has been installed by 'qualified' electricians.

The mains/ generator changeover switch is what I have installed.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 28, 2019, 12:45:34 PM
Good Afternoon All,

That's a dedicated fuse installed.......

Will start on the trench across the drive this afternoon.

Have ordered A.N.Other Cat5e cable for the Growatt.........

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 28, 2019, 02:54:48 PM
Afternoon Tea Break posting,

That's me started on digging the trench across the drive to bury the pipe to carry assorted data cables across from the outbuildings. I'm making life easy by following the trench line for the replacement mains cable we had put in 16 years ago now.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on February 28, 2019, 05:46:40 PM
Good Evening All,

I'll be glad when this pipe is dug in and buried........... There was no way I was going to do this a year ago for the Growatt alone. You'll note a couple of larger rocks which had to be heaved out with the mattock. Serves me right for back filling the trench with them 16 years ago :laugh:

One bit of pipe is in and part buried with more planned for tomorrow.

Life would be so much easier if you could fit an MCT gland type system to houses.... I've got the fun and games of drilling another hole in the fascia board and trying to pass the 3off Cat5e cables though in to the Utility Room roof space, then passing the cables up and through the attic before feeding them down to the landing outside our bedroom.

There is still a hole in the wall on this landing where I removed a double mains socket to pass two other Cat 5 cables plus the ones up from the Dining Room. The cables all just pass through said hole which is stuffed with fibreglass to keep draughts at bay. One day I'll need to do something by way of mounting a board fitted with correctly wired socket plates for them all.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 01, 2019, 03:19:46 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Got in an hour this morning before I went for a spot of kayaking with the 'new' kayak. Just having a late lunch before heading out to do some more.

Late Afternoon Add-on - Running out of steam so had to come in for another cup of tea...... progress continues though.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 01, 2019, 06:36:01 PM
Good Evening All,

That's me halfway across the grass strip towards the outbuildings now. I'll need to buy a length of pipe and a couple of fittings whilst in town tomorrow to finish the job.

The Cat5e cable for the 'Growatt' arrived at the flat today as well.

Hopefully by the end of the weekend the pipe will be in place and the three cables run through it - the weather doesn't look too promising though.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 03, 2019, 01:57:12 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Well having acquired the necessary bit of pipe I've now gotten all the way across to the outbuildings. A bit more burying to do then I can start running cables.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 03, 2019, 06:15:31 PM
Good Evening All,

That's the cable run to the Growatt and all three pulled through the new underground pipe.

Tomorrow will be time to start accessing the Utility Room roof.....

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on March 03, 2019, 07:58:24 PM
Donít forget to leave a bit of string in the pipe for that cable you are laying next year :)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 03, 2019, 08:16:06 PM
andrewellis,

That's the blue rope you can see.

One piece of advice for anybody doing this who maybe hasn't before - do not attempt to cable tie or tape different cables together. Things get twisted underground and one day you'll try drawing another cable through and you'll find it doesn't want to. Lesson learnt here.

I'll be blocking the open ends shortly.

That's the Growatt ShineLan box ordered off a certain well known internet auction site.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 04, 2019, 02:59:22 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Tea break time. Well that's the three Cat5e cables cable tied to the EV charger cable, hole drilled in the fascia board and with the help of my fibre glass rod cable pulling kit led in to the Utility Room roof space and down through the hatch.

The shortest of the three will plug into an existing CAT5e cable originally intended for the Immersun (in case the wireless function didn't stretch that far), the other two will involve yet another trip to my favourite part ( ;D) of the house, the attic................ There is the lazy b******s approach of course! What's that you do I hear you ask? I could move the new switch thing to the the Utility Room roof space and utilise the one existing already run cable................ Now do I really want to go up in the attic and struggle getting the cables down the other side of the roof entitling several trips back and forth through the hatch in my son's bedroom. Bit of a no brainer really.

All this just to keep the DNO happy and have a hard wired system in case I get it certified.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Countrypaul on March 04, 2019, 03:17:56 PM
Not sure if youa re aware or not, but you can get ethernet switches that are powered over ethernet (POE) which allows you to place the switch in places that have no power.

One example: 8 port version of:  HP 1810-8G v2

Don't know whether this would help you are not though.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 04, 2019, 06:16:01 PM
Countrypaul,

Clever solution but not particularly cheap!

There is a double mains socket wired up in the Utility Room roof space so power isn't a problem on this occasion.

It all seems to be working currently.

All I need to do now is contact SMA and get a PUK so I can reset the password on the inverter.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Countrypaul on March 04, 2019, 07:09:32 PM
Countrypaul,

Clever solution but not particularly cheap!

There is a double mains socket wired up in the Utility Room roof space so power isn't a problem on this occasion.

It all seems to be working currently.

All I need to do now is contact SMA and get a PUK so I can reset the password on the inverter.

Regards

Richard

I didn't check the price it was the first one I had a link to! I am sure there will be cheaper ones around, but since you don't actually need it probably not worth looking for.  But bear n mind for teh future, might mean you don't have to run another CAT5 all the way across.  exhappy:


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 05, 2019, 07:46:46 AM
Countrypaul,

In hindsight I could have put the switch out in the outbuildings and only run the one cable.............. still in the event one cable goes down I have the option to change the set-up.

Currently summoning up the enthusiasm to go outside and wait for it to warm up a bit from the -2oC it is currently.  I'll need to take the cover off the inverter set the Net ID back to 1 and access it via Bluetooth and check on a couple of details before phoning SMA.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Countrypaul on March 05, 2019, 09:25:37 AM
Richard,

Isn't hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Since you would have had to run one cable anyway - all the really hard work would have to be done regardless so congradulations on having done that part. It is usually relatively easy and much cheaper to run multiple cables as you have done rather then run a single cable and add more electronics at the end, it also gives more flexibility and often more reliability.

On our renovation that we moved into last year I opted to put CAT6 into all rooms, at least one pair of CAT6 cables to each room and 3 or 4 pairs into some rooms (just in case), so only a kilometer of cable or so, but already showing the benefits compared to Wifi. No deadspots where the Wifi signal is weak, allows 3 or 4 movies to be streamed at the same time whilst playing Fortnite at the same time (2 kids with Xbox, PC, iPAds etc.).  I would always go for more cables that I thought necessary, and in most cases always a pair of cables at a time.

Now, like you, waiting for the weather to improve before going under the car outside....


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on March 05, 2019, 09:51:59 AM
I'll need to take the cover off the inverter set the Net ID back to 1 and access it via Bluetooth and check on a couple of details before phoning SMA.

Richard, once you install the speedwire module you need to login via Sunny Explorer set to speedwire and use the password for your Sunny Portal registration. Your original password will no longer work.



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 05, 2019, 04:18:10 PM
Good Afternoon All,

That's me back from a run - quite a nice day for it up here.

As of 1625 we've generated 19.8kW according to the Immersun which doesn't include the 4.1kW showing on the Growatt.  Lots of hot water in the EHS so house heating coming off that. Did a couple of loads of washing earlier.

nowty - I'll be sending you a PM.

I'm still struggling with accessing the inverter - possibly solvable with some assistance from nowty but I suspect I'll need to get a PUK off SMA which you now have to apply and pay for and they post the information to you. I can understand this up to a point but given how much time I spent on the phone this morning while the guy told me about getting a PUK he could have told it me the code over the phone..........

Regards

Richard



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 05, 2019, 09:24:13 PM
Good Evening All,

Thanks to nowty's suggestion I have been able to access the inverter via Speedwire and using the password that I knew I had set for User/ Installer level access. I seem to be able to see the inverter and SHM 2.0 on the mobile phone app but not on the Sunny Portal web site.

I can't see anything anything coming into the property either making me wonder what the CT is, or isn't doing. Still progress is being made.

I've set the Minimum Insulation Resistance from 625kohm down to the minimum 300kohm and tomorrow I'll try re-connecting the 'defective' panel.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: pantsmachine on March 06, 2019, 06:28:07 AM
Huge leap forward, nice one! :)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 06, 2019, 08:09:26 AM
Good Morning All,

OK so yesterday was a good sunny generation day with a total of 24kWh according to the Immersun.

I do need to look at the Growatt batteries a bit me thinks. I noted yesterday that it was showing 100% full and 4.1kWh available and according to the Immersun some 3.4kWh were discharged between 1800 and 2100. In a perfect world I guess what I need is a spare battery pack to rotate in and out of the storage unit and get on with some conditioning.

We also diverted 9.4kWh to the EHS and the heat pump was off for 10hrs in the last 24hrs.

Off to the dentist shortly but will report on the results of trying out the 'duff' panel later.

Regards

Richard



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 06, 2019, 07:10:50 PM
Good Evening All,

OK so the duff panel is still duff so no more time will be wasted on that.

Secured a UBG SB3600TL-21 today which will replace the currently in place SB3000TL-21. This will then replace the 2off SB1700's on the FIT qualifying panels and move me one stage closer to a more modern system. These two SB1700's will then get sold on to offset the cost of their replacement.

I'm still debating as to whether to acquire another 5kW Growatt battery.

Regards

Richard



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 07, 2019, 09:47:49 AM
Good Morning All,

Why are all Growatt batteries for sale on a well known internet auction site sold down south????????? It's the same with PV panels.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Nickel2 on March 07, 2019, 11:28:00 AM
Possibly because the sun never shines north of the midlands? (The eternal gloom and Stygian darkness are not conducive to good sales figures) ;) ;)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: oliver90owner on March 07, 2019, 02:06:02 PM
Looks like you may be bidding against me. :)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 07, 2019, 05:16:24 PM
oliver90owner,

It doesn't help when bidding against a fellow forum member - as there is only the one 5kW Growatt battery on a certain internet auction site.

OK so I've made some progress today. After several re-boots of the SHM 2.0 and following nowty's advice I now have both the SHM 2.0 and the inverter 'visible'.  There is still an issue however as I've no display of 'Total Consumption' as the attached screen shot should show.

Having finally had the system 'recognise' the inverter one of the pages required me to input information iro to the inverter including which phase it was on i.e. L1, L2 or L3.  I clicked L1 as there is only the one phase and that is the one the CT is connected to on the SHM 2.0 as previous pictures have shown.

The CT fitted is https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/current-transformers/1718755/ (https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/current-transformers/1718755/), the SMA specification is for a CT designed for a secondary current of 5A and with an accuracy of at least Class 1.  It only has two wires to connect it and I checked the continuity when I connected it.  It is definitely fitted to the live cable.

Any suggestions/ advice or comments willingly received.

Extra addition - been out with my trusty clamp meter. 4.5A on the main live cable and 0.2A in the wire from the CT to the SHM 2.0 which give or take the accuracy of the meter is a reading roughly one twentieth as one would expect for a 100A/ 5A CT.  My question is how does the SHM 2.0 'know' it's not directly connected and needs to multiply everything by 20?

I've answered my own question. I've found out how to 'tell' the SHM 2.0 it is connected to a CT.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 07, 2019, 06:12:29 PM
Good Evening (Part 2),

It would help if the SHM 2.0 instructions told you clearly that it needed to be 'told' a CT was connected!! Anyway now it is sorted I attach two screenshots showing the Immersun view and the SHM 2.0 view. The PV isn't generating at this time of night, it is the Growatt battery discharging.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 09, 2019, 11:24:35 AM
Good Morning All,

Well the most important happening today will be one occurring at Murrayfield this afternoon so everything will need to work around that.........

The Growatt Smart Energy Box has arrived so shortly I'll be heading out to fit that.

Meanwhile the two attached pictures show a slightly confusing picture. At the moment the SHM 2.0 is only aware of the one inverter producing any input so I think it is partially confused as we are very clearly exporting energy at the moment but the SHM 2.0 sees it as importing!!

Having acquired another Speedwire capable inverter the situation will improve when I get back from the next bit of offshore work but this will still leave me needing to find a second hand SB1.5-1VL-40 at some point so the entire PV production can be captured electronically. Why do I hear some viewers asking? My original 1.28kW of panels are a rollover from the ROC days so any generation has to be separately metered and the quoted inverter is the only one I'm aware of that 'small' that will do the job.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on March 09, 2019, 12:48:07 PM
Richard, you don't need to get another speedwire capable inverter. You can get another SMA energy meter and fit so ALL your generation goes through it. You then specify that your speedwire inverter uses the extra energy meter rather than its own internal one.

I have now done this with my own system as I have one SMA4000TL-21 (speedwire version) and a SMA4000TL-20 (non speedwire version). I have now got my new BIG Sunny Island integrated and all with the magic 3.68kW export limit.

Your SHM 2.0 should not be confused about import/export if you have it correctly fitted at the grid connection point, I note you are using the CT clamp so have you fitted it the right way around ?


PS - Very sunny here this morning !

(https://i.postimg.cc/HkPjfqTM/Sunny-Portal.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 09, 2019, 01:43:58 PM
Good Afternoon Mike,

One stage at a time. One of my two Growatt's seems to have a currently non-functional output to the Growatt RF stick so I've implemented the other one and I now have a Growatt remote access facility as per the attached picture.

I'll go out and give the CT a dose of looking at, there was no suggestion in the manufacturer's details that it was directional?

The SMA Energy Meter is an option but I wanted to replace the 'old' inverters and I wanted to access the higher level of information from a Speedwire capable inverter, it may prove cheaper than the small Speedwire capable inverter though.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 09, 2019, 03:16:11 PM
Good Afternoon All (again),

A quick rush out at half time and the SHM 2.0 CT has been turned around.  Plenty of sun here today as well (kettle was on at the time this was taken). Growatt now 'fully' charged.  Pictures attached.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 09, 2019, 06:55:59 PM
Good Evening All,

Having access to new information now has me asking even more questions. The Growatt is currently discharging via the inverter as recorded by the Immersun software but the SMA system reports as per the picture below.

I have no idea why the SHM 2.0 is reporting the 'errors' it is.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 09, 2019, 07:04:02 PM
and then you go back not 5 minutes later...........

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Westie on March 09, 2019, 07:17:39 PM
Could be a comms issue, hows your internet speed and latency these days?

Also check the inverter and home manager firmware is the latest.....



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 09, 2019, 07:36:51 PM
Westie,

You could well have hit the nail on the head wrt it being an internet access issue.

I have set up the SHM 2.0 to carry out updates automatically, I have twice tried to tell the system to do the same with the inverter but it throws up an error message.

If you look back some way back in this thread you'll see I updated this 'new to me' inverter relatively recently.

Mind I also have to find out why this latest SHM 2.0 functionality doesn't display the local meteorology.

As I say it is a case of making progress one step at a time.

Advice/ observations are welcome from any corner.  ;)

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 09, 2019, 08:19:48 PM
Good Evening All (again),

I need to send an EM to SMA and ask why they have you entering a geographical position longitude first, because I assumed rather than actually read!!  When I clicked on the 'Location' box it took me to the oceanic location I had erroneously entered....................

This explains the absence of meteorological information.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 11, 2019, 01:14:14 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Well I'm slowly sorting out niggles in the software mainly caused by erroneous data entered by yours truly.

It's sunny up here in NE Scotland ahead of the foul weather coming our way from the west.

A selection of shots to show what is happening here on the RE front. The Immersun is diverting energy to the EHS, the Solar ET is doing its bit and the house heating is coming from the EHS. The PV extension is charging the Growatt.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 12, 2019, 10:24:32 AM
Good Morning All,

Well another sunny morning so far, I'll be heading away shortly.

Pictures essentially the same as yesterday but things are starting to work the way I always intended i.e. Solar ET and diverted Solar PV running the house heating for part of the spring/ autumn period.

When I get back next time I'll be looking to fit both the SMA Energy Meter and the SB3600TL-21 I've now sourced. This will enable the SHM 2.0 to track all PV production with the exception of what goes to the Growatt. I'll have ordered the extra Cat5e cables, another switch, a 5 way consumer unit c/w MCB for the Energy Meter by the end of the morning.

I'm still aspiring to getting another Growatt battery and going down a similar route to nowty - I'll need to save up for the Sunny Island.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 13, 2019, 10:09:25 PM
Good Evening All,

Been editing the 'My Plant' details in the ShinePhone app and noted that Growatt also have you entering longitude before latitude, I now need to communicate with two organisations and suggest they change things - will it change anything I wonder?

Saw a new production high on the Solar PV front (although I'm sure that as the year progresses this will be superseded - will need to implement the Export Limitation function) and the Growatt battery is now charging more frequently and to a greater amount. Sat as I am some distance from home (80 odd miles east of Shetland) the Growatt is discharging. It did this in the early hours of this morning as the energy in the EHS kept the heat pump at bay until around midnight.

That'll be it from me until the next 'development' stage is arrived at.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on March 14, 2019, 02:32:58 PM
Hi Richard
I had a lot of issues with dropped communications with my inverter (SB 2.5) when I fitted it.
After many phone calls to the helpline I had to set up "Port forwarding" on my router. I have had minimal interruptions since.
I also had to fix the Inverter IP address on the router to a static one.

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 14, 2019, 03:12:28 PM
Iain,

Thanks for this, something to look into more closely. There is some stuff in the manuals about setting things up which I probably need to go through in more detail.

I'm just glad I'm moving in the right direction although still some way from where I wish to be.

I may contact you when I get back.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 14, 2019, 06:24:31 PM
Good Evening All,

I fibbed when I said there wouldn't be anymore from me.........

Lots of thumb twiddling going on out here as it looks like we won't be starting this here rig move until Monday so........

I've had two old Gunson G4106 battery chargers (along with two desulfators) plugging away (on Economy 7 only) my 4off Trojan series wired T105's (for starting the old diesel generator) for quite some time now and have been meaning to do something more environmentally friendly for some time but just never quite gotten around to it.

Having taken some advice from Scruff I'm planning on buying a Morningstar charger device and a dedicated solar panel (190W??) to take over the charging duties in the none too distant future. There is no economic benefit in doing this but I'm sure I'll get a nice warm feeling knowing I'm doing a little bit more to reduce my electricity consumption and thus the impact on the planet - well that is what I'm telling myself anyway.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 15, 2019, 08:11:15 PM
Good Evening All,

I note the post elsewhere about wind having produced over 1/3rd of our electrickery in the last week. It has also been a good week on the solar front, certainly up in our neck of the woods. I've attached a picture of the Immersun results from the last week.

I've also attached a picture courtesy of the whizzo new software available for the heat pump showing when the heat pump compressor was running and when not. The combination of Solar PV and Solar ET being responsible for that.

Having access to the information I now do it is a little disappointing to see that over the last 2 nights at least the Growatt has discharged at a relatively low level, certainly no more than 50% of the house demand and, as far, as I can tell, stopped discharging at 50% SOC. This is leading to more Solar PV being exported than needs to be the case. It would be interesting to hear from other Growatt users.

It will be interesting to see how nowty gets on with his revised installation as I'm aiming to go down the Sunny Island route as well.

Currently trying to track down a new linear actuator for the tracker....... an outfit in Spain appears to have some if only they'd respond to an EM........

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 16, 2019, 11:22:29 PM
Good Evening,

It has been suggested that I replace a part of my existing system based on the 80W panels with new larger more space efficient ones. It is certainly a different 'take' and not one I had considered.

The 1.28kW ROC/ FIT part of the install consists of 16off Chinese 80W panels purchased and fitted back in 2010.  These are currently fitted in the middle of the long steading roof but are not using all the available space.  These could be substituted by the 5off UBG Trina 250W panels I've recently fitted meaning I would be able to remove all 16 of the Chinese panels.  This leaves me with a space some 6.1mtrs by 2.85mtrs to utilise.

I have already committed to buying 10off 245W panels along with a 195W panel for battery charging.  At 1.652 x 0.994mtr I can fit three in landscape and 5 in portrait and still fit the 2off BP380U panels on the end.  This would give me a near 800W improvement over the current install with 7.575kW in total.

I'm still considering this option. It I go ahead I will be selling the 16off Chinese panels to offset the costs. Additionally, as I will be substituting the 2off SB1700 with the existing SB3000TL-21, I will be looking to sell both of these as well.  I will post a For Sale advert to gauge forum interest before heading for Gumtree and a well know internet auction site.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on March 17, 2019, 07:12:45 AM
Hi
Quote
.The 1.28kW ROC/ FIT part of the install consists of 16off Chinese 80W panels purchased and fitted back in 2010.

Isn't the ROC FIT system based around the panels, they were the items that were registered.
I found this out when I replaced my inverter..
There was no issue replacing an inverter but would have been more complicated to replace the panels. It was those that determined the size of the system.
I think the only way round it is if the panels get damaged and the same replacements are no longer available. Then the FIT data base has to be altered. Not sure how easy or possible that is.
Then there is the possibility of loosing over 50p/kWh income from that system.
Can you not move them to one end? Even put them landscape and double them up. Then add the others at the end of them?

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 17, 2019, 08:08:32 AM
Iain,

I knew things couldn't be that simple. The panels concerned are the ROO/ Fit ones so only paying 11.51p rather than the 52.75p.

I'll send a PM.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 17, 2019, 10:52:43 PM
Good Evening All,

The 1.28kW ROO/ FIT installation generates circa £110 a year in subsidies. Historically we have also used around 60% of generated power on site so there is a circa £85 saving in imported electrickery - total benefit circa £195.  The question then needs to be is replacing it with 1.96kW of new panels a viable alternative to 'losing' the ROO/ FIT status on a simple financial basis?

The 1.96kW of panels would generate 1467kWh rather than the 958kWh the ROO/ FIT does, allowing for the same 60% on site utilisation they could save £132pa at best. It would take 90% on site utilisation to reach financial 'parity' and that simply isn't going to happen without more battery capacity as a minimum.

The new panels obviously have cost me and it is likely that if I sold all the 80W panels and 2off 245W panels I've just bought I would anticipate that side would be just about cost neutral. If I stick with what I have then I go back to selling the panels I've bought and use any 'profit' towards more battery capacity.

I think I need to acquire more battery capacity first to maximise the PV power I have as I already have a second Growatt SP2000 unit.

I also don't want to draw too much attention to my current activities.

On reflection a case of letting sleeping dogs lie a little at this time.......

Comments welcome.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: ProDave on March 18, 2019, 09:54:29 AM

I also don't want to draw too much attention to my current activities.

Then talking about them on a public internet forum might not be the best idea?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 20, 2019, 12:15:06 PM
Good Morning All,

Currently back home as the job I'm on is on hold due to wx forecast.

I've currently got my slightly bemused head on. I've just booked the courier to collect the well known internet auction site sourced SB3600TL-21 what I bought and am trying to work out the Parcelforce 24hr Next Day Service.

If I pay an additional £3.10 Delivery Guarantee payment (Parcel due for collection tomorrow and therefore delivered by the 22nd to meet the definition of 'Next Day') then I only get a refund if it isn't delivered by the 25th - doesn't that make it a 4 day delivery service and not next day??? If it arrives on Friday I'll look to get it fitted over the weekend.

I've committed to buying an SMA Sunny Island 4.4M-12 and have secured some Growatt battery packs. I'm not even going to try competing with nowty (in terms of capacity as I don't have the Solar PV required) but I will configure the batteries ex the Growatt's in a very similar way to him.

I'm looking forward to having everything under the SMA (single) roof for much better control as previously mentioned.

I'll keep reporting as I go.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on March 20, 2019, 03:59:08 PM
Hi
If you went to use parcel force it is roughly 1/3 the price if you book it through Parcel Monkey. Exactly the same service and even the paperwork is the same. I suppose parcel monkey is a broker but it is a good discount.
Have used it 3 times with no issues.

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 20, 2019, 04:22:29 PM
Iain,

I routinely use parcel2go.............

One problem we have is our location, the minute we put in the house post code a whole host of services 'disappear' from the screen. This is why I frequently have things delivered to the flat in Aberdeen.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 20, 2019, 06:19:44 PM
Good Evening All,

Well that's two more Cat 5E cables run and I've screwed a CU to contain the SMA Energy Meter (EMETER-20) to the ROO/ FIT inverter mounting board. I'm going back out after dinner to start wiring this CU up.

The wiring of the inverters was partly dictated by my desire to have everything passing through the Immersun export CT, in the case of the extra panels this inverter tags on to the 'end of the line' and goes the long way around to get to the Main CU. I may take the export from the SB3600TL-21 the 'short' route to the incoming main CU. If I get the time I'll draw a rough picture and post it.

May post photo's later.

I took a set of figures from the export meters and DNO meter today to compare with a set I took on March 19th last year. My year on year import of energy from 1st January 2018 to 1st January 2019 was 8683kWh. The figure from 19th March 2018 to 20th March 2019 has dropped to 8045kWh. Overall consumption i.e. import plus use of units generated on site went from 11831kWh to 11521kWh over the same periods.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on March 20, 2019, 06:46:20 PM
Richard, maybe I am not fully understanding your explanation, but,

You need ALL your generation from ALL your inverters to go throught the secondary SMA Energy Meter (entering from the top end exiting from the bottom), then that should go to your SMA Home Manager 2, entering the top end exiting the bottom and then that goes to the incoming grid.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 20, 2019, 07:47:11 PM
nowty,

We may need to take this 'offline'.

The SHM 2.0 will obviously see the total PV generated and exported already (via Sunny Portal). The only thing the system (Sunny Portal) 'knows' is that the SB3000TL-21 is connected as it is on the Speedwire system. The source of the rest of the power being generated/ exported is, currently, unknown to Sunny Portal i.e. the ROO/ FIT and FIT PV systems.

When the SB 3600TL-21 is fitted Sunny Portal will be 'aware' of the FIT system and the 2.895kW of extra panels, but the ROO/ FIT part will be 'invisible'.

Sunny Portal will know the total export from the SHM 2.0 and will know the export of the two -21 inverters. It has no way of knowing where the other energy is coming from i.e. the ROO/ FIT 1.2kW system.

Thus my thinking of fitting the Energy Manager on the output of the ROO/ FIT inverter ('reverse wired' as you've already highlighted) means I can record the output of this system as accurately as the two -21 inverter systems.

Otherwise there is no real point of fitting it i.e. the Energy Meter, as the SHM 2.0 is already telling me the total export and the only source of this must be the Solar PV??

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on March 20, 2019, 10:16:37 PM
Richard, I have PM'd you in more detail but for the benefit of others, if you use a second SMA Energy Meter you are instructing the SHM2 to solely use the second Energy Meter data for ALL generation data therefore the SHM2 will ignore the generation data received directly from the speedwire enabled inverters (v21's).

The point of adding the second Energy Meter is for Sunny Portal to correctly display and report your total PV generation and correctly work out your house consumption figures.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 21, 2019, 05:06:39 PM
Good Afternoon All,

I have had a number of offline communications with nowty who has more experience with this SMA equipment and have had to change my plans as SMA's software won't allow me to do what I want although I can still extract the information I want installing the SMA preferred (for which read the only) way.

The SMA information is challenging. You may recall I commented that the installation information for the SHM 2.0 didn't specifically refer to you needing to tell the software you had a CT fitted whereas the same style of installation information for the Energy Meter does.

I now need to re-run the one CAT5e cable from the outbuilding CU to the Growatt location as this is where I'll be mounting the ethernet switch. I'm hoping that the Energy Meter will fit in the Outbuilding CU as this will simplify things - (it didn't as it was a Memera CU with different mounting rail........).

Persons of a delicate disposition should look away now as the attached photo's show how to take two perfectly functional pieces of equipment and dismantle them to their constituent parts.  I can advise that in addition to nowty detailing that the 4.8kWh Growatts contain 252 cells in a 14 x 18 array I can report the 2.7kWh ones have a 7 x 20 array giving a total of 140 cells. Unless anybody feels they might need empty cases or BMS PCB's the pictured detritus will be getting conveyed to the recycling centre tomorrow.

The Growatt and existing 4.8kWh battery will stay 'active' until the SI 4.4M-12 is installed

The SB36000TL-21 was collected by Parcelforce today.

Time to go out and do some more.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 21, 2019, 07:04:50 PM
Good Evening All,

That's me in to do something for dinner before going back out again.

The attached photo will show I've now patched in the Energy Meter adjacent to the Main PV AC Isolating Switch. Using 6mm2 T&E is probably completely OTT. Taking onboard an observation made when plumbing in the SHM 2.0 I've also incorporated an isolating switch.

One day when I have nothing better to do (ha b****y ha) I'll take everything off this part of the outbuilding wall and start again as the electrical gubbins just keeps expanding and a 'start from zero' installation is required.

I've had contact from one member - fear not none of the 'scrap' Growatt bits will find their way to the recycling centre as soon as tomorrow - more likely to be years if truth be told.

I've dragged the four battery packs inside and later this evening I'll get a meter on them.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: ProDave on March 21, 2019, 07:34:22 PM
What are you doing with those batteries?  Building your own charge / discharge system, i.e. your own designed battery storage system?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on March 21, 2019, 07:38:32 PM
Persons of a delicate disposition should look away now as the attached photo's show how to take two perfectly functional pieces of equipment and dismantle them to their constituent parts.  I can advise that in addition to nowty detailing that the 4.8kWh Growatts contain 252 cells in a 14 x 18 array I can report the 2.7kWh ones have a 7 x 20 array giving a total of 140 cells. Unless anybody feels they might need empty cases or BMS PCB's the pictured detritus will be getting conveyed to the recycling centre tomorrow.

Ouch, they not even symmetrical are they. help:
So each cell container must have 10+10 in series ?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 21, 2019, 09:11:58 PM
ProDave,

I'm aiming to build up a battery set-up along the same lines as nowty albeit smaller.

nowty - may look at cell make-up shortly - I'll have to go out and rescue my tools now.

That's the Energy Meter up and running, connected to the internet and recognised by Sunny Portal. I need for daylight to come up now and check that it functions as intended - i.e. gives me the Total PV Generated figure.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 21, 2019, 09:53:48 PM
Good Evening All (again),

Just a quick set of photo's of what a 8V module looks like with the covers off.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Tiff on March 21, 2019, 10:17:04 PM

Are they 18650 cells in there? Pack design looks very similiar to these:


(https://i.postimg.cc/0MxJzSyN/valence.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/0MxJzSyN)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 21, 2019, 11:53:07 PM
Tiff,

No they're the Swing 5300 type as nowty first identified. They are a dedicated cell around twice the size of 18650 I believe.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 22, 2019, 05:58:15 PM
Good Evening All,

So there I was pleased as punch as the sun sort of came out this morning and the Sunny Portal system showed the PV production courtesy of the Energy Meter like what it was meant to do.

Everything was going well and then as the cloud cover broke so did the PV output, minor panic set in and I went outside to see what I could see.

The MCB for the Energy Meter had tripped and the inverters had all tripped as well.  I couldn't see anything obviously wrong so reset the MCB and everything seemed to be OK (note sun had gone back behind the cloud again).

A short while later the suns comes out again and the MCB trips again.  Much head scratching.  I convinced myself there must have something wrong with my wiring and decided to re-wire the Energy Meter using a 'spare' CT so that's what I went and did.

It was nowty that asked me the question as to what was the rating of the MCB.  Well of course a 6A MCB is likely going to trip with anything more than 1475W flowing..........

It had simply never occurred to me that it was a simple as the MCB rating.

Still I'll know for next time.

Meantime the SB3600TL-21 may, or may not, be at the Parcelforce depot here in Aberdeen, I did try phoning them but the lady in Glasgow (I thought I'd selected the local depot on the phone menu) couldn't tell me exactly where it was as it may have been handed over the Royal Mail - I don't know about other parts of the UK but at Altens they occupy the same building. Just waiting for Kate to get back from work so I can drive up and grab it as Plan A (the one where I go back to work on Monday) became Plan B (where I go back tomorrow).

Late addition - So Parcelforce have handed the parcel over to the Royal Mail this morning and, one assumes, my postie will attempt to deliver it tomorrow. I have paid £56 for this next day service. In the meantime APC were able to move two Growatt batteries, weighing a third more than the inverter, inside 24hrs for less money.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 23, 2019, 09:50:32 AM
Good Morning All,

So I'm minding my own business in the flat in Aberdeen when the mobile rings, 0344 number so I don't answer. Phone pings and there is a Voicemail message from the Parcelforce depot in Aberdeen.

Apparently Royal Mail had passed my package back to Parcelforce and they were going to put it on a wagon out to the house today (interesting I thought as Saturday delivery is £7.50 extra and I hadn't paid it) and was given the local depot tel. no. to call back.  I did only I didn't get through to Aberdeen and whichever location it was promised to deliver a message to the Aberdeen branch advising that I would come and collect it.

I have just come back from collecting the parcel which was clearly at the depot last night when I turned up to collect it..............

Still the sun is shining so there is one positive, as to whether my son't team will win at the rugby later is another matter.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 27, 2019, 10:48:23 PM
Good Evening All,

We should be berthing in Aberdeen and tomorrow and I should get back home on Friday to hopefully find that various items to facilitate the next stage will have arrived.

Firstly I'll be shifting the SB3000TL-21 from Growatt charging duties to replace the two SB1700 as previously detailed.

Secondly I'll be installing the 'new' SB3600TL-21 on Growatt charging duties.

Thirdly I'll re-install the Energy Meter back to being adjacent to the PV AC isolator switch (with a higher amperage rated MCB this time).

Fourthly I'll look to start pre-wiring for the arrival of the Sunny Island 4.4M (due mid-April).

I'm currently negotiating over a 5kWh Growatt battery..........

Some more, new, cheap Solar PV panels should arrive early next week adding 490W to the current 2.895kW string and the 190W panel for dedicated generator start battery charging.

I did wonder about seeing if I could operate say 8off Trojan T105's off the Sunny Island as nowty seemed to manage running FLA and lithium in parallel but let's just address one thing at a time. There is also something to be said for keeping things simple?

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 29, 2019, 02:11:03 PM
Good Afternoon All,

I'm having a two chocolate bar afternoon tea break - there's throwing caution to the wind......

Well that's the 'new' SB3600TL-21 put up in place of the SB3000TL-21, firmware updated, recognised in Sunny Portal and then altered from G83/ 2 to G59/ 3. On things of minor note that although the inverter was fitted with the SWDM-10 communication card it wasn't pre-fitted with the correct two hole cable gland, I guess it came with the original outfitting but not fitted as it wasn't used.

I have a whole host of bits that have arrived whilst I was away to facilitate the various things I need to do ahead of the Sunny Island arriving. The Postman had to re-stack things in the post box yesterday as it was getting a little full with haphazard tipping in of packages.

Trying to decide whether to replace the 2off SB1700's with the SB3000TL-21 next or put the Energy Meter back where I wired it the first time now I have a 32A MCB.

Still negotiating the Growatt 5kWh battery pack......

OK - late afternoon addition, that's the 2off SB1700's replaced............. I even remembered to put the inverter back to G83/ 2........

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: pantsmachine on March 29, 2019, 07:20:09 PM
Rework those bad boys on a big new board and re-run the cables. Glad it's all working but jings, nae bonny! You know you want to?
 Weather's great I see.

What kind of chocolate? :)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 29, 2019, 09:13:52 PM
pantsmachine,

On the chocolate side of things only Cadbury's Dairy Milk - I'll spoil myself with some dark chocolate and marzipan occasionally.

Most of my electrics need re-running BUT there shouldn't actually be a board at all which is why all the stuff for the extension is fixed direct to the stonework.

The dangling 6mm2 T&E cable in the upper part of the picture is a part of when I re-worked the inverters and had them all feed back across to the far side of the shed via the old incoming SWA mains cable to keep the line losses down. Currently the inverter on the PV extension is about 30mtrs of cable away from the incoming CU but the cabling runs in the opposite direction to get there so to speak. There is probably 90mtrs of cabling (between 6 and 16mm2) though the way it is currently wired.

This was also partly dictated by the desire to pass all the Solar PV production via the Immersun CT system.

In a perfect world, a large budget, and the desire it could all be tidied up.

Even the number and length of Cat5e cables bought recently could have been streamlined if I'd thought to use a switch in the first place.

One day I'll maybe sit down and create an overall plan........

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: pantsmachine on March 30, 2019, 07:26:52 AM
Ah dairy milk. Never lasts long enough! No board, is that a personal choice or a rule I didn't know about? My set up looked like a bomb had hit it post install. Doing proper cable runs made a huge difference.

Any cable that goes in the top of a jb has the risk in the right environmental conditions of water running down it and into said jb.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 30, 2019, 03:06:39 PM
pantsmachine,

The thing about wooden boards is related to it being a fire hazard as I understand it. Somebody more knowledgeable than me mentioned it on this forum some while back.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: pantsmachine on March 30, 2019, 03:13:44 PM
Ah, doesn't matter in a stone building or garage. Can see a point if inside, although only just.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 30, 2019, 05:17:18 PM
Good Afternoon All,

A 100mtr roll of 6mm2 T&E is cheapest at TLC Direct but would still set me back £119.99............ hmm I need to draw up a plan me thinks!

Regards

Richard

 


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: ProDave on March 30, 2019, 07:14:43 PM
Very slightly cheaper here http://www.discount-electrical.co.uk/product.php/385718237/6242h6-0gry100-basec-approved-6242y-grey-twin---earth-cable-6-0mm-100m-reel

ANd free delivery (TLC direct usually charge for delivery)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 30, 2019, 08:06:11 PM
ProDave,

As you say £118.52 against £119.99, if I increase the value of the order with TLC to £150+ I save £4.99 on postage.

I'm in Aberdeen today and tomorrow (Birthday tomorrow) but when I get back home I'm going to go out and look at where I am so to speak, allowing for the arrival of the Sunny Island. I've already gotten in 10mm2 T&E to plumb the latter in (as per SMA installation instructions) along with the 40A/ 30mA RCD and 32A MCB.

I have been considering getting a proper qualified electrician to re-wire everything over by the location where the mains enters the property and also to advise on other parts of the current installs.

Regards

Richard



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: rogeriko on March 31, 2019, 12:14:16 AM
Only £65 on ebay +delivery   https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/100-Meter-Drum-Electrical-Twin-Earth-3-Core-Cable-6-0mm-6242Y-T-E-100m-Roll/153432215990?hash=item23b945d1b6:g:ez4AAOSwE45cnT34


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 31, 2019, 07:22:39 AM
rogeriko,

A slightly confusing advert regarding whether or not they will post so I've sent a query to them but thanks for spotting this, will I now be bidding against other forum members.........

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on March 31, 2019, 02:53:16 PM
Good Afternoon All,

A couple of shots of the largest output from the PV at Courtiestown to date.  When I get back home tomorrow I'll need to set up the export limitation, fortunately the Immersun is still diverting to the EHS and the Growatt battery is still charging.

Regards

Richard



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on March 31, 2019, 05:50:05 PM
When I get back home tomorrow I'll need to set up the export limitation.


Now you have everything installed, it takes about 10 mins to set up. :crossed

That is of course if you have done it before. fpig:


Otherwise, could be some time. banghead:


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 01, 2019, 02:18:34 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Right now looking at setting my export limitation up.

I see much bandying about of the 3.68kW figure which I assume is derived from 230V x 16A = 3680W.

As my line voltage is routinely above 243V I further assume that I could set my export limit at 243V x 16A = 3888W?

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on April 01, 2019, 03:15:08 PM
Hi Richard
Is there a setting to limit it to 16amps, rather than the power?

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 01, 2019, 03:35:16 PM
Iain,

No there is only an entry for a power figure.

That's the 100mtr reel of 6mm2 T&E won and now booked for collection through parcel2go.com

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 01, 2019, 05:51:33 PM
Good Evening All,

This is my first pass at charging the Growatt batteries. I'm using a 15A device based on the schematic as attached.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 02, 2019, 01:19:12 PM
Good Afternoon All,

A pallet of panels arrived here this morning and that's two of them mounted on the steading roof and connected up.

That's it now until the Sunny Island turns up I guess.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 03, 2019, 01:25:40 PM
Good Afternoon All,

That's the 5kWh Growatt battery price agreed and a courier sorted through Shiply. I think I have enough capacity now. I need to wait for the Sunny Island and battery to turn up now.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 04, 2019, 01:12:03 AM
Good Morning All,

I should be in bed by now but I've been wrestling with an old Elektor magazine switch mode 30V/ 3A bench power supply device that I started a way back in 2010.......

Having found that reading the set-up instructions correctly along with changing the potentiometers around for the current and voltage adjustment means the device is now wired up and working.

The 15A regulated unit I was using is generating way too much heat which I suspect may well be due to having too high a voltage input from the transformer, something to check tomorrow possibly.

This Elektor charger appears to be doing the necessary albeit slowly and means I don't have to go and spend any money on buying something off a well known auction site. Looking at the pictures I see I need to put an earth lead up to the transformer mounting bolt........

A couple of pictures attached. I'll put the lid back on tomorrow once I'm happy no more tweaking is required.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: ProDave on April 04, 2019, 06:57:56 PM
So you are making your own charge / discharge system for the batteries then?

How are you going to control that?  I am interested in your algorithm for deciding when to charge the batteries. That is probably easy, whenever there is surplus to do so and the batteries can still accept some charge.

I am more interested in your algorithm to decide how and when to discharge them?  In  particular what inverter you are using and is it fixed power or variable power?


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 04, 2019, 08:29:47 PM
ProDave,

I thought I had laid out in this thread what I was doing, maybe I need to go back and re-read bits. The Sunny Island 4.0M will decide how and when to charge the 15.3kWh of ex-Growatt battery.

Edit extra- For the sake of clarity all I'm doing currently is charging each module to 8.4V to make sure that each module is 'good' and when installed in the 'system' all will be near equal.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on April 04, 2019, 09:21:24 PM
Hi Richard,
Given you have pulled all the cells out of the Growatt, I'm intrigued on how you intend to balance them? Does the Sunny Island have some form of BMS available? 

What took you down the Sunny Island route as it seems a tad more expensive than the sofar ME2000SP /Pylon route.  Does it balance out as you manage to obtain the growatt at a 'good' price?
Cheers
Andy


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 05, 2019, 07:24:29 AM
andrewellis,

nowty made a similar suggestion viz a viz Sofar but I wanted everything 'under one roof' so to speak with bits of equipment that were 'talking' to one another which, in the case of the SMA, they do, literally, via Speedwire.

Based on nowty's experience, with the way he had things set-up, all his modules remain balanced within 0.1V so I'm hoping ( :crossed) that this will be my experience.

I was thinking of putting the Immersun on an Edimax smart socket (controlled by the SHM 2.0/ Sunny Portal) to better control how it was utilised but nowty advised he hadn't found that necessary.

I'm expecting to go through a learning curve with it all once in place.

In terms of expense my philosophy from the outset has been to do all this with second hand/ UBG equipment but even still it isn't 'cheap'.

It is still very frustrating to have 7.3kW of PV and see it only produce 5.8kWh of electrickery on Wednesday.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on April 05, 2019, 07:58:12 AM
Hi Richard

Quote
.It is still very frustrating to have 7.3kW of PV and see it only produce 5.8kWh of electrickery on Wednesday

Is that because your system is limiting the output, or other reasons?

Are you able to monitor each set of panels against each other to compare and see which part of the system letting you down? Or is it the area you live or time of year that is giving you generally low readings?

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Nickel2 on April 05, 2019, 08:54:17 AM
...'It is still very frustrating to have 7.3kW of PV and see it only produce 5.8kWh of electrickery on Wednesday'...

I have 1.14 kW worth of panels in my system, but have never seen over 1 kW produced on the best of days. My shortfall is in the storage of power; I can only stuff a certain number of amps into my batteries at one time. As they approach being fully charged, (before switching to float), the maximum DC voltage is capped at 30V to avoid damage to the batteries and the inverter. This means that any further electricity produced has to be used (via the inverter), in a 400W oil-filled rad in the house. Extra heat in the house stops the GCH switching on so much, saving my gas bill.
Power in Watts is power utilised, so if the voltage is fixed and I don't draw all the amps possible at that voltage, then I never reach full power.
I would like a Nissan leaf battery to be able to make use of all power available, without needing to sit by a row of switches turning them on and off as the clouds go by...


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 05, 2019, 10:01:07 AM
Hi Richard

Quote
.It is still very frustrating to have 7.3kW of PV and see it only produce 5.8kWh of electrickery on Wednesday

Is that because your system is limiting the output, or other reasons?

Are you able to monitor each set of panels against each other to compare and see which part of the system letting you down? Or is it the area you live or time of year that is giving you generally low readings?

Iain


Iain,

No it was simply a grey, sleety day. Somebody made the observation/ suggestion earlier in this thread that I now have all this PV that I would have more than enough. According to PVGIS-SARAH (most accurate for my location) this 7.3kW will give me 19.2kWh for the whole of December.....................

Since installing the SB3000/ 3600TL-21 inverters I've lowered the voltage at which the MPPT takes place on both inverters to the minimum allowable (125V??) in an attempt to 'maximise' production on dark days.

There is only so much I can do to 'defeat' geography, meteorology and the power of nature etc..

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on April 05, 2019, 10:57:17 AM
Hi Richard

Quote
.Since installing the SB3000/ 3600TL-21 inverters I've lowered the voltage at which the MPPT takes place on both inverters to the minimum allowable (125V??) in an attempt to 'maximise' production on dark days.

Tried that on my old inverter but didn't seem to make much difference. I think the inverter wakes up earlier but still won't connect until a certain threshold. It keeps testing itself until it can produce a certain amount of power. My new inverter kicks in at 30w on the Dc side which is 15 w on the AC side. I think it needs a certain threashold so it won't keep cutting in and out on low light levels. I goes down to 0 w before it cuts out but won't cut in again until it can produce 30/15 watts again.

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 05, 2019, 05:33:13 PM
Iain,

You may be right but every little helps is my thinking.

A 100mtr roll of 6mm2 T&E arrived here at the flat today. Only 24kg. After packing and lugging the 2off 28kg inverters yesterday my 'restricted arm syndrome' right arm needs a rest (the kayaking last night won't have helped and nor will the imminent weekend activities either).

It's been a sunny day here, the Growatt battery is full, the EHS has topped out at over 72oC and is currently providing the energy for heating the house (albeit I guess not that much needed although it is due to go down to 0oC overnight) so the Immersun stopped diverting and Sunny Portal tells me that the Active Power Limitation cut in as per the attached log screen shot. If it draws enough energy before sundown the Immersun may do some more diverting yet???

I'm glad to see the system does what it says on the can.

Investigating fitting a zappi to charge the Zoe (if only I could prise it out of the hands of SWMBO)????

I've just added the graph showing the cut in for the Active Power Limitation.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 06, 2019, 06:38:14 PM
Good Evening All,

Currently struggling with a crappy old Dell Netbook as I left the MacBook at the flat........

Whilst waiting on a 100uF/ 63V capacitor and an LM337LZ to arrive to fix the bench power supply I'm currently part way through jury rigging some existing LM2576T devices I have lying around.

That's one currently slowly charging one 8.4V bank and I'm now working on the second one and have a third in the wings. Next up will be investigating the significant heat in the 15A charging device and seeing if I can reduce the AC voltage in from the transformer.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 09, 2019, 09:48:16 AM
Good Morning All,

Well not much happening currently. One of the LM2576 based chargers has failed and the other didn't even want to start so I'm plugging on with just the one currently. Hopefully the spare parts will have arrived at the house yesterday so I can get the bench PSU back up and running.

The 5kWh Growatt-Darfon battery has been collected but not due delivery until the 18th, the same date as the SI is promised to arrive at the retailers.

Bought a sheet of plywood and cement board yesterday (along with some 10mm2 cable clips and some 'P' clips for the battery cable). The former will provide the mounting board for the SI and the latter will go on top of a pallet as rudimentary 'fire' protection (a la nowty) for mounting the Growatt battery modules.

Looking to be a sunny day today.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 09, 2019, 05:40:53 PM
Good Evening All,

Even more Active Power Export Limitation today than the other day.................

I have constructed another basic LM2576T charger today so that's two at work now. The parts to fix the bench power supply are here so I'll have a look at that this evening.

Heard back from those awfully nice chaps what make the zappi today and they have confirmed that the Zoe requires 2kW before it starts charging, I'm still not convinced that getting one is a good idea as you seem to be left with what do you do with excess energy in the 0 - 1.99kW bracket.

Late Extra - There's lucky, 1off LM2576T, 1off LM337LZ and 1off 100uF/ 63V capacitor and the Elektor bench power supply is back up and running.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 10, 2019, 10:02:16 AM
Good Morning All,

Well I've tried all the usual sources looking for multi-turn potentiometers to 'finish' my bench power supply. The original Elecktor article mentions 'ideally' fitting multi-turn potentiometers and boy am I struggling to find such beasts given what have proved to be 'odd' values they've selected in this circuit.

I'm looking for a 25 and 250k linear device. I've found a 25k at DigiKey - GU2531526-ND but am stumped on the 250k front - anybody???

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: marshman on April 10, 2019, 12:07:45 PM
Multi turn pots, (try searching 10 turn instead), are getting rare in this digital age, high value ones especially so. You could use a "normal" single turn 250k with another 25k or even 10k in series. The 250k giving the coarse adjustment and the 25 or 10k giving the fine adjustment.  I made a Practical electronics supply years ago and this recommended multiturn puts to set current and voltage limits, I just used single turn (poor hard up apprentice at the time), and it is OK just a little coarse on the settings - still working fine lots of years later - just given myself a shock (not literally!) as I realise how long ago it was!

Roger


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Fintray on April 10, 2019, 12:31:45 PM
Hi Richard

Going on what Roger has said this article also backs it up so doesn't look too hopeful:
http://sound.whsites.net/pots.htm (http://sound.whsites.net/pots.htm)

Relevant section - Because they are variable, there is a much smaller range of potentiometer values, almost always in a 1, 2, 5 sequence. Common values for panel pots are 1k, 5k, 10k, 20k, 50k, 100k, 500k and 1Meg, and there are also pots with more or less resistance than the small example here. There are also some intermediate values, such as 22k, 25k and 47k and often some seemingly odd values that are usually intended for specific applications and may be very expensive. Values such as 2.5k and 250k went missing along the way, and these are not stocked by very many distributors. 25k pots are becoming harder to get as well. Not all values are available in log and linear, and in some cases you may even find that for a particular type, you can get them in any value you want, as long as it's 100k (for example).

P.S. The article is from 2002.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 10, 2019, 12:38:10 PM
Fintray/ Marshman,

I guess one fallback would be buying a 10 turn 50k and 500k potentiometer and only using the first 5 turns???????? I don't give up easily  :D

I'm very aware things have moved on quite away since I started in electronics as a hobby back in 1970...............

My initial thinking about 'having' to buy a dedicated cheap Chinese built device off eBay has at least been averted and forced me to break out the soldering iron.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: sam_cat on April 10, 2019, 01:14:59 PM
Fintray/ Marshman,

I guess one fallback would be buying a 10 turn 50k and 500k potentiometer and only using the first 5 turns???????? I don't give up easily  :D

Just put 50k R across lugs 1 and 3 and you end up with 25K.



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: marshman on April 10, 2019, 02:57:32 PM
Fintray/ Marshman,

I guess one fallback would be buying a 10 turn 50k and 500k potentiometer and only using the first 5 turns???????? I don't give up easily  :D



Not necessarily, depends on how the pot is wired in the circuit. If the circuit is dependent on the 250k resistance and it is not simply a voltage divider then effectively doubling the resistance will probably have an effect.  I am sure I will be teaching you to suck eggs but I assume the idea of the 10 turn pot will be to allow precise and easy setting of either the current limit or voltage limit circuit. So fitting a single turn pot will achieve the same thing just much harder to set to a precise value, hence my suggestion to  to but a lower value pot effectively in series (you would need to study the schematic to decide the best place) that way you "centre" the low value pot, adjust the large value one to get close to the desired voltage or current, then "fine" adjust up or down using the low value pot, you don't need 10 turns on any pot if you do it this way. To be honest I find 10 turn pots a pain, you can't quickly go from a low to a high setting.

Roger


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Philip R on April 10, 2019, 06:14:34 PM
What (Watt) dissipation you require. I have to be careful here as I dont want to give advice that results in devices smoking!

Bourns certainly used to and probably still do do a decent range of multiturn pots and the multiturn counting knobs that go with them.

Philip R




Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 10, 2019, 09:02:09 PM
Good Evening All,

Didn't get too much done today.

Battery charging is continuing.

Tied up the two remaining CAT5e cables (SMA Energy Meter and imminent SI) and found an old, intact, egg lurking in a 'hole'.

Prompted by nowty's re-wired CU I've been studying my install and the plan for the arrival of the SI-4.0M. This seems a suitable candidate? - https://www.switchgeardirect.co.uk/product/havells-hsdrcd16ms-16way-dual-rcd-high-integrity-metal-consumer-unit-100a-main-incomer-and-2x-63a-rcd-am3-compliant-fully-loaded/?gclid=CjwKCAjwqLblBRBYEiwAV3pCJoZWXTG4ROZSeN-5rkpx4s68AUQmHdengk9w1IQu4PfAOOZxjnrUIhoCISIQAvD_BwE (https://www.switchgeardirect.co.uk/product/havells-hsdrcd16ms-16way-dual-rcd-high-integrity-metal-consumer-unit-100a-main-incomer-and-2x-63a-rcd-am3-compliant-fully-loaded/?gclid=CjwKCAjwqLblBRBYEiwAV3pCJoZWXTG4ROZSeN-5rkpx4s68AUQmHdengk9w1IQu4PfAOOZxjnrUIhoCISIQAvD_BwE)

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 11, 2019, 08:14:27 PM
Good Evening All,

The SI is arriving with the vendor on Tuesday but I've asked them to hold off as I'm heading back to work tomorrow.

Went out and planned what I needed for a replacement CU and ordered the necessary bits.

The latest Growatt battery is due on the 18th.

Hopefully things will come together towards the end of next week insofar as all the necessary bits will be on site.

Finished test charging the other Growatt modules today.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 12, 2019, 07:00:25 PM
Good Evening All,

Stayed in the flat overnight ahead of flying out to work this afternoon (this being sent from a secret location in the North Sea). Went out this morning to get my hair cut and came back to the flat at 1115 to find a parcel had been delivered.

No big deal in itself other than the order was only placed at 1510 yesterday afternoon with TLC - impressive. I know the new consumer unit bits will be there when I get back....

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 13, 2019, 12:36:45 PM
Good Afternoon All,

We're 'cooking on gas' today at Courtiestown, the two simultaneous shots below from the Immersun and the Growatt, the latter charging at 1kW.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: pantsmachine on April 13, 2019, 01:26:45 PM
Good to see it all working.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: biff on April 13, 2019, 07:30:42 PM
Well done Richard,
                       You are getting there. It looks impressive.
                                                  Biff


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 14, 2019, 01:55:45 AM
Good Morning All,

The Growatt discharging at 0200 this morning.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 18, 2019, 01:38:49 PM
Good Afternoon All,

That's me back onshore. I've spent part of this morning soldering crocodile clips onto fuse holders and an awfully nice courier man has delivered a pallet with a shiny new Sunny Island 4.0M.

That's plenty of stuff to be getting on with now. First off will be getting on with mounting the SI on the wall and I'm waiting on the best of the sun going down before I start re-wiring things on the far side of the steading.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 18, 2019, 06:06:49 PM
Good Evening All,

This is the lengths I have to go to when neither of my sons is available when I have a 44kg lump to deal with........

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Nickel2 on April 18, 2019, 08:49:51 PM
crocodile clips?  :o worried... ...please tell me these are only for attended test purposes!


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 18, 2019, 09:00:55 PM
Nickel2,

The crocodile clip 'fuses' are balance lines the same as nowty used, the inter bank fuses have soldered ring terminals.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 19, 2019, 03:55:29 PM
Good Afternoon All,

That's the 5kWh Growatt battery turned up today so Philips/ Pozidrive screwdriver and 10mm socket driver at the ready.........

When I get back to the house I can charge up each module.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 19, 2019, 11:59:51 PM
Good Evening All,

This is the lengths I have to go to when neither of my sons is available when I have a 44kg lump to deal with........

Regards

Richard


Snap !


I was going to buy a chain pully to lift mine but only another £20 to get an electric hoist.

(https://i.postimg.cc/gkdc3fgz/Sunny-Island-Lift.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 20, 2019, 07:38:26 AM
nowty,

At least mine was only 44 and not 63kg!

All my lifting gear has been legitimately acquired from offshore over a number of years - comes in handy when needed. I haven't had an excuse for using a Tirfor in ages though.........

Sat here drinking the first mug of tea for the day and psyching myself up to replace/ re-wire the outbuildings CU.

The McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages Rally is due through the Whitehaugh forest at the back of the us today. It is a closed stage but I might find my way up there.

Useless fact for the day. The battery modules/ cases in a Growatt are the same physical size in both the 2.7 and 5kWh devices.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 20, 2019, 10:58:34 AM
Good Morning All,

What other way to spend an Easter weekend but working on an RE project??

Beginners Error No. 1 - remember to tighten cable glands from the left as you go otherwise you have to remove things to access the glands........ I was going to say that's the SI 4.4M-12 wired up but looking at the photo I can see Error No.3 for the morning. I've forgotten to put the ferrite on the battery temperature lead so the cover will need to come off........

Beginners Error No.2 - I didn't order an adapter to fit the cable gland for a 6mm2 T&E cable in to a 32mm gland hole so I've fashioned a crude 'spacer using some sheet aluminium.

Growatt batteries currently being charged. The modules were all circa 3.2V.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 20, 2019, 02:48:46 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Well as I sit here with yet another mug of tea the new CU install continues. I've also put the ferrite on the Battery Temperature sensor lead. The double socket under the CU will definitely need re-locating.

Currently no power going to the domestic water pump but still enough water coming out to fill the kettle  :)

I'm assuming the rally cars must do between 2 and 3 circuits of the forest as they went past several times....

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Fintray on April 20, 2019, 05:17:12 PM
Hi Richard

Just looking at your ferrite on the battery temperature lead and noticed that you haven't looped the lead round the ferrite.
Is it ok like this in this case?

regards

Ian


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 20, 2019, 05:31:00 PM
I am trying to work out where the other 19kg is in my Sunny Island, they are not that different.

(https://i.postimg.cc/3R4Qrr8B/8k-W-Sunny-Island-Internal.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 20, 2019, 06:38:03 PM
Hi Richard

Just looking at your ferrite on the battery temperature lead and noticed that you haven't looped the lead round the ferrite.
Is it ok like this in this case?

regards

Ian

Ian,

I'd tend to agree with you but the SMA manual shows them used like this. In the case of the ferrite for the earth leads there is no way you could do this anyway. I was all on to get the earth lead from the 10mm2 T&E through one as well as the additional 10mm2 earth I've run as per SMA guidance.

As I write this that's the CU wired up including the connection for the Sunny Island 4.4M-12.

I'm in having a beer and sorting out something for dinner now before going back out and hopefully getting the battery side of things hooked up and commissioned/ operating before tomorrow.  :crossed

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 20, 2019, 06:50:11 PM
I am trying to work out where the other 19kg is in my Sunny Island, they are not that different.

(https://i.postimg.cc/3R4Qrr8B/8k-W-Sunny-Island-Internal.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)

Mike,

You've certainly got a shed load more capacitors on a larger PCB in the upper part, I haven't looked to see if the semiconductors are SCR/ thyristors etc..

I never fail to be amazed when I look at modern electronics, I look at the multi-pin SMD IC's and wonder how reflow soldering works so consistently on such a scale.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Fintray on April 20, 2019, 07:37:49 PM
Hi Richard

Just looking at your ferrite on the battery temperature lead and noticed that you haven't looped the lead round the ferrite.
Is it ok like this in this case?

regards

Ian

Ian,

I'd tend to agree with you but the SMA manual shows them used like this. In the case of the ferrite for the earth leads there is no way you could do this anyway. I was all on to get the earth lead from the 10mm2 T&E through one as well as the additional 10mm2 earth I've run as per SMA guidance.

As I write this that's the CU wired up including the connection for the Sunny Island 4.4M-12.

I'm in having a beer and sorting out something for dinner now before going back out and hopefully getting the battery side of things hooked up and commissioned/ operating before tomorrow.  :crossed

Regards

Richard

I did notice that Nowtys one was the same so reckoned that was the case.
Yes, get it finished tonight so you can store away tomorrows electrons for later use.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 21, 2019, 12:28:20 AM
Good Morning All,

Well the SI 4.0M-12 has been commissioned (I think). Currently we're importing around 650W of energy from the grid and the SI is sat there with 86% SOC and not discharging anything.

I'll need to consult the Oracle (in the shape of nowty).

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 21, 2019, 10:12:29 AM
Good Morning All,

Well the SI 4.4M-12 hasn't blown up or gone into meltdown overnight but still doesn't seem to have discharged at all. I'll have to get back to the manuals and await guidance from nowty.

I've attached some photo's. The CU is now fully wired up, well until something else comes along although I have got to move the double socket and get it wired in. I need to secure the slightly long tails and earth to the fuse though. The 'dangly' 2.5mm2 T&E and the earth cable to the left of the picture (going top to bottom) are the generator output and extra earth lead (the latter going out to a grounding rod). I've used 'proper' cable glands throughout including the incomer tails. Why aren't glands with inserts shaped for T&E cable more widely available?

The extra enclosure which did have the Energy Meter has now been removed and the inverters go direct to the new CU, this cable has yet to be secured.

The wiring for the SI 4.4M-12 is done as far as the mains side is concerned.

As I said last night the battery packs are currently 'jury rigged'. The coiled grey cable is the ridiculously long Battery Temperature cable.

That's the swallows back yesterday morning and I saw a bat flitting around last night for the first time this year.

Regards

Richard





Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on April 21, 2019, 11:01:43 AM
Hi Richard

Quote
.Why aren't glands with inserts shaped for T&E cable more widely available?


I use these

https://www.wiska.com/en/30/pov/349/ffd-for-flat-cables.html

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 21, 2019, 04:22:47 PM
Good Afternoon All,

I was just responding to some pointers from nowty when I went and checked Sunny Portal and, bizarrely, in blazing sunshine, with export limitation in action the Sunny Island start discharging the battery????????????? Confused - I know I am but it does prove that it is wired correctly at least.

Checking the Energy Balance page it may have been switching the kettle on at circa 1530 which triggered the system to kick start the batteries as per the second picture I've just added to this post

I think the main problem was related to the voltage of the battery bank. Having charged each module to circa 4.2V I was getting 58.2V when I hooked the batteries to the SI last night. Nominally 48V should be circa 55.2V so I guess 58.2V was too high.  Anyway whatever the system is now giving three green LED's and I'm a lot happier.

Charging of the new Growatt modules continues. Once this set is charged I'll hook them up to the SI and then take the currently operational Growatt offline and dismantle that battery pack.

Taking the Growatt offline will allow the Sunny Portal/ SHM 2.0 to fully understand PV generation at the property as currently all it sees is the Growatt discharging through an inverter, it doesn't know that the sun isn't causing it but must get very confused trying to work out where the energy is coming from.  Currently it is skewing the SHM prediction figures.

I also stuck a plug on the whizzo new Makita 9" grinder with a very shiny Diamond cutting wheel and lopped 7cm off the hearth stone to square it up ready for re-fitting.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 21, 2019, 07:26:11 PM
Good Evening All,

Lesson learnt here today - charging Growatt modules to 4.2V has kind of backfired so the ones I'm currently working on will only be taken to 4V only.

Now the back of the 'too high' voltage 'problem', as seen by the SI has been overcome the system is now working as intended. I've attached a picture of the system whilst I was working on making tea where the SI is making up the shortfall and trying to limit the import of electrickery from the grid.

I should get to bed earlier than 2 o'clock this evening (if you see what I mean).

Given SMA are a company deeply involved in the renewable energy field it is disappointing to see that the SI arrived with two large lumps of polystyrene top and bottom of the box, there must be an environmentally friendlier way of packaging these devices. They manage (or used to) 28kg of inverters in solely cardboard packaging??

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 22, 2019, 07:33:43 AM
Good Morning All,

I really do need to get out more me thinks (I know SWMBO thinks so).

I note that at 0200 this morning that the Growatt was discharging as shown by the attached Immersun image and the SI battery system was charging itself albeit briefly i.e one battery system charging the other. A very good example of too many systems confusing themselves.

Currently sat waiting to see when the SI system starts charging its batteries.......

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 22, 2019, 08:02:19 AM
Good Morning All (update),

YEE HAAA

I can now go out and plan how I'm going to set the batteries up.....

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on April 22, 2019, 08:39:05 AM

Currently sat waiting to see when the SI system starts charging its batteries.......


Ha so many ways to while away one's life.  Another favourite of mine is watching the robot mower with a cup of tea.  I  don't save as much time cutting over cutting the lawn as I should :P


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 22, 2019, 08:46:03 AM
Andrew,

Being a literal (SWMBO would call it anal) person one has to ask what does your robot mower do with this cup of tea??? exhappy:

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: biff on April 22, 2019, 10:15:32 AM
 ;D real excitement?
   Not that many years ago  I was trying to tame a 2kw Y/S wind turbine which had large oversized blades. I spent many cold hours with mine eyes glued to the amps and volt clocks. It was quite a buzz until a force 8+ came along and all hell would break loose. Back then I was crazy enough to lower it in a storm. That was genuine brown trouser stuff. Especially  when the west wind would hurl the turbine back up from about 15 ft down and then it would hesitate and fall back with a bang when it hit the end of the cable. As it was getting blown back up. I would reel in the cable with the up button on the joystick and then when it was falling back down I would press the out button and allow the clutch on the winch to take the weight as it was reeling out. Sooner or later it was going to go wrong and it did.
But boy..that was genuine excitement. There was one night that I arrived back inside the house with Holly.. Blackthorn  and Bramble thorns all over me in places I could not reach . IT was pelting down buckets in the pitch black and the torch could barley fix on the turbine which was clocking 3kw. Then the house inverter went off at 161 voltes and then it was Super Grandad to the rescue with torch and Joystick.  So the Turnip was down about 15ft and then an almighty heave came from the west. The turnip which was still going full bore rose up straight and I thought it might break the cable on the opposite side to the winch. SO I dived into the drain behind the winch at the base of the huge 30ft topped tree and scrabble about with the torch and the joystick in each hand. Shining the torch beam on the moving turbine head and working the joystick at the same time. I got away with it that night but eventually I made a mistake and the winch falied to take the weight of the falling Turbine . It was a really hard lesson. After that I always have a safety rope with weights on it that can pull the turbine  down in a force 8.
But PV. Is sweet and gentle. Especially  in strings of 140 volts..
Our present Y/S is a hard working but gentle soul with smaller blades that produce 1500watt quite effortlessly without a fuss and still catches all the summer thermals from the bog to the North.
Im a way it was great experience.  Certainly reckless and crazy but I got to realise and understand how to do it properly and safely even in high winds. Multiple guys and correct weights+a very powerful winch makes it safe.
I now work with a remote control that makes everything easier still .PV is brilliant  and easy to  live with.
    I just love wind Turbines and every thing about them.
      Biff
   


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Westie on April 22, 2019, 12:55:52 PM

Currently sat waiting to see when the SI system starts charging its batteries.......


Ha so many ways to while away one's life.  Another favourite of mine is watching the robot mower with a cup of tea.  I  don't save as much time cutting over cutting the lawn as I should :P

What make is your robot mower? I'm impressed it can cut your grass and bring you a cuppa!  I want one ;D


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on April 22, 2019, 04:09:15 PM
What make is your robot mower? I'm impressed it can cut your grass and bring you a cuppa!  I want one ;D

Husqvarna.  Almost everything is better when someone else has done it for you! I paid extra for the tea service.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 22, 2019, 09:03:37 PM
Good Evening All,

Well that's another 95Ah of battery added so I'm at 201Ah in total now. Currently waiting for the SI to come back to life from the Standby mode it's in now. The Growatt is currently exporting but its days are limited now........

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 23, 2019, 05:48:46 PM
Good Evening All,

The Growatt has now been 'retired' and 95Ah of battery dismantled and added to the others powering the SI.

What a work up changing the battery is on the software front. You can't just alter the capacity but need to de-install the existing battery and install a 'new' one which means changing assorted settings to 'con' the SI you have lithium-ion batteries attached have to be reset. Credit again to nowty whose settings I've used wholesale.

As nowty has pointed out the SI gets confused each time you reset the battery as it has to re-learn things. It is slightly disconcerting to see it state that the newly installed battery is only 50% SOC but this appears to be a default setting until it has time to assess things.

These newest batteries have red caps on the positive terminals and I also noted the PCB has a plastic sheet on the copper side. The aluminium dividing plate also is cut back deeper iwo the PCB than the older one I dismantled. This suggests that there must have been issues with PCB's shorting out on said aluminium plate??

Hopefully there is nothing more to do electrically. I know need to box these batteries in somewhat to contain any fire hazard and equally important prevent metallic things being dropped onto exposed busbars. I was leaning on the modules last night when my watch strap came into contact with the support strapping of the modules and I thought I shouldn't be wearing this in such close proximity to exposed busbars......... All I'm going to say is that I am going to put some heat shrink sleeving on the Battery Temperature sensor - frankly I'm amazed it survived the shorting experience.....

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 23, 2019, 10:01:11 PM
Good Evening All,

Finally the SI is doing what it should and powering the house............. Next point of interest will be to see how the system decides to re-charge the battery in due course.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 24, 2019, 07:48:45 AM
Good Morning All,

That's the house been run off the batteries since 2230 last night including the dishwasher and the heat pump kicking in a couple of times (it's now 0800 o'clock).

Next up will be watching how the system decides to re-charge said batteries, it isn't going to be an overly sunny day up here.

As I have previously stated the Sunny Portal system has never seen the Solar PV at the property performing properly because the Growatt has always stood between it and knowing what was really going on so any forecasts of impending production will currently be skewed negatively.

Added bit - The SI also stops the export of electrickery and charges the battery so the Immersun will now have to wait it's turn to divert any spare electrickery. Previously it used to do its own thing as did the Growatt so the system has to 'learn' this as well.

Looking at the graphs I must investigate why they seem to be an hour behind, I know I'm getting an error message when I update the SI through Sunny Explorer.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 25, 2019, 10:52:26 AM
Good Morning All,

Logged on to Sunny Portal to see how the overnight Economy 7 charging of the batteries went and was slightly concerned to see that there was a 1 1/2hr drop out from 0330 and then other smaller ones. Having gotten back out to the house I see our DNO must be having problems over a wider area and I'm currently sat here with no power and relying on the Hotspot on my iPhone for internet access.

Now thinking I should have wired my SI like nowty to incorporate the Back-up function.........

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on April 25, 2019, 11:04:44 AM
Having gotten back out to the house I see our DNO must be having problems over a wider area and I'm currently sat here with no power and relying on the Hotspot on my iPhone for internet access.

Didn't you tell me only 3 days ago that you haven't had power cuts since you moved in! Doh!


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 25, 2019, 11:32:02 AM

Now thinking I should have wired my SI like nowty to incorporate the Back-up function.........


Its not that difficult to retrofit, although I had an absolute nightmare in setting it up.

And strangely enough, yesterday I did have my first real power cut since installing it and it worked, although it did trip one of my RCDs.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Iain on April 25, 2019, 11:49:36 AM
Hi
On my Powervault I added an extra circuit for the house which is fed from the Maintained/backup/emergency supply.
It was easier for me as there is only 1200 w available for this. It feeds the TV, a light in the living room, the solar thermal, the boiler, gas cooker and oven electrics and the cordless phones.
Enough to give us the basics during a power cut.

Iain


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 25, 2019, 12:07:18 PM
Andy,

Clearly I spoke too soon although we do seem to be back up and running again.

It is a cloudy sunny day here and the issue that I anticipated with the Immersun is wreaking havoc with the SI's attempts to charge the batteries.

One minute we're producing circa 1.5kW, the house is taking 0.4kw and the rest is charging the battery. Then the sun comes out from behind the cloud and all of a sudden we have in excess of 5kW of which 3.5kW is instantaneously exported which triggers the Immersun to divert 2.8kW of it and all before the SI has even cottoned on to the fact there is more energy that can be diverted to battery charging.

The attached picture shows the situation with the Immersun switched off to ensure the battery got charged.

Me thinks I might be buying an Edimax radio-controlled plug device yet.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: ProDave on April 25, 2019, 03:40:15 PM
Andy,

Clearly I spoke too soon although we do seem to be back up and running again.

It is a cloudy sunny day here and the issue that I anticipated with the Immersun is wreaking havoc with the SI's attempts to charge the batteries.

One minute we're producing circa 1.5kW, the house is taking 0.4kw and the rest is charging the battery. Then the sun comes out from behind the cloud and all of a sudden we have in excess of 5kW of which 3.5kW is instantaneously exported which triggers the Immersun to divert 2.8kW of it and all before the SI has even cottoned on to the fact there is more energy that can be diverted to battery charging.

The attached picture shows the situation with the Immersun switched off the ensure the battery got charged.

Me thinks I might be buying an Edimax radio-controlled plug device yet.

Regards

Richard

I did say a while back, if I ever add batteries to my system, it will in all probability be a DIY system, controlled by the same Arduino that controls the immersion heater dump, so I will be in full control of the charging / immersion dump algorithm and can adjust it to see what works best.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: daveluck_uk on April 25, 2019, 08:26:16 PM
Andy,

Clearly I spoke too soon although we do seem to be back up and running again.

It is a cloudy sunny day here and the issue that I anticipated with the Immersun is wreaking havoc with the SI's attempts to charge the batteries.

One minute we're producing circa 1.5kW, the house is taking 0.4kw and the rest is charging the battery. Then the sun comes out from behind the cloud and all of a sudden we have in excess of 5kW of which 3.5kW is instantaneously exported which triggers the Immersun to divert 2.8kW of it and all before the SI has even cottoned on to the fact there is more energy that can be diverted to battery charging.

The attached picture shows the situation with the Immersun switched off the ensure the battery got charged.

Me thinks I might be buying an Edimax radio-controlled plug device yet.

Regards

Richard

I did say a while back, if I ever add batteries to my system, it will in all probability be a DIY system, controlled by the same Arduino that controls the immersion heater dump, so I will be in full control of the charging / immersion dump algorithm and can adjust it to see what works best.

Prodave...have you seen this? Diy batteries!

w w w.youtube.com/watch?v=E4pN4DVPOcY&app=desktop


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 26, 2019, 11:18:06 AM
Good Morning All,

I thought we'd solve this issue of not being able to see such as YouTube links???

I've been doing some number crunching here this morning. I took a set of meter readings on April 26th 2018 so have taken another set this morning.

My annual import of electrickery on the 1st January 2018 was 11.53MWh. This was down to 7.34MWh on the 1st April and is now down to 7.01MWh (this figure doesn't include the 0.53MWh we've used to charge the Zoe).

So what is the new battery system doing I hear you ask? On the 24th we imported 3.6kWh although this was because the system had a set of fully charged batteries to play with. Yesterday we imported 10.6kWh. I tried downloading the .csv file and I can see there is a shed load of information there but my version of Excel isn't formatting it correctly - I'll put this on the list of issues to resolve.

I have the system set to charge the batteries from 01:15 - 08:00 at 1kWh currently i.e. Economy 7 (this was sabotaged by the DNO supply problem we had yesterday morning though). The house was running almost solely on the PV/ battery from about 08:30 yesterday through to 01:00 this morning with a slight blip around 18:00 where some energy was imported.

The battery is currently sitting at 79% and charging at circa 0.8kWh.

The system is still learning as it has only 'seen' the full PV output for 36hrs, it is currently underestimating the PV output although less than was the case yesterday.

I wired the double socket under the CU back in yesterday using slightly OTT 4mm2 T&E. I still have to get the generator start batteries back in situ and back on Economy 7 charging.

One of the next challenges comes in determining the electricity usage going forward when I go to the likes of uswitch to work out the cheapest supplier.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 26, 2019, 04:41:38 PM
Good Afternoon All,

Been tidying up around the SI install since lunch. Next up will be carrying on de-cluttering after the Growatt removal.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Philip R on April 26, 2019, 06:29:09 PM
Richard,
Those bare live studs should be shrouded. Something could fall against them and the battery and cause a fire.
Philip R


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 26, 2019, 06:42:24 PM
Philip R,

You're quite right and there are also the inter battery connections to protect as well. I've still to finalise the battery set-up as it needs more 'fire-proofing' and insulating as we have seen -15oC here. I'll probably end up sticking a small thermostatically controlled heater in there. Once I've enclosed/ insulated these batteries I should get some idea as to how much heat is actually generated by the battery charging/ discharging process.

The wall under the SB3600TL-21 is now looking very bare......

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 27, 2019, 08:25:43 AM
Good Morning All,

I need some help (that's SWMBO's opinion as well ;)).

Seriously I have downloaded an Excel .csv file from the Sunny Portal site so I can attempt to extract some information from it however it isn't presenting in the format I believe it should and would like to know if there is something I need to do by way of settings or whether I need to contact those awfully nice chaps at SMA.

Obviously I can't attach the file to this posting so if interested members PM me and advise their EM address I'll send then the file direct.

After I download it and click on the Downloads icon in the Bottom Bar the small image shown does show it as being in column format but as soon as I open it this MacBook version of Excel doesn't do what it should with it.

Thanks in anticipation.

Late Extra - If it is any help I have just downloaded Apple's 'Numbers' programme and it opens SMA's file perfectly, allows me to save it as an .csv file and I can then open it in Excel as 'normal'.

My immediate aim is to try and determine how much my energy usage i.e. day/ night and overall consumption alters.

Both Sunny Portal and I got the weather wrong yesterday as there was more sun than forecast so I didn't need to have charged the batteries quite as much as I did in the early hours of the morning.


Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: ProDave on April 27, 2019, 09:25:48 AM
I had the same issue trying to download a "CSV" file from PVGIS and view it in excell.

The problem appears to be "poor standards"

You would thing CSV = Comma Separated Variables would be pretty clear and straightforward, and indeed if the file DOES uses comma's in between the variables, then  all is well.  But a lot of programs that claim to create a CSV file use something other than a comma.

I have never found a way to make excell recognise a different separator character, so your solution of read it into a different program then re save it with propper commas is probably the only way.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: marshman on April 27, 2019, 02:12:44 PM
I have never found a way to make excell recognise a different separator character, so your solution of read it into a different program then re save it with propper commas is probably the only way.

Not used "real" excel for a little while, I use a free clone on my PC. But I used to regularly have this problem when processing various data sets at work.  But I am sure you used to be able to define the separator. The way I used to do it was to rename the file with a .txt extension rather than .csv Then open the file and when excel loads it it puts up a dialog box which first asks if it is a fixed or variable field. If fixed it asks for how many fields, what widths etc. If you select variable it then asks you what the separator character is.

Another option in Windows on a PC/Laptop is to go to START -> Control Panel -> Region, click on Additional Settings and you will see a box with "List Separator". Change this. This will of course change ALL csv's saved by Excel and also mean you can't load "normal" CSV files unless you go the txt route.

Hope that helps.

Roger


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 27, 2019, 05:55:10 PM
Good Evening All,

As I have no wish to upset any members of a certain nationality on the forum but which bit of 'Comma' don't SMA understand? They have clearly used semi-colons.

I don't know what has triggered it but I have just tried downloading an updated .csv from Sunny Portal and the MacBook chose to open it using 'Numbers'. I closed it down and then opened the document in Excel and it recognised something wasn't 'right' and basically took me the route Roger proposed.

The whole process of installing the SHM 2.0/ Energy Meter and Sunny Island is anything but clear and I have benefitted from nowty's learning curve. Their manuals are anything but clear overall, suffer from equipment being 'ahead' of some of the documents on their web site. Try and make sense of their postings about which Edimax plug is currently working with Sunny Portal.

My Sunny Island is brand new and hot from the factory and comes complete with a piece of paper inviting me to register the device. OK so please follow this:-

1. Go to the SMA site (www.SMA-Solar.com (http://www.SMA-Solar.com)), then follow the route Service & Support>Downloads>Battery Inverters/SI4.4M-12/SI6.0H-12/SI.8.0-12>Technical Information and find the file entitled 'Information Sheet for Sunny Island Systems'. I hope you have more success than I have.

Why am I being asked to fill in a paper form and presumably 'post' it?

Why do you have to print out, fill in and post a three page form and then post' it to get a code to alter settings and also have to pay a Ä50 fine, sorry fee?

Then for a laugh try going for the support option - every time I work my way through the pages and hit the final submit button I get an error message.

SMA is what is called a technology company :hysteria

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: Tinbum on April 27, 2019, 06:13:24 PM
Then for a laugh try going for the support option - every time I work my way through the pages and hit the final submit button I get an error message.

So have I for years so I email them direct.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 27, 2019, 07:41:33 PM
My Sunny Island is brand new and hot from the factory and comes complete with a piece of paper inviting me to register the device. OK so please follow this:-

1. Go to the SMA site (www.SMA-Solar.com (http://www.SMA-Solar.com)), then follow the route Service & Support>Downloads>Battery Inverters/SI4.4M-12/SI6.0H-12/SI.8.0-12>Technical Information and find the file entitled 'Information Sheet for Sunny Island Systems'. I hope you have more success than I have.


Yeah I failed with this too, it invites you to get a free warranty extension from 5 years to 10 years if you register within 1 month of commissioning but as you say, you follow the instructions and the doc is not there. I looked everywhere on their websites and still no help. I kept thinking I will contact them tomorrow, then before I knew it I was over the first month.

I have had a hell of a learning curve with setting it up, far worse than the old one. And your right, their documentation is, well on one hand, looks very comprehensive, on the other, sometimes incomprehensible, what they write sometimes does not work and you have to do something else.

But in the end it does work and works very well.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 28, 2019, 08:13:14 AM
Good Morning All,

Tinbum - I did EM them yesterday.

nowty - yes it does work although an induction hob switching on and off makes it work for a living......

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: nowty on April 28, 2019, 11:14:47 AM

nowty - yes it does work although an induction hob switching on and off makes it work for a living......


Ahhhh, but that can be fixed with a larger Sunny Island and more batteries.  stir:


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: rogeriko on April 28, 2019, 03:57:14 PM
Or two Sunny Islands with more batteries, and of course more PV and more...... stir: stir: stir:


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: biff on April 28, 2019, 05:01:22 PM
I feel somewhat deprived.
                      All you guys and your codes get to test your IQs on a regular basis. You can even phone a friend in Switzerland and yodel down the phone about the terrors of errors. I'm stuck with the smiling Chinaman who forgives everything and will never fail to restart when overloaded. No exciting loud bangs.. just this decade long + reliability. Oooo. 
               Biff


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: rogeriko on April 28, 2019, 06:26:58 PM
I know what you mean Biff. I just sold 3 smiling chinamen on ebay, I did shed a little tear but I know they went to good homes.
Completely rusty but still smiling.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: biff on April 28, 2019, 06:50:22 PM
 Aye Roger,
             That,s him. Great chap and ultra reliable. I have the twin of that looking after a large bank in the shed, just for lights and small tools but mainly for keeping 20 batteries topped up with solar.
  The house controllers are all 2kw x 120v  with 1 separate 2kw inverter.. However that 48volt model in your pic is one of the most reliable and simple to operate that I have ever put my hands on.
                                                             Biff


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 29, 2019, 08:10:27 AM
Good Morning All,

Problem with expansion is that it is clear that there is more than one of us on this forum alone who are looking to pick up 'cheap' second hand Growatt batteries.........

I took the decision yesterday to not charge the batteries overnight and leave the SHM 2.0 to 'do its thing'. The Zoe was also put on charge again, 3rd night running. The battery was down to 15% this morning and currently the PV generation is creeping up but not yet met the house demand. It is due to be a sunny day so the battery charging will take place at some point, according to the manuals the bulk of the charging should take place after midday to reduce export limitation cutting in.

I'm now looking at how to let the 'system' better know what is going on in terms of power usage.

It appears that the system is making better projections of actual PV being produced but is still being defeated by not 'understanding' the loads. I'm also 'confusing' it by operating such as the washing machine and tumble drier yesterday afternoon - https://www.sma-sunny.com/en/intelligent-storing/ (https://www.sma-sunny.com/en/intelligent-storing/)

I've just ordered an Edimax SP-2101 radio plug thing to try out.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: linesrg on April 29, 2019, 10:59:06 PM
Good Evening All,

The system tripped a couple of times today. Investigation has shown it to be operator error.  When inserting the rigid, fingered copper, live busbar in to the RCD and four MCB's it has obviously gone the wrong side of the terminal clamp on the 32A MCB to the inverters and wasn't making good contact.

Problem now sorted so hopefully we'll get a full run at battery charging tomorrow. Zoe not being charged overnight.

Regards

Richard



Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: biff on April 29, 2019, 11:29:22 PM
Hang in there Richard.
             You are nearly there. Respect. You don't give in easy. Fair play to you. :genuflect
     Bif.


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: andrewellis on May 09, 2019, 10:07:22 PM
Hey Richard,
just something I was thinking about.  I believe LION batteries really don't like being charged in sub zero temperatures.  I can't remember if you said if you were boxing them in, but it would be worth having them boxed with some heating wire in the compartment if they are staying in the shed.  I was wondering how they got away with it on my leaf and it turns out there is a battery heater.
Cheers
Andy


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: knighty on May 10, 2019, 01:23:43 PM
Problem with expansion is that it is clear that there is more than one of us on this forum alone who are looking to pick up 'cheap' second hand Growatt batteries.........

I've been looking for a long time, they always seam to disappear or the price goes high

to be fair I haven't been looking that hard.  with ebay it's about 90% luck


Title: Re: More PV @ Courtiestown
Post by: GeoffM on July 28, 2019, 12:32:25 AM
Shame this thread died, I was enjoying it. It doesn't seem to have reached a natural conclusion.