Navitron Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum

SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC => Solar Photovoltaic Systems => Topic started by: nowty on March 31, 2019, 01:44:10 PM



Title: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on March 31, 2019, 01:44:10 PM
Big re-work at Nowty Towers. bike:

No additional PV or Batteries or PV inverters but a big re-configuration and simplification. Masses of wires, relays, power contactors, timers, PSUs and many more items ripped out. surrender:

Major addition is a large 8kW SMA Sunny Island running as a “flexible storage with backup system”. Also new is an SMA Sunny Manager to centrally control and monitor everything via SMA Sunny Portal, with incorporated G100 compliant export limitation. exhappy:

No more separate Off Grid system, although the new system will do automatic full house backup in the event of grid failure and still allow solar PV operation whilst grid failed. :crossed

In conjunction with my GSHP running the heating and hot water, Nowty Towers has now been solely solar powered for a whole week, not just in Elecy, but Gas too. ralph:

Probably will be a few pics to follow. stir:


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: pantsmachine on March 31, 2019, 04:00:24 PM
Congratulations on the refining and on the week free. Long may it continue.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: todthedog on March 31, 2019, 04:59:16 PM
Well done Nowty ;D


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on April 09, 2019, 01:52:54 PM
OUT - Old Sunny Island and Lead Acid Forklift Batteries - Gone to live in Peak District
STILL IN - SMA 4kW Inverter - Re-used in new system
(https://i.postimg.cc/WzrBCPfD/IMG-2052.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)
(https://i.postimg.cc/PqwP6CQT/Forklift-Batteries.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


OUT - 3kW AC coupled Battery Storage Inverter, sad loss as worked fantastically but not powerful enough for my needs - Gone to live in Northern Ireland
STILL IN - Pylontech Lithium Batteries - Re-used in new system
(https://i.postimg.cc/rpxw1vqp/Sofar-Solar-AC-Coupled-Storage.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


OUT - Growatt Controllers - Gone to live in Germany and Latvia
STILL IN - Growatt Batteries - Re-used in new system
STILL IN - SMA 4kW Inverter - Re-used in new system
(https://i.postimg.cc/3RZr6m45/Power-Wall-Naked.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


OUT - Charge Controller, gone to live in Scotland
(https://i.postimg.cc/sgSMmBcy/Charge-controller.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


OUT - Ditching the complexity
(https://i.postimg.cc/mg0rFbfq/On-Off-Grid-Auto-Switching.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


OUT - External Change Over Relay
(https://i.postimg.cc/jqQvg5MH/Change-Over-Switch.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


OUT - CT Clamps, new system uses SMA Energy Meters
(https://i.postimg.cc/DzP8VtHM/CT-Clamps.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


OUT - No more craziness integrating Lithium and Lead Acid Batteries
(https://i.postimg.cc/v8zk13ww/Growatt-Battery-011.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


STILL IN - 2 x Immersun Diverters - Still work as before with new system
(https://i.postimg.cc/vTsyQBn7/Immersun.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


STILL IN - 24V Growatt Batteries modules - Re wired to 48V and used in new system
(https://i.postimg.cc/XvbpzVH5/Growatt-Batteries.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


IN - Both Pylontech and Growatt Battery banks connected in parallel to give a useable 45kWh(s) of Lithium Battery storage, sorry Tesla Powerall but mines bigger, a lot bigger
(https://i.postimg.cc/KY03k6fg/Fuse-Block.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


IN - New 8kW Sunny Island and is now the new "nowty" avatar
(https://i.postimg.cc/tRP8Xp2J/8k-W-Sunny-Island.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


IN - New Grid Point Consumer Unit, incorporating grid disconnection relay, SMA Home Manager, Energy Meter, Battery Inverter connection, Solar Inverter connection and future EV Charger connection
(https://i.postimg.cc/VvW8589x/Sunny-Manager-Consumer-Unit.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


System Specs
10kW of PV
8kW of Solar Inverter Power
6kW of Battery Inverter Power (increases to 8kW in Whole House BackUp mode and allows Solar inverters to still run)
6kW of Battery Charger Power
G100 Compliant Export limitation to 3.68kW
8 x 2.4kWh Pylontech Batteries running own BMS.
8 x 4.8kWh Growatt Batteries (No BMS, but charging limited to 80% of max voltage)
Total Battery size 57.6kWh
Useable Battery size approximately 45kWh


And the really surprising thing is that the new configuration hardly cost me any more as the sale of redundant items almost paid for the new Sunny Island.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: Fintray on April 09, 2019, 02:19:23 PM
Looking good, you must have freed up a bit of space as well.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on April 09, 2019, 02:26:38 PM
Looking good, you must have freed up a bit of space as well.


Your not wrong there !


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: pantsmachine on April 09, 2019, 03:28:21 PM
There's me thinking of adding one more Pylontech, I'll get my coat of not trying hard enough! Great looking set up. Well impressed! :)


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: kristen on April 09, 2019, 04:14:57 PM
OUT - CT Clamps, new system uses SMA Energy Meters

Ooooh ... not seen those before. Can I (or rather "my sparky") just bung one on a DIN rail somewhere and a CAT5 plugged in and I have continuous recording?


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: dan_b on April 09, 2019, 04:38:46 PM
Impressive! 
I've got system envy.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: linesrg on April 09, 2019, 05:31:41 PM
Mike,

Looking at your new consumer unit you're making me think all the more about ditching my outbuilding CU in favour of one bigger, integrated, unit................

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on April 09, 2019, 10:07:07 PM
OUT - CT Clamps, new system uses SMA Energy Meters

Ooooh ... not seen those before. Can I (or rather "my sparky") just bung one on a DIN rail somewhere and a CAT5 plugged in and I have continuous recording?

Yes, you can have real time info like this,

(https://i.postimg.cc/s24Btw2K/Real-Time-Info.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)



Or graphs like this,

(https://i.postimg.cc/6367wn2K/Energy-Graph.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on April 09, 2019, 10:12:20 PM
Mike,

Looking at your new consumer unit you're making me think all the more about ditching my outbuilding CU in favour of one bigger, integrated, unit................

Regards

Richard

What it looks like in its naked glory.

Note - The two CT clamps are for the Immersun.


(https://i.postimg.cc/Cxyz5WBm/Sunny-Manager-Consumer-Unit-Internal.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: biff on April 09, 2019, 10:59:30 PM
Nice Nowty,, Very nice, :crossed
                          Biff


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: kristen on April 10, 2019, 07:15:02 AM
Yes, you can have real time info like this,
Ooooh ... :)

You have two, I presume they are for each of the two circuit breakers (even though not adjacent to them, which would have meant rewiring everything to move-it-along-a-bit presumably?

Not sure how much actual din-rail space I have, but multiple loggers is definitely attractive :)

I'll book a visit from my Sparky, I need an extra outdoor power location for a robot mower refuelling station too :)


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: JohnS on April 10, 2019, 09:18:11 AM

You have two, I presume they are for each of the two circuit breakers (even though not adjacent to them, which would have meant rewiring everything to move-it-along-a-bit presumably?


No.

The SMA Energy Meter, on the right, measures the amount of import or export.
The Sunny Home Manager, on the left, talks to the inverter and limits generation so that the export limit is not exceeded.

Is that bare copper I see between the units and the grey and brown cables?


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: Ted on April 10, 2019, 10:02:07 AM
Is that bare copper I see between the units and the grey and brown cables?

Also maybe put some grommet protection for the wires going through the metal (I presume) casing and brown/blue indicator on the grey cables.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on April 10, 2019, 10:41:55 AM

You have two, I presume they are for each of the two circuit breakers (even though not adjacent to them, which would have meant rewiring everything to move-it-along-a-bit presumably?


No.

The SMA Energy Meter, on the right, measures the amount of import or export.
The Sunny Home Manager, on the left, talks to the inverter and limits generation so that the export limit is not exceeded.

Is that bare copper I see between the units and the grey and brown cables?

Nearly, the Sunny Home Manager 2.0 on the left does talk to the inverters and limits generation so that the export limit is not exceeded. But it also has an inbuilt SMA Energy Meter which measures the amount of import or export.

The SMA Energy Meter on the right is ONLY required because I have a non speedwire version inverter in the system. If I replace that old inverter with a speedwire version then that second Energy Meter will become redundant.

I can live with a bit of bare copper. :fume


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: offthegridandy on April 10, 2019, 11:22:51 AM
Well done Nowty.  Now you can watch all the meters whirring round and have loadsa fun graphing it all, make you warm inside eh!!.

Andy


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: pantsmachine on April 10, 2019, 03:21:37 PM
I love this set up, think it's epic and you are applauded for your skill. The only think I don't like is a few cables are cut too far back and exposed conductor. Just gives me the heebies to see it. Live long and prosper Nowty.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: Pile-o-stone on April 10, 2019, 03:40:26 PM
I always enjoy a good Nowty Towers thread :)

Thanks for the information about the Sunny Home Manager and SMA Energy Meter. I was looking to increase my solar array but the DNO said no unless I paid them to "Strengthen the grid", but the Sunny Home Manager limits export and will allow me to get around this.

Quick question - Will the Home manager only work with SMA inverters? and can you give an idea about the cost of the Home Manager? (The DNO is saying £1500 to upgrade the grid to allow me 10kW export. If the Home Manager costs apprach that, then maybe I'm just as well paying the DNO?


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: kristen on April 10, 2019, 04:32:00 PM
The SMA Energy Meter, on the right, measures the amount of import or export.
The Sunny Home Manager, on the left, talks to the inverter and limits generation so that the export limit is not exceeded.

Brill, thanks :)

Presumably I could put some multiple Widgets on different "sections" of my consumer unit?


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: Philip R on April 10, 2019, 06:17:07 PM
Nice work there and planning too. Looks nicely installed, not some horrible rats nest of random bits of wire. Well done!
Philip R


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: todthedog on April 11, 2019, 06:10:17 AM
Fabulous  :genuflect exhappy: :genuflect


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: Solarchaser on April 11, 2019, 12:01:18 PM
Very impressive, must feel great to have definitely cluttered as much as you have.
Serious battery envy too.
You could actually fully charge most ev's with just your own battery store. exhappy:

Shame to see the sofar gone,  I've been thinking of pushing mine on and going with 2 lux in parallel, I'm guessing you decided against this option.

I definitely want rid of the growatt, unreliable and service is abysmal.

I definitely like the idea of the energy monitor.
Can you educate me?
I have no room on the house cu, but the small cu above it that houses my solar stuff could be replaced with larger, however I dont understand how I could monitor export with it also, assuming this isn't your main cu.

And also assuming I can do the energy meter with any other sma Gibbons?


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: linesrg on April 11, 2019, 12:51:54 PM
Solarchaser,

I'll let nowty respond to your query as this is his thread.

It is a difficult decision to make if you have already invested in such as Growatt and Sofar equipment as going down the SMA SHM 2.0/ Energy meter option route represents additional expense some of which can be offset by selling your existing equipment.

It does leave you with an 'integrated' system though.

Regards

Richard


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on April 11, 2019, 01:14:12 PM
Very impressive, must feel great to have definitely cluttered as much as you have.
Serious battery envy too.
You could actually fully charge most ev's with just your own battery store. exhappy:

Shame to see the sofar gone,  I've been thinking of pushing mine on and going with 2 lux in parallel, I'm guessing you decided against this option.

I definitely want rid of the growatt, unreliable and service is abysmal.

I definitely like the idea of the energy monitor.
Can you educate me?
I have no room on the house cu, but the small cu above it that houses my solar stuff could be replaced with larger, however I dont understand how I could monitor export with it also, assuming this isn't your main cu.

And also assuming I can do the energy meter with any other sma Gibbons?

The right hand double pole switch and 40A MCB in the new CU is for a future EV charger so its nicely all 16mm2 cable back to all source grid/solar PV/battery inverter connections. That would give me the option to charge an EV with battery bank but at the moment I am using a large proportion of the bank to run my heat pump and avoid gas import.


I nearly went with the parallel Lux's as it would have been cheaper but it was a risk as I did not know how well they worked, also I wanted a fully integrated system with monitoring for combined solar and battery inverters. There is also an issue with build quality, for example a Lux is only 15kg vs the Sunny Island at 63kg so its a mighty robust beast with massive overload capacity. Also with the Lux's as each would have a seperate battery bank, I dont know how well they would load share so decided to go with a system with one battery bank, abiet mine is actaully two banks in parallel.


Cannot disagree with your views on the Growatts, hence why I sold the controllers and ripped the battery modules out of them. They had their time but there is now much better stuff out there. The Sofar's cut it, but they cannot be paralleled up.


In my case the new CU is at the grid point and feeds out to the existing house CU, it also means I can electrically isolate everything from one location. The SMA Home Manager measures grid import/export directly, the second Energy meter measures Solar PV generation and the Sunny Island transmitts battery current and battery Inverter power so the Home Manager can work out the house consumption and transmit everything to the online Sunny Portal.




Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: Solarchaser on April 11, 2019, 07:39:09 PM
You have obviously thought it out well, as always.

Serious envy here.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on April 11, 2019, 09:38:10 PM
Time for a bit of battery porn.

If people recall, I had 4 growatt batteries (8 x 24v modules) configured in 8 parallel strings with every cell interconnected with fused links. I charged them up to 28v which was about 90%. Starting with balanced cells, I found hardly any voltage imbalance over a whole seasons use suggesting I did not need to connect every cell up. The worst cell was 0.1v different but most were within 0.05v or less.
As it was :
(https://i.postimg.cc/50JNnntS/Growatt-Battery-012.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


The new battery bank is now 8 growatt batteries (16 x 24v modules) but each growatt pair is now connected together in series with a string fuse to give 8 x 48v strings.
(https://i.postimg.cc/NfqxSjbG/Battery-String-Fuses.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


To make it easier to connect the parallel cables I have made up some bus bar extenders out of copper strip.
(https://i.postimg.cc/4N61gRF6/Bus-Bar-Extenders.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Full size picture of growatt bank. I decided to use much less fused cell inerconnects, even so there are no more than 2 or 3 cells in series without them.
Parallel cables have been uprated from 16mm2 to 25mm2. The intermediates through the isolator are 35mm2 and the final longer cables to the Sunny Island after the main fuses are meaty 70mm2.
(https://i.postimg.cc/3wKm7yD7/Growatt-Batteries.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)



Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: Tigger on April 12, 2019, 02:50:15 PM
Where are the Moderators when you need them, Nowty is clearing posting blatant porn........ ;D


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: todthedog on April 13, 2019, 06:02:09 AM
Too busy lusting  :genuflect  ;D


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: biff on April 13, 2019, 08:21:33 AM
Same as Tod  surrender:
            Biff.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on April 22, 2019, 11:53:19 AM
We had a perfect example of the SMA active power limiting yesterday.

We were away for a few days and in the wall to wall sunshine we have been experiencing, batteries full, heat storage full, normally no where else for the leccy to go except the grid. whistle

From 12:00 to 14:00 you can see that over 6kw was being generated (bottom graph) and increasing amounts being exported (the yellow bit) as batteries filled and heat storage was satisfied. Then as the export spikes upwards towards the 3.68kW export limit, probably as my Immersun diverter switched off, the active power limitation cuts in and throttles back my inverters and the generation drops from 6kW to just over 4kW. The export is kept below the 3.68kW export limit (red dotted line) and the active limitation finally is turned off at 6pm when the sun was no longer strong enough to generate enough to bust the 3.68kW limit.

So system works as designed. ralph:

(https://i.postimg.cc/L6WY5B1S/SMA-Active-Power-Limit.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: pantsmachine on April 22, 2019, 01:28:47 PM
Are you dumping the excess above 3.68kw export as heat?


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on April 22, 2019, 06:44:02 PM
Are you dumping the excess above 3.68kw export as heat?

Yes, but in this case the heat stores are ALL full, therefore without active power limitation the system would export more than 3.68kW.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: pantsmachine on April 22, 2019, 07:24:44 PM
Need to install and run some a/c or grow a cash crop? :)

Can i ask what your heat storage method is?


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on April 22, 2019, 07:28:20 PM
Need to install and run some a/c or grow a cash crop? :)


I think A/C installation is going to be inevitable in the near future but primarily for comfort purposes if last years summer heat becomes the norm.

At least I will be able to run it carbon free.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: pantsmachine on April 22, 2019, 07:33:02 PM
I suggested a/c to my wife a few years back and was shot down. We have it in Turkish house and it is excellent. As it stands with the pv install in Scotland  we have large amounts of excess going forward so a cool Scottish Summer appeals. I may renegotiate as a cool nights sleep is priceless.


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: sam_cat on April 23, 2019, 08:15:02 AM
I suggested a/c to my wife a few years back and was shot down. We have it in Turkish house and it is excellent. As it stands with the pv install in Scotland  we have large amounts of excess going forward so a cool Scottish Summer appeals. I may renegotiate as a cool nights sleep is priceless.


A wise man once said "Its easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission".... But your mileage may vary...


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: Nickel2 on April 23, 2019, 08:32:34 AM
I visited an fellow engineer's house in Frederick, Virginia in the 80's. His family house had what I suppose today is called ASHP heating. There was one unit mounted on a pad outside that was ducted to the house. In the winter (down to minus lots) the control lever was pushed one way and hot air directed into the house; in summer, the lever went the other way, and the same unit directed the hot air out. He reckoned it was as cheap as GCH to do the house, giving a 3:1 return on cooling.
I had never seen anything like it, only hot-water filled radiators in winter and open windows in summer. If I could live life over again, I'd do that, but with a domestic solar farm running it. If only...


Title: Re: Big re-work at Nowty Towers.
Post by: nowty on May 02, 2019, 04:53:52 PM
Not much to report apart from its all working well, we are well into the peak solar season now and looks like there will be no more energy import (gas or leccy) until October.

To make it easier to monitor my batteries, I have installed a remote voltage monitor in my lounge. I had one for the old system too, but needed to change the voltmeter to work on the higher voltage.
(https://i.postimg.cc/jqHZFGL5/Voltage-Meter.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)



Also installed a remote test point so I can keep an eye on cell voltage imbalances, so far no imbalances worth mentioning.
(https://i.postimg.cc/1ttsjpKR/Voltage-Test-Points.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)