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Author Topic: Sunny Island Set Up ?  (Read 8617 times)
russ_fae_fyvie
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« on: March 01, 2011, 10:25:18 AM »

As you may know, we are off grid and at the moment th emain problem we are having is that the Sunny Island is allowing the frequency output to vary from 47 to 52 Hz. This seems to happen either when the PV is at full tilt and/or when the generator is running.

The frequency initially goes up to 52 and stays there for a while and then (usually after the genny is turn off) drops to 47 for about an hour before settling back to 50.

From what I've read, this is normal for the SI due to its Frequncy Shifting.

What I would like to ask is this.

At the moment, the SI is taking the charge from the Generator and passing it through to the house, including the Frequency which seems to be 51/52. Once its off I assume it compensastes by dropping to 47.

If we had the Generator wired directly to the batteries, would that prevent that frequency (52) from going through the Inverter and so also prevent it dropping to 47 later on ?

I just think (and I am NO expert) that this coul dbe the main problem with this fluctuation in frequency that is causing us so many problems in the house.

I assume having the PV through a Sunny Boy into the AC side of the MCB also doesn't help and that is another thing we are looking at, having it also charging the batteries directly.

Next week we will be installing a Futurenergy 1kW Turbine and that will also be wired to a charge controller to the batteries.

So is it a better option to have everything charging the batteries, each with their own dump loads and charge controllers, rather than the way it is at the moment ?

thanks
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 10:26:56 AM by russ_fae_fyvie » Logged

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stephendv
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 11:51:33 AM »

The SI must change the frequency in order to control the sunny boy.  The only way to prevent it from doing so is to remove the SB and then change the config of the SI to not use SBs.  (it's one setting).
While the generator is running, it's the gen that controls the frequency, if the gen's frequency is above 51Hz then it will throttle the output of the SB.  If it's below 51Hz, then the SB will be going full power. 
It's easy to change all these frequency settings in the SI, but you'll need a computer connection to make the corresponding changes in the SB. 
Or avoid all this headache and just sell the SB and buy a good MPPT charge controller - and still have some change to spare Wink  So yes, much easier with DC connections.  Only the wind turbine needs a dump load.
 
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russ_fae_fyvie
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 12:15:47 PM »

Cheers,  it does sound like the best option.

thanks fot the info
 genuflect
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billi
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 12:27:07 PM »

Russ

Did you buy  your  new AC Diesel generator ?

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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 01:28:35 PM »

Hi Billi

Yeah, I know what you're about to say !!

It actually arrives next week, foundations are being laid today along with the Turbine Tower founds so it will all be up and running within the next couple of weeks.
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billi
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2011, 01:45:30 PM »

 Grin

Will be fine ....   





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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
russ_fae_fyvie
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 04:26:12 PM »

And the best Charge Controller for my PV/Generator would be HuhHuh??
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stephendv
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2011, 04:40:49 PM »

I like the look of the Morningstar Tristar MPPT controllers, they have passive cooling, no fans - built in ethernet connection and data logging and proper dynamic MPPT.  The outback FMs are also a good choice although they use cooling fans and don't have logging or ethernet.

(Check whether the regular tristar (not MPPT) can be used with wind turbines, if so, then you can stick to the same manufacturer for both the wind and solar bits.)  You can even network them together and potentially share a single display between the 2 devices).

Then there's the newly released Midnite solar Classic which is supposed to be the d's b's, but it's still too new to tell - the main advantages over the others is that it can handle much higher input voltages.  Most other mppt's can handle a Voc of 150V, while the Classic can go up to 250V for specific versions (you pay a price in efficiency if there's too much of a gap between the PV voltage and battery voltage).  Personally, I'd prefer to go with something tried and tested like the morningstar unless you absolutely have to have the high V features of the classic.

Remember that you'll need a current shunt installed for the SI (about 30 euros) so that it can keep track of how much charge is coming from the charge controller.

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billi
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2011, 05:47:32 PM »

Not forgetting  the Outback  FM 80  as an  option  Grin cause he acts as a Dump load controller for the wind turbine and a MPPT controller for the PV in  one unit  so is able to dump both Power sources and charge the battery  (one needs a relay)

Sure other options as well

But  i would talk to your windturbine suppler about  options as well  how two controllers would be configured the best way

In my case i do not like that my windturbine controller dumps my MPPT Solar controlled PV

So it means if you go for two controllers like the futurewind unit (xantrex dump load controller) (?)  that means then  you have to regulate your PV MPPT controller  such way that he is reducing to charge (Absorbtion voltage setpoint ! must be set lower than the wind unit) the battery when the dump load controller starts to dump  cause  the windturbine controller is not able to dump both

Billi




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1.6 kw and 2.4 kw   PV array  , Outback MX 60 and FM80 charge controller  ,24 volt 1600 AH Battery ,6 Kw Victron inverter charger, 1.1 kw high head hydro turbine as a back up generator , 5 kw woodburner, 36 solar tubes with 360 l water tank, 1.6 kw  windturbine
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2011, 06:09:05 PM »

It depends on what voltage your panels are, they are going to have to be reconnected in a different way to charge the batteries directly.
How many panels do you have?
What voltage are they Mpp volts on back of panel?
Tell me this and we can work out how to reconnect them.
Its easy to just connect them directly to the batteries with a controller like a Morningstar 60amp, also its the most efficient. I have installed many systems like this and they work great.

Picture is of 20 220W panels wired in pairs to give Mpp 60 volts feeding 2 Morningstar 60 amp controllers into the batteries charges at about 40 amps per controller.


* DSCF4698.JPG (59.9 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 5461 times.)

* DSCF4692.JPG (59.21 KB, 1280x960 - viewed 2210 times.)
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russ_fae_fyvie
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2011, 08:07:05 AM »

Thanks for the info. I have since found out the following which explains why we have been having problems and why we may need to get rid of the Sunny Boy and replace it with a Morningstar direct to the batteries.

First of all the Panels we have are 8 x 'Schueco' S180-SP4 PV Panels, the rated voltage according to the Data Sheet (Umpp) is 24.4v, hope that helps ?!

Now this may be obvious to those in the know, but I am just finding these things out so excuse the obvious !

It appears that we have 2 problems, first of all the generator starts off (under full load) with its output at 50Hz, then once the load drops (as the batteries get charge) then frequency increases to 52Hz. The Sunny Island sees this and so once the genny is turned off the Inverter compensates for the 52Hz bt reducing it to 47 until it evens itself out (averages 50). We are actually getting a new generator next week which we are hoping will be set to 50.

Next problem is the Sunny Boy, it looks like it is outputting 52 (ish)  when its getting a lot of sun and so the Sunny Island does the same, takes the 52 and passes it through to the house and then redices it to 47 for a period after the Panels have stopped producing to compensate again.

So we are getting fluctuation from 47 to 52 over the day and although it evens itself out over the day, it is the fluctuations that are causing the problems.

If the Sunny Boy can't be set to only output 50Hz (I don't know but the installer is looking into it) then the only alternative is to take it out.

Watch this space !!


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stephendv
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2011, 08:23:18 AM »

We are actually getting a new generator next week which we are hoping will be set to 50.

It's unlikely that it will stay at exactly 50Hz for different loads.  It'll probably shift a few Hz when you apply a decent load to it.

Next problem is the Sunny Boy, it looks like it is outputting 52 (ish)  when its getting a lot of sun and so the Sunny Island does the same, takes the 52 and passes it through to the house and then redices it to 47 for a period after the Panels have stopped producing to compensate again.

Not quite right.  The SI controls the frequency depending on the battery state of charge, the power from the SB and the loads you have on at the time.  It only pushes the frequency up to 52Hz when the battery is fully charged and the SB is producing too much power.  The SB just follows the frequency set by the SI.

So we are getting fluctuation from 47 to 52 over the day and although it evens itself out over the day, it is the fluctuations that are causing the problems.

Yeah, they say they do this so that any clocks plugged in to your house that use the grid frequency to keep time will average out to display the correct time.

If the Sunny Boy can't be set to only output 50Hz (I don't know but the installer is looking into it) then the only alternative is to take it out.

You won't be able to keep it at 50Hz exactly, what I believe you can do is narrow the frequency range, say 49Hz-51Hz instead of 47-52.  It has to be programmed in both the SI and the SB.

With the 8 panels you have 2 options to re-wire them: 2 strings of 4 in series (minimal rewiring required, but slightly less efficient); or 4 strings of 2 in series (more work rewiring, but a bit [0-2%] more efficient).  All assuming you have a 24v battery.
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russ_fae_fyvie
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2011, 10:19:05 AM »

Cheers for that, it is becoming a bit clearer !!

even narrowing the range will help a lot, just need these guys here to sort it out !


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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2011, 06:23:06 PM »

Get rid of the sunny boy!! The frequency is going up and down because you have a sunny boy. The sunny island without sunny boy produces exactly 50 cycles regardless of load, even overloaded at 7 or 8 Kw it will still produce exactly 50 cycles. problem solved.

As for the 24.4 volt panels, 2 panels in series ie 48.8 volts is not enough to directly charge the batteries with a simple Morningstar controller therefore you must connect 2 sets of 4 panels in series to give you 97/98 volts and then connect the 2 sets in parallel and use a morningstar MPPT controller which will reduce the 98 volts down to 48/50 to charge the batteries without losing any power. There really is no other way

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stephendv
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2011, 07:21:21 PM »

As for the 24.4 volt panels, 2 panels in series ie 48.8 volts is not enough to directly charge the batteries with a simple Morningstar controller therefore you must connect 2 sets of 4 panels in series to give you 97/98 volts and then connect the 2 sets in parallel and use a morningstar MPPT controller which will reduce the 98 volts down to 48/50 to charge the batteries without losing any power. There really is no other way

He has a 24V battery not 48V, so has the option of both configurations.
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