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Author Topic: sterling combi S inverter charger. can it be used to "grid tie" a pv array?  (Read 3745 times)
chris35
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« on: May 12, 2012, 08:33:41 AM »

ive recently discovered that we could buy a pv array and qualify for the FiT payment even though we are off grid. the AC side all looks straight forward. the charging of batteries and dumping excess electricity from the 4kw pv is the question. navitron suggest using a sunnyboy 3324 inverter which will do this. my question is will my sterling inverter (which has a 30amp 24v battery charger and ups) do the same?Huh ive phoned sterling and they were doubtful.

great forum wish i had found it sooner.

thanks

chris
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billi
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 08:48:58 AM »

Hi,   you mean a Sunny Island off grid inverter , not a sunny boy, or  ?

I cant tell , if the sterling unit  would allow "AC coupling"  and the 30 A  charger can handle only  about 900 watt charging ... so  i assume  when these 30 Amps are reached  , the Sterling unit might be in danger ...

Perhaps it could work  if one measures the AMPs  of the PV and switch on  appliances  that the  30 Amp  for the battery charging is never reached ...



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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
camillitech
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2012, 09:11:30 AM »

ive recently discovered that we could buy a pv array and qualify for the FiT payment even though we are off grid. the AC side all looks straight forward. the charging of batteries and dumping excess electricity from the 4kw pv is the question. navitron suggest using a sunnyboy 3324 inverter which will do this. my question is will my sterling inverter (which has a 30amp 24v battery charger and ups) do the same?Huh ive phoned sterling and they were doubtful.

great forum wish i had found it sooner.

thanks

chris

Morning and welcome Chris,

you are into this territory here http://currentgeneration.co.nz/site/current/files/Partial%20AC-coupling%20in%20Minigrids.pdf (a superb find of Billi's) and there is no easy answer other than suck it and see, though you may cook your inverter sh*tfan AC coupling and partial AC coupling really is uncharted territory unless you go the dedicated SMA route. Victron, Studer and the newer Trace inverters are all capable of doing it. Apparently so too is my own Trace SW4548e, though if you phone them up they will tell you 'probably not'. Hours of trawling mainly American websites and speaking to Hugh Piggott has convinced me that it is possible, the only problem being switching dump loads to stop your batteries cooking. However I very much doubt than anyone on here, or anywhere else for that matter has actually tried it with a Sterling. Stephen DV's blog sums it up nicely here http://www.casanogaldelasbrujas.com/blog/2009/05/13/sma-sunny-island-ac-coupling/

Good luck, Paul
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 8kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
biff
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2012, 09:45:59 AM »

Once again Paul,
                    Incredibly good links,im google eyed here,Great reading. genuflect
                                                     Biff
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An unpaid Navitron volunteer,who has been living off-grid,powered by wind and solar,each year better than the last one.
rogeriko
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 07:43:34 PM »

All you need to do is directly charge the batteries from the PV panels using a simple Morningstar or similar controller. You do not need sunny boys or anything else. Is the Sterling inverter is running your house now or are you just setting up a system, how do you charge your batteries now? We need more details, battery type and size, what equipment you have in your house. What sort of budget are you looking at? The Sunny Island 3324 is an exellent inverter and will give you power for many many years. Where abouts are you located?
Wait till Justme comes along he is off-grid and gets FIT payments http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,10097.0.html
« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 07:48:45 PM by rogeriko » Logged

billi
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2012, 07:56:49 PM »

Its the AC metering ,  that  is the tricky part to claim FiT as far as i know   ,  so i understand it this way ,  that a AC meter  counts the units from the AC (Grid tie inverter)  4 kw PV   running into the offgrid  setup .....  to claim FiT


surely  , personally  i would   just do  what i want without FiT

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
camillitech
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 09:12:03 PM »

All you need to do is directly charge the batteries from the PV panels using a simple Morningstar or similar controller. You do not need sunny boys or anything else. Is the Sterling inverter is running your house now or are you just setting up a system, how do you charge your batteries now? We need more details, battery type and size, what equipment you have in your house. What sort of budget are you looking at? The Sunny Island 3324 is an exellent inverter and will give you power for many many years. Where abouts are you located?
Wait till Justme comes along he is off-grid and gets FIT payments http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,10097.0.html

To claim the FIT you need an approved meter, there are no approved DC meters so the only way I can see of doing it if you have an alternative charging source (legally) is by AC coupling. It may the most expensive way of doing it and not the most efficient but with a generator on the AC side it is the only way. 

Or have I missed something blatantly obvious  Huh

Personally I'd stuff the FIT and do it your way Roger if I was in Chris's shoes cos he's obviously on a budget. I'm going the AC coupling route because my charging sources and 'mini grid' area is measured in square miles and not meters  Cry

Cheers, Paul

Cheers, Paul
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 8kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 11:42:19 PM »

If you're still here Chris, I've done it  extrahappy  extrahappy http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,17366.msg198654.html#msg198654 so I'd be inclined to 'give it a shot' but don't blame me if  sh*tfan There is another issue that was talked about in those Studer documents if I recall and that was something to do with the wee bursts of charge not being good for your batteries but it was only a theory and I never took much heed as I'm planning a Sunny Island soon anyway.

If the Studer, Victron, SMA and now Trace are good for it I see no reason why it won't work with your Sterling  Huh

Good luck, Paul
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SMA SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 8kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
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