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Author Topic: Victron Multiplus, SMA PV, Honda EU20i generator + On grid. What Batteries?  (Read 16688 times)
al_uk
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« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2014, 11:16:16 PM »

Hi Nowty, why did you go for Sunny Island rather than Multiplus? Cheers, Al
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billt
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« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2014, 08:25:28 AM »

On a slight tangent, If I want to add more PV, then am I right in saying that I have the following options?

1. Call my DNO (SSE) to find out whether I can go beyond my existing 3.68kW install. If so, then standard MCS grid tied install of another approx 4kW.
2. If DNO says no, or wants to charge £££ to find out, then next best option (as per Nowty) is DIY. So, 2nd hand panels, into a GTI, then into a mini grid provided by a Multiplus/Sunny Island but synced with the main grid. Then to use the downstream power locally. Any excess power will be throttled back by the Multiplus. 

Sounds reasonable to me. I'm going the DIY off-grid route.

Am I correct in thinking that the Multiplus can be connected to the grid as a UPS (via 16A plug and socket) and G83/G59 does not apply. Therefore I need no notification to the DNO and no electrician EIC as long as the power is not exported back out to the AC1 input. However the moment I reconfigure the software to export back out to the AC1 input then G83/G59 applies?

That's a very interesting question, I'd expect the official answer to be that G83/G59 does apply, as the equipment is capable of back feeding the grid through that connection - hence it needs to be connected through some sort of automatic grid failure switch. It would be good to have  an reliable answer, but, given the silence in the documentation and the tiny number of people interested, I think there will be a long wait.
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RIT
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« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2014, 03:50:27 PM »

Thank you all for the debate! Lots of food for thought, and I'm going to do some more research before coming back.

On a slight tangent, If I want to add more PV, then am I right in saying that I have the following options?

1. Call my DNO (SSE) to find out whether I can go beyond my existing 3.68kW install. If so, then standard MCS grid tied install of another approx 4kW.
2. If DNO says no, or wants to charge £££ to find out, then next best option (as per Nowty) is DIY. So, 2nd hand panels, into a GTI, then into a mini grid provided by a Multiplus/Sunny Island but synced with the main grid. Then to use the downstream power locally. Any excess power will be throttled back by the Multiplus. 

Am I correct in thinking that the Multiplus can be connected to the grid as a UPS (via 16A plug and socket) and G83/G59 does not apply. Therefore I need no notification to the DNO and no electrician EIC as long as the power is not exported back out to the AC1 input. However the moment I reconfigure the software to export back out to the AC1 input then G83/G59 applies?

I am confident I can use almost all the power locally from the diy "offgrid" system all year round.

Thanks again for all the comments.

If you can't get DNO approval and so need to install a standalone PV system, you may want to look at installing a system that charges the batteries directly rather than installing a PV mains inverter. The reasons behind this idea are

  - A battery charger is likely to be cheaper than a mains inverter.
  - You remove the limits of the 3000VA Victron Multiplus own charger which is only rated at 35A for a 48V battery pack. It seems a waste to have a total of 8KW PV install if you can only charge at about 1.7KW.
  - You can just forget about all the G83/G59 issues as you will have an "offgrid" solution with an "ongrid input".

If you can get DNO approval, you may want to look at using a Sunny Island rather than the 3000VA Victron Multiplus as

  - It will be possible to deploy a solution where the Sunny Island charges the batteries based on the available power from the PV system (you need extra SMA devices to allow this to happen)
  - The Sunny Island has a much larger charger built in. The 6.0H model can charge at 110A for a 48V battery pack.
  - The Sunny Island maybe better at powering your house as its rated at a much higher output, 4,600W rather than 2,500W.
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Why bother? - well, there is no planet B
nowty
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« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2014, 06:13:59 PM »

Hi Nowty, why did you go for Sunny Island rather than Multiplus? Cheers, Al

I have probably answered this several times on different threads but it is a very good question to answer.

First its worth stating my reason for having an off grid system when my house is on the grid. If you are grid tied, SMA gear (and other gear) cannot back off the generation but the excess simply flows into the grid. This obviously works as we all know from our standard 4kw (or 3.68kw) grid tie systems. But I cannot legally connect my 8.7kw of PV and multiple inverters to the grid without DNO permission which I have not got. So in order to add more PV capacity to my house I have made a separate off grid system so no DNO issues, its my mini grid and I can do what I like with it, in fact I am the DNO ! police

If you are off grid the biggest problem is there is nowhere for the power to go in your own mini grid except to your loads or to the batteries. If you have few loads on or the batteries are full there is nowhere for the power to go. Without anywhere for the power to go, the solar inverter AC ouptut will overvoltage and trip out, its all or nothing. sh*tfan

The SMA kit is the only one AFAIK that beautifully self regulates off grid generation. As the batteries become full the Sunny Island changes the AC frequency proportionally from 50 Hz to 52 Hz to signal to the Sunny Boy feeding it to back off the generation by proportionally power limiting itself. The Sunny Boy does this by limiting the amount of DC current flowing from the panels into itself. If I then turn on a heavy load or the sun goes behind a cloud, the Sunny Island senses this as power will start coming out of the batteries to compensate and reduces the frequency back towards 50Hz. The Sunny Boy will then notice this and increase its generation back up to the full amount of power that is available from the panels. ralph
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 08:35:44 PM by nowty » Logged

12kW+ of PV installed and 57+ MWh's generated.
Home battery storage of 50+ kWh's.
Hot water storage of 15+ kWh's.
Heat storage of 15+ kWh's.
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EV BMW i3 (another 30+ kWh's of storage).
270,000+ litres of water harvested from underground river.
al_uk
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« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2014, 08:46:02 PM »

Nowty, thank you for the detailed reply. For anyone else considering this route I just emailed Victron to find out what the Multiplus does - and it seems they've now added the throttling in the later versions. See below

Question to Victron:-
I am looking at 2.2. VE Storage Hub-2 in this document http://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Whitepaper-Self-Consumption-and-Grid-independence-with-the-Victron-Energy-Storage-Hub-EN.pdf
In my case I do not want to export anything to the grid, but if the Solar PV is generating more than I am consuming then there is a problem.
Can the Multiplus be set up to vary the frequency so that no power is exported back through the AC1 input? If the Grid Tied Inverter is a SunnyBoy then these units can reduce its output proportionally if the mains frequency is varied between 50Hz and 52Hz.
Can you point me to a link to a section of the manual that explains this setting please?


Reply:- yes , there is a setting [ prevent to back feed ] in version hub2v3 which opens the backfeed relay when there is a surplus of energy
Then freq shift will reduce pv power to balance load/generation. Thatís not described in that manual but only in the software itself ( you can run this in demo mode using fake target full options

I'm also waiting for a call back from SSE to tell me whether a 2nd PV application is likely to succeed or whether I'll need to go through the full application process and pay a fee.

RIT, thank you for your comments on DC coupling rather than AC coupling - I shall investigate further, depending on what the DNO says. I did also ask Victron how the Multiplus compared with the Sunny Island, and they said it was more versatile, and the battery charging functionality was far more advanced...
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nowty
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« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2014, 08:52:15 PM »

I did also ask Victron how the Multiplus compared with the Sunny Island, and they said it was more versatile, and the battery charging functionality was far more advanced...

Well they would would'nt they ?

Interesting to note about the Victrons doing the throttling now, they certainly did not used to when I was looking at them, but with all things in this area, what will be available in another 5 years time, and probably from the Chinese who only knows.
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12kW+ of PV installed and 57+ MWh's generated.
Home battery storage of 50+ kWh's.
Hot water storage of 15+ kWh's.
Heat storage of 15+ kWh's.
6kW Ground source heatpump.
EV BMW i3 (another 30+ kWh's of storage).
270,000+ litres of water harvested from underground river.
camillitech
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« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2014, 09:05:37 PM »

I did also ask Victron how the Multiplus compared with the Sunny Island, and they said it was more versatile, and the battery charging functionality was far more advanced...

It would need to be 'more advanced' even the 5000VA model only has a 70amp charger  fingers crossed! Seriously though, the SI does have a bizarre logic to its battery charging that can defeat even its staunchest supporters, at least that's what I'm told.
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'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,
billi
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« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2014, 11:17:34 PM »

Quote
If you can get DNO approval, you may want to look at using a Sunny Island rather than the 3000VA Victron Multiplus as

  - It will be possible to deploy a solution where the Sunny Island charges the batteries based on the available power from the PV system (you need extra SMA devices to allow this to happen)
  - The Sunny Island has a much larger charger built in. The 6.0H model can charge at 110A for a 48V battery pack.
  - The Sunny Island maybe better at powering your house as its rated at a much higher output, 4,600W rather than 2,500W.

Erhm ,    a Victron 3000 is half the price of     a Sunny Island  6.0       ....bigger Models are  available    like the Multiplus 5000     for lesser monney than the SI

As far as i know , is the  SI not as fast anymore  when it comes to switching over  to off grid in  case of a powerfailure

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
heatherhopper
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« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2014, 10:03:59 AM »

Quote
the SI does have a bizarre logic to its battery charging that can defeat even its staunchest supporters, at least that's what I'm told.

Paul - What is considered bizarre about it? Every time it's mentioned I panic and go back and look at mine, wondering where I may be doing something wrong!
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Off grid AC coupled, 6kW Proven, 2.8kW PV, SMA SI/SB/WB Inverters, 4x576ah Rolls batteries @ 24v, 25kW Biomass Boiler, Wood Stoves, Spring/Well water. Sorry planet - I did try.
RIT
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« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2014, 01:29:43 PM »

Quote
If you can get DNO approval, you may want to look at using a Sunny Island rather than the 3000VA Victron Multiplus as

  - It will be possible to deploy a solution where the Sunny Island charges the batteries based on the available power from the PV system (you need extra SMA devices to allow this to happen)
  - The Sunny Island has a much larger charger built in. The 6.0H model can charge at 110A for a 48V battery pack.
  - The Sunny Island maybe better at powering your house as its rated at a much higher output, 4,600W rather than 2,500W.

Erhm ,    a Victron 3000 is half the price of     a Sunny Island  6.0       ....bigger Models are  available    like the Multiplus 5000     for lesser monney than the SI

Billi



Very true, but that's the reason why I gave some figures for the al_uk, the Victron Multiplus 3000 is half the price, but also has a much lower output rating and battery charger. As al_uk stated that he was considering an additional 4K of PV, it makes sense for him to take a look and consider some of the other options depending on the size of the battery pack he plans to install and his power usage patten.

The Multiplus 5000 is a lot nearer the specs of the the SI 6.0H as its output rating is 4,500W and the charger can support 70A for a 48V batter pack.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2014, 01:13:19 AM by RIT » Logged

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camillitech
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« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2014, 07:20:46 PM »

Quote
the SI does have a bizarre logic to its battery charging that can defeat even its staunchest supporters, at least that's what I'm told.

Paul - What is considered bizarre about it? Every time it's mentioned I panic and go back and look at mine, wondering where I may be doing something wrong!

To be honest HH I don't really know but I've heard more than one person mention it and here's a quote from the supplier of mine, It's possible that the Sunny Island will decide to go to a float stage before the tristar at some point due to it's own byzantine logic.   hysteria  hysteria My only experience of this 'logic' is when I connected my new Rolls cells to it and the SI sat at 42% for two sunny days in succession as the batteries fizzed away at 60v  Shocked It seems to have sorted itself out now but it had me  banghead for while.

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 #41 on: October 22, 2014, 08:51:30 PM »


As far as i know , is the  SI not as fast anymore  when it comes to switching over  to off grid in  case of a powerfailure


I think there was a reference and link to that on here somewhere- its certainly not as fast as the sunny backup. I'll try and find the link or the printout I have.

EDIT found it:
http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,22034.msg255950.html#msg255950

and
http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDYQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.windandsun.co.uk%2Fmedia%2F304189%2FFlexible-Storage-Battery-Backup-Planning-Guide.pdf&ei=mh9IVL7-M7PG7AaAsoCgCA&usg=AFQjCNHxhliXZyhdSquL2KrYdI9Ul52GQA&bvm=bv.77880786,d.d2s
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 10:22:53 PM by Tinbum » Logged

85no 58mm solar thermal tubes, 28.5Kw PV, 3 x Sunny Backup 5048, 3x Sunny Island 5048, 2795 Ah (135kWh) (c20) Rolls batteries 48v, Atmos wood gasification boiler, Brosley wood burner, 2000lt buffer tank and 250lt DHW
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« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2014, 07:02:01 AM »

AGGGHHH.

 It's possible that the Sunny Island will decide to go to a float stage before the tristar at some point due to it's own byzantine logic.    hysteria hysteria  My only experience of this 'logic' is when I connected my new Rolls cells to it and the SI sat at 42% for two sunny days in succession as the batteries fizzed away at 60v   Shocked  It seems to have sorted itself out now but it had me   banghead for while.

Thanks Paul, nice to know.

Still trenching here........................... facepalm

Must get the hang of this Bluetooth communication thingy whatsit.  faint
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DaveSnafu
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« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2014, 10:37:20 AM »

There are cheaper alternatives available, I have found a company based in britain that assembles components from greece and offers a five year warranty, the prices are very reasonable.
Being off grid and having broken versions of all the top brands, outback, victron and mastervolt, all beyond "economic" repair, I have decided that the only thing that makes any sense is to have a spare for everything, obviously this is very expensive to do. especially using the big brands, the big brand warranties are pretty much useless for off grid folks as by the time the replacement is here the freezer has defrosted.
So, I am going to flog my two big victrons,(one running, one as a spare), and with the dosh I am going to invest in a load of "british built" inverter chargers.
IF it is ok with the management,(navitron) then I will divulge the name of company, if not then PM me for details.
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heatherhopper
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« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2014, 11:42:11 AM »

Quote
It's possible that the Sunny Island will decide to go to a float stage before the tristar at some point due to it's own byzantine logic.
I must emphasise I am no expert and my experience is with the 24v SI but it seems perfectly logical that the SI will float at a different point than the Tristar. The SI charge regime is based upon both voltage and ah exchange. This may be regarded as Byzantine (in this context I'm assuming "excessively complicated" as the meaning) but in my experience it works perfectly well provided the SI is, or is viewed as, the primary controller. If you have other controllers connected and want to view their SOC assessment as the valid one that is fine - depends on which you are most happy with I guess. I spent some considerable time adjusting the various charge voltages of both the SI and DC coupled Bergey controller when we had that connected and eventually managed to get them largely working in tandem. The SI really did not mind the Bergey charging to a higher voltage and simply idled along in float with an elevated frequency activating the AC dumps as required. Not sure the Bergey controller was happy but that is all an entirely different story. However the SI boost charge will always kick in out of synch with another controller.
There is (maybe was) an issue with the SI SOC recalibration routine when it will take some time to recover from a very high discharge at low SOC/voltage - essentially it resets to a very low SOC, takes a long charge and then resets to something reasonable. I have seen this a couple of times following some poor operation on my part and heard of similar experiences elsewhere. Simple answer to this is I don't repeat such foolish operation.
Quote
My only experience of this 'logic' is when I connected my new Rolls cells to it and the SI sat at 42% for two sunny days in succession as the batteries fizzed away at 60v  Shocked It seems to have sorted itself out now but it had me  banghead for while
Difficult to say without knowing what was coupled up and in what configuration but this does sound bizarre. Maybe just be a long winded recalibration? Why not send SMA the data for the period and ask for an explanation? I have found they respond very well to such requests although with typically stern tuetonic disapproval if the error is yours.
Don't despair CM - if a simpleton like me can get away with the SI anyone can.
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