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Author Topic: Adapting grid tie equipment for off grid.  (Read 5329 times)
woodi
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« on: November 05, 2014, 08:29:02 PM »

I've just been given a couple of Sunny Boy 1700 inverters, but have an off grid setup here. I realise that they are grid sensing, but wondered whether it might be possible to 'fool' them using output from our existing small Mass Sine inverter. Or would having 2 sets of inverters on the ring be potentially problematic. Any thoughts?
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8kw PV - 40x80w; 8x100w;13x300w Victron 150/70, 100/50, 100/30 MPPT; 3x Victron Multiplus 24/3000/70; Color Control GX Monitoring; 1000ah@24v traction batteries - 50 tube solar thermal - 3kw Bornay Inclin grid tie/ac coupled wind turbine - wood fuel cooking & heating.
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 09:14:48 PM »

Welcome to 'AC Coupling' as its called.

There are a couple of manufacturers of Inverters that run from battery's and these Inverters use frequency sencing to modulate themselves.

I am using a SMA Sunny Island 6kW, but as well as using my 5kw of PV and 3off 3.7m dia Wind turbines for battery charging, I am also connecting into this Mini Grid created by the SMA Sunny Island another 6kW of PV, as the SMA SI6 allows up to 12kW of AC coupling.

SMA will allow the parameters of the normal Grid tied Sunny Boys to be altered to off Grid mode and then this allows the Sunny Island to modulate the Frequency according to load.

Well that's how I read it and what I am upto.

See,   http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23388.0.html 

http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23664.0.html

However, 'billi' reckons its possible with a standard/modified Inverter, but sorry I am not going to risk trying it.
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woodi
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 09:19:35 PM »

Yes I've been looking at the Sunny Island units and praying there's a way to achieve the same result without parting with 2600 quid. Will investigate AC coupling further. Am of course loathe to take experimentation too far and cook something....
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8kw PV - 40x80w; 8x100w;13x300w Victron 150/70, 100/50, 100/30 MPPT; 3x Victron Multiplus 24/3000/70; Color Control GX Monitoring; 1000ah@24v traction batteries - 50 tube solar thermal - 3kw Bornay Inclin grid tie/ac coupled wind turbine - wood fuel cooking & heating.
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 09:26:59 PM »

Yes, in the end I had to bight the bullet, and buy an inverter that could do the stuff.


* aaaSItooffGrida.png (134.58 KB, 1280x1024 - viewed 526 times.)
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Tinbum
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 09:53:39 PM »

I've done it with a Trace inverter/charger and sma sunnyboys.

http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,22719.msg264469.html#msg264469
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 09:58:29 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
billi
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2014, 04:17:49 AM »

Quote
However, 'billi' reckons its possible with a standard/modified Inverter, but sorry I am not going to risk trying it.

 Grin

CM  ,  i do not think  that i recommended it  as a general rule of the thumb

My Victron off grid inverter  were not intended for  AC coupling , but a Technician  from Victron , just said  to me  ..... try it ,  and it works ( as long as i grant that no more power from the GTI  is reaching the Victron s internal charger capacity
I did ask , a new off Grid inverter  supplier from Taiwan (that seems to be good value for $$$ at about 1/4 -1/6  of the price  like Victron Multi Plus  or Sunny Islands)  , if their  units are able to deal  with AC coupling , and they said No 
Quote
Sorry no, we do not recommend using any of our off-grid inverter to  couple with a grid-tie ones



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: November 06, 2014, 07:59:10 AM »

I've just been given a couple of Sunny Boy 1700 inverters, but have an off grid setup here. I realise that they are grid sensing, but wondered whether it might be possible to 'fool' them using output from our existing small Mass Sine inverter. Or would having 2 sets of inverters on the ring be potentially problematic. Any thoughts?



Hi Woodi, the only way you are going to find out is try it. I have been running Sunny Boy's and Windy Boy's with a Trace SW4548e for over two years now with no issues.

http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/commissioning-the-powerspout/

Fortunately the ‘off grid’ inverter that currently supplies our house, a Trace SW4548e is capable of ‘back feeding’ any surplus power into the battery bank. Trace don’t tell you this and if you have no means of regulating your batteries state of charge they will cook, but it is, in theory at least possible to connect a standard GTI (grid tie inverter) into your ‘AC bus’, use the power produced and then charge you batteries

I made several inquiries online and to Trace directly first and Trace said NO in capital letters.

However it sounds like you are using an inverter rather than inverter/charger so probably not such a good idea unless you can guarantee a method of using all the power generated as it's produced.

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

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW 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: November 06, 2014, 09:12:59 AM »

I have been following this thread with great interest,
                                   I can see there is quite a lot at stake here and success in this venture is important to us all,
               So as a means of protecting the batteries from being overcharged and boiled dry,You could load them with multiple ordinary 2kw or 1kw wind turbine controllers using their big ghreen resistors and fans to keep everything hunky dory. By doing this You can also get an excellent idea of exactly what is happening in the system just by listening to the fans on the controllers and watching the digital meters.These controllers would be connected to the Battery "Only" and perhaps redirected to an independant dump load such as another DC immersion.
   The whole thing is a question of "Balance and Backup"
                                                                    Biff
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billi
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2014, 09:30:18 AM »

.... My general advice  is Windturbines and Waterturbines   are  more viable to AC coupling  , cause they intend to run 24  hours a day and  usally are far away from the house
PV ,  i still suggest (MPPT) chagecontroller  ideas

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: November 06, 2014, 09:52:15 AM »

.... My general advice  is Windturbines and Waterturbines   are  more viable to AC coupling  , cause they intend to run 24  hours a day and  usally are far away from the house
PV ,  i still suggest (MPPT) chagecontroller  ideas

Billi

Aye, I'd go with that too, you're more likely to be storing power generated from PV so it's not as efficient due to the double conversion. However there's much to be said for it on farms or systems supplying several properties over a large area. For the likes of me with several sheds a rented chalet and at the moment two houses it's perfect. Same for CM and his large house and gites, cable costs are considerably less and it is very satisfying to see your 'off grid' inverter with only half an amp of load on it whilst your baking a cake, tumble drying and using an electric chainsaw.

For one house with the panels on the roof and the battery bank close by it does not make much sense. Unless of course you have been given the inverter and already have enough dump load capacity.

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

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW 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 #10 on: November 06, 2014, 10:35:08 AM »

 time flies ,  like said,  today i would give  those Taiwan 4 kW off grid inverters a Go ,  cause they are for free cause their internal MPPT PV controller  is worth   the whole unit  and have good customer support ....

Surely my Victrons  have been reliable from day one .... amazing

But today  an AC coupled  Sunny Island with  Sunny Boy   AC GTI   costs  me  4500 Euro

That Taiwan  unit                                                                  costs me  about 700-800  Euro   (

This PIP-4048MS is a 4000w continuous / 8000w surge, 48V DC input Pure Sine Wave inverter-charger featuring:

    NEW - max 60A Utility Charging
    NEW - total system max charging: 120A (60A solar + 60A utility)
    MPPT 60A / 3000W max solar charger
    2X Surge rating up to 5 sec
    Generator Starter Dry Contact
    Free monitoring software
    *parallel ready (up to 4 units max; requires parallel kit which is sold separately and NOT included in this listing)


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 #11 on: November 06, 2014, 12:09:43 PM »

time flies ,  like said,  today i would give  those Taiwan 4 kW off grid inverters a Go ,  cause they are for free cause their internal MPPT PV controller  is worth   the whole unit  and have good customer support ....

Surely my Victrons  have been reliable from day one .... amazing

But today  an AC coupled  Sunny Island with  Sunny Boy   AC GTI   costs  me  4500 Euro

That Taiwan  unit                                                                  costs me  about 700-800  Euro   (

This PIP-4048MS is a 4000w continuous / 8000w surge, 48V DC input Pure Sine Wave inverter-charger featuring:

    NEW - max 60A Utility Charging
    NEW - total system max charging: 120A (60A solar + 60A utility)
    MPPT 60A / 3000W max solar charger
    2X Surge rating up to 5 sec
    Generator Starter Dry Contact
    Free monitoring software
    *parallel ready (up to 4 units max; requires parallel kit which is sold separately and NOT included in this listing)


Billi

Sounds great Billi, but I prefer to buy local, does 'good customer support' include free shipping to Taiwan and back if it fails? Looks good on the video too but I'm one of these stupid folk who buy most of the stuff at the local shop rather than the supermarket. Trouble is I've never really been any good with money and have no ambition, guess that's why I'll always be stuck in this rut I'm in and never have any money as long as I've a hole in my ar5e  Grin
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW 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 #12 on: November 06, 2014, 12:39:42 PM »

The problem is Paul,
                95% of the circuits and boards in all the rest of the gear come from China or Taiwan anyhow. One of the main reasons why the big companies don,t want to fix your big name  Inverter/chargers is that they have no idea how they work anymore and they have to consult with their Chinese counterparts and the language is a big problem.
  I would not mind paying out the money too much ,if I was getting a genuine EU built product but all I would be doing is making some fat outsourcer more rich and ourselves poorer.
  The guys in China who stick the little gold circle(ROC) in behind the board in the Xantrex got careless and decided to stick them just on the back of the casing kind of pizzed me off a bit.
  At the moment over 80% of the stuff supposedly being bought in the UK through Fleabay comes from China and its brown paper covers are then covered in the grey UK plastic cover. The UK has just become a clearing house for China. The cheapest thing we can import from China will cost us 38euros on the doorstep unless we buy multiples which are worked out in China and can be benifecial to both parties but the UK can direct the same article towards us for and extras fiver + post.
  I have controllers with  boards which when you screw the lid off,light little led lights,green and red at the different stages of monitoring the battery. You will not see this happening unless you screw the lid off,so it is obviously a copy of a very good controller which would have a fancy dash and control panel  and cost at least 5 times the price.
 One could make a lot of money by buying in these controllers and transferring the boards and innards to another more fancy surround with a led lit dash and the different colors carried by a few shorts lengths of optic fibers. It is hard to know,who is copying who. Some of our members have been asked for £500+ for the parts to repair old inverters.Some of these fat cats have got a little greedy.                                                                                                                                                      Biff
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 01:13:20 PM by biff » Logged

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billi
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2014, 01:16:03 PM »

time flies ,  like said,  today i would give  those Taiwan 4 kW off grid inverters a Go ,  cause they are for free cause their internal MPPT PV controller  is worth   the whole unit  and have good customer support ....

Surely my Victrons  have been reliable from day one .... amazing

But today  an AC coupled  Sunny Island with  Sunny Boy   AC GTI   costs  me  4500 Euro

That Taiwan  unit                                                                  costs me  about 700-800  Euro   (

This PIP-4048MS is a 4000w continuous / 8000w surge, 48V DC input Pure Sine Wave inverter-charger featuring:

    NEW - max 60A Utility Charging
    NEW - total system max charging: 120A (60A solar + 60A utility)
    MPPT 60A / 3000W max solar charger
    2X Surge rating up to 5 sec
    Generator Starter Dry Contact
    Free monitoring software
    *parallel ready (up to 4 units max; requires parallel kit which is sold separately and NOT included in this listing)


Billi

Sounds great Billi, but I prefer to buy local, does 'good customer support' include free shipping to Taiwan and back if it fails? Looks good on the video too but I'm one of these stupid folk who buy most of the stuff at the local shop rather than the supermarket. Trouble is I've never really been any good with money and have no ambition, guess that's why I'll always be stuck in this rut I'm in and never have any money as long as I've a hole in my ar5e  Grin

What is local ?

I am beaten Paul , i can advice people to go with outback products , its not local , but hands on  and reliable service ,  Victron  , i do not know and works cool . no idea  how SMA behaves ,

The  Taiwan    company products  , surely , i would give them a try ,  i know nobody else  on that planet to  reply    so fast , you can read more  on this German Forum  if you like  those 114  thread pages

http://www.photovoltaikforum.com/pv-inselanlagen-f57/erfahrungen-mit-mpp-solar-taiwan-rules--t99303.html
 
 of users for 600 Euro 4 kw  inverters with inbuilt60 A MPPT chargecontrollers and 60 A  mains charger

I do not mind , i just pass on  some brain

Billi
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 01:25:16 PM by billi » Logged

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 #14 on: November 06, 2014, 01:45:11 PM »

'Local'

are the people who support this forum and the guy on the west coast that supplies most of the kit and advice for me. Sure half the stuff inside and more comes from Taiwan or China and sure if you're skint it's worth taking a risk. Cutting out the 'middleman' and importing directly will save you few bob too but it is he that 'carries the can' under the sale of goods act and who knows one day he may buy something off me.

Just my opinion, like I say I've never been very good with money  Roll Eyes
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http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/

'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW 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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