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Author Topic: Grid Hopping  (Read 62722 times)
Scruff
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« Reply #75 on: February 20, 2017, 03:01:28 AM »

Prototyping department is currently investigating affordable Studer BTS-01s. They're a four component solution including the connector and the casing.  Roll Eyes

Due to ongoing disagreements with my Soladin I was going to build a photosensing relay but low and behold it's cheaper buy it from China.



I've wired it up and I'm currently testing it's repeatability. So far it's brill. I set it to activate when there's enough photons to power my panel with 35Watts and switch off below this. So now my Soladin isn't using ~200W per day, while generating ~150Wh or less, or more depending...






My TriStar MPPT is an oddity, it behaves in a rather strange manner. With no load it stays in bulk at night and sings inductor lullabies to my battery and I've not seen if ever float. I'm going to run some tests on it, have a tinker in it's brains and see if I can suss what's a matter with it. If it gets a clean bill of health I'm going to reconfigure the setup to DC couple at 1W > 35W < 1W and AC Couple > 35W.





This at least means power than would otherwise be wasted is floating my battery while it idles.

« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 11:02:50 PM by Scruff » Logged
Tombo
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« Reply #76 on: February 20, 2017, 05:05:47 AM »

Neat. I only learned you could you a regular led as a photo sensor the other day.  Nice to see a practical application so soon.
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camillitech
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« Reply #77 on: February 20, 2017, 06:54:24 AM »

Yes, nice work indeed Scruff, is the TriStar using anything much when it's singing? Can you use another cell to actually switch it off when it's dark?

Cheers, Paul
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'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,
Scruff
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« Reply #78 on: February 20, 2017, 11:36:21 PM »

Yes, nice work indeed Scruff, is the TriStar using anything much when it's singing? Can you use another cell to actually switch it off when it's dark?

The inverter didn't turn on at all today so 300Wą saved. Gorsh darn it but DC coupled solar works so much better.

Er..<100mA according to my uncalibrated-since-last-reconfiguration cheapy Chinese meter. I didn't check it with my DMM. I could use another cell, I bought a bag of them but I don't think it's the solution and I'm not looking for a workaround. The fact it says Bulk and not Night while it's doing it is cause for concern. That and I left it unsupervised for a month and it had managed to put 8kWh into a mostly charged 12kWh battery... Shocked
I guess you buy a thing some lad "found in his attic" and you take your chances.
No, this requires thorough investigation.
The cell would also need a contactor to handle the inrush for the charging caps and it's not a great idea to aggressively charge big capacitors like that on a regular basis. Hrmm perhaps I'll just eat the losses and run PWM instead..it's only a float charger for now...

I bought another inverter it looked so lonely I couldn't resist  Grin, twill make a good isolation transformer. 1kVA surge! Cwaor she packs a punch...might do for a fridge, lights and some base load.
In anycase I'll be using that to test it when it lands because I don't want to keep fiddling with the bigger inverters until I'm ready to commission them.

Still haven't tested the Studer 6kVA or even turned it on, it's internals look like it was in a building that had a fire or a forge, it's entirely wholesome but it has a sooty coat. That needs some dusting and an alcohol bath.

Got myself one of these:

 

It's for testing electrolytic capacitors. I'm going to test every one inside and replace as many as need doing. Definitely all the small ones, the large ones depends on how they perform. The RCC needs a new LCD too, the one I got is delaminating, but thankfully Studer sell components it's very reasonable.

Nearly finished building my man-cave in the attic



First order of business once I have all the gubbins together is clean up these poorly modules GM gave me (1kW genuflect)
 


Build a UV LED flood....with a remote switch  Wink
And use it to reseal them with UV curing glass glue.

I'm thinking vertical mount them as a partition fence with the neighbours boundary (city dweller problems...no real estate banghead)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 11:53:40 PM by Scruff » Logged
camillitech
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« Reply #79 on: February 21, 2017, 06:39:48 AM »

Nice find the wee Studer Scruff  Cool
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'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 #80 on: February 21, 2017, 11:03:39 AM »

Great posts Scruff,
               Addictive to say the least.
 Best wishes with your man cave. I see old traces of fume leaks in the stack. Would hardly matter if you were just popping up to store something up there but if you were actually working up there for prolonged periods of time, you might start getting headaches and maybe worse, especially if you clad the ceiling and down to the purloins. You would not have to have a fire on your own side but the fumes could leak through the stack from the other side. A little investment in a carbon monoxide alarm would be very worthwhile. (even if you fit a velux.).
 I see 4 flues in that stack. It is not the original one but more than likely repaired after WW2 by that famous company called Bodgitt and Legitt.
                                                                   Biff
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Scruff
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« Reply #81 on: February 21, 2017, 11:13:12 AM »

Morning Sir Biff,

Cheers for the heads-up. I actually do have a headache but I was blaming the cheapo Aldi IPA I had last night. The only flue in service in that chimney (from our side of the terrace) has a liner plumbed to the top. The rest are sealed. I always wondered why the bricks were sweating white powder. Do you reckon that's a legitimate cause for concern still?  Hrmm carbon monoxide you say...I'm a bit old school maybe I'll get a canary..the cat will have to do for the time being.  bike
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biff
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« Reply #82 on: February 21, 2017, 11:36:07 AM »

Hi Scruff,
     The white powder is efflorescence caused by heavy damp penetration at one time. The rain gets into the center of the bricks and pushes the salt/etc to the face of the brick where it forms a fuzz or efflorescence. It is easy washed off and harmless enough in the open but not healthy to live inside with., You might have rain pushing down past the flashing round the chimney.
  Only canaries called Donald will work these days.
                                                        Biff
  If you have a stack on the opposite side, it can still leak into your side, the internal flues are only separated by a 4" brick not a 9" like the party wall.
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Scruff
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« Reply #83 on: February 21, 2017, 11:56:36 AM »


  Only canaries called Donald will work these days.

Did somebody let them unionise?

Suppose no harm schticka CO jobbie one up there. Cheers B.
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Scruff
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« Reply #84 on: February 23, 2017, 02:51:46 AM »

I needed to bulk a farnell order so I got myself a backing plate for my switchgear cabinet..
'cept my cabinet was another eblag steal made by Sarel who have since been assimilated by Schneider so Schneider plate didnay fit... Roll Eyes



Oh well we can make it fit, I heart DIN rail.



I also heart having a 12VDC radial.



Job's a gud 'un.



All these images are amber because the work light I fitted as a stop gap is Amber, twas better than thuther option which was a magenta-white. Bit annoying sometimes looking at wire colours with it... bike
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Scruff
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« Reply #85 on: February 23, 2017, 03:43:06 AM »

I had a look at my suspicious TriStar MPPT.



Power on inrush, max I saw was 2A but I'm not convinced, 2A doesn't weld fuses, I reckon the electrons are faster than the clampometer. That function is more for motors. I've seen it register only double incandescent operating current on start-up. These are usually 5X if you have the right test-gear to see it.
I've decided to go PWM for switched controller circuits instead.



The TS MPPT does float, I've just not been witness to it.



Anyways I was having issue programming it (because I was being a thick and hadn't set the dip-switches to custom first), mostly because after I updated the firmware the custom setting was defaulted to super-safe setup and kept going HVD fault on power-up. I started to think there was a problem with the EEPROM. So rather than read the manual I got my screwdrivers...



Nice build quality! Check out the pat pending spreader spring. That's what's pressing the main power FETs to the massive heat shink...no screws on the FETs.

Have you spotted the worrying part yet?



Found in yer attic my bottom!

This is the other side after a lot of cleaning.



6 MOSFETs in parallel who are responsible for isolating the PV from the battery at night.
Impossible get a replacement...d'oh

The fried pads aren't a worry I have two spares because it's the same PCB as the TS 60. I could just use one of those after removing the carcass. It had failed closed by the way. So my battery was powering the PV at night..hence the filling a bucket with a hole in it and the inductor howling feedback loop.
So the closest replacement I could find is this but it's a lower current rating and I'd have to replace them all because the differences in RDSon would mean they wouldn't load share equally and they'd just fail again.. Undecided

Hrmmm...

Press on I did; I cleaned the board with my ultra-sonic cleaner.  ralph



The resistor wasn't as bad as it looks..that's mostly fried conformal coating.

I desoldered the toasted resistor and then tried the MOSFET. Hot air station couldn't touch it. 60W soldering iron couldn't touch it...dual wielding 2 x 60W soldering irons couldn't touch it.. facepalm

It's heat-sinked to a 60A trace...I was heating the entire trace and wiring terminals and all sorts of gubbins the thing wasn't budging!!!

Any proper electronics/repair professionals best look away now... whistlie

It's barbaric but I done hadta cut the blighter out...(better than a drill...points for effort?)



As I had hoped that little FET threw himself on the grenade to save his buddies...once he was outtov the picture the short between PV and battery was removed.  extrahappy

Great because it's impossible test parallel components without removing them. Those really aren't serviceable...oven maybe or more powerful rework station.
Anyways run what ya brung. I needed to replace a resistor on the back now after the massacre.

I wasn't bothered looking for a 9.8Ω SMD.





So I guess I'm de-rating my Controller, I could fit 7 10A jobs but I'd probably kill the board trying.
I made a shim outtov copper scrap to bridge all the remaining FETs and used it to bolster the heat sinking on top (not that it needs it to be fair) it also helps the conduction because the casing is the Drain so it's a bigger bus now too.



Fixt!  Grin

...erm I hope... fingers crossed!



Why have I Voc at night? Is that an MPPT thing?

Controller is only using 35mA well within spec. now.
Night doesn't mean anything here yet...I'm putting it under observation for the weekend. Once it goes from charging to Night I'll know I've achieved something...Night from power-up is normal with no input.




PS..MorningStar if you are reading this, that's another bl%0$#*y stoopid place to put an rs232 port.  wackoold



« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 09:10:21 AM by Scruff » Logged
camillitech
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« Reply #86 on: February 23, 2017, 07:53:58 AM »

Nice work Scruff,

PS..MorningStar if you are reading this, that's another bl%0$#*y stoopid place to put an rs232 port.

Aye the PWM one isn't much better either, you have to lop a corner off the plug to insert most of them  banghead

Is this the one you got cheap off eBlag last year Scruff?
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'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,
Scruff
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« Reply #87 on: February 23, 2017, 08:58:46 AM »

Yurp Paul,

Sold as not working, no returns for spares repairs, with photos of it MPPTing on a TS-M (that "his friend" setup for him), while the seller claimed he found it in his attic attached to some batteries but didn't know if it worked or not, listed as a Morningstart Controller. Judging by his other items for sale this was apparent BS at the time and the log shows the previous owner wasn't the sharpest tool in the box considering the depth of discharge they ran their battery. I'm not sure how you overlook having 1kWp of PV either.
I'd say it was friendly fire wounded it, reverse polarity, over-voltage or battery isolation. fight

Only 3 years on the hour counter.


Still a bargain at 37.5A for MorningStar MPPT.  bike
MorningStar are legends, the RS232 is the only issue I have with them, in this day and age why aren't these devices USB? With the PWM model I can squeeze in by nudging the green led outtov the way, but neither PWM or MPPT accepts my USB to RS232 interface unless I take it outtov the case and just marmalade in the naked pcb. At least I don't have to remove a compression gland and the Solar inputs on the PWM.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 09:01:22 AM by Scruff » Logged
biff
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« Reply #88 on: February 23, 2017, 09:30:51 AM »

Good stuff Scruff,
               Don,t worry, I was keeping an eye on you, just in case you needed help.
 On a more serious note, That is an excellent move and bound to be very helpful to other MorningStar MPPT owners who run into similar bother.
                                                        Biff
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« Reply #89 on: February 23, 2017, 09:35:24 AM »

Hi Scruff, it's coming back to me now, I remember you telling us the saga and mentioning the log right enough. Re the RS232/USB, RS 232 is much better and an 'inustry standard' for this type of work, something to do with isolation? I'm sure someone on here witll know better than I. Everything on our ship is RS232 and it was really frustrating at first as our laptop had no RS232 port and most RS232/USB converters are 5h1te.
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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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