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Author Topic: Setting up Victron controller and monitor  (Read 5612 times)
Scruff
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2017, 03:02:50 PM »

C5 = 5 hour charge/discharge

220/5 = 45A

Less is more.
The slower the charge the more complete the charge.
Harder is not faster. Higher current bulk = slower absorption.

It's all subjective.

Set it to max and let the sun decide if you ask me.
If you invest in a mains charger I'd say 30A or 40A with adjustable current. Some would say 20A, they would not be wrong.
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Pord
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2017, 03:45:54 PM »

Ok, I'm glad I checked. So it's calculated based on the battery's C20 capacity. If less is more then let's keep it below the max setting.

The panels will deliver 41.7A (1000/24), does that also automatically act as an upper maximum?
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Nickel2
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« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2017, 04:34:28 PM »

For the purpose of the exercise, (charging a battery from solar panels), the amount of time that the Panels will be producing 100% or 1 kW, for any length of time will not be that great. If the charging is set by the maximum current that you can cram into the battery, this will only be attainable during dry, cold, summer days when the battery has been taken to a low SOC. Once the battery has some juice in it, the terminal voltage will rise, and you will need to raise the charging voltage to insert the same number of amps. To stop the battery from boiling away, most chargers have settable voltage limits.
The next issue arises when you have an inverter connected to the battery. Most inverters specify a maximum input voltage for correct operation. (mine says 20v-30v max). Once my battery reaches a reasonable state of charge, I would need to exceed the maximum operating voltage of the inverter if it was to feed C10 current into the battery.
This, I believe, is where power management comes in. Some of the output from the solar-charger feeds the battery, the rest is used in the household via the inverter.
As the sun goes down, inverter use is minimised and the charger output goes to finishing the top-up of the battery, until float is switched in by the Intelligence of the MPPT charger.
I run 1.14 kW at 24 V, and I'm still learning how to optimise generated power to charge the battery after the night's drain. I'm learning as I go along... Tongue
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 08:42:22 PM by Nickel2 » Logged

1.140kW mono south-facing at 49*
EpEver 4210A at 24v
24V 400 Ah battery. (4x200Ah FLA)
EpEver STI1000-24-230 pure sine inverter
Of course it'll work. (It hasn't caught fire yet).
Scruff
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« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2017, 05:24:42 PM »

Most inverters specify a maximum input voltage for correct operation. (mine says 20v-30v max).

A lottov inverter manufacturers make this mistake and compound the problem with over-zealous over-voltage shut-down. 31V is a perfectly natural place for a flooded battery to reside in Winter. Spec your inverter accordingly.

Older Xantrex got it right.
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Pord
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2017, 12:54:57 PM »

Thanks both.

Nickel I think I understand your point about inverters, which I crudely interpret as the correct settings will go a long way towards having an efficient system. This is a learning process for me too (effing hard one, scuse my French) and I realised the only way I'll learn is to actually get the stuff and do it (having tried and failed to find a suitably-capable offgrid installer).

So, unless I've not asked all the right questions or have misunderstood advice, I now have the appropriate settings and need to move to the next phase, connecting it all up (with my electrician).

Based on advice, manuals etc, my understanding is that the sequence will be along these lines:

1. connect battery bank (appropriately fused) to controller
2. connect monitor and inverter
3. enter settings in all 3 via bluetooth dongle and app
4. connect panels
5. do not yet connect load to inverter
6. monitor battery SG (2-3 days?), aiming for 1.275 per cell
7. connect load, then rejoice at having power while fretting I've made a basic error and am frying our batteries...

I took SG of the battery cells this morning:

A - 1280/1280/1280
B - 1275/1280/1280
C - 1270/1275/1265
D - 1250/1240/1245v
Ambient temp 7degC

Does this all sound about right?
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Nickel2
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« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2017, 01:49:58 PM »

Hi Pord, I've never played with wet/flooded lead-acid batteries before, I leave that stuff to those with the relevant experience, plenty of them here! For my purpose the battery is a heavy box with a manual of figures telling me how to treat it nicely to get the best out of it. (vrla/sla/gel etc).
A mantra that I learned from this forum is:  "Batteries do not die, they are killed". (Eleanor?) The guff that goes with the batteries will tell you what the limits are; the knowledgeable folk herein  genuflect will tell you how to get the best from your set.  
I started off by getting my batteries up to fully-charged, then started adding bits and bobs of load as the days progressed. Most of my loads are the parasitic loads that add-up over the day: PC, router, phone, radio, hall-light etc. Because I only have 120Ah at 24v, I don't use any current-hungry things like the microwave, washing machine, tmbl drir  tomatosplat, lathe etc.
As it is getting a bit winterish, I get less power into the battery and transfer more loads to the grid, by altering pluggery and socketry.
Every day is a learning day; all of our mistakes are here for you to learn from. Smiley
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 03:03:09 PM by Nickel2 » Logged

1.140kW mono south-facing at 49*
EpEver 4210A at 24v
24V 400 Ah battery. (4x200Ah FLA)
EpEver STI1000-24-230 pure sine inverter
Of course it'll work. (It hasn't caught fire yet).
Scruff
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« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2017, 03:15:23 PM »

I understand your point about inverters, which I crudely interpret as the correct settings will go a long way towards having an efficient system.
There's nothing efficient about inverters, that's why that drawing I made a while back didn't have any load on one. I think the salient point that N2 made is most entry-level non programmable inverters aren't suitable for FLA just vrla with their throttled set-points.

(having tried and failed to find a suitably-capable offgrid installer).
hysteria, you won't find one. Marine electrician would be the closest and even then you're taking your chances.

D - 1250/1240/1245v : needs a charge on it's own or might have an issue.

Once the pack is balanced. discharge it to 50% then recharge it and see if it reaches 1.275.

You won't fry FLA, they're rugged.
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Pord
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« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2017, 04:49:19 PM »

Quote
D - 1250/1240/1245v : needs a charge on it's own or might have an issue.

Before the battery bank is hooked up to the panels, ie do I need to tackle this before going any further? If yes, presumably that would involve a mains trickle charger (we don't have mains power onsite).  By the way, not sure if it has any bearing but it did have SG of 1260/1260/1260 on 7 Nov.

Nickel, the likes of a washing machine are a distant dream at the moment! At this excruciating rate I'll be punching the air if I get to charge my mobile by the light of a solitary LED...

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Nickel2
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« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2017, 05:08:29 PM »

When you start making power, you won't know what to do with so much of it. The first time I saw 120W I was amazed. I just kept adding more loads. When I saw 450W continuous output I was dead chuffed! The sun went in and it dropped... ...quick panic as the battery volts took a dive, followed by load-shedding back to the grid. I haven't had a summer yet, but I'm making plans all the time of how to distribute, store and use the power according to it's availability. If summer happens next year, I hope to be doing as much as 4 months off-grid.  Tongue
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1.140kW mono south-facing at 49*
EpEver 4210A at 24v
24V 400 Ah battery. (4x200Ah FLA)
EpEver STI1000-24-230 pure sine inverter
Of course it'll work. (It hasn't caught fire yet).
Scruff
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2017, 05:37:57 PM »

Quote
D - 1250/1240/1245v : needs a charge on it's own or might have an issue.

Before the battery bank is hooked up to the panels, ie do I need to tackle this before going any further? If yes, presumably that would involve a mains trickle charger (we don't have mains power onsite).  By the way, not sure if it has any bearing but it did have SG of 1260/1260/1260 on 7 Nov.

Hmmm..very low. Have you been discharging it or anything?

OK. Here is your perscription.
Put all the batteries in parallel for 2 days. They'll charge eachother. Then wire them in series and jerry rig the solar controller and panels to them and run a full charge. EQ. 50% discharge. Full charge. Idle on charge for 3 days. Retest SG.

Get a truck USB charger and put some reverse lights ona cigarette lighter plug. Phone + light.
Give the air one from me.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 05:55:34 PM by Scruff » Logged
Scruff
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« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2017, 04:37:41 AM »

Are the ingraved codes sequential on the batts?

"If you want to check the year and date your Crown Golf Cart Batteries were made it could be found in two places. The date code is sometimes stamped on the cover near the positive or negative terminal post. Other times the build date is only displayed on a sticker placed on the side of the golf cart battery.

You can gather more info from the stamp than just the date of build. It includes a few more build details, date of manufacture, line it was built on, the shift during that day, and more.


1st digit = Month ( A = January, B = February, C = March, D = etc )

2nd & 3rd digits = Day (01 – 09 = Days 1 – 9, 10 – 31 = Days 10 – 31 )

4th digit = Year

5th Digit = Assembly Line ( 1 – 5, they presently have 5 production lines )

6th Digit = Warranty

7th Digit = Shift Of The Build Day"
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Pord
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« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2017, 06:24:37 PM »

That's the prize, Nickel!

Ahh, you'll recognise an emerging pattern here Scruff - advice is dispensed, questions are generated, issues uncovered, and repeat. The challenge now is to get over the finishing line before either you get tired/bored or I lose the will to live! If we do, that air will be getting a damn good thrashing.

I definitely haven't done anything to the batteries other than store them. They're currently sitting unconnected, cosy in my Solar Shack©. Thanks for the info about the battery codes, really interesting. Each battery is marked as follows:

A - D1117 2L1 0728
B - D1117 2L1 0733
C - D1117 2L1 0727
D - D0417 2L3 0452

So D appears to be from a different batch.

What do you reckon?

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Pord
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« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2017, 10:10:14 AM »

I'm getting desperate to finish this. Would it make more sense to ask a friend to mains charge the battery?
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Scruff
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« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2017, 12:39:52 AM »

These things are never finished. Er yeah boil the lowest see if she comes right.
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Pord
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2017, 10:24:13 AM »

Ok thanks, I'll do that.

Might be more accurate to say I'm desperate to get this started...
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