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Sidewinder

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Sidewinder last won the day on September 28 2017

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  1. I have Enersol 300W panels 3s4p. Voc max = 44.8 x 3 = 134.4V . So about 10V off Voc max. Vmax = 36.6V x 3 = 109.8V.
  2. ICC Serial

    @Alin, No, you don't need to pay again. In my view, if you are replacing the RPi, you need to get a new license key. E-mail the new machine ID to the icc team. You can get the e-mail for support on http://www.iccsoftware.co.za.
  3. Mecer 5kVa settings and monitoring

    @egemnaar, one more post and you would be able to download @Chris Hobson's Axpert settings guide. From the homepage, scroll down to the bottom right in the download section. You may have to adjust the battery parameters to suit your particular brand of battery, e.g. Float, bulk etc.
  4. Hi Inifini fans, As I could not find a similar thread about this subject, and not wanting to hijack @DeepBass9 's one, I thought to start my own. Firstly some history: I went off grid on 16th Dec 2016 with a 5 kVA Axpert with 3600W of PV and 8 x Trojan 105-RE's. Added the usual goodies that most have, nl. ICC on Pi3, BMV-702 and HA-02, as insurance. The system worked well enough, but the constant shutdown's due to over utilising appliances, e.g. kettle & microwave together with geyser was getting beyond me. As short term I "downgraded" the geyser from 3 kW to 2kW, and this helped somewhat, but seeing that I already had an additional geyser in the roof that needed to be connected into the warm water system, I knew HKGK.... So when I started looking at expanding the system, I decided that I would need to acquire a hybrid type inverter, and I wanted to re-use what I have, e.g. ICC. So I pulled the trigger and 7 months later replaced the Axpert with a InfiniSolar V 5 kW. I installed it adjacent to the Axpert, with the idea that if the Infini gives me any permanent headaches, I can switch back to the Axpert in less than a minute. The long term goal was to be able to install a second Infini in it's place, for a parallel setup. So after the Infini was installed, and with lots of help from Manie, got the ICC data sorted out to report what it is supposed to. Some values were missing from the dual MPPT's, mainly due to misalignment of the "string" of characters that the ICC was reading. Sorted out chop-chop. I liked: Seamless switching between Eskom, Solar and Batteries, just like a hybrid is supposed to. Also the extra 1kW and no more beeps. Pushing short 7 kW loads no problem I don't like: Lost the ability to manually or automatically control between Solar/Battery and Grid. Can't pull 7 kW for long periods, with a planned load of >5kW, a upgrade needed to be part of the plan. Also the 3kW PV limitation was regularly breached, so much so that it seemed to me that the inverter was "chopping" my PV production off @ +-6200W, from a possible 7200W. So the new 2nd Inverter arrived a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, I noticed beforehand that the original V did not come with the parallel board. Weird enough, the Axpert came with it, so it was duly transplanted. The lowest cost parallel card I could find, and available over the counter was @ Communica, as long as you remember your passcode!! Ripped out the Axpert and proceeded with Infini fitment. The mounting holes don't match, so new one's had to be drilled. The cabling layout on the left for in- and output power is the same, and the PV cables have to be doubled up. It was quite a job splitting my 2 strings into 4 strings. Space is a bit tight. The biggest issue is with the Battery cables, as the connection point on the Infini is away from the wall, meaning you need slightly (+-10cm) longer cables. I had enough slack on the black cable, due to the fact that the - terminal on the battery is closer to the wall. (They both need to be the same length - read that on this forum) So will need to install longer cable when tidying up next. Next switched on the inverter, and checked that all three software versions are the same as 1st inverter. As I has bought mine just over 6 month's apart, I has no issues there. Next made space for the two sets of parallel cables to fit the inverters, as all my cables feeding the inverters are hidden in trunking. What a mission to get the holes enlarged, specially with trunking already in place. Last step was to inform family on impending switch off for 30 min to activate the inverters in parallel mode...well, you may as well budget 1h30 for this step. I was unsuccessful in finding a parallel manual specifically for the infini V series, so followed the normal Axpert one, as they are birds of a feather. Firstly, configure the new inverter with the same settings for battery values etc, as the original one. You will notice that setting 28 does not give you the option to go to PAR from SIG, yet the manual tell you to change this. You need to switch the inverter to standby with the on/off switch on the bottom right of the inverter, and then the option becomes available. Switch off the both inverters - by disconnecting the battery- and then on again, as well as the rhs switch. The one will boot as with MS (master) on the display (middle top centre), and the other SL (slave). Note, allocation of MS and SL is random. So next, one needs to provide Grid power simultaneously. As I has installed a Isolator to each inverter on the input, as well as the outputs, I had to flick both at the same time. After a few seconds, both the inverters shut themselves down. Redo the procedure....same result. After many minutes of head scratching etc..I discovered that both inverters had gone back to SIG mode again, so applied the change again, and second time they started without any errors present. Then flicked both the output Isolators and parallel system installation was complete. So all that is outstanding is tidying up the cables and putting the trunking covers back. Post Implementation Comments: Later that day, I had a chance to look at ICC before the sun goes down completely. I changed the inverter type from Infini V Single to Parallel and increase the inverter count to 2. All the basics looked OK, but many values were 0, yet PV1 & PV2 on both were reporting values on the Inverters themselves. The Inverter temp. was also missing. Even though the Cluster Info screen showed data from both inverters, the Thread info page only shows one data stream. Only the next day was I able to look at the data more carefully. I have noticed the following: The PV Watts reported (I assume summed by ICC of the 4 x MPPT's) does vary tremendously. Previous graphs of PV production where reasonably smooth, whereas the new installation is very ragged. See below. Light Brown = 6 weeks ago, Light blue = today. And today was sunny in the morning, with passing clouds in the afternoon. So for now, it looks like I've gone a step backwards, and I almost want to think that is seems the two are fighting each other!! Any comments/suggestions are most welcome. The system seems to work out to about 4000W, with a spike to 5900W for a very brief period of time. I've not had the chance to load more than 6 kW today. Will do that this weekend. Another difference I've noticed tonight that the PV voltages differ completely now that from previous. See below a snapshot of 3 days ago (SIG) and the last 2 days on PAR. Green = SIG, Brown = yesterday, Blue = Today Now it mostly runs @ below 60V, which is below the Inifini's startup voltage of 60V, whereas previously it was running at just below 100V. I see that even after dark, ICC is reporting PV volts of 53V. Yet PV is being generated, as per 1st graph. Gentlemen....(and ladies)...start your answers. Mine is that when ICC chops up the inverter string, it is out by a few digits/symbols, thus reading and reporting the wrong values. Hopefully, this is something that Manie can fix. How he got so far without ever laying his hand on a V series is amazing. Manuals etc can give you only so much data, but the proof is in testing ICC with the real deal. I see on PVO quite a few parallel installations, not sure if they are active here, but I would like to hear comments/suggestions etc from other parallel Infinisolar V users.
  5. One year's off grid solar production

    So started monitoring and checking that all values for the 4 x mppt's are ok. Everything seem ok, but Emoncms and pvoutput are only reporting 1 off the 4 pv strings. So i have adjusted pvo to suit temporarily. As usual, Manie is on it. Thanks for the support.
  6. One year's off grid solar production

    OK, so late this afternoon got it all sorted. 2nd Infini is up and running. Will do a more detailed report tomorrow morning.
  7. One year's off grid solar production

    On PVOutput, I have created 2 sets of strings, as 9 of my panels are mounted @ 18 degrees, while the other 15 are at 38 degrees, all facing almost north. Hence some of the info may be displayed off. As soon as I have installed the new inverter, I should be back to 7200W. Come to thing=k of it, I think I made a mistake. 7200 - 1800 = 5400W. No wonder the max I've been getting these last few days has been around that. Will correct that.
  8. One year's off grid solar production

    Hi all, Yes, my system is a bit temperamental at the moment. I have 24 x 300W panels, but I have disabled 1 x 1800W string, as I'm preparing to add another V series inverter, thus feeding each MPPT with 1800W, instead of doing 3600W through 2 x MMPT's, like i've been doing for the last 6 months. I found that on very sunny days, when pushing over 6000W, it's temp rises very high, and the PV then starts oscillations. Plus i want to have peace of mind pushing 8 kW through one inverter, when hairdryers etc come into play So just waiting for a extra buss bar to split my 4 strings to 4 x (fuses, isolator & surge protection). Hopefully all done by this weekend.
  9. Mercer or Mecer?

    maybe @Chris Hobson secretly wants to drive a Mecedes!!
  10. I'm of the opinion that 2 x 5 array may not be optimum, due to the low voltages that the panels give plus the voltage the Axpert needs before it "wakes" up in the morning. Don't have them on hand atm, but I'm sure you get the idea. I run a (3 x 4) times 2 setup, thus 3600W per controller. That's a 20% over spec. This requires the number of panels to be a multiple of 3. All I have noticed this summer, is that the controller goes up to 3000W (6000W in total), and hovers there (plus a bit over), even though there is more PV available. One just need to watch the Inverter temp, specially if you "room" gets sun in the afternoon.
  11. Hi @Bonova, Quick answer is that solar type cables come in two sizes. 4 mm2 and 6 mm2. The general rule is that the longer the distance between panel and inverter, as well as the higher the current pushed over said cables, the more wires you need to mitigate the voltage drop. I would think that in your case 4 mm2 cable is just fine. I used 6mm2 on 4x900w panels to the combiner box, +- 15 Amps per string. If budget is very tight, 4 mm2 is sufficient.
  12. Monitoring DC power from PV strings cables to Inverter

    AFAIK, CT scanners only works on AC, as mentioned before CT 1-3 are standard 100A / 24KW max CT inputs (@240V) CT 4 is a special high sensitivity input for 19A / 4.6KW (@240V) Recomended 100A SCT-013-00 CT sensors should be used
  13. Monitoring DC power from PV strings cables to Inverter

    I can't bear any beer's...... The arduino to emoncms is the easy part. The construct is: http://ipaddress/emoncms/input/post.json?node=1&json={power1:100}&apikey=apikey ipaddress is your pi ip address or localhost, node=1 is the node where it will write the data to, so use something else, else it will add it to your ICC database, which is node 1. So just use 2 power1 is the name of the field it will create, and 100 is the value it will store. Obviously, APIkey is your key from PVOutput. For more help goto your emoncms, setup, Input API Help (top right corner). Getting the string from your SMA via BT into the Arduino will be the trick.
  14. Monitoring DC power from PV strings cables to Inverter

    From a quick Google I can see that SFB Spot "sees" the following values that it uses to get info into pvoutput.org. //valuetype //0x2601=Total Yield Wh //0x2622=Day Yield Wh //0x462f=Feed in time (hours) /60*60 //0x462e=Operating time (hours) /60*60 //0x451f=DC Voltage /100 //0x4521=DC Current /1000 So look's like it's all there. I would think that if you use Arduino to do this, then you may just be in luck getting values store into EMONCMS. Thanks exactly what I've been doing with my geyser temps. But i read you're using a RPi. More reading then....
  15. Monitoring DC power from PV strings cables to Inverter

    @fritserasmus, I agree with your requirement. I just think trying to MEASURE the DC current/Voltages of each string should almost be your last resort. I don't know the SMA's from a bar of soap, , but I would hope that it has a comms port, like most modern Inverters, and over it is spews out a continues streams of data. I suspect this to be problematic, as you are already using the comms port for SBF Spot export. Hopefully this is the case, and buried somewhere in there and de-cripting the protocol, the PV strings info, just like what @Manie's done with Axperts/ICC, which you are familiar with, Maybe somewhere someone has done something similar. But wouldn't it be nice is one can use ICC to monitor any inverter with a Comms port. Just select the correct one. - Now I see @Manie pulling out his hair, the few he has left, as he probably has lost a few in just trying to keep up with the Voltronic's range available in RSA, because every few weeks, I see a new version pop up. which reminds me, I'm about 3 version behind. But these day's, the whole world's your market. He's got a very decent product, maybe it's time to take it to the next level I have in the recent weeks, discovered that one of my strings was misbehaving, as in Zero output. So if I didn't have ICC, i would have never picked it up. I could see 124 Volts from the string, with 0 Amps, so I knew it is not the string, but the inverter misbehaving. I initially thought that a fuse (20A) had popped, as I upgraded the system this Winter, and haven't gone through a full summer yet. While I was at it, I used the opportunity to clean out the fuses and CB's etc, as I have been busy knocking a hole in the wall to install a extraction fan, as the temps in the inverter was approaching 50 Deg C.
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