Jump to content
egemnaar

Mecer 5kVa settings and monitoring

Recommended Posts

I My setup consists of the Mecer 5kVa , 6 x 265 Watt Canadian Solar Panels, and 4 x 12NDT200  Narada batteries.

I read nearly all the topics concerning the Axpert (Mecer) . I changed most  of the setting accordingly. Thank to forum for the valuable information.

The reason why i decided to buy solar was the first place to keep my fridge/freezer going during the very outages (in excess of 50 hours) we experienced 

here. The last outage, 3 weeks ago, 58 hours, my batteries went dead at 10.30 in the evening. But the next morning my fridge /freezer was already running at 6.30 in the morning.

 I know i didn't buy the best hardware but i have to do with what i have and make it work as optimal as possible.

If i tell you the system was initially installed with 8 X Energiser deep cycle batteries.  You probably know who installed it. They replaced these batteries as the system did not work.

When they replaced these with narada batteries they changed setting 16 to Solar only...their comment was now it will work.

After searching the forum i want to control the setup, possibly remotely, solar during the day , utility at night and when the load too high .

What do I need? Monitoring software? BVM? I am getting a Raspberry Pi . 

Another question should upgrade the firmware on the Mecer.?

Frans

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @egemnaar

The software that the forum will recommend is ICC (http://iccsoftware.co.za/), which will give you good information and control over your system.

I use an old Windows laptop in the solar room which I can control remotely using Remote Desktop, I am not sure how this would be done using a RasPi but I am sure others can advise you on this.

If using ICC then it is HIGHLY recommended that you install the Victron BMV-702 (ask @Camel) which will greatly improve how the batteries are controlled.

Get an HA-01 (ask @Chris-R) which will maintain charge balance between the batteries which is a big concern with series connected batteries.

When budget allows I would suggest upgrading to 8 panels (if currently connected in 3p2s) or 9 panels (if currently connected 2p3s) which would be better suited to your current 200Ah battery bank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, egemnaar said:

Another question should upgrade the firmware on the Mecer.?

Yes, Axpert firmware has a bit of a bug in the charge algorithm that allows the system to go to float too early under certain conditions, the firmware upgrade improves this issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate Windows, that's the only reason  to go Raspberry.  I run Ubuntu on my laptop. I am not a fundy on Linux,, but i can give it a good try.

Can someone recommend an installer , I am too old to go on the roof., in the Nelpsruit area?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@egemnaar I too run Ubuntu on my main computer but have a Win10 computer running to monitor CCTV cameras of our residents' association in the village and at my home. It was just convenient to install @Manie's ICC MQTT Desktop on that computer as it runs 24/7. The Raspberry Pi 3 that controls my 2 Axpert MKS 4Kw inverter cluster also runs ICC and I can access the Pi from any computer, mobile phone or tablet using the free RealVNC viewer available for download on the Internet. I have tried MQTT Desktop for Windows on my Ubuntu PC under WINE and did get some obscure error message but the MQTT ran just fine. You can use Playonlinux to install it.

My Internet router is a TP-Link WR1043ND Ver 2 connected via a ADSL modem and I flashed the free Gargoyle router firmware on it. Gargoyle gives me a VPN to connect to from the already mentioned devices from anywhere in the world and monitor and control my solar energy system or whatever on my home LAN. You may want to take a look at all this stuff. Age is not a limiting factor as I will hit 80 in 2 months and managed it on my own as well as helping others.

Good luck with getting your controlling setup working.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HA-01 can balance only 2 batteries while HA-02 balances 4. My HA-02's purchased from @Chris-R works absolute gangbusters and keep batteries balanced. A really worthwhile addition to your installation to ensure maximum battery life.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, egemnaar said:

I see there is also HA-02. What's the difference between HA01 and HA02.  Which one is recommended?

HA01 only balances two 12V batteries HA02 balances 4 batteries connected in series. Voltage for batteries between 2.4V and 12V. HA02 cheaper and more versatile. Therefore I would recommend HA02.

email your details, phone number and , address to reception@unipos.co.za.  Say you got the details here at powerforum and you will be sent a proforma invoice for the HA02 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, I see you scratched out the HA02 on your signature , is it a luxury and not required?

Another issue i have  is the temperature of the enclosure, in my garage, where the batteries are installed.  Even now early morning my garage is already

in excess of 28 degrees, later in the  afternoon the temperature in my garage rises well above 30.  I can install a fan, that doesn't really drop the temperature, i only circulate

warm air..

Is there a setting on the invertor i should be aware off?

I did set 27 (Float) to 53.4 and 26 (Bulk charge) to 55.8.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still looking for a reliable installer in the Nelspruit region. There is another house with solar panels in estate where I stay. I will visit him and find out who installed

his setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, egemnaar said:

Chris, I see you scratched out the HA02 on your signature , is it a luxury and not required?

I have changed from Lead Acid batteries to Lithium batteries. Pylontech has 48V modules that one connects in series so there no way of attaching a HA02 and secondly the Pylontech has its own Battery Management System (BMS) and so a HA02 is superfluous. 

32 minutes ago, egemnaar said:

Another issue i have  is the temperature of the enclosure, in my garage, where the batteries are installed.  Even now early morning my garage is already

in excess of 28 degrees, later in the  afternoon the temperature in my garage rises well above 30.  I can install a fan, that doesn't really drop the temperature, i only circulate

warm air..

Heat is a battery's nemesis. Batteries age twice as fast at 30°C compared to 25°C. So you can be very conservative and have shallow discharges and still your batteries are not going to last long. It was one of the motivating factors for going over to Lithium Ferrous Phosphate as temperature only has a marked effect on the batteries above 50°C

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chris Hobson said:

Heat is a battery's nemesis.

Put them on the cold cement floor. Some caveats: Its fine to do this with gel or AGM batteries, but tradition has it that for flooded batteries putting them on the cold floor causes the electrolyte to stratify. I have no idea how true that is. My Trojans (when I still had them) would gas at absorption level and mix pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/14/2018 at 7:12 AM, egemnaar said:

I am still looking for a reliable installer in the Nelspruit region. There is another house with solar panels in estate where I stay. I will visit him and find out who installed

his setup.

I can do the installation, will PM you my contact details. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My HA02 arrived and is installed. My raspberry pi has arrived. I stll need the monitor and the icc program.

My question now is more about the installation itself.

My batteries are directly connected to the invertor,  no fuses, no isolator,

The solar panels have an isolator and i have switch to switch the load to solar/off/utility..

That's all. How safe is my installation? 

Then I took my Ohm meter to check the grounding of the invertor.  The invertor is not grounded.

I opened the isolator switch, the ground wire from the invertor goes a a ground busbar . no other wire is connected to this bar.

I have written an email to the company that did the installation , i expect no answer. . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, egemnaar said:

My HA02 arrived and is installed. My raspberry pi has arrived. I stll need the monitor and the icc program.

My question now is more about the installation itself.

My batteries are directly connected to the invertor,  no fuses, no isolator,

The solar panels have an isolator and i have switch to switch the load to solar/off/utility..

That's all. How safe is my installation? 

Then I took my Ohm meter to check the grounding of the invertor.  The invertor is not grounded.

I opened the isolator switch, the ground wire from the invertor goes a a ground busbar . no other wire is connected to this bar.

I have written an email to the company that did the installation , i expect no answer. . 

Your installation is not very safe. I would never commission an installation like this. In this game, safety is of uttermost importance. 

Get a fuse. This is a must-have requirement. DC current is not as forgiving a AC current and a short on those cables will lead to a fire. Make sure the fuse & fuse holder is rated for DC, and oversize the fuse by 20% (or thereabouts) 

Get an isolator - though this is optional, but makes it a bit easier to switch on & off when needed. The Isolator also need to be DC rated. 

Make sure your PV isolator and fused are DC rated as well. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Silver. You want at least a fuse in the DC line. Sometimes the inverter might have one. The fuse inside the inverter is actually there for reverse polarity protection. Diodes lose too much power and they get hot. So what they do is stick a FET across it that conducts if you hook it up in reverse and blows the fuse.

But I still prefer an extra fuse, preferably on the battery side, because if I screw up somewhere downstream from that (who owns a proper insulated spanner and who just uses the 13mm from the main Gedore set?) I don't melt cables.

Regarding earthing. Well, the case of the inverter itself should be grounded for obvious reasons. Now I don't know the Voltronics, how they do it. On the inverters I know, there is a bonding relay that bonds the neutral of the inverter output to the case of the inverter, so as long as the case is earthed, you get a full safe bonded setup.

The early Voltronics didn't have the ability to bond earth and neutral. Later ones can. I don't know how it works, but it is important to get this right. You want earth and neutral bonded when it's disconnected from the grid and the inverter is running. You want the bond to go away while it's in passthru. We have this discussion at least once a month. Well I do... :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/13/2018 at 10:11 AM, pilotfish said:

Yes, Axpert firmware has a bit of a bug in the charge algorithm that allows the system to go to float too early under certain conditions, the firmware upgrade improves this issue.

Please advise on how to get the firmware upgrade image. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me too.I have a 2015 model.It is running ver 72.40

The machine runs to 53 volts and the next moment , batteries are full.(SOC)

The forum has firmware links all over the show,but firmware not.

What is the flashing process?Which exe/zip is run to load the firmware file.

You use a MSoft OS to do the job?.All I know COM1 is the gateway using a serial cable.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, plonkster said:

The hunt for good firmware continues to amuse me.

No problem, have your laughs...

I have a 10kVA inverter with 6.2kWp and 120A charging capacity that cost me R15k, I can afford a few giggles at my expense!

PS - Inverter cost only for 2 MKS5k in parralel, the rest of the stuff cost an arm+

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, pilotfish said:

No problem, have your laughs...

To be fair, if you pay a lot for something, the firmware had better be sorted! If you get it cheap, you can cut the device some slack. I think what you see here is that old thing about the pain of something lasting much longer than the sweetness of the bargain or something like that, I forgot the exact saying. The pain of the high cost is now almost 5 years in the past... long forgotten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, plonkster said:

The pain of the high cost is now almost 5 years in the past... long forgotten.

Plus 1.

Every once in a while the Victron software updates itself, and the same software updates the devices firmware connected to it automatically, when new firmware is released.

I simply cannot be bothered to sukkel with firmware and related manual update risks, even less so if the manufacturer is nowhere to be seen on the matter.

And if I mess up a inverter update (they are manual for good reason), any Victron approved distributor will sort it chop chop if I cannot be bothered to follow the instructions myself.

And to think that my inverter is now about 1 year out of warranty, since I bought it in 2012, running 24/7/365 with not one hiccup ever.

That peace of mind is worth every cent I spent on it all.

When my inverter fails one day, I will go Plonksters route with a small Multiplus, seeing as I have accumulated all the parts, bar the grid tied part, for another decade of faultless use. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×