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Showing content with the highest reputation since 22/04/2013 in all areas

  1. 12 points

    Version 1.1


    An attempt to simplfy Axpert Menu settings
  2. 10 points
    After my installation I started playing with my new "TOY" but quickly realize that it's not going to perform to the levels I wanted to. So like any software developer I started developing my own software. I wanted to achive the following goals: - Generated max power, use the power as long as posisble, switch over to grid when needed - Automaticlly change the power management for load-shedding - Protect my batteries against high power usage by switching over to grid when power usage exceed X for a few minutes and back when usage recovered - Only switch to Solar when Batteries is over X voltage and Solar is over X Watt (provide to levels) - Switch over to Grid in the afternoon when Solar is under X level or Time. - Identify Low average power generation (Clouds, Rain) - For Load-Shedding - Move from Solar Charge only to Solar/Grid when batteries are very low or for Load-shedding I also wanted the system to look "Cool" and I wanted to make it accesable from a browser. Bought a Raspberrypi and screen... Here is the results...so much fun... still learning
  3. 10 points

    Big Thanks To Jaco De Jongh

    I just want to say a big thanks to @Jaco de Jongh for helping me choose and design the correct system for my upgrade. There were others on this forum who helped (you can read) thank you to them too. I must say Jaco went beyond the call of duty and was extremely patient with me. I also want to point out that Jaco is an extremely busy man, but being the gentleman he is, always took the time to answer my calls or call me back. With that being said, many of the questions I unnecessary hounded Jaco with should have rather been reserved forums like this. For any contractor, time is money - and time spent on the phone is time spent away from doing an install. Installers/contractors only have a certain amount of time during the day to get their installations done. I realize this now! Jaco - many thanks for all the help. I really do recommend Jaco!
  4. 10 points

    Battery cooler box

    One of my recent projects, the battery cooler box. The temperature in my garage easily reaches 35°C in summer - on average it is in the lower 30's. According to the T105RE's datasheet, any lead-acid battery should be kept at 25°C or lower and an increase of 10°C halves the expected life of the batteries. Therefor I decided to keep them cool... The box is constructed from 50mm coldroom panels and is attached to a plywood base fitted onto an angle-iron frame with castors. The inside of the box is watertight and coated with stone-chip - the stuff used to coat the chassis of trailers and caravans. The compressor assembly is from an old ice-machine The temperature is controlled by a temperature controller bought on ebay - it is set to turn the compressor on at 25.2°C and off at 24.8°C The internal circulation fan is on when the compressor is on and switches off approximately 20 minutes after the compressor has cycled off. The air pump is controlled by a digital programmable timer and used to force air into the box and to force any gas build-up out of the box - the outlet still needs to be connected to a hose to take the gasses outside. Hydrogen, which is highly explosive, is released during charging and Hydrogen Sulfide, which is extremely poisonous, might be released during over-charging. Hydrogen is less dense than air and Hydrogen Sulfide is more dense than air and therefor the need for two gas outlets, one at the top and one at the bottom of the box. The control panel contains a battery fuse The shunt of the Vicron battery monitor is mounted inside the control-section of the box and the RJ12 connection is extended to the rear panel A 40mm drain connection is mounted on the side of the box in case the box needs to be flushed. The drain connection is kept closed by a lever valve. Swimming pool hoses fit tightly into the 40mm drain connection and can be connected to take the water etc. to the outside of the building, if needed. An Anderson connector for the battery connection is mounted on the rear panel
  5. 9 points

    Another Blue Install

    Sorry about the title - seems to be a forum rib of sorts ? Anyway here is my install - was quite challenging doing it all myself with little solar experience. Silly things like just getting inverter on the wall (thing ways a ton) , thank goodness for climbing gear and pulleys, made it a steep learning curve. Hopefully the forum wolves will be kind though . System :Victron Inverter - Quattro 10000va / Victron 250/100 SmartSolar MPPT / 20 x 330 Watt Canadian Solar / Victron BMV702 / Revov 10 kWh / Venus GX running ESS / ET112 Grid Meter / Home Assistant Integration. In case you wondering system is limited that it can’t feed more than 4.6kW into grid. Things I would have done differently: - Bigger fuse boxes & bit more spacing - 35mm2 wire is difficult to bend - Wider trucking - same reason as above My average use is 30-35 kWh per day - system is producing 18kWh on average (mid winter) per day - looking forward to summer. The Battery is on paper too small as most use is in evening, however in Port Elizabeth we can Grid tie one to one and we are on Eskom time of use tariffs, so battery only needs to get me through the 2 peak periods, then use the grid as a cheap battery for balance of time. With the home automation (Home Assistant) tie-in, I manipulate a few things on system via Modibus to optimise the return: System makes sure batteries are charged for morning and evening peak using grid if needed - (buys cheaper power or uses credit generated during day). I do this by changing the Grid set point higher for this period. If there is loadshedding (it reads the loadshedding status form Eskom website) - it changes min SOC from 20% to 50% - that way there is enough capacity in batteries to get through any loadshedding episodes regardless of time of day. Also notifies me of grid failure over google home and on phone Pic 1 - Christmas - trying to figure everything out Pic 2 - figuring out cable routes - old inverter/ups in green looking sad Pic 3 - Old Main Db Board (nice excuse to tidy up) Pic 4 - Honey will we have lights tonight ? - no pressure - all stripped out Pic 5 - Main Db Looking bit more tidy - split into 2 - Db1 non critical AC loads - Oven and Geyser on Left ELU - Db3 - Critical Loads - balance of house - plugs and lights (Note Inverter feeds back up to DB1 if grid present so DB1 is on Inverter / solar /battery until there is a grid failure) Pic 6 - Revov Batteries 10 KWh- server rack box adapted with some additional home made welded brackets (its a 50kg load) - but nicely off the floor Pic 7 - DC Buss-bar - cramped DC shunt and fuse box - will know for next time - give yourself more room Pic 8 - AC DB 2 - feeds to and from Db 1/D b3 with 3 way change over switch (can bypass inverter if its faulty) - MPPT on left - Solar DC DB & fuses on right Pic 9 - Solar DB - only partly my work that''s why is so neat - 4 strings of 5 panels - bottom 2 cables have subsequently been increased to 10mm2 from 6mm2 shown here - MPPT was kicking errors - seems happier now Pic 10 - Overview of installation - Inverter quite noisy (I am noise sensitive) - so nice to be in the garage vs in house Pic 11 - Colour GX and BMV installed round corner (more accessible) Pic 12 - Panels - 20 x 330W - 4 strings of 5 - 5 deg - facing NE - raised back 5 because of shading Pic 13 - Home Assistant Home Automation Tie in - Note loadshedding sensor (still working on overall layout but its 100% customisable) Pic 14 - Municipal Grid-tie meter with ET112 Grid Meter on right
  6. 9 points

    Bought a BMW i3

    Morning, So after a few years of using my Land Cruiser as a daily driver I decided to bite the bullet on a electric car. I have chosen the BMW i3 REX It has a 22KW (18.8KW usable) 60Ah Lithium battery giving you a range of 130-160km (200km in ECO PRO + mode) and with the REX (Petrol range extender) you get 260-290km I got the model with all the drive assist options, so it has active cruiser control and can drive itself in traffic upto 60KM/h I ran the battery to 6% yesterday as a test. Drove 157km. Used 18kw to charge. At the peak price of 0.81c per KW, it cost R15. That is 1.1L of petrol equivalent or 0.7L per 100km I am chuffed. As a bonus it is comfortable to drive and quicker off the line than most car at the robots! Shout if you guys have any questions of want a test drive
  7. 8 points
    I happened across this today: https://www.mppsolar.com/v3/pylontech/ "We are pleased to announce that our MPI Hybrid inverter family is now ready to support Pylontech US2000B Plus lithium batteries, through the newly added BMS support via RS485 card" At the end, it used to say: "Note: PIP-GK and PIP-MK starting Dec 2018 will also be able to work with Pylontech lithium batteries." [ Edit: the above disappeared for a few weeks, then was replaced with this: "PIP-GK and PIP-MK 48V models (5048GK, 5048MK), starting January 2019, will be updated with special firmware PCB for use with Pylontech Lithium batteries. Users simply simply have to connect a BMS cable (supplied separately upon request) directly from the GK/MK's reserved BMS port to the Pylontech's BMS port and it is automatic compatibility." In this post, we find out that models that don't come with this support can't be updated to add this support without extra hardware, and the only solution is to replace the entire unit. ] MPI hybrids are the MPP Solar name for the Infinis. The off-grid models with K in the name are the more modern ones with the removable displays. Edit: The PIP-GKs are also known as the Axpert VM III, and the PIP-MK are also known as the Axpert King. [ Edit: added "it used to say". Then added newer text from MPP Solar. Added note about old hardware not being upgradeable. ]
  8. 8 points

    Bought a BMW i3

    So almost 2 years after starting this thread my BMW i3 has done 45,000KMs. This technology is a game changer. Just the concept of not needing a "service" every year requires a mind shift. The service items for the i3 are brake fluid and vehicle check every 2 years! Having had the first i3 in South Africa for some years, it is now time to sell as the 120Ah (+-44Kwh) model is coming soon. It's amazing to me that BMW has managed to double the battery capacity of the i3 in 4 years. Mine was a 60Ah (22KW) This has been my favourite car to drive. You have to experience it to understand. It's is relaxing and thrilling at the same time and I have not gotten bored of it for even a moment! In 45000KMs the battery has lost 3% of capacity and my "fuel consumption" has been 15.7kWh/100km. My average recuperation has been 5.3kWh/100km. We pay R1 per kWh, so the car cost me R7000 to run in electricity, excluding any solar offset. In reality it was almost free. I used 50L of fuel, meaning I filled the 9L tank about 5 times. This means in the time I had the car, I drove roughly 800km's on the Range Extender petrol generator (Rex). I found that I could get roughly 120km's electric only before needing the REX. The battery lasted me 2-3 days on average, though I mostly charged it daily. The times I used the REX was mostly on long trips. The one surprise with the i3 is that it seems to pickup punctures on it's narrow eco tires. I had 3 punctures over 2 years driving in JHB. Luckily replacement tires don't cost the world (R2200 Bridgestone) and the compressor kit works fine. I had the punctures plugged, but replaced the front tires at 35000km's. The future of electric looks very bright and I cannot wait to have an i3 with double the range or to get behind the wheel of a Tesla in South Africa!
  9. 8 points

    InfiniSolar V USB protocol

    All I have to share are a few facts that I have learnt in my many decades through life which are edging towards eight although thankfully not quite. So perhaps some may reason that I am already senile. All those who have expressed views on this thread, have probably at some time or another contributed to the welfare of others. But as an absolute believer in capitalism as opposed to socialism with it's terror, misery and death, I am convinced that capitalism can only function in a state of complete individual freedom which by definition prevents one to do harm unto others. @Energy this is economics, not politics and I am glad that individual freedom is not included in the list of prohibited subjects. That as a basis for discussion. 1. @Manie developed a commercial product that was and is probably still purchased by at least a fair number of the members of this forum and others. In the process he obviously spent many long hours of hard work of which the users of ICC-Pi are and will be reaping the benefits at a price acceptable to them. When members started requesting ICC for Windows, Manie knuckled down and produced that in record time and again some bought the program. It is a basic principle of sound business practice to protect your intellectual property. If one obtained critical and valuable information from another source, other than open source, which would be freely available in any event, you would be particularly foolish to hand it out like a bowl of soup at a soup kitchen. The Japanese say "Business is war" and see where it got them, in record time, after the devastation of WW2. There have been many demands for Manie to release his code as open source. Where would that have taken us users of ICC. Already a formal association between two developers did not last long. I would rather pay for the software and know there is some help at the end of a communications channel of whatever nature. It also denies Manie his right of freedom to decide what he does with his code. If he makes the wrong decisions, it may go the same route to oblivion of AICC which after all was a fine program. Solarmon also looked equally promising and it too bit the dust, or so it seems. If Manie chooses to improve his product over time, then the only other factor of price will determine the volumes sold. I for one hope he does continue development for purely selfish reasons of wanting to use an application that is enhanced on a continuing basis. As the outspoken Ayn Rand titled one of her books "The Virtue Of Selfishness" and then went on to prove it. 2.Those who have voluntarily contributed did so on their own accord. If they wanted compensation, they should have negotiated it before saying their bit. What on earth prevent the proponents of an open source program to start such a project. There has been enough demands for it but so far zero action, to my perhaps admittedly limited knowledge. I am of course only interested in the Axpert MKS range, which is what I have. Those who need something different, must drum up their own support. 3. Jay as moderator has the power to stop trends in any thread dead in their tracks if he believes them to be contrary to the intentions of the forum. It is to his credit that he allowed the many tsunamis in a teacup. But relentless efforts to bludgeon an opposing view into submission leads to the type of avoidable friction that we have often witnessed. If co-operative efforts, proposed by some, had any chance of success, The United Nations would be a shining example instead of a money wasting ineffectual fiasco, persistently wasting other people's money. 4. I realise that my views are contrary to some who have in the past willingly helped me and I hope in some small way I also managed to contribute something of value. But having differences of opinion does not make us enemies. It demonstrates the ability to actually think, a rarity in the world we live in, as well as maturity. Let us add respect for individual freedom to it, with emphasis on individual. Now this may be the proverbial stone at a hornet's nest and if true, so be it.
  10. 8 points

    Emoncms Startup Tutorial

    I thought Ill give a quick startup tutorial for first time user of emoncms. Now some of the images might not be exactly as the .org site but the principle stays the same. Also this will be just how to start your first feed and new dash , the possibilities is infinite when it comes to editing the das extra and also the idea is not to write a full manual on the subject , so here goes. Once your software has started to log the data to emoncms you will need to inputs page to verify that the data is there: In the input page you will see a list of all data received by emon but it will not be logged yet in the DB so to start give the input a meaningful name: Once done you will start to create you first feed by selecting the "wrench" on the far right: This will bring up the menu for creating a new feed. Below is a short description of the options involved and there a many to chose from but for this quick tutorial I will stick to the basics. The more you play with emon the more you will get to learn what this powerful interface can do for you. The main thing here is to "math" you interval to whatever you will receive you data at. Anything soner will not make any difference to emon an will lead to "duplicate" values. Once you have added the new feed. it will now show in your inputs feed. Save a close the page. Next go to you feeds page to view the new feed that was created. To make this feed public double click on the lock to make the feed public else it would not show on your dash unless your are logged into your emoncms. That is all that you will need to do in your feed menu as the data is now been logged into emoncms.Next you will need to log into your dashboard to create , name and save a new dash. Here is a overview of the dash options: Click on the dash edit and you will arrive at the blank dash now you can start to play with all the widgets and feed values to whatever you want it to look like! Hope this will give you a good idea as to how to start up with emoncms! Enjoy. Paul
  11. 8 points
    As much as I like this Inverter I just received some sad news about it. For a while now I have been in contact with the Taiwan factory, I have heard through the grapevine that new firmware was released. I was trying to get hold of it, but failed to do so. About 2 weeks ago they confirmed that my Inverters will not take this update due to hardware constraints. I decided to leave it at that and started driving the NRS-certification issue. I started contacting everybody could about this issue and just received an mail back from them. BAD NEWS: The InfiniV DID NOT pass the test, it will not receive the NRS-certification. GOOD NEWS: The INFINISOLAR V 2, has all ready been build, with all the hardware&software upgrades and will be released early next year, NRS approved and certified. EVEN BETTER NEWS: They Offered me two options: 1. They can fully refund me or 2: They can replace my 2 units with upgraded ones........ For Free.
  12. 8 points

    i3 Rex bought.

    i3 being recharged from my solar powered house. Perfect. Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
  13. 8 points
    Happy anniversary to me! 1 year off grid!
  14. 7 points

    Trober's new 12kW Off-grid system

    Hi all, Thanks to so much good information on this forum, a lot of thinking, planning and building, I finally came online on Saturday. So far everything works pretty well. Eskom mains was turned off on Sunday and so far, no need even to run the generator. I am still finding my feet with all the settings and discovery of the best options but My system: 24 X JAR 375 W Mono's (8.8kWp) 3 X Axpert Type 4kW inverters in parallel (12kW) 7 X Narada NPFC100 Li-Fe-Po4 batteries (33.6kWh) 1 X Deutsz 15kVA generator Pic attached.
  15. 7 points
    We needed a UPS for a small office (about 8 PC's, server and network hardware) to be able to continue working through loadshedding (4-6 hours at a time). We are renting our office and did not want a permanent setup. Requirements: - Ultimate long term reliability - high quality brand - Expected lifetime: about 15 years for inverter and 7-10 years for batteries (expecting much more regular loadshedding while eskom repairs its infrastructure) - Backup system that works for many years without maintenance - Standalone system ( rack on wheels) - Ready to be moved to a new office if we have to move, OR be re-purposed into a solar home ESS system (just add MPPT and panels) If we bought an off the rack 3KVA UPS system with 6000 WH runtime, we could probably get it for about R20k. But I have a long history with cheap UPS systems - they never make it to 2 years - then you have to replace the batteries - at huge cost, labour - weekend time etc. At about 4 or 5 years the inverter's cheap capacitors start sweating and it becomes very unreliable - almost worse than not having a UPS. Not one lasts over 6 years - and in the process, the PC's that you are supposed to protect are subjected to many power spikes and failures due to the unreliable UPS. So we went this route - about 4X more expensive but we know it will last, and protect the sensitive equipment properly for many years: - Victron Multiplus 3000 - Victron Venus controller - 2 X Pylontech US3000 batteries - 19" computer rack on wheels - Small DB with input breaker, earth leakage on output, and two circuits on output. - DC Fuses, cables and building the rig (took about 5 hours). @Jaco de Jongh built this rig for me:
  16. 7 points

    My Eskom Killer

    External grid : Eskom (old Rotating meter store exess power in grid, to avoid cycling batteries at night) Hybrid inverters: 2 X Victron Multiplu 48Volt/5000VA/70Amp, (master slave parallel operation give 10000VA), Victrons Include multistage chargers limited to 60A+60A=120A Battery charging current. Internal Grid: 2 X Eltek THEIA HE-t 4.4 grid-tie inverters providing power directly to load at 97% effeciency. excess is routed back to grid or batteries by victrons. The Victrons also Throttle excess power on Eltek's through frequency shifting when eskom down. Batteries : 24 X 2V @ 500A Lead Crystal Batteries CNF J-500, providing 48V @ 500A 20 X 305 W Monocrytaline panels , arranges in 2 strings of 10 panels at 360V feeding into the two Eltek inverters respectivly A BMV-600S battery monitor tells, what coming and going. Effergy engage, cloud based power monitor keeps track of usage.
  17. 7 points
    Jaco de Jongh

    Beware of dodgy installers!!

    With the current electricity situation in the SA (and some other African Countries) more and more people turn to solar. Everyone looking for an opportunity claims to be an Solar installer in the hope of making a quick buck. I was contacted by a Forum member that wanted me to update his inverters firmware and upon arrival I was shocked by the low standard of the installation. I have seen much better self installs in my time. After I updated the firmware I had a look at the rest of the installation and could not believe all the shortcuts that was taken, no combiner, no surge arrestors and and and... This member ended up paying R180k for the following installation. The dont have pictures of the mess on the roof, but I feel he has been done in badly. With only 12 x 330 watts on the roof this install should not have been close to that amount. Even worse is this company's solution when the client asked them to "Cover up the mess?" They took it literally and screwed a plank over all the visible wires to hide it from view and left . Please if you want to use someone, at least get a reference and insist on seeing pictures of his installs. Randomly pick one and ask for the contact details of the client and ensure that the installer is legit. Dont get caught like this. I agreed to help sort it out and did so today, with the limited space available this is my answer to the picture above.
  18. 7 points
    Jaco de Jongh

    Power outages

    For most of the active guys here the lights dont go out anymore..
  19. 7 points
    Hi ! I wanted to show you and contribute the schematic that shows what I'm finishing in my home and that shows the use of the BMV702 relay. I am doing in my house an exclusive circuit for high consumptions that groups appliances: Air conditioning, washing machine, dry clothes and various other items that can be connected in the kitchen such as microwave oven, toaster, blender, etc. The idea is that when the Main electrical grid is running, there is energy in both the exclusive high consumption circuit and in the rest of the home, since if PV Energy (not shown in the diagram) is not enough, the rest Of power is provided by the grid In case of a cut in the main power supply, Contactor 1 is responsible for: 1. Operate the alarm (buzzer + flashing light): This alerts my family and tells them that the house starts to operate only with solar power (if available) and battery power (with a switch this alarm can be turned off). 2. Make a cut of all appliances connected to the high consumption circuit. Contactor 2 has the function to protect the batteries from a dangerous discharge Since the BMV is configured with Inverted Relay, this is Normal Closed, parameter 16 is set to keep the relay in its state until the SOC drops below the 55% value. When this occurs the contactor is opened and the loads are disconnected.
  20. 7 points

    Youda's off-grid LAB

    How to charge your Pylontech US3000 and why From time to time, there's a discussion on Pylontech US2000/US3000 batteries and what is the best charging voltage for them. So, here's the answer based on my personal experience: C.C. = 52.5V C.V. = 52.0V Why: First of all, it's important to clarify what the term "charging voltage", sometimes referred as C.C. aka constant current, means. It's NOT the voltage that's being created by the charger and then applied to the battery terminals. In reality, the charger just pushes current into the battery, while constinuously measuring the voltage on the terminals. Once the voltage reading on the terminals is equal to the value that's set as charging voltage, the charger stops pushing current. Then, based on the selected charging profile, the charger goes in the next stage, like C.V. aka constant voltage, for example. If the C.C. voltage is set too high, the charger will continue to push the current in the batteries for too long. The voltage will rise above the safe level for that given battery chemistry and the cells will overcharge, swell and take damage. In order to protect the cells, US3000 has a balancer for each individual cell and a MOSFET for each brick. Once the voltage of the individual cell goes above 3.480V, the balancer will kick-in and start to burn the excessive current, turning the electric energy into heat. That's the way how US3000 ensures that at the end of charging all the cells have equal voltage, in other words "are balanced". Of course, cell balancers are not powerfull enough to burn all the energy that might be potentially pushed by the charger. That's the reason why there's a MOSFET in the battery pack. If all the balancers are already burning energy and the charger is still pushing energy, then the MOSFET will limit the current in order to protect the pack. In the specsheet, Pylontech recommend to set the charging voltage somewhere between the 52.5V to 53.5V: There's 15 LFP cells in each US3000 pack and balancers are starting at voltage 3.480V per cell: 15 x 3.480V = 52.2V So, the setting C.C. to 52.5V (52.2V + 0.3V) ensures that all the balancers will operate correctly and at the same time, they won't be overloaded. If your solar charger is actively communicating with the US3000 via CAN bus or RS485, then he can read the battery voltage via this digital communication. Therefore, it does not matter how long the battery-to-charger cables are and whether the charger itself is measuring accurate or not. The voltage is measured by the BMS and communicated digitally. In that case, the best is to set C.C. to 52.5V. If your solar charger does NOT utilize BMS comunication, then he has to rely on his own voltage measurements. In that case, one has to take into account the length of the battery-to-charger cables, all the joints resistance and the associated voltage drop. Therefore, it might be necessary to adjust C.C. to a higher value, like 52.6V or 52.7V for example. There's nothing you can break if you will experiment and raise the C.C. slowly in order to find the best value for your setup. Just be sure to stay away from the maximum allowed voltage as described in the specsheet. While the specsheet allows charging voltage up to 53.5V, it's not a good idea: The higher voltage puts a higher load the balancers, mosfet and on the cells too. All the excessive energy is wasted and turned into heat. And the heat is generally not good for the cells, of course. Second reason, why setting the C.C. to the maximum is not a good choice is the fact, that during the charging there might be occasional spikes of power that will go to the battery. Sometimes these spikes are caused by the charger algorithm itself, sometimes they are caused by a changing light conditions or by turning ON/OFF bigger loads. Once this happens during the charging, and the battery is already at it's 53.5V maximum, the BMS will sense the overvoltage and throws an error. If not corrected immediatelly, it will shutdown the battery. How to set C.V. voltage: The LFP cells used in US3000 have a resting voltage 3.2V per cell. Technically, there's no "float" voltage that you need to apply to LFP, like is common in the Lead-Acid world. LFP cells are best to be charged and then disconnected. This is based on the fact that you can overcharge and damage a LFP cell even with 100mA of current, if applied for a long time. On the other hand, in solar applications it's impossible to disconnect the batteries from inverter once fully charged, since the batteries are acting as an energy buffer 24x7. Therefore, it's good to set C.V. to a value that will supply just a tiny amount of current into the batteries in order to keep them topped, and live with the fact that balancers will kick-in from time to time and will waste some energy by turning it into heat. With some other types of batteries, where balancers are visible, you can see this state - LED on each balancer blinks randomly, once per second or two. It's like a heartbeat. For a shame, Pylons don't have this direct visibility and you have to go into CLI, if you want to see what's going on inside the battery. Based on that, I'm personally using C.V. = 52V, so the balancers are not wasting excessive amounts of energy, and operate only when really needed. US3000 battery: Phantom BMS sitting inside a Pylontech battery: CLI info for a stack of 8xUS3000: pylon_debug>pwrsys Power System Information --------------------------------- System is discharging Total Num : 8 Present Num : 8 Sleep Num : 0 System Volt : 49756 mV System Curr : -17724 mA System RC : 558692 mAH System FCC : 588892 mAH System SOC : 94 % System SOH : 100 % Highest voltage : 3319 mV Average voltage : 3317 mV Lowest voltage : 3315 mV Highest temperature : 22000 mC Average temperature : 21500 mC Lowest temperature : 20000 mC Recommend chg voltage : 53250 mV Recommend dsg voltage : 47000 mV Recommend chg current : 118400 mA Recommend dsg current : -296000 mA Command completed successfully Note one interesting information: The stack has 592Ah of nominal capacity, but the recommended charging current, advertised by the BMS, is 118A = C/5. Recommended discharging current, advertised by the BMS, is 296A = C/2. No matter what values (much bigger) are being promoted in the specsheet, I would say that the battery designer had a very good reason why he hardcoded C/5 and C/2 into the BMS as recommended Amps. CLI info on the 1st brick: pylon_debug>info Device address : 1 Manufacturer : Pylon Device name : US3000A Board version : PHANTOMSAV10R03 Main Soft version : B65.6 Soft version : V1.3 Boot version : V1.4 Comm version : V2.0 Release Date : 18-09-12 Barcode : PPTAH02 Specification : 48V/74AH Cell Number : 15 Max Dischg Curr : -100000mA Max Charge Curr : 102000mA EPONPort rate : 1200 Console Port rate : 115200 Command completed successfully State of Health for 15 cells in the 1st brick: pylon_debug>soh Power 1 Battery Voltage SOHCount SOHStatus 0 3317 0 Normal 1 3317 0 Normal 2 3318 0 Normal 3 3317 0 Normal 4 3317 0 Normal 5 3318 0 Normal 6 3318 0 Normal 7 3319 0 Normal 8 3316 0 Normal 9 3316 0 Normal 10 3317 0 Normal 11 3318 0 Normal 12 3319 0 Normal 13 3317 0 Normal 14 3318 0 Normal Command completed successfully Statistics for the oldest brick in a stack of 8: pylon_debug>stat 8 Device address 8 Data Items : 0 HisData Items : 2048 MiscData Items : 122 Charge Cnt. : 0 Discharge Cnt. : 3180 Charge Times : 31004 Status Cnt. : 3179 Idle Times : 41151 COC Times : 0 DOC Times : 0 COCA Times : 0 DOCA Times : 0 SC Times : 0 Bat OV Times : 0 Bat HV Times : 0 Bat LV Times : 0 Bat UV Times : 0 Bat SLP Times : 0 Pwr OV Times : 0 Pwr HV Times : 0 Pwr LV Times : 0 Pwr UV Times : 0 Pwr SLP Times : 0 COT Times : 0 CUT Times : 0 DOT Times : 0 DUT Times : 0 CHT Times : 0 CLT Times : 0 DHT Times : 0 DLT Times : 0 Shut Times : 1 Reset Times : 14 RV Times : 0 Input OV Times : 0 SOH Times : 0 BMICERR Times : 0 CYCLE Times : 62 Pwr Percent : 95 Pwr Coulomb : 254001600 Dsg Cap : 4614627 [email protected] Cnt : 0 [email protected] Cnt : 0 HT Cnt : 0 LT Cnt : 0 LV Cnt : 0 LifeWarn Times : 0 LifeAlarm Times : 0 Command completed successfully Note the Cycle Times, this brick has 62 full cycles on it's meter. One full cycle is accounted whenever you discharge a full nominal capacity from the pack. Hope the above info will help someone to understand how to treat these batteries. Youda
  21. 7 points

    Yeah! my grid-tie is working properly

    Today in Cape Town it started misty but cleared up nicely. With @plonkster's help and after fixing a config problem on my inverter my "Grid-tie without feed-in" is working properly. This is where I used a python program on a Raspberry Pi to convert the measurements from my Carlo Gavazzi ET112 meter so it looks like the Eastron SDM630 that the inverter modbus card expects. I'll share this code sometime since the idea could be used to feed the modbus card data from anywhere - like EmonCMS for example. We had a high consumption day. My batteries also started the day quite empty and were fully charged about 16h30. Today the main consumers so far Geyser: 7.5Kwh Pool filter pump: 4.7kWh Stove: 3.7kWh "Essentials" (computer stuff, tv, lights): 6.3kWh About 8Kwh of "other" (Tumble dryer, Washing machine and dishwasher were all run too but don't have separate CTs for those) As of now in total: 15.9kWh drawn from the grid, 14.5 from the panels. You can see, we used everything the panels could do until 16:30: Yellow line is the nett flow at the grid connection Blue is what is coming out of (positive) or going into (negative) the batteries Red is the grid interface on the inverter - positive if power is flowing into the inverter, negative if flowing out Green is power taken from the PV panels Purple is power on the ac out of the inverter - the "essentials". The control of feed in worked well - 0.3kWh fed in in total. Flows on grid connection to CoCT looks like this: I guess I could offset the zero point a little to reduce the feed in. But 0.3 kW in a day is an average of only 12.5w. So since my meter doesn't trip off or anything I don't see its worth trying to change it. I'm starting to understand better how this all goes down in practice. Thank you SO much to everyone on Powerforum who has helped so much.
  22. 7 points
    Chris Hobson

    Lithium batteries

    I have been asked to start a lithium batteries thread. Unlike lead acid my lithium experience is limited to the last month which hardly qualifies me as someone to start something like this. I however do like information catalogued so that I can refer back to it easily so on that basis I plough ahead and hope this thread develops into a resource with many contributors. I will use lead acid batteries (LA) as a reference point and assume that folk are familiar with them. What is Lithium? It is the 3rd lightest element and those of you who were the chemistry teacher nemesis at school will know it is highly reactive in both water and air and is usually stored in a hydrocarbon solvent. It readily sheds its 3rd electron and therefore its highly reactive nature. Lithium ion batteries are all similar in that their cathodes have a matrix of some lithium containing compounds and the lithium ion since it is so small moves in and out of this matrix allowing charge and discharge of the cell. There are numerous flavours of lithium ion but I think in the solar industry lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) has the biggest potential. Lithium iron phosphate (often called lithium ferrous phosphate to prevent the lithium ion/lithium iron confusion) is more stable and therefore safer than the other lithium ion batteries, has a greater cycle life and greater heat tolerance. Since it is charged to 3.65V rather than the more common 4.2V it has a lower specific energy not a huge problem with our stationary modules. Thermal runaway with LiFePO4 only happens >250°C whereas other lithium ion variants this temperature is a lot lower. There is a LA versus Lithium debate and this post is not about continuing the debate but to understand the beast one must make comparison to what is familiar. LiFePO4 batteries are like an AGM or Gel battery in that they are not vented – there is no giving off of gas. LiFePo4 batteries have a high charge and discharge rate and do not require a long tapered absorb and float phase. The sudden drop in charging from 30A to <2A is a clear indicator that the batteries are fully charged. My batteries in fact discharge slightly to balance the cells. Like LA batteries in theory LiFePO4 batteries should last forever but in our imperfect world LiFePO4 suffer from a process akin to sulphation. The electrolyte of LiFePO4 batteries contains LiFePO4 dissolved in an organic solvent. This precipitates out as a Li2CO3 layer on the cathode, reducing the availability of the active LiFePO4. This process is irreversible and speed up at elevated temperatures (>50°C). There is a fair amount of R&D to slow down this process. Unlike sulphation this is a process triggered by charging and LiFePO4 do not suffer from storage partially discharged like LAs do from sulphation. LiFePO4 batteries achieve nearly all their charging at about 3.3V/cell and the jump in SOC is from roughly 30% at 3.2V/cell to 90% and over at 3.3V. Since LiFePO4 batteries do not suffer from sulphation and overcharging has a negative influence on battery life some manufacturers cheat and do not fully charge the batteries thereby extending battery life for a small loss of capacity, a sensible trade off in my opinion. The biggest advantage to me besides the longevity of LiFePO4 batteries is the ability to “grow” your battery bank as the need arises. With LAs there is a problem with combining batteries of differing ages into a single bank. With LiFePO4 due to the Battery Management System (BMS) modules of differing vintages can successfully accommodated within a single battery bank. Thus one can grow one’s bank as the need arises or finances allow. I hope @plonkster, @Coulomb, @weber, @PurePower and others will add to this and correct any errors in my post making it a useful resource.
  23. 7 points

    Axpert MPPT vs Victron MPPT

    Keep in mind that was done by me and I tried to be as impartial as possible. I asked @Chris Hobson just to verify that what I wrote was what I meant (Thanks Chris for the help) Also it should be noted that @The Terrible Triplett arranged through Victron SA for the SCC and we should give that man a Bells for his bravesness. Lastly the guys from SP Powerunits who was kind enough to give the SCC for testing. If you are in the Pretoria area it will be well worth your time to go by them. In the short time that I spoke with them I realised that there is still a massive amount if info that I don't know and I could have saved a fair amount of money have I took the time to chat to them beforehand. As for the report here is what I came up with: The System: My current setup consists of the following: · 12 x 260 w solar panels set in 3 panels per array · 8 x 6-GFM-170F batteries · Victron BMV 702 Battery Monitor · 1 Axpert 5000 VA – Firmware 72.80 Loaded · Victron 150/35 SCC (Test Unit) First Method: I have been testing the two SCC’s over a period days alternating between them to see how they perform under my day to day conditions. Now the consumption on a day to day basis does not stay consistent as this is a running household, but it does give you a reasonable idea as to the performance of the different SCCs. First is the Axpert on a normal day starting from a 89 % SOC By the end of the day the the battery monitor showed that the batteries was charged to 99 % and overall there was no real problems that I could see. Second was the Victron SCC also starting on 89 % SOC By the end of the day the the battery monitor showed again that the batteries was charged to 99 % and overall there was no apparent difference that I could see bet tween the two days. Second Method: I then decided to put the two SCCs next to each other and see how they would perform in exactly the same conditions. This meant that I would need to split the system in half having 6 panels on each SCC, and 4 batteries that was discharged to the same level. As my batteries do not get discharged very low at night I also decided to push them lower than what they have ever been discharged in order to give the SCC enough time charge. The batteries were discharged overnight to 70 % SOC and then the whole system was switched off, split and wired to the two SCC. As I only have one BMV I decided that I would not use it for any comparisons as it would only be able to measure the Axpert’s output. Both the Axpert and the Victron do report battery Volts solar Amps and solar Watts and these readings were compared. (As a side note when I tested the Victron SCC I did notice that there was a slight difference between the Victron SCC battery volt reading and that of the BMV so there would be some deviation between the two SCC’s , the Axpert’s readings were very close to the BMV) EmonCMS was used to log the data from the two SCC and there was no other load on the Axpert. First graph is the Panels watts outputs from the two SCC. Panel amp output Battery Volts Linear comparison between the Watt output of the two SCC’s Personal Notes on the tests : Apart from the one battery bank that took a bit more charge than the other I could not see any real apparent difference between the two SCC’s outputs. It was also noted that the Axpert’s data is not as refined as the Victron’s. The step pattern of the Axpert’s Amp feed indicates reporting of Amps in whole numbers oppose to Victron more accurate readings in decimals. There was also a small variation in voltage reported by the Axpert and this can either be ascribed to again the coarser scale of its voltage readings or an inability to perfectly maintain absorb or float. Since there is a small amount of variation in the Victron voltage feed and the Axpert Voltage line is nearly linear I suspect that the case is the former and the scale is too coarse to truly record the voltage. Occasionally it is rounded up or down resulting in peaks and troughs. In my opinion there is no real difference between the two SCC’s outputs as the data confirms it. Some Extra notes: Now there could be a host of other tests that one could do to compare the two SCC’s, but I attempted to run them in normal and side by side tests. The only thing that I would like to see is how they would compare under a cloudy day where the SCC would need to adjust as clouds passes over the system but then I would need to run the system in parallel over a time or hope that you time the weather perfectly and then split the system again. As this is a running household and not a test bench site it would be impractical to do so. One last comment, when you handle the Victron SCC you do feel that there is a big difference between the two units. The Victron feels solid and well built and I would say the Victron would be able to handle a lot more hammering than would the Axpert but considering the price tag I am not prepared to push either one of them but my money would definitely be on the Victron to be on top of that one . The Victron gives you a host of options so that you could configure your system to be as automated as possible but it comes at a price. The Axpert is more of an off grid “Inverter/UPS with a SCC” that does not give you many options so you would need to build your own setup to make it work fairly well within a grid system. In my case I have a remote triggered switch on the Axpert that will switch to grid under certain conditions and the family needs to be constantly aware as to what the system is currently doing before something is switched on or off. Where as if you have a Victron you could setup it up as a grid tie and then there would be no need for checking the system all the time. Also to consider is the future value of your property. If you have an Axpert, you have had to grow with the system and learnt as you went on. In my case I had to setup up all sorts of things to make the system work. Now if I would like to sell the system with the property will I be able to get a buyer that will be able to understand the system and will he be able to get every thing going again if the R-Pi were to fall over? If not the system would become a liability and not an asset. All in all money talks and the Axpert gives real good value for money as long as you know what you get and you are happy to live with it else consider saving a bit longer get your baseload lower and maybe consider getting a smaller Victron system. Best Regards Paul
  24. 7 points
    Chris Hobson

    Software based SOC

    Ever since I discovered that the Axpert has worthless state of charge(SOC) readings I have felt that with a bit of lateral thinking one could develop a reasonably accurate SOC from the battery amp readings that are readily available from the inverter. After all it does have an internal shunt and so should be able to give us some sense of SOC. I have been playing with data from Emoncms and this is the result. I include the feed from the BMV and the inverter's own SOC calculation for comparison. I am pleased with the result. The first thing I did was convert my battery bank Ah value into Ampseconds. I did this for two reasons: The handling of the data after this conversion was relatively simple Converting the Amp feed into Ah resulted in small numbers which of had a recurring decimal number which the computer would truncate and introduce errors. So I have upgraded (not really) and have a 936000As battery bank. It looks impressive but it is not really. If anyone is prepared to send me the data from their inverter I would like to test my ideas on more data - preferably from one 100% SOC peak through one or two charge cycles until a 100% SOC is achieved again. I would need inverter battery amps and BMV SOC for this period.
  25. 7 points

    Imeon 9.12

    Hi Guys, I have just completed the installation and just can't believe its done! Unfortunately it is already dark and I will thus only be able to switch on tomorrow morning. I can't wait and just had to share this with all you wonderful oaks out there. I have attached a few pictures to give you an idea of what I have done with the installation. I also have to thank everyone on the forum for all your assistance and support, all the good advice and just for being available at all times!!!! Without the forum I really don't think I would have been able to do it alone! THANKS GUYS !!!!!!!!
  26. 7 points

    Cost of 3kw installation

    From my side my rate used to be in the early days R350 per hour, but when you have to start running around collecting goods for clients and so on, it starts to cost you. my Vito does on average 8 to 12000km's per month as we work in a 150km radius from the office. We upped our hourly call out rate to R385 per hour and had no complaints SO our complete installs cost anything from R8k to R14k and even up to R45k and higher dependent on the size of installation and the difficulty to install - i believe it to be fair, as folks above mention you have to supply all to site etc. We also nowadays, if we supply everything charge around 10% markup, as i have always believed that our money making would be on the labour side of things as that is our field of experience What get me going sometimes is when a client purchases everything and asks you to install for R350 per hour, and it would take us maybe 4 hours.... sorry i run for the hills then. One also has to remember that the install is our responsibility for the next 12 months Also at most installs you always will find some or other issue with cabling / DB etc and we sort it at no charge before we sign off.
  27. 7 points


    Mockups of what will be on the main screen. Screen 1 Battery SOC (State Of Charge, %), Volts, Amps, Units in(Kwh), Units out(Kwh), Run time, estimated remaining time, Load (Kw) Solar panels Volts, Amps, Units in(Kwh), Load (Kw) Grid Volts, Units in(Kwh) House Load (Kw), Units used(Kwh) Screen 2 Total volts, State Of Charge, Temperature Inidividual battery voltages Individual battery State Of Charge Individual battery temperatures
  28. 7 points


    This isn't really a complete test, its just so i can make up my mind... which i cant. Janma summarized it quite nicely and ill add to the list: Positives: They are compact so it causes less clutter They are less likely to split open when pulled out of the socket and easier to grip The sockets are compatible with the 2 point plugs The holes in the socket is smaller so less likely for a small child to get their fingers into it. Very easy to wire, i mean really easy. It separates into 3 pieces and you can do the connection neatly then put it back together. you can flip the insert, so you can choose which way the cable goes. Negatives: Small contact area, 16A current rating is questionable Has some wiggle room, its better than a 2 point but its not solved. Poor quality plugs are going to suffer. Little room for cable inside, especially something rated at the plugs capacity, im thinking you will struggle badly to get a thick 3 core cabtyre in there. Insert is likely to pinch wires if you don't take care. Strain relief is poor, it works but again thicker gauge wires is an issue. it clicks into the casing and i think its going to break or just be left out by many people. also it pinches a bit because its so thin. screw hole pillar could pinch wires if you're not careful and it would have been nice to see a threaded insert as there is only one screw to it. Lastly, and to me probably the biggest failure is the small press fit cap to cover the screw on the side. To start: Its so tight i have to damage it to get it off, then as time goes by these will start to fall out, either dropping the plug too many times or quality of the plugs deteriorate. now maybe its swallowed by a kid, or worse the screw is through a carrying wire, yes its entirely possible here and easy. now you have mains exposed a few millimeters from your hand. kids could poke at mains with any small object. the cap should have been a plastic screw in cap! On to a little load test. i connected a heater and tumble dryer through one and through the multiplug drawing a little more than 16A for about 30 MIns. plugged out and took the pics Plug while in The Plug The socket the wall plug carrying the same current the wall Socket carrying the same current So for high current id still use the old plug, In a sense i really like these plugs and i want to use them because of space saving. I wouldn't go over about 8 A on them though, they handle 16 fine, granted a little hotter but i'm convinced in a while there will be cheaper crap everywhere and then it will be a different story. I think ill also glue in that screw cap after its been wired. but yea, not sure...... its not a safer plug than the old one imo, but that too had its issues. Oh and thanks very much Clint for recommending these Multi-plugs, they are no question better than most out there and at a very very decent price. Ill be replacing at least 4 of mine with these.
  29. 7 points
    I have been building a hot water circulation system onto my generators cooling system to circulate the hot cooling water through radiators in the house for winter heating. On cold cloudy days I run the generator for power, and a by product of the power is 150l of hot water in the coolant tank. Apparently for an engine about 1/3 goes to power generation, 1/3 goes to heating coolant and 1/3 goes out of the exhaust as heat. I am using a fridge thermostat to control the system which drives a geyser circulation pump. Once the coolant temp reaches 45 degrees, the pump switches on and runs until the water drops below 35 degrees. Yesterday I ran the generator for 3 hours, the coolant reached a maximum temp of 63 degrees and the hot water circulated in the radiators for another 3 hours after the generator was switched off. The generator produces about 2Kw at the inverter, so maybe 3kW at the crank so the engine was producing 9kWh over the period. 150l of water raised by about 40 degrees gives about 7kWh of water heating (1.16wh to heat one liter of water by one degree centigrade). So I have therefore almost doubled the energy efficiency by capturing the waste heat. The next step I suppose would be to try and capture some of the exhaust heat. New radiators cost at least R7k each, and I couldn't find any second hand ones, so I built them out of copper pipe. The first is a bit of a sculpture, using the form of a labyrinth, and the second a bit more conventional. I still need to finish the building and then apply some brasso, but you get the idea.
  30. 7 points

    A Thank You - Thread

    Guys (and maybe a girl or two), I need to say thank you to this forum and it's members... You have no idea how much I have learned in the last few weeks about solar that I wouldn't have found anywhere else, and I really appreciate your efforts and willingness to give out your hard earned (sometimes expensive) lessons to others. I don't normally participate in forums, other than a guest or background watcher, but you have made this fun and informative, and are saving a lot of people money. No matter the choice of kit, I have never watched/participated in another forum where this much information and knowledge is shared so freely, and "almost" without "mine is better than yours" attitude (there are a few side remarks, but they are in jest). I genuinely wish I had joined this forum before my install, there is an amazing amount to learn. Then the willingness of other members of this forum to give up their time (and a bit of kit), has also astounded me. It is not "normal" chat room/forum behaviour! And for that I thank you again. I am extremely thankful that I joined you, and hope that I can impart the knowledge that I have as well as you all have. So a general thank you again to all members/participants - I wish i had some of the Admins dosh to dish out to some members (even the quiet ones) who have gone an extra mile to help out someone that they don't know. Although all have been helpful, I need to mention at least one or 2: @Energy - This forum is brilliant and your willingness to listen to suggestions to improve is awesome @Camel - Seriously, this guy went out of his way (completely) to assist in sourcing equipment, and spending his own time, helping a fellow forum member @jdp, @Coulomb - And many others (just forgot all the nicknames for now) - Software tips/tricks. I couldn't have gotten anywhere without your shared knowledge and input to this forum. PS: With the amount of knowledge that guys like Coulomb have shared (in a forum that isn't even in his home country), I have to wonder if he has a day job! Where do people like that find the time? In general to all the software guys - Your friendliness and information sharing is awesome, and I hope you keep it up. We all spend many hours banging away at a keyboard to get something simple working, and give up that time by offering that knowledge gained, free of charge, to others. So just wanted to let you know that even the "Lurkers" appreciate it. Cheers all, have a great weekend... I have a Victron 702, fuses and breaker to install this weekend thanks to @Camel
  31. 7 points
    Some humor for the day
  32. 6 points

    Youda's off-grid LAB

    I'm really sorry @Luminous , but there's not much interesting to share. Just everyday's boring stuff. For example, I had to clearly label the bays in my space-shuttle landing dock, as some (female) family members were not able to clearly understand where they should (NOT) park: Based on the current situation in the world, I upgraded to the AirLock. You know, just in case something goes wrong: And yes, I bought another rack cabinet, so if I will accidentally become a billionaire one day, I will not have a problem with storing some additional lithium for my LAB:
  33. 6 points
    yes sure. this is the outside connection box at the firewood place where the PV panels are installed, with DC switch and overvoltage protection. In addition there is a 400V 3-phases vonnection (powered from inside house, not from the panels) for a wood splitter this is inside the house, the new Infinisolar E 5.5 kw inverter. Actual it's running just grid tied because the DIY battery isn't finished the battery will be made with 18650 lithium cells I get from defective ebike and laptop akkus (mostly ebike) most of the vendors of ebike akkus are using 18650 Li-Ion batteries inside, between 40 and 60 pieces after diassembling the akkupacks I test voltage, internal resistance and... ...and remaining capacity with some Liito kala Lii500 Engineer charger. Most of the ebike akkus I got have defective BMS electronics and the batteries are just finde with a remaining capacity between 80% and 99%. I write the capacity at the cells and ... ...now I have collected something about 3.000 or 4.000 Pieces, don't know exactly. Most of them are in the range between 2.500 and 3.500mAh actually I am sorting them by capacity in steps of 50mAh after this, I still have one test left, charging them up, waiting 4 weeks and after this testing the voltage. If voltage is down under 4,0V then the cell isn't good for use. The others can be used for the solar powerwall. I am planing a minimum of 10 KWh, better 15KWh in total. 14s240p which means 240 cells parallel per pack and then 14 identical packs in serial so I can use a toal of 48V. Normally you use only 13s for 48v but because I am using used batteries I will not stress them by charging them up to 4,2v each but a maximum of 4,0 or even 3,9 so they will last longer. To build 14 packs with 240 cells each will take lots of time and I have some other projects running so this will be something for autumn / winter. But I decided to start a smaller test-build with 14s40p out of the not-so-good laptop batteries with round about 2.100 - 2.200mAh If you have any questions please feel free to ask
  34. 6 points

    Lithium Battery Best Practice

    Most damaging is discharging a cell below 2.8V or charging a cell above 4.2V. That instantly destroys that cell. But your BMS will guard against that. Second is charging too hard at cold temperatures (below 1°C, but that depends on battery specs, even better to keep it above 5°C). Again, the BMS should guard against that. Third is running the batteries at high temperatures (due to hard charging/discharging). Most smart batteries will reduce charge/discharge power when they exceed 40°C. It also follows that it is better to store them in a room that remains under 40°C, for that same reason. This does not destroy them, but does cause them to degrade faster. Fourth, I would say, is discharging too deep. Below 10% SoC reduces cycle life significantly. Pylontech (and I suspect Dyness by extension) will stop discharge at 10% SOC in order to reach the advertised cycle life (6000?). Fifth, keeping the batteries fully charged all the time at a very high voltage. If you cycle the batteries daily, it is fine to charge them to 53.2V as the BMS requests. If you keep them permanently charged, 52.5V is better. Assuming a 15-series setup of course. Victron systems use a lower voltage for Pylontech already (but probably not for Dyness... I don't know what it does for that one). This is probably the least damaging factor and not one to worry about too much. But it does reduce the life a little bit, just like it does with all Lithium chemistries. Generally speaking (across all battery chemistries) slower discharge is better because it is more efficient. For lead acid batteries this is known as the Peukert effect. The harder they work, the more energy is lost in the process. BUT, with that said, Lithium batteries have almost no Peukert effect, to the extent that it is not even considered when designing. The calculated peukert constant is somewhere between 1 (ideal) and 1.05, whereas for lead acid batteries it's 1.1 to 1.2. That is to say, lithium batteries show almost no "fade" when you discharge them hard. However... they heat up. And they don't like to get too hot. For this reason there will be healthy limits to how hard you can hit them and for how long. Generally you can discharge at C/2 for long periods with no adverse effects, but it is definitely better to remain below C/2. The same applies to charging. You can charge at 1C or even 2C, but the battery gets hot and that can be detrimental, so generally stay below C/2. 80%. That's an opinion of course. Depends on how the battery does balancing. Most batteries does passive balancing at the top, so they have to be charged 100% regularly. At least twice a month, preferably weekly. If the battery has active balancing and can also balance in the middle/bottom (this is rare... it is not easy to do, and only really works at low power levels or when the battery is idle), then it should not matter if you leave it at low levels for long periods of time. I know very few batteries that have active balancers. The only one I've seen in person was the Discover AES (which is a very expensive battery). Finally... don't go outside the warranty parameters
  35. 6 points
    NOTE TO ALL We have now established that BOTH of the firmware updates that were provided to me by Growatt in China ARE required to get the BMS comms working correctly between the Growatt SPF5000 inverter and Pylontech batteries. The two firmware updates they sent me are for two different things inside the inverter (Thanks to @Coulombfor taking a look at the firmware and confirming this): The ARM chip. The DSP. Feedback from @Coulomb: "So there are two firmwares in there, a TMS320F2809 (same DSP as most Axperts), and an ARM chip (Axpert Kings have one of these in the removable display)." The firmware pack that I am providing to people who PM me asking for help contains both of those firmware updates, and they are both necessary to sort out all the BMS issues properly. If you don't have both of those firmware updates installed, one of the symptoms is that BMS comms will appear to be working and there will be no errors BUT the SOC level will be stuck at 100% and the batteries will never get charged, which means that if you have solar connected it will never kick in and be used to charge your batteries. And we have also confirmed that the firmware resolves the issues for a single standalone inverter and more than one inverter connected in parallel.
  36. 6 points
    Jaco de Jongh

    Go-Solar Expanding its Boundaries!!

    Firstly, to all the members that has been supporting me, a very big thanks, you all played a role in helping me realize that I should follow my dreams. I have resigned from my day job and decided to rather use that energy to build my business. From January I will be traveling, doing installations all over the country as they come up. My first installation is already booked in the Free State with some work in PTA and Tzaneen to follow shortly after. I am busy quoting in Hermanus, as well as Other parts of the Western Cape. This move brings along some challenges: I would spend a lot more time on sites and a lot less time in front of my PC, so I might not respond to requests and questions as quick as i used to. Traveling also might create some delays in response, so please be patient I will try and get back to everybody the same day as the request. Normally after 7 PM. My time spend on the forum has already decreased and it might even more so in the future, I will at least check in once a day and try to answer any questions and or PM's. As a suggestion, If you need to get hold of me urgently, Please contact me on 0713413280 either via SMS or Whatsapp.
  37. 6 points

    Please help with inverter settings?

    Don’t you guys think that Coulomb needs a lot of praise for his hard work on this forum? I noticed that almost every time someone asks for advice, settings on their Axpert (what is it that everyone has an Axpert? ), some unusual problem to solve, some strange fault code or any other question... Coulomb will generally be the first to answer it. And he doesn’t just give a roundabout answer, he gives a thorough breakdown of every setting needed to make our lives easier. I don’t know what he does for a living, but it seems to me like he sits in front of his computer all day long, just waiting for some newbie to ask a question about a problem they encountered. Then within minutes the full description of how to solve that problem, is given to them on a silver platter.. (or in my case on a grey iPad ) I would like to personally thank him for helping many of us solve our solar glitches.
  38. 6 points
    2-years ago, I started the lengthy process of going completely OFF-GRID on my residential water supply at my home in StHelena Bay, on the West Coast of the Western Cape. The property is situated +-150-200m from the beach. I was able to find water at approximately 8m. SALTWATER INTRUSION, gives me a salt content of around 1300ppm, which fluctuates slightly with tidal movement. I'm running a normal 0,75kw well-point pump, supplying the raw water to my treatment equipment in the garage. The raw water is fed through pressure control and safety valves, through a 3-stage filterset, UV sterilizer into the Primary storage vessel. From TANK 1, it gravity feeds a high pressure pump, driving 2 REVERSE OSMOSIS filters. The permiate is collected in 2 more storage vessels, and the brine waste returned to borehole. A DAB EASIBOX supplies the pressure to the house.
  39. 6 points

    Youda's off-grid LAB

    Hi guys, so, if you want to check the status of your Pylontech Phantom-S, US2000 or US3000, there's a great diagnostic tool for this called BatteryView. *DISCLAIMER: *Please note that with the information written below, you can effectively destroy your batteries, or invalidate your warranty. *Do what you like, but I take no responsibility for your actions and results. First, you have to create a Serial Console cable, as no such cable comes in the box with the batteries. Here's the wiring: Plug the RJ-11 connector of the cable into the CONSOLE PORT of the TOP BRICK of you battery stack. Just to be sure, the top brick is the one that have LinkPort0 EMPTY. Next, plug the cable into your laptop's serial port, or USB2Serial adapter. Launch the app and choose the serial port name according to your's laptop configuration. IE COM1, COM2, COM6... Baudrate is 115200. If you have more Pylon bricks stacked, then check the "Parallel" box and select the number of bricks that you have in a single stack. Click OK to connect to the BMS. If you did everything correctly, the app will scan all the bricks and will show you the operational parameters, like cell voltages, current, temperature, SoC... There's a couple more charts available under the "Windows" menu, like Voltage/Amps curve, etc. Be carefull, as this tool is used also for updating firmware. So, don't screw up your battery... For the experts, there's even a possibility to open a CLI, where you can query much more detailed info. You can SET the values, test the circuits, perform shutdown, etc. This CLI is so powerfull, that it's actually scary. Well, if you're not a certified Pylontech expert, don't touch it, please! ATTACHMENT: BatteryView.zip
  40. 6 points
    My colleague Weber and I have been working on a new version of the patched firmware. It's still based on 72.70. since that's the latest firmware that we have files for. For various reasons, he's been doing the majority of the work on this patch. It's been an amazing job: some 5 weeks of work, over 60 individual patches, and there is a complete new charge control mode called dynamic current limit control. The latter is complex enough that it has its own manual. For users with lead acid batteries, the dynamic current limit probably won't be of much interest, but for users of paralleled systems there is a bug fix that should improve charging. There is a quicker transition from line (utility, bypass) mode to battery mode, but I'm not happy with that part of things yet, and I am still investigating. But transitions are under a minute now, and it seems to me that they were much slower than that in both standard firmware and patched firmware before now. Finally, it's no longer necessary to update the SCC firmware, which was always a bit more of a hassle for users than the DSP firmware. It's beta software, so please try it if you're keen. But if you're cautious or not very confident about changing firmware, hold back for the "production" release, which will be called 72.70c, and will hopefully only be a week or so away. Details are on this AEVA page: http://forums.aeva.asn.au/viewtopic.php?p=65938 . [ Edit: It's now released. See the release post instead. ] [ Edit: removed the word "Beta" from the start of the topic title. ]
  41. 6 points

    Kw & KV question?

    Layman's terms? Okay, I will give it a shot. I think I'll number my thoughts. First, I assume that you remember high school physics and that P = VI, that is watts = volts multiplied by amps. For DC, this remains exactly the same. For AC, things are not that straight forward. The voltage is not constant, it cycles between -325V and +325V 50 times a second. Without getting into the math so much, as long as this is a sine wave, then the average value (or the RMS value) is at 0.707 of the peak, which works out around 230V. So that is how we get that value. Now, if the load is a simple load without any funny characteristics, something like a kettle, then the current will also be a sine wave. Because I=V/R, and R is more or less constant for such a load, the current draws a sine wave that looks exactly like the one for the voltage. When the voltage goes up, so does the current. If you show the two waveforms next to each other, they will exactly line up, their peaks will be in the same place, and they will cross the zero line in the same place. We say that the voltage and current is exactly in phase. Referring to point 2, this sine wave for the current will also have an RMS/average value that is 0.707 of the peak. For such simple loads as in point 3, you can multiply the RMS voltage with the RMS current, and you will get the real power. No funny business. VA, as you might have guessed, is the RMS voltage multiplied by the RMS current. For the simple load in point 3, the VA will exactly equal the power. We say that the real power (W) and the apparent power (VA) is the same. We also say that this kind of load has a unity power factor. However... not all loads are such simple loads. And this is where things go a bit squivy. Imagine a game where you and a friend are throwing a ball at each other. The ball goes back and forth (much like the voltage on an AC system). Each time you catch the ball, it takes some energy to stop the ball and reverse its momentum before you can throw it back. For a ping-pong ball this will be negligible. For a bowling ball it won't be. When reversing the direction of the light ball, the energy you exert with your muscles will more or less be in phase with the movement of the ball. When reversing the direction of the heavy ball, the energy you exert around the turning point is hugely out of phase with the movement of the ball. It is the same with some loads on an AC system. The current and voltage waveforms stop lining up. Their peaks don't line up, and their zero-crossings don't line up. When this happens, you can no longer multiply the RMS voltage with the RMS current to get power. What you have to do is pick 100 (or however many you want) points on each chart, take the voltage at THAT point and multiply it by the current at THAT point, and then add all these little results together. To get more accurate, you use more sample points, ideally infinitely many. More perceptive readers may recognise that this is Calculus, it is integration. If the voltage and current waveforms are still perfect sine waves that are merely out of phase, then we can present the relationship between W and VA as follows: P = V * I * cos(theta), where V and I are the RMS values referred to earlier. Theta is a greek letter that represents the "phase angle", essentially how far apart the waveforms are shifted. Because the maximum value a cosine will yield is 1, it means P is always strictly less or equal to VI (in other words, W is equal or less than VA). Because V is constant (230VRMS), this necessarily means that higher VA values correspond to higher average current (we will use this result later). cos(theta) is also called the power factor, so sometimes you might simply say that "this has a power factor of 0.5" instead of saying "the phase angle is 60 degrees", because the former is easier to work with. To make matters even worse, the current waveform isn't always a perfect sine wave. We call these non-linear loads. There is no point in discussing them here, so you may relay :-) Okay, now we get to the second half of the explanation, which will hopefully be a bit less unwieldy. Modern inverters consist of two stages. First there is a boost stage, that takes your 48VDC and boosts it to 325VDC (usually a bit higher). If you paid attention, you recognise that voltage from the prior discussion. Secondly there is an inverter/final stage that neatly carves out a sine wave out of the 325VDC to make 230VAC RMS. Now, the boost stage doesn't care about the apparent power. It's DC so it is the same thing. The average current is just the current. For the final stage, however, has to care about the average current, because the components (transistors, IGBTs, FETs) are rated for their current capabilities. The boost stage works hard in an inverter. This is usually the more stressed part, makes the most heat, and uses the most expensive switching components. The final stage doesn't work as hard, so it is easier to design one that is a bit oversized without incurring additional costs. If you are still here, you know where this is going. As an inverter designer you design the boost stage for the real power, and the final stage for the apparent power. Because it is easy and cheap to oversize the latter, this is usually done. This means many inverters can handle the higher peaks of loads that have a lower power factor as long as their real power is within the capacity of the boost stage. As it goes with these things, marketing wants to print the higher number on the brochure. So they will rather market it as a 5kva than a 4kw. What they don't tell you, is that if you use loads with a really poor power factor, that 5kva inverter might only be good for 2kw. To be fair though, most induction motors are not far off a power factor of 0.8. So this design choice is not completely without merit.
  42. 6 points

    12v LED'S

    I am always thinks of ways to save power. Then it dawned on me my gate motor have a 1 amp charger, charging the battery 24/7. So I came up with this idea, 12v LED on a 12v day night switch on to the gate battery, added few more around the fence, then put a few in a ball. As you can see wife was playing too.
  43. 6 points

    Teaser screenshots

    2 more... from my Win XP PC @ home; the look is a bit different to other OSs.
  44. 6 points


    Some progress... excuse the blurryness, the LEDs tend to flood the camera sensor so I used some tracing paper as a diffuser.
  45. 6 points

    Wind Turbines

    the unit is pushing 30amps at 1.7kw since early morning...... lovely day for a walk on the beach.....not
  46. 6 points

    Axpert 5kva

    The skipping over happens in the inverter. It doesn't go into and out of the battery at all; the Victron saying zero current into/out of the battery is not lying. There isn't even much clever happening in the inverter to make this happen, it's basically Kirchoff's law (currents into a node must sum to zero). Well ok, the clever part is the solar controller supplying just enough current to balance the load. After that, nothing flows to the battery automatically (in accordance with Kirchoff's law). If you like, the battery is in parallel with the solar charger output and the inverter's DC input; it isn't actually or nationally in series between these elements.
  47. 6 points

    Imeon 3.6 Failures

    They are 40 cells, 1,2 V nominal (thus a 48V bank) and are 300 Ah, Nickel-Iron (Edison's Ni-Fe type). The make is Changhong made in China under Varta (German) specs I believe. I had to get a one day key from the Imeon supplier to change the charging voltage somewhat. (After that, if you want to use the key again, just change the date back to the date you received the key!) Advantage is that you can charge them even without a charge controller with no harm. Furthermore, 300 Ah means just that, unlike the lead-acid ratings which must be halved and then you have 5 to 8 years.... Ni-Fe cells have disadvantages such as higher self discharge rate, but not serious. You can leave them in a fully discharged state indefinitely, charge them again and away you go! They are bulky for their capacity, but hey, they are stationary, so if you have space, no sweat! The life expectancy can be such that it will outlive me (There are still Edison cells in operation today, after 85 years,if google is right).
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