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Can i use Hanergy thin film panels and any brands ploy christalline panels togather with Infini plus inverter


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Dear members, I have installed Hanergy thin film panels with Infini plus 3kva inverter at my home. Each panel is 105-115 watts and volts are 85-90. Each panel current is 1.54 Amp. I have connected 4 panels in series on a single stand and then total 7 stands are connected parallel means 28 solar panels total. There are cracks on 4 panels installed at different stands which i think causing resistance during flow of current and i am getting hardly 1700 watts pv input out of 3080 watts capacity. I want to remove the panels having cracks and thinking to add few poly christalline panels which may have different current and volts i.e 12 volt/24 volt and 10 amp etc. Kindly advise that is it possible to connect two different types of products with infini plus 3kva inverter.  2ndly what could be the contribution of cracked / broken panels... Any contribution or creating resistance...? 

Regards,

Zeeshan 

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I personally won't mix thin film and polycrystaline. Voltage differences, different behaviour in different light levels, and the danger of destroying a cell if you reverse-bias it with a high voltage. Rather build new strings from the remaining panels, then put your poly panels on a separate string. I'm not speaking from experience here, this is just my gut feeling.

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9 hours ago, Chris Hobson said:

Hi Zeeshan

Welcome to the forum

You can mix and match panels so long as their Voc and Isc do not differ by more than 10%. The easiest would to put the new panels on a separate SCC.

 

Dera Chris, 

Thanks for the guidance. Sure i will add a different string for poly christalline panels. Presently my each string wherein there are 4 thin film panels has the following specs;4*90v = 360 volts

I = 1.54 Amp

Infini supports upto 450 Voc.

In this case kindly elaborate what would be the specs of a seperate poly christalline string. 

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49 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

The separate string would have to go on a separate SCC. Specs of the string to match the specs of the SCC. The panels are too different to have them in the same array.

If i am not wrong SCC means solar charge controller...? 

Means will have to use a seperate charge controller... Single inverter will not support to different types... 

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2 hours ago, Zeeshan Hayder said:

If i am not wrong SCC means solar charge controller...? 

Means will have to use a seperate charge controller... Single inverter will not support to different types... 

Yes SCC = solar charge controller.

For a detailed explanation why you should not mix panel look at the link below

http://solarpanelsvenue.com/mixing-solar-panels/

 

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48 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

Yes SCC = solar charge controller.

For a detailed explanation why you should not mix panel look at the link below

http://solarpanelsvenue.com/mixing-solar-panels/

 

Dear Chris, 

Thank you very much for the clarification and sharing the article which is very useful and helped a lot for decision making. Your valuable input is highly appreciated.

Regards, 

Zeeshan 

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5 hours ago, Zeeshan Hayder said:

Infini supports upto 450 Voc.

Hang on... this probably means no boost stage, so the PV comes in and is chopped directly into AC (like a grid-tied unit would do), with the battery charged possibly by running the the boost stage in reverse like some of Voltronic's other devices :-). So I'm unsure how you're going to tie another MPPT into this. With some of the other devices, those that have a boost stage and can take input power on the DC side, you simply put in another MPPT (aka SCC) and send the power off to the battery, but I'm not sure such sneakery will work here.

Am I missing something? Can the high-voltage Infini's be configured to handle power injected on the DC bus, like the Infini-V, the Axpert and the Victron Multi?

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On 2017/06/25 at 0:24 PM, Zeeshan Hayder said:

There are cracks on 4 panels

Hi Zeeshan,

The best way forward for you by far would be to replace the 4 cracked panels with matching equipment, or if not possible then to remove the 4 damaged panels and re-arrange your array to 6 strings - to try and add poly-christaline panels into your existing thin film array will be like picking your way through a mine-field wearing snow shoes.

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3 hours ago, plonkster said:

Am I missing something? Can the high-voltage Infini's be configured to handle power injected on the DC bus, like the Infini-V, the Axpert and the Victron Multi?

Surely in a 2 MPPT situation you could make the Infini SCC the senior SCC and the independant SCC the junior SCC with its settings 0.2V lower than the Infini settings. If you find that the two SCC voltmeters are in agreement with each other one could have them set to the same parameters. In the US offgrid situation multiple SCCs are common usually the same manufacturer so that they communicate with each other but chaps do mix and match and even have MPPTs and PWMs charging the same battery bank.. If one was to connect a Victron for instance using the  PV and battery connection and no connection to load I cannot see how one could damage the other.

 

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I see the video but my mother told me to never trust a redhead:D

I would be happy to parallel to simple SCC that are just charging batteries, but when you are working with sophisticated equipment where you are setting voltages for cut-off, back to grid, absorption, equalize, float etc and there is another SCC screwing with the voltages at the same time then my head starts to spin - not saying it cant be done but I wouldn't know where to start discussing it and not sure that the result would be acceptable (also not sure it wouldn't!)

 

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1 hour ago, Chris Hobson said:

mix and match and even have MPPTs and PWMs charging the same battery bank

I need to describe an analogous system first. Consider for a second if you combined a GTI (say, an SMA Sunnyboy) with an Axpert. The Axpert is configured as a UPS, it permanently floats the batteries and is in bypass mode all the time, while the PV is mixed in with grid power and passes right through. Think of this picture... step 1 :-)

Step 2: There's two kinds of GTI, those with a boost stage (for example, Fronius Galvo) and those without a boost stage. Those without a Boost stage takes an input voltage above 350VDC and make AC directly from that, while those with a boost stage will step the voltage up from some lower level first (ie, change 48VDC into 350VDC) and then apply the same final AC-making stage.

Now... the Infini he's talking about has such a GTI+backup-inverter+charger combined into one multi-function hybrid device, no boost stage. The PV is coming in on the AC side in other words, and the battery is charged by a charger, rather than the other way round.

You can still make it work, but instead of using a parallel MPPT, you'll need a parallel GTI :-)

Best option is to replace the panels. Should cost the least.

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2 minutes ago, pilotfish said:

I see the video but my mother told me to never trust a redhead:D

Somehow having a woman present a solar video just does not do it for me. I presume the companies do it as eye-candy and it just hacks me off. There is nothing wrong with women being involved in solar and besides brute force issues (which should be kept to a minimum) there is nothing a guy can do that a girl can't. Yet the pool of women involved in solar is fairly small. The pool of videos of girls presenting solar products for companies is considerably larger. I am probably going to be nailed as sexist so be it.

 

11 minutes ago, pilotfish said:

I would be happy to parallel to simple SCC that are just charging batteries, but when you are working with sophisticated equipment where you are setting voltages for cut-off, back to grid, absorption, equalize, float etc and there is another SCC screwing with the voltages at the same time then my head starts to spin - not saying it cant be done but I wouldn't know where to start discussing it and not sure that the result would be acceptable (also not sure it wouldn't!)

 If the Infini is going to go back to grid/solar at a certain battery voltage. That voltage will be influence by the SCCs. If the one SCC is trying to float and the other is still in absorb I still cannot see major trouble. If the two SCC voltmeters are both accurate - nirvana. 

Here is the topology of the Infini. By adding another SCC powered by a separate array the only thing in common would be the positive and negative nodes of the battery bank.

5951245cf3b9e_Screenshot(122).thumb.png.50f8b22620492df77869107d640ca04e.png

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Ok, it looks as if it does have a boost stage :-) Maybe the maximum 450V limit is because its MPPT is in fact a boost converter, and if you go as high as 450V it simply becomes a pass-thru :-)

I still have my reservations. Nothing prevents you from using a "parallel" MPPT and charging the battery directly, but unless the inverter allows you to inject power on the low-voltage DC-bus like that, those PV panels isn't going to do anything other than maybe help float the batteries. Unless the inverter knows there's an additional charging source, the power won't be used.

I don't know this inverter THAT well, but I would expect that the Discharge/Charger block will be sitting there acting like a charger, while the surplus PV coming in on the left pass through towards the right, through the wisselrigter/wecheslrichter stage (Afrikaans and German terms, why doesn't English have a decent descriptive word for this?). For this to work, the inverter has to pass power up from the battery side. I'm sure it is capable of that... can you configure it to do so?

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3 hours ago, Chris Hobson said:

Why?

Because this is my reference frame :-) It works as long as the information from that MPPT is communicated to the inverter. I'm not saying it cannot be done, I'm asking if it can. The Infini in question is essentially the same setup as the one below with the PV inverter on the AC OUTPUT... well almost, the PV is connected on the high voltage DC side. What were suggesting here is adding another string on the low-voltage DC side. Maybe it works... I don't know. I just know a lot of work went into making it work for the multi.

hub4_pv-out_mppt_schema.thumb.png.6c6f25c7bd65a9c21b9cb05893691c08.png

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The Multiplus has a built in charger so in that respect it is a lot like an Infini.

Early morning both MPPTs will want to charge the batteries. Since there is no communication the one MPPT is "unaware" of the existence of the other. The only frame of reference would be battery voltage which both MPPTs are monitoring.

At this stage there would be two scenarios:

  1. Both chargers are trying to charge at at their respective CC rates. Battery voltage is below bulk and both are feeding into the positive battery node. Kirchoff's current law tells us that the current flowing out of this node will equal its inputs (Jip the law is not stated that way but that is the basic gist of it). This is shown to be true in the video above. The independent SCC has not reached bulk voltage nor has the Infini's charge reached bulk voltage. 
  2. A more likely scenario is that the Infini charger will be drawing current due to load and the independent charger will be charging. Depending on current flow there will be a bulk flow to the Infini both the independent SCC and the battery contributing or the SCC alone contributing and due to the rise in voltage at that node a little battery charging.

Later scenario 1 will dominate until we hit bulk voltage.

If the two SCC are calibrated the same then Nirvana the two can continue in unison. If not we will get the independent SCC to play second fiddle to the Infini SCC by setting its parameters 0.1 or 0.2 V below that of the Infini. Is the independent SCC not going to shut down? No I don't think so. In @PaulF007 SCC test the Victron gaily carries on through absorb even though there is a little variation in voltage which it ignores.

The same with float.

The only time the independent SCC could be injecting power to the DC bus is if the Infini was drawing power via the charger whilst in discharge mode - what you would want at that moment in time.

The independent SCC is acting as both a voltage and current source and in many respects is acting as an extra battery string whose voltage is miraculously always higher than the parent battery string.

Why was it so hard then for Victron? I guess that they were not happy for the internal charger to be limited to ½ of the battery bank's charge capacity hence the need for communication. 

I will be away for a couple of days - so not ideal but I will try and follow the thread.

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3 hours ago, Chris Hobson said:

A more likely scenario is that the Infini charger will be drawing current due to load and the independent charger will be charging

If it can be configured to do this, then it will work. In other words, if it is possible to set up some kind of program where the batteries are discharged to offset load at times, and then recharged again, then this will work... well, might work. Because some of the charge current bypasses the inverter, it cannot keep proper SoC. That is assuming the Infini does keep proper SoC, which I think it does (unlike its little cousin).

But if the Infini is set to keep the batteries charged (ie it never discharges the battery, essentially operating like a GTI), then the second MPPT will sit there helping to float the battery, and the only thing the inverter will notice is "my my... this battery needs really little current to float today...".

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