Jump to content

New offgrider with questions pls..


Recommended Posts

Hey guys. 

It's been a life dream for me to be powered by the sun... 

Finally got my A into G and setup my system.. Expecting my first kid to arrive anytime soon so no time like now... 

At the moment I have a single axpert 5kva and 4 X 100 ah raylight flooded bat's along with 6 panels. 

Works like a charm. Runs my whole house. Although I need some advise please. 

1. Without blowing the bank, what battery bank should I aim at? 

2. Prog 1 - I want to be most aggressive against using utility. So I presume SOL. Problem is, when the sun goes down, the system almost hunts and the lights tend to quick flash when's its trying to use solar and/or batteries. Any idea? 

3. Is there a list of ideal or best system settings to optimism or minimalise as the case my be, ultility usage? 

4. The system runs my whole house hold. I have gas geyser and gas stove top. While running on utility and only on AC, when the system is overloaded running elec oven, heating etc, the axpert eventually trips - pulling 7-8kw..I then have to use the manual bypass to keep everything going. Is there not a setting to do this automatically? 

5. Can you have the beeping off for button pushing but have the alarms on? Ie when the power fails...

6. I gather the lights flicker when eksdom trips and the invertor runs off batteries? If you miss it and carry on as per normal, you risk running flat without knowing you actually running off DC. Basically is there any way to be notified? 

7. Is there a Bluetooth module that I can install to use my phone to see what's happening with the system? 

Will send a pic of my installation when I can.. 

Im sure there are many questions to come but will appreciate any help. 

Thanks 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Petum 

Let me be the first to welcome you to the forum.. 

I am only going to answer one of your questions, 

30 minutes ago, Petum said:

I gather the lights flicker when eksdom trips and the invertor runs off batteries?

The lights flicker when the inverter switches between PV and grid for example. Every Changeover will be seen as a flicker. 

The settings part I will leave to the local Axpert Expert , @Chris Hobson . He is running similar units and knows the settings well. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Petum said:

4 X 100 ah raylight flooded bat's

This bank will be happiest below 1KW.

1 hour ago, Petum said:

1. Without blowing the bank, what battery bank should I aim at? 

Remember the old Rolls Royce joke about having to ask the price?

Lithium Iron Phosphate has reduced significantly in price and is now similar in price to lead acid banks for a similar capacity (usually at slightly deeper discharge levels). If you're going to save up for something, save up for a nice Pylontech rack. Your 4 x 100Ah bank stores 2.4kwh at a 50% DoD, if you aim for 2 x Pylontech racks you can extend that to around 4kwh for around 30k.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Petum said:

Still not sure if I'm going to add lightning protection to the panels... 

Hey Petum!

Like your install man! Beer helps! :)

Do you need lightning protection for the PV's? I did some proper earthing and linked it to my main earth. 

What do the other power users recommend?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Petum said:

Excuse the celebratory beer... 

Reminds me of the day I have such prematurely (it was a hot day in my defense) ... and promptly burned out a panels connection box. 

I like the use of a ventilation tile to pass wires through!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, plonkster said:

Not quite as well ventilated as your old setup, but close!

Who said it was the "old" setup? :D

Ventilation is important, no? 

Still wrangling with the Sparky ... new setup is a wee bit heavy ... but I do have a plan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

hi there.

after experiencing a major failure - error 09 .. i made the big decision to get a new unit.

my thoughts are if im successful in getting anyone to fix the stuffed unit, i can put them in parallel.

anyway...

i still have my 4 x fld 100ah batts as per original setup...  and my little kiddo is well and kicking and the wife wants backup power for beeps and bobs... so more as a ups than a power saver for now... but whatever you think is best. i have 6 x panels.

im currently running the unit on utility mode as im too scared that the same error will occur with the incorrect settings.

could my batteries not have been the reason for error 09??

please give me your advise on settings:

01 - awaiting advise

02 - 30 A - (this is where i guess error 09 ??? but no idea)

03 - APL

04 - SDS

05 - FLD

06 - LTD

07 - ETD?

09 - 50HZ

11 - 30A

12 - 46V

13 - 54V

16 - SNU

18 - OFF

19 - ESP

20 - ON

22 - ON

23 - BYD

25 - FDS

26 - 58.4V

27 - 54V

28 - PAL

29 - 42V

30 - ONE

31 - SBE

32  - AGt

33 - EdS

34 - 58.4

35 - 60

36 - 120

37 - 3OD

38 - d15

39 - AdS

EXCUSE THE WRONG CODES ETC,,,,

thanks soo much

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Petum

Your should be charging your lead acid batteries at about 10-13% of their Amp hour rating so you have a 100Ah bank therefore you should be charging at 10A. Gel and AGMs can handle higher charging currents but you have flooded batteries. 10A  is a good starting place. I think your 30 A is too high.(program 2 and 11).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Chris.

 

Besides that, everything OK?

 

 

My setup... Excuse the celebratory beer... 

Including my 12v system for garden lights that runs independently. 

Still not sure if I'm going to add lightning protection to the panels... 

 

IMG-20180909-WA0018.thumb.jpg.534acfedccc7f14efd38f3a576f20e64.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Petum said:

Thanks Chris.

 

Besides that, everything OK?

 

 

My setup... Excuse the celebratory beer... 

Including my 12v system for garden lights that runs independently. 

Still not sure if I'm going to add lightning protection to the panels... 

 

IMG-20180909-WA0018.thumb.jpg.534acfedccc7f14efd38f3a576f20e64.jpg

The fifth battery?

The box on the right is designed to under your Axpert so that it is virtually plug and play.

The two cables running to your batteries do not need to be the same length.

I don't like what looks like a separate SCC nestled under wiring.

Cabling should be within conduit - not sure how to achieve that through the air brick  perhaps chisel one or two segments out.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The fifth battery is for my 12V system and the SCC for couple garden lights etc. (runs totally separate from the axpert system)

I will get round to the hardware and hiding all the wires correctly. I still need to earth the panels.

but most importantly, i need to know if the settings for the voltages is correct. namely:

12 - 46V 

13 - 54V

26 - 58.4V

34 - 58.4

thanks again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

Cabling should be within conduit - not sure how to achieve that through the air brick  perhaps chisel one or two segments out.

I recently invested in a nice Makita hammer drill, and some SDS+ bits. My only regret is that I didn't do this years ago. If I just think of the many hours working with an impact drill. Just put a nice 22mm hole through the middle of the brick and put in some proper conduit.

Of course it helps that prices came down quite a bit. Bosch makes a nice entry-level SDS+ drill that you can buy for under 2k on Takealot now. I got the Makita for 2k.

The other thing I got was this pipe/electrical detector. This thing is more accurate than some more expensive alternatives I've used. I got this one more for plumbing work (Western Cape, big drought... you know :-) ).

Perhaps a bit off topic, but having good tools is just so satisfying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Chris Hobson said:

... now you just need to go cordless. Man it makes life easy. Come to a off-grid place and you need to do an install - but there is no power yet because they waiting for you.

If it was my day job (or even just a regular thing), I'd do it in a heartbeat! The guys who fitted some cupboards recently had a cordless Makita hammer drill, so I can attest to the utility thereof.

The thing(s) that finally tipped me towards this was that I had to install blinds, and then I killed two drill bits and ran out of time (had to board a plane to Europe the next day), and I had to pay someone to finish the job. That was strike 1. Then some health mishaps in the family (two old people with replaced joints hanging around) made the bucket-filling nature of the toilets in this house  (due to aforementioned drought) a big problem, and suddenly I yet again needed to drill through a wall to put a pipe in.

I finally got tired of all this nonsense and bought the tool!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone please explain with the settings above as I select solar first, even in the evening, the system starts using my batteries rather than just using ac until it fails?

 

I just want it to use much solar as possible and not use batteries until ac fails 

 

IMy setup... Excuse the celebratory beer... 

Including my 12v system for garden lights that runs independently. 

Still not sure if I'm going to add lightning protection to the panels... 

 

IMG-20180909-WA0018.thumb.jpg.534acfedccc7f14efd38f3a576f20e64.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Pete, Hope I am not standing on anyone's toes but I have blown 5  or maybe 6 Axpert inverters in the last 2 months . The installation was done by a reputable installer who was pulling his hair out trying to find a reason. It turned out that the manufacturers of the inverters had installed a sub-standard capacitor? or whatever which was causing the problem. i would suggest that you check out this route before you just buy another inverter.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Chris Buckley said:

Hi Pete, Hope I am not standing on anyone's toes but I have blown 5  or maybe 6 Axpert inverters in the last 2 months . The installation was done by a reputable installer who was pulling his hair out trying to find a reason. It turned out that the manufacturers of the inverters had installed a sub-standard capacitor? or whatever which was causing the problem. i would suggest that you check out this route before you just buy another inverter.

 

No toes to stand on but mine Chris! I didnt have the luxury of time to choose as my wife and the baby need power... I actually got it at ACDC who can give me a year warranty on account.

so far so good... but i havnt pushed the unit yet... mostly running on Utility for now... I have tested the unit and it easily handles the load of my house.

Still cant understand why when i select Solar in the evening, the unit starts using the battery?  I just want it to use much solar as possible during the day and not use batteries until ac fails...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2018/11/23 at 3:24 PM, Herman said:

Excuse the newbie question, but why, except it being neat, or that regulations require it?

Regulations require it. Surfix cable get around this requirement because it is "mineral insulated metal sheathed conductor" - and for the same reason it does not need to be stranded but can be a solid conductor. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...