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pranam

Noob + New Installation + Problems!

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Hey everyone! I've been a voyeur here for about 2 years but finally managed to get something done at my flat and I'd just like to thank everyone for being so helpful and open in sharing their knowledge and experiences!

 

I've installed the following:

Goodwe 5048-ES

8 x 390 watt Canadian Solar panels

6kwh of Pylontech lithiums (2.5+3.5) - and potentially another 3.5 next week.

Solar geyser

 

I have pretty decent sun and the system is generating about 15kwh a day. Even yesterday was decent with 13kwh considering all the cloud cover.

 

I do have one issue though which I can't figure out. As one does, I've been really punishing the system to test out what can/can't be done. So I've basically had Eskom turned off whenever I'm home. During the first few days I was able to use my kettle, microwave, oven, hairdryer, washing machine (on a hot wash), tumble dryer. All of this was run at night with Eskom off. I was pretty happy with everything as the biggest load according to the SEMS portal was about 2600 watts. I'm not sure what the peak load was as the app only tracks every 5 minutes. The last 2 days everything has stopped working though :( I tried using my kettle and the power tripped. I used my oven and the power tripped. I've spoken to the installer who is going to come back to test the system but I don't understand why it would just change. The other issue is that it's unpredictable now. So kettle on yesterday and it trips, kettle on today and it's fine. Luckily, during all my tests, I've had Eskom to enable me to restart the system but I'm not sure what to do if it trips when Eskom is off.

 

My theory is that the batteries are only pumping out 62 amps max and I need another battery to meet the surge load. The extra battery would give a max amps of 99 or 4.7kw which matches the inverter nicely. I'm really hoping it's not the inverter that's now unable to support the loads. I still don't understand why it worked so perfectly initially and now it's not. Pretty much the only change I made between the working days to not working days was allowing my excess PV to go back into the grid. I'm not sure if this is overworking the inverter during the day or anything so then it struggles with surge loads but I am tempted to put the inverter back into idle mode to see what happens.

 

Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated

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15 minutes ago, DeepBass9 said:

So you can mix different sizes of Pylontech batteries? That's good to know.

I did not know that either.

I'm sure i read on their spec sheets that you cant (straight out the box), i believe you need the hub in order to do it. 

I'm checking this thread. Maybe I misunderstood

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49 minutes ago, pranam said:

kettle, microwave, oven, hairdryer, washing machine (on a hot wash), tumble dryer.

Hmmm, maybe you over did it a bit and the batteries are not fully charged? The instruction in my house is that all of the appliances on that list can only be used when the sun is shining!

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11 minutes ago, DeepBass9 said:

Hmmm, maybe you over did it a bit and the batteries are not fully charged? The instruction in my house is that all of the appliances on that list can only be used when the sun is shining!

So the apps say the battery is 100% charged? I don't think it's ever been under 70% when I tried to use the appliances. Is it possible that the batteries say 100% charged and are not charged? 

 

22 minutes ago, stoic said:

I did not know that either.

I'm sure i read on their spec sheets that you cant (straight out the box), i believe you need the hub in order to do it. 

I'm checking this thread. Maybe I misunderstood

I'm probably going to have to talk to the installer about this. 

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You must differentiate between the Goodwe shutting off and the Pylontechs shutting off.

The batteries shut down when it is down to one red light - it runs independently from the inverter. The Pylontech bms manages itself.

Batteries are too expensive, in my view, to use to power all the appliances in a house.

I’ve downgraded my kettle to a smaller one drawing less current. And high amp appliances are off the inverter db side.

Rather rate appliances by the current they consume. A clamp meter is a good buy to measure this. Starting amps is usually more.

Have you split your db between high and low amp sides? Much has been posted about this topic. Just do a search on the forum.

My 4 kw inverter can push 16 amps before going above 100%

Edited by Johandup

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Thanks for all the replies and advice everyone.

 

Managed to figure out that it was my fridge which caused the issues. Coincidentally, my fridge started up the exact same time I caused the trips. Now I just make sure I don't open the fridge just before a kettle/oven use and it's great :)

 

Weirdly, I have to keep my eskom mains off all the time. I don't really have an issue with this but my inverter hates using the batteries when there's grid power. I've tried all the modes the on-grid and off-grid modes and, even though my battery is fully charged, I end up buying power. Goodwe support and the installer can't figure out why it does this  😕 

 

Does anyone have any ideas why this would happen?

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On 2019/10/27 at 5:43 AM, Johandup said:

You must differentiate between the Goodwe shutting off and the Pylontechs shutting off.

The batteries shut down when it is down to one red light - it runs independently from the inverter. The Pylontech bms manages itself.

Batteries are too expensive, in my view, to use to power all the appliances in a house.

I’ve downgraded my kettle to a smaller one drawing less current. And high amp appliances are off the inverter db side.

Rather rate appliances by the current they consume. A clamp meter is a good buy to measure this. Starting amps is usually more.

Have you split your db between high and low amp sides? Much has been posted about this topic. Just do a search on the forum.

My 4 kw inverter can push 16 amps before going above 100%

Start up current can be up to 7X more than running. Keep that in mind

Edited by Warlok
spelling mistake

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Thanks for all the replies and advice everyone.

 

Managed to figure out that it was my fridge which caused the issues. Coincidentally, my fridge started up the exact same time I caused the trips. Now I just make sure I don't open the fridge just before a kettle/oven use and it's great :)

 

Weirdly, I have to keep my eskom mains off all the time. I don't really have an issue with this but my inverter hates using the batteries when there's grid power. I've tried all the modes the on-grid and off-grid modes and, even though my battery is fully charged, I end up buying power. Goodwe support and the installer can't figure out why it does this  

 

Does anyone have any ideas why this would happen?

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On 2019/10/27 at 12:43 AM, Johandup said:

... And high amp appliances are off the inverter db side.
 

That is what the installation manual recommends, but the solution that works for me is another.
I consider it essential to have ALL the loads connected on the BACK UP side of the Power Inverter, by simple ECONOMY, because I have not yet approved my system to Inject the surplus PV produced to the GRID.
The PV Power produced in excess, without consuming, is lost.
For my current daily consumption of approximately 27-32 kWh / day a summer day (about 24 KWH / winter day), instant base consumption 600 to 900 watts of vital elements.
In summer I can have 2 of the 3 air conditioners at home On without problems, during the hours of greatest solar irradiation, taking very little energy from the GRID.
Since Goodwe has a good reserve of excess power for instant starting, I have not had shutdown problems due to overload.
However, as in the case of GRID POWER CUT if there would be problems since it would be too much charge for the batteries, I found the solution by making 2 separate Power Lines.
 A High Consumption for Microwave, washing machine, dryer, Air Conditioner, Laser printer, etc. and another for all Vital Requirements but always DOWN of the BACK UP OUTPUT. With a Contactor that allows the CUT of the High consumption line when the external power of the public GRID is cut, leaving the
 battery power just to keep all the rest of the house's vital circuits.
Because I use lead acid batteries, with another contactor I avoid a discharge too deep and harmful to the Batteries.
The complete circuit that I use can be found here:


https://powerforum.co.za/topic/1452-electrical-schematic-contactors-and-bmv702-relay/

 

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On 2019/11/26 at 8:21 PM, Cef said:

... because I have not yet approved my system to Inject the surplus PV produced to the GRID.
The PV Power produced in excess, without consuming, is lost.

I'm confused on why you took this route and not used Goodwe built-in grid export limiting using EZmeter packaged with inverter... Maybe I'm missing something. 

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On 2019/11/21 at 7:57 AM, veerwal123 said:

Weirdly, I have to keep my eskom mains off all the time. I don't really have an issue with this but my inverter hates using the batteries when there's grid power. I've tried all the modes the on-grid and off-grid modes and, even though my battery is fully charged, I end up buying power. Goodwe support and the installer can't figure out why it does this  

I'm interested to read this. I have the exact same problem since a recent firmware upgrade. It used to work just fine, but since the upgrade I have to turn the grid off to use the battery.

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On 2019/11/26 at 8:21 PM, Cef said:

That is what the installation manual recommends, but the solution that works for me is another.
I consider it essential to have ALL the loads connected on the BACK UP side of the Power Inverter, by simple ECONOMY, because I have not yet approved my system to Inject the surplus PV produced to the GRID.

The potential problem there is that the load exceeds what your inverter can put out. I have the goodwe mentioned in the OP. It can put out a steady 20A. That's 4.6 KW. Sounds like a lot, but if our heat pump and pool pump kick in at the same then we're half way there already (2.4 kw) and then if the tumble drier gets turned on then it will try to service around 6 KW and will do that for only a few seconds before it trips. OK... so don't use the tumble drier. With the two pumps running, an iron and a kettle could put me over the limit.

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9 hours ago, Bobster said:

The potential problem there is that the load exceeds what your inverter can put out. I have the goodwe mentioned in the OP. It can put out a steady 20A. That's 4.6 KW. Sounds like a lot, but if our heat pump and pool pump kick in at the same then we're half way there already (2.4 kw) and then if the tumble drier gets turned on then it will try to service around 6 KW and will do that for only a few seconds before it trips. OK... so don't use the tumble drier. With the two pumps running, an iron and a kettle could put me over the limit.

Good point
We go through parts like Jack the Ripper said 😉

I tell you my experiences about it for 3 years and with this, my 3rd power inverter.

It has not been my intention to invent the wheel or discuss with the Goodwe Engineers or any other about the safest or most convenient way to connect a Power Inverter.
I use a solution "On the border line" since I know what I am doing and also of the possible potential inconvenience, and work for me.

After a very detailed study of the simultaneous consumption in my house I decided this type of connection because the worst thing that could happen was an overload and shutdown of the Power Inverter, which translates into a few minutes without electricity, until the situation of that exceptional consumption is normalized.

The experience in all this time has been 4 (four) overload events, 3 (three) with my previous nominal 5.5 KVA inverter and 1 (one) with this in 3 years.
Every power inverter is prepared to handle error situations due to overload and shutdown as long as these are not frequent, since the damage can be irreversible.
In all the events there was simultaneity of high consumption higher than what the power inverters could handle Instantaneously.
If your base consumption is between 600 to 1000 watts, an electric iron, a microwave, a 2000 watt vacuum will cause a shutdown fail ! Of course.
The solutions that worked for me are:

1) Family Education. It may be awkward at first, but it's simple. There are not too many VERY high consumption devices in a home.
The trick is simply to tell the family to find out if there are several of these on at once.
Household devices with the highest consumption are usually used just day when the solar use is the greatest.

2) After the first 3 events with the 5.5K inverter, the development of a computer system that senses every 2 seconds different parameters, including the Load Current and by setting a logical condition: If Amper> = 19  and Time > 5 seconds, I act on a Relay of a Relay Board connected to the system which in turn acts on a CONTACTOR (other than the one I show in the scheme to protect the Back Up Batteries) that cuts the Power of the High Consumption Line, only.

The only event I had with the Goodwe was due to another problem. I have an old Air Conditioner of 4500 Fridges (approx. 1980 watts). By a fault of the same one, when igniting it of day the starting current surpassed the 27 Amper! And this I detected by the software I use and feel every 1 second the electrical parameters.

My profit is reflected in the Energy Invoice that I pay at the end of the month.

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On 2019/12/17 at 1:38 PM, langou said:

I'm confused on why you took this route and not used Goodwe built-in grid export limiting using EZmeter packaged with inverter... Maybe I'm missing something. 

Hi. Sorry, I just see your question. I cannot export energy because even in my Province: Neuquen, they do not regulate the National Law of Distributed Generation, therefore they have not approved my system and cannot install a bi-directional current meter.

Regards !

 

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11 hours ago, Cef said:

It has not been my intention to invent the wheel or discuss with the Goodwe Engineers or any other about the safest or most convenient way to connect a Power Inverter.
I use a solution "On the border line" since I know what I am doing and also of the possible potential inconvenience, and work for me.

After a very detailed study of the simultaneous consumption in my house I decided this type of connection because the worst thing that could happen was an overload and shutdown of the Power Inverter, which translates into a few minutes without electricity, until the situation of that exceptional consumption is normalized.

Lol. You have the advantage over me - knowing what you are doing and some technical competence.

As things stand right now I am considering moving my whole home onto backup - at least until I get my system working properly. The one potential problem is that nobody will notice when there's an outage. They don't at present until they try to turn the washing machine on. With everything on backup then we are into the situation you describe where a bit of education becomes necessary. I'd have to turn various things on and off to see what power is used (the guest geyser is 3400 w, so already close to running into trouble).

As regards the exceptional consumption. Yes, the system will restart, but will all the offending devices not kick back in again and immediately start overloading the system?

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On 2019/12/17 at 6:38 PM, langou said:

I'm confused on why you took this route and not used Goodwe built-in grid export limiting using EZmeter packaged with inverter... Maybe I'm missing something. 

Because in some areas it is just not an attractive proposition. I can export in Johannesburg. IF I pay for the installation of the necessary meter and if I sign up for their resellers tariff which pays about 40c per kw/h and has flat fees of about R600 each month. I would struggle to pay the fees, forget about the meter. It's just not worth my time.

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6 hours ago, Bobster said:

As regards the exceptional consumption. Yes, the system will restart, but will all the offending devices not kick back in again and immediately start overloading the system?

No man !

When the people who are in your home have been moderately educated, if an exceptional situation occurs, before the power cut I assure you with more than 95% certainty, that the situation that produced it will be immediately removed! Before the System reboots itself, leaving only the devices with the highest automatic consumption of your home connected, por example, + Base consumption + Laser Printer connected (if available) + Refrigerator motors / freezer.

All SHUTDOWN Events that you can have in a household with an average monthly consumption of approx. 700 kWh will be produced by the MANUAL ignition of two or more high-consumption appliances simultaneously added at the same time to a high automatic consumption (eg Garden Irrigation Pump, Heat Pump, etc.) + Base Consumption.

Example, turn on the vacuum when the microwave was already on and at that time you did not know that the Garden Irrigation Pump was already working automatically.

Upon detecting the power outage and before the inverter restarts, your wife will disconnect the vacuum.

But OK. I recognize that I have help for all this in an automated way through a complex Computer System for handling User-defined Events that help me to predict / notify and act through Relays and contactors. Also historical LOGS that allow me to evaluate what went wrong.

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On 2019/12/19 at 8:00 AM, Bobster said:

Because in some areas it is just not an attractive proposition. I can export in Johannesburg. IF I pay for the installation of the necessary meter and if I sign up for their resellers tariff which pays about 40c per kw/h and has flat fees of about R600 each month. I would struggle to pay the fees, forget about the meter. It's just not worth my time.

Still confused.... I have a number installations running with GoodWe's and the purpose of the EZ Meter is to prevent feedback i.e. it senses imminent feedback to grid, communicates to the GoodWe and the system throttles back to prevent feedback. The result is maximum use of own solar without a) risking overload by having too much on backup and b) battery running flat because no one noticed power is down. No feedback, no new meter, no problem! If mains fail, system detects and disconnects from grid as per regulation and only supplies on backup.

@Cef  also relevant to your setup.

Only problem in rare cases where municipal meter is very sensitive (only know of 2 models that does this) and trips out when feedback takes place for short period when system not fast enough in adjusting. Meter usually resets within few seconds depending on duration and severity of feedback.

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On 2019/12/18 at 5:30 AM, Bobster said:

I'm interested to read this. I have the exact same problem since a recent firmware upgrade. It used to work just fine, but since the upgrade I have to turn the grid off to use the battery.

Also @veerwal123  In PV Master App under Basic Setting the Work Mode should be General Mode. Then under Advanced Setting: Switch on SOC Protect and set Discharge depth to 20% or whatever % you want battery to discharge to when grid available to aid self-consumption during times when grid available - will only charge from solar. Set the next value down (can't remember setting name and not on PV Master docs I have access to at moment) to max discharge when grid not available, say 80%.

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8 hours ago, langou said:

Still confused.... I have a number installations running with GoodWe's and the purpose of the EZ Meter is to prevent feedback i.e. it senses imminent feedback to grid, communicates to the GoodWe and the system throttles back to prevent feedback. The result is maximum use of own solar without a) risking overload by having too much on backup and b) battery running flat because no one noticed power is down. No feedback, no new meter, no problem! If mains fail, system detects and disconnects from grid as per regulation and only supplies on backup.

@Cef  also relevant to your setup.

Only problem in rare cases where municipal meter is very sensitive (only know of 2 models that does this) and trips out when feedback takes place for short period when system not fast enough in adjusting. Meter usually resets within few seconds depending on duration and severity of feedback.

What I'm saying is that in Johannesburg it's not worth one's while (certainly not worth mine) to register as a domestic reseller unless you have a LOT of excess power. For me it is just not worth it to sell my surplus back to the municipality. The monthly costs I would pay for being a licensed reseller exceed what I could get from selling back to them.

What my system does try to do is zero the meter each day. EG I use 0.7 kw/h from the gridd during the day, it tries to send 0.7 kw/h back.

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On 2019/12/19 at 7:57 AM, Bobster said:

As things stand right now I am considering moving my whole home onto backup - at least until I get my system working properly. The one potential problem is that nobody will notice when there's an outage. They don't at present until they try to turn the washing machine on. With everything on backup then we are into the situation you describe where a bit of education becomes necessary. I'd have to turn various things on and off to see what power is used (the guest geyser is 3400 w, so already close to running into trouble).

As regards the exceptional consumption. Yes, the system will restart, but will all the offending devices not kick back in again and immediately start overloading the system?

Don't you have a grid-tie system? i.e. that when your PV panels can't deliver the power required it will draw from the grid to prevent a trip??

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On 2020/04/20 at 3:14 PM, Richard Mackay said:

Don't you have a grid-tie system? i.e. that when your PV panels can't deliver the power required it will draw from the grid to prevent a trip??

I have a hybrid system. It blends pv, battery and grid.

At the time i made that post I had a problem with the "non-essential" circuits and was contemplating making everything essential at least in the short term. I may have got away with it on clear days. 

But the system is running reliably and correctly now. 

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The limitation is with the inverter , I usually installl digital timers for things like pumps for my clients, that is the borehole only runs between for exams 9am and 12 pm to fill up the tank , at those times another timer will not allow the pool pump to be on at the same, mutually exclusive timers 

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