Author Topic: Solar build  (Read 7548 times)

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Offline Wolvenar

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Solar build
« on: February 23, 2012, 10:32:42 pm »
This Jorunal will document my build as I go along


Today I ordered (3) 240watt panels
Too bad my budget was limited,
I had planned 6 but recent events caused us to use some of the funds we reserved for this project.

Now I really had problems when deciding to order this odd number.
It leaves me with a problem with the output voltage.
I cannot parallel two  of a series of two. (~60v)
In a series of three (~90v)
I have to change what I planned as a controller as once you add in the voltage hike that a cold Minnesota winter can cause.. 
I could wind up going over the controllers max voltage.

Those Midnight 250's are looking better all the time

Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
Just to abuse what I make. (and run this site)

Offline ChrisOlson

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 07:16:26 am »
I got four of those 30 volt panels on a Classic 150
--
Chris

Offline Wolvenar

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 09:22:50 am »
 As part of my upgrades to get ready for the PV, I was moving my inverter and battery bank to the new attached garage.

All was going as expected, until I got to the very rear most bank of 4.

None of my connections had corrosion.... but one.. And of course I did not get images of that.
Worse, it was so bad it had completely disconnected that bank, and its been this way for at least 4 months through the worst of Minnesota winter.

The batteries appear to have frozen, they are bulging, and the one has a post raised.. Not good.
I tested voltages, and the surprising part was that they had anyhting, let alone all within about .02v of each other.
Bad part was, they only had ~5.96v

So they were topped off with distilled water, and individually connected to a 6v charger.
Each would draw approx 12 amps individually, so I banked them in 2x series and parallel to charge at 12v overnight.
Today sometime I will setup the charger to equalize and see how things go after that.
They are 9 years old now I guess, so it could be worse. I got them less than a month after they were shipped from the manufacturer.

Sorry for te poor images, this is the best I could get at night in a snow storm




 
Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
Just to abuse what I make. (and run this site)

Offline Wolvenar

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 06:50:13 pm »
Well I don't know how I lucked out on this one, but the batteries are alive and seem to preform surprisingly well
 after that top off and equalizing charge.
After almost 14 hours after the charge, I put a short draw on them to be sure there is no residual surface charge.
Outcomes

Battery    Voltage       
1             6.45 (not sure why this is so high compared to the rest)         
2             6.34
3             6.33
4             6.33


I hooked up the inverter with 3 300 watt halogens on it and let it run for 30 min
and the battery voltages didn't change all that much .. down about .15 volt pretty evenly across them all.
Specific gravity of each cell were all in agreement...
.
Not bad for such old and recently neglected batteries I guess, really got lucky I think.
Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
Just to abuse what I make. (and run this site)

Offline Wolvenar

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2012, 02:31:20 pm »
Finaly got them   ;D





Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
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Offline Watt

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2012, 03:04:45 pm »
Sweet  8)
CEO of this Dis-Organization....

Offline ghurd

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2012, 07:34:59 pm »

Offline Norm

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2012, 08:00:42 pm »
Yes they are neat....have fun!
Norm.

Offline kensue49

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2012, 08:20:40 pm »
I wish they were mine.:-)

Offline Wolvenar

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 12:12:18 pm »
More charge controller pics


Inside
Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
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Offline Wolvenar

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2012, 11:30:01 am »
Are there any problems with making a temp wood solid mount system for these pv panels.
It would only be used until I have enough metal scrounged up to build something more proper?

I'm itching to get them set up.
Trying to make power from alternative energy any which way I can.
Just to abuse what I make. (and run this site)

Offline birdhouse

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2012, 11:41:48 am »
i say go for it!  if it's only temporary, i wouldn't even use PT wood.  with standard uncoated hem/fir studs it would still probably last 3+ years if built well. 

stop the itch, and get some amps flowing!

adam

Offline oztules

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2012, 06:17:44 pm »
I found nothing wrong with fixed timber.... and some steel to keep the wind away.

I believe you clamp them rather than bolt them, to allow the timber to flex a bit without distorting the panels.

Mine is rock solid.... but still I used clamping steels for the fixing to the frame.



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................oztules


edit  and it's one and a half time bigger now.... with no more power bills. The cost of power went up over here last month to 25c/kwh flat rate no off peak etc..... last bill was nil
Flinders Island...... Australia

Offline philb

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2012, 10:06:14 pm »
HI Oztules,
Could go into further details about the panel mount system you have?
Thanks!

Offline oztules

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Re: Solar build
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2012, 04:52:36 am »
I'll try to remember to take a pic tomorrow for you.
It's just a heap of 4x4 posts nailed together with 4x2's... nothing exciting.
Some treated pine on the front top and bottom to timber screw the bent steel clamps ( replace with S/steel or Al when i find some over here), old iron around the sides. Very rigid and tackles the massive winds over here without a problem... it's rock solid.

I would dearly like to have built Rossw style racks, but I don't trust the wind here. The design of this sheds the wind, and the panels see very very little of it.

Cheaper to build more panels than build a weather proof rack. (fixed vs tracking).


..............oztules
Flinders Island...... Australia