Author Topic: off grid in germany  (Read 1177 times)

binkino

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off grid in germany
« on: April 24, 2016, 08:19:26 PM »
so now I think it is time to show you my system.

Have done it allmost finish.

You can find all pictures on my web site:
http://a68k.de/pv/
and the final system here: http://www.a68k.de/pv/umbau.htm

My site is in German, so i try to give you some notes here in english to it:



The system was build in May 2014 from a company, I cannot recommend them.
Later they gone bankrupt and changed their name a little bit, but everything else keept the same
(CEO, website, tax number, and so on... just in progress at my lawyer and the justice...)


They build 12 modules on my flat roof with each 240Wp and 60cells.
The modules were connected as pairs and then parallel.
The charger was unknown, also the inverter - some china crap.
As the voltages of the modules did not match the system voltage (48V) and unknown chargers and much bungling (you see it in the pictures) the system never run well. But I had to find out....

The switching from inverter to grid and back was a stupid thing, about 1 second without energy ...
3 times my OS was corrupt, one harddisk is gone to heaven. Thanks again.

Also, the inverter was very mysterious and dangerous, the voltage floated without any potential and "surges" (not the right word...mh...)
And it was impossible to watch analogue TV or listen to a radio station (all via cable into the house) and in my CB I heard the sparks of the inverter...
Also lights were flickering (energy safe lie bulbs)

After a long fight with emails and calls, they tested a filter. But this did not help (wondering?)
Then again after a long time, they changed the inverter. Since then I had a big ugly hole in the cover of this ugly system for the Westech inverter.
Now I had no more problems with tv/radio/cb, the Westech itself switches from battery to grid.

But more problems knocked my door.

I realized, that the system less and less gives me the energy back as it has to be. This was related to the new inverter (its energy consum) and a dying battery, I measured out then.
(No Balancer had been installed)
They killed the batteries by uncharged them down to 20% (right, you read right!!!) That's a death-judgment for batteries. Then I knew this, also thanks to the photovoltaikforum.com, where this company and the mens behind the scene are well known... now I know it better, but will not change the past.

I wanted the company to change the charger, or give me more informations about them. Also reference to the dependence of the PV voltage and the system voltage, that can not work. They send me the same chargers and then I never heard again from them.
After my lawyer was involved and wrote them a nice letter, they gone bankrupt.

So I was standing alone with this "thing" ...
In the photovoltaikforum.com I had some advice and the recommending to the Classic.  I ordered in CZ and began to re-build the system - Step by step from now...
You see it in the pictures.

Then more and more scary things came to the surface. Loose connections of the PV cables, just close to burn down the house ... Also the battery cables, used a 50qmm connector and a 25qmm cable ... wooooo..... I get goose bumps when I think back.

After installing the Classic it was like changing black to white. I also reconnected the modules by 4 in a string to get higher voltage.
Now I had much much more energy - although it now turned out that a second battery was dying.
I had to buy quick new batteries but ... no donkey with golden eggs in the basement... what to do ... leaving this in the basement unused? no.
Buy cheap and get cheap. I know. In this situation, it was better then have nothing...

So one thing came to the next step ...



Meanwhile I installed a 4th array of modules on the flat roof.
Compensate bad weather (get more energy) but now as summer is comming, I connected it to the 2nd classic.

Life was good to me and I am very grateful for this deal!
The lite was replaced by a non-lite, and the lite now charges, connected to the 4th string, the two survived 200Ah batteries.
Here I connected the APC 1400 RM XL and if the 48V is "empty" it switches back to the APC and then if these batteries are empty, it switches back to grid.
Just using existing equipment, without spendung more money in the system.
It is working, not perfect as the network card in the APC is crazy sometimes and the APC is turning off, although the batteries do have enough energy...
Will find out why.



Did I write, that I bought cheap batteries? ... the first of the new AGMs lost its capacity.
So these batteries are not really heavy - what is 60 kilos ... mh... they don't care.
But they replaced it.
Next battery died. So I took all them to the dealer, let him check them all.
Battery was replaced, all Batteries back to the basement, and "restart"
Now the last replaced battery died again. (what a ....) but no more warranty.
They told me some stupid stories ... all lies ... they sell batteries and I have more knowledge about batteries...
But after a very very hard negotiation I get one for half price - and they see me never again. (also car garages who bought batteries there)
And now I had to find out, the next batterie will die soon.

I am not alone, another member of the forum also has these "great" batteries; also one is dead.
If he is happy with his new battery system, it is possible to get his old batteries and I safe my money now for a bigger and better battery bank in the next year.


A picture of the system with infos in english in attachment.
(not final wiring, but a good overview)


Now the final is a looking like a pinball table, doesn't it? hehe ;)



As allways, please excuse my english skills -  it is not my native language.
Most is written I know it, some parts are translated via google - but I am sure you understand it :)




PS: You see my old AVM FritzBox 7270 v3 router as a wifi-bridge to my AVM clable 6360 in my living room with internet connection.
- The perforated metal is from a store that closed.
- The "case" of the system is a heavy duty shelf from the hardware store.
- The wood is impregnated against fire (just in case, will not really help, but for the belief... ony day I replace it to Bakelit or like that)
- The loose socket will be mounted in the front (see the 6 Amp. fuse switch)
- Also the cables to the Classics will get a fastening and protection




Please feel free to comment it. Also if something is wrong or you don't understand.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 08:24:37 PM by binkino »
PV-OUTPUT: http://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?id=38617
Classic Lite 200 + Classic 200 + Westech Combi 3000 + 3x4x240Wp + 1x4x255Wp + 575 AH EPzS
http://a68k.de:81/Solar/Monitor_LC.php

Westbranch

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Re: off grid in germany
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 09:02:23 PM »
Good Humour BinKino....  David Byrne would appreciate that.... Burning Down the House...  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVv94T5LF0c

 :) ;)
KID FW1811 560W >C&D 24V 900Ah AGM
CL150 29032 V.2126-NW2097-GP2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3Px4s 140W > 24V 900Ah AGM,
2 Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr, NetGr DS104Hub Hughes 1100 Sat. Modem
Cotek ST1500 Inv  want a 24V  ROSIE Inverter
OmniCharge3024  Eu1/2/3000iGens
West Chilcotin 1680+W to come

russ_drinkwater

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Re: off grid in germany
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 04:24:59 AM »
Mate, I am really sorry for your grief!
It sucks when someone rips you off! I have had a lot of it over the years and has cost me best part of 1.5 million dollars australian!
I built my system from bits and pieces I sourced off ebay and other places.
Could not afford to have some professional wanker supply and do the work for me.
it will take time but I am sure you will sort your system out to get it functioning better/closer to what you require or expect.
I have a small standalone system which I use to run 3/4 of my house during the day and switch back to grid tie at night time.
Read the power meters the other day and did some calculations on grid tie feedin tarrif etc and I think I have picked up an extra $300 a quarter by using my standalone during the day as well as the grid tie systems!
It does not sound like much money, but over 12 months it amount to $1,200, which is half of another 4 trojan L16 batteries!
I can not post pictures of my system on the forum as it is pretty crappy compared to what most people have here.
But it is mine, yes I put it together, it may not be the best, but it works and saves me money and allows me to further save more money every year!
It is all about learning, experience and being being better for all exposures.
I hope you have better luck as you sort yours out!
Good luck!
Auf Wiedersehen
Hoffnung Dinge besser!
Lol, my family came from poland and then fled germany in 1908!
Standalone. 20 Hyundai x 220 watts panels, 2 x classic 150's, Latronics 24 volt 3kw inverter, Whiz bang Jnr, 12 Rolls surrete  4KS 25P  batteries and WBJ.
Grid tie feed-in, 12.5 kw in 3 arrays generating 50 kws per day average. Solar river grid tie inverters

ClassicCrazy

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Re: off grid in germany
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 09:25:45 AM »
Interesting design installing controller and breakers horizontal on shelves like that instead of vertical on a wall. I never thought of that. I suppose if there are no cooling issues it is okay and certainly a space saver in some ways.  Was that shelf design your idea or the original installers ?

Larry
system one
Classic 150 , 5s4p  Kyocera 135watt , 12s Soneil 2v 540amp lead crystal for 24v pack , Outback 3524 inverter
system two
Classic 150 ,5s 135 watt Kyocero , 16s Calb 100AH LiFePO4 , Outback VFX 3648 inverter
system three
Midnite KID MPPT 24 DC in to  12 volt AGM batterie

TomW

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Re: off grid in germany
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 12:34:44 PM »
binkino;

Your English is much much better than my German, so no worries.

Personally, I only speak English and Bad English. :o
Do NOT mistake me for any kind of "expert".

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


24 Trina 310 watt modules, SMA SunnyBoy 7.7 KW Grid Tie inverter.

I thought that they were angels, but much to my surprise, We climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies

binkino

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Re: off grid in germany
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 01:48:14 PM »
Thank you all ;)


After these experiences I had this phrase of the song in my head and in my head and in my head and ...... We call it a "earwig" ... :D

(have smoke detectors installed hehe)


The installation in the blue shelf was my idea, after I saw no more chance because they gone bankrupt, so I had to decide what to do :)

To put everything again in the top of all was a good thing, to be able to build it clear and correct.
(underlining 'correct' ... correct dimensioned cables and connectors, no loose wires and plastic as a screw nut where much energy flows ... and so on hehe)

The horizontal installed Classic was temporary in the beginning. I also had a small computer fan in there, that supported an air flow

PV-OUTPUT: http://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?id=38617
Classic Lite 200 + Classic 200 + Westech Combi 3000 + 3x4x240Wp + 1x4x255Wp + 575 AH EPzS
http://a68k.de:81/Solar/Monitor_LC.php

binkino

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Re: off grid in germany
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2017, 09:04:20 PM »
Just an update ;)

As I am now throwing out these crap of AGM batteries, I bought some used OPZ and had to rearrange my system in the basement, as the OPZ don't fit under the "table" I build.

That's the result in attached picture (can't insert the attached picture here?)
Isn't it beauty? :D

Bought a sheet of metal with holes, normally for storage tools. But it is 1,5mm (0,06 inch?) thick, not that cheap thin crap.
Also bought 4 rubber parts with screws, so the vibrations of the inverter should not be transmitted by the wall.
Then, recycled the grey metal with the Classics and mounted the fuses and so on on it.
Mounted the heavy inverter in the lower part of the "tool metal sheet" (that's again, where my English skills ends ... sorry!)

I bought used batteries, let them send the batteries to a guy who is repairing forklifts, he was checking the batteries, they are all good, he said.
He has a lot work, but we hope he can will bring them next week to me and we will see....

The batteries are from ATEC but the company doesn't reply to my emails. I was asking for datasheet of the batteries.
but they will sure have the same values like other batteries (5 EPZS 575 Ah)

Also I have to build something, that collects the gas of the batteries, if they charge or equalize, so we don't "burn down the house" haha
I am thinking about a cover with pipes on it, and a vacuum pump that blows the collected air to outside the house.
But I want to add a "electrolyte circulation" - they say, that is better. I believe that. Don't have to equalize the batteries that much.

So ... let's see how this journey ends :D
PV-OUTPUT: http://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?id=38617
Classic Lite 200 + Classic 200 + Westech Combi 3000 + 3x4x240Wp + 1x4x255Wp + 575 AH EPzS
http://a68k.de:81/Solar/Monitor_LC.php

ClassicCrazy

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Re: off grid in germany
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2017, 11:54:49 PM »
I think you can just do a longer absorb cycle every ten days instead of equalize to stir up the electrolyte in a flooded lead acid battery.
So just use equalize but put in Absorb  setpoints every 10 days .
Your control  panel looks incredibly neat and organized.

Larry
system one
Classic 150 , 5s4p  Kyocera 135watt , 12s Soneil 2v 540amp lead crystal for 24v pack , Outback 3524 inverter
system two
Classic 150 ,5s 135 watt Kyocero , 16s Calb 100AH LiFePO4 , Outback VFX 3648 inverter
system three
Midnite KID MPPT 24 DC in to  12 volt AGM batterie

binkino

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Re: off grid in germany
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2017, 02:50:48 PM »
Thanks ;)
Yes thats my cryptonite - I could spend hours and hours for building i.e. a PC Tower or like that :D


thanks about the settings, will try to set this, when I have the batteries installed and the Classics are alive again ;)
PV-OUTPUT: http://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?id=38617
Classic Lite 200 + Classic 200 + Westech Combi 3000 + 3x4x240Wp + 1x4x255Wp + 575 AH EPzS
http://a68k.de:81/Solar/Monitor_LC.php

russ_drinkwater

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Re: off grid in germany
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2017, 04:21:47 PM »
I would have to have all my setup on a swing out panel to get it that neat! ::)
Good job!
Standalone. 20 Hyundai x 220 watts panels, 2 x classic 150's, Latronics 24 volt 3kw inverter, Whiz bang Jnr, 12 Rolls surrete  4KS 25P  batteries and WBJ.
Grid tie feed-in, 12.5 kw in 3 arrays generating 50 kws per day average. Solar river grid tie inverters

binkino

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Re: off grid in germany
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2017, 01:04:40 PM »
Hey buddies, once again, an update.

In one picture (I didn't get it, how to place an attached image in the post...) you see my arrangement with now finally arrived and installed covers for my battery boxes.
Made of aluminium, we had over at work. Recycling is everything (and saves so much money haha)

Other picture shows the opening i had to make for the tubes and cable.

I am still so happy with this solution!  :)

Next steps are to paint the covers and/or cover them with adhesive foil 
and I have to move the shunt a bit more right, so the cable on the left is a bit better installed.
Then a cover for the shunt and fuse area.

So because the boxes are now closed, like I planed it, possible gas is sucked out ("vacuumed"?) with two tubes in the boxes, come together by a Y-piece
and a small pump in the room next door blowing it to the outside of the house.
It is a 12V DC pump, like you use it for inflatable mattress, feeded with a step-down converter, set to 3 Volts, works silent and perfect.

PV-OUTPUT: http://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?id=38617
Classic Lite 200 + Classic 200 + Westech Combi 3000 + 3x4x240Wp + 1x4x255Wp + 575 AH EPzS
http://a68k.de:81/Solar/Monitor_LC.php