David Ames's posts

Posted by David Ames on Mar 4, 2012 02:09 am

#1 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Help with the plan for my electric system on my boat
Hey guys,

A great project there Brett, Looking forward to the updates.

Hats off to Thomas for going the extra mile, It does take a bit of time to work up a custom sketch..now the whole community can benefit from it, so thanks for that.

Cheers, Dave ............<- who has been having issues logging in to the forum for some time now! seems to be working now (fingers crossed)

Posted by David Ames on May 3, 2011 02:25 pm

#2 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: NEWBIE: Is a generator compatable with off grid solar

Hello Terry,

we have been very hesitant to offer any kind of reply to your query as i have no generator tie in experience to share.

any way at all to look into providing more venting to that fridge? gas is really the way to go if possible.

if we were to size a pv/battery/inverter system for a standard fridge (energy star 22 cu ft) for my location, year round use, with three days backup the cost would be in the range of 8 grand. could probably do a small (8 cu ft) solar powered sundazer fridge for around 1,500.

there are inverter/chargers available that need to tie to specific approved generators to work..auto start electronics and all that.

i would never want to connect an inverter and generator to the same panel box at the same time..could do some kind of manual transfer switch or back feed thru a dryer plug with mating ends on both the generator and inverter to manually swap the plugin feed.

like the idea of having some power without the generator running and can always do some charging with a battery charger plugged into the genset while using it for the bigger loads.

hope that is a bit of help..might help to keep the topic going to get other input as well.

cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Apr 25, 2011 01:58 am

#3 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: New to solar, starting with a BP SX170B 24v panel...what next?

 Hi again Ann,

i'm perhaps a bit jaded in my opinion here as i have some of the samlex/cotek products and love them.

only issue i see with the PST 30S is the set screw connections used for the DC input..easily solved with 29 cent ferrules or by filling the end of the wire in with solder.

some good info in the product reviews...manufactures should be aware that gone are the days of giving bad service and only have to worry about the customer telling his neighbors and coworkers..with this new fangled interwebie thing everyone will know...forever!

kind regards, dave

Posted by David Ames on Apr 24, 2011 02:03 am

#4 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: New to solar, starting with a BP SX170B 24v panel...what next?

Hi Ann,

we added a few scribbles to one of the altE store rv kit line drawings to get us started.

a look at some of the goodies

SS15 controller

baby box enclosure

10 amp breaker

20 amp breaker

don't see why a 600watt inverter won't meet your needs for what you have listed. might even have room in the breaker box for a 63 amp breaker (largest size available) almost close enough for a 600 watt inverter..70a would be better.

not seeing any first generation mc cable extensions available? bet they can still get you one. we get a long cable with the mc plugs and cut it in half. the plugs go to our pv module and the cut ends are used for the wire run to the breaker/controller.

cheers for now,

Posted by David Ames on Apr 3, 2011 10:07 pm

#5 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Small Wind Power > Re: Voltmeter placement

sounds good max,
nice way to see where our mill is "cutting in" too. we will see the voltage rise as the wind picks up then stops climbing just a hair above the battery voltage as the battery bank locks the wind turbine at it's voltage.

cut in = the speed where the voltage of the mill and battery match.. a good speed here is about 7-8mph wind speed.

cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Mar 19, 2011 05:42 pm

#6 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: How many pcs of the 120W solar panel do I need?

I have a project that is:
System current: 14A
Operating voltage: 240V
Operating hr: 6hr
Panel operate voltage: 34V
Sunshine duration: 3.4hr

240v X 14a = 3,300 watts
3,300 X 6 = 20,160 watt hours
20,160 / 0.8 = 25,200
25,200 / 3.4 = 7,411
7,411 / 120 = 62 pcs of the 120w modules

Posted by David Ames on Mar 10, 2011 11:29 pm

#7 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Water Pumping > Re: Need to design a small solar garden irrigation system

What I need is an idea of what components I need to be able to run a pump using solar power. I don't know if I can simply buy a solar panel and a pump and just connect them together or if there are other items that I need.

oh, ok i see..equipment needs?

* the following is my opinion only..

being a cheap SOB i would go with a bare bones basic system of a small pv module (5-10 watt range) a battery between 1 and 5% of the pv charging output (about a 10 to 20AH 12volt battery) and a shurflo 2088 series or similar rated kind of surface pump.

that would let us water up to 4 times per week with fifteen minutes each watering, delivering approximately 30 gallons of water per watering.

lots of other ways to do it..plenty of other equipment we can add in to make it "nicer" ..if we need more than the 30 gallons and 15 minutes per.-we will have to change things.

folks at this point are probably asking where are the charge controllers/pump controls and meter readouts we all need to have?  IMHO..a small "right sized" purpose based system can run like this without any trouble at all with just a few checks from time to time. (a lot of checking for the first week or so, then less often)

cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Mar 10, 2011 04:12 pm

#8 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Water Pumping > Re: Need to design a small solar garden irrigation system
Hey Cory,

 sounds like a ton of fun! 10 foot of head and a run of 30 foot is not too much to ask from a pump..even a surface pump should be ok, much more lift than that things can get expensive real quick.

to be able to create an officiant and reliable irrigation system.

a big choice here will be on the irrigation controls? is it gonna be Cory with a garden hose and a flip of the switch to start the water or some kind of automatic system with a timed/metered schedule or even some kind of moisture sensor controlled system? ..also need to guess at the water requirements you might need per day? ..so we can make good guesses at the pump size and pv requirements for your location.

about this time last year i was up to a similar sort of project as well.

might get a few ideas from what we ended up with?

daves solar powered hydroponic garden

we will be running an expanded version of the garden again this year..about ten times the size as last year. all the system components will be the same, ..just some added plumbing will be needed.

cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Mar 8, 2011 05:09 pm

#9 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Xantrex C35

hehe..yes they do make strange noises, seems to change pitch with how much load is on them. figured it was the PWM frequency of the pulses but no so sure? i notice my hot water heater (grid) makes similar sounds as well.

hehe again..with the learning curve, sometimes it seems like two steps forward then one step back..other days it's one step forward then TWO steps back.

it's all good fun!

cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Mar 7, 2011 02:09 pm

#10 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Xantrex C35
Much like with batteries you cant mix div loads either correct. I have a 125w and a 300w.

sometimes we can mix and match our resistive loads to get to our needed size.

the final wattage of the diversion load will be based on the operating voltage and the total resistance value in ohms...(this calculated value must always be below the power rating of the resistor being used)

that 300 watt load (resistor?) might make for fine dump load all by itself, depending on the size of your whirlybird.. does it have an ohms value printed on it? or it might be expressed as 300watts at such and such voltage? if we see 0.75 ohms printed on it that would be nice...about 20 amps at our dump voltage.

good clean fun, dave

Posted by David Ames on Mar 5, 2011 01:40 pm

#11 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Xantrex C35

Hi Max,

No problem with multiple charging sources with the C series controllers running in diversion mode charge control.

In this mode all charging sources feed directly into the battery bank (each source through a rectifier or blocking diode)and our controller controls the battery bank (at our set points) by "dumping" an incremental amount of current into an appropriately sized resistive load.

for a resistive dump load we want something in the order of 0.5ohms with a ~500 watt power rating...sounds BIG?..not really, when our controller senses any overcharge it pulses just enough to the dump to keep us at the battery voltage set points..10 watts too much it sends 10 watts to the resistor and so on.

not sure what the max output of your wind turbine is? but you are right..as long as we keep the TOTAL input on the battery side below the max controller output (about 28 amps in this case with the 0.5ohm dump) we are good to go!

some maths:

C35 x .8 (safety factor)= 28 amps

14.4v (approximate dump voltage)/0.5ohms = 28.8amps

28.8amps x 14.4v = 414 watts (minimum power rating of resistor) and (maximum combined dump capabilities)

kind regards, dave

Posted by David Ames on Feb 14, 2011 11:21 pm

#12 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: El Sid pump problems


sounds like the ideal install to me!

hope Ivan Labs might step up with some answers (trouble with that model head perhaps) as it seems that your install is not a factor. i would have expected many years of trouble free operation with your WELL thought out system.

any luck at all with tech help?


-> stray thought, (long shot) on those impeller units?? could it be that tiny iron particles are being attracted to the magnetic drive and causing issues?..if so i should think we would have seen other reports of the problem..real curious to see how this plays out and for any any answers you might find.

-> if it looks easy enough, i'd be temped to dismantle one to see.


Posted by David Ames on Feb 8, 2011 11:41 pm

#13 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: El Sid pump problems

Not seeing much info about those pumps available.

some possible contact info:


don't know much about those pumps but they look to be well made to me. pretty tight voltage spread for the operating range on the battery version, solar version looks to be a bit wider range. i suspect they might be happier running with the electric head at 12 o'clock. probably run into mounting issues then- plus the "scant" documentation seems to imply that horizontal mounting is all that's needed without regard to the head orientation?

i would look at the wire runs for the pump power. i would go with no less than #12 awg for up to 30 feet and larger still for longer runs. we don't have all those pumps tied into just one wire run do we?..a nice breaker panel with 3amp breakers would be the cats meow here.

any filter in line? might have some stray bits of PEX or gunk floating around there..

kindly keep us updated on what you find Smiley

kind regards, dave

Posted by David Ames on Jan 30, 2011 09:29 pm

#14 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: appropriate generators for off-grid photovoltaic system


 thank you for sharing your thoughts on your choice for a generator for your system and the reasons behind those choices.

excellent research and logical reasoning!

cheers, dave


Posted by David Ames on Jan 30, 2011 09:21 pm

#15 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Xantrex MPPT low output problems

thanks for that update matthew,

it's good to hear reports of xantrex tech support comming back to life. (been real bad for about two years now)

curious if you could tell from talking to them if this morning wakeup problem is something that they are aware of? or did it seem like they have no idea and will just replace it because it's easy?

at least you found a good "parking place" for that controller to run as a simple buck converter for now. bet it's close to harvesting the same amount as if it were doing the MPPT sweep.

cheers for now, dave

Posted by David Ames on Jan 18, 2011 06:53 pm

#16 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: "24V" PV & 12V battery charge controller?
good info Amy,

soo many products, each with their own quirks.

 agree it's "officially" too small..no danger though, perhaps limits itself on occasion and we lose a bit of power. never could do this with a 12v nominal module as it could overload the inverter input. output on this one is self protected.

from manual:

4.5 Protections
Solar Overload
(No LED indication) The SunSaver MPPT will limit battery
current to the 15 Amp maximum rating. An over-sized
solar array will not operate at peak power. The solar array
should be less than the SS-MPPT nominal max. input power
rating for optimal performance. See Section 7.0 Technical
Specifications for more information.

cheers, dave

edit: "overload the inverter input" should read "overload the controller input" Smiley

some more good info:->


"It is important to note that exceeding the maximum array wattage for a given controller/
nominal voltage combination will not damage the controller. Any wattage in excess of the max array
wattage will simply be lost. (i.e. Using a 300W array in a system where the max array W is only 200W
will not damage the controller, but the 300W array will effectively act like a 200W array and 100W of
power will be lost.)
IMPORTANT: MPPT controllers can be used with off‐grid or on‐grid modules. PWM controllers should
only be used with off‐grid modules.
Maximizing Efficiency
Morningstar TrakStar™ MPPT controllers will operate at slightly different efficiencies depending
upon the nominal battery voltage being used, the Vmp of the array, and the total wattage of the array.
These efficiency curves are printed in the appropriate manual for every Morningstar MPPT controller.
This data can be used to optimally size your solar array for best performance and maximum energy


Posted by David Ames on Jan 16, 2011 04:15 am

#17 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Sizing Fuses
I'd like to avoid fires.

we are not getting much input here Bradley, could be folks are afraid of making some kind of code (NEC) mistake in their response.

you say "off grid system" with a goal of avoiding fires? we should be able to help with some of the steps without getting too mired down with the big blue book (still good as a guide though).

let's look at system one first.

you say:

The first system is for a 30W application:
1 x 135W Panel
1 x 200 Ah lead acid battery
1 x Morningstar Sunsaver charge controller
1 x Morningstar SureSine Inverter 300W

i'm the curious sort and wonder about that module model#, also curious as to how long each day you might run that 30w application? i'm in hartford county on the east coast of the u.s.a in the state of connecticut. how about you? happy to try to help and want to be sure we are going to have a shot at a working system before we get too carried away.

let's look at a typical 135w module. the kyocera kd135 that has an isc (current short circuit) of isc 8.73A. a good guide for controller sizing would be to take the isc X 1.56 to give us 8.73 X 1.56 = 13.6amps, that would indicate that we should be using the SS-20. is that the controller you are using? or were you wanting to use the SS-10..does it get cold where you are?. WOW we have just started and it's time for an executive decision. Morningstar says we don't need that second derating, that brings us to 8.73 X 1.25% =10.9amps..getting closer, how far will the wire run from the pv module to the controller be?..that module has an imp (current max power) of about 7.5amps. if our wire run were 25feet i would reccomend a wire size of awg#8 and a breaker of 15 amps (the fuse rating of that module)..i would choose the breaker because of it's disconnect abilities not so much for the overcurrent abilities..nice to have both.

yikes! getting long winded already with all these questions and have to take a break for now... and we have only just started with step one of system one!

cheers for now, dave

Posted by David Ames on Jan 14, 2011 06:32 pm

#18 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: "24V" PV & 12V battery charge controller?
Hi Dave,

About inverters LVD vs. controller LVD.  Maybe we should start another thread for viewers benefit.  BUt in short, would it be possible to use the controller LVD by installing a relay on the controller load side, and use the relay to switch the inverter input on & off?

Any idea why the inverter LVD's are set so low?

Great topic Michel, we put up a new thread with some methods that a diy guy might find fun..(the inspector might not be amused though)Smiley

cheers, dave


Posted by David Ames on Jan 14, 2011 04:29 pm

#19 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Inverter LVD "pitfalls and hacks"
hi gang,

some of us have noticed that many of the "economy" inverters have the LVD (low voltage disconnect) set way too low to protect our battery bank from damage should we run it until the alarm sounds and finally shuts it off.

a guess as to why the makers have them set soo low might be to have them keep running when FULLY loaded at the rated power on a small battery bank. in this scenario the power draw pulls the voltage down quite a bit and the actual cutoff is something much higher than the 10.5 or so volts it cuts out at.(the voltage bounces back to something a little more reasonable).

when running on a larger battery bank with proper inverter feed cables or drawing a smaller load the inverter voltage sensing can and WILL bring our battery voltage to damaging levels without the "bounce back" that might protect a smaller bank at full load...one guys theory anyway..?

as a workaround to some of the problems associated with the LVD of these cheap inverters and some other useful hacks that may come in handy (to those that feel comfortable doing so) i welcome any input on the following wacky methods.

here is a doodle for an inverter shut down controlled by a timer for running an AC load (a small 48v charger in this case) we can do it with a remote control or a solar load controller as well, just substitute the ac relay for a dc relay and we are good to go. a very tiny relay is fine here as there is only a few mA required for the switch.

in the above sketch we would turn the inverter on which then starts the timer which then closes the relay. we then turn the inverter switch off and the power from the timer keeps the relay closed as if the inverter switch was still on until our timer trips off.

we can do the same using the LVD of a load controller (usually with better set points) or a remote control or a magnetic switch or...lots of different possibilities.

happy to work up a sketch for your requirements if needed.

kind regards, dave

edited to add:
this is a spin-off discussion from here->http://www.altestore.com/forums/Renewable-Energy/Technical-Discussion-Solar-Electric-System-Photovoltaic/quot24Vquot-PV-amp-12V-battery-cha/index.php/topic,2333.new/topicseen.html#new
also note this basic idea is nothing new from me and was only adapted for other uses from some original work by others seen here->http://fieldlines.com/board/index.php?PHPSESSID=7658ed4ec27926ac59f8b22ca18d6862&/topic,129565.0.html and here->http://fieldlines.com/board/index.php?PHPSESSID=7658ed4ec27926ac59f8b22ca18d6862&topic=144332.0
also should note that the above sketch shows no fuses or disconnects that should be included..still want to try and follow "best practices", even with no-no hacks. use your own judgment as to your abilities to do things in a safe manner!

Posted by David Ames on Jan 14, 2011 02:03 am

#20 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: "24V" PV & 12V battery charge controller?

 sounds like there is no changing the voltage output of that sealed module. and i see your concerns about training others to be able to look after the system in a reliable way. gonna need those displays and load control LVD to help with that.

 100% agree on the issues with the inverter cut-off set points set too low on most of the economy inverters!..by the time the things alarm out we are into the permanent damage zone (voltage wise) with our batteries!

 looks like we need to step up to the higher priced models of MPPT with a LVD load controller built in.

 this one is just a hair undersized with a rating of 200wp max. (your call on that.. i might roll the dice if it were up to me)

probably want (need) the optional display as well.

 we are starting to get into some real money to jump up to the next size controller...just a side thought here? any chance of maybe trading that donated 24v module with someone for a better suited 12v one?

"10A *12V = 120W  That hardly sounds like intended MPPT performance.  What am I missing?"

 your right on with those points...the one advantage would have been to have that 10amps charging current for a longer period of the day..closer to 10A *14v = 140w (i think we see now that, that controller is a no-go for this application)

 we should think about our battery sizing with this system as well..if we go too small we will be in regulation much to early and won't harvest all our available power. i would shoot for somewhere around a 300-500ah battery bank if possible to be able to store all we can.

kind regards, dave  de kb1mzf


Posted by David Ames on Jan 13, 2011 05:20 pm

#21 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: "24V" PV & 12V battery charge controller?
 Hello Michel,

 i applaud your efforts helping out in some of these "third world" places! cheers sir!!

 kindly take the following as just one guys opinions before you make your final choices.

 trying to run a small system at 24 volts when we have many others at 12 volts is a royal PITA, especially considering that we want to run some dc loads..we lose our ability to swap equipment out with other stuff we have at hand, and some of the 24v stuff goes at a premium to purcha$e.

 if this is an older 24v nominal module it may have the option to be rewired to a 12v nominal system..do you have the specs?

 barring a friendly "j-box" that allows us to change over to 12 volts, and use a regular 12v controller. i see a few options.

 we can do the c-35 and run it at 12 volts and lose half the pv capacity (it will run as a ~100wp module)

 or we can go with an MPPT type controller that will accept the higher voltage and "buck it down" to our 12v system voltage.

 this unit is up to the task.. and not too bad on the wallet at just over $100.


 looks like AltE has started to stock some of these? (shows one in inventory) otherwise a few weeks of lead time to set you up.

 there is another unit called the BZ250 that would do the trick..currently not carried by the store due to some early technical problems.

 lots of other nice equipment out there to, but these are more budget minded for your application.

kind regards, dave

edited to add: that solar converters controller will current limit at about 10 amps. but should still produce more amphours into the battery per day than the c-35..the BZ250 will run full speed ahead without an upper limit (might even see ~20ish amps) cheers!

Posted by David Ames on Dec 19, 2010 11:25 am

#22 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Xantrex MPPT low output problems

 Gee Matthew, sounds like the darn thing is stuck in MPPT park and is not going thru sweep mode to find the ever changing max array output. there was something in the manual about setting it that way for hydro systems?

 I seem to recall a discusion somewhere about the "float" timer having weird issues on startup as well..(can't find that info again) the fix there was to switch to a two stage charging configuration.

 fingers crossed in hopes that you can get anything out of tech support...there was a bunch of info on the old xantrex forum, years worth of Q&A..all gone now after the Schneider takeover.

 isn't this the time of year when everything hits the fan out that way? the mighty monsoons!

kind regards, dave

Posted by David Ames on Dec 13, 2010 11:43 am

#23 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Detecting and Remedying a Phantom Load on Battery Bank


 nice setup you have there dave.

seems you have checked most everything! not too clear if you were able to disconnect the dc side of the inverters or not? (something wacky with one of the sw battery chargers?)

not much help on where to go from here, other than to double and triple check that we actually have a current draw happening with some hand held meters and feeling for things that are too warm.

please keep us updated on what you find.

kind regards, dave

Posted by David Ames on Dec 12, 2010 09:15 am

#24 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Detecting and Remedying a Phantom Load on Battery Bank

 Hi Dave B,

 that's a lot of power to have dissapear and dissipate (use up)!

 sounds real if you are seeing it discharge the battery bank.
My two possible conclusions are: 1) a faulty TriMetric that is actually creating this load it is detecting, or 2) the differences in battery cell voltages creates a current draw.  Are either of these conclusions likely?  Is there something else I could be looking at?  Thanks.

 can't see any way for the trimetric to be involved..that 20 amps has to be used up somehow..ie: to create heat, light or rf/emf wave.

 have you felt the sides of the batteries? none a LOT warmer than the others? maybe take one (48v)string of the battery bank out at a time to try to isolate.

 seeing as you already checked all loads it's time to think about the source side of things.

 can we know more about your wind and solar setup?

 can we get in and check the bridge rectifier of that wind turbine? does the machine seem to be running "lumpy"..(just a knee jerk suspicion here)

cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Oct 28, 2010 11:01 pm

#25 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Solar charger controller question??

 hi marcin,

 isn't this stuff fun! sounds like you have some nice equipment there.

 i believe you should look into running your pv modules as one string of four in series with a 91voc and 72vmp with a corrected voc of well under the max allowable..(theres no place cold enough to go over).

 no worries with the wire run at that voltage and 11.5 imp.(~18.9 isc corrected) we should be good to go with a very reasonable wire size. (with the bonus of no pv combiner needed)

 we still have issues with all those parallel strings of batteries though. i would not even attempt to parallel them at the battery level and would go straight for a busbar setup.

it's all good fun!
cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Oct 19, 2010 02:57 am

#26 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Solar panel replacement for Lance 821 Truck Camper

Hi Casey Speas,

 aside from the property damage, i find it refreshing that you have found an american youth outside enjoying being a kid! - just needs a bit of direction is all, might make a great pitcher in little league.

 afraid that ec-50 is sure to be a lost cause, although i've seen smashed modules that still put out power. yours is electrically smashed as well Sad

 depending on your mounting system you should be able to come close enough with the dimensions to find a replacement.

 the kc65t looks close to the ec-50 line. no need to have to stay with the evergreens.


 could cut a piece of cardboard to the 29.6 x 25.7 size and see how it lines up..the kyocera has a bit thicker frame so make note of the bracket arrangement you have. both have the friendly j-box terminal connections so no messing with these wacko multi-variety assortment of mc cables that some nut thought was a good idea.

 don't know anything on that "charge wizard"? if you go with the kc65 be aware that it is 15 watts more than the evergreen (1+amp) so we want at least a 7 amp (or so) controller. maybe the wizard has a sticker or manual?

 or could be a good time to see about some more mounting hardware and go up some with your array size..might need to upgrade some of the other equipment and wire runs depending on what you want to do.

cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Oct 11, 2010 12:19 am

#27 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Xantrex MPPT low output problems


 could scrounge some of those beads off some discarded electronics equipment.

 some more info and a visual:


with care we can unsnap and reuse the pretty covers as well.

also available at radio shack, dick smith, mouser and the like.

 yep. i would start with the aux out to relay wires..one right over both leads. next might be to find a larger size and go over the conductors from the xw to the battery.

re: inverter.. a humbling moment for dave- matt, the truth is i'm not sure how your power system switches the loads? pretty sure that your 220vac system is a hot and neutral with the hot switched but not 100% certain. best to try it and see. can you let me know when you find out? or perhaps other forum readers know for sure?

kind regards, dave

Posted by David Ames on Oct 8, 2010 05:24 am

#28 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Xantrex MPPT low output problems

 it's all good matt,

 the new trouble shooting plan sounds textbook to me!

i have a good feeling about setting that controll voltage down into the 5vdc range..less voltage- way less current- less heat- less possible interference? all good things.

yep, hard to grasp that less volts = less current draw on the switching side of that ssr for me too..some of this stuff i've just resolved to believe the data spec sheets and call the inner workings of 'em as "magic" Smiley..there are some notes there about them being current limited (only draw what they need to operate) and being powered up  continuously is one of the normal modes of operation.

Ferrite beads: we see these a lot these days on USB cables, cell phone chargers etc. -the fat part of the cable (like a big snake that swallowed the prized village goat) they snap or slip over the cable to absorb RF frequencies and voltage spikes traveling along the wire. one of those "won't hurt anything if not needed things".

Charge controller status: yea! never thought of that..might be some interesting information stored in memory..should be always starting up in bulk charge with the 3 stage setting.
?can't see if it stores any alarm codes? that would be even more gooder info to know as well.

me thinks you are well armed to get this worked out matt..and it's a pleasure to see someone that is as informed as you are on your system!

the ac relay should be a snap when you get to it..no diodes to fiddle with on that side. the only possible catch i can think of is the possibility that we won't be able to put that inverter to sleep (stand by) just switching one leg of the 240ac?..can always do a double pole relay if it comes to that.

good luck with the house-building!

cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Oct 6, 2010 02:08 am

#29 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Xantrex MPPT low output problems

 hi guys,

 matt, nothing wrong with being back at square one..we now know what was not the problem.

 tom has a good suggestion with trying things directly off the battery. we can further track down the possible conflict by seeing if we get the anomalous behavior running direct..help to see if it is the aux output/relay or the load?

 i believe i see why you chose to go through the relay with your loads. automation is oh soo sweet when things work!

 was digging further into the operations manual and we have a bunch of other settings to run through yet to find a reliable combination of settings.

 after the separate loads test above (running off battery)
we can try moving that trigger setting around from active high to active low, maybe change the voltage from 12 to 5vdc output. lots of options there. as well as some ferrite beads and other things to try.

 keep plugging along and don't give up till you get it running to your requirements!

thanks for the look at your setup..nice load center and wiring!

cheers, dave

Posted by David Ames on Oct 4, 2010 04:18 pm

#30 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Mixing battery sizes in one battery bank?
 hi matt,

 they make insulated standoffs for this kind of thing..i'm cheap though and used some blocks of HDPE (a cut up cutting board) this cutting board material is nice as we can cut any shape we need..i use this stuff in some of my antenna work as it is rugged, weatherproof, virtually indestructible!

cheers, dave kb1mzf

Disclaimer and Disclosure

The Alternative Energy Store, Inc reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse or delete any posting or portion thereof, or terminate or block the access to this forum.

The opinions and statements posted on this forum are the opinions and statements of the person posting same, and do not constitute the opinion or act of the Alternative Energy Store, Inc (AltE). The Alternative Energy Store, Inc does not endorse or subscribe to any particular posting. No posting shall be construed as the act or opinion of the Alternative Energy Store, Inc.

Click here for BBB Business Review

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
Desktop Website | Mobile Website


Click on an icon to share! If you don't see the method you want, hover over the orange "+".


What can we do to help you?

Please enter a summary
Sorry, the copyright must be in the template.
Please notify this forum's administrator that this site is using an ILLEGAL copy of SMF!
Copyright removed!!