Sascha D's posts

Posted by Sascha D on Jul 9, 2014 09:47 pm

#1 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Tri - Metric model TM 2020
Hi Tom,
We contacted the manufacturer (Bogart) and here's what Ralph there recommended:

"It sounds like a bad meter to me.  I have never heard of this particular thing happening before-- When hearing of strange symptoms I always suggest checking the voltage with  a multimeter, at the meter terminals, to be sure there is proper battery voltage there.  if so, sounds like a bad meter.  He should call here and arrange to have it fixed.  My apologies to him, if he finds that to be necessary. Even if far out of warranty we try to repair them at fairly low cost. If we think it is an unusual or unexpected problem we usually go considerably beyond the stated warranty of one year."

Should you want to reach out to them their phone number is: 831 338-0616.

Best Wishes
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jul 9, 2014 04:46 pm

#2 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Simple questions for my RV solar setup:
Hi Brandon,
If the max Voc of your controller is 48V and the Voc of the panel is 64.9V, then it likely is not compatible and the panel would likely fry the controller at some point. That point is usually with the first light in the AM when the panel suddenly hits voltage and the controller engages (this depends on what technology the controller uses).

You'll want to use an MPPT charge controller that will take the high operating input voltage of your panel and efficiently brings it down to the voltage of your battery bank. Depending on the voltage of your battery bank there are a couple of options for controllers. Here are few example options:

Blue Sky SOLAR BOOST 3048L CHARGE CONTROLLER:
http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Blue-Sky-Solar-Charge-Controllers-MPPT/Blue-Sky-Energy-Solar-Boost-3048L-Charge-Controller-without-Display/p242/

Midnite Solar Class 150 Charge controller:
http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Midnite-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Midnite-Solar-Classic-150-MPPT-Charge-Controller-150V-96A/p8753/

or the lite version of that controller:
http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Midnite-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Midnite-Solar-Classic-Lite-150-MPPT-Charge-Controller-150V-96A/p10204/

Xantrex (Schneider) MPPT Controller:
http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Xantrex-MPPT-Solar-Charge-Contollers/Xantrex-XW-MPPT-60A-Solar-Charge-Controller-XW-MPPT60-150/p5946/

Morningtart MPPT-30 Solar Charge Controller:
http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Morningstar-MPPT-Solar-Controllers/Morningstar-Tristar-TS-MPPT-30-30A-MPPT-Charge-Controller/p11307/

And if all else fails feel free to give our technical sales staff a call toll free at 877.878.4060 to appropriately size a solar charge controller to meet your needs.

Hope that helps!
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jun 6, 2012 05:31 pm

#3 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Old Cut sheets/spec sheets
Hi Mike,
This might work for you:

http://www.altestore.com/store/Solar-Panels/100-to-149-Watts-Solar-Panels/Evergreen-EC110-110W-12V-Solar-Panel-MCWhite-Bkgd/p519/

See the documents tab and the associated PDFs.
 

Posted by Sascha D on May 29, 2012 02:50 pm

#4 -  AltE > Discussion > Re: RMA/customer support???
Hi Douglas,
I'm very sorry about the 1-2 punch of problems on our side. Our website was hit today by some kind of spambot that's overloading our server and causing several problems. We took measures just shortly ago to address this problem. Unfortunately, as part of it we likely zero'd out several carts online.

We also happen to be low on coverage in our customer service department due to the holiday. I'll be sure to have someone on our team reach out to you directly asap. I apologize that you were unable to get someone during your call.

kind regards,
Sascha  Deri

CEO
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jan 31, 2012 12:47 pm

#5 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Powering devices on a sailboat
Hey Bran,
To quickly get a sense of what sized components you'll need I'd recommend using our off-grid sizing calculator (for solar):

http://www.altestore.com/howto/Calculators/c36/

The challenge will be to estimate the sun-hours since you'll presumably be in a moving craft. So you'll have to decide upon a location (and it's associated sun-hours).

For wind turbines, I'd recommend the Air Breeze Marine:

http://www.altestore.com/store/Wind-Turbines/Southwest-Windpower-Turbines-Parts/Southwest-Wind-Power-AIR-Breeze-Series/c1206/

The power/energy output you can expect will obviously vary with the average wind speeds you can expect. If you can estimate those wind speeds then you can determine the kwh's output on a monthly level - and then deduct that from what you would need from your solar panel design. That is, using that same off grid calculator reduce the the watt-hours requirement by whatever you think you could producing by using that wind turbine.

Hope that helps!

And, of course, if you need more help please feel free to also call our knowledgeable sales staff toll free.
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jan 30, 2012 12:41 pm

#6 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Noob and Golf Cart --- Again!
Hi Ed,
No pity needed - it's a good question. Smiley

You hit upon one of the essential basic functions of a solar charge controller - to stop charging once the batteries are full so as not to damage them. So yeah, unfortunately, you really need to have a solar charge controller.

Some of the other basic functions of a solar charge controller are:

* To prevent the batteries from discharging through the solar panels when there's no sun
* Optimize the charging algorithm so as to, in effect, pack as many electrons as possible on the battery plates.

And the more advanced charge controllers are smart enough to allow the solar panels to operate at their most optimal voltage (to squeak out the most power from them - up to 30% in some cases) and the batteries at whatever voltage they're at while they're charging up. This technology is referred to as Maximum Power Point Technology (MPPT).

You may have already come across these specialized solar charge controllers for electric vehicles/electric golf carts:

http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/Electric-Vehicle-Golf-Cart-Chargers/c1213/

They do actually use Maximum Power Point Technology and, as you might've noticed, make it particularly easy for you to use solar by allowing you to use a normal 12V solar panel and then it up-converts that automatically to match your 36V battery bank in the golf cart. Otherwise, you would need to buy 3 x 12V solar panels (which means smaller panels and probably more expensive per watt than a single, larger 12V solar panel), put them in series for 36V and buy a charge controller that's rated for 36V in and out. Overall this 3x12V solar panels solution would be more expensive and more complicated to implement.

Hope that helps!

PS: For more details on how solar charge controllers work, differences between traditional (PWM) solar charge controllers and the ones that support MPPT check out these articles on the Learn section of our website:

How Charge Controllers Work
http://www.altestore.com/howto/Solar-Electric-Power/Design-Components/How-Charge-Controllers-Work/a3/

How MPPT Charge Controllers Work
http://www.altestore.com/howto/Solar-Electric-Power/Design-Components/How-MPPT-Charge-Controllers-Work/a13/

Comparing PWM and MPPT Charge Controllers
http://www.altestore.com/howto/Solar-Electric-Power/Design-Components/Comparing-PWM-and-MPPT-Charge-Controllers/a100/

Be aware that these articles talk mostly about situations where the battery banks and solar panel voltages are the same or where the solar panels have a higher voltage than the battery bank. In your situation the solar panels have a lower voltage - but that's ok, nearly all of what's written is applicable.

And, of course, you can always call the toll free number to get help from one of the knowledgeable technical sales team folks.
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jan 30, 2012 10:56 am

#7 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: typical power use spreadsheets
These pages may also be useful to you:

"Typical" power consumption of various appliances:

http://www.altestore.com/howto/Renewable-Energy-Energy-Efficiency/Power-Ratings-typical-for-Common-Appliances/a21/

and our Kill-a-Watt (a meter for measuring in real life the power consumption of various appliances in your home) database:

http://www.altestore.com/store/killawatt/

By the way, anyone can add their real world data on how much power any electric product and model consumer to that database.
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jan 30, 2012 10:52 am

#8 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: typical power use spreadsheets
And just in case you're having difficulty finding the online load calculator on our website that Tom's referring to, it's located here:

http://www.altestore.com/howto/Calculators/c36/
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jan 26, 2012 12:07 pm

#9 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: C-35 controller and Battery
So I need the forums opinion. I have a C-35 controller that I am using as a diversion controller And a 60W 12V panel feeding a single battery. I have wire the system per the instruction in my manual BUT in Diversion mode the panel is straight wired(with diode) to the battery. Am I shaving life off of my battery by straight wiring? Anyone got more time in with this type of wiring?
I don't have a good answer for you, but I have often theorized that a benefit of using a pulse width modulated charge controller (PWM) like the C35 is (when used in normal charge controller mode) is that it pulses the charge on to the plates and is able to "pack" more charge on the plates. 

Additionally, again my theory only, the pulsing may have some side benefit similar to the desulphators. That is, by pulsing the electron flow it make shake loose some of the sulfate build up on the plates. Though real desulphators do this is a frequencies optimized to shake loose these crystals - so just the normal pulsing of PWM may only have a minimal effect. 

So in summary - I suspect the C35 used in straight charge control mode may be a little better on the batteries than in load diversion mode but don't have any solid proof to back up my claims. Smiley
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jan 3, 2012 05:12 pm

#10 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Should I use a mppt500 or mppt500hv ?
My thoughts would be to go with the HV version (giving you plenty of breathing room for high voltage) and to to series the panels in 2's to take advantage of the thinner wire gauge you'll be able to use.
 

Posted by Sascha D on Dec 30, 2011 01:53 pm

#11 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Time to get serious designing my off-grid home solution
Quote
>I have a lightning arrestor on my garage system, so I'll have to remember to add it to the "shopping list" I'm creating for The Big Project as well.  At what point(s) would I put them?  On my garage system (4 sets of 2, 12v/125w modules) I have all the PV juice going to one combiner inside, and the lightning arrestor is mounted there.

Typically they're wired just before the input of your charge controller off of your DC disconnect box or off of your solar combiner. The Midnite Solar lightning arrestors can uniquely also be used on the AC side of your system as well. So you could put on the AC disconnect box to protect that side as well (this is optional but gives you more protection from a pulse jetting in from your AC wiring side).


Quote
>I'll probably be building my own mounting solution.  I'm familiar with working with metals.  The roof is corrugated metal, and I'll be running grounds at all four corners of the building.

 Ok, just be aware that if you're using dis-similar metals you'll get corrosion. The panels all have Aluminum frames, if you use iron mounting, you'll probably want to consider a method for isolating the frames from the mount - perhaps UV protected large grommets.

 You'll want to get a ground lug for each panel and run bare grounding wire to each lug (each panel) to ensure proper grounding (of course run that wire to ground as well Wink.

Quote
What voltage are you thinking of running your battery bank at? And what are you thinking for total power output of your inverter(s)?
>48v battery pack.  I'm running 24v in the garage, and it handles the loads I have there well.  For the house, I'll put two of Xantrex's bigger offgrid/gridtie inverters together for 220vac.  I'm going to try to assemble a preliminary list over the weekend.

 Sounds like a good plan. The 48V will more easily allow you to have more capacity in your battery bank.
 

Posted by Sascha D on Dec 28, 2011 06:56 pm

#12 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Time to get serious designing my off-grid home solution
I've uploaded a photo of that "frayed ball" of wire for charge dissipation to our Gallery. The customer sent it to me and as you'll see they had a bit of sense of humor about it:

http://www.altestore.com/solar-showcase/photos/photo/dave-lightning-strike-preventor-1356/
 

Posted by Sascha D on Dec 28, 2011 06:40 pm

#13 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Time to get serious designing my off-grid home solution
Hey Travis,
I have a few misc. thoughts - in no particular order.

1) Internally (here at altE) we've become increasingly convinced that the new Midnite Solar lightning arrestors will provide better lightning protection for your system versus the traditional lightning arrestors. Check out the video on our spec page:

http://www.altestore.com/store/Enclosures-Electrical-Safety/Lightning-Protection/Midnite-Solar-Solar-Surge-Protection-Device-115V/p9546/

Another plus to them, is basically if they somehow do get fried, the manufacturer will actually replace them during the warranty period (and inexpensively after the warranty). Where as with the Delta lightning arrestors, they are more like fuses - they are expected to "pop" to absorb a nearby lightning strike. Once it's popped - time to get a new one.

2) A lot of the installers that buy from us really like the Soladeck combiner box that can be installed right on to shingled roofs. Makes roof penetration and combiner box mounting easier. It's designed more for high voltage systems, but could be used with lower voltage systems as well.

http://www.altestore.com/store/Enclosures-Electrical-Safety/Electrical-Enclosures/Combiner-Pass-Through-Boxes/Soladeck-DC-Combiner-Box-600VDC-120A/p9517/

3) Again for lightning protection, but in this case for your wind turbines, I learned a trick from a former NASA physicist to get charge to dissipate more quickly on your turbine tower and decrease it building up enough to discharge as a lightning strike. It's a little difficult to describe but here goes... Basically you make a kind of ball out of frayed out wires (say 10-12 AWG) all clamped together at one end and connect it to off of the side of the mounting pole if it's grounded or have it run to ground. The concept is that the increased surface area, and sharp edges of of all this cut copper wire will more easily discharge into the air than just the tower itself.

I know once customer of ours in a very lightning prone tropical location did this and they've not had lightning fry anything since (they did before).

4) Consider using an MPPT solar charge controller so that you put more of your solar panels in series, use smaller wire size and get overall higher performance out of your whole system. The one I'm considering for my house right now is Midnite Solar's Classic - right now it's the only controller that provides arc fault protection.

http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Midnite-Solar-Charge-Controllers/c1180/

5) In terms of mounting, I personally prefer the IronRidge XRS rail system because it requires fewer attachment points on your roof than other manufacturers seem to require - reducing your time on the roof and fewer potential holes in your roof means fewer potential points for leaking down the road too.

What voltage are you thinking of running your battery bank at? And what are you thinking for total power output of your inverter(s)?
 

Posted by Sascha D on Dec 28, 2011 05:50 pm

#14 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Anyone know about mppt500 controllers?
Hi LJ - I posted a response for ya here: http://www.altestore.com/forums/index.php/topic,2425.html
 

Posted by Sascha D on Dec 28, 2011 05:49 pm

#15 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: Should I use a mppt500 or mppt500hv ?
Hi LJ,
It's been a year or three since we've sold the BZ Products MPPT 500 controllers, and  I'm not sure of their voltage limits. I *think* the normal MPPT 500 had an upper limit of 100V DC and the HV (High Voltage version) ... 125V or 150V?

If the open voltage of those panels are 34V then definitely you won't be able to use more than 2 in series  (which is what you have) with the MPPT 500.  If it get really, really cold where you live (say -20F or lower,*I'm super rough guessing*) it's possible that the Open Circuit Voltage for the two of them in series would increase to beyond the upper limit of the normal MPPT 500.  If these low temps are possible then you may as well just opt for the  high voltage (HV) version just to be safe.

I'm not sure if I understand your question about "maximize wattage to storage batteries". Can you clarify what you are looking for? 

There likely is no power efficiency gain by using the MPPT 500 versus the MPPT 500HV. Just one can take a higher voltage input than the other. Both are limited to their maximum current (amperage) output.

Putting those panels in series means you can use thinner wire on the input side to your controller. That'll save you money. You could put them in parallel and get the same efficiency but you'd have increase the wire gauge.

Last but not least, like I mentioned in another posting about MPPT controllers and high voltage - please be careful. Once you get beyond 48V DC you get to voltages that can stop an adult human heart. That could be a reason to just go with the panels in parallel (keeps your max voltage down to 34V).

Hope that helps!
 

Posted by Sascha D on Dec 23, 2011 03:03 pm

#16 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: specific PV module / charge controller question
Yeah, the C40 has been the work horse charge controller for many years - so makes sense you'd consider it.

The Suntech 190W modules would likely be a less expensive solution overall. Using 24V nominal solar panels means you could get to 48V easily (2 in series) using a less expensive controller (like the C40) without have to down convert voltages with an MPPT charge controller. The Sanyo's do squeak out a few more watts per square meter, so you would potentially lose some power if you're trying to milk every square foot of roof space.

Sizing for the XW-MPPT80-600:
There are two thing you need to do when sizing for a charge controller - 1) size the array to not go over the maximum input voltage and 2) size the array so the maximum potential current that can comes out of the controller (going into the battery bank) is not more than the controller's ratings.

For a 48V battery bank, according to the spec page (http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Xantrex-MPPT-Solar-Charge-Contollers/Xantrex-XW-MPPT-80A-Solar-Charge-Controller-up-to-600V-DC-input/p8992/) you can have a maximum open circuit voltage on a single string of up to 600V. However, you have to take into consideration that in colder weather the open circuit voltage (Voc) on a solar panel actually increases. So it's best to stay clear of the 600V by a good margin (ideally do the Voc calculations based on the coldest temps in your area, using the modules's temperature coefficient and size appropriately).

For those Sanyo's the Voc is 50.9V (at standard operating conditions - which means 25C) the temperature coefficient derate is -0.142 V/ °C (see the brochure in the Documents section of the spec page). Now we have to figure out 1) what's the max open circuit voltage a single panel would produce in your coldest temperature and then 2) divide 600V by this max panel voltage to determine how many we can put in series.

Max Open Circuit Voltage of a single panel = (Voc at Std Test Conditions) - (Derate Coefficient x (Std Test Temp - The Coldest Temps for your Area))

So,
Max Voc =50.9V - (-0.142 x (25C - the coldest temp for your area))

Let's take an example - let's assume the coldest it has ever gotten in your area was -20C (-4F). Here's what we'd get:

Max Voc = 50.9 - (-0.142 x (25C - (-20C))
Max Voc = 50.9 - (-0.142 x (45))
Max Voc = 50.9 - (-6.39)
Max Voc = 57.29V

Then we'd take the max voltage input of the XW MPPT charge controller and divide it by this number:

Max Panels in Series = 600V / 57.29V = 10.5

We have to round down (no half panels allowed Wink, so that'd be a maximum of 10 panels in series.

Now a quick and dirty way we can estimate how many panels we can load up on the controller in total is to:

1) Figure out the maximum wattage output of the charge controller (Power = Voltage x Current), which would be 80A x 48V = 3840W

2) Divide that amount by the wattage of the solar panel, which would be 3840W / 210W = 18 Panels.

That works our neatly then for you. You could have two strings of 9 panels in series and run those strings into a combiner box (then on to the controller). For the combiner box, if you have an asphalt shingled roof I'd recommend the Soladeck combiner box - makes it super easy to both combine and do a roof penetration if needed:

http://www.altestore.com/store/Enclosures-Electrical-Safety/Electrical-Enclosures/Combiner-Pass-Through-Boxes/Soladeck-ACDC-Combiner-Box/p9520/?from=featured

Or, alternatively the Midnite Solar PV3:

http://www.altestore.com/store/Enclosures-Electrical-Safety/Electrical-Enclosures/Combiner-Pass-Through-Boxes/Midnite-Solar-MNPV3-Combiner-Box/p4567/

In both cases, because you are working with such high voltages you have to use the fuse add-ons instead of the breakers for these combiner boxes. I believe the breaker options only go up to a max voltage of 150V DC.

And that gets to the last point - be careful! Above 48V DC can stop a human heart. You'll be playing with near 600V. Please take all appropriate cautions so as not to put yourself or others in danger.

Oh, and if you're still wondering on more of the details of what's all needed for a complete system, please do call our very knowledge technical sales folks. They know all the in's and out's and help you be sure you got all the components needed for a safe and successful install on your home. Good luck!
 

Posted by Sascha D on Dec 21, 2011 06:02 pm

#17 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Solar Electric System - Photovoltaic > Re: specific PV module / charge controller question
Hey Travis - there are two "gotchas" in your scenario. So,

1)Technically speaking the C40 charge controller can take in up to 120V DC without blowing up (ok, maybe fizzling?), but it would be wildly inefficient to use it at its maximum for a 48V nominal battery bank. You'll probably lose about 40-50% of the array's potential power because the solar panels won't be operating at their optimal voltage point (Vmp for each panel is probably 42V DC or 126V DC for them in series). That gets to the 2nd "gotcha"

2) The nominal voltage of these are 32V. The point where the produce the maximum amount of power is likely to be ~42V. And then the Open Circuit Voltage (Voc) is probably around 52V. Open circuit is the voltage when the panels are first connected or when you throw the breaker/disconnect off/on between the charge controller and the array. The problem is that three of them in series gives you a total voltage of 156V - well over the voltage limit of the C40. You never want to the maximum open circuit voltage of your array to be more than the charge controller can handle - and this scenario would definitely mean you would fry the C40.

By the way, here's one of our articles that goes into more details on all those different voltages and what they mean:

http://www.altestore.com/howto/Solar-Electric-Power/Design-Components/The-Big-e-Demystifying-Voltages/a92/

also see:

http://www.altestore.com/howto/Solar-Electric-Power/Design-Components/Solar-Panels-PV-and-Voltages/a98/

So what to do?

Well, this where MPPT charge controllers come in - they address both issues 1 & 2 above. First, they automatically allow the solar panels to operate at their peak power voltage (which is almost always different than the voltage of the battery bank) and the battery bank to work at whatever voltage it's at. So immediately you'll see more power production than you would with a traditional charge controller like the C40 (ignoring for a moment that it would be fried above 120V DC).

Then second, several newer MPPT charge controllers have maximum (open circuit) voltages at 150V or above. We need to get you to probably 160 to 170V or above, for "no-fry" clearance. Wink. You have a couple of options now in the market:

Apollo High Voltage T80:
http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Apollo-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Apollo-Solar-T80HV-High-Voltage-MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controller/p7377/

Midnite Solar Classic 200:
http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Midnite-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Midnite-Solar-Classic-200-MPPT-Charge-Controller-200V-79A/p8754/
(my personal favorite because it's the only Charge Controller there that currently provides arc fault protection)

Schneider (Xantrex) XW MPPT 80A:
http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Xantrex-MPPT-Solar-Charge-Contollers/Xantrex-XW-MPPT-80A-Solar-Charge-Controller-up-to-600V-DC-input/p8992/

If you could use those Sanyo's in series strings of 2, you could use MPPT charge controllers rated up to 150V that tend to be less expensive. Check out the MPPT Charge controller section for all of your options:

http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/c474/

Hope that helps!
 

Posted by Sascha D on Oct 31, 2011 02:11 pm

#18 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Batteries don't seem to hold a charge
Is it at all possible that they were made and shipped without a charge?
 
But is it possible in that situation, that CAT would make the batteries and not give them a charge at all? My friend (a hydraulics engineer, not an electrical engineer) assured me that CAT sent them completely uncharged so that they had an infinite shelf life. Could this be possible, or should I walk up and tell my friend that the pyramid of 54 batteries he has in his garage are just a waist of space?

I'd say it's pretty unlikely at all they weren't made without a charge. My understanding of the manufacturing process is that inherently once they are made, they have a charge and from there on out if you don't keep them trickle charged they discharge over time.

The only exception I can think of is where the batteries would've been shipped without the electrolyte/acid, which I'm sure wasn't your case.
 

Posted by Sascha D on Oct 28, 2011 01:18 pm

#19 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Other > Re: Batteries don't seem to hold a charge
Hey Steven - the first thing that stands from what you wrote above is that the batteries were "brand new" from 2004 and never received a charge. When batteries are brand spanking new they should be very close to fully charged. Batteries not left with some trickle charge on them (at the very least) will self discharge at a rate of around 5-10% per month.

It sounds like years went by since these CAT batteries were last charged. As a result, I would estimate that these batteries were almost entirely discharged and most likely had been that way for some time. That's the death knell for any lead acid battery (i.e. being left fully discharged for nearly any length of time). In essence they were probably dead the day you bought them.

So it's not surprising that they can't hold a charge. Sadly your 100AH batteries have probably become so deteriorated by having been completely discharged that they're more like 1AH batteries.

Also, as you probably knew and realized, you really don't want to mix different batteries together (nor, if you can help it, batteries of the same model but of different ages). The reason is, especially when the batteries are in parallel, they will only work as well as your worst battery in that whole bank.... bringing all of your batteries down to the lowest common denominator.

hope that helps!
 

Posted by Sascha D on Sep 23, 2011 11:21 am

#20 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Small Wind Power > Re: Wind Generator Made In USA?
Looks like a 30% increase in price.....
Is it too late to order one with only a 3 year warranty??

Yeah, we actually have a few of the 12V and 24V Breeze Marines still kicking around in inventory. You can see the qty's left on the respective product spec pages here:

12V
http://www.altestore.com/store/Wind-Turbines/Southwest-Windpower-Turbines-Parts/Air-Breeze-Electric-Wind-Turbines/Southwest-Wind-Power-Air-Breeze-Wind-Turbine-Marine-160W-12V/p6015/

24V
http://www.altestore.com/store/Wind-Turbines/Southwest-Windpower-Turbines-Parts/Air-Breeze-Electric-Wind-Turbines/Southwest-Wind-Power-Air-Breeze-Wind-Turbine-Marine-160W-24V/p6017/
 

Posted by Sascha D on Sep 19, 2011 10:40 pm

#21 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Small Wind Power > Re: Wind Generator Made In USA?
Will there be a marine version of the new Air Breeze?

Actually, the new Air Breeze is only offered in its 'marine-ized' form. In many ways it's just like the previous Air Breeze marine, except that (from what I heard from SWWP)the software/firmware has been further optimized, the mold for the blades has been improved and some additional improvements to the stator were made to increase lifetime.

For more detailed information, check out the Air Breeze turbine product spec pages:

http://www.altestore.com/store/Wind-Turbines/Southwest-Windpower-Turbines-Parts/Southwest-Wind-Power-AIR-Breeze-Series/c1206/
 

Posted by Sascha D on Sep 19, 2011 02:52 pm

#22 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Small Wind Power > Re: Wind Generator Made In USA?
Anyone know the status of the new SWWP AirBreeze with lifetime warranty?

Good news there: We are actually expected them (the new Air Breezes, Air30s, and Air40s) to arrive into inventory within the next week (by 9/27/2011).
 

Posted by Sascha D on Aug 23, 2011 07:13 pm

#23 -  Renewable Energy > Technical Discussion: Small Wind Power > Re: Wind Generator Made In USA?
I just re-confirmed with Southwest Windpower and yes, indeed, their turbines are still made in good 'ol USA (Arizona, to be exact). Smiley What you might be catching on to are the hordes of cheap Chinese knock-off's of Southwest Windpower's Air series of turbines. You'll see many that go under different brand names and look just like the AirX/Breeze's. In fact, even when you search in Google for AirX or Air Breeze, some of these knock-off's come up instead.

There are no quality wind generators that I'm aware of that are still made in the USA. You can get some alternator's on a stick on ebay that may be largely assembled in the USA though. Wink

Sneak preview: SWWP is about to come out with a version of their Air's that will have a lifetime warranty. Just wait til next month (Sept, 2011) - might be worth it to get that unit (the Air40 and then there will be a version of the AiR Breeze that will also have a lifetime warranty). We should have them in stock sometime that same month as well.
 

Posted by Sascha D on Mar 30, 2011 08:54 am

#24 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Propane refrigerators
Hey Thomas, you missed one company in your links for companies that offer gas refrigerators - altE! We also offer DC/Solar powered fridges and freezers that can potentially be more cost effective over time versus the expense of gas.  Our section on gas and solar (DC) refrigerators is here:

http://www.altestore.com/store/Energy-Efficient-Products/Refrigerators-Freezers/c636/
 

Posted by Sascha D on Feb 25, 2011 05:30 pm

#25 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: Wind turbine
Perhaps!

It saddens me to see the number of scam artist that seem to be attracted to promoting "really cheap" turbines that'll provide impossible performances (or the DIY solar panels for cheap advertising) you see all over the 'net. It hurts the credibility of our blossoming renewable energy industry that's meant to do good for people and our planet.
 

Posted by Sascha D on Feb 22, 2011 06:50 pm

#26 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: Wind turbine (Warning - Potential Scam)
We wanted to alert folks to calls we have received about the individual/company that claims to be selling these wind turbines. First off, they are in no way associated with altE but have used our forum to post information about their products. Second, and most importantly, the complaints that we're getting is that this appears to be a scam - where the individuals are taking money up front for the turbines and getting nothing in return. 

Please be weary with anyone offering deals that seem to be too good to be true - they often are. Since our industry has become more mainstream there are more unscrupulous individuals trying to sell wind turbines and make-your-own solar panels for cheap.  Make sure whomever you work with has a history of reliability in serving customers.
 

Posted by Sascha D on Feb 22, 2011 06:40 pm

#27 -  Renewable Energy > For Sale > Re: Wind turbine (Warning - Potential Scam)
We wanted to alert folks to calls we have received about the individual/company that claims to be selling these wind turbines.

First off, they are in no way associated with altE but have used our forum to post information about their products. Second, and most importantly, the complaints that we're getting is that this appears to be a scam - where the individuals are taking money up front for the turbines and the customer is getting nothing in return. 

Please be weary with anyone offering deals that seem to be too good to be true - they often are. Since our industry has become more mainstream there are more unscrupulous individuals trying to falsely sell wind turbines and make-your-own solar panels for cheap.  Make sure whomever you work with has a history of reliability in serving customers.
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jan 23, 2011 05:08 pm

#28 -  Renewable Energy > RE General Discussion > Re: Xantrex discontinuing solar?
Xantrex was bought out by Scheider-Electric. Most of their renewable energy product support pages are now on their site (www.schneider-electric.com). 

For the XW series of products, see this page:

http://www.schneider-electric.com/sites/corporate/en/products-services/renewable-energies/products-offer/range-presentation.page?c_filepath=/templatedata/Offer_Presentation/3_Range_Datasheet/data/en/shared/renewable_energies/xantrex_xw.xml&f=NNM1:Solar+Backup+and+Off-Grid+Systems~!NNM2:Backup+and+Off-Grid+Systems~!NNM3:Xantrex+XW
(see the tab for Charge Controller)

And, of course, we try to keep up with the latest manuals and tech bulletins for Xantrex products right on our site. See the 'Documents' tab on this detailed specification page for XW-MPPT solar charge controller:

http://www.altestore.com/store/Charge-Controllers/Solar-Charge-Controllers/MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controllers/Xantrex-MPPT-Solar-Charge-Contollers/Xantrex-XW-Solar-Charge-Controller-MPPT-865-1030/p5946/
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jun 10, 2010 02:25 am

#29 -  AltE > Announcements > Re: altE Encourages You to use Google's Sidewiki!
To see an example of a Sidewiki comment in action that I just did, check out:

 http://www.altestore.com/store/Meters-Communications-Site-Analysis/Meters-Battery-Monitors/Power-Meters/P3-International-Kill-A-Watt-P4400-Kill-A-Watt-Power-Meter/p932/

Of course, you need to have Sidewiki installed before you can see the comment text I put up. Smiley
 

Posted by Sascha D on Jun 10, 2010 02:11 am

#30 -  AltE > Announcements > altE Encourages You to use Google's Sidewiki!
Google's come out with what appears to be a great tool for our customers and our own staff to use on our website - it's called Sidewiki.

We see Sidewiki as a fantastic way for all of us to type in notes tied to a specific product page (or any other of our web pages) and share it with the rest of us who love designing, installing and thinking about renewable energy gear.

For instance, you might use the Sidewiki to type in notes on what you learned when you installed a specific product, things to watch out for, and give others tips on things you would do if you had to install it again.

At the core of all this, what makes Sidewiki seem so exciting to me is the ability to more easily mesh and put up online both the expertise of our knowledgeable technical sales folks and our customers' powerful experiences and knowledge from doing-it-themselves.

The more easily we can share best practices, real-world tips and otherwise undocumented suggestions, the more we can achieve what all of our dreams are... to get more and more of the world to successfully and safely install renewable energy systems.

We look forward to sharing renewable energy systems knowledge!

Sascha Deri
CEO

PS: Google's Sidewiki is a plugin for your web browser. Go here to download it: http://www.google.com/sidewiki/intl/en/index.html
 

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