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Solar Tracker 5 - Various Questions

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Barrie Castle View Post
    Fair enough.

    I reckon you're all updated. The first diagram was very confusing & needed re-drawing; the update was easy to understand straight up.

    Heat comes from amperage? I thought it came from power. It's still exactly the same power at the end of the day, as the draw is load - dependent. Aaron's ebook points out that the only reason for a higher voltage system is to reduces losses, but that's only the case if the guy uses old technology inverters. New pure sinewave inverters (post-2014) have a higher efficiency negating the need to go for 24V systems. It looks like there's no paralleling to be done anyway, so there's no problem. So why not just use 6 x 2V batteries & halve the chances of anything going wrong (like sulfation!)? So, he uses battery technology from 18+ years ago & has never had a complaint? Perhaps it has something to do with his replacement battery prices + service & call-out fees being so high - all added together that no-one dares call him over to fix their failed systems ever again?

    Be careful with this guy!
    I have quite a long run of cable from the solar panels to the battery room so the cables would be extremely expensive for a 12v system...Believe me I would love to run a 12v system as it cuts the cost of the battery bank in half..

    I dont want to go with a single string of 2v batteries because of redundancy. You lose one battery and you have lost your whole system until you find another battery.

    I think I am going to go with 12 Rolls 6v s605 in series/parallel to give me 1404Ah at 24volt.

    In regards to your thoughts on the solar guy, I dont think so. The guy is pretty honest. Flooded lead acid batteries have basically remained the same since they were invented so it makes no difference that the technology is 18+ years old... His prices are competitive and he has given us a good discount on his quote and helped us out with other things. He isnt a snake oil sales man... He is just set in his ways. He sells a certain system because he thinks its the best system and doesnt venture outside of that.

    I am in the end going to half DIY the project. I have a couple of friends that are electricians and can help me out.

    Any info on what people think about the Rolls 6v s605 would be great. Im a noob to all of this and cant even begin to image that the maintenance on 20 x t105-s (for less storage) is going to be easier than the maintenance of 12 x rolls s605 for more power and about the same price.

    the only benefit I can see of running smaller batteries is that a tesla charger charger/rejuvenator would be cheaper for the golf cart size battery when any of them go bad.

    I am going to look into it further and really try to use and maintain them as well as I can.

    The system is going to look something like this:

    2.8k Solar Panels
    Solar Tracker 5 - s80a24
    12 x Rolls 6v s605 - 1404Ah @ 24v
    Studer XTM 3500 24v Inverter

    any input would be much appreciated...

    Comment


    • #17
      So, I have built the system.

      I went ahead and did it myself in the end.

      you can see some videos on it here:
      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZs...zNillEi-wdhOlg

      It has been up and running for a couple of months and so far so good. Well apart from the fan in the s80a24 burning out on the second day of use and the unit overheating.

      I changed the fan and now it seems to be running fine, although I have seen some changes recently in the way the charger is performing.

      I have been away for 3 weeks and before I left, the charger was pushing the batteries to about 30.7v and then tailing off to about 10amps and staying there.

      Now 3 weeks later, the charger is pushing the batteries up to about 31.07v then coming back down to 30.99v and putting in between 18.5 and 18.7amps. This makes me worry a little because of the change and the fact that the unit overheated. Also the temperatures have gone up quite a bit since I left so we are now at around 30 C in the battery room, dunno if that has anything to do with it?

      It would be great if someone from support could tell me if this is the normal functioning of the unit and or if someone that has one of these units could tell me how theirs is going.

      thanks!

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Luke-es View Post
        So, I have built the system.

        I went ahead and did it myself in the end.

        you can see some videos on it here:
        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZs...zNillEi-wdhOlg

        It has been up and running for a couple of months and so far so good. Well apart from the fan in the s80a24 burning out on the second day of use and the unit overheating.

        I changed the fan and now it seems to be running fine, although I have seen some changes recently in the way the charger is performing.

        I have been away for 3 weeks and before I left, the charger was pushing the batteries to about 30.7v and then tailing off to about 10amps and staying there.

        Now 3 weeks later, the charger is pushing the batteries up to about 31.07v then coming back down to 30.99v and putting in between 18.5 and 18.7amps. This makes me worry a little because of the change and the fact that the unit overheated. Also the temperatures have gone up quite a bit since I left so we are now at around 30 C in the battery room, dunno if that has anything to do with it?

        It would be great if someone from support could tell me if this is the normal functioning of the unit and or if someone that has one of these units could tell me how theirs is going.

        thanks!
        30.7 is about perfect for 24 volts - assuming these are flooded cell batteries.

        31.07 - sounds like there was some sulfation pushing the voltage up, but if it dropped, that is a good sign.

        Does it keep repeating the higher voltage push?

        I didn't look at the video yet, but will.

        Do you need a fan replacement?
        Aaron Murakami





        You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. ― Richard Buckminster Fuller

        Comment


        • #19
          Hi Aaron,

          thanks for the reply.

          yes they are lead acid, flooded.

          I checked the water levels today and all of the batteries were quite low. None of the plates showing but low, never the less.

          I have topped them up with about 2.9gallons. That is what they have used in about 3 weeks.

          Right now the charger is at around 31.24 and putting in around 16 amps. so the amps have come down but the voltage has gone up a little. Will check back in a couple of days to see what is happening as I suppose it will take a little while to stabilize now, while the water mixes in to the electrolyte.

          I have noticed the specific gravity on one cell of one battery a lot lower than there rest. this was the cell with the lowest water. So hoping that that will pop back up now otherwise it seems as if that battery might be faulty... Maybe this is why it is pushing the voltage up?

          I will try and disconnect that bank and see if it goes back to 30.7v. with just the other two strings.


          I have already replaced the fan thanks.

          Edit: So a couple of hours after I wrote the original post. The charger is now pushing the batteries up to 31.5 and pushing in 22amps. Its 15:00 in the afternoon so the batteries are more than charged. It should have tapered down to a float voltage a while ago. Normally it goes down to float voltage by about 11.00 - 12:00.
          Last edited by Luke-es; 05-28-2017, 06:15 AM.

          Comment


          • #20
            So I have run a couple of tests since I last posted.

            I tried disconecting the string that had the low cell and that didnt change the way it was charging. It was still pushing the batteries up to 31v + and pumping in the amps.

            I then thought that my batteries never get cycled much so i would give them a good cycle and see if that sorted it. I turned my solar panels off and let it discharge to about 80%.

            It charged back up after that but it seems like its not going into float. At the moment I have to go and turn the charger off once the batteries are charged otherwise it just keeps on pumping in the amps.

            Do you have any other ideas about trouble shooting? So far though, it does seem like its the charger malfunctioning, its just not going into float.

            today we have had full sun and the batteries have now been at 31v + with 25 to 30 amps going in for a couple of hours. Im starting to get a little worried as its a brand new 4000€ battery bank. so any help would be much appreciated.
            Last edited by Luke-es; 06-02-2017, 04:48 AM.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Aaron Murakami View Post
              Hi Luke,

              12 volts is to extend battery life.

              Amorphous is best if you can get them in the right specs because you get power in low light conditions and they beat crystalline hands down in real world tests, period.

              Our charge controllers will still work regardless of the panels you get.

              Your solar guy is giving you really bad info if he says don't parallel and series the batteries. If you have a 12 volt battery, the middle cells can and will go bad. If you have 6 volt batteries in 12 volts strings and parallel those to up the amp hour rating, you help prevent the middle cells from going bad because you do "hardwire the equalization" into the bank. It is better than not doing it and I doubt your solar guy has ever done the test to find out.
              Hi Aaron,
              I admire your explanation it is so succinct and up to the point..
              However, unfortunately for me i see that Solar /Wind Energy generation as applied to its storage /and from its reusage front using Batteries is concerned.. Our country is still in the Medival ages as for as the enlightment on the Bedini/Tesla Technology is concerned.
              the Goverment here is focusing on the Power resale schemes to companies in order to encourage Renewable Energy sector and the Green Technology babbles..
              as we all know OTG concept is meaningless without the Bedini/Tesla Technology.
              but with the Batteries having their roles to play in these systems, the Goverment's intent for power resale scheme get very controversial while on the other hand de-centrialzed Power systems with OTG concepts will definitly be not encouraged or worst will face suppression..
              how do you see this scenario?
              Rgds,
              Faraday88.
              Last edited by Faraday88; 06-02-2017, 07:50 AM. Reason: addition
              'Wisdom comes from living out of the knowledge.'

              Comment


              • #22
                Hi Aaron,

                so I have done some more tests and it seems like the unit is overheating. When it is cooler or I take the top off the unit it floats the batteries at around 30.7v. As the unit starts to get hotter the float voltage starts to increase.

                As you can see in the photo. when the fan failed the unit got so hot that the flux has come out of the solder on those components. Do you think that those components could be damaged and that is what is causing the unit to malfunction?

                IMG_20170602_141118.jpg
                IMG_20170602_141813.jpg

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Luke-es View Post
                  Hi Aaron,

                  so I have done some more tests and it seems like the unit is overheating. When it is cooler or I take the top off the unit it floats the batteries at around 30.7v. As the unit starts to get hotter the float voltage starts to increase.

                  As you can see in the photo. when the fan failed the unit got so hot that the flux has come out of the solder on those components. Do you think that those components could be damaged and that is what is causing the unit to malfunction?


                  I'm sorry, I do not know what the problem might be. Is there a way to put multiple fans on the unit instead of just one?
                  Aaron Murakami





                  You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. ― Richard Buckminster Fuller

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Hi Luke-es,

                    In the video you said you changed the fan. Check the direction of the fan's airflow and make sure it is getting the hot air out of the unit, not blowing into the unit.

                    Regards
                    Lman

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Lman View Post
                      Hi Luke-es,

                      In the video you said you changed the fan. Check the direction of the fan's airflow and make sure it is getting the hot air out of the unit, not blowing into the unit.

                      Regards
                      Lman
                      Sorry Lman, that's incorrect.

                      You want the fan blowing cool air into the unit and pushing the hot air out the vent holes.

                      John K.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Hi John K,

                        There are indeed different methods of cooling, but I am not convinced that what you said is applicable in this case here.
                        As I can see, on the bigger trackers the venting holes are on the bottom of the units, and nothing on the top. How is the hot air forced to go down as there is no special arrangement for that ?
                        When the hot air is taken outside it is replaced by cooler air entering the vent holes on the bottom, and lowering the local ambient temperature around the devices.
                        As Luke-es said that taking the top off the unit seems to resolve the problem, I think that reversed airflow could be the problem, and the hot air be trapped inside.

                        By the way, getting the hot air out of the unit is taking the advantage of the natural air convection. This is how the CPU inside a PC is cooled, PC power supplies, most of the laptops, audio amplifiers, and other devices.
                        I am talking from the little experience I have in cooling and lowering the noise floor of some machines.

                        Regards
                        Lman

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Lman View Post
                          Hi John K,

                          There are indeed different methods of cooling, but I am not convinced that what you said is applicable in this case here.
                          As I can see, on the bigger trackers the venting holes are on the bottom of the units, and nothing on the top. How is the hot air forced to go down as there is no special arrangement for that ?
                          When the hot air is taken outside it is replaced by cooler air entering the vent holes on the bottom, and lowering the local ambient temperature around the devices.
                          As Luke-es said that taking the top off the unit seems to resolve the problem, I think that reversed airflow could be the problem, and the hot air be trapped inside.

                          By the way, getting the hot air out of the unit is taking the advantage of the natural air convection. This is how the CPU inside a PC is cooled, PC power supplies, most of the laptops, audio amplifiers, and other devices.
                          I am talking from the little experience I have in cooling and lowering the noise floor of some machines.

                          Regards
                          Lman
                          I made sure that the fan was going the same way as the original fan and checked this with Aaron. The fan indeed blows air through the heatsink and out the other side. I think that those exit holes are too small anyway.

                          I have the unit running wihtout the top on and its not actually any better now. I have run a couple more tests and the only way to get the charger to float at 30.7 as it used to is to turn half of my array off so its only receiving 1200 watts instead of 2400.

                          It looks like the charger is having a hard time limiting the amount of current going through and its not dropping into float. I dont think it is the heat i think something has been damaged when the fan burnt out.

                          I need some help from whoever helped John Bedini to build these so that i can troubleshoot the part that is damaged and change it.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Lman View Post
                            Hi John K,

                            There are indeed different methods of cooling, but I am not convinced that what you said is applicable in this case here.
                            As I can see, on the bigger trackers the venting holes are on the bottom of the units, and nothing on the top. How is the hot air forced to go down as there is no special arrangement for that ?
                            When the hot air is taken outside it is replaced by cooler air entering the vent holes on the bottom, and lowering the local ambient temperature around the devices.
                            As Luke-es said that taking the top off the unit seems to resolve the problem, I think that reversed airflow could be the problem, and the hot air be trapped inside.

                            By the way, getting the hot air out of the unit is taking the advantage of the natural air convection. This is how the CPU inside a PC is cooled, PC power supplies, most of the laptops, audio amplifiers, and other devices.
                            I am talking from the little experience I have in cooling and lowering the noise floor of some machines.

                            Regards
                            Lman
                            Hi Lman,

                            It's the inherent nature of "wind chill" and "air pressure" that determines that the air flow should move from the outside to the inside of the device.

                            As an estimate, for every 10km/h of wind speed there is a 1 degree Celsius drop in air temperature. So if the fan is blowing air at 50km/h there's going to be about a 5 degree Celsius differnce in temperature between the air entering the fan and the air exiting the fan.

                            Given that the air pressure inside the device is also a lot higher than the outside air because of the air being forced into it by the fan, any air (hot or cold) will be forced out of the vent holes.

                            John K.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by John_Koorn View Post
                              Hi Lman,

                              It's the inherent nature of "wind chill" and "air pressure" that determines that the air flow should move from the outside to the inside of the device.

                              As an estimate, for every 10km/h of wind speed there is a 1 degree Celsius drop in air temperature. So if the fan is blowing air at 50km/h there's going to be about a 5 degree Celsius differnce in temperature between the air entering the fan and the air exiting the fan.

                              Given that the air pressure inside the device is also a lot higher than the outside air because of the air being forced into it by the fan, any air (hot or cold) will be forced out of the vent holes.

                              John K.
                              Hi John K,

                              I agree with what you explained here, although I am a little surprised it is realized that way. But I know that John Bedini would have made it differently, if he thought it needed to be done. Probably at a little higher cost though.

                              Well, I must admit that my assumption about the airflow of the fan was wrong, since Luke-es has it confirmed now by Aaron as well. And the more important is that he has installed the fan the correct way, as you said it should be. So he can rule out this as a possible reason for the problem and look somewhere else for the disturbance of his unit.


                              Regards
                              Lman

                              Comment

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