G'day

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G'day

Postby DingoBattler » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:00 pm

Good evening from Northern Rivers NSW

it took me a while to find this great info resource but glad I did :D .

I'm hoping I can get some good unbiased advice on how to proceed with my system build as while I have used and maintained stand alone solar for over 15 years, I know only the basics of system design in the current time. I look forward to completing my system soon and want the peace of mind

Anyway i'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question so I will look for the appropriate forum and post there.

Happy sunny days...
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Re: G'day

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:15 pm

Welcome to the Energy Matters Forums DingoBattler :)

I've moved the thread to the appropriate section, so ask away!
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Re: G'day

Postby DingoBattler » Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:50 am

Thanks for the reply mate. I envy all your big systems I wonder what you do with all that power !

Myself I've had a BP Solar .5 kw 12v Raylite 750AH, Latronics 12/240 1600W system running for around 15 years strongly its been great and is still kicking on and is powering a Engel fridge, laptop, satellite modem and various lights and chargers here tonight. That system cost me 10 grand new and I remember I got a $2400 rebate at the time. Things were pricey then

In the case of my new system I have sourced various components s/h such as a Selectronic 1700/24v, 4/ 250w panels. I bought brand new Exide Energystore 830ah/24v Battery bank and now just need an inverter and install. The panels are already installed and I would like to add a few more to take it to 1.5 kw but they do get full sun. I think these batteries are very big for my personal energy requirements as I live alone and the odd guest so therefore cycled mildly will last well, does this make sense. I didn't want to go with AGM as I couldn't afford the sonnenshin and the others didn't have the warranty and the proven reliability of the Lead Acid Flooded Cells or at least I thought?

Also I was going to buy a flexmax80 but heard they may get a few faults with the fans, I am leaning towards Schneider 60 A MPPT or a Aerl Coolmax SR MaximizerAerl Coolmax SR Maximizer MPPT SOLAR CHARGE CONTROLLER which I think is about 80 watt. My budget is $1000 can anyone suggest alternative or confirm the quality of these?

This system will run low wattage lights, laptop sat internet modem 240v/55w, Engel fridge 24v, 175 W F&P washing machine once a week, water pump, toilet fan, and some basic power tool use around the house like drills and angle grinder and a fan in summer.

I wish I had a bigger inverter though as this is a very big battery bank and over double what I have been used to, so maybe I could use some high wattage appliances to cook and clean with as well as power tools like drop saws if I had a bigger inverter. What size would be ideal given these loads please?

I was warned away from the current raylites by every reseller I spoke to so went with the exides, I was all ready to buy the raylites though as I have been so impressed with them. I respect the advice and its sad to see a great product lose its reputation like that after such a strong following and reliability over decades, I just hope the Exide are worth their bux and raylite address the apparent issues to deliver a consistently reliable product once again.

I would like advice for charging these in times of no sun i.e what components can you suggest to run off a Honda EU2.0 kva ecotec gennie. Charger?

I don't have much more money to spare for this project but want reliability with the whole system.

Thanks for any suggestions or helpful comments, cheers
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Re: G'day

Postby DingoBattler » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:54 pm

Looks like I asked too much, either that or no one of the 67 viewers over 4 days has any experience that can help me :?: or cares to reply. I understand. Thanks anyway!

I think I will just take a stab and support Aussie made and buy the Aerl Coolmax SR Maximizer. (there are two versions as mentioned bellow but not distinguished) The guys at Aerl got back to me said the following bellow in italic, Its the 5 year warranty Aussie Made and the fact it is made and distributed from a location 2 hrs drive away from where I live that has me so interested, it also has a 3.5 TFT touch screen. Can anyone here give me any feedback on either of the two models before I jump in please or am I talking to a brick wall ?? :D

I just found this data sheet -

http://www.aerl.com.au/pdf/COOLMAX%20SR%20Wall%20Mount%20Datasheet%20G2%20v.2.pdf


Thank you for your enquiry.



We are currently out of stock for a few weeks.



We are the Australian and International Distributors for Australian Energy Research Laboratories Pty Ltd (AERL); products - COOLMAX SR MAXIMIZERTM & PUMPMAX MAXIMIZERTM.



With AERL’s next generation COOLMAX SR MAXIMIZERTM MPPT Range now in production. You can experience the new features of this exciting and innovative new release; including an all new-touch screen display with greatly improved front panel program design for easier set-up and data access, plus an all-new remote monitoring capability which now supports both Modbus and CAN bus communications protocols. Building on the existing compact, lightweight and slimline ergonomic design, the next generation COOLMAX SR also sports a smart new look. These new features and improvements, together with the same reliability and superior power advantage of previous AERL MAXIMIZERTM models, makes AERL’s new release COOLMAX SR MAXIMIZERTM a real industry leader.



AERL was founded in 1985 to pioneer the development and commercialization of the world’s first MPPT Solar Charge Controller, for use in the photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems. AERL has now developed more than 50 different models of high-performance power electronic controllers for use in solar, micro-wind, micro-hydro and cathodic protection applications. In over 25 years or trading, AERL has supplied literally thousands of controllers, all fully designed and manufactured here in Australia, to satisfied customers worldwide.



Why use the next generation COOLMAX SR MAXIMIZERTM MPPT;

· 99% super high conversion efficiency

· High input voltage for lower install cost

· Superior power advantage & MPPT response

· Smart multi-stage battery charging profile

· Master/Slave configurability

· TFT 3.5” touch screen display

· Easy system set-up and data access

· Out of system programmability

· Remote monitoring capability

· CAN or Modbus comms options

· Ultra low heat thermal design

· Temperature compensation

· Compact and lightweight

· Reliable and robust

· Australian designed and made

· CE & C-Tick Complaint



Using an AERL MPPT Controller will improve the charging performance of solar panels. They convert the additional excess solar panel voltage (difference between battery and panel voltage) into extra amperage. It is also extremely beneficial using a AERL MPPT Controller during low light and cloudy conditions.



Current Prices as below (Please not prices can change without notice);

Model
List Price

(Inc. GST)

SRMVW
$1,190.00

SRHVW
$1,890.00


Please note: Prices DO NOT include freight or postage.



Postage for one controller is $22 (Signature Post, Via Australia Post) or $33 (Express Signature Post, Via Australia Post).

If there is more than one controller, we price freight through either Australia Post or TNT Road Express.



If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the office.


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Re: G'day

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:32 pm

DingoBattler wrote:Exide Energystore 830ah/24v Battery bank


You'd want to be able to charge them at 80A or more, in order to keep the battery in good condition, so 2kW or more of PV.

I've not had any FM80 fan problems in quite a few years of use of 2 of them. I haven't heard any reports about the Schneider or AERL CCs, so cant comment on them. The AERL pdfs for the 2 models you mention are identical, so not sure what is going on there- probably an error in the link to the pdf.

What size would be ideal given these loads please?


Probably 3kW... and by an amazing coincidence, we have a 3kW Victron inverter-charger on clearance right now, priced under Trade :)

For a generator- a 24V truck alternator and small petrol, diesel or gas powered motor will do the job very well at not too much expense. That's what I used for many years before going to 52V with a Lithium battery.
Alternatively a decent quality 240V generator and an inverter-charger will do the job.
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Re: G'day

Postby DingoBattler » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:57 pm

Thanks for the info Gordon thats very helpful, so I need more panels.

I'll pm you re the victron inverter charger as cant see it on the site ?

The specs are different for the two models
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Re: G'day

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:36 pm

used-wind-solar/topic6458.html

There also still a few left of the eTracer ET6415N 60A MPPT charge controllers on clearance, also listed in the For Sale section
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Re: G'day

Postby jules » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:14 pm

Hi Dingo Battler,

I'm going to be somewhat devils advocate here and suggest a more minimalist path.

I wish I had a bigger inverter though as this is a very big battery bank and over double what I have been used to, so maybe I could use some high wattage appliances to cook and clean with as well as power tools like drop saws if I had a bigger inverter. What size would be ideal given these loads please?


From what you've said you should be able to operate all the equipment you've mentioned quite comfortably with your Selectronic inverter. The Selectronic has a half hour rating of nearly 2500W. A drop saw, even if you leave it running, will only use its peak power when under load and that usually happens only in short bursts. It's probably not a good idea to use electricity to cook, mainly because gas does a better job :D but also because it can use a huge amount of power which is significant even if it's only for an hour or so. Any other cleaning devices or power tools should still come in under the 1700W or the 2500W half hour rating. In terms of priorities when it comes to spending within a $1000 budget, an inverter might not rate too high.

Again I'm probably stepping on a few toes here but for the best use of your budget, I'd suggest you pick up a Plasmatronics PL60 for about $600 and spend the other $400 on a couple of extra panels. MPPT is essential if you're grid connected but not if you're off-grid. When you have an overcast week the extra panels will collect more power with lower light levels and recharged low batteries faster of course.

Now I might be thrown out of the forum for this final comment but I'd suggest 1.5K of panels is quite enough for your battery bank. I only say this from experience. My secondary system, semi-retired, consists of a set of 35 year old flooded lead acid cells [6 X2V; 550AH] which I ran for many years on about 300W of solar input. If you limit yourself to shallow discharge [and you must have to have had your system work successfully for 15 years] lead acid cells do not seem to require high charging rates. In a sense the problem with having a very large set of panels, is that it it tempts you to discharge them more when they can easily be re-charged by high inputs which in turn shortens their lifespan.

Maybe you could add more panels later. Maybe you could pick up a bigger Selectronics or Latronics inverter when you see one second hand but I see no reason to go beyond your budget now.
Primary system: .8KW Trina panels; Plasmatronics PL40; 1,000Ah VRLA 12X2V battery bank; 1.7KW Selectronic inverter. Off grid for 30 years.

Spares; 5 x 12V, 1,000 Ah batteries plus a couple of regulators
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