Outback offgrid setup upgrade time

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Outback offgrid setup upgrade time

Postby JMowat » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:37 pm

Hi all,
Back again after 4 years,

4.x Years ago we moved to Wahring, Vic, (10min north for Nagambie)
We had a completely new off grid setup installed, to replace 4x80watt & ex telstra battery that was there.

We had an Outback suite installed.
9x Renesola 250watt
Outback VFX3024E inverter
Outback Flexmax 80
24vdc @ 1500amphour battery back,

It has been very good to us most of the time, we have to run the generator in the evening after few consecutive hot days, due to running the aircon in the bedroom flat out. Also in winter due panel position being poor ,

So we have worked out where on the property nearby gets zero winter shade, so a new 12x18 skillioned (@12o) shed is going there, and all the solar gear is being moved into/onto the shed. with a 240v ac feed going back to the house.

So i would like to upgrade/increase the amount of panels for our setup,

Thinking of adding 2-3 rows of 9 panels giving me a total or 6.75 or 9KW
So heres what i am thinking i need

2-3 Outback Flexmax 80's
1 Outback VFX3024E
18-27 250-290watt panels
Racking and cabling

Anyone have any tip or suggestions or is a Outback dealer that could give me a quote & confirm the stacking of the gear setup

Thanks very much
JamesM
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Re: Outback offgrid setup upgrade time

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:36 pm

I'm not sure how your battery is configured, but now is the time to jump to 48V if you can.

9kW of PV into a 24V battery is going to require 4 or 5 FM80s.

Have a think about mounting the PV panels as a virtual tracker so you aren't trying to shove 350A into your battery at midday.
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Re: Outback offgrid setup upgrade time

Postby JMowat » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:41 pm

Thanks Gordon for the info

Batteries are 12 x 2v 1500amp

Thats a lot of FM80's,

I'll do some more reading up on setting up of the panels in a virtual tracker pattern.
I think the basics are, say setup 3kw with an easterly ideal direction,3kw at straight north & 3kw West ideal direction, thus spreading the peak load
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Re: Outback offgrid setup upgrade time

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:19 pm

The FM80 will is limited to 80A, 9000W @24V = 375A. Generally you might get only 80% of that (if the charge controllers could handle it), but during cloud edge effect periods you could see over 400A.

You could put 3kW into one FM80 if you put say 1.5kW facing E and 1.5kW facing W, both tilted to face 30deg above the horizon. That will keep max current below 80A.

Virtual Tracker thread here:
solar-wind-gear/topic5064.html
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Re: Outback offgrid setup upgrade time - Again

Postby JMowat » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:12 pm

Well its 2019 and its time for another change.

I have my grandmother moving into the property, she is building a 3 bedroom house next to our house,

So its time to upgrade the system again,

The last system update in 2017 was,
9 x 275w panels
1x outback FM60
And moved to shade less shed site

So a total of
9 x 275w panels
9x Renesola 250watt
1x outback FM60
1x outback FM80
Outback VFX3024E inverter
24vdc @ 1500amphour battery back (still doing well after 7 years, 24.6v @6:15am after i microwave my breakfast)

System does do well over winter, only run the generator once per winter since moving everything to the new shade less shed,
Summer is the harder months due to the longer stretches of 40c+
mostly when the change is coming, last 1-2 days of heat but cloudy, so generator is run in the evening to top up the batteries so the bedroom aircons can run all night.

But now we need to run a whole other house, solar gear will be on/in the same shade less shed,
So we have to change the battery system to 48V
Go another 18-24 panels

Our solar installer likes the Selectronic suite of electronics (think we ended up with Outback due to original budget restraints in 2012), so possibly changing the whole lot to the current range of selectronics

So the questions are what gear are people using
What sort of dollars are we looking out for decent 48v batteries,
what battery tech are we staying away from
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Re: Outback offgrid setup upgrade time

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:48 pm

My 52V 400AH LiFePO4 will be 7years old in December, and still has most of its capacity. It has been worked quite hard, most nights are ~50% DOD and quite a few discharges below 80% DOD in summer. The battery has been exposed to a lot of 45+C heat in summer, which isn't ideal, but that's just how it is here.

Cost has gone up a bit since 2012, but searching around you should find a reasonable deal on them.
I've replaced 1 cell with a Winston, as CALB were not available in 400AH in Oz when I needed one, and the weak cell has been paralleled with the next weakest. That is something you just cant do with the commercially available batteries in a box if they develop weak cells- Tesla, LG Chem, etc, which are also significantly more expensive.

I can't charge them as fast as I used to, no doubt due to increasing internal resistance, which causes the voltage to go higher at lower charge rate than earlier in its life. This isn't really a problem so far, it just means that full charge is reached later in the day. How this changes in the future remains to be seen.

My Latronics 7kW 48V inverter is still going well, but at some stage I'm planning on buying a Victron, 5 or 8kW inverter-charger with generator auto-start, so that I can be sure battery voltage does not go too low when I am away in cloudy weather. Currently I can start the generator remotely, so long as I have phone signal, and NBN satellite is working, both not always guaranteed!

I'll go with the same battery chemistry when the time comes, it is so far ahead of Lead-acid for efficiency and power delivery, I'd never go back to Pb-acid.
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Re: Outback offgrid setup upgrade time

Postby JMowat » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:38 pm

Thanks very much Gordon,

Have been having a look around, the Victron quattro 48/8000v/110 looks good, tho should go the 10000v due to the way performance drops of with temp, not that my battery shed or electronic area get into the 40c's but they will see 30's, the times when those area are 30's the aircons are going to be running,

The Selectronic SP Pro SPMC482 also looks pretty capible,


Thinking i would like to install a standalone system for Grans house that has the ability to take my places current panels & have me add more 48v batteries to support the 2 houses, (95% of the time only 3 residents)

so something like
Victron 48v (8000v/10000) or SPMC482-au
7.2kW of panels
8-10kWh of batteries, LiFePO - in an upgradable form factor/rack


Any brands of batteries i should be checking out

What sort of dollars are we looking at in Vic realizing that there is $3.5k difference between the victron and sp pro

cheers
James
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Re: Outback offgrid setup upgrade time

Postby australsolarier » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:57 am

jmowat,
yes, the selectronics SPMC482-au is much more expensive, but also somewhat more future proved. it is a bit difficult to program and difficult what all the options actually mean or what they are doing. and it is sealed off to insects, etc. the small victron 12v inverter i have is all open and invites all kinds of bugs to keep warm in the winter. victron is a good product too. when it says victron 7000w, it is not continuous it is peak, whereas the selectronic says 7500w that is continuous.
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Re: Outback offgrid setup upgrade time

Postby JMowat » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:20 am

Cheers austral

Since i wanna a eventually run 2 houses off the 1 system i think its worth the extra $$ upfront.

Any tips on the batteries. Whats your experience shown
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Re: Outback offgrid setup upgrade time

Postby australsolarier » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:49 am

i have the batteries (48v/400ah) from ev power (https://www.ev-power.com.au/)

you will have to get a quote from rod. it comes in kit form, just plug in and wire up and it is all ready to go. and as money goes still cheaper than order directly from china with all the bits etc. and you have a local mob that honours their warranty and can give advice, that is in understandable english.
and the capacity is what it says on the battery label.
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