12 to 24.

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12 to 24.

Postby 7stringgun » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:17 am

I have now decided to go 24v after learning of the restrictions a 12v system places on you.

I have just purchased secondhand at a farm sale

Latronics 24v 1200w inverter
Xantrex 60a mppt
Plasmatronics pl20
circuit breakers
8x170w 44v panels
12x2v raylite batteries (4x 3x2v 900ah)

$850 total (think I did well)

The raylites sat for about 6 months with nothing going in and tested over 11v but figure they could be kaput after sitting so long, is converting to alum batteries worthwhile?

I have 8x6v trojan t105 batteries on the 12v system I want to convert and we don't use heaps of power so figure this will suffice for now and the raylites will be a bonus if they come to life.

I lose my 12v inverter/charger in the conversion but am hoping the extra panels will make up for it?

I have 4x190w 44v panels and 6x120w 12v panels in 2 strings of 3.

I am hoping to put the 8x170w panels on the xantrex, the 4x190w panels on the mppt I have and 3x120w onto the pl20. Will this work? I figure I can't put all the different panels onto the xantrex, am I right or wrong? I know mppts interfere but can turn one off at 95%.

My earth stake is currently coming off the 12v inverter/charger (phoenix multiplus 12/1600/70) but I can't see where to put it now that the latronics doesn't have a place to connect to. I do see that the latronics has circuit breaker in built, am I missing something here?

Excited to change the system after struggling to keep on top of things with the 12v system and hoping I can make do with what I have to improve without having to buy anything else. Thanks
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Re: 12 to 24.

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:21 pm

Welcome to the Energy Matters Forums 7stringgun :)

7stringgun wrote:The raylites sat for about 6 months with nothing going in and tested over 11v but figure they could be kaput after sitting so long...



They are probably sulphated up pretty badly, have you tested the Specific Gravty and voltage of each cell?

The sensible choice these days is a Lithium battery, there are plenty of threads on the forum discussing this superior battery chemistry.

I dont quite understand this:

I am hoping to put the 8x170w panels on the xantrex, the 4x190w panels on the mppt I have and 3x120w onto the pl20.


Isn't the Xantrex the MPPT controller? I didn't see mention of any others.


You'd need to give full panel specs for each type you have in order to work out the best panel connection method, along with specs for the charge controllers.

You need an electrician to connect the 230V side but active, neutral and earth go from the inverter junction box to the switchboard, and the earth stake is connected to the MEN connection block there, or does this inverter just have a power point and no other output connections? What model # is the inverter? There should usually be a connection point for an earth somewhere on the steel housing.
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Re: 12 to 24.

Postby 7stringgun » Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:36 pm

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:have you tested the Specific Gravty and voltage of each cell?


No I haven't but would like to know how if you could share.

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:The sensible choice these days is a Lithium battery, there are plenty of threads on the forum discussing this superior battery chemistry.


If I spend much more on solar I will end up losing half of everything when the boss kicks me out.

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:I dont quite understand this:

I am hoping to put the 8x170w panels on the xantrex, the 4x190w panels on the mppt I have and 3x120w onto the pl20.


Isn't the Xantrex the MPPT controller? I didn't see mention of any others.


The xantrex is a 60 amp mppt regulator, I also have another one, a gsl60 amp. I thought you couldn't use different panels on one unit if they were all different.

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:You'd need to give full panel specs for each type you have in order to work out the best panel connection method, along with specs for the charge controllers.


I will do first thing in morning.
Gordon-Loomberah wrote: does this inverter just have a power point and no other output connections? What model # is the inverter? There should usually be a connection point for an earth somewhere on the steel housing.


The inverter is a Latronics LS-1224, it just has one plug as an outlet and I can't see anywhere on housing to connect the earth stake like I can on the phoenix.
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Re: 12 to 24.

Postby davidg » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:03 pm

7stringgun wrote:The inverter is a Latronics LS-1224, it just has one plug as an outlet and I can't see anywhere on housing to connect the earth stake like I can on the phoenix.

You need someone that understands the equipment you have purchased and knows good electrical practice for the ELV side of things at the very least.

Gordon pointed out you need a sparkie for the LV and that includes the earth connection/s. It's not uncommon to bypass the GPO/socket in small inverters and hard-wire the inverter to a building.
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Re: 12 to 24.

Postby 7stringgun » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:53 pm

davidg wrote:You need someone that understands the equipment you have purchased and knows good electrical practice for the ELV side of things at the very least.

Gordon pointed out you need a sparkie for the LV and that includes the earth connection/s. It's not uncommon to bypass the GPO/socket in small inverters and hard-wire the inverter to a building.


I appreciate the advice but respectfully,I can't see why I need another sparkie? The latronics inverter has the standard red and black leads one end and a 240 socket at the other end. I have existing rcd, everything is fused and because we went dc, we use it to our advantage with low voltage appliances and the only use for 240 we have is for a 418l fridge freezer, 380l fridge, 149l freezer, the sat net and wireless router. one large powerboard on a lead that has been hardwired into inverter does the trick (this one doesn't even need hardwiring since it has plug). Our place isn't wired like a house because it is a shed in the sticks, It isn't a flash system by any means but everything is done well and works fine as is so making it more complicated than it needs to be seems pointless.
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Re: 12 to 24.

Postby davidg » Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:12 am

7stringgun wrote:
davidg wrote:Gordon pointed out you need a sparkie for the LV and that includes the earth connection/s. It's not uncommon to bypass the GPO/socket in small inverters and hard-wire the inverter to a building.

I appreciate the advice but respectfully,I can't see why I need another sparkie? The latronics inverter has the standard red and black leads one end and a 240 socket at the other end .................... works fine as is so making it more complicated than it needs to be seems pointless.

It's law, regulations require it, if you choose otherwise it's your choice.

Regulations state at a bare minimum. LV (50vac & 120vdc ripple free and above) requires an electrical licence, that includes an earth. At a minmum I suggested a competent person for the ELV (Extra Low Voltage) side of things because it appeared from your post, there is gap in electrical knowledge of how when and why.

Getting it wrong can be expensive and dangerous, batteries store large amounts energy just waiting to get out and do nasty things if you get it wrong, even old ones.

Solar Panels depending of how there wired very quickly reach lethal voltages or can give you nasty shock, it does not have to exceed the voltages mentioned to be dangerous.
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Re: 12 to 24.

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:21 am

To measure the Specific Gravity you'll need a hydrometer, or a refractometer, which is my preference as it is a much less messy procedure and more accurate. Of course, you can only do this with flooded cells.
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Re: 12 to 24.

Postby 7stringgun » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:37 pm

We are four hundred clicks round trip from a tradesman, I don't think I can wrangle a drought master to do the work for me unfortunately. So the question now is, do I really need to change voltage or stick with 12v? Since I have the earth, rcd and everything set up, it seems pointless to change and open a can of worms.

If I use the xantrex, which is 60 amp/150vdc, I can increase my array which is all I really need to do to have the system powering all I require. Using two arrays with two different mppt regs seems to be a no no, can I position the arrays so they don't interfere? Can I also use the pl20, being a pwm reg, my understanding is it will not interfere but am I wrong?

I know you guys hear day in day out all the woes of peoples solar problems that are usually self inflicted and would be apprehensive about providing advice (especially since you are a sparkie David and giving free advice doesn't pay the bills) but surely there is also an argument that sometimes rules have to be broken and the best way forward is to give the soundest advice to get the job done.

I am not here to argue but unfortunately necessity is the mother of all invention

In Oxford Dictionary the proverb has been defined as– when the need for something becomes imperative, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it.[3]
According to Cambridge Dictionary, this is "an expression that means that if you really need to do something, you will think of a way of doing it."[4]
Longman dictionary has defined the proverb as– "if someone really needs to do something, they will find a way of doing it."[5]
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Re: 12 to 24.

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:10 pm

I've been running 2 MPPT regulators with different panels for quite some time, no one told me it was a no-no!

Have a read of the Virtual Tracker thread regarding positioning of arrays etc:
solar-wind-gear/topic5064.html
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Re: 12 to 24.

Postby davidg » Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:07 pm

7stringgun wrote:We are four hundred clicks round trip from a tradesman

200/400 from where, I reckon that's not all that far? ........ I've done 1900k's for some off-grid jobs and that was each way. :o
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SELECTRONIC SPMC482-AU, 8.2kW's of Arrays
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An OTT Genset for a house.
PVOutput Stats

Sparkys light up your life :)
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