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  • Solar controller, converter, batteries, oh my!

    I am pretty new to all of this so please be kind. I have four 6v batteries wired in series-parallel for a total of 12v 450Ah. I have 700W of solar panels hooked into a Renogy Commander 60A charge controller then to the batteries. I also have a Converter/Charger from the house hooked into the batteries. The solar controller and the converter/charger can each "condition" the batteries and I am worried having two devices trying to condition the batteries can lead to something bad.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Hints?

  • #2
    As long as each charging source is properly programmed for the type & size of your batteries, they should be fine.

    Your job, is to find exactly what "Condition Batteries" means. Is it an "Equalizing Charge" Is it "DeSulfating" ?

    Are the batteries Automotive, Deep cycle, AGM ??? They all take different charging regimes.

    I have 3 different charging sources connected to my batteries, and all programed properly for the batteries. I don't worry one bit.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
      As long as each charging source is properly programmed for the type & size of your batteries, they should be fine.

      Your job, is to find exactly what "Condition Batteries" means. Is it an "Equalizing Charge" Is it "DeSulfating" ?

      Are the batteries Automotive, Deep cycle, AGM ??? They all take different charging regimes.

      I have 3 different charging sources connected to my batteries, and all programed properly for the batteries. I don't worry one bit.
      This is all good information to know. This is my setup:
      *4 x Interstate GC2-ECL-UTL 6v 115mins @ 75A 225Ah @ 20hr in series-parallel for 12V 450Ah
      *7 x HQST 100W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panels in parallel
      *Renogy 60 Amp Commander MPPT Solar Charge Controller
      *Power TechON 3000W (6000W surge) Pure Sine Wave Inverter
      *Progressive Dynamics PD9270V Inteli-Power 9200 70A Converter/Charger

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CaptainEven View Post

        This is all good information to know. This is my setup:
        *4 x Interstate GC2-ECL-UTL 6v 115mins @ 75A 225Ah @ 20hr in series-parallel for 12V 450Ah
        *7 x HQST 100W 12V Polycrystalline Solar Panels in parallel
        *Renogy 60 Amp Commander MPPT Solar Charge Controller
        *Power TechON 3000W (6000W surge) Pure Sine Wave Inverter
        *Progressive Dynamics PD9270V Inteli-Power 9200 70A Converter/Charger
        OK two mistakes and one is a major safety concern.

        You broke rule #1 for off-grid solar panels. Never ever use a prime number of solar panels except 1 and sometimes 3. First thing that did is throw away all the advantages of using a MPPT Power Controller. It also is extremely inefficient, and wasteful of money materials and labor. With a prime number like 7 only leaves you two possible panel configurations. One really good and one really bad, Either all in Series, or all in Parallel. Guess what the only choice you had with 7? All in parallel and that is the absolute worse thing you could possibly do. Wiring them all in parallel if done safely and to code requires 8 Fuses/Breakers, a Combiner, feeder cable all that is big dollars, absolutely unnecessary, and due to the low panel voltage extremely inefficient throwing most all the advantages of MPPT away.

        The second item I would not allow on my property and this goes back to a poor battery voltage selection and way too much Inverter. A 3000 watt 12 volt Inverter is extremely dangerous and I guarantee you there is no possible way for you or any DIY to properly terminate the cables properly to handle 300 amps of current. You do not have the tools or training to terminate copper cables as big as your wrist. Secondly I am fairly certain whatever cable you used is way too small to handle 300 amps. Third your battery terminals cannot handle that much current. I also bet the terminals on th eInverter are rated for 300 amps because they cannot handle the size of the cable required to handle 300 amps. You got yourself a nice fire hazard. To add insult to injury I howly doubt you have any use for a 3000 watt Inverter. Just one loose connection and one heavy load and you got fire. 12 volt systems shou7ld be no larger than 1000 watts, and in a good design anything 500 to 1500 watts should be 24 volt battery. 1500 up to 4000 watts is 48 volt battery land a line you should not have crossed with 12 volts.

        Other than that the system is fine. Give you a hint what size Inverter you should be using. No larger than panel wattage. You system would have been sized perfectly with a 500 to 750 Watt Inverter at 12 volt battery. Maximum panel wattage on your 60 amp controller operating into a 12 volt battery is magically 750 watts. For 24 volts magically 1500 watts and at 48 volts magically 3000 watts. FWIW the panel configuration can be fixed at a small cost with two options.

        1. Loose a panel, wire 2S3P, and loose a little power.
        2. Gain a panel , wire 2S4P, and loose a few dollars.

        As for the Inverter can be fixed with a new smaller unit appropriately sized unit. I would say just get a 24 volt Inverter and fix all your mistakes, but you are now married to the ole 12 volt Ball and Chain with a kid named PD9270Victor hanging around. You are going to regret that night of fun making that baby.

        Good luck...


        Last edited by Sunking; 08-10-2018, 08:29 PM.
        MSEE, PE

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sunking View Post

          OK two mistakes and one is a major safety concern.

          You broke rule #1 for off-grid solar panels. Never ever use a prime number of solar panels except 1 and sometimes 3. First thing that did is throw away all the advantages of using a MPPT Power Controller. It also is extremely inefficient, and wasteful of money materials and labor. With a prime number like 7 only leaves you two possible panel configurations. One really good and one really bad, Either all in Series, or all in Parallel. Guess what the only choice you had with 7? All in parallel and that is the absolute worse thing you could possibly do. Wiring them all in parallel if done safely and to code requires 8 Fuses/Breakers, a Combiner, feeder cable all that is big dollars, absolutely unnecessary, and due to the low panel voltage extremely inefficient throwing most all the advantages of MPPT away.
          Can this be fixed by adding an 8th 100W panel? I'm using either 2AWG or 4AWG wires. I have several in-line breakers on the positive cables.

          The second item I would not allow on my property and this goes back to a poor battery voltage selection and way too much Inverter. A 3000 watt 12 volt Inverter is extremely dangerous and I guarantee you there is no possible way for you or any DIY to properly terminate the cables properly to handle 300 amps of current.
          I think the max current I might draw is nearer to 150A. I have a 200A breaker off the main battery positive so I hope it'll never get to 300A.

          You do not have the tools or training to terminate copper cables as big as your wrist.
          What size are you making reference to?

          Secondly I am fairly certain whatever cable you used is way too small to handle 300 amps.
          I have no plans to near 300A.

          Third your battery terminals cannot handle that much current.
          How do I know how much current the battery terminals can handle?

          I also bet the terminals on th eInverter are rated for 300 amps because they cannot handle the size of the cable required to handle 300 amps. You got yourself a nice fire hazard.
          Can you explain? I'm unsure what you mean.

          To add insult to injury I howly doubt you have any use for a 3000 watt Inverter.
          I use 1000W from the ductless minisplit when the compressor is on. Add in an AC refrigerator and I'm closing in on 1500W.

          Just one loose connection and one heavy load and you got fire. 12 volt systems shou7ld be no larger than 1000 watts, and in a good design anything 500 to 1500 watts should be 24 volt battery. 1500 up to 4000 watts is 48 volt battery land a line you should not have crossed with 12 volts.
          Can you explain why? Like I said I'm new and I'm still learning.

          Other than that the system is fine. Give you a hint what size Inverter you should be using. No larger than panel wattage.
          I've seen many people with 400 watts of panels running 1000W inverters just fine. I'm confused.


          You system would have been sized perfectly with a 500 to 750 Watt Inverter at 12 volt battery. Maximum panel wattage on your 60 amp controller operating into a 12 volt battery is magically 750 watts. For 24 volts magically 1500 watts and at 48 volts magically 3000 watts. FWIW the panel configuration can be fixed at a small cost with two options.


          1. Loose a panel, wire 2S3P, and loose a little power.
          2. Gain a panel , wire 2S4P, and loose a few dollars.
          I'll add an 8th panel.

          As for the Inverter can be fixed with a new smaller unit appropriately sized unit. I would say just get a 24 volt Inverter and fix all your mistakes, but you are now married to the ole 12 volt Ball and Chain with a kid named PD9270Victor hanging around. You are going to regret that night of fun making that baby.
          Can you perhaps be a little less harsh and condescending? I said in my original post I am new and to please be kind. If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CaptainEven View Post
            Can this be fixed by adding an 8th 100W panel? I'm using either 2AWG or 4AWG wires. I have several in-line breakers on the positive cables.
            Like I said lose a panel and wire 2S3P 6 panels, or gain a panel and wire 4S2P 8 panels. With two series string you would only need 12 maybe 10 AWG at most and no fuses or breakers o rneeded.


            Originally posted by CaptainEven View Post
            I think the max current I might draw is nearer to 150A. I have a 200A breaker off the main battery positive so I hope it'll never get to 300A.

            I have no plans to near 300A.
            Does not matter what you think or feel. A 12 volt 3000 watt Inverter will pull 300 amps at full load. It makes no fricking difference to electricity what you think or feel you might use or not use. Do as you wish, I really do not care if you burn things up or not. I don't live next to you.




            MSEE, PE

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sunking View Post

              Like I said lose a panel and wire 2S3P 6 panels, or gain a panel and wire 4S2P 8 panels. With two series string you would only need 12 maybe 10 AWG at most and no fuses or breakers o rneeded.




              Does not matter what you think or feel. A 12 volt 3000 watt Inverter will pull 300 amps at full load. It makes no fricking difference to electricity what you think or feel you might use or not use. Do as you wish, I really do not care if you burn things up or not. I don't live next to you.



              Is there a reason why you are being a harsh, sarcastic jerk? Does it come naturally or did you work at it?

              Comment


              • #8
                Sunking was born that way, not a single politically correct bone in his body. i don't expect he'll change anytime soon. He works in the hard science of energy transmission, where a moment of inattentiveness often means instant death.

                A single car battery stores an enormous amount of energy, and can quite easily melt the terminals right off it. Lead terminals have higher resistance and lower melting point than copper wire, and is the first thing to go. When the molten lead drips into the sulfuric acid inside the plastic battery case, things happen real quick and after the ka-boom you have to start wiping up acid from everywhere.

                I've seen many people drive drunk, but that still does not make it right. Same with high wattage inverters on 12V, it's all good, until, suddenly, it isn't.
                Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CaptainEven View Post

                  Is there a reason why you are being a harsh, sarcastic jerk? Does it come naturally or did you work at it?
                  I am not being harsh or a jerk, I am being honest and not wasting your time. I do not care if you burn something up now that you know.. What you feel or think is irrelevant because it is based on fairy tales and make believe science. I am just bringing it to your attention you are in danger and did something foolish. What you do with the info is your problem.

                  The panel issue is pretty easy to fix. Loose or gain a panel, then reconfigure to series/parallel and get rid of a lot of wiring and fuses you wasted money on. As for the Inverter and Charger thing, you are married to that train wreck and own the problem.As for overall you did OK as far as matching and sizing the panel wattage, controller, and battery size. Your mistakes were prime number of panels and Inverter size. Fix it or forget it.
                  Last edited by Sunking; 08-12-2018, 12:01 PM.
                  MSEE, PE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sunking View Post
                    I am not being harsh or a jerk,
                    Yes you are and you need to stop.

                    I am being honest and not wasting your time.
                    Your "honesty" needs to be tapered by kindness.

                    I do not care if you burn something up now that you know.. What you feel or think is irrelevant because it is based on fairy tales and make believe science. I am just bringing it to your attention you are in danger and did something foolish. What you do with the info is your problem.
                    There's that jerkiness and harshness again so soon after you denied it!

                    The panel issue is pretty easy to fix. Loose or gain a panel, then reconfigure to series/parallel and get rid of a lot of wiring and fuses
                    That will happen tomorrow.

                    you wasted money on.
                    There's the harshness and jerkiness again!

                    As for the Inverter and Charger thing, you are married to that train wreck and own the problem.
                    More harshness and jerkiness.

                    As for overall you did OK as far as matching and sizing the panel wattage, controller, and battery size. Your mistakes were prime number of panels and Inverter size. Fix it or forget it.
                    It will be fixed tomorrow. You do know you could have saved yourself time by just leaving out the harshness and jerkiness, right? It's easier to just not be harsh or a jerk. Do that, ok?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CaptainEven View Post
                      Yes you are and you need to stop.


                      Your "honesty" needs to be tapered by kindness.


                      There's that jerkiness and harshness again so soon after you denied it!


                      That will happen tomorrow.


                      There's the harshness and jerkiness again!


                      More harshness and jerkiness.


                      It will be fixed tomorrow. You do know you could have saved yourself time by just leaving out the harshness and jerkiness, right? It's easier to just not be harsh or a jerk. Do that, ok?
                      Seems to me more time could have been saved by not responding to your post in the first place. You seem to presume you were entitled to a response. Were I you, I'd not look a gift horse in the mouth. Take what you think valuable, say thank you very much for the time and consideration, and move on.

                      NOMB, but this looks like a classic case of bickering.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        CaptainEven, this is not the forum to air your feelings. take the data offered, or don't.

                        next intervention locks this thread.
                        Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                        || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                        || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                        solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                        gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                        Comment

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