Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Battery capacity setting for IP40 Charge Controller

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Solar40
    replied
    Onya Mapmaker.

    Sorry, my typing error. It is indeed 3 hours not 3 mins.

    The Manufacturer recommended setting 4 over setting 1.

    He said - 'Ideally your battery charge voltages should be within these parameters:
    Boost/Absorption - 55.2V - 56.4V. Float 54V.

    Setting 1 is pretty close to these readings with Boost of 56.8 Max, Absorption of 56V and Float of 55.2V.

    I would however suggest setting 4 where you can adjust the settings to suit.'

    He then listed the settings from BMAX to TCMP.

    Leave a comment:


  • mapmaker
    replied
    Originally posted by Solar40 View Post
    ATIM 3 (Absorption time in mins)
    Three minutes of absorb? Why even bother... that should likely be 3 hours or more.

    I downloaded he manual... do you have the controller set to program #1?

    --mapmaker

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar40
    replied
    A question about setting the wrong BCAP value...

    What would you estimate the outcome to be if the Charge Controller BCAP was incorrectly set to 660Ah for 1 year instead of 540Ah?
    (The correct BCAP setting is 529Ah C10, but, in reality 540Ah C10 is used because of Charge Controller stepsize limitations).

    Solar system: off-grid / 24 x 60W panels / 48V gel battery bank / Plasmatronic PL40 Charge Controller

    PL40 Charge Controller settings as approved by battery manufacturer-

    VOLT 48V

    BMAX 56.4V (Maximum voltage in boost mode)

    EMAX 56.4V (Equalisation voltage)

    ETIM 0 (Equalisation time in hours)

    EFRQ 150 (Number of days between equalization cycles)

    ABSV 55.8V (Absorption voltage)

    ATIM 3 (Absorption time in mins)

    FLTV 54V (Float voltage)

    HYST 0.3V (Hysteresis used when not in PWM mode)

    BRTN 49.2V (Voltage below which return to Boost mode occurs)

    CHRG 40A (Charge current limit)

    BFRQ 20 (Maximum number of days between boost cycles)

    TCMP 8 (Selection of temperature compensation profile. 8 = no temp sensor)

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar40
    replied
    Originally posted by Solar40 View Post
    Hi, does anyone know if the current BCAP setting - 660Ah - is correct?

    48v battery bank (24 x 6 PVV 660 - BAE Secura PVV Cell solar)
    Charge Controller (Plasmtronics PL40)
    Solar panels ( 24 x 60w)

    My concern is that it should be set to the C20h setting of 596Ah.

    Thanks
    From the manufacturer-

    C10 is normally accepted for setting of charge parameters. So, C10 529Ah.

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar40
    replied
    Originally posted by mapmaker View Post
    Do you have a digital voltmeter? It's a good idea to measure the voltage across each of the batteries while current is flowing. If you are pushing 44 amps into the batteries while you measure, you can look for discrepancies among the batteries. You might find one battery is an outlier... If you try to recover your batteries by a long, controlled overcharge, you may be greatly overcharging all the batteries in an attempt to recover that one weak battery. Sometimes it's best to separate the batteries and try charging them in isolation.
    Great idea. Thanks Mapmaker.
    Just measured all 24 batteries and didn't find an outlier.
    The journey continues...

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar40
    replied
    Originally posted by Solar40 View Post
    Does anyone know the minimum charging current for this type of battery?
    Gel type - BAE 2v 6 PVV 660 Secura solar

    I've emailed the sales company (nothing back yet) and will email the manufacturer.
    A BAE (battery manufacturer) representative has been in touch.

    His response- 'The minimum charge current is 1.5A/100Ah C10. This equates to 7.95A'

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar40
    replied
    Originally posted by russ View Post
    Not much - they need to sit a couple of hours before reading the voltage.
    Thanks Russ.

    After a couple of hours-
    Average cell voltage of the batteries: 2.09
    Battery monitor volts: 49.90 with batteries discharging @ -9A.
    Load: Inverter, TV, 1 light, desktop computer, medium fridge.

    After 8 hours-
    Average cell voltage of the batteries: 2.05
    Battery monitor volts: 49.10 with batteries still discharging @ -9A.

    After 16 hours @ 8.30am the next morning-
    Average cell voltage of the batteries: 2.06
    Battery monitor volts: 49.35 with batteries discharging @ -3A
    Load: Inverter & medium fridge.
    Solar panel Amps: 1.4A


    Gel batteries 24 x 2v BAE 6 PVV 660 Secura solar

    Leave a comment:


  • russ
    replied
    Originally posted by Solar40 View Post
    What do the above results say about the state of the batteries?
    Not much - they need to sit a couple of hours before reading the voltage.

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar40
    replied
    Today I ran the generator for 6 hours.
    Here are the results-

    After 2 hours -
    Charger output: 44A
    Average cell voltage of the batteries: 2.20v
    Battery monitor volts: 54.40

    After 3 hours -
    Charger output: 40A
    Average cell voltage of the batteries: 2.34v
    Battery monitor volts: 55.20

    After 4 hours -
    Charger output: 38A
    Average cell voltage of the batteries: 2.36v
    Battery monitor volts: 55.99

    After 5 hours -
    Charger output: 34A
    Average cell voltage of the batteries: 2.37v
    Battery monitor volts: 56.10

    After 6 hours -
    Charger output: 26A
    Average cell voltage of the batteries: 2.37v
    Battery monitor volts: 56.25

    Note: From the manual, the Float charge (float voltage) is 2.25V/cell +or- 1%.

    What do the above results say about the state of the batteries?
    If I do this again tomorrow, is there any danger of overcharging the batteries?



    Off grid, 24 x 60w panels, Gel type batteries - 24 x BAE 2v 6 PVV 660 Secura solar, Ip40 Charge Controller, BMV 501 Battery Monitor

    Leave a comment:


  • mapmaker
    replied
    Originally posted by Solar40 View Post
    Am I mistaken or is it possible that the battery monitor can automatically synchronize with the batteries thus giving a SOC of 100%?
    The manual gives three method of reset. The "automatically synchronize" means that when your battery charger or solar controller goes to float, the battery monitor will reset. You must program the battery monitor to recognize float.

    Basically, in this mode your battery monitor is not doing an independent audit of your battery's SOC... it's just letting your chargers decide when the battery is 100% SOC.

    btw, how do your charge controller and your battery charger know when the battery is charged and that they can go to float? There are many ways to do this, some much better than others. If those charger settings are wrong, all the solar panels in the world won't get your battery charged.

    Getting back to the manual... the "charged parameters" method of reset is the 'end amps' method that I described in an earlier post. Many folks consider it the most reliable method, but as I mentioned previously, if the battery is not brand new and fully charged, the manufacturer's specs for those numbers are not useful. If the battery is sulfated, the end amps will be reached too soon and if you stop charging because you (or your charger) thinks the battery is charged, you will get even more sulfated... downward spiral.

    btw, many charge controllers can use end amps to manage the daily charge. There are two ways this can occur.

    1) Some charge controllers measure their own output and assume that it is the battery current. When it declines to end amps, they know the battery is charged. Of course, if you have other loads or other chargers connected to the battery, the battery current will not be the same as the controller's output. Many grid-powered battery chargers work this way... they assume you are not driving the golf cart while you are charging it.

    2) Some charge controllers use a shunt so they know exactly what's going into or out of the battery. When end amps is reached, they can go to float. It doesn't matter what else is connected to the battery.

    btw, your victron battery monitor uses a shunt, so it knows what's going on. of course, your monitor is not a charger.

    Getting back to your batteries... you need to try and recover them. I don't know enough about those batteries to give you advice. One thing you should know about sulfated batteries... they behave like regular batteries, but with reduced capacity. They take a charge, they approach end amps, etc. If you are to use your battery monitor or any charging scheme that depends on knowing the SOC, it's up to you to set the battery capacity accurately. Your batteries are not, at the moment, 596 ah.

    btw, my batteries are 25° F cooler in the winter than the summer. I tell my battery monitor to use a reduced capacity in the winter, because cold batteries have reduced capacity. I've read about some systems where the battery monitor can take into account the temperature.

    Originally posted by Solar40
    At present, I guesstimate that the batteries are near to fully charged. Dubious, I know. Today is cloudy and I've had the generator on for 3 hours. The battery charger is outputting 44amps into the batteries and the average cell voltage of the batteries is 2.2v.
    I'm thinking that if the batteries were near to fully charged, the amps would be a lot lower than this?
    me too. keep an eye on the temperature.

    Do you have a digital voltmeter? It's a good idea to measure the voltage across each of the batteries while current is flowing. If you are pushing 44 amps into the batteries while you measure, you can look for discrepancies among the batteries. You might find one battery is an outlier... If you try to recover your batteries by a long, controlled overcharge, you may be greatly overcharging all the batteries in an attempt to recover that one weak battery. Sometimes it's best to separate the batteries and try charging them in isolation.

    --mapmaker

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar40
    replied
    As a follow-up, this is from the battery monitor BMV 501 manual.
    Am I mistaken or is it possible that the battery monitor can automatically synchronize with the batteries thus giving a SOC of 100%?

    Synchronizing the BMV-501
    For a reliable readout of the state of charge of the battery, the battery
    monitor has to be synchronized regularly with battery and charger. This
    is accomplished by fully charging the battery. When the charger is
    operating in the ‘float’ stage, the charger considers the battery full. At this
    moment the BMV-501 must reckon the battery as full too, so that the
    Amphour counting can be reset to zero and the state-of-charge reading
    set to 100.0%.
    By precisely adjusting the charged-parameters in the
    BMV-501, the battery monitor can automatically synchronize with the
    charger when the ‘float’ stage is reached. The range of the charged parameters
    is wide enough to adjust the BMV-501 to most battery
    charging methods.

    When the BMV-501 can’t be adjusted to the charging algorithm of the
    installed charger, the user can always synchronize the battery monitor
    manually when the battery is fully charged. This is achieved by pressing
    both < and > selection keys simultaneously for three seconds. By
    manually synchronizing the battery monitor, the CEF will not be
    calculated automatically. When the supply voltage to the BMV-501
    has been interrupted, the battery monitor must always be
    synchronized in order to operate correctly.

    Please note that regularly (at least once per month) fully charging your
    battery not only keeps it in sync with the BMV-501, but also prevent
    substantial capacity loss of your battery that limits it’s life time.

    Charged-parameters
    Based on increasing charge voltage and decreasing charge current, a
    decision can be made whether the battery is fully charged or not. When
    the battery voltage is above a certain level during a predefined period
    while the charge current is below a certain level for the same period, the
    battery can be considered fully charged. These voltage and current
    levels, as well as the predefined period are called ‘charged-parameters’.
    In general for a 12V lead acid battery, the voltage-charged-parameter is
    13.2V and the current-charged-parameter is 2.0% of the total battery
    capacity (e.g. 4A with a 200Ah battery). A charged-parameter-time of 4
    minutes is sufficient for most battery systems. Please note that these
    parameters are very important for correct operation of your BMV-501,
    and must be set appropriately in the corresponding Functions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar40
    replied
    Wow!, thanks Mapmaker, much obliged.

    Originally posted by mapmaker View Post
    I think your battery is chronically undercharged and quite possibly permanently sulfated.
    Does anyone know the minimum charging current for this type of battery?
    Gel type - BAE 2v 6 PVV 660 Secura solar

    I've emailed the sales company (nothing back yet) and will email the manufacturer.

    Originally posted by mapmaker View Post
    So it is with your battery monitor. The only time it is exactly accurate is when you fully charge your batteries and reset the battery monitor to read 100% full. It can be very accurate counting the amphours in and out of the battery, but it can only estimate the state of charge based on what you tell it about the battery capacity and the battery efficiency. It can count (amp hours in) up to 100% before the battery is fully charged.
    Understood. With the BMV 501, < and > buttons are pressed for 3 seconds to reset the monitor to 100%.
    But, indeed, how to know when the batteries are really charged??

    From the battery monitor manual, the battery capacity setting '...must be the capacity at a 20h discharge rate and 20 deg celsius'.
    The battery specs put this at 596Ah.
    For the last 2 years the battery monitor battery capacity setting has been 400Ah when in fact it should have been 596Ah.
    What effect do you think this would have had on our ability to read the batteries health credibly?

    Originally posted by mapmaker View Post
    If you're going to train your monitor how to recognize a fully charged battery, then you yourself must know when the battery is fully charged.
    At present, I guesstimate that the batteries are near to fully charged. Dubious, I know. Today is cloudy and I've had the generator on for 3 hours. The battery charger is outputting 44amps into the batteries and the average cell voltage of the batteries is 2.2v.
    I'm thinking that if the batteries were near to fully charged, the amps would be a lot lower than this?? Any comments?

    Originally posted by mapmaker View Post
    One way to know if a sealed battery is fully charged is to use a shunt based current monitor to watch the current into the battery during absorb charging. The charging current declines during absorb to a level called 'end amps' or 'return amps'. The manufacturer should be able to tell you the value for your batteries.
    I'll email the manufacturer.

    Originally posted by mapmaker View Post
    As far as your current batteries are concerned, I think they are sulfated. I don't know enough about those particular batteries to know if there is any hope of recovering them.
    Does anyone know more about these batteries? Gel type - 24 x BAE 2v 6 PVV 660 Secura solar




    Off grid, 24 x 60w panels, Gel type batteries - 24 x BAE 2v 6 PVV 660 Secura solar

    Leave a comment:


  • mapmaker
    replied
    Originally posted by Solar40 View Post
    What does 'RE' stand for?
    Renewable Energy. When charging a battery from the grid, there are all sorts of charging protocols that can be used.... you have unlimited time and power. In RE systems the charging source and loads are coming and going... that creates limits on how you can charge the battery.
    Originally posted by Solar40 View Post
    The system has a Victron Energy BMV 501 battery monitor. When the SOC reads 100% and the volts are up in the low 50s, I believe the batteries to be fully charged.
    Don't believe it. I think your battery is chronically undercharged and quite possibly permanently sulfated. You need to understand the limitations of a battery monitor.

    A battery monitor is often compared to the gas gauge in your car, but that is not a good analogy.

    The gas gauge in your car actually measures the level of gas in your tank. A battery monitor doesn't measure the level of anything. It is more like the odometer in your car. The odometer counts miles and the battery monitor counts ampHours.

    Suppose you have a car that gets about 25 mpg and has a 15 gallon gas tank. Suppose also that your gas gauge does not work. What do you do? You use your odometer. For example: After a fill up you drive 150 miles and you expect that you have used 6 gallons and have 9 gallons remaining in your tank.

    If you fill up the tank again you can, as above, use your odometer to estimate your gallons remaining.

    But what if you do not completely fill your tank. For example, starting from a full tank you drive 150 miles and then you add 3 gallons to your tank and then drive 100 miles and then add 4 gallons to your tank and drive 150 miles and then add 5 gallons to your tank and drive 100 miles. At this point you estimate that you have 7 gallons remaining in your tank, but that estimate is not too accurate because your mileage is not ever exactly 25 mpg. The only time you know exactly how much gas is in your tank is when you have just filled it up (or when you run out of gas).

    So it is with your battery monitor. The only time it is exactly accurate is when you fully charge your batteries and reset the battery monitor to read 100% full. It can be very accurate counting the amphours in and out of the battery, but it can only estimate the state of charge based on what you tell it about the battery capacity and the battery efficiency. It can count (amp hours in) up to 100% before the battery is fully charged.

    The other way some battery monitors reset to 100% is based on criteria that you set. For example, you may have decided that your batteries are charged when the voltage is at least 58 volts and the current is below 6 amps for a minute. But is that really when your batteries are charged? (those numbers are examples... I don't know what the settings should be for your batteries)

    If you're going to train your monitor how to recognize a fully charged battery, then you yourself must know when the battery is fully charged. With a flooded battery this is done with an hydrometer or refractometer to measure SG (specific gravity). You cannot do this with gel batteries. That is probably the main reason that non-flooded lead acid batteries are so problematic in RE systems.

    One way to know if a sealed battery is fully charged is to use a shunt based current monitor to watch the current into the battery during absorb charging. The charging current declines during absorb to a level called 'end amps' or 'return amps'. The manufacturer should be able to tell you the value for your batteries. The problem is that once sulfation has occurred, end amps is not reliable. Also, you would need to know the actual, reduced capacity of your batteries in order to tell the battery monitor what value to use for capacity. In the car analogy, this means your gas tank is smaller than you think... even if you fill it up, you don't know how much is in it.

    Bottom line: the longer its been since a complete charge, the less you can trust your battery monitor. And you can't trust it at all if its not set up correctly. That said, battery monitors are valuable tools in estimating your SOC, but you have to understand their limitations.

    Be sure that your next batteries are flooded, and make sure you have adequate resources to charge them.

    As far as your current batteries are concerned, I think they are sulfated. I don't know enough about those particular batteries to know if there is any hope of recovering them.

    --mapmaker

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar40
    replied
    What I've found so far-

    Charge current - unlimited, the minimal charge current has to be I10

    ​Charging current ​ - ​unrestrained, minimal charge current should be > 10 h

    ​Charge current may vary from 5 x I10 down to 0.01 x I10


    Have emailed the company from where we bought the batteries to see if they can shed some light.
    So far no response....

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar40
    replied
    What does 'RE' stand for?

    I don't know what I10 means either but I'm looking into it.
    I have found this -
    Charging current: unrestrained, minimal charge current should be > 10 h
    What does > 10 h mean?

    The system has a Victron Energy BMV 501 battery monitor. When the SOC reads 100% and the volts are up in the low 50s, I believe the batteries to be fully charged.
    This occurs when the system has no load on it and there are many days of sunshine. For example, when no one is using the system and the 24 x 60w solar panels are left to do their thing in the sunshine.
    SOC 100% can also be reached by using the generator.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X