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+/- 3 X 500 watts Kyocera into 3 only Morningstar Mppt-60 charging 1260 ah LiFeP04

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  • +/- 3 X 500 watts Kyocera into 3 only Morningstar Mppt-60 charging 1260 ah LiFeP04

    [B]Hello all,

    First post here and looking for anyone using a Morningstarr MPPT-60 to charge a LifePo4 12 volt house battery bank setup .

    I found this forum when I googled "Morningstar MPPT-60 charging LiFeP04 batteries"

    I have read everything here and see that the exact same question was asked before and I fear no one is doing this with this equipment, but there is a strong collective knowledge base of hands on solar people here, so comments appriciated.

    When I get to the boat and put everything together I will figure it out wiith the help of others more intelligent than me, however I was hoping to get a jump on the learning curve if someone has already done this

    I will install this spring May 2014 and wanted to get some first hand help if possible.

    [U]The custom settings using the downloadable software via MS VIEW from morningstar is where I need guidence.

    I do not have a pc with me here so I cannot see the possible options I may use to set the MPPT-60 to charge to my requirements.

    Even if I did I would need hand holding to get my mind around it, I am from a steel fabrication background and not electical/electronic.[/U]

    A quick description of my solar system to be installed is the following...see more detail in the below links if interested;
    3 sets of kyocera solar panels located in different shadowing conditions. One set made up of 2 x 220 watt and one 215 watt panels. Two other separate sets made up of 2 X 250 watt panels. Each set will be connected in series at the panel location and then run +/- 55' in set of # 4 awg cables, into each sets dedicated MPPT-60 controller. From each controller 2 cables will be run max 15 feet to the main buss bars on the house bank...also using # 4 awg cable.

    Thank you for your help, and the warm welcome to this site,

    Best Regards,
    Pete
    [/B]
    Please see the below links, I know it is some reading , but if you want a complete picture it is there.

    A quick description of what I have LiFeP04 wise;
    I already have 84 only used 60 amp LiFeP04 GBS batteries installed in my boat ( under my bed !!! I am a believer ).........4 banks of 21 batteries in Parallel ....then these banks are hooked in series .....to give me my + 12 volt house battery of 1260 amps.

    They stay in balance quite well. They get topped of to 3.55 volts each when hooked to shore power or if i want to run my Gen set..which i really do not..using individual balancing boards that bleed off incomming charge to the "quick to charge" batteries allowing the slower ones to catch up and all balance within +/- 30 min at low amps on top end. I now have 13 of these balance boards (Model # BL40 total 52 ) equally distributed in each parelle row of 21 batteries...they only work at top end, At less than 10$ each are a simple efficient way to visually see the batteries topping off.

    I have a simple BMS that displays on a 15 " screen the temperature, the capacity%...(SOC), the total pack voltage, and the individual 21 in parellel voltage. Its prime function is to display these things as well as act as a high and low level disconnect . I watched it for many many hours and frequently turned it on from my bed at night to see just where my SOC was at and my battery voltage.Simple and works good but probably more involved than most would like in an off grid system. On a boat you get in tune with all the noises and often find yourself checking these and all your gauges , the electrical system just becomes part of this routine. Personally I enjoy the independance from everything.

    I traveled with the boat for many weeks last summer and was blown away from the difference compared to my old system.My total time with the batteries was only a 3 months last season and they are being stored in my garage at approx 50 % capacity till the boats go back in the water next April. It gets real cold here and I erred on the side of caution to remove them and am happy I did.

    Link to original post re my system on Cruisers forum;

    complete info on what I have to work with . see post #2944

    http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...65069-197.html

    My incomming SOLAR equip....see post # 1

    http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-a-122967.html


    a picture of my house bank
    http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery...ageuser=138853
    Last edited by Steelwrk1; 03-24-2014, 11:50 AM. Reason: links did not work ??

  • #2
    Why just 12V battery bank and such a huge battery?
    One remark about the battery installed position. They do not like to be installed like that should be upright (reason is internal shorting possible do to the construction type)
    Your BMS is designed for cars so charge limit is set at 3.55V good for fast charging and then charging stops.
    They do not like to stay for long periods above 3.4V so not sure if you can reprogram that BMS for lower that 3.55V
    MPPT is a waste of money at 1$/Watt solar panels but I wont go in to details since you already purchased the charger.
    Not sure how programmable is that but PWM is not desired for LiFePO4 so if you can cut that float and equalisation part it will be great.
    The best way to charge LiFePO4 same is true for LiFeMnPO4 in solar application is a single stage CC (constant current) charging then stop when you get at 3.4V or 3.45V it will depend on the charge rate then only restart charging when you get under 3.3V maybe 3.35V depends on your application
    This are not like Lead Acid they do not like to be full all the time.
    The photo with all those GBS cells is impressive but not sure why you need so many.

    Comment


    • #3
      84 cells arranged in 21 parallel strings of four cells each?
      That sounds like just about the worst possible thing to do.
      But once you committed yourself to a 12V inverter and CC your were stuck with that.

      I guess the BMS is what saves you in that highly parallel configuration, but the wiring would be lighter and the resistive losses much lower if you went to a nominal 48V system with four strings of seven strings of 12 cells each in series. Although for many inverters you would have to go to perhaps 14 or more cells and just leave out some of your 84 batteries.
      SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

      Comment


      • #4
        Morningstar MPPT- 60 detailed charging parameters for LiFeP04 house batteries...HELP

        Hello electrodacus,

        Thank you for responding, I will answer your questions/comments as best I can.

        [B]electrodacus;105142]Why just 12V battery bank and such a huge battery? [/B]

        All the systems on the boat are 12 volt, or run through my existing Victron 12 volt/120amp/ 3000watt inverter/charger. I replaced 6 existing 12 volt, 4D ,155# AGM batteries that died. The batteries fit in a previously placed +/- 80 gallon water tank area forward in the bilge of the boat and the previous bank was max sized to fit in the available space using available length x width x height. It was 1100 amp hours with +/- 500 amp hours usable. I am an energy hog with a 2001 12volt/120 original equipment Norcold fridge, a 12 volt 2001 icemaker, a 2013 Danby small freezer and a 2013 Danby small 3 or 4 cu foot fridge...as well as all the 12 volt boat electronics,12 volt vaccufush heads, 120 volt ac tv, coffeemaker ,microwave,laptop,hairdryer,12 volt water pump, lighting, etc., etc. These batteries weigh 1/2 what the AGMs weighed

        [B]
        One remark about the battery installed position. They do not like to be installed like that should be upright (reason is internal shorting possible do to the construction type)[/B]

        Very True, Picture is in the wrong orientation, the batteries are in the floor of the boat sitting upright as you suggest.

        [B]Your BMS is designed for cars so charge limit is set at 3.55V good for fast charging and then charging stops.[/B]

        My BMS is used only to disconnect the battery in the event of a high or low voltage event and for monitoring purposes. It does not control the charging parameters, they are controlled by the Victron 12 volt /120 amp/ 3000 watt existing inverter/ charger that has adjustable charging parameters via a pc. A second Victron is also in line and I can turn it on to speed up the charging .It is a simple charger 80 amps/12 volt, its charging is set lower than the big inverter /charger The battery bank is also charged by the main engine HD alternator that also is adjusted to my LiFeP04 batteries.

        [B]They do not like to stay for long periods above 3.4V so not sure if you can reprogram that BMS for lower that 3.55V[/B]

        The 3.55 volts is the limit where the small individual bleed off boards kick in. They are not connected to anything except across the tops of 50% + of the individual batteries. When each equipped battery reaches this level the boards begin to bleed off the charge allowing for the slower ones to catch up. Using second hand batteries i had purchased on my own the house engineer at Elite Power thought they would be a good safety for when top balancing unknown cells and at less than 10.00 each I have them as my ultimate quick reference for charging.The batteries settle down to +/- 3.4 volts each after the charge is removed. The bleeder boards are not always used, only when I get shore power or want to top of the batteries after not doing so for a period of time using the 8kw genny that charges through the Victron 12/120.3000 watt inverter/charger

        [B]MPPT is a waste of money at 1$/Watt solar panels but I wont go in to details since you already purchased the charger.[/B]

        I'm glad cause I type real slow and as you said what done is done.

        [B]Not sure how programmable is that but PWM is not desired for LiFePO4 so if you can cut that float and equalisation part it will be great.[/B]

        Correct again both will be cut off and not used and Yes the MPPT controller it is completely adjustable via a PC and that is what I am seeking, another user of LiFeP04 batteries and the Morningstar MPPT-60 controller, who has already played with all the available adjustments and has found a sweet spot that it likes to be set at that gives me the voltages you mention below....

        [B]The best way to charge LiFePO4 same is true for LiFeMnPO4 in solar application is a single stage CC (constant current) charging then stop when you get at 3.4V or 3.45V it will depend on the charge rate then only restart charging when you get under 3.3V maybe 3.35V depends on your application[/B]

        I know nothing about LiFeMnP04 but your #`s above re high level charging and trying to get your most cycles in the batteries lifetime are the same I have been reading about and want to obtain...the low level I have not worried about as my BMS will cut it out and I have never been below 30% capacity on my amp counters.

        [B]This are not like Lead Acid they do not like to be full all the time.[/B]

        Again true to what I have learned, they are very different

        [B]The photo with all those GBS cells is impressive but not sure why you need so many.[/QUOTE][/B]

        Got them for 25% of their value, and lots of work, had the size hole to put them in. I was not sure of their long term state of health so if I only use them at 1/2 capacity in a couple of years I will still be ok.
        Thats the plan anyways.

        Thank you for your comments and time to reply,
        Very Best Regards,
        Pete

        Comment


        • #5
          Morningstar MPPT- 60 solar controller for LiFeP04 house batteries...HELP Please......

          Hello inetdog,

          Thank you also for your comments and see below as I try to answer your questions/comments.

          [B]inetdog;105174]84 cells arranged in 21 parallel strings of four cells each? [/B]

          Yes , the width of the available hole in my bilge allowed me to only go 3 batteries wide. I wanted to assemble the packs into something I could easily handle so the max was 14 or 70# assy,s. This also allowed me to install 3 assys long and three wide. Then wiring 21 in parellel allows the pack to easily self balance, and I only monitor 4 cells......at the center of each of the 21 in parelle

          [B]That sounds like just about the worst possible thing to do. [/B]

          Well I`ve done it and I am happy with it. Got to remember it is a US built boat and all systems are 12 volt.

          [B]All systems on the boat are organized to be 12 vdc or powered from the Victron Inverter as mantioned above
          But once you committed yourself to a 12V inverter and CC your were stuck with that.[/B]

          Yes you are correct that expense with the new alternator on the engine, the Victron inverter , and the amp counting equipment was all upgraded 4 seasons ago

          [B]I guess the BMS is what saves you in that highly parallel configuration,[/B]

          The BMS does nothing but monitor and display and is on standby for a high or low voltage cut off in the case of a problem. The batteries were equally charged when initially installed and they remained close. I did top balance them a few times when connecting to shore power as mentioned above using the individual independant balancing boards.

          [B]but the wiring would be lighter and the resistive losses much lower if you went to a nominal 48V system with four strings of seven strings of 12 cells each in series. Although for many inverters you would have to go to perhaps 14 or more cells and just leave out some of your 84 batteries.[/QUOTE][/B]

          As previously mentioned all the wiring was also upgraded 4 seasons ago and I don't understand the 48 volt stuff as it is just not done on smaller boats like mine , perhaps larger boats.

          Thank you for your comments,
          Best Regards,
          Pete
          Last edited by Steelwrk1; 04-12-2014, 09:02 AM. Reason: change 2 assys long to 3 assys long

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by electrodacus View Post
            MPPT is a waste of money at 1$/Watt solar panels but I wont go in to details since you already purchased the charger.
            Not sure how programmable is that but PWM is not desired for LiFePO4 so if you can cut that float and equalisation part it will be great.
            Careful - like you say it all depends on the application. In a marine environment, you may not have room to just toss in more panels, and mppt is definitely the way to go, despite the additional cost simply because one does not usually have the luxury of large amounts of solar insolation and needs the extra voltage tracking efficiency for charging - regardless of the battery chemistry.

            In other words, pwm with it's simpler voltage control, is doing CC during bulk, and then doing CV during absorb. The [b]battery[/b] is the one doing the regulating of current once absorb is reached, not the CC. The only task of the CC is to control the voltage. Of course, you have to figure out how much current your panels are capable during bulk CC. Oversimplified, mppt does this too, but at a higher efficiency. Trying to search out a CC-specific controller is somewhat pointless as both pwm and mppt are basically CC during bulk.

            Properly configured, existing solar charge controllers with either pwm or mppt can do the job with lifepo4. Yep - no equalization. And no need to float once absorb is done. If your existing CC falls back to a float voltage, then set it low under 13.8 so that the battery is more or less ignoring that low voltage. Ideally one could upgrade to say a Genasun controller especially for marine use.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PNjunction View Post
              Careful - like you say it all depends on the application. In a marine environment, you may not have room to just toss in more panels, and mppt is definitely the way to go, despite the additional cost simply because one does not usually have the luxury of large amounts of solar insolation and needs the extra voltage tracking efficiency for charging - regardless of the battery chemistry.

              In other words, pwm with it's simpler voltage control, is doing CC during bulk, and then doing CV during absorb. The [b]battery[/b] is the one doing the regulating of current once absorb is reached, not the CC. The only task of the CC is to control the voltage. Of course, you have to figure out how much current your panels are capable during bulk CC. Oversimplified, mppt does this too, but at a higher efficiency. Trying to search out a CC-specific controller is somewhat pointless as both pwm and mppt are basically CC during bulk.

              Properly configured, existing solar charge controllers with either pwm or mppt can do the job with lifepo4. Yep - no equalization. And no need to float once absorb is done. If your existing CC falls back to a float voltage, then set it low under 13.8 so that the battery is more or less ignoring that low voltage. Ideally one could upgrade to say a Genasun controller especially for marine use.

              If space is an issue then getting a higher efficiency PV panel is still a better option than MPPT at this point. Like getting a 17 or 18% instead of 15 or 16% efficient panel will get you the same advantages as an MPPT at lower cost over the life of the system.
              LiFePO4 for energy storage applications needs to be charged in a single stage CC (constant current) or the bulk part. With this type of charging you get 95% of the capacity but those 5% to get to 100% are not worth because it will short the battery life and increase the cost of storing energy.
              The only place where second stage the saturation CV stage is needed is in mobile applications like cellphones and Laptops where for LiCo those 15% additional capacity are more important than the life cycle since those product will be obsolete and throw away in 3 years.

              Comment


              • #8
                The advantage of MPPT that it allows use of smaller DC wiring on the panel side cannot be ignored. It will become seriously important if you have a long run of wire between the panel location and the CC/battery location.

                Also, some people will have limited area in which to install panels, so the cost of the panels and the CC is not the only issue.
                SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by inetdog View Post
                  The advantage of MPPT that it allows use of smaller DC wiring on the panel side cannot be ignored. It will become seriously important if you have a long run of wire between the panel location and the CC/battery location.

                  Also, some people will have limited area in which to install panels, so the cost of the panels and the CC is not the only issue.
                  Usually when you have limited space for solar PV the panels are really close to the battery. Where limited space is a issue you can get a more efficient solar panel like a 17 or 18% instead of a 15 to 16% that will give you the same benefit as an MPPT at a lower cost.
                  Having PV panels very far from the battery is always a bad idea and using an MPPT with large input voltage compare with battery voltage will reduce efficiency creating more heat and degrading the electrolytic capacitors even faster.
                  Give me an concrete example where MPPT will make economic sense. It may be possible in some strange situations but in most cases is obsolete.
                  Even if PV panels will still have been around 5$/Watt using a 60 cells solar PV panels with 24V battery will still have been a better option for me.
                  Also MPPT was never intended for very large installations not even when PV panels where expensive.
                  MPPT will still be used for grid tie inverters since there you need the hardware anyway there is no way around in that case.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by electrodacus View Post
                    If space is an issue then getting a higher efficiency PV panel is still a better option than MPPT at this point. Like getting a 17 or 18% instead of 15 or 16% efficient panel will get you the same advantages as an MPPT at lower cost over the life of the system.
                    Why do I feel like we're talking to a salesman with a "campaign" to sell? Is it your own self-admitted kickstart funding project for a campaign? Oh that's right, you have a free bms product as well. Convenient.

                    It seems to be an endless discussion - which turns most OFF of lifepo4 anyway. Those who get it are already doing it - either small scale, or large-scale commercially with their own engineering / purchasing team. They don't need convincing. The average guy is just going to stick with Pb anyway, so I'm not sure of the demographic you are trying to convince with your campaign.

                    At this point - I don't really care any more.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thread closed - to much BS
                      [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thank you Solar Panel Talk !

                        Originally posted by russ View Post
                        Thread closed - to much BS
                        Thank you Russ, I appreciate your actions in response to my request to keep my thread open.

                        I will get the answer to my inquiry somewhere, and when I do I will post it for all to see.

                        Worse case scenereo I will use all the info I have collected for the custom programming of my Morningstar MPPT-60 and have it programmed as best as I can by my trusted electronics/electrical man, who is far more intelligent than I and understands these things. I know it will take fine tuning and I will do it/get it done with time.

                        I am back home now, as priorities allow, I will be able to use a non MAC pc and learn.

                        I will get it fully operational in a few months.

                        Very best regards,
                        Pete

                        hopefully someone who has already done this will chime in eventually...........
                        Last edited by Steelwrk1; 05-02-2014, 04:05 PM. Reason: clarity

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by electrodacus View Post
                          Usually when you have limited space for solar PV the panels are really close to the battery. Where limited space is a issue you can get a more efficient solar panel like a 17 or 18% instead of a 15 to 16% that will give you the same benefit as an MPPT at a lower cost.
                          Having PV panels very far from the battery is always a bad idea and using an MPPT with large input voltage compare with battery voltage will reduce efficiency creating more heat and degrading the electrolytic capacitors even faster.
                          Give me an concrete example where MPPT will make economic sense. It may be possible in some strange situations but in most cases is obsolete.
                          Even if PV panels will still have been around 5$/Watt using a 60 cells solar PV panels with 24V battery will still have been a better option for me.
                          Also MPPT was never intended for very large installations not even when PV panels where expensive.
                          MPPT will still be used for grid tie inverters since there you need the hardware anyway there is no way around in that case.
                          This all proves you have no idea what you are talking about, and any information provided by you should be ignored completely.

                          Once you get above 200 panel watts MPPT systems are far more economical anyone can understand. A 200 watt system generates the exact same amount a 300 watt PWM system generates. So when it comes to space saving MPPT already gains you a 33% advantage.

                          As for cost with a PWM system you are forced to use battery panels. Makes no difference what they are made from they must be 36 cells per 12 volts of battery. Battery panels cost roughly twice what grid tied panels do. GT panels cost on the order of $2/watt and GT roughly $1/watt.

                          So a 300 watt PWM system cost are roughly

                          300 Watt Panels = $500 to $600
                          20 Amp PWM Charger = $50 to $75
                          Total Price = $550 to $675

                          A 200 Watt MPPT System:
                          200 watt GT Panel = $200 to $250
                          20 Amp MorningStart MPPT controller = $200 to $225
                          Total price = $400 to $475

                          There are other cost involved with it. On the above 300 watt PWM system will require 2 150 watt panels installed in parallel thus doubling the racking and wiring cost. In addition the PWM system will require 50% more roof space. Both the 300 watt PWM and MPPT system generate the exact same amount of charging current of 17 amps @ 12 volts or 8.5 amps @ 24 volts.

                          You do not have to be an engineer to understand these facts as it is 5th grade math.
                          MSEE, PE

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            He is now history.
                            [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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