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  • Where can I go with the gear I have?

    Hi Folks!! I have lurked a while, and this is my first post:

    I have come upon the following gear, and I would love to put it to good use. I am just trying to learn now, so I know this set up is terribly wrong in some ways. I ultimately want to be able to power a tiny home or off-grid RV type set up, but for now, I will be happy to get it up and running and grow it as I understand everything. I have SOME electronics background, but I will have to re-learn parts I am sure. Here is the Gear:

    -(1) Renogy Tracer 4210 With Mt-5 monitor (I want some sort of IP monitor to be able to program Z-Wave devices on and off)
    -(1) Aleko 100W 24V PV
    -Several NON Deepcycle UPS batteries (I KNOW These are not ideal for PV setups, and are not permanent)
    Sized: (all12v)
    (4)x9AH
    (2)x12AH
    (4)x17AH
    All batteries were configured in series inside UPSes, so were used in pairs as 24v cells. (If I understand correctly)
    Square D outdoor plastic 2 space fuse box with (2) 15A fuses.
    Small 300w 12v Inverter, but I am not sure if it can be used in this setup or not.
    I am not sure exactly what type off wire and inline fuses to get yet.

    Thanks for all your help in advance!

    Edit: spelling and add info
    Last edited by joerossjr; 05-08-2016, 08:48 PM.

  • #2
    How much power do the Z-Wave devices consume ? A single 100W panel will not power very much gear at all.
    The batteries, well, you know already, they are a mistake. Wire them in parallel and hope for the best,
    The inverter - meh. I have no idea if it's suitable, but a Z-wave device sounds like it wants pure sine waveform.
    Controller Tracer 4210 - I have no idea what it is, a link to the mfg's site (not a sales outlet) would help
    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
      How much power do the Z-Wave devices consume ? A single 100W panel will not power very much gear at all.
      The batteries, well, you know already, they are a mistake. Wire them in parallel and hope for the best,
      The inverter - meh. I have no idea if it's suitable, but a Z-wave device sounds like it wants pure sine waveform.
      Controller Tracer 4210 - I have no idea what it is, a link to the mfg's site (not a sales outlet) would help
      Charge Controller: http://renogy.com/wp-content/uploads...40A-Manual.pdf
      Z-Wave switch: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71W948wFilS.pdf

      The Vera Lite about 3.5w I hear. The individual switches, whatever they control. I couldn't find how much one consumed on its own.
      I understand I'll have to start extremely small. But that's actually a good thing.

      Comment


      • #4
        those remote control switches will require a PSW inverter.
        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


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
          those remote control switches will require a PSW inverter.
          Yes, I know that they will. I know that in the future I will need to invest in a decent Inverter. Can I utilize the 300W inverter in this setup? I don't know if the Controller can vary the output.

          Comment


          • #6
            your charge controller ONLY regulates the solar panel power going to the batteries, It may have a LOAD output terminal, but that is typically just for a small low power load, not an inverter control. It could be wired to a SSR to control the inverter, but it generally is not programmable, only cuts power when the battery is dangerously low.
            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
              your charge controller ONLY regulates the solar panel power going to the batteries, It may have a LOAD output terminal, but that is typically just for a small low power load, not an inverter control. It could be wired to a SSR to control the inverter, but it generally is not programmable, only cuts power when the battery is dangerously low.
              I linked the manual, and it seems all power to the load runs through the controller.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by joerossjr View Post
                I linked the manual, and it seems all power to the load runs through the controller.
                Take a little gander at page 10 of the manual that you linked....

                OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ButchDeal View Post

                  Take a little gander at page 10 of the manual that you linked....
                  A-gandering..... Yes, I saw that but wasn't sure if they meant do not connect until the batteries and panels were connected. So the Charge Controller sends control voltages to the inverter (On/OFF,) which is connected directly to the battery and load. You are saying I need to get a decent Inverter, DESIGNED for solar setups.

                  Ok, knowing that I want to eventually run an entire tiny house (I am roughly estimating 3kw at this time) I want to invest the gear that will grow into that set up. Does 3kw sound about right for a smallish setup? I am also investigating a small DC power supply, since so much of my gear is actually DC powered. Is it best to DC-AC them all, or invest in a variable DC output power supply AND an decent inverter? Seems like the DC-AC would be very lossy, compared to just stepping the V down to 19V/12V/5V as needed.

                  So the batteries are completely unusable at this time? I was planning on setting them up at 24v and use 6AWG wire with 30A inline fuses, with no run more than about 10 ft (Even though 6AWG is about 24.4ft if I understand correctly. I don't care about the battery lifespan. I will be happy to get a few months out of them before I figure out what Deep Cycle battery to buy.

                  Again thank you for all your help!

                  Edit: Reading manual (P13) it seem the load IS connected directly to the Controller??? That is for "small" loads, but what constitutes "small??"
                  Last edited by joerossjr; 05-09-2016, 04:36 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Logan005
                    Logan005 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I purchased my flex80 5 yrs ago, At the time it was the most expensive part of my system. Turns out to be the best decision I made. the CC is the hart of your system, skimp on that and all you got is junk. think about scalability and more importantly longevity of your batteries. There are other brands of fancy MPPT CC's, my experience is with outback. $500 bucks well spent.

                  • Logan005
                    Logan005 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I purchased my flex80 5 yrs ago, At the time it was the most expensive part of my system. Turns out to be the best decision I made. the CC is the hart of your system, skimp on that and all you got is junk. think about scalability and more importantly longevity of your batteries. There are other brands of fancy MPPT CC's, my experience is with outback. $500 bucks well spent.

                • #10
                  <quote>I purchased my flex80 5 yrs ago, At the time it was the most expensive part of my system. Turns out to be the best decision I made. the CC is the hart of your system, skimp on that and all you got is junk. think about scalability and more importantly longevity of your batteries. There are other brands of fancy MPPT CC's, my experience is with outback. $500 bucks well spent. </quote>

                  Are you implying that the Renogy 4210 is not a good CC? Or was that just FYI?

                  Comment


                  • Logan005
                    Logan005 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    FYI, I have never used any Renogy products.

                • #11
                  I purchased my flex80 5 yrs ago, At the time it was the most expensive part of my system. Turns out to be the best decision I made. the CC is the hart of your system, skimp on that and all you got is junk. think about scalability and more importantly longevity of your batteries. There are other brands of fancy MPPT CC's, my experience is with outback. $500 bucks well spent.
                  Are you implying that the Renogy 4210 is not a good CC? Or was that just FYI?

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by joerossjr View Post

                    Are you implying that the Renogy 4210 is not a good CC? Or was that just FYI?
                    From what people have stated the Tracer 4210 is a "true" MPPT charge controller but based on it's capabilities I would classify it at the bottom end of the scale.

                    Although it will work andat a much lower cost than other "true" MPPT CC's.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Ok, I didn't purposely double post the same question... Sorry!!

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

                        From what people have stated the Tracer 4210 is a "true" MPPT charge controller but based on it's capabilities I would classify it at the bottom end of the scale.

                        Although it will work andat a much lower cost than other "true" MPPT CC's.

                        You’r referring to the older Tracer 4210RN there's a newer model just out that is far superior to the RN. It's the Tracer 4210A. It's programable including user adjustable voltage output to the batteries, a 20ma self consumption so no longer are you stealing those 5 watts or 120 watt hours a day from the batteries like on some of the other MPPT charge controllers.

                        The load out is now a full 40 Amps instead of 20. The controller can handle 520W/1040W instead of 400W/800W.
                        Tracer 4210A 40A 520W/12V,1040W/24V 2720W
                        It has a multi-function LCD display with Real-time energy statistics. claimed 99.5% MPPT efficiency with up to 98% conversion efficiency and a host of other user programable features. It’s claimed to be reverse PV and battery polarity protected and short protected but I haven’t made those blunders to know how it holds up.

                        I picked one up from China for $153 shipped with the external MT50 back-lit display, external temp sensor, USB programming cable
                        http://www.aliexpress.com/item/40A-12V-24V-New-Tracer-4215A-40-amps-Programmable-MPPT-Solar-Charge-Controller-Boost-Float-Low/32553829121.html



                        Tracer 4210A User Manual:

                        http://www.aasolar.co.nz/Instruction...A%20Series.pdf
                        Last edited by Technologist; 05-18-2016, 12:29 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Technologist View Post

                          You’r referring to the older Tracer 4210RN
                          Thanks for that info! I wish I'd have known that 2 months ago!! I keep coming back to Aliexpress in my hunt for a 24V 500W inverter. Their site just looks a bit shady. Are they reputable?

                          Comment

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