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Faulty inverter or faulty setup (on my part)?

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  • Faulty inverter or faulty setup (on my part)?

    I have been dabbling in solar panel usage for years but after building a greenhouse I am ramping it up. I have 10 panels (2 on the greenhouse roof and 8 on my homemade stand) wired in series all facing Winter-gray-skies South. It is wired into my MPPT which then "feeds" three 24v deep cycle batteries wired in parallel. I had been casually running a 12v inverter to run virtually nothing. (I learned that I should have a 24v inverter and recently purchased one.) So far, the 24v inverter only wants to scream at me with its fault whistle.

    Here are the specs of the system:

    Solar panels
    2 - 100 watt max peak, 18.0 volt max power point v, 5.56 amp max power point current
    8 - 15 watt max peak, 17.5 volt max power point, 0.86 amp max power point current

    MPPT Controller
    Tracer-3251RN

    Batteries
    3 - 24volt, 200CA

    Inverter
    MicroSolar 24v INV-3000PS

    Readings
    Solar Panels - 75 volts
    MPPT to batteries 24-28 volts
    Batteries 24-28 volts

    What am I missing here?

    Thanks.

    Seth Bumgarner
    Central Ohio

  • #2
    There is no good way to run all ten of your panels into a single CC input, MPPT or otherwise. How did you wire them? Diagram please.
    SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

    Comment


    • #3
      Can you tell if it;s overvoltage or undervoltage fault ??
      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


      • #4
        You are missing matched panels with incompatible equipment. You cannot put 15 watt panels in series with 100 watt panels. In fact you would gain power if you lost all the 15 watt panels. Lastly you cannot wire all the panels in series as you claim.

        Nothing you have is matched up to work. Sorry. Not near enough panel wattage to support the wrong kind of battery that cannot support a 3000 watt inverter.
        Last edited by Sunking; 01-15-2017, 04:16 PM.
        MSEE, PE

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you to all. Here's a rough drawing of my wiring.

          Not totally clear with some of the responses: Per my meter, IMG_0841.jpg I have 75 volts going into the controller. The three 24 volt batteries are getting a full charge. I would then hope that I could run a 24 volt inverter with the batteries. Am I incorrect in thinking that the 24 volt inverter should run from a fully charged bank of 24 volt deep cell batteries?

          As for under or over voltage, I thought it was over at first so I ran lights using my 12 volt inverter to drop the voltage from 28 to 24. The 24 volt inverter still complained.

          Thanks again.

          Comment


          • #6
            Drawing states solar modules in series but the wiring is shown as a mash up of series/parallel in a way that does not look right.
            OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

            Comment


            • #7
              As soon as you run the 100 watt panels in series you have effectively turned them into 15 watt panels. Whatever amperage your 15 watt panels are putting out (0.8 amp?) your 100 watt panels will do the same.
              What model MPPT controller are you using? If you paid anything under say $150.00 dollars for it you most likely have a PWM controller. China has been notorious for lying about their controller as being MPPT.
              Can you submit any pictures of your system? Especially the batteries and controller.
              2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BumgarnerS View Post
                Thank you to all. Here's a rough drawing of my wiring.

                Not totally clear with some of the responses: Per my meter, IMG_0841.jpg I have 75 volts going into the controller. The three 24 volt batteries are getting a full charge. I would then hope that I could run a 24 volt inverter with the batteries. Am I incorrect in thinking that the 24 volt inverter should run from a fully charged bank of 24 volt deep cell batteries?

                As for under or over voltage, I thought it was over at first so I ran lights using my 12 volt inverter to drop the voltage from 28 to 24. The 24 volt inverter still complained.

                Thanks again.
                As Butch mentioned, that sketch reflects a wiring mess and will not work let alone use the full potential wattage of all of those panels.

                There may not be any good way to use the 15watt panels and the 100w panels in the same charging system. Maybe if you wired the 7 or 8 x 15 watt panels in parallel to create a single "105w or 120w" panel then wire that "group" in series with the 2 x 100 watt panels it might work. It would create a bastard 300watt panel system with a Vmp ~ 54 volts and Imp ~ 5.5 amps.

                But you may still have an issue depending on the max DC voltage your tracer CC will accept which is based on the total Voc of those 3 "100watt" panels.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You need to tell us the capacity of the 24V batteries in Amp-Hours (AH). The 200 CA stands for Cranking Amps, which is a specification for a cranking (starter) battery, not a deep cycle battery.
                  It is quite likely that they are not able to deliver enough current for a 3000W inverter, and the wiring would have to be able to safely carry 150A will a small voltage drop.
                  Three batteries in parallel is not a good idea either.

                  Your wiring diagram shows all of your solar panels in parallel but with alternating polarity, which will not work at all and will not deliver enough voltage for your 24V CC.

                  Please give us the exact battery specs and try to give a correct wiring diagram.
                  SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    On this MLK Day, I did some more investigating and found stupid errors on my part. After talking with my favorite rep at the battery store, it turns out 1. I was errantly reading my meter and 2. the batteries sold to me are 12 volts (I know I asked back in October if they were 24 volt batteries).

                    So, I know why the 24 volt inverter does not function but my "weaker" 12 volt inverter does. (I will be returning the 24 volt inverter.)

                    From the great help received here my knowledge has doubled (at least).

                    Here are the specs at present:

                    Solar panels
                    2 - 100 watt max peak, 18.0 volt max power point v, 5.56 amp max power point current
                    (The 15 watt panels are disconnected.)

                    MPPT Controller
                    Tracer-3251RN (This one was highly recommended and appears to not be a MPPT knockoff.)

                    Batteries
                    4 - 12 volt, 210-225 amp hours (picked up a 4th while out)

                    Inverter
                    12 volt
                    (I will be returning the MicroSolar 24v INV-3000PS)

                    New Readings
                    Solar Panels - 33-36 volts
                    MPPT to batteries 12 volts
                    Batteries 13.9 volts

                    Now to advise me (if you do not mind)
                    1. I have been advised that I should not bother with the 15 watt panels as they pull the amps down to "their" levels. So now, I have two 100 watt panels as the sole providers.
                    2. For the batteries, should I wire them parallel so the voltage is at 12 while the amps are quadrupled?
                    3. What size inverter should I consider? I went with the one I am returning as I will try to run a 1500 max watt heater in the greenhouse (if possible). More batteries and more 100 watt panels?

                    Thanks again and I do hope this has been as much of an adventure for you as it has for me.

                    Here's a picture of the "setup" in warmer times and how it is in the snow:

                    IMG_0653.jpgIMG_0807.jpg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BumgarnerS View Post
                      On this MLK Day, I did some more investigating and found stupid errors on my part. After talking with my favorite rep at the battery store, it turns out 1. I was errantly reading my meter and 2. the batteries sold to me are 12 volts (I know I asked back in October if they were 24 volt batteries).

                      So, I know why the 24 volt inverter does not function but my "weaker" 12 volt inverter does. (I will be returning the 24 volt inverter.)

                      From the great help received here my knowledge has doubled (at least).

                      Here are the specs at present:

                      Solar panels
                      2 - 100 watt max peak, 18.0 volt max power point v, 5.56 amp max power point current
                      (The 15 watt panels are disconnected.)

                      MPPT Controller
                      Tracer-3251RN (This one was highly recommended and appears to not be a MPPT knockoff.)

                      Batteries
                      4 - 12 volt, 210-225 amp hours (picked up a 4th while out)

                      Inverter
                      12 volt
                      (I will be returning the MicroSolar 24v INV-3000PS)

                      New Readings
                      Solar Panels - 33-36 volts
                      MPPT to batteries 12 volts
                      Batteries 13.9 volts

                      Now to advise me (if you do not mind)
                      1. I have been advised that I should not bother with the 15 watt panels as they pull the amps down to "their" levels. So now, I have two 100 watt panels as the sole providers.
                      2. For the batteries, should I wire them parallel so the voltage is at 12 while the amps are quadrupled?
                      3. What size inverter should I consider? I went with the one I am returning as I will try to run a 1500 max watt heater in the greenhouse (if possible). More batteries and more 100 watt panels?

                      Thanks again and I do hope this has been as much of an adventure for you as it has for me.

                      Here's a picture of the "setup" in warmer times and how it is in the snow:

                      IMG_0653.jpgIMG_0807.jpg
                      With an MPPT CC it is best to wire the panels in series as long as you do not exceed the DC voltage input max.

                      It will also allow you to run smaller wire by reducing the amps going to the CC.

                      It is ok to have an input voltage much higher then your battery voltage. The CC is smart enough to send the correct voltage to the batteries.

                      With 200 watts of panels you will only get about 16 amps of charging so your battery system rating should not exceed 200Ah because you need a minimum of C/12 charging rate where C = the battery system Ah. With 4 of those 12v 210Ah batteries you will create a system that is around 840Ah which is way too big for just 200 watts of panels.

                      Comment

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