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(8x12) 96V 180 Ah BYD lithium pack... Any useful applications?

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  • (8x12) 96V 180 Ah BYD lithium pack... Any useful applications?

    I have 8 batteries (each pack with 4 cells) @12 Volts all reading 13.37V. They're marked BYD Auto but they were apparently (lightly) used in a solar storage application a few years back (they came from atheist China, so the old lady wasn't even driving her BYD sedan to church on Sunday.)

    I also have two Delta Q battery chargers programmed for 48 and 72 Volts respectively.

    I originally thought I'd buy some additional panels, controllers, etc. for off-grid applications to learn more about the subject but is there anything I can do to integrate the batteries into my house power with 10 kW existing microinverter-based grid-connected solar?

    Clouds are "killing" me during expensive TOU periods and storing my excess production for the nightly or low sunlight use of some kind, instead of feeding Georgia Power at 4 cents/kWh, would be ideal.

    I'm a battery/backup newb and not sure where to go with this and if it's even worth pursuing. What would you guys recommend and what ideas do you have?

    EDIT: One crude idea I had was to connect all packs in parallel, charge them from an outlet (but using what equipment?) during the day and then run a small AC unit during summer or radiator during winter (both at 750W) at night using my 12V Xantrex 1kW inverter.
    Last edited by cracovian; 08-15-2016, 09:15 PM.
    10 x LG300 ACe, 24 x M250 (9.84 kW DC)

  • #2
    atheist China?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Logan5 View Post
      atheist China?
      As Marx called religion the opium for the people, the totalitarian China is a Communist state and officially atheist. But they sure know how to put solar panels and iPhones together.

      What equipment would I buy and research to semi or fully integrate these batteries into my setup? I was looking at Xantrex Radian inverter/charger options; quite expensive though.
      10 x LG300 ACe, 24 x M250 (9.84 kW DC)

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      • #4
        Good for China! If you are in the USA and will need code compliance, it is unlikely you should go over 48 volts for your battery bank. If off grid and code compliance is not a concern, then you could find equipment to work a higher voltage system. Equipment could be very expensive.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cracovian View Post
          I originally thought I'd buy some additional panels, controllers, etc. for off-grid applications to learn more about the subject but is there anything I can do to integrate the batteries into my house power with 10 kW existing microinverter-based grid-connected solar?
          Not directly. You can do an on-grid AC coupled system pretty easily by converting them to 48 volts and using an inverter like one of the Outback varieties. That requires minimal alteration to your existing system.

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          • cracovian
            cracovian commented
            Editing a comment
            This is great info so far. Thank you! Maybe I shouldn't promise some of those single packs to my friends yet!

            If it needs to be 48 Volts then I'd connect 4 packs in series, repeat with the remaining 4 packs and then connect those 2 combos to each other in parallel - right?

            I'd like to run my 5 kW AC from the batteries even if it's for an hour or two (or at least supplement when solar production dips); is that realistic? If so, which Outback inverter would I be looking at?

          • jflorey2
            jflorey2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes 4 in series, then both of those strings in parallel. Balancing first is important, and a good pack-wide BMS is generally a good idea.

            Yes, you can run your 5kW AC but it will be expensive. Specifically you will need something like an Outback Radian. But you don't need to run your A/C directly - you only need to be able to charge/discharge to the grid. Something like a GVFX3648 will give you that functionality at about half the cost. (And will still give you decent backup if the power goes out.)

        • #6
          [Edited to remove duplicate]

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          • #7
            It's $1,747 with free shipping before my megawatt membership expires next week.

            Are there any other major parts or pieces that I could (or should) get?

            Having backup power during rare outages is not my priority. However, cycling when needed (specifically 2-7 PM) and keeping as much of my green energy as I can, is (instead of selling it to GP for next to nothing)

            Will this inverter along with these, what seem to be decent batts, and when AC-coupled, allow me to do some or all of that?

            I'm reading through different available modes right now and I can't quite match up any of them to my particular situation. "Grid Tied" seems close but it mentions DC loads coming from renewables. My solar is AC loads going straight to the panel, so would those have to be rerouted for one of Outback's modes somehow?
            Last edited by cracovian; 08-16-2016, 08:12 PM.
            10 x LG300 ACe, 24 x M250 (9.84 kW DC)

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by cracovian View Post
              Will this inverter along with these, what seem to be decent batts, and when AC-coupled, allow me to do some or all of that?
              Yes, it will allow you to do some of that. You can do it manually via one of the MATE controllers by forcing charge during the day and then forcing "sell to grid" at night. You can also limit the amount of power transferred by changing the AC1 limit on the inverter settings page.

              To automate it you need additional hardware. We are doing this right now with a Raspberry Pi to control the inverter.

              "Grid Tied" seems close but it mentions DC loads coming from renewables. My solar is AC loads going straight to the panel, so would those have to be rerouted for one of Outback's modes somehow?
              Nope. You just charge from AC power, and some of the power your solar system is generating is used to charge the batteries. Then you discharge via "sell to grid" and that power is released back into your power system.

              It is worth noting that Outback doesn't want you to do this, partly because some utilities are still not certain how to manage billing for stored power. (i.e. do they consider the power sold back to the grid under the same rules as solar power sold back to the grid?) That's why you can't sell back to the grid below 48 volts. So if you were trying to do this with a small lead-acid bank you'd have problems. Fortunately, with your larger LiFePO4 batteries your nominal voltage will be 51.2 volts, and thus you should be able to cycle most of the battery's capacity through the inverter.

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              • #9
                Is there a specific MATE controller that you'd recommend? Is there a way to control the inverter remotely (switch to charge or discharge) like through an app and away from the house or it has to be done only manually (or setting schedules) in the garage out of the box?

                Aside from switches and cabling and connectors I can get locally, is there any other equipment that I should be aware of and buy?

                I do have a nice 2kW Honda inverter generator and it looks like a manual switching mechanism would be all that's needed for the integration. If not too difficult then why not?

                Can my electrician (with solar, but no battery, experience) handle the install? Does Outback provide good enough documentation or are there any other resources worth looking at?
                10 x LG300 ACe, 24 x M250 (9.84 kW DC)

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by cracovian View Post
                  Is there a specific MATE controller that you'd recommend? Is there a way to control the inverter remotely (switch to charge or discharge) like through an app and away from the house or it has to be done only manually (or setting schedules) in the garage out of the box?
                  MATE 3 if you want to program it to do this. I have not done this myself, but it looks like you can program it to charge at certain times and go into sell mode at certain times.

                  MATE/MATE 2 if you want to use a computer. The MATE 2 has a serial port you can use to control the system, and serial ports are generally easier to work with than Ethernet or USB if you are going to do the programming yourself.
                  Aside from switches and cabling and connectors I can get locally, is there any other equipment that I should be aware of and buy?
                  Battery enclosures, serial cables (if you use the MATE) a computer. Perhaps an AC sensor so you can determine how much power you are generating.
                  I do have a nice 2kW Honda inverter generator and it looks like a manual switching mechanism would be all that's needed for the integration. If not too difficult then why not?
                  Are you planning to move your critical loads over to the inverter? (requires a new panel and is a fair amount of work.) If so then that would work; you would use a large (60A) transfer switch to select grid or generator input. You'd need to reprogram the inverter to limit to 16 amps on the input before switching over to prevent generator overloads.

                  If not you can still use a transfer switch to switch selected loads from the grid to your generator.
                  Can my electrician (with solar, but no battery, experience) handle the install? Does Outback provide good enough documentation or are there any other resources worth looking at?
                  Your electrician will be able to do parts of it. For example, if you want to relocate all your critical loads to another panel, he will be able to do that (he'll install a subpanel.) That is about 75% of the work. If he is unfamiliar with high current DC I would not recommend using him for the battery work.

                  Also consider a Midnite E-panel. That's a prewired panel that contains most of the AC and DC wiring and protection you will need.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by cracovian View Post
                    Is there a specific MATE controller that you'd recommend? Is there a way to control the inverter remotely (switch to charge or discharge) like through an app and away from the house or it has to be done only manually (or setting schedules) in the garage out of the box?

                    Aside from switches and cabling and connectors I can get locally, is there any other equipment that I should be aware of and buy?

                    Sure the Mate3 can do it. here is the relative manual section for it.
                    Attached Files
                    OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Thank you for all the info! I don't plan to have any sub-panels and critical loads if I can avoid it. The generator would only serve as a "trickle charge" to keep batteries operating for extended outages but there's really no need if too costly or difficult.

                      I currently have CURB real-time energy monitoring to see my production/consumption data. It's not really open source or very useful beyond that or would it be?

                      Aside from preset programming, the scenario I'm thinking about is when I'm often generating 7kW and using 6kW around noon (maybe putting 1kW into the batteries.) The cloud comes over and I'm down to generating 3kW but still consuming 6kW, so now pulling 3kW from the grid.

                      Is there a way for the Outback to kick in the flow from the batteries and supplement the missing 3kW to prevent me buying it from the grid and switch back to normal operation when the cloud is gone 15 minutes later? Or is this a pipe dream, especially with AC-coupling?
                      10 x LG300 ACe, 24 x M250 (9.84 kW DC)

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by cracovian View Post
                        Thank you for all the info! I don't plan to have any sub-panels and critical loads if I can avoid it. The generator would only serve as a "trickle charge" to keep batteries operating for extended outages but there's really no need if too costly or difficult.

                        I currently have CURB real-time energy monitoring to see my production/consumption data. It's not really open source or very useful beyond that or would it be?

                        Aside from preset programming, the scenario I'm thinking about is when I'm often generating 7kW and using 6kW around noon (maybe putting 1kW into the batteries.) The cloud comes over and I'm down to generating 3kW but still consuming 6kW, so now pulling 3kW from the grid.

                        Is there a way for the Outback to kick in the flow from the batteries and supplement the missing 3kW to prevent me buying it from the grid and switch back to normal operation when the cloud is gone 15 minutes later? Or is this a pipe dream, especially with AC-coupling?

                        well you will have a sub-panel as that is how a bimodal system works.

                        yes it can be configured with the grid use timer or with HBX mode for all the time setting.
                        Radian series would be best solution with 3 AC connections, one for Grid, one for Generator, and one for loads (loads being on sub-panel)
                        you can go to Outback and download some info or the manuals for the Mate3 and radian inverters for more info on Grid use Time and HBX modes
                        OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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                        • #14
                          I just do not get it. Why people want to make electricity that cost them $1Kwh to generate and store, then sell it for 15-cents. Are people that poorly educated and brainwashed?
                          MSEE, PE

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                          • #15
                            Sunking - It costs me more than 15 cents in the summer and GP only buys my overproduction electricity for 4 cents/kWh year round.

                            Also, not sure how good these batteries are yet but they look decent so far.

                            The batteries were FREE, so would that change the $1/kWh equation at all?
                            10 x LG300 ACe, 24 x M250 (9.84 kW DC)

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