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  • Autostart inverter after full discharge

    Hello all,
    I installed an off- grid system with grid backup. it's a small system powering my outside lights and some other non essential loads. The problem I had while testing the system out is that when the batteries discharge too low the inverter shuts down to prevent damage to be batteries as it should. The next day when the sun rises I assumed that the batteires would start charging and they did, but the inverter didn't turn back on even with the batterise sitting at full power. the only way to get the system working on solar again was by having to manually restart the inverter, then it worked instantly.

    Now I don't plan to discharge the batteries fully but these things happen and I don't want my grandma to have manually restart the inverter (unconveniently located) nor turn off the lights to stop getting a higher power bill (since it is backed up by the grid).

    Is there anyway to do some wiring and make the inverter automatically restart when the sun comes back up? I read the manual and it says that it can be done if the inverter is connected to the grid, this defeats the pupose of using solar to charge the batteries though, I am however ok with using the msins to trick the inverter thinking that it is connected to the mains, but how do I achieve this?

    Setup:
    250 panel>charge controller>battery >inverter>automatic changeover switch> load.
    the grid goes into the changeover switch.

    If you need more info to help me, I'll provide as much info as I can.
    Thank you.

  • #2
    I'm not clairvoyant, so you are going to have to read the inverter manual. Most of them shut down and require a manual restart because the inverter assumes a fault exists. An what is the cost of a bank of batteries ? That cost can sure buy a lot of grid power.
    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
      I understand why it shuts down and mentioned that the manual says this is normal behavior and doesn't happen if plugged into the mains. The batteries were free of cost and the inverter like 200....my breakeven period on the setup is 5 years. plus a major issue is that power is unreliable in her part of the world, goes a minimum of once per week for up to 3 hours, sometimes 3 times in a week.

      I just want to know if the here is a way to wire up my setup so as to trick the inverter into thinking it is on ac mains and bypass having yo manually restart the inverter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi folks, am new here, looking for your advice, am planning to install solar power to my work place, am using, (6) sewing machines, computer, printer, heat press (this is the most power hog of all, 1400w) and washing machine which is 505w, we have a real problem in electricity which has become very hard to learn this business, i now have possible way to get all required item online and purchase, may problem is, I want to purchase this list of items, according to my budget plan, 1 pure sine inverter 3000w/ peak 9000w, (2) solar panels, (6) 12v Agm batteries and a controller, this is where i would like you to advice me if this can work, since i need this power full day time, like 15hrs working hours, I have also found there are some panels with higher wattage, like 250w each, try and advice me more since i don't know about this solar power thing, and circumstances have forced me to open wind my mind to servive.another thing is, if let say i connect this power inverter to main power when available, will it save power consumption when using heat press, like at night when we have main power, and i want to print some clothes, mike 90250, i would like to hear from you also. #2
        Last edited by George kim; 12-07-2016, 11:19 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello George,
          Your system would be drained really quickly with only 2 250w panels....depending on your location....you'd get a max of 2kw a day....1 hour of your heat press and 1 hour of washing machine and the solar power you created would be used up.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Theone964 View Post
            Hello George,
            Your system would be drained really quickly with only 2 250w panels....depending on your location....you'd get a max of 2kw a day....1 hour of your heat press and 1 hour of washing machine and the solar power you created would be used up.
            Sorry i didn't put my location, am in kenya, electricity is bad news everyday in my area, but sun we gat, you have said with my 2 solar panel and 6 Agm batteries its like two hours power service, lets say there are solar panels with high wattage like LG 300v neon XG4, what am avoiding is too many pieces of panels since i don't own the building, is there a way that I can connect this (2) LG 300w solar panels direct to inverter, and still charge this 6 battery bank, i know this might requre regulator since this is more than 24v required by inverter, my business is tailoring, sewing machines are the one running whole day, printing of clothes is running like three hours a day together with washing machine, night we can use it on house hold thing like light, tv and radio if main isn't working, but if working then i can off inverter and leave battery charging.

            Comment


            • #7
              George, first let's talk about the inverter. A good inverter with say a 3000 watt rating probably could never produce more than a 6000 watt surge for 5 seconds so... I'd be weary that that inverter seller may be claiming it is a more powerful inverter than it actually is. Since those sewing machines and washer motors are going to be much happier with pure sine wave inverter I'd be sure to check that it is a real true sine wave inverter, not a modified sine wave inverter.

              ​To help you with more with your system we need to know how many hours a day that heat press is turned on. Also try to get a Kill A Watt meter (or your local equivalent) and get a actual power used per day for each of those sewing machines and washer. We need to know your actual daily loads to give you solid information and Theone is right, You're going to need a lot more panels.

              Comment


              • #8
                What is the power usage of the sewing machines? with only 2 panels your not going to cover everything.....honestly I would forget about the 3kw inverter and get a smaller inverter and power only some of the essential loads. forget about the heatpress and you can save quite a bit of money and reduce your inverter size. I'd use the savings for more batteries or panels. 2 300w panels will give a max of 3kw

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Theone964 View Post
                  ...... 2 300w panels will give a max of 3kw
                  That would be KWh. and only valid if you have 4 hours of solid sun on well aimed panels.

                  But your plant is not a candidate for a small solar PV system. A couple of generators (use one every other day) would be a more cost effective route. If you don't own the building, it's hard to attach stuff to it.

                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by John Galt 1 View Post
                    George, first let's talk about the inverter. A good inverter with say a 3000 watt rating probably could never produce more than a 6000 watt surge for 5 seconds so... I'd be weary that that inverter seller may be claiming it is a more powerful inverter than it actually is. Since those sewing machines and washer motors are going to be much happier with pure sine wave inverter I'd be sure to check that it is a real true sine wave inverter, not a modified sine wave inverter.

                    ​To help you with more with your system we need to know how many hours a day that heat press is turned on. Also try to get a Kill A Watt meter (or your local equivalent) and get a actual power used per day for each of those sewing machines and washer. We need to know your actual daily loads to give you solid information and Theone is right, You're going to need a lot more panels.
                    Thanks for your support, our country voltage is 240v, a Kill A Watt costs ksh 20, each sewing machine has 105W, heat press is 1400w and am using it for 4hrs everyday, washing machine is 550w which is also working approximately 1hr a day, power inverter is rated 3000w/ peak 9000w from photonic universe, i contacted them and they send me a package of (8) 150w solar panels and (20) 12v 100amp AGM batteries, i found this items being very large for me, storage of 20 batteries is too much because of space, i dont need too much power at night, ony for tv and radio, incase electricity is off, but i need a way i can have few panels, and few batteries bank which can go 4hrs on heat press, this is the one causing me to do this installation, if its just sewing, i could have chosen a lower wattage inverter, if there's a way i can use this inverter for this purposes, whole day sewing, and while heatpressing i disconnect all other equipments, with less solar panels, i can keep adding panels in future, that's the idea i have, help me how it can work, John galt 1#7 welcome.
                    Last edited by George kim; 12-08-2016, 05:40 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                      That would be KWh. and only valid if you have 4 hours of solid sun on well aimed panels.

                      But your plant is not a candidate for a small solar PV system. A couple of generators (use one every other day) would be a more cost effective route. If you don't own the building, it's hard to attach stuff to it.
                      Thanx, I was also thinking of generator but depending on the cost of fuel, its a total loss, whereby one liter goes by ksh 100 per litre, a small generator holds 4ltrs, which then be a mix of special oil, and a full tank will learn 6hrs, which i don't know if its on a high load, it can be very much time limiting and much more expensive, if 2300w will handle those 4hrs of heat press, meaning, with other equipment which is (6) sewing machwhich of 105w each, will run well whole day without problem?, and what about this 6 AGm batteries, are they enough to light up 4 bulbs in night, tv and a radio like 5hrs in case main power is off,
                      Last edited by George kim; 12-08-2016, 06:24 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There are few things as cheap as grid electricity. By the time you build up equipment to handle it, you are very expensive.
                        Here's a thought, Small battery system, recharged by the grid, to run the sewing machines and Lights. When there is Grid power,
                        run the heat press and washer also
                        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


                        • #13
                          Grid is best, and if in my case was flawless, i could have done a small modification on this power hog items, to save some cash, we're going a day or sometime two without power, before I had another business and i ended up closing it because of off grid, power lost at night and a day has gone without doing anything, yet you're paying rent, many businesses have failed because of that, this idea is expensive and I have seen that, but i want a foundation i will keep in progressing with time, I have decided to take (4) panels with 300w each, and (3) batteries with 200Ah each, will this package solve my problem, with hopes of adding more battery storage while working, power inverter is from photonic universe 3000w they say its 9000w peak,
                          Last edited by George kim; 12-08-2016, 04:18 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by George kim View Post
                            Grid is best, and if in my case was flawless, i could have done a small modification on this power hog items, to save some cash, we're going a day or sometime two without power, before I had another business and i ended up closing it because of off grid, power lost at night and a day has gone without doing anything, yet you're paying rent, many businesses have failed because of that, this idea is expensive and I have seen that, but i want a foundation i will keep in progressing with time, I have decided to take (4) panels with 300w each, and (3) batteries with 200Ah each, will this package solve my problem, with hopes of adding more battery storage while working, power inverter is from photonic universe 3000w they say its 9000w peak,
                            Don't buy a single thing yet, you are still designing and planning, anything you purchase before an entire plan is complete, is very likely going to be useless,
                            First you HAVE to settle what your loads are. Lights, sewing machines, washers, press. Add up the watt hours you need, just for survival mode, compare it to Wh needed for business as usual mode
                            When we have those numbers we can adivse, Till then, my guess as to your above package, is FAILURE of your power in a few hours,
                            If fuel for a generator needs to be figured in your cost, figure it in. Solar electric and batteries will cost about 10x the cost of grid power,

                            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


                            • #15
                              [SIZE=14px]George,
                              Let's say 6 sewing machines running 6 hrs a day. 6 machines x 105 wh x 6 hours =3780 wh/day
                              1400 watt press x 4hrs = 5600 wh/day
                              washing machine 550 wh/day
                              and let's add eight 34 watt florescent bulbs for 8 hrs each day = 2200 wh/day
                              Total draw is 12150 wh/day. I suspect that press isn't always heating and the sewing machines aren't always running but I can only go with the information you've given.

                              So now we can size your system.... and this is going to hurt but the numbers say what the numbers say.

                              12150 wh/day x 1/.52 (1,92) system end AC efficiency x 4.5 hrs of sun = 5184 watt solar array

                              And if you aim for 2 days of storage and 50% maximum discharge (protects your expensive batteries) a 48v battery bank would be...
                              12159 wh/day x 1/.90 (1.11) inverter efficiency x 2 days storage x 1/.50 (2) max discharge /48v battery bank = 912 AH 48v battery bank

                              And to double check I'd suggest a 5 - 13% rate of charge for your battery bank with 10-13% being desirable. a 5% rate of charge is more for a weekend only cabin with no heavy daytime loads.

                              912 amp/hr x 59v charging x 77% charging system efficiency (1.29) x .05 rate of charge + 3470 watt minimum array

                              912 amp/hr x 59v charging x 77% charging system efficiency (1.29) x .10 rate of charge + 6941 watt array

                              912 amp/hr x 59v charging x 77% charging system efficiency (1.29) x .13 rate of charge + 9023 watt array

                              Since you may only use this solar system 2-4 hours at a time a few times a week you could probably get away with a 450 amp/hr 48v battery bank and a 2000 watt solar array assuming good sunshine most days.
                              Last edited by John Galt 1; 12-10-2016, 08:21 PM.

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