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gpalterpower
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Posted: 04 September 2016 at 5:46am | IP Logged Quote gpalterpower

Hey Fred,
Yep. I've 2. One grid tie that was fitted 6 years ago with 2 kw of panels on the roof facing north and one off grid. Off grid inverter is a power star 24v 3kw. It was cheap at the time a year ago. Bout $500, so the price was right! I have 3 kw of panels feeding into a bank of batteries. 1kw each facing north, east and west, and there's always room for more. I'm eventually planning on going off grid so Ill just use the on grid tie panels and hook them into my battery bank. That will give me 5kw which I believe should be enough to run a house...but I could be wrong. You cant have too many solar panels if your off grid.

I've hooked the powerstar thru a voltage detect relay and turns on when the voltage hits 27.7v in the morning. That feeds another relay near the meter box which switches change over contactors from grid to my inverter, then I'm off grid all day till after sunset.


Yeah those power companies are getting greedy. That's why Ill eventually go off grid. Its the availability charge that gets you. $1.31 per day/ Ripoff!! Whats it in NZ? always thought power was cheap there?


Thanks for the youtube like! Output from the wind gen is not that great. Bout 500w in a gale. It seriously need a little more tweaking and TLC.I lowered it yesterday DURING the storm (scary), so I might open it up and take a look. Solar panels are sooo much easier to handle and control output. You just turn them off if you don't need them! Wind gens are fiddly and sometimes scary. I spent countless hours making it. Luckily I work at an engineering firm. My wife hates it....but I admit, I love watching it turn.

Marcus

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flc1
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Posted: 05 September 2016 at 10:35am | IP Logged Quote flc1

yep my wife was getting p,,,,ed off at all the attention my wind turbine was getting back when I was building and fine tuneing it, only have to pull it down every 6 months or so now to grease bearings etc. The daily power charge here is similar to yours ,,,depending on what plan we are on. I have about 4.2 kw of gridtie panels aswell,similar to you ,east ,north and north west facing,and yep- they are simple to install and operate, but the wind turbines are interesting and like you say ..love watching it turn ha! did you think of useing a mppt charger,mppt gridtie inverter with your turbine? might get more power from it, is it into the grid or batterys? Fred
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flc1
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Posted: 05 September 2016 at 10:43am | IP Logged Quote flc1

Yours sounds like a good setup Marcus, given me some ideas, what size battery bank do you have?
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gpalterpower
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Posted: 12 September 2016 at 7:03am | IP Logged Quote gpalterpower

I started off small, which most of us do, with a bank of 4 225AH 6V's batteries (grey colour in pic) and a kw of panels. A bargain came up, or so I thought and purchased 6 more 8v batteries (trojan) from a disused golf cart. Think they are bout 170Ah each, so that makes a grand total of around 550Ah @24v.









I just hooked these in series parallel with the original bank. It definitely made a difference in capacity but I don't think they were as good as anticipated. Seem to discharge more quickly than I thought! Then again, that could just be kids abusing the power leaving lights and TVs on.

With the 2 more kws on the roof top and I'm off grid all day every day , with the exception for those gloomy and wet ones. An extra kw facing east would be good. Give the batts that early morning hit! An extra kw facing west would also help late in the arvo . That will come later, as for now we are getting good sun leading up to and beyond summer. We live near Byron, 28 S, so we have plenty of sunshine. I've even thought of placing some panels on the southern side for those long summer days when the sun swings SW late in the arvo.

This is a pic of my power wall...A bit messy due to pieces added on. Will be transfering the two controllers to the piece on the left with the holes in it. Each hole is for a fan mounted on the rear, and a controller on the front for each 1Kw of solar power.






This pic is the change over contactor setup in the back of the meter box.








As for the wind turbine, I have decided to just feed into batteries rather than the grid, as eventually I want to go down that track of being permantly off grid

Marcus



..ps . hope these pics come out. There not on the "preview post".

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gpalterpower
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Posted: 12 September 2016 at 7:05am | IP Logged Quote gpalterpower

Yay ! It worked

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Tinker
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Posted: 12 September 2016 at 9:07am | IP Logged Quote Tinker

Interesting, you are using contactors to switch from mains to inverter electricity supply.
So, from where are these contactor coils powered? And what happens if that power dissappears, as in a fault situation?

I assume you have a manual switch on your meter box that selects which contactor is on?

Just curious, as you do that switching different to what I have.

I just use two 20A rated manual industrial switches 1 - 0 - 1, one switch selects mains or inverter for the lights circuits (these run from a 24V/ 400Ah LA battery bank and separate inverter). This was my original set up.
The other switch selects the power source for the GPO's. These are powered from my new inverter & 48V/ 200Ah lithium battery ban.

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flc1
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Posted: 12 September 2016 at 10:07am | IP Logged Quote flc1

Thanks for shareing Marcus, looks tidier than my setup. Good work. Im thinking you should see an inprovment with your turbine running into a mppt controller and then into your batteries,and with black rotorcaps etc.
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gpalterpower
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Posted: 14 September 2016 at 12:48pm | IP Logged Quote gpalterpower

Hi Tinker,
I was looking for something that was automatic to change from grid to inverter and this was the best I could think of. The 2 contactors are both 240v, powered by the grid and selection comes from the 24v c/o relay which in turn is powered by the volt detect relay on the power wall. The contactors are mechanically and electrically interlocked so there is NO chance that my inverter would ever feed into the grid. It makes for a pretty well automatic seamless transition between grid and inverter power. The RCD at the bottom was used for a while but I took it out of the equation due to dropping out with the change over. Its now just a connection point as the black and blue wiring was too short to reach. In the event of a blackout/brownout, both contactors will drop out for safety purposes. I then I can mechanically over ride the inverter contactor to feed the house.


Fred , still on the lookout for some late model F&P's.

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flc1
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Posted: 15 September 2016 at 4:29am | IP Logged Quote flc1

Marcus, I would just keep checking with a f n p service centre or at the dump,they are starting to turn up there in small numbers
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solarwind
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Posted: 24 September 2016 at 11:17am | IP Logged Quote solarwind

Hi Marcus,
Great job and I like your practical approach vs a commercialised automatic change-over!
Just a thought: Have you ever considered using a small UPS to power your control circuit for the contactors?




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gpalterpower
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Posted: 30 September 2016 at 11:18pm | IP Logged Quote gpalterpower

Thanks,
I didn't know there was commercial change over available, but may have looked into that if I knew there was. My setup was fairly cheap and so far has worked perfectly for over a year now.
For now I am powering the contactors from the grid as a safety factor. If the grid goes down every thing drops out, not that it happens often. I can then go into manual mode to feed the house.


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fillm
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Posted: 01 October 2016 at 12:59am | IP Logged Quote fillm

Hi Marcus,

These are AS/NZ Compliant Changeover switches Latronics ACTS , they have been around a quite a while. To be Compliant the switching MUST be via mechanical contacts in the relays NC / NO as there is a risk in solid state that 2 voltages could be shorted together.
It seems you have the
I have to have 3 in my system that switch from 3 phase grid to 3 single phase circuits. The ACTS 40s are connected to a 3 phase 40A input socket that is labeled and can connect a 3 phase generator to be easily connected and run the house , all designed and installed by licenced electrical contractor.

I see what you have put together and it sounds like its mechanically interlocked and that is what is required but for my 2 cents.... it is one part that should not be made up out of scrapped UPS or put together even with the best intentions. These are not expensive items to add to a system and I know it's also about making whatever ourselves but there is a lot to be considered with backyard power systems and the potential risks. If its under 55V dc or 110AC its ELV and is virtually not regulated. I know some get their hackles up when all this is mentioned and it can kill or turn a really good informative thread/project into a big sh*t slingin match, but I am only pointing to one side of a hybrid off-grid system.

All my batteries , inverters, wind /solar controls are now housed in a 20ft container parallel to my shed and the only connection to my house is the lead going to the 3 phase 40A input socket ( generator input) then what happens on the input side of the socket is my business and on the other side its fully compliant.

Edited by fillm on 02 October 2016 at 1:35am


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