Home
JAQForum Ver 24.01
Log In or Join  
Active Topics
Local Time 18:17 23 Jul 2024 Privacy Policy
Jump to

Notice. New forum software under development. It's going to miss a few functions and look a bit ugly for a while, but I'm working on it full time now as the old forum was too unstable. Couple days, all good. If you notice any issues, please contact me.

Forum Index : Solar : Cheap solar for the Upgrade

     Page 1 of 2    
Author Message
Bryan1

Guru

Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1225
Posted: 05:47am 08 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

G'Day Guy's,
            Well running on 3 hours sleep after working night shift last night   and finally got some replies from farcebook market place.

6 off 250 watt panels with the mounting rack but no clamps for $500 cash and in the morning 10 off 190 watt panels with all the complete mounting for the same cost as the first.

So for a grand in cash getting 3.4Kw which will all fit on my Outback FM60 MTTP and I'll look around for a cheap MTTP for those old kaneka panels that are lucky to make a Kw a day in full sun  

I'm thinking of mounting them on the shed beside the house where 1/2 of the array will get the morning sun and the other 1/2 on the other side of the roof so by mid afternoon the forklift battery on the house array should be fully charged by mid afternoon.

My goal is get it all going cheaper than those pesky ad's saying 3.3Kw for 3K etc.

Just need to work out a solution for the solar cabling and thinking of just asking a local installer to come over so he can learn about off grid installations.

Cheers Bryan
 
Godoh
Guru

Joined: 26/09/2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 418
Posted: 08:22pm 08 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

Sounds good Bryan, have you considered a ground mount for the panels. so that you get the best input from the solar panels?
What sort of solution are you looking for as far as the cables go?
As far as clamps and fittings go, there are often plenty of installers selling their stuff off on Gumtree.
I even saw a large amount of clamps at our local tip shop in Launceston a few weeks back.
Pete
 
Bryan1

Guru

Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1225
Posted: 08:40am 09 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

Hi Godoh,
        Putting the panels on the ground won't work for me as for the right location it's close to 50 metres away and I aint trenching thru solid rock to bury the cables.

I picked up that 1.9Kw array today and luckily I was able to reverse my ute into the guy's shed as it was bucketing down today. The panel mounts have all the clamps too so that's a bit relief and I'm thinking of mounting them on the eastern side so they get the morning sun and the 1.5Kw array can go on the western side of the roof.

Now as I will be putting the panels 2 in series to raise the voltage for the Outback FM60 rather than have a heap of wire just making some sealed box's and use the panel mount solar connectors as used on the grid tie inverters. Then connecting each box with some conduit for the output wiring so everything is weather sealed.

This week I'll go talk with some local solar companies and see if I can get a quote to install the panels or just buy all the parts I need off them and do it myself.

Cheers Bryan
 
Old Seagull Man
Regular Member

Joined: 21/12/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 55
Posted: 09:22am 09 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

Brian, i have a couple of old MX60s, that are not used any more,
PM me if your interested. Gone Victron a few years ago.
 
Godoh
Guru

Joined: 26/09/2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 418
Posted: 02:44am 10 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

Hi Seagull man, I hope that your Victron stuff lasts well. I had some victron regulators, but two of them died, not sure why.
Basically they are non-repairable, totally potted in epoxy so getting them apart and repairing them is not worthwhile. I have looked inside their inverters too and they seem to be very difficult to work on. The stuff seems to work well enough, but for me I really don't like gear I can't fix.
Pete
 
Murphy's friend

Guru

Joined: 04/10/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 629
Posted: 04:32am 10 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

I agree with Pete, had an expensive Victron MPPT which died just out of warranty.
I will never buy any Victron stuff again.
 
Bryan1

Guru

Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1225
Posted: 03:41am 15 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

G'Day Guy's,

           Well finished the night shift for the week and running on 3 hours sleep decided to go hunting for some gear to get this solar up.

           First went to home of 12 volt where basically they said anything over 2 panels on the roof of a van is over their head and they did offer a victron where I siad yea YOU give me $500 and I'll bring it back dead 2 weeks after the warranty runs out   that got a blank face so onto the next shop.

          Solar Wholesalers where they basically said we don't deal with Joe public and a guy around the corner said just go to MM mate thats where we get our gear from.

          So like a kid in a candy shop 3 packs of 5 pairs of MC-4 connectors, the crimper for them too. A couple of IP67 box's to terminate the strings on the roof so only a couple of wires come down and a 100 metre roll of 4sqmm solar cable. Also got a dozen gland fittings so I can terminate each wire in the box's.

So now off to trawl this site for the BOM file on the 45 amp MTTP as I my good ol' computer finally went to rest as the second HD had failed. So I still have 2 circuit boards left so when i find that BOM I'll order 2 sets from Digikey and make both those boards so each array have have it's own tracker. Just hope the digikey package gets here before xmas.

Cheers Bryan

Edit: Found the BOM and chose 7 days shipping which was free for the $250+ order so this weekend time to jerry wire up another LCD as that first one I made is still working I will need another.
Edited 2023-12-15 14:18 by Bryan1
 
Godoh
Guru

Joined: 26/09/2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 418
Posted: 12:44am 16 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

Good luck with the project bryan. Make sure that the junction boxes are out of the weather. Even so called weatherproof stuff degrades over time.
The plastic parts go all crumbly down here in our Tasmanian sunshine.
Pete
 
Bryan1

Guru

Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1225
Posted: 07:07am 16 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

Yea I intend to put those box's under the panels so they are out of the sun and this was an after thought as if the box's I bought are too thick I'll get a couple of shorter height box's so they will fit.

As I did get the grid tie inverters with both lots they will do for the new MTTP's and with the first one I've stripped there is a raised part of the heatsink to fit the fets and diode on   Now as the heat sink does cover the whole back of the box I'm sure it will keep the fets nice and cool.

Got an email from Digikey saying my order will be here on the 21st   I do finish work on the 22nd for the xmas break so plenty of time to get this done.

In the morning I'll go thru my resistor pile and see if I have all the required resistors and I do have to place an order with Altronics to get the caps which I'll do tomorrow and from my last order with them it only took a couple of days to arrive so I will have all the gear to make the MTTP's. For the large caps I have enough for off the areosharp board  and I'll take the caps off that first board. With that first grid tie board there is 5 500 volt 470uf caps so I'll use them.

Cheers Bryan
 
Bryan1

Guru

Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1225
Posted: 08:47am 21 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

G'Day Guy's,
           Well the Digikey and Altronics packages arrived today so one more night shift then my xmas break  
 
           So after a rest in the morning time to start building 2 new MTTP's and each one can get tested on my shed array so to prove they are working.

          Got my step son coming down for a couple of days and he will be getting a surprise as for lifting up 1.9Kw of solar etc is a 2 person job and I do have a heap of Menz lollies to bribe  

         Looking at the frame for the 1.9Kw all 10 panels are in a single row so they will go on the house roof and I'll how space goes for the 1.5Kw array to see if they will fit there too. This will just about fill the northern side of the house roof with panels too so they will get full sun all thru the day.

Cheers Bryan
 
Bryan1

Guru

Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1225
Posted: 06:09am 22 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

G'Day Guy's,
           Had a good look around my shed and found I finally run out of that enameled 6x3 wire   Anyway I do have that spool I annealed on my crab burner and sure enough all the insulation is gone, now I did find enough heat shrink to use so I'm going to wind the same type of inductor as I used in my first MPPT. When I was at Rodger's we did measure it and it was off memory 69uh and as I did use 10 turns i'll do the same on this one.

Cheers Bryan

Edit: Well just had to have a go and it was a bit of fun but the second inductor is made




Now to settle down the wire I used some 10 mm plexi glass and it did really help that this thick wire was fully annealed as I only had 3mm spare on the height to get the 2 layer thickness in so the E-cores would would fit. I did sort of work out 2.5 metres of wire and I only had 2.7 metres of heat shrink and when i got the 10 turns done I didn't need to trim the wire at all.

Now the photo doesn't show it but I did hard solder those fitting on
Edited 2023-12-22 17:59 by Bryan1
 
Bryan1

Guru

Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1225
Posted: 06:48am 29 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

Well this morning went on the roof to measure up and the 1.9Kw array can go 10 wide with the 1.5Kw array lower.

I did need more conduit and flexi conduit for the cable tray but the mob I used before was closed for the xmas break so had to go to the big green shed where I got 4 lengths of 20mm conduit and plenty of fittings along with a 10 metre roll of flexi. Had a look at their ali selection and ended up going up the hill to Paramount Browns where I got some 40x6 ali flat bar to use for the panel clamps.

Then this is where it went south on me   the 5/16" bolts I bought were too short and when I went and looked at the 1.9Kw mounts they used SS cap screws into mild steel clamps and everyone is locked tight and 99% of the set screws are bent.

Then decided I'd do the cable glands on the box's only to find I forgot got positive and negative so for the 1.9Kw array 10 cable glands and the output to the conduit  

So now I can use the big box for the 1.5Kw array but I do need to get a longer box for the other and heap more cable glands.

I got both MPPT boards all finished and with the boards I got from Rodger his idea of using a dingel connector does fit the goods for my boards.

Now the wind here today is pretty strong and plenty to do as have the grand kids here for a few days so may aswell wait until my CRO arrives so i can test the inductors to make sure they will work.

Well Rome wasn't built in a day and as this is a 20 year upgrade another week won't hurt.

Cheers Bryan
 
Revlac

Guru

Joined: 31/12/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 980
Posted: 12:17am 30 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

I did have some aluminium clamps with SS bolts, all of them locked up, so plan B was to make a steel frame, welded some small angle where the bolt holes on the panels were located and bolted the panels on to the frame, 2 pole mounted arrays 9 panels each another with 2 poles and 12 panels the last one is ground mount and made for 21 panels, no need to clutter up the roof.
Junctions are on the frame and only 2 wires go from the frame to the junction at the charge controller.
There are a lot more ground mounted systems going up these days, no need to mess around on a roof if you have the space around the yard.
Cheers Aaron
Off The Grid
 
Godoh
Guru

Joined: 26/09/2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 418
Posted: 05:09am 30 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

I put Nickle anti sieze on all the stainless steel bolts on my panel racks.
I know from working on other stuff that stainless steel bolts tend to gall up and seize in aluminium threads.
I have not had to take any of my panels down but am hoping that if I ever do the nickle anti sieze on the threads will make the bolts come out easily.
Pete
 
phil99

Guru

Joined: 11/02/2018
Location: Australia
Posts: 1903
Posted: 06:11am 30 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

There is an "aluminium compatible" grade of stainless steel used for boat fittings & fixtures. Expensive at boat shops but perhaps other suppliers have better prices.
 
Solar Mike
Guru

Joined: 08/02/2015
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1130
Posted: 06:37am 30 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

CRC Lanocote   is what I have always used to spray on Stainless bolts and alloy fixings when putting up PV arrays, also prevents stainless bolts\nuts galling up.
Have pulled some down after 3 years and no problems with corrosion, 1Km from the sea. Bunnings and hardware stores have it.

Cheers
Mike
 
Bryan1

Guru

Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1225
Posted: 06:55am 30 Dec 2023
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

Guy's I'll be making my own clamp setup for both arrays out of that 40x6mm ali flat bar and using gal bolts NOT S.S.

Just some 50mm long with a hole in the centre for the bolt for between the panels and for the threaded part in the slot I'll go double thickness so 12mm of holding force and I do have some decent anti seize here to use. Now for end of the panels I'll bend the flat bar 90 degrees to make the clamp.

There is no real space on the ground here so my plan is to basically fill the northern side roof of the house as we do have our own gumtree forest here and the house is high enough to overcome them for the early morning sun.

Cheers Bryan
 
Bryan1

Guru

Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1225
Posted: 04:54am 12 Apr 2024
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

G'Day Guy's,
           Well the 1.5Kw is already up and running and I did get a 100/50 victron MPPT and as there is no display as it's all done with bluetooth I just setup my phone to connect.

Well in one week running the 1.9Kw array the house battery is fully charged   and the 100/50 has been averaging 5-6Kw a day in quite cloudy conditions.

Got the rest of the gear for the 1.5Kw array and thats going up this weekend and I grabbed a 100/30 MPPT so those old Kaneka panels can go on that, the 1.9Kw on my FM60 Outback and the 1.5K on the 100/50.

Once I get everything finished I'll take a few pic's and put on here.

Cheers Bryan
 
Bryan1

Guru

Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1225
Posted: 05:10am 08 Jun 2024
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

Man time seems to fly when one works nightshift and with the bleak weather this week was the first time the inverter went beep late at night. So got on and tried out the new extension lead for the battery charger and then I noticed it was connected to one of the shorted leads where I do know I took off and coiled up. So asked the wife did she reconnect one of those leads and she said she did. Well that 80 amp Staff&Stanbury 80 amp charger has had it's day as it does show mains are present but lcd screen nothing. Checked all the fuses and all were true aswell, so connected up a spare 175 amp anderson connector and went and got my forklift charger from my shed and finally got the battery charging.

So over 20 odds years this charger ate many extension leads and has seen 4 gensets thru it's life. So not a bad run and looking at the internals it's got diodes, resistors etc all wire wrapped so trying to trace the circuit would be a nightmare.

Finished off on the roof this morning so the 1.5Kw array just needs the connection done in the shed, got another 100/50 MPPT to use and that's a morning job as I have done enough for one day.

Regards Bryan
 
Revlac

Guru

Joined: 31/12/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 980
Posted: 10:50pm 08 Jun 2024
Copy link to clipboard 
Print this post

I agree time flies when your getting older regardless of what your doing.
My 1984 power electronics 48v 50A battery is still working, its about to eat up its power lead 15A plug, plastic has melted a bit, its probably not original either.
Good to get your solar array running, need it these days.
Cheers Aaron
Off The Grid
 
     Page 1 of 2    
Print this page
© JAQ Software 2024